Her life and work have been profiled by CBS’s 60 Minutes, NBC’s The Today Show, Biography Magazine and Globo TV Brazil.
Martha has an amazing story of love of music and the determination to be seizure free by convincing a team of doctors to remove much of her right brain. Martha Curtis is a concert violinist who learned how to co-exist with epileptic seizures even from the stage. Curtis suffered from epilepsy all her life. She began playing violin at age 9 and managed to graduate as salutatorian from the Interlochen Arts Academy and graduate with honors from the Eastman School of Music. Although experiencing seizures regularly, she was able to perform as a professional musician with various orchestras. The other musicians, she says, knew what to do if she experienced a seizure.
“The story of Martha Curtis’ indomitable courage and achievement is inspiring and uplifting, a testament to the untapped possibilities of the human mind and will.”
Eastman School of Music
“Her Presentation leavers audience with a feeling that there is no adversity that can’t be overcome.”
The Chautauqua Lecture Series
Houston Women’ Institute
Pan Arab Neurosciences Conference
Beirut, Media Briefing
Women and Epilepsy (Prague)
Awards Dinner for Senators Kennedy
and Kassebaum-Baker (DC)
Texas Early Childhood Development Conference
The Million Dollar Round Table
Sonoma County Medical Assn, Santa Rosa (CA)
Field Neurological Assn.
American Music Therapy Association
Martha has also presented at neuroscience and epilepsy conferences worldwide, as well as to international audiences in Canada and St. Petersburg, Russia.
""Her words inspired.
Her music astounded."
a publication of Lakeland Hospital
On stage, Martha Curtis plays a tender melody from a Beethoven Symphony when a powerful force engulfs her…30 minutes later she awakens…she has suffered yet another gran mal seizure. After years of taking medication and suffering four grand mal seizures in a single month – three of them while performing on stage – she underwent the first of three major surgeries to stop the neurological storms. In 1991 Curtis, under the care of doctors from the Cleveland Clinic, underwent the first of what would become three major brain surgeries. Putting her music career at risk, she eventually had nearly 50 percent of her right temporal lobe removed. Today Martha is seizure-free and her ability to perform and memorize difficult pieces of music is greater than before the operations. Martha Curtis’ success story has single-handedly changed preconceived theories about brain and memory function.
Martha co-existed with adversity and persisted past society's limiting view of physical challenge. In a moving lecture performance, Martha shares her belief that everybody needs to touch beauty and order. [Martha Curtis' Artistic Vision]
credits music with saving her life, with allowing her to have beauty in
her life, not just illness. “I am alive today because I had a
violin,” she said.
Martha uses a combination of words and music to communicate
her story of courage, determination and passion for life.
Standing ovations for this inspiring performance are common.
Her commitment to humanity is strong.
Martha uses a combination of words and music to communicate her story of courage, determination and passion for life. Standing ovations for this inspiring performance are common. Her commitment to humanity is strong.
Her ability to touch the heart and amaze the mind is not limited to nationality or custom for she speaks the universal languages of music and determination.
“Martha Curtis is every inch a musician… Her music talks.”