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Series You 2017-18

(Multiple Venues) : Fri 11/17/17 8:00PM - Sun 4/22/18 4:00PM

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Series You 2017-18

Choose Your Own Adventure with Series:You - the perfect way to create and curate your own UMS Experience.
With a Series:You you can select a variety of performances that speak to your interests - and maybe something that will stretch or surprise you at that same time.
When you purchase at least 5 different events from the 2017-18 before Friday, September 15, you'll receive a 10% discount.


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New York Philharmonic Friday, November 17, 2017 8:00PM - Sunday, November 19, 2017 3:00PM   ·   More Info »
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.



Handel's Messiah Saturday, December 2, 2017 8:00PM - Sunday, December 3, 2017 2:00PM   ·   More Info »
Handel's <i>Messiah</i>

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.



Bach Collegium Japan Friday, December 8, 2017 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
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.



What's in a Song
Martin Katz, piano and curator Saturday, January 6, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
<em>What's in a Song</em><br>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



Urban Bush Women
Hair and Other Stories Friday, January 12, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
Urban Bush Women<br> <em> Hair and Other Stories</em>

“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.



Haydn Mega-Concert
St. Lawrence String Quartet Sunday, January 14, 2018 2:00PM   ·   More Info »
Haydn Mega-Concert <br>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.



Russian Renaissance Saturday, January 27, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
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



Maxim Vengerov, violin
Roustem Saïtkoulov, piano Sunday, January 28, 2018 4:00PM   ·   More Info »
Maxim Vengerov, violin <br>
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.



Janai Brugger, soprano
Martin Katz, piano Wednesday, January 31, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
Janai Brugger, soprano <br>
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.



8980: Book of Travelers
Gabriel Kahane Friday, February 2, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
<em>8980: Book of Travelers</em> <br>Gabriel Kahane

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.



Estonian National Symphony Saturday, February 3, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
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.



Schubert’s Winterreise
Ian Bostridge, tenor
Julius Drake, piano Sunday, February 4, 2018 4:00PM   ·   More Info »
Schubert’s <i>Winterreise</i><br>
Ian Bostridge, tenor<br>
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.”



Romeo and Juliet
American Ballet Theatre Thursday, February 8, 2018 7:30PM - Sunday, February 11, 2018 2:30PM   ·   More Info »
<i>Romeo and Juliet</i><br>
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.



Joshua Bell, violin
Sam Haywood, piano Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
Joshua Bell, violin<br>
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.



Emmanuel Pahud, flute
Alessio Bax, piano Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
Emmanuel Pahud, flute<br>
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.



Opera in Concert
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess Saturday, February 17, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
Opera in Concert <br>
The Gershwins' <i>Porgy and Bess</i>

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.



Borderline
Company Wang Ramirez Friday, March 9, 2018 8:00PM - Saturday, March 10, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
<i>Borderline</i><br>
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)



Elias Quartet Sunday, March 11, 2018 4:00PM   ·   More Info »
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.



Path of Miracles
Tenebrae Tuesday, March 13, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
<i>Path of Miracles</i><br>
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.



Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation Wednesday, March 14, 2018 7:30PM   ·   More Info »
Piedmont Blues: <i>A Search for Salvation</i>

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.



Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone Saturday, March 17, 2018 9:00PM   ·   More Info »
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.



Bubble Schmeisis Thursday, March 22, 2018 7:30PM - Sunday, March 25, 2018 2:00PM   ·   More Info »
<i>Bubble Schmeisis</i>

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)



Nederlands Dans Theater Friday, March 23, 2018 8:00PM - Saturday, March 24, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
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)



The Music of Chick Corea
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Chick Corea Saturday, March 31, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
<i>The Music of Chick Corea</i><br>
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)



Artemis Quartet Sunday, April 8, 2018 4:00PM   ·   More Info »
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.



The Jazz Epistles
featuring Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela Friday, April 13, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
<i>The Jazz Epistles</i><br>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)



Sorrow — A Reimagining of Górecki’s Third Symphony
Colin Stetson Saturday, April 14, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
<em>Sorrow</em> — A Reimagining of Górecki’s Third Symphony<br>
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.



Opera in Concert
Monteverdi's L'Orfeo
Apollo's Fire / The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra Sunday, April 15, 2018 4:00PM   ·   More Info »
Opera in Concert<br>
Monteverdi's <i>L'Orfeo</i><br>
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.



Cold Blood Thursday, April 19, 2018 7:30PM - Saturday, April 21, 2018 8:00PM   ·   More Info »
<em>Cold Blood</em>

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)



Murray Perahia, piano Sunday, April 22, 2018 4:00PM   ·   More Info »
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.