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NT: Angels in America Part 2
2017-18 UMS Films
NT: Angels in America Part 2

America in the mid-1980s. In the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell. Angels in America is an incredible drama set against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis that also offers a critique of American conservative politics. It focuses on the stories of two troubled couples, one gay, one straight: “word processor” Louis Ironson and his lover Prior Walter, and Mormon lawyer Joe Pitt and his wife Harper. Tony Kushner’s epic seven-hour play in two parts won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993. The incredible star cast includes Andrew Garland, Denis Gough, Nathan Lane, James McArdle, and Russell Tovey.

Presented in partnership with the Michigan Theater.

Sun 10/1/17 6:00PM Michigan Theater


Emerson String Quartet<br>Calidore String Quartet
2017-18 UMS
Emerson String Quartet
Calidore String Quartet

Members of the Calidore String Quartet, the inaugural M-Prize winner who made their UMS debut in February, join their mentors, the Emerson String Quartet, in a program that features works for larger string ensembles.

Thu 10/5/17 7:30PM Rackham Auditorium


<em>L'État de siege (State of Siege)</em> Théâtre de la Ville
2017-18 UMS
L'État de siege (State of Siege) Théâtre de la Ville

After exciting stage productions of Ionesco’s Rhinocéros in 2012 and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author in 2014, Théâtre de la Ville returns with L’État de siege (State of Siege), a dizzying allegory created by Albert Camus. In this nightmarish future, a city is reduced to the silence and submission of authority under the leadership of a character called “Le Peste” (The Plague). The Plague brings order, administration, lists, records, statistics, and persecution — until a young man, Diego, organizes a revolt. Written in 1948, State of Siege takes place in Cádiz, Spain and reflects the creation of a corrupt, totalitarian regime and the necessity of resistance. Performed in French with English supertitles.

Fri 10/13/17 8:00PM Power Center
Sat 10/14/17 8:00PM Power Center


Amir ElSaffar's <em>Rivers of Sound</em>
2017-18 UMS
Amir ElSaffar's Rivers of Sound

The highest ideal in maqam music is to reach a state of tarab, or musical ecstasy, which results from the melting away of borders as performers and audiences revel together in the music. As pitches and rhythms become fluid, so do cultural boundaries: elements that traditionally divide musicians and genre-specific modes are recontextualized in a fresh, transcultural soundscape. Rivers of Sound presents 17 musicians from Western and Middle Eastern traditions, from Iraqi maqam to American jazz, creating a unique microtonal musical environment that moves beyond the notions of style and tradition into a realm of sound that includes both improvised and composed material. Composer, trumpeter, santur player, and vocalist Amir ElSaffar is an expert in both jazz and Iraqi maqam and shows off his large-scale ensemble to Ann Arbor for this special presentation; ElSaffar and select members of the group also provide the live music for Ragamala Dance Company’s Written in Water two nights later.

Wed 10/18/17 7:30PM Power Center


Ragamala Dance Company <em>Written in Water</em>
2017-18 UMS
Ragamala Dance Company Written in Water
In Written in Water, Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy explore the concept of spiritual ascension through the 2nd-century Indian board game Paramapadam (upon which Snakes & Ladders is based), the 12th century Sufi text The Conference of the Birds, and the Hindu mythological story Ksheerabthi Madanam. The performance unfolds upon large-scale paintings by Chennai-based visual artist Keshav, projected on the stage floor. Dancers activate the space by negotiating snakes and ladders, representing the heights of ecstasy and the depths of longing in Hindu and Sufi thought. The live music for Written in Water is composed and performed by Amir ElSaffar, interwoven with original South Indian Carnatic compositions by Prema Ramamurthy. Ragamala Dance Company is “providing some of the most transcendent experiences that dance has to offer.” (New York Times)
Fri 10/20/17 8:00PM Power Center


NT Live: Yerma
2017-18 UMS Films
NT Live: Yerma

Lorca’s 1934 play about a farmer’s wife broken by her longing for a child is modernized for the 21st century in Simon Stone’s radical update. Here Yerma is a hard-driving journalist who has settled down with her boyfriend in a gentrifying part of London. Billie Piper’s lead performance as a young woman driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child is spellbinding, astonishing, and devastating. Set in contemporary London, Piper builds with elemental force to a staggering, shocking climax. Winner of the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Actress for this performance, Piper is “fearless, furious, wildly funny — then utterly destroyed, as she realizes that neither yoga nor bravado can overcome the vulnerability of her own body.” (TimeOut London)

Presented in partnership with the Michigan Theater.

Please note that this production makes use of a strobe light.

Sun 10/22/17 7:00PM Michigan Theater


Daniil Trifonov, piano
2017-18 UMS
Daniil Trifonov, piano

“He is, no other word, a phenomenon. Like Rachmaninoff, he is both a dazzling pianist and composer.” (The Guardian). The 26-year old Daniil Trifonov made his UMS debut with the Montreal Symphony in 2016 and returns for his first UMS recital with a program that explores Chopin and other composers he inspired.

Wed 10/25/17 7:30PM Hill Auditorium


Sphinx Virtuosi
2017-18 UMS
Sphinx Virtuosi

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Sphinx Organization, this program offers a collection of concerti through the ages, including both beloved masterpieces and new works. The group’s 18 members are all alumni of the Sphinx Competition, which supports racial diversity in classical music.

Sun 10/29/17 4:00PM Rackham Auditorium


<em>Crosscurrents</em><br>Zakir Hussain & Dave Holland
2017-18 UMS
Crosscurrents
Zakir Hussain & Dave Holland

This special collaboration between Zakir Hussain, a living master of the 3,000-year-old tabla percussion tradition, and distinguished bassist and 2017 NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland demonstrates the many directions of inspiration between the idioms of jazz and Indian music. The influence of Indian classical music on jazz is widely known, but fewer people are aware of how jazz influenced the popular music of India. Jazz first came to India by way of the Hollywood musicals of the 1930s and ’40s and quickly influenced the music of India’s burgeoning film industry; the improvisational nature of jazz was familiar to Indian composers and musicians who found a way to incorporate jazz harmonies and chord progressions into their work.

Wed 11/1/17 7:30PM Michigan Theater


Bassem Youssef
2017-18 UMS
Bassem Youssef
Mon 11/6/17 7:30PM Michigan Theater


China NCPA Orchestra
2017-18 UMS
China NCPA Orchestra

One of China’s great orchestras, from the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, makes its UMS debut with a new work commissioned by Qigang Chen, the music director of the 2008 Summer Olympics. American composer Lou Harrison’s pipa concerto shines a spotlight on the traditional Chinese lute, performed by the world’s reigning pipa virtuoso and Silk Road Ensemble member, Wu Man.

Tue 11/7/17 7:30PM Hill Auditorium


Chanticleer
2017-18 UMS
Chanticleer

Called “the world’s reigning male chorus” by the New Yorker, the Grammy Award-winning ensemble Chanticleer celebrates its 40th season in 2017-18. The ensemble is known around the world as an “orchestra of voices” for the seamless blend of its 12 male voices, ranging from soprano to bass, as well as its original interpretations of vocal literature that run the gamut from Gregorian chant to jazz and popular genres. Named for the “clearsinging” rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, “Chanticleer fascinates and enthralls for much the same reason a fine chocolate or a Rolls Royce does: through luxurious perfection.” (Los Angeles Times)

Fri 11/10/17 8:00PM Hill Auditorium


The Knights
2017-18 UMS
The Knights

“Few ensembles are as adept at mixing old and new as the dynamic Brooklyn orchestra The Knights,” says the New Yorker, and when Avital and Azmeh join the group, the result is “nothing short of electric.” (New York Times) The trailblazing Israeli mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital and soulful Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh team up with The Knights for an extraordinary performance grounded in the classical tradition and crossing boundaries into the worlds of Middle Eastern, Balkan, klezmer, and jazz.

Sun 11/12/17 4:00PM Rackham Auditorium


John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring<br>
John McLaughlin Farewell US Tour<br> 
Meeting of the Spirits: Music of Mahavishnu Orchestra
2017-18 UMS
John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring
John McLaughlin Farewell US Tour
Meeting of the Spirits: Music of Mahavishnu Orchestra

On this tour, which features the first extended collaboration between two of the world’s foremost improvising artists, guitarist John McLaughlin revisits the legacy of his legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra with his co-headliner, virtuoso guitarist Jimmy Herring. Over five decades, McLaughlin has become one of improvised music’s most influential guitarists, composers, and bandleaders. Herring has been at the creative forefront of the thriving American rock-jam band movement for 25 years as lead guitarist of Widespread Panic. After separate sets by the two headliners with their own bands, they join forces for an expansive closing jam, revisiting the pioneering music that McLaughlin introduced in the 1970s with his deeply influential, genre-defying Mahavishnu Orchestra. This tour marks the 75-year-old McLaughlin’s first extensive US tour in seven years and his last American performances. “To play the music of Mahavishnu is not for the faint-hearted,” says McLaughlin. “In fact, among the only people I know who have succeeded in interpreting Mahavishnu music are my two all-time favorite guitarists: Jimmy Herring and Jeff Beck.”

Wed 11/15/17 7:30PM Michigan Theater


New York Philharmonic
2017-18 UMS
New York Philharmonic

The New York Philharmonic returns for its second major UMS residency, this time with a focus on Leonard Bernstein, the celebrated New York Philharmonic music director and composer who was born 100 years ago. Two of the concerts are on the Choral Union Series; the orchestra will also host dozens of free educational activities and a special “Young People’s Concert”. The first concert of the New York Philharmonic residency weekend features the music of Gustav Mahler, also a music director of the New York Philharmonic (1909-11), whose music Bernstein championed and brought back into the symphonic canon.

The final weekend concert celebrating Leonard Bernstein’s centenary includes Bernstein’s own “Kaddish” Symphony, a work that has never been performed on a UMS concert. The New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts have run uninterrupted since 1926, but they received a new level of attention when Leonard Bernstein arrived as music director in 1958. During the next 14 years, Bernstein presented 53 of these concerts, broadcast nationally on CBS. Leonard Slatkin takes the helm for this special one-hour celebration of Leonard Bernstein which, though titled a “Young People’s Concert,” will be appreciated and enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

Fri 11/17/17 8:00PM Hill Auditorium
Sat 11/18/17 2:00PM Hill Auditorium
Sun 11/19/17 3:00PM Hill Auditorium


Handel's <i>Messiah</i>
2017-18 UMS
Handel's Messiah

The tradition that connects Handel’s Messiah with the Christmas holiday has nothing to do with the oratorio’s origins. It was originally designed as a piece for Passion Week, leading up to Easter. The work was composed over the period of a month in 1741, six months before its premiere in Dublin at a new concert hall, where several of Handel's operas were also performed. Even the dress rehearsal was ticketed, and the morning newspapers excitedly reported that the oratorio “far surpasses anything of that nature, which has been performed in this or any other Kingdom.” Ladies were asked to attend without hoops and gentlemen without swords, to increase the capacity of the hall. The premiere was a triumph; the Dublin Journal proclaimed, “The sublime, the grand, and the tender, adapted to the most elevated, majestic, and moving words, conspired to transport and charm the ravished heart and ear." Nearly 300 years later, Handel’s Messiah still provokes joy, and UMS’s 139th year of presenting the oratorio — representing only about half of the work’s entire history — still fills audiences with emotion for both the beauty of the piece and the pride of hearing friends and colleagues from the community bring this glorious work to life.

Sat 12/2/17 8:00PM Hill Auditorium
Sun 12/3/17 2:00PM Hill Auditorium


Bach Collegium Japan
2017-18 UMS
Bach Collegium Japan

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote over 200 church cantatas, and the Bach Collegium Japan is intent on performing every one of them — and in fact did so, in chronological order, from 1995-2013. They bring their signature crispness and purity to a beloved masterpiece, highlighting the polyphonic wonder of Bach’s rich, imaginative cantatas that were written to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Fri 12/8/17 8:00PM Hill Auditorium


<em>What's in a Song</em><br>Martin Katz, piano and curator
2017-18 UMS
What's in a Song
Martin Katz, piano and curator

One of the highlights of the 2015-16 UMS season was the opening of the first Song Biennial, in which Martin Katz curated a wonderful evening featuring six singers examining the components of a song. This second edition features a different cast of characters, with Katz’s inimitable knowledge of the vast song repertoire guiding the evening.

Artists to include:
Nicole Cabell, soprano
Daniela Mack, mezzo-soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
John Relyea, bass-baritone

Sat 1/6/18 8:00PM Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre


Urban Bush Women<br> <em> Hair and Other Stories</em>
2017-18 UMS
Urban Bush Women
Hair and Other Stories

“The Urban Bush Women are committed, triple-threat performers who dance, sing, and act with a sometimes searing sense of truthfulness.” (New York Times) Founded by Jawole Zollar, the company burst onto the dance scene in 1984 and has made an indelible mark on the field with bold, innovative, and demanding works that challenge long-held assumptions about women, people of color, body types, styles of movement, society, history, and appropriate content for the stage. Hair & Other Stories is a multidisciplinary evening-length work that addresses matters of race, gender identity, and economic inequality through the lens of hair, primarily that of African-American women.

Fri 1/12/18 8:00PM Power Center


Haydn Mega-Concert <br>St. Lawrence String Quartet
2017-18 UMS
Haydn Mega-Concert
St. Lawrence String Quartet

Geoff Nuttall, first violinist with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, is as well known for the insightful commentary he provides about the works the Quartet performs as he is for his violin playing. Haydn has been a passion for the Quartet since their founding in 1989, and they think of the composer less as the source of “pleasant opening music” than as a “radical, passionate innovator.” In this special, immersive concert, the SLSQ performs all six of Haydn’s Op. 20 string quartets, with two intermissions (including a meal break). “No other North American quartet plays the music of Haydn with more intelligence, expressivity, and force,” says the New Yorker.

Sun 1/14/18 2:00PM Rackham Auditorium


<em>Underground Railroad Game</em>
2017-18 UMS
Underground Railroad Game

At Hanover Middle School, a pair of teachers are getting shockingly down and dirty with a lesson about race, sex, and power. The nimble duo goes round after round on the mat of our nation’s history in this R-rated, fearless, and absolutely unflinching comedy. With rote memorization now in the past, the Hanover Middle School teachers take history off the page and make it real again during an interactive unit on the Underground Railroad that puts fifth graders into a role-playing game where Union soldiers try to smuggle slaves — represented by dolls — to freedom, while Confederate soldiers try to recapture the dolls as they make their way north.

Contains racially-charged adult language, sexual content, and nudity. 75 minutes, no intermission.

Wed 1/17/18 7:30PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Thu 1/18/18 7:30PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Fri 1/19/18 8:00PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Sat 1/20/18 2:00PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Sat 1/20/18 8:00PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Sun 1/21/18 2:00PM Arthur Miller Theatre


Workshop: Introduction to Systemic Racism with ERACCE
2017-18 UMS Other
Workshop: Introduction to Systemic Racism with ERACCE
Sat 1/20/18 10:00AM General Admission (Education)


MVT Live: Uncle Vanya
2017-18 UMS Films
MVT Live: Uncle Vanya

Anton Chekhov’s tragicomic masterpiece of dashed dreams, thwarted love, and eternal longing begins as Professor Serebryakov and his young wife, Elena, arrive at the family’s remote country estate that has been looked after by Sonya (the Professor’s daughter from his first marriage) and her Uncle Vanya (Voynitsky), the Professor’s brother-in-law. Vanya has sacrificed his life managing the estate for the Professor, whom he once revered, but is now filled with regret for lost time, a pain made worse by the arousing presence of Elena. An acutely observed study of humanity, Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya remains a classic of Russian theater, a play of tragic and tangled love combining comic scenes of the everyday with a scathing attack on the idle provincial life of the upper classes.

Performed in Russian with English subtitles.

Presented in partnership with the Michigan Theater.

Sun 1/21/18 7:00PM Michigan Theater


<em>Us/Them</em>
2017-18 UMS
Us/Them

Belgium’s Bronks theater company was the hit of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016, with a compelling work about the shocking event in the Caucasus in 2004, when 1,200 schoolchildren and their parents were held hostage on the first day of school by a group of armed terrorists in the small town of Beslan. The hostage situation lasted for three days and ended in utter chaos with over 300 dead, including 186 children.

60 minutes, no intermission.

Wed 1/24/18 7:30PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Thu 1/25/18 7:30PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Fri 1/26/18 8:00PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Sat 1/27/18 8:00PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Sun 1/28/18 2:00PM Arthur Miller Theatre


<em>(I Could Go On Singing) Over the Rainbow</em>
2017-18 UMS
(I Could Go On Singing) Over the Rainbow

Judy Garland sang “Over the Rainbow” for the last time four months before her untimely death. In a unique individual moment of undivided love and attention, FK Alexander takes your hand, fixes your gaze, and sings to you alongside a distorted recording of that very rendition, played through a wall of noise by the abrasive Glasgow-based noise band Okishima Tourist Association.

Her ritualized approach, performed repeatedly as a one-on-one experience for self-selecting audience members, is “an intimate, interactive live experience…desperate, moving, distressing, and beautiful too.” (The Guardian)

This sonically immersive performance features sustained loud noise, strobe lights, and limited seating. 65 minutes, no intermission. The Saturday, January 27 performance will be a 3 hour performance with no intermission.

Fri 1/26/18 8:00PM Stamps Gallery
Sat 1/27/18 8:00PM Stamps Gallery
Tue 1/30/18 7:30PM Stamps Gallery
Wed 1/31/18 7:30PM Stamps Gallery
Thu 2/1/18 7:30PM Stamps Gallery
Fri 2/2/18 8:00PM Stamps Gallery
Sat 2/3/18 8:00PM Stamps Gallery


Russian Renaissance
2017-18 UMS
Russian Renaissance

The grand prize winner of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s M-Prize will be featured on the UMS Chamber Arts series. The ensemble will be identified at the M-Prize finals on May 4, and a date for their UMS concert announced in late June. M-Prize is an international chamber arts competition for ensembles of up to eight musicians all under the age of 40. Chamber Arts subscribers will be notified as soon as a date is determined for the winning ensemble’s UMS appearance. Artist and Date to be announced

Sat 1/27/18 8:00PM Rackham Auditorium


Maxim Vengerov, violin <br>
Roustem Saïtkoulov, piano
2017-18 UMS
Maxim Vengerov, violin
Roustem Saïtkoulov, piano

Universally hailed as one of the world’s finest musicians, Maxim Vengerov made his public debut at age 5 and performed the Mendelssohn Concerto at age 7. Vengerov is inspired by many different styles of music and brings his tireless search for new means of creative expression to his first UMS recital appearance in nearly 20 years.

Sun 1/28/18 4:00PM Hill Auditorium


Janai Brugger, soprano <br>
Martin Katz, piano
2017-18 UMS
Janai Brugger, soprano
Martin Katz, piano

Winner of Placido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition in 2012 and a true standout in the What’s in a Song event that launched the UMS Song Biennial two years ago, soprano Janai Brugger has quickly become one of the Metropolitan Opera’s go-to singers, with four roles this past season. The U-M alumna, who studied with the late Shirley Verrett, also won the Kennedy Center’s 2016 Marian Anderson Vocal Award and was identified by Opera News as one of their top 25 “brilliant young artists” in 2015. At the Metropolitan Opera competition in 2012, the New York Times wrote, “Only one singer inspired me to look forward to a full performance. Janai Brugger sang with poise and style, quiet intensity, and superb phrasing…The emotion was in her sound, which projected, with silvery ease, relaxed but focused bliss and then haunting melancholy.” Brugger, joined by pianist Martin Katz, makes her UMS recital debut with this performance.

Wed 1/31/18 7:30PM Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre


They, Themself and Schmerm
2017-18 UMS
They, Themself and Schmerm

Part classic standup comedy special, part teen zine vomit confessional, They, Themself and Schmerm is Becca Blackwell’s disturbingly hilarious personal tale of being adopted into a Midwestern religious family, trained to be a girl, molested, and plagued by the question “How do I become a man, and do I even want that?”

Inspired by a self-produced video by the late actor Corey Haim called Me, Myself and I, Becca engages in loving confrontation with the audience, detailing the tragic-comic transitions in life, family, sex, and gender while asking what it truly means to be authentic.

Contains adult language and frank discussion of gender and sexuality. 70 minutes, no intermission.

Wed 1/31/18 7:30PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Thu 2/1/18 7:30PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Fri 2/2/18 8:00PM Arthur Miller Theatre
Sat 2/3/18 8:00PM Arthur Miller Theatre


Gabriel Kahane’s <br><em>Book of Travelers</em>
2017-18 UMS
Gabriel Kahane’s
Book of Travelers

The morning after the 2016 presidential election, singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane packed a suitcase and set out, with no cell phone or internet connection, on a 9,000-mile railway journey around the US, in an attempt to better understand his country. Over the course of two weeks spent talking to strangers in Amtrak dining cars, he encountered an array of fellow citizens — cowboys, postmasters, religious luddites, national park conservationists, drifters, and seasteading software engineers — who, taken together, amount to nothing less than an American mosaic. At a distance from his daily routine, Kahane meditated on the intimacy and immediacy of train culture, and the ways in which it offers a stark contrast to — and relief from — the fragmentation, polarization, and obsession with efficiency that have come to embody contemporary American society. The highly anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed stage piece, The Ambassador, Gabriel Kahane’s Book of Travelers offers an expansive exploration of American history, regionalism, and the history of travel itself, all couched in a collection of songs as personal as any Kahane has written.

Fri 2/2/18 8:00PM Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre


Estonian National Symphony
2017-18 UMS
Estonian National Symphony

Former Detroit Symphony Orchestra music director Neeme Järvi returns to Southeast Michigan with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Järvi leads the ensemble in its UMS debut with a program steeped in the music of Estonian composers, including the beautiful fifth symphony of Eduard Tubin, who fled to Stockholm in 1944 when the Soviet Union occupied Estonia. Garrick Ohlsson, a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess, joins the orchestra for Brahms’s first piano concerto.

Sat 2/3/18 8:00PM Hill Auditorium


Schubert’s <i>Winterreise</i><br>
Ian Bostridge, tenor<br>
Julius Drake, piano
2017-18 UMS
Schubert’s Winterreise
Ian Bostridge, tenor
Julius Drake, piano

“Even as a child, I was unnaturally obsessed with love and death,” says celebrated English tenor Ian Bostridge. “So in that sense, I really was born to sing lieder.” Bostridge’s fascination with Schubert’s Winterreise extends beyond the hundreds of performances he has given of the 24 song cycle; the former historian has also written a book, Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession. The book is an engrossing read, but the live performance of a winter journey across a landscape of lost love is not to be missed. Of recent performances in England, the Financial Times observed that “Bostridge gets inside the very soul of Schubert’s tortured winter traveler.” The Telegraph raved, “This was without doubt the most extraordinary, riveting, uncanny performance of Schubert’s great song-cycle I have ever witnessed.”

Sun 2/4/18 4:00PM Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre


American Ballet Theater Transportation<br>From Ann Arbor to Detroit Opera House
2017-18 UMS Other
American Ballet Theater Transportation
From Ann Arbor to Detroit Opera House
Thu 2/8/18 4:45PM Coach Transportation
Fri 2/9/18 4:45PM Coach Transportation


<i>Romeo and Juliet</i><br>
American Ballet Theatre
2017-18 UMS
Romeo and Juliet
American Ballet Theatre

Kenneth MacMillan’s masterful interpretation of Shakespeare’s enduring romantic tragedy has become one of ABT’s signature productions. The story of Verona’s tragic star-crossed lovers is woven throughout a dance tapestry rich in character nuance and sensuality, with Renaissance Italy providing a sumptuous and period-perfect background. Sergei Prokofiev’s instantly recognizable music underscores the lyric beauty and passion of this beloved ballet. UMS and Michigan Opera Theatre co-present American Ballet Theatre as part of an extended partnership to bring dance to southeastern Michigan. Casting to be announced.

Thu 2/8/18 7:30PM Detroit Opera House
Fri 2/9/18 7:30PM Detroit Opera House
Sat 2/10/18 7:30PM Detroit Opera House
Sun 2/11/18 2:30PM Detroit Opera House


Joshua Bell, violin<br>
Sam Haywood, piano
2017-18 UMS
Joshua Bell, violin
Sam Haywood, piano

Joshua Bell enchants audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, and multi-faceted musical interests have developed and deepened since he was first spotted plucking tunes with rubber bands stretched around the handles of his dresser drawers at age four. Though unrecognized during a morning rush-hour performance in the DC Metro documented by the Washington Post, his concerts regularly draw rock-concert enthusiasm from audiences, despite — or perhaps because of — his down-to-earth personality.

Sat 2/10/18 8:00PM Hill Auditorium


NT Live: Follies
2017-18 UMS Films
NT Live: Follies

New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow, the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs, and lie about themselves. This dazzling production features a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, with Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee, and Imelda Stanton starring as the magnificent Follies.

Presented in partnership with the Michigan Theater.

Sun 2/11/18 7:00PM Michigan Theater


Emmanuel Pahud, flute<br>
Alessio Bax, piano
2017-18 UMS
Emmanuel Pahud, flute
Alessio Bax, piano

A star flutist only comes around once or twice in a generation — and it’s fair to say that this generation’s strongest candidate is the Swiss-born Emmanuel Pahud. One of today’s most adventurous musicians, Pahud joined the Berlin Philharmonic as principal flute under Claudio Abbado at age 22, a position he still holds today. For this debut recital, he performs arrangements of sonatas written for other instruments, allowing audiences to experience the works from a completely different soundscape.

Wed 2/14/18 7:30PM Rackham Auditorium


Opera in Concert <br>
The Gershwins' <i>Porgy and Bess</i>
2017-18 UMS
Opera in Concert
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess

UMS and the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) present the first-ever performance of the U-M Gershwin Initiative’s new scholarly edition of this landmark score. Porgy and Bess is without rival as the most famous 20th-century American opera. Since its 1935 debut, this story of a disabled beggar transformed by the unexpected love of Bess has been performed worldwide and features such well-known songs as “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’,” “My Man’s Gone Now,” “Summertime,” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” In addition to the concert, UMS and SMTD will host related symposia and other educational activities as part of an ongoing scholarly examination of the art of George and Ira Gershwin.
PLEASE NOTE: Only single seats remain in the Gold Main Floor seating sections. If you are ordering multiple seats, please select another price section.

Sat 2/17/18 7:30PM Hill Auditorium


<i>Borderline</i><br>
Company Wang Ramirez
2017-18 UMS
Borderline
Company Wang Ramirez

A couple both onstage and in real life, Sébastien Ramirez, a Frenchman with Spanish parents, and Honji Wang, a German woman with a Korean mother, make their UMS debut with Borderline. Their dance backgrounds could hardly be more different — Ramirez was a B-boy while Wang was classically trained — but they share a love of other dance styles and an interest in experimentation. In Borderline, the six dancers toy with the forces of gravity through a subtle and sophisticated use of rigging, creating a powerful evening of breathtaking movement, physical energy, and spiritual serenity. “The contemporary dance revolution is taking place. And dancers like Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang are on the frontlines.” (L’Indépendant)

Fri 3/9/18 8:00PM Power Center
Sat 3/10/18 8:00PM Power Center


Elias Quartet
2017-18 UMS
Elias Quartet

After a three-year project exploring all of Beethoven’s string quartets, the Elias Quartet decided to consider how composers after Beethoven lived up to his monumental legacy. Some of them approached their string quartets by expanding his musical language; others took a more poetic and imaginative turn of phrase. This particular program focuses on the freshness and fluidity of the music of Schubert and Dvorák, both of whom had a particular gift for writing melodies that seemed to spring from an endless well of inspiration.

Sun 3/11/18 4:00PM Rackham Auditorium


<i>Path of Miracles</i><br>
Tenebrae
2017-18 UMS
Path of Miracles
Tenebrae

Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles was the first major work commissioned by the professional vocal ensemble Tenebrae, a group that was founded by former King’s Singers member Nigel Short in 2000 and includes members drawn from the choirs of Westminster Abbey, King’s College Cambridge, and Britain’s two major opera houses. The work was supposed to premiere in London on July 7, 2005, but was delayed because of the London bombings that day, which killed over 50 people and injured more than 700. Ten days later, Path of Miracles received its premiere as part of the City of London Festival. Talbot’s composition is based on the most enduring route of Catholic pilgrimage, the great Pilgramage to Santiago, and the four movement titles are the four main posts along the route (Roncevalles, Burgos, León, and Santiago). Path of Miracles incorporates medieval texts and Roman Catholic liturgy and is sung in Greek, Latin, Spanish, Basque, French, English, and German. Candlelight and an imaginative use of the St. Francis of Assisi space guarantee a dramatic evening.

Tue 3/13/18 7:30PM St. Francis of Assisi Church


Piedmont Blues: <i>A Search for Salvation</i>
2017-18 UMS
Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation

Ragtime rhythms, a unique finger-picking guitar style, and understated vocals are the hallmarks of the folk music style found in the Piedmont region, the area between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Appalachian Mountains covering central Georgia to central Virginia. Jazz pianist and composer Gerald Clayton (who also holds down the piano chair in the Charles Lloyd Quartet) has captured the essence of this celebrated land, home to a unique culture and rapidly vanishing folkloric history, and preserved it in a multimedia project. This music-theater experience features a nine-piece band led by Clayton and combines music with projected film, new and archival photography, and the stories of those few musical elders who are still keeping the tradition alive. It makes a testimony of the struggle endured by African Americans in the Southeast during Jim Crow and chronicles the efficacy of the Piedmont Blues as a salve for suffering.

Wed 3/14/18 7:30PM Michigan Theater


Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone
2017-18 UMS
Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone

Though hip-hop and jazz are clearly no strangers to one another, Sélébéyone takes the conversation between jazz and hip-hop to “feverish new heights” (The WIRE), drawing from Senegalese rap, modern jazz, live electronics, and underground hip-hop to create a unique form of urban experimentalism. Composer and saxophonist Steve Lehman, a “quietly dazzling saxophonist” (New York Times), has built a career creating innovative new music that packs a visceral wallop. He leads this international ensemble, which includes rappers HPrizm, a legend of New York’s underground hip-hop scene, and Gaston Bandimic, one of Senegal’s most distinctive young rap stars, in a unique hybrid that juxtaposes English and Wolof against changing meters and asymmetrical rhythms, giving rise to the development of a whole new musical universe. In Wolof, “sélébéyone” refers to an intersection, where two fixed entities meet and transform themselves into something previously unknown. “The international jazz-rap project Sélébéyone is a rare case of two genres mixing at their most far-out, abstract corners.” (Pitchfork) A co-presentation with El Club.

Sat 3/17/18 9:00PM El Club


<i>Bubble Schmeisis</i>
2017-18 UMS
Bubble Schmeisis

Welcome to the steam baths! The word bubbemeises is a Yiddish term meaning “a grandmother’s story” or “an old wives’ tale.” Writer and street performer Nick Cassenbaum, along with his klezmer musicians, invite you into the warmth of the Schvitz in Detroit, one of the country’s few remaining traditional bath houses, which has been in operation for over 85 years. Among the steam and the ritual, Nick will take you on a journey of discovery to find the place where he belongs. Bubble Schmeisis is full of intimate and personal true stories about identity, home, and getting schmeised (washed) by old men. “It is by far the funniest thing I have seen in Edinburgh so far… Bubble Schmeisis is also beautiful in its depiction of male friendship and shared routines.” (Exeunt)

Thu 3/22/18 7:30PM The Schvitz
Fri 3/23/18 7:00PM The Schvitz
Fri 3/23/18 9:00PM The Schvitz
Sat 3/24/18 2:00PM The Schvitz
Sat 3/24/18 8:00PM The Schvitz
Sun 3/25/18 2:00PM The Schvitz
Sun 3/25/18 6:00PM The Schvitz


Nederlands Dans Theater
2017-18 UMS
Nederlands Dans Theater

Widely considered the Berlin Philharmonic of the dance world, Nederlands Dans Theater has forged a path between classical ballet and American modern dance, creating a modern ballet style that is widely admired across the world. Many NDT members have gone on to found companies around the world, including Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, and Crystal Pite. Pite’s 2016 work, “The Statement,” features two men and two women dealing with a conflict in a boardroom setting, with Jonathan Young (from the 2016-17 season’s Betroffenheit) providing the script/score. “Shoot the Moon” is a heartbreaking view of three different love stories deteriorating behind closed doors in a revolving set of three rooms, set to music by Philip Glass. “Think ballet line and virtuosity fused with modern dance weight and power. Think a commitment to the deepest European art-making traditions with no pandering to pop culture. Above all, think a super-ensemble: dancers who can form a superb corps one moment and perform just as superbly as principals the next.” (Los Angeles Times)

Fri 3/23/18 8:00PM Power Center
Sat 3/24/18 8:00PM Power Center


<i>The Music of Chick Corea</i><br>
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Chick Corea
2017-18 UMS
The Music of Chick Corea
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Chick Corea

Surprise! This perennial favorite is back, but this time with jazz pianist Chick Corea at the helm. Corea’s staggering career, spanning more than 50 years, is a torrent of creative and professional highlights. His last UMS appearance, with Herbie Hancock, was a sellout, and demonstrated why the New York Times called him “a luminary, ebullient and eternally youthful.” Corea’s fearless creative spirit has earned him a slew of accolades along the way, including the country’s highest honor for a jazz artist when he was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2006. “The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is ridiculously tight, executing tricky maneuvers like a fighter jet.” (DownBeat)

Sat 3/31/18 8:00PM Hill Auditorium


Artemis Quartet
2017-18 UMS
Artemis Quartet

Named after the Greek goddess of hunt and wilderness, the Artemis Quartet was founded in 1989 but took a full 10 years before it performed its first concerts for a live audience. This dedication to excellence has not wavered, and their playing is known for its “apparently effortless grace and effervescent athleticism.” (BBC) Based in Berlin, it programs its own series at the Berlin Philharmonie and the Vienna Konzerthaus, as well as in Munich and Amsterdam.

Sun 4/8/18 4:00PM Rackham Auditorium


<i>The Jazz Epistles</i><br>featuring Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela
2017-18 UMS
The Jazz Epistles
featuring Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela

“Hugh Masekela creates an instant party, leading from vocals and flugelhorn like a South African Louis Armstrong.” (Guardian) The two iconic South African jazz legends Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela reunite and perform on the same stage for the first time in 56 years. They come together for a historic concert to tell the story of The Jazz Epistles, the first all-black jazz group in South Africa and arguably the most important jazz (bebop) recording in the country’s history. This music was almost lost forever — only 500 copies were pressed in 1959, buried, and rediscovered decades later after the tyranny of apartheid. These giants of South African jazz perform music from the seminal Jazz Epistles recording alongside music from both of their illustrious careers. “[Ibrahim] glowed with a sound reminiscent of that of [his] most famous patron, Duke Ellington.” (Guardian)

Fri 4/13/18 8:00PM Michigan Theater


<em>Sorrow</em> — A Reimagining of Górecki’s Third Symphony<br>
Colin Stetson
2017-18 UMS
Sorrow — A Reimagining of Górecki’s Third Symphony
Colin Stetson

Henryk Górecki’s iconic third symphony, often called “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs,” made a huge impact on listeners in the early 1990s and was a musical touchstone for virtuoso saxophonist Colin Stetson. The original work’s three movements centered around three laments, each focused in some way about a child being taken away from a mother. Celebrated for the way he “demolishes clichés to unleash fresh, expected energies,” (Pitchfork) Stetson takes on the mammoth task of reimagining Górecki’s symphony for an expansive and contemporary sonic palate. Sorrow, his imaginative new interpretation of the heartbreaking work, is “timeless and of the moment,” (PopMatters) drawing on a uniquely constructed 12-member ensemble that employs electric guitars, synthesizers, drums, strings, woodwinds, and soprano to create transformative extensions of the emotional core of the piece.

Sat 4/14/18 8:00PM Michigan Theater


Opera in Concert<br>
Monteverdi's <i>L'Orfeo</i><br>
Apollo's Fire / The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra
2017-18 UMS
Opera in Concert
Monteverdi's L'Orfeo
Apollo's Fire / The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra

“It’s hard to say who wrote the very first opera, but there’s little doubt about the first, truly great one — it’s Monteverdi’s 1607 masterpiece, L’Orfeo.” (National Public Radio) As one of the earliest examples of the form, and certainly the earliest that still has a place in the present repertoire 400 years later, L’Orfeo sets to music the famous myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, whose long-awaited wedding night ends in tragedy when Eurydice is bitten by a poisonous snake and Orfeo storms the gates of hell to rescue her. Jeannette Sorrell leads a company of 40 performers in this semi-staged production with period dancers. Performed in Italian with English supertitles.

Sun 4/15/18 4:00PM Hill Auditorium


<em>Cold Blood</em>
2017-18 UMS
Cold Blood

After the resounding success of Kiss & Cry (2014-15 season), the magnificent creative team of Charleroi Danses in Belgium brings Cold Blood, a poetic journey that is filmed before your very eyes. The performance explores the miniscule, surveying the worlds where life is viewed through a kaleidoscope, with fingers cavorting in a delightful miniature setting. In a hypnotic story laced with offbeat humor, Cold Blood explores the uncertain, yet inevitable, last moments we experience before we die. Cold Blood is neither a sequel nor an epilogue to Kiss & Cry but utilizes the same storytelling techniques, combining film, dancing fingers, music, and theater in brilliant and surprising ways. “If the team came back to Quebec ten times, we would rush to see them ten times. And would encourage you to do the same. Because their work is absolutely masterful.” (Le Devoir, Montreal)

Thu 4/19/18 7:30PM Power Center
Fri 4/20/18 8:00PM Power Center
Sat 4/21/18 8:00PM Power Center


Murray Perahia, piano
2017-18 UMS
Murray Perahia, piano

Murray Perahia’s place in the pantheon of great musicians is indisputable. With 12 UMS appearances since his debut over 40 years ago, he is one of the most treasured artists to appear on our series and consistently delivers performances that audiences remember years, or even decades, later. With his particular kind of magic, each and every performance is a revelation.

Sun 4/22/18 4:00PM Hill Auditorium


NT Live: Julius Caesar
2017-18 UMS Films
NT Live: Julius Caesar

Caesar returns in triumph to Rome, and the people pour out of their homes to celebrate. Alarmed by the autocrat’s popularity, the educated elite conspire to bring him down. After his assassination, civil war erupts on the streets of the capital. Nicholas Hytner’s production thrusts the audience into the street party that greets Caesar’s return, the congress that witnesses his murder, the rally that assembles for his funeral, and the chaos that explodes in its wake. Starring Ben Whishaw (The Danish Girl, Skyfall) as Brutus; Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones) as Cassius; David Calder (The Lost City of Z) as Caesar; and David Morrissey (Hangman, The Walking Dead) as Mark Antony. Broadcast live from the Bridge Theatre, London.

Presented in partnership with the Michigan Theater.

Sun 5/6/18 7:00PM Michigan Theater