Bay Chamber Concerts will present Curtis on Tour Saturday, March 20 at 7 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House, 6 Central St. Each season, Curtis on Tour brings the extraordinary artistry of Philadelphia’s world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music to audiences nationwide, with tomorrow’s leading musicians performing alongside celebrated alumni and faculty.

On the 2009-2010 tour, internationally acclaimed violinist Ida Kavafian and cellist Peter Wiley of the Curtis faculty will join Curtis students celebrating the centenary year of alumnus Samuel Barber with a performance of his String Quartet (whose Adagio is easily recognizable from many uses including the soundtrack of “Platoon”). The performance also will feature 2002 and 2003 alumnus of Bay Chamber’s Next Generation Program, and rising star violinist, Benjamin Beilman.

An Ann Arbor, Mich. native, Beilman traveled all the way to Rockport to study with Bay Chamber’s Next Generation Program in 2002 and 2003. Later in 2003, he performed with his Bay Chamber Trio (comprised of Beilman, violin; Daphne Nichols, piano; and Jeremy Viner, clarinet) on National Public Radio’s “From the Top.” Beilman began playing violin at age 5 and currently studies with Kavafian at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he is the William H. Roberts Annual Fellow. He made his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 2009.

A winner of Astral Artists National Auditions in 2009, Beilman was awarded the Milka/Astral Violin Prize, designated for a violinist invited to join the Astral Artists roster. He also is a 2007 Presidential Scholar in the Arts recipient of a youngARTS Gold Award in music from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, one among many awards and accolades this rising Next Generation alumnus has received.

Beilman’s impressive biography is a prime example of the extraordinary artistry of the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, which shares its talented students, faculty members and alumni with audiences nationwide each season through Curtis on Tour. For this concert, Beilman will be joined onstage by fellow Curtis students Hyo Bi Sim on viola and Yekwon Sunwoo on piano; internationally acclaimed violinist Kavafian; and Curtis alumnus, faculty member, and world renowned cellist Peter Wiley. They will showcase the excellence of the Curtis Institute’s composition program with miniature works by composition students and a centenary year celebratory performance of Curtis alumnus Barber’s String Quartet in B minor, Op. 11, which will feature Beilman on first violin. They also will perform Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A, Op. 81.

Curtis on Tour is sponsored by Museum in the Streets. Most tickets are $25; prime seating is $45, discounted up to 44 percent with subscription. A limited number of $8 tickets is available for youth younger than 19. For more information or to purchase subscriptions or tickets, contact Bay Chamber Concerts at 236-2823 or toll-free at (888) 707-2770 or online at baychamberconcerts.org.

Bay Chamber Concerts is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit organization. The media sponsor is VillageSoup.com. Coming up next in the 2009-2010 Performing Arts Series is Curtis Institute of Music alumnus and winner of the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award Jonathan Biss, now one of the top pianists in the international circuit. He will perform on Saturday, April 10 at 7 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.