Shen Wei Dance Arts' New Site-Specific Work for the American Wing,
U.S. Premiere of Philip Glass's String Quartet No. 5,
William Bolcom, Joan Morris, Robert White, and Memories of World War II, and
Steve Miller's Encore Evening of Jazz
For tickets, call the Concerts & Lectures Department at 212-570-3949, or visit www.metmuseum.org/tickets, where updated schedules and programs are available.
Tickets are also available at the Great Hall Box Office, which is open
Tuesday-Saturday 10-5:00 and Sunday noon-5:00.
Student and group discount tickets are available for some events; call 212-570-3949.
Tickets include admission to the Museum on day of performance.
Saturday, June 4, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. - African Children's Choir
This group, that has been performing throughout the world since 1984, presents a family program combining spiritual, gospel, and pop music with dances from East Africa.
In 1984, in the midst of Uganda's bloody civil war, human rights activist Ray Barnett was called on to help the many thousands of orphaned and starving children, abandoned and helpless to feed and protect themselves. Realizing the enormity of the task, Ray and his team came up with a unique approach. "Inspired by the singing of one small boy, we formed the first African Children's Choir to show the world that Africa's most vulnerable children have beauty, dignity, and unlimited ability."
The first choir was formed in 1984, from orphaned and vulnerable children in the Kampala and Luwero areas of Uganda. After the choir was trained to perform and readied for living in different cultures, the children toured among North American church communities, where they immediately impressed audiences with their vibrancy and outstanding musical talent. They quickly became a mouthpiece for the plight of the many thousands of vulnerable children like them in Uganda. The funds they earned through donations provided for their own support and education.
In the early years they would tour principally in United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The proceeds of their tours and the sponsorship support they would attract funded a growing program of establishing literacy schools. To date, more than 700 vulnerable children have been through the choir program and the funds they have generated have provided the opportunity of education and hope for many thousands like them in some of the most needy areas of Africa.
Mondays, June 6 &13, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. - Shen Wei Dance Arts
The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Series
For the first time in its history, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will host a performance of a dance work choreographed specifically for one of its galleries. Shen Wei, the award-winning choreographer who choreographed the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, will create a site-specific dance inspired by the sculptures in The Charles Engelhard Court in the American Wing. The new work, which also features projections, will be set to electronic music by composer Daniel Burke of Illusion of Safety. Shen Wei and Austin Scarlett, a designer whose work spans the realms of theatre, high fashion, and television, will create the costumes for the performance.
The events are part of the Metropolitan Museum Concerts series, which has, over its 57-year history, presented performances in many of the Museum's galleries. But this marks the first work created specifically for one of its spaces, and the works of art in it. Shen Wei envisions it as a coalescing of performance art and visual art, a marriage of sculpture and sculpture in motion. "I am looking forward to the experience of joining the beauty of bodies in stillness and the beauty of movement," he said. In addition, the sculptures – marble and bronze figurative works by such American master sculptors as Hiram Powers (1805–1873), Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907), Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (1880–1980), and Paul Manship (1885–1966) – give Shen Wei the opportunity to create, as he puts it, "a piece celebrating the body in works of art of the past and the body in movement in the present."
The 60-minute program will feature this new work as well as a piece from the Shen Wei Dance Arts repertoire.
Hailed by the New York Times as "startlingly imaginative," Shen Wei Dance Arts creates interdisciplinary, cross-cultural performances. Each work develops an original dance vocabulary incorporating visual and storytelling elements from the theater, Chinese opera, Eastern philosophy, traditional and contemporary visual art, and sculpture. The result, at turns figurative and abstract, combines performance with strong scenic elements to create a "fascinating fantasy in movement" (Sydney Herald Sun).
Tickets: $60, $30 for standing room (With June 6 post-performance reception: $75, $45)
Friday, June 10, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. - Someone Talked! Memories of World War II
William Bolcom, Piano
Joan Morris, Mezzo-soprano
Robert White, Tenor
Hazen Schumacher, Narrator
Composer and pianist William Bolcom, his wife, the mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, tenor Robert White, and narrator Hazen Schumacher join forces for a program of music from America's wartime songbook, with narration – telling stories of life on the battlefront and the home front during World War II. All of the performers are featured on the 2009 recording Someone Talked! Memories of World War II.
Traversing Broadway, vaudeville, and music hall, performing music from the ragtime era to the end of the 20th century, the duo of William Bolcom and Joan Morris have delighted audiences across the United States and around the world since 1973. At the piano, composer and raconteur William Bolcom charms the audience with engaging patter. One of the driving forces behind the ragtime revival that began in the 1970s, he is also the composer of the poignant "Graceful Ghost Rag." As an accompanist, his lively and harmonically rich touch is impeccably tuned to every nuance of Joan Morris's voice. Chanteuse Joan Morris brings out a veritable cast of characters to sing each of her songs — from a curious little kid ("Love in the Thirties") to a world-weary lover ("Toothbrush Time") to an unforgettable dowager waging battle at the Ladies Club with her recipe for "Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise."
According to the Chicago Tribune, "She projects not just a song, but the character singing it, and gives that character her own irresistibly funny and winning personality."
Saturday, June 11, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. - Philip Glass and Franz Schubert
The Days and Nights Festival Players –
U.S. Premiere of Glass's String Quartet No. 5
In the run-up to Philip Glass's 75th birthday year in 2012, this concert features the U.S. premiere of the composer's String Quartet No. 5 (1991, written for the Kronos Quartet), and two recent works for violin and piano: Sonata for Violin & Piano (2008) and Pendulum for Violin and Piano (2010), performed by the Days and Nights Festival Players, whose members include violinists Tim Fain and Maria Bachmann, violist David Harding, and pianist Jon Klibonoff. A talk with Philip Glass and music consultant Richard Guérin precedes the concert.
Maria Bachmann and Jon Klibanoff premiered Philip Glass's three-movement Sonata for Violin and Piano on February 28, 2009, at Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Through his operas, symphonies, compositions for his own ensemble, and wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg and Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times. The operas – Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha, Akhnaten, and The Voyage, among many others – play throughout the world's leading houses, and rarely to an empty seat. Glass has written music for experimental theater and for Academy Award-winning motion pictures such as The Hours and Martin Scorsese's Kundun, while Koyaanisqatsi, his initial filmic landscape with Godfrey Reggio and the Philip Glass Ensemble, may be the most radical and influential mating of sound and vision since Fantasia. His associations, personal and professional, with leading rock, pop, and world music artists date back to the 1960s, including the beginning of his collaborative relationship with artist Robert Wilson. Indeed, Glass is the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film, and in popular music – simultaneously.
Thursday, June 30, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. - Steve Miller & Friends:
Celebrating the Jazz Guitar
Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band was great friends with the luthier James D'Aquisto (1935-1995), whose archtop guitars were prized by great jazz artists. In honor of D'Aquisto, one of the featured artists in the exhibition Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York, Miller, after performing a similar program in February, returns to the Met with friends – jazz guitarist Howard Alden and the Les Paul Trio – for an encore evening of jazz.
This concert is presented in conjunction with Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York, February 9– July 4, 2011. The exhibition is made possible in part by Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Chilton, Jr.
One of rock music's greats, Steve Miller fronts the Steve Miller Band, which has sold more than 30 million records in a career spanning more than 40 years. His trademark blues-rock sound made him one of the key artists in classic rock radio. His band plays sold-out shows every year across the country. In June 2010, Miller released a new album, Bingo!, on his own Space Cowboy Records, and undertook a summer U.S. tour and a tour of Europe in the fall. www.stevemillerband.com
May 9, 2011