UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY Announces 2019/20 Season
The University Musical Society (UMS) announces its 141st season, which runs from September 2019 through April 2020. One of the most acclaimed and innovative performing art presenters in the nation and a 2014 recipient of the National Medal of Arts, UMS will continue to showcase time-honored ensembles and artists alongside a diverse lineup of young performers who push the boundaries of their art forms in new directions. In addition to presenting world-class performances, UMS is also committed to creating unique and engaging ways for audiences to connect with the artists on stage through a robust offering of education and community engagement activities. A full list of performances by series is included at the end of this release and a chronological listing is available for download at ums.org/press.
“UMS’s 2019-20 season was conceived with an eye toward both the familiar and the disruptive, the traditional and the uncommon, and the emotional and the provocative — sometimes even within a single work or performance,” says UMS president Matthew VanBesien. “We’re thrilled to present another dynamic lineup of experiences that honors our 141-year history of presenting classic works while also taking risks that surprise audiences in new and innovative ways.”
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma returns to UMS in the 2019-20 season after collaborating with the organization to host a Day of Action in Flint this past February. This time, he comes to Hill Auditorium for a trio performance with pianist Emanuel Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos on Tuesday, March 3 at 7:30 pm. The all-star ensemble will perform a program of Beethoven piano trios. This special concert is not included on a UMS subscription series, but is available to 2019-20 subscribers for purchase as an add-on throughout the subscription period. Individual tickets for this performance will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, August 7.
This season will also include the return of No Safety Net, a Renegade theater festival that will offer four provocative theater productions over three weeks in January and February 2020. The four productions included were selected to foster timely conversations around topical social themes. The productions include Javaad Alipoor’s The Believers Are But Brothers (masculinity and internet radicalization); Tania El Khoury’s As Far As My Fingertips Take Me (refugee crisis); Lee Minora’s White Feminist (race, feminism, and privilege); and Half Straddle’s Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription (patriotism, interrogation, whistle-blowing). In addition to the performances, audience members will have an opportunity to engage in open dialogue and conversation with both artists and other audience members during several events presented in conjunction with the performances.
Also returning in 2019-20 is UMS’s Song Remix, a biennial series devoted to the art of the song in all of its forms. Featured performances include Zauberland (Magic Land): An Encounter with Schumann’s Dichterliebe, a new work performed by celebrated soprano Julia Bullock and featuring Schumann’s Dichterliebe interspersed with 16 new songs by Bernard Foccroulle and Martin Crimp; John Cameron Mitchell’s The Origin of Love Tour; Stew & The Negro Problem’s Notes of a Native Song, inspired by the James Baldwin book Notes of a Native Son; What’s in a Song: Hugo Wolf’s Complete Mörike Songs, a two-concert presentation of Hugo Wolf’s song cycle, curated by Martin Katz and featuring four different singers; and a two sets by jazz vocal phenom Cécile McLorin Salvant and pianist Aaron Diehl. Zauberland was co-commissioned by UMS along with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (London); La Monnaie (Brussels); Opera de Lille; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (New York); and Opera de Rouen.
The UMS season kicks off in September with two high-profile events: a season-opening performance by the Brooklyn-based collective Snarky Puppy on Sunday, September 8 at Hill Auditorium and a screening of the popular 1984 film Amadeus with live music by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the UMS Choral Union on Sunday, September 15 at Hill Auditorium.
Led by bassist and composer Michael League, Snarky Puppy grew out of the celebrated jazz program at the University of North Texas and represents the convergence of both black and white American music culture with various accents from around the world.
A winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Amadeus was adapted from Sir Peter Shaffer’s original stage play, which tells the story of the frustrated Vienna court composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham, who won Best Actor for role) and the envy that consumes him upon discovering that the divine musical gifts he has longed for have been bestowed upon a bawdy, vulgar, and impish composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (played by Plymouth, MI native Tom Hulce). The score contains some of Mozart’s greatest works, including The Magic Flute, his Symphony No. 25, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, and his beloved Requiem.
In 2019-20 and for the next few seasons, UMS is pleased to renew a focus on artists, institutions, and ensembles from the Arab World. Artistic projects in this realm will explore the depth, complexity, and diversity of perspectives among Arab and Arab-American artists and communities. The events will serve as a platform for community building and cultural exchange, building on this past season’s work with UMS Education and Community Engagement Research Residency Artist Omar Offendum. This season’s Arab World focus features Tania El Khoury’s As Far As My Fingertips Take Me and a performance by the Tarek Yamani Trio.
UMS will once again partner with Michigan Opera Theatre to bring American Ballet Theatre’s acclaimed production of Swan Lake to the Detroit Opera House with five performances from Thursday, April 16 through Sunday, April 19.
The full season includes:
141st ANNUAL CHORAL UNION SERIES
Within the signature Choral Union Series, UMS presents 10 concerts in historic Hill Auditorium.
- Amadeus, the 1984 film directed by Miloš Forman will be screened on Sunday, September 15 at 2 pm with a live musical score performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the UMS Choral Union. The score contains some of Mozart’s greatest works, including The Magic Flute, his Symphony No. 25, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, and his famous Requiem. Jeffrey Schindler conducts.
- Pianist Denis Matsuev in recital on Friday, October 18 at 8 pm with a program featuring Liszt’s Sonata in b minor, S. 178 and Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514 alongside Scriabin’s Poèmes for piano, Op. 32; his Piano Sonata No. 3 in f-sharp minor, Op. 23; and his Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 53.
- Yannick Nézet-Séguin with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato on Wednesday, November 20 at 7:30 pm. DiDonato and Nézet-Séguin perform Mozart’s Ch’io mi scordi di te?, K. 505 and “Parto, parto” from La Clemenza di Tito, K. 621. Then the orchestra returns for Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4.
- Osmo Vänskä leads the Minnesota Orchestra, US-born Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä, and the UMS Choral Union in an all-Sibelius program on Saturday, January 25 at 8 pm. The program includes Sibelius’s Snöfrid (Snowy Peace), Op. 29; Violin Concerto in d minor, Op. 47; and Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82.
- The Budapest Festival Orchestra returns on Thursday, February 20 at 7:30 pm. Iván Fischer conducts an all-Dvořák program including Legends, Op. 59, No. 10; Four Choruses, Op. 29, No. 1 (“Místo klekáni”); Slavonic Dance in c minor, Op. 46, No. 7; Symphony No. 8, Op. 88; and his Violin Concerto in a minor, Op. 53 featuring French violinist Renaud Capuçon.
- Pianist Hélène Grimaud in recital on Saturday, March 14 at 8 pm with a program that includes works by Debussy, Valentyn Sylvestrov, Satie, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff.
- Flutists Sir James Galway returns on Friday, March 27 at 8 pm as part of his 80th birthday celebration to perform a special duo recital with his wife Lady Jeanne Galway, a recognized flutist in her own right. Pianist Michael McHale accompanies.
- Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor in recital on Thursday, April 2 at 7:30 pm. Mr. Grosvenor makes his UMS debut with a program featuring works by Liszt, Rameau, and Schumann.
- Under the direction of Jeannette Sorrell, Apollo’s Fire and Chorus performs J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion on Sunday, April 5 at 4 pm. Featured soloists include tenor and U-M alum Nicholas Phan (Evangelist), soprano Carine Tinney, countertenor Daniel Moody, and bass Tyler Duncan.
- The Chineke! Orchestra makes its UMS debut appearance on Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 pm. Kevin John Edusei leads the orchestra in a program that includes Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade for Orchestra in a minor, Op. 33; Fauré’s Élégie, Op. 24; Brahms’s Symphony No 2 in D Major, Op. 73; and Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in a minor featuring cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
57TH ANNUAL CHAMBER ARTS SERIES
The 57th Annual Chamber Arts Series includes seven concerts in Rackham Auditorium.
- The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center brings a 13-member ensemble on Friday, October 11 at 8 pm for a concert that celebrates four composers who shaped the course of American music. The program includes Burleigh’s Southland Sketches; Dvořák’s Quintet for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Cello in E-flat Major, Op. 97; Bernstein’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; and Copland’s Appalachian Spring (Ballet for Martha).
- yMusic performs a program of works by celebrated young composers on Friday, November 1 at 8 pm. The program includes works from luminaries such as Caroline Shaw, Michigan natives Andrew Norman and Shara Nova (also known as My Brightest Diamond), Missy Mazzoli, and Gabriella Smith. UMS has co-commissioned new work by Andrew Norman.
- Violinist Daniel Hope and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons alongside a new take on the work by British composer Max Richter on Saturday, November 16 at 8 pm.
- Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason make their UMS debut on Tuesday, December 10 at 7:30 pm with a special brother-sister duo recital. They will perform Beethoven’s Variations in F Major, Op. 66; Lutosławski’s Grave; Barber’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 6; and Rachmaninoff’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 19.
- The West-Eastern Divan Ensemble comes to UMS on Wednesday, February 26 at 7:30 pm. With Michael Barenboim, the founder’s son (the group was founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said), serving as music director and featured violinist, the ensemble performs Schubert’s Rondo in A, D. 438; Berio’s Sequenza VIII for Solo Violin; Mendelssohn’s String Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20; and a new work by Benjamin Attahir.
- The New York Philharmonic String Quartet makes its UMS debut on Sunday, March 22 at 4 pm. They’ll perform Haydn’s Quartet in d minor, Op. 76, No. 2 (“Fifths”); Shostakovich Quartet No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 117; and Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81 with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott.
- The Emerson String Quartet returns on Friday, April 17 at 8 pm with a program featuring Richard Wernick’s String Quartet No. 10; Bartók’s String Quartet No. 5; and Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 5 in B-Flat Major, Op. 92.
INTERNATIONAL THEATER SERIES
- This year’s International Theater Series features six productions, which will unfold in the Power Center for the Performing Arts and the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. The South African theater company Isango Ensemble brings two productions that present classic works from the Western theater canon within a South African township setting. They’ll present three performances of The Magic Flute, which features Mozart’s score transcribed for an orchestra of marimbas on Wednesday, October 16 and Thursday, October 17 at 7:30 pm as well as Saturday, October 19 at 8 pm. The ensemble also brings two performances of Jonny Steinberg’s A Man of Good Hope, the riveting true story of a Somali refugee with a painful past, miraculous good luck, and a brilliant head for business, told through roof-lifting songs and dance accompanied by marimbas on Friday, October 18 at 8 pm and Sunday, October 20 at 4 pm. All five performances will take place at the Power Center, and both productions are included in the Theater Series.
- Zauberland (Magic Land) An Encounter with Schumann’s Dichterliebe comes to the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre for two performances on Thursday, October 24 at 7:30 pm and Friday, October 25 at 8 pm. Composer Bernard Foccroulle and writer Martin Crimp created 19 new songs to be performed seamlessly alongside Schumann’s Dichterliebe, opening up a new dramatic dialogue between past and present. This new work takes that soundscape and superimposes a theatrical story in which a young woman, five months pregnant, is forced to leave Syria and make the long journey to live in Germany, leaving behind her husband and family in war-torn Aleppo. She settles in Cologne, where she gives birth to a daughter and continues her career as a professional opera singer. On the eve of her husband’s death, she has a strange dream in which her singing a concert of Schumann’s Dichterliebe is mixed up with the trauma of her journey from Syria and her life in Aleppo before the war. The work is directed by Katie Mitchell and performed by Julia Bullock in German with English supertitles. Zauberland was co-commissioned by UMS, along with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; La Monnaie (Brussels); Opera de Lille and Opera de Rouen(France); and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (New York). This performance is also part of UMS’s Song Remix and UMS Renegade.
- The Irish dance-theater company Teaċ Daṁsa (pronounced chalk DAH-haas) brings two performances of Loch na hEala (Swan Lake) to the Power Center on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 at 8 pm. Written, directed, and choreographed by Michael Keegan-Dolan, this deconstruction of one of the world’s most famous ballets is a tragic Irish tale of a sad young man dragged down by melancholy, whose father has died and whose mother is trying desperately to get him married. The production won the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Production in 2017 and the UK National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography in 2018. This performance is also on UMS’s Dance Series and part of UMS Renegade.
- Taylor Mac returns to UMS with two performances of Holiday Sauce on Saturday, December 14 at 8 pm and Sunday, December 15 at 4 pm at the Power Center. Joined by longtime collaborators Machine Dazzle and Matt Ray, a spectacular band, and surprise special guests, Mac reframes the songs people love and the holidays they hate, taking aim at Santa’s lap, nativity scenes, consumerism, and more in a dazzling, and at times shocking, take-down of the sentimentality of the holidays. This performance is also part of UMS Renegade.
- Absurdist theater artist Geoff Sobelle brings two performances of HOME to the Power Center on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 at 8 pm. With the speed of time-lapse photography, Sobelle builds an entire house, then illuminates the messiness of life that transforms a house into a home over multiple generations. This breathtaking spectacle of illusion, choreography, storytelling, and live music is a life-affirming meditation about our relationship with our living spaces and the relentless passage of time. Directed by Lee Sunday Evans and featuring original songs by Elvis Perkins. This performance is also part of UMS Renegade.
29TH ANNUAL DANCE SERIES
The UMS Dance Series includes six performances at the Power Center for the Performing Arts, Jam Handy (Detroit), and the Detroit Opera House.
- The Brazilian dance company Grupo Corpo makes its third UMS appearance with a double bill of Bach and Gira on Saturday, October 5 at 8 pm and Sunday, October 6 at 4 pm at the Power Center. In Gira, choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras constructs a powerful glossary of gestures of praise inspired by Afro-Brazilian religious rituals, set to music by the Brazilian fusion group Méta. In Bach, the baroque world of Johann Sebastian Bach is made modern in a score by Marco Antônio Guimarães, with dancers in brilliant shades of gold, regal blue, and black dropping from a set of enormous organ pipes. Two performances of the same program.
- Sankai Juku returns to UMS for the first time since 2015 with two performances of Ushio Amagatsu’s Meguri: Teeming Sea, Tranquil Land on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26 at 8 pm. The production is an exquisite poetic meditation on the passage of time as symbolized by the circulation of water and the seasonal transformation of the earth, set against an upstage relief of sea lily fossil images.
- The Irish dance-theater company Teaċ Daṁsa (pronounced chalk DAH-haas) brings two performances of Loch na hEala (Swan Lake) to the Power Center on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 at 8 pm. Written, directed, and choreographed by Michael Keegan-Dolan, this deconstruction of one of the world’s most famous ballets is a tragic Irish tale of a sad young man dragged down by melancholy, whose father has died and whose mother is trying desperately to get him married. The production won the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Production in 2017 and the UK National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography in 2018. This performance is also on UMS’s International Theater Series and part of UMS Renegade.
- Dorrance Dance comes to the Power Center with two performances on Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22 at 8 pm. This return engagement by 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient Michelle Dorrance and her company features three Dorrance works: the exhilarating ensemble piece Myelination, Jungle Blues (with a score by Branford Marsalis), and Three to One(with a score by Aphex Twin and Thom Yorke). This performance is also part of UMS Renegade.
- UMS will present four performances of ANTHEM, Milka Djordjevich’s dance for four women at Jam Handy (2900 E Grand Blvd, Detroit) Wednesday, March 18 through Saturday, March 21. Questioning contemporary dance’s predisposition towards the de-sexualization of the female body, ANTHEM weaves together existing and imagined vernacular dance styles to explore labor, play, and feminine-posturing. This performance is also part of UMS Renegade.
- American Ballet Theatre will bring its signature production of Swan Lake, featuring choreography by Kevin McKenzie and the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, to the Detroit Opera House with five performances Thursday, April 16 through Sunday, April 19. UMS and Michigan Opera Theatre co-present American Ballet Theatre as part of an extended partnership to bring dance to southeastern Michigan. Casting will be announced at a later date. UMS will provide round-trip luxury coach service from Ann Arbor to Detroit for a nominal fee on Thursday and Friday.
26TH ANNUAL JAZZ SERIES
The Jazz Series includes five concerts in Hill Auditorium and Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.
- Snarky Puppy returns for the season-opening performance at Hill Auditorium on Sunday, September 8 at 7 pm. A Brooklyn-based collective that grew out of the celebrated jazz program at the University of North Texas, the band represents the convergence of both black and white American music culture with various accents from around the world. Displaying a rare and delicate mixture of sophisticated composition, harmony, and improvisation, Snarky Puppy’s influences include gospel, R&B, jazz, funk, and rock.
- American jazz legend and pianist Chick Corea brings together bass powerhouse Christian McBride and drum master Brian Blade for a trio performance at Hill Auditorium on Saturday, October 19 at 8 pm.
- Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra return for a Thanksgiving Weekend holiday-themed concert at Hill Auditorium on Sunday, December 1 at 4 pm. The concert of holiday favorites, both sacred and secular, will feature vocal performances by baritone Denzel Sinclaire and teenage phenomenon Alexis Morrast.
- The multi-Grammy Award winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant and renowned jazz pianist Aaron Diehl will perform a program that celebrates the Great American Songbook with two different sets on Thursday, February 6 at 7 pm and 9 pm at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. One set (of the subscriber’s choice) is included in the Jazz Series. This performance is also part of UMS’s Song Remix.
- An educator, film scorer, and Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Competition winner, Tarek Yamani brings his trio to Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre on Friday, March 13 at 8 pm for a hypnotic fusion of American jazz and Arabic tarab. Co-presented with the Arab American National Museum. This performance is also on UMS’s Traditions & Crosscurrents Series and part of UMS Renegade.
TRADITIONS & CROSSCURRENTS SERIES
This season, UMS will celebrate music, theater, and dance from across the globe with four performances in various venues.
- Masters at melding the old world style of mariachi music with new, innovative pieces, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán comes to Hill Auditorium for a Valentine’s Day concert on Friday, February 14 at 8 pm.
- Global pop star Angélique Kidjo brings her eight-piece band to the Michigan Theater on Sunday, February 16 at 7 pm to perform Remain in Light, her reimagining of the Talking Heads’ landmark 1980 album of the same title, which was deeply influenced by music from West Africa. Kidjo reclaims rock for Africa by injecting it with her euphoric singing, explosive percussion, horn orchestrations, and select lyrics performed in languages from her home country.
- An educator, film scorer, and Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Competition winner, Tarek Yamani brings his trio to Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre on Friday, March 13 at 8 pm for a hypnotic fusion of American jazz and Arabic tarab. Co-presented with the Arab American National Museum. This performance is also on UMS’s Jazz Series and part of UMS Renegade.
- Zakir Hussain, a living master of the 3,000-year-old tabla percussion tradition, returns with a classical Indian program featuring Kala Ramnath on violin and Jayanthi Kumaresh on veena for one performance on Thursday, April 9 at 7:30 pm at Rackham Auditorium.
NO SAFETY NET 2.0: A RENEGADE FESTIVAL
No Safety Net returns in 2020 with four performances in various Ann Arbor venues. This three-week Renegade festival tackles difficult contemporary subjects and provides numerous opportunities for dialogue and inquiry. Learn more at ums.org/nosafetynet.
- The Believers Are But Brothers comes to Arthur Miller Theatre for four performances Wednesday, January 22 through Saturday, January 25. Written and performed by Javaad Alipoor and co-directed by Kirsty Housley, this multimedia show looks at the radicalization of young men through the internet, weaving together stories of three disaffected men and their journeys to radicalization. The show explores the smoke and mirrors world of online extremism, anonymity, and hate speech.
- As Far As My Fingertips Take Me comes to the U-M Institute for the Humanities Gallery from Friday, January 24 through Sunday, February 2. Artist Tania El Khoury commissioned musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, born a Palestinian refugee in Syria, to create a narrative inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden to help others understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives. This one-on-one encounter between an audience member and a refugee occurs through a gallery wall. Their arms touch without seeing each other, and the audience member listens to his story through headphones as the refugee draws his journey on the audience member’s arm. This event is part of No Safety Net but is not included in the No Safety Net package. Due to extremely limited availability, tickets will go on sale for this event in the fall.
- Tina Satter and Half Straddle’s production of Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription will have four performances in Arthur Miller Theatre from Wednesday, January 29 through Saturday, February 1. This verbatim transcript from the 2017 FBI interrogation of Reality Winner, an Air Force linguist charged with leaking top-secret evidence of Russian interference in our voting system to the media, was turned into a play and emerges as a simmering real-life thriller, offering vital considerations of access, language, power, patriotism, and honor at this particularly loaded American moment.
- Lee Minora brings her one-woman play White Feminist for four performances from Wednesday, February 5 through Saturday, February 8. As the host of the morning talk show “Becky’s Time,” Minora dissects the failings of non-intersectional feminism and the dangers of white women’s tears, taking everyone to task in the process. Ann Abor location to be announced.
UMS SONG REMIX: A BIENNIAL SONGFEST
The UMS Song Remix looks at a collision of song practice with four performances in Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre and Hill Auditorium.
- Zauberland (Magic Land) An Encounter with Schumann’s Dichterliebe comes to the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre for two performances on Thursday, October 24 at 7:30 pm and Friday, October 25 at 8 pm. Composer Bernard Foccroulle and writer Martin Crimp created 19 new songs to be performed seamlessly alongside Schumann’s Dichterliebe, opening up a new dramatic dialogue between past and present. This new work takes that soundscape and superimposes a theatrical story in which a young woman, five months pregnant, is forced to leave Syria and make the long journey to live in Germany, leaving behind her husband and family in war-torn Aleppo. She settles in Cologne, where she gives birth to a daughter and continues her career as a professional opera singer. On the eve of her husband’s death, she has a strange dream in which her singing a concert of Schumann’s Dichterliebe is mixed up with the trauma of her journey from Syria and her life in Aleppo before the war. The work is directed by Katie Mitchell and performed by Julia Bullock in German with English supertitles. Zauberland was co-commissioned by UMS, along with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; La Monnaie (Brussels); Opera de Lille and Opera de Rouen(France); and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (New York). This performance is also on UMS’s International Theater Series and part of UMS Renegade.
- John Cameron Mitchell brings The Origin of Love Tour to Hill Auditorium on Saturday, November 2 at 8 pm. The double Tony Award-winning co-creator of the long-running, off-Broadway musical Hedwig & the Angry Inch, makes his UMS debut performing songs and stories from the groundbreaking work.
- Tony Award-winning playwright and singer Stew, alongside his longtime collaborator Heidi Rodewald, brings his new music and theater experience to Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre on Friday, November 22 at 8 pm. A contemporary commentary on James Baldwin’s 1955 collection of essays on being Black in America, Notes of a Native Song is an irreverent and spirited rock ‘n’ roll song cycle. Stew and his band, The Negro Problem, use Baldwin’s work to examine our lingering civil rights woes through a rapturous mix of rock, jazz, and soul.
- Pianist Martin Katz returns to Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre with his next installment of What’s in a Song. Over two concerts, Katz and a cast of four singers will perform Austrian composer Hugo Wolf’s complete Mörike Songs. The 53 songs are set to the poetry of Eduard Mörike, a German author whose work focused on idyllic scenes of nature and delightful fairytales. Part one will be performed on Friday, January 10 at 8 pm and part two will be performed on Sunday, January 12 at 4 pm. Both concerts are included in UMS Song Remix.
- The multi-Grammy Award winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant and renowned jazz pianist Aaron Diehl will perform a program that celebrates the Great American Songbook with two sets onThursday, February 6 at 7 pm and 9 pm at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. One set (of the subscriber’s choice) is included in UMS Song Remix. This performance is also on UMS’s Jazz Series.
NOT INCLUDED ON A UMS SERIES
- Cellist Yo-Yo Ma returns to UMS for a trio performance with pianist Emanuel Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos on Tuesday, March 3 at Hill Auditorium. The all-star ensemble will perform a program of Beethoven piano trios. This concert is not included on any UMS subscription series, but is available to 2019-20 subscribers for purchase as an add-on throughout the subscription period.
- Additionally, UMS presents its annual performance of Handel’s Messiah on Saturday, December 7 at 8 pm and Sunday, December 8 at 4 pm in Hill Auditorium. Messiah will be performed by the UMS Choral Union and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. These performances are part of Series:You (see below). Soloists to be announced.
In addition to the No Safety Net 2.0 festival listed above, UMS Renegade includes seven performances that celebrate artists whose creative enterprise is full of risk-taking, experimentation, and boundary pushing. Renegade is about artists who, in their own time and context, color outside the lines, changing our expectations and our world. These events are also listed on other series; full descriptions can be found in the corresponding series line-up above.
- Zauberland (Magic Land) An Encounter with Schumann’s Dichterliebe
Thursday-Friday, October 24-25 at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
- Teaċ Daṁsa’s Loch na hEala (Swan Lake)
Friday-Saturday, November 15-16 at the Power Center
- Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce
Saturday-Sunday, December 14-15 at the Power Center
- Dorrance Dance
Friday-Saturday, February 21-22 at the Power Center
- Tarek Yamani Trio
Friday, March 13 at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
- ANTHEM A Dance for Four Women by Milka Djordjevich
Wednesday-Saturday, March 18-21 at Jam Handy (2900 E Grand Blvd, Detroit)
Friday-Saturday, April 3-4 at the Power Center
Series:You in a popular season ticket option that allows subscribers to choose at least five different events from the UMS season (excluding the Yo-Yo Ma / Emanuel Ax / Leonidas Kavakos special concert) and save 10% off the price of tickets.
During the 2019-20 season, UMS’s Education and Community Engagement events will focus on UMS Renegade performances, UMS Theater and Dance Series performances, and No Safety Net. Specific educational events will be announced later this summer and throughout the year.
TICKETING & SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
Subscription packages go on sale to renewing subscribers on Monday, April 15 and to the general public on Monday, April 22. Current subscribers will receive renewal packets in April. Subscribers may add on additional performances at any point during the subscription period.
UMS also offers Series:You, a “custom-fit” series for patrons with a diverse range of interests looking to attend five or more performances in the 2019-20 season. Series:You offers a 10% discount and access to the best seats in the house, along with all other subscriber benefits.
Tickets to individual events will go on sale to the general public online, in person, and by phone on Wednesday, August 7; UMS donors of $250+ may purchase beginning Wednesday, July 24. Groups of 10 or more may reserve tickets beginning Monday, July 15. To be added to the mailing list, please contact the UMS Ticket Office at 734.764.2538 or visit ums.org. UMS also has an e-mail list that provides up-to-date information about all UMS events; sign-up information is available on the website.
A complete listing of UMS events in chronological order is included as a separate attachment and can be downloaded at ums.org/press.
A recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts, UMS (also known as the University Musical Society) contributes to a vibrant cultural community by connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. Founded in 1879, UMS is one of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country. An independent non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Michigan, UMS presents over 70 music, theater, and dance performances by professional touring artists each season, along with over 100 free educational activities. UMS is committed to bold artistic leadership, engaged learning through the arts, and access and inclusiveness. A national leader in student arts engagement, the organization has co-commissioned and supported the production of nearly 80 new or reimagined works since 1990. Matthew VanBesien became the organization’s seventh president in July 2017.