David Serkin Ludwig
Distinguished Guest Composer
David Serkin Ludwig is “a composer with something urgent to say” (Philadelphia Inquirer). His music has been described as “arresting and dramatically hued” (New York Times) and “supercharged with electrical energy and raw emotion” (Fanfare). In 2013 his choral work, “The New Colossus,” was selected to open the private prayer service for President Obama and his cabinet, held before the president’s second inauguration. In 2011 NPR Music listed him as one of the top 100 composers under 40 in the world.
Dr. Ludwig has written for many prominent artists, including soloists Jonathan Biss and Jennifer Koh, ensembles like Eighth Blackbird and ECCO, and the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras. Recent and upcoming commissions and performances include the Dover and Borromeo quartets, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Pittsburgh and National symphonies, and a seven-orchestra consortium commission of a new violin concerto for his wife, acclaimed violinist Bella Hristova. An award-winning film composer, Dr. Ludwig scored Michael Almareyda’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.
Dr. Ludwig has held residencies with Marlboro Music, the Gardner Museum, Music from Angel Fire, the Ravinia Steans Institute, the MacDowell and Yaddo artist colonies, Seoul National University, and the Shanghai International Festival, among others. He directs composition programs at the Lake Champlain Festival and the Atlantic Music Festival, and he is the artistic director of Curtis Summerfest’s Young Artist Summer Program. At the Curtis Institute of Music, Dr. Ludwig is Chair of Composition Studies, is the Gie and Lisa Liem Artistic Advisor to the President, and is artistic director of the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble.
Dr. Ludwig’s family lineage of musicians includes his grandfather, Rudolf Serkin, and his great-grandfather, Adolf Busch. He holds degrees and diplomas from Oberlin, Manhattan School of Music, Curtis, and the Juilliard School, as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.