Parent Page/Current Page

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Announces Its 2014–15 Season of Met Museum Presents

Met Museum Presents 2014 2015 Season

Performances and Talks That Enrich and Reinterpret the Met’s Collections and Galleries, and Offer an Unparalleled Range of Stellar Classic and Cutting-Edge Music, Theater, Dance, and Spoken Word

(New York, April 29, 2014)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art is more than just a splendid showcase of brilliant artifacts; it is home to a broad range of ideas and personal narratives from every civilization. The 2014–15 season of Met Museum Presents brings these stories to life through theater, performance, and discussions that celebrate the enormous breadth, depth—and surprising relevance—of these narratives.

The new season brings great thinkers and performers of the 21st century into direct contact with their inspired predecessors and the public, and presents multiple points of view that contextualize these ideas in unprecedented and innovative ways.

This is the third season programmed by Concerts and Lectures General Manager Limor Tomer. “The nice thing about having two seasons under my belt is that we now have a ‘new normal’—our audiences know to expect the unexpected at the Met: unique performances, talks, and events,” she said. “This season we will build on our solid track record for site-specific events that engage performers and thought-leaders with the Met’s enviable intellectual and physical infrastructure.

“Whether through theater, talk, or music, we want to make visible the narratives that lie within the objects and galleries, giving our audience a depth of experience with works of art,” said Tomer. “Through integration of theater, dance, music, and video art, as well as a multitude of free-with-Museum-admission events, we hope to create multiple entry points to the Museum. We invite all New Yorkers and visitors to join us.”

Director and CEO Thomas P. Campbell commented, “Met Museum Presents shines a brilliant light on what the Met should always be: relevant, inspiring, ground-breaking, deeply rooted in our collection, but ambitiously breaking from tradition. As I’ve watched Limor’s innovation at work, I’ve enjoyed seeing a whole new dimension to our galleries exposed.”

A particular highlight of the season is the residency by The Civilians, which marks the first time that the Museum will host a theater group as Artist in Residence. “Theater is about storytelling and meaning-making, and both are vital aspects of the Metropolitan Museum; yet we’ve never had a theater troupe here. The Civilians’ documentary approach to making work is uniquely suited to teasing out the narratives that are embedded within the Met’s galleries and collections,” Tomer added. “I look forward to discovering what The Civilians will do with this opportunity to take a deep dive into the Met’s collections as well as into the minds of our dazzling curators.”

The Attacca Quartet has been named the Museum’s Quartet in Residence, following the distinguished 43-year residency of the Guarneri String Quartet. “All of us in the Attacca Quartet associate the Metropolitan Museum with great music making,” said violist Luke Fleming. “We were often in the audience when our idols, the Guarneri String Quartet, were in residence, and we are honored to perform on the same stage.”

With dozens of performances of unprecedented breath and range, the third season of Met Museum Presents establishes the institution as a venue with as much cutting-edge credibility as any facility downtown or in Brooklyn. And we offer a visual setting for these performances and lectures that is unmatched anywhere in the world.

Highlights of the 2014–15 Season

Artist Residency by The Civilians; Steve Cosson, Artistic Director
In an unprecedented collaboration, the investigative theater ensemble, The Civilians, will perform and develop works in collaboration with Met curators, specifically for the unique settings of the Museum. Founded in 2001, The Civilians brand their work as a “Center for Investigative Theater.” The troupe will perform three works: a compilation of excerpts from their previous productions; a new work designed to probe dying, death, and the afterlife; and a third that examines the changing dynamic of what it means to be an American.

Quartet Residency by Attacca Quartet
For 43 years, ending in 2009, the Met hosted performances by the Guarneri String Quartet. Now, performing in the group’s hallowed footsteps is Attacca Quartet. Attacca has distinguished itself with both a devotion to the roots of string quartet repertoire and an intense interest in contemporary music.

Mali Now: A Look at Contemporary Malian Music, Culture and Politics
Rare concerts by the renowned vocalist Salif Keita and by Bassekou Kouyate, the virtuoso ngoni player (a precursor of the banjo), and three conversations with scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., producer of the PBS series The Wonders of the African World, will offer an in-depth examination of post-millennial Mali.

U.S. Premiere of La Celestina by Opera Erratica
Commissioned for performance in the Met’s extraordinary 16th-century Vélez Blanco Patio, La Celestina is a site-specific video opera that tells the story of a nobleman, his beloved, his scheming servants, and the local prostitute/witch. Using a 10-channel audio installation and a large, multichannel video projection that transforms the architecture into an immersive dramatic-musical experience, the characters tell their individual versions of the story, Rashomon style. Published in 1499 by Fernando de Rojas, La Celestina catapulted Spanish literature out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. The story is full of ribald jokes, outrageous circumstances, and scathing social criticism. As the drama unfolds, the story takes a very dark turn, ending in tragedy.

The music combines Spanish villancicos (polyphonic vocal music similar to madrigals) with Judeo-Spanish folk music, along with Arabic and Andalusian folk music from the period.

Opera Erratica, led by Patrick Eakin Young, has been creating genre-crossing musical spectacles, from digital opera to science fiction rock ballets, to enthusiastic critical and audience acclaim.

American Premiere of Superposition
Ryoji Ikeda’s latest project features 21 screens, three performers, live and electronic music, and the sound artist’s signature video language. Superposition is an overpowering multimedia music, visual, and theater work that explores the intersection between art and science. Inspired by the subatomic world, the piece mines the notion that it is not possible to describe fully the behavior of a single particle, except in terms of probabilities. Superposition is an immersive experience; an orchestrated journey through sound, language, physical phenomena, mathematical concepts, human behavior, and randomness, all simultaneously arranged and rearranged in a theatrical arc that obliterates the boundaries between music, visual arts, and performance.

John Zorn Composes New Work for The Cloisters
Returning to the Metropolitan Museum after a triumphant daylong concert during our 2013–14 season, the edgy and continually inventive composer and MacArthur Fellow John Zorn creates a performance specifically for the Fuentidueña Chapel at The Cloisters. The program features the world premiere of The Remedy of Fortune, a composition for the indomitable JACK Quartet, composed specifically for The Cloisters; the New York premiere of The Alchemist, featuring acclaimed vocalist Tony Arnold with JACK Quartet; and The Holy Visions, performed by Jane Sheldon, Sarah Brailey, Mellissa Hughes, Abigail Fischer, and Kirsten Sollek.

Masters at the Met Presents Five Extraordinary Singers
Salif Keita, Judy Collins, Rosanne Cash, and Cécile McLorin Salvant possess voices that range from soaring incandescence to warm poignancy. Each will present a unique show of their finest works.

SPARK: A Conversation Series Continues
SPARK offers fast-paced conversations between thought leaders in various fields, who will discuss vital cultural issues through the lens of the Met. The first two programs this season will focus on art and armor from medieval knights to Game of Thrones, and the tricky business of “art that monetizes.” SPARK is hosted by Julie Burstein, author and Peabody Award–winning creator of public radio’s Studio 360.


Artist in Residence: The Civilians
This unprecedented collaboration between a forward-thinking theater company and a global museum underscores the Met’s commitment to creating and presenting significant new work, and to supporting the work of contemporary performers. With its unique brand of high-impact theater, The Civilians will investigate the Met and create work that illuminates the narratives embedded in the collections. Formed 13 years ago in Brooklyn and directed by Steve Cosson, The Civilians liberated the term “investigate” from the pretense of pop criticism, bringing a searing brand of scrutiny to current events.

Works such as In the Footprint (2010) explores the rapid changes in Brooklyn. This Beautiful City (2009) probes the roots and meaning of the current evangelical movement. The group’s most recent work, The Great Immensity (2014) examines the environmental crisis of our time.

“It’s a daunting invitation,” said Cosson. “I am thrilled to have a year to engage the multidimensional world of the Metropolitan Museum. By exploring the galleries and working with the incredible resources, I hope to experiment with both the obvious and the more veiled narratives that exist in the art.”

Let Me Ascertain You
September 12 and September 13, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Petrie Court Café
Tickets start at $25 and include one cocktail

An evening of The Civilians’ greatest hits: songs and stories from the group’s varied repertoire, delving into love, beauty, conflict, change, and the human condition. See excerpts from previous performances.

The End And the Beginning
March 6, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing
Tickets start at $25

An investigative romp through dying, death, and the afterlife, this performance is staged at the incomparable Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing.

The Way They Live
May 15 and May 16, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Charles Engelhard Court
Tickets start at $25 and include one cocktail

A theatrical treatment of the Met’s American Wing, this piece embraces the increasingly immense complexities of what it means to be an American.

Quartet in Residence: The Attacca Quartet
Amy Schroeder and Keiko Tokunaga, violin
Luke Fleming, viola
Andrew Yee, cello

Arguably the most dynamic and important quartet of its generation, Attacca has galvanizes and inspires audiences with its daring performances of classic repertoire and its extraordinary presentations of contemporary composers.

Attacca is performing all 68 of Haydn’s string quartets, the cornerstone of the repertoire. Since the group’s founding in 2010, it has performed 47 quartets in 15 concerts. For the Vélez Blanco Patio concert, Attacca presents Concert 16 in their ongoing series. “One of the greatest discoveries of this series for us is that there is really no bad Haydn quartet; while the later ones are a more familiar musical language, the early ones are ingenious examples of a completely different aesthetic, equally full of surprise, whimsy, poignancy, and good fun,” said violist Luke Fleming. “Even though only a handful of Haydn’s 68 quartets get performed with any regularity, the lesson we have learned is that they are all completely deserving of any music lover’s attention.”
Attacca’s fiery performances of Haydn are best illustrated here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ILSwMxA8x4.

In response to Limor Tomer’s invitation to create a concert in conjunction with the Met’s upcoming exhibition Madame Cézanne—on view from November 18, 2014, to March 15, 2015—the members of Attacca chose to focus on “artistic obsession.” And last year, Attacca released the widely hailed Fellow Traveler: The Complete String Quartets of John Adams. Attacca returns to Adams with John Adams’s Book of Confirmed Dances, a collaboration with choreographer Francesca Harper. Adams composed John’s Book of Alleged Dances for Kronos in 1994. Now Attacca has taken up the challenge, and invited Harper to create movement for this music, thus making the “alleged” dances “confirmed.”

Attacca Plays Haydn
October 10, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Vélez Blanco Patio
Tickets start at $65

Haydn: String Quartet No. 17 in F major, Op. 17, No. 2 (1771)
Haydn: String Quartet No. 31 in B minor, Op. 33, No. 1 (1781)
Haydn: String Quartet No. 61 in D minor, Op. 76, No. 1, “Fifths” (1796)

Continuing an ambitious undertaking of presenting all 68 Haydn quartets—the foundation of all string quartet repertoire—Attacca performs three early quartets in the Met’s extraordinary Vélez Blanco Patio. The intimate Spanish courtyard’s gracefully arcaded galleries and elaborately carved marble capitals, windows, and doorframes were the highlights of an early 16th-century castle.

A Quartet for the Festive Time
December 17, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

Mozart: String Quartet in G major, K. 387
Poulenc: Christmas Carol Selections (arranged by Attacca)
Dvořák: String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96, “American”

Attacca celebrates the holidays with a program that features Christmas carols by Francis Poulenc (arr. Attacca), Mozart, and Dvořák’s beloved “American”quartet.

February 6, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $45

Janáček: Quartet No. 1, Kreutzer Sonata
Janáček: Quartet No. 2, Intimate Letters
Pärt: Fratres

Drawing inspiration from the Met’s fall exhibition examining Paul Cézanne’s lifelong, intimate—and some would say, obsessive—artistic dialogue with his wife, muse, and model Hortense Fiquet, Attacca mines a similar obsessive and artistically productive relationship: that of Czech composer Leoš Janáček and the married woman 37 years his junior, Kamila Stösslová, with whom he exchanged more than 700 letters, and who inspired his quartets. “You stand behind every note, you, living, forceful, loving,” he wrote in a letter to her. “The fragrance of your body, the glow of your kisses—no, really of mine. Those notes of mine kiss all of you. They call for you passionately...”

These concerts are presented in conjunction with the exhibition Madame Cézanne, on view November 18, 2014 - March 15, 2015.  

John Adams: “Confirmed” Dances
March 24, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $45 

Since its inception, Attacca has championed the music of John Adams, who The New York Times calls “the most vital and eloquent composer in America.” For this Metropolitan Museum residency, the group joyfully takes up John’s Book of Alleged Dances (1994), composed for the Kronos Quartet. According to Adams, the dances were “alleged” because “the steps for them had yet to be invented…” until now! At the quartet’s invitation, the dances are invented by the charismatic choreographer and former William Forsythe dancer Francesca Harper, who “has all the right moves,” notes The New York Times.
Here, Harper performs in Times Square: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZfj8_3D-5w

Seven Words
April 2, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $45

Seven Words was an ambitious and thoughtful project.”—The New York Times

Returning to Met Museum Presents after a critically acclaimed premiere in 2013, Seven Words is a music-video work that enfolds Haydn’s transformative Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross with a compelling and evocative video environment by Ofri Cnaani. For this performance, which takes place during Holy Week, Attacca performs the string quartet arrangement of the piece, and collaborates with Cnaani on its staging and direction.

Mali Now: A Look at Contemporary Malian Music, Culture and Politics

In five events, two concerts, and three talks, the Met offers a rare in-depth look at post-millennial Mali.

Salif Keita
September 19, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $50

The keening voice of Salif Keita, the longtime ambassador of Malian music, is one of the most distinctive and affecting sounds in African music; his majestic vocals convey longing, lust, hope and desire with a piercing poignancy. Here he performs a rare acoustic set, featuring a small ensemble of master Malian musicians performing on traditional instruments.

Contemporary Mali with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
September 18, October 9 and 23, 6:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30; $75 for series

In 1999, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., produced “The Road to Timbuktu” as part of his PBS series Wonders of the African World.  This breakthrough series brought for the first time to wide attention the Timbuktu manuscripts, a priceless trove of documents dating from the 16th to the 18th century, made up of nearly 300,000 pages covering every aspect of human endeavor, including the teachings of Islam, law, medicine, mathematics, and astronomy. In the ensuing decade and a half, these manuscripts have been imperiled by Mali’s civil war and religious and ideological conflict. In this three-part series, Dr. Gates explores the issues and history of contemporary Mali, and what the future holds for the cultural, architectural, and intellectual treasures of Central Africa.

Timbuktu Past and Present
September 18, 2014
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in conversation with Jon Lee Anderson.
Reporting on the Islamic takeover of Mali in 2012, international investigative reporter Jon Lee Anderson wrote the influential New Yorker article “State of Terror.” Anderson and Gates talk about the current state of affairs in Mali, their respective experiences on the ground, and what is at stake if the conflict continues.

Music, Culture, and Conflict in Mali
October 9, 2014 
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in conversation with writer and filmmaker Manthia Diawara. 
Music is a political language in Mali, reflecting cultural changes, ideas of African unity, and issues of equality and rights.  An evening of conversation and live performance looks at how the lives of contemporary Malians are reflected through their music.

Defining Mali through Women’s Voices
October 23, 2014
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in conversation with Ousseina Alidou and others.
What does it mean to be a woman in conflict with orthodoxy?  How can women negotiate the sometimes conflicting demands of state and self? Gates, Ousseina Alidou, and others will interrogate the role of women in defining what Mali can be in the future and what role Islam will have in Mali’s identity. 

Bassekou Kouyate
October 30, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $35

One of Africa’s greatest instrumentalists, Bassekou Kouyate is joined by his band Ngoni Ba for an acoustic program that reveals the softer, more ruminative sounds of African music. Bassekou is a virtuoso picker and is renowned for his mastery of the ngoni, an ancient traditional “spike lute” and an ancestor of the banjo.

Opera and Music Theater

Ryoji Ikeda’s Superposition (U.S. Premiere)
October 17 and October 18, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $35

See ‘American Premiere of Superposition’ in Highlights.

Presented in collaboration with French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival.

The Toy Box: Salzburg Marionette Theatre
November 8, 2014, 1:00, 3:00, and 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets for the 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. shows start at $30 for adults; $20 for children
Tickets for the 7:00 p.m. show start at $45

A masterpiece of magic and whimsy, Debussy’s La Boîte à Joujoux (“The Toy Box”) is beautifully reimagined by the Salzburg Marionette Theatre, which has teamed up with the brilliant American pianist Orion Weiss, who plays Debussy’s score live on stage alongside the four puppeteers.

“Debussy may have intended ‘The Toy Box’ for children, but the score is sophisticated: subtle, often quiet and harmonically wandering, with Asian-inspired accents. The puppetry was wonderful, from Pulcinella’s spidery extending arms to the delicacy of the doll’s on-point ballet dance to the remarkably affecting sequence in which she nurses the soldier, his head lying gently in her lap.” —The New York Times

La Celestina (U.S. Premiere)
Opera Erratica

March 20–29, 2015, all day, during Museum hours
Vélez Blanco Patio
Free with Museum admission

See ‘US Premiere of La Celestina by Opera Erratica’ in Highlights.

The News (New York Premiere)
April 17 and 18, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $50

The News is a multimedia reality opera that elevates current events, political rhetoric, and the media into operatic hyper-drama. Crafted from news broadcasts and set to music by the brilliant composer Jacob Ter Veldhuis (JacobTV), the opera receives its New York premiere with Fulcrum Point Ensemble, featuring vocalists Nora Fischer and Loire.

John Zorn’s Sacred Visions
May 30, 2015, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Fuentidueña Chapel at The Cloisters
Tickets start at $50

See ‘John Zorn Composes New Work for The Cloisters’ in Highlights.

Chamber Music

Il Hebreo Mantovano (The Mantuan Jew)
Profeti della Quinta
October 25, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $50

In the late Renaissance, at the height of Mantua’s artistic splendor, a young Jewish violinist burst through the barriers of discrimination and became one of the most renowned composers and performers at the court of the Gonzaga dukes. And in 1622, this musician revolutionized Jewish music with his Songs of Solomon, the first collection of originally composed music for Hebrew psalms and prayers. Yet very little is known about the personal and creative life of Salomone Rossi Hebreo—Salomone Rossi the Jew. Enter Profeti della Quinta, a young male vocal quintet originally hailing from the Galilee, who has been championing the work of Rossi to great critical acclaim.

March 7 and June 5, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $25 (single tickets); $40 (both concerts)

The New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Museum join forces once again, for a new season of CONTACT!, the Philharmonic’s acclaimed new music series conceived by Music Director Alan Gilbert. The series features world premieres, US premieres, New York premiers, and New York Philharmonic–commissioned works.

Looking East From Byzantium
March 14, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $40

Celebrating the Metropolitan Museum’s recent acquisition of four Byzantine icons, this a cappella performance traces the trajectory of music west from Byzantium, and demonstrates the interconnectedness between Byzantine and Islamic chant and improvisation traditions.

In association with The Axion Estin Foundation.

The Clarion Society Performs Victoria’s Requiem
March 28, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
Vélez Blanco Patio
Tickets start at $75

The choir of the Clarion Society has moved well beyond its roots in baroque music to become one of the most acclaimed vocal groups in New York City. The group presents the hauntingly beautiful Victoria’s Requiem.

Masters at the Met

Cécile McLorin Salvant
October 24, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $50

One of the most celebrated young jazz vocalists, Cécile McLorin Salvant is the winner of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Vocals Competition. She performs some of her most dynamic and theatrical songs on this unforgettable evening. Salvant’s style combines precise technique, a playful sense of time, and a joyous approach to a varied repertoire. She is among the leaders of a new generation of jazz singers who have reinvigorated the genre while refusing to stay strictly within its limits.

A Valentine with Rosanne Cash
February 14, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $75

Cash has been topping the country charts for decades. Since the release of her classic recording Interiors in 1990, she has been the poet laureate of songs involving the complications of adult love and relationships. Following her sold-out performance in 2014, Cash returns to the Met with a special program for Valentine’s Day.

Wine & Dine on Valentine’s Day
Ticket holders are invited to the Members Dining Room to enjoy a two-course Perfect Pairs Dinner featuring classic food and wine pairings for $75 per person. Reservations are suggested; please call 212-570-3975.

Judy Collins
May 1, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $75

One of the legendary singer-songwriters to emerge from the Woodstock era, Judy Collins is the inspiration for the Crosby, Stills, and Nash classic Suite: Judy Blue Eyes. Although she is best known for her poignant cover of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, Collins started out as a classical pianist. Her career has since spanned an eclectic range of material that makes her difficult to categorize—except as one of the great voices of our time. In this concert, she performs a celebration of her music in honor of her 75th birthday.

Exhibition-Related Performances

Marty Stuart & The Superlatives, with Special Guests Steve Miller and Laurence Juber 
October 6, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

Country/bluegrass legend Marty Stuart with his Fabulous Superlatives join rock legend Steve Miller and two-time Grammy award-winning guitar virtuoso Laurence Juber of Paul McCartney and Wings fame. This performance explores country, rock, blues, jazz and instrumental fingerstyle guitar.

This concert is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Early American Guitars: The Instruments of C. F. Martin, on view through December 7, 2014.

Prague Philharmonic Choir
November 1, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

Hailing from the artistic hotbed of Prague, this dazzling ensemble gives a rare New York performance that captures artist Bartholomeus Spranger’s zeitgeist. Featuring secular and religious music, this colorful program traces the artist’s peripatetic life from his native home in the Netherlands, to Paris, Rome, Vienna, and, finally, to the court of Rudolf II in Prague.

This concert is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague, on view November 4, 2014–February 1, 2015.

Masters of Indian Music: Kaushiki Chakrabarty
November 14, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $40

In a rare New York appearance, virtuoso vocalist Kaushiki Chakrabarty brings her extraordinary displays of South and North Indian vocal traditions. The daughter of renowned Indian singers Chandana Chakraborty and Ajoy Chakraborty, she ranks among the best new South Asian vocalists. Her gorgeously lyrical sounds have won international praise and recognition.

This concert is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection, on view October 28, 2014-January 25, 2015.

The Goldberg Variations: The Double Manual Experience
Christopher Taylor
November 21, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $50

When J. S. Bach wrote The Goldberg Variations, he specified that they were to be played on an instrument with two manuals, or keyboards. The Metropolitan Museum’s musical instruments collection is home to one of only 60 double manual pianos ever made. The brilliant Christopher Taylor has actively promoted the rediscovery of this unique instrument, and performs Bach’s most ambitious work in its entirety, on a Bösendorfer double manual ca. 1940 piano—a new twist on what Bach had intended.

This concert is presented in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Musical Instruments.

24 Dances
Cory Arcangel and Chris d’Eon featuring the Korg M1 Synthesizer
November 22, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $25

In celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Musical Instruments, Brooklyn-based artist Cory Arcangel and Canadian musician Chris d’Eon present 24 Dances, a suite of compositions inspired by Baroque dance suites. Featuring 24 short dance compositions based on house and techno riffs that were prevalent in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the compositions, written for the Korg M1 synthesizer, are performed by d’Eon.

Arcangel makes work in a wide range of media, including composition, video, modified video games, performance, and the Internet. D’Eon is an electronic musician, singer-songwriter, keyboard player, and producer, whose own musical style encompasses world, electronic, and pop music.

This concert is presented in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Musical Instruments.

Masters of Indian Dance: Nrityagram
January 10, 2015, 5:00 and 7:00 p.m.
The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing
Free with Museum admission

With its sculptural forms, sinuous movements, and emotional intensity, Odissi—one of the oldest dance traditions in the world—speaks of love and union with the divine. Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy, the principal dancers of India’s world-renowned Nrityagram dance troupe, transport viewers to enchanted worlds of magic and spirituality with their grace and power. This performance is the New York debut of Samyoga (Sanskrit: conjunction of two heavenly bodies), a program of solos and duets set to an original live score composed by Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi.

This concert is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection, on view October 28, 2014-January 25, 2015.

Ensemble Caprice: Turning Music into Gold
January 29, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

In this remarkable concert, the acclaimed Ensemble Caprice spotlights the rich and fascinating culture of the court of Rudolf II in Prague—arguably the most interesting European city of its time—where scientists, artists, musicians, and alchemists mixed and mingled to outrageous and resplendent results.

Using period instruments, this performance brings to life the vibrant and diverse city, where the art of Bartholomeus Spranger found its musical match in compositions that were either created for or interpreted at the court, in local churches, or, in the case of folksongs and dance music, on the streets. The program features music with German, Italian, and Eastern European influences, which displays the interplay between sacred and secular music, and highlights, side by side, the music of both the higher classes and the common people.

This concert is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague, on view November 4, 2014-February 1, 2015.

A Musical Tribute to Thomas Hart Benton
February 20, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $35

In 1930, artist Thomas Hart Benton was commissioned to create a mural for the boardroom of the New School’s International Style building on West 12th Street in New York. It was his first major mural commission, and what he produced is an extraordinary 10-panel mural that offers a challenging and moving narrative of early 20th-century America. From the promise of the Machine Age, to Harlem’s dancehalls, to the breadlines, Benton’s America Today remains his best-known work, and inspires this evening of dance music from Harlem’s heyday. Delivered with a modern twist, acclaimed pianist Orrin Evans leads The Captain Black Big Band in a sizzling rendition of Harlem’s musical golden age.

This concert is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today Mural Rediscovered, on view September 30, 2014–April 19, 2015.

In The Galleries

The Grand Tour
January 21 and January 22, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
European Paintings Galleries
Tickets start at $125

Hailed by The New York Times as “perhaps the most perfect realization yet of the mission of Met Museum Presents, “ The Grand Tour, which sold out both performances last season, returns with music from the British Isles for solo harp in the Met’s English galleries; Dutch songs and dances played on the recorders, shawms, bagpipes, and lute (instruments seen in the paintings of Bruegel, Vermeer, and Rembrandt); music from Spain in the time of El Greco in the El Greco gallery; and, honoring the Met’s 17th-century Italian galleries, Concerto delle donne, music written for the famous group of professional female singers who revolutionized women’s role in music during the late Renaissance under Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara. 

Drone Mass (World Premiere)
March 17, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing
Tickets start at $40

Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, instrumental group American Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the 2014 Grammy Award–winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth come together to perform Drone Mass, a new composition inspired by and created for the magnificent Temple of Dendur. Using texts based on the Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians, this contemporary oratorio fuses the diverse sounds of string quartet, electronics, and vocals to produce a memorable night.

Holiday Concerts

Little Match Girl Passion
December 3, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

Kent Tritle leads the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Choir in David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Little Match Girl Passion, which is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s powerful story of a young matchstick girl struggling in the face of apathy on New Year’s Eve. The program also features seasonal motets.

Celtic Christmas Vespers: Apollo’s Fire
December 5, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

Known for its flair and drama, Apollo’s Fire invites audiences to celebrate colorful Celtic music traditions.

Byzantine Pop-Ups
December 5, 12, and 19, 2014, 2:00, 4:00, and 6:00 p.m.
Medieval Sculpture Hall
Free with Museum admission

On select Fridays in December, enhance your visit to the Met with a stop in the Medieval Sculpture Hall, where you can enjoy a pop-up concert of a cappella Byzantine hymns and medieval carols of the Christmas season. Join New York audiences in listening to centuries-old Christmas music of the Byzantine Empire. 

El Greco’s Toledo: Capella de Ministrers
December 12 and December 13, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Vélez Blanco Patio
Tickets start at $70

Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco, this remarkable Spanish ensemble presents a unique program using music to journey through the life of the artist. The intimate program includes the most iconic music from his birthplace of Crete as well as his time in Venice and Rome, and concludes with music from the Spanish city of Toledo. 

This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition El Greco in New York, on view November 4, 2014–February 1, 2015.

A Pocket Nutcracker
December 14, 2014, 3:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30

Delighting children and adults alike, the five-piece group WindSync—called the “rebel chamber ensemble” by the Winnipeg Free Press—presents renditions of traditional holiday songs in an interactive and unforgettable performance, including an utterly unique version of The Nutcracker in costume!

Christmas in New York: American Boychoir
December 16, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

Founded in 1937, the American Boychoir seeks to establish a uniquely American voice in the centuries-old tradition of young men’s vocal groups. Long recognized as one of the finest musical ensembles in the world, the group performs an exclusive New York holiday concert featuring seasonal favorites and new classics.

Quartet for the Festive Time
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

See ‘Quartet in Residence: The Attacca Quartet.’

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Sejong with Cho-Liang Lin
December 18, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

Bringing together talented musicians from all over the world, this conductor-less string orchestra performs Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the great violinist Cho-Liang Lin joining as soloist.

Songs of the Season: The Choristers of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
December 19, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

Renowned American choral conductor Kent Tritle and the Choristers of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine welcome the holidays with seasonal compositions and carols by Benjamin Britten, Robert Sirota, and others.

Simone Dinnerstein for the Holidays
December 20, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

Acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein searches for the musical core in every piece of music she chooses. She returns to the Met for a festive holiday performance with a program including Poulenc’s Suite française (1935), Debussy’s Suite bergamasque (1905), Crumb’s A Little Suite for Christmas (1980), and Schubert’s Sonata in B Flat (1828).

All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
December 23, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $65

Cantus, arguably the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States, presents the heartwarming true story of a truce held during World War I on Christmas night in 1914, exactly 100 years ago. Using actual quotes and letters from soldiers, Cantus shares one of the greatest displays of true Christmas spirit.


Evening Talks

A Conversation on Willem de Kooning
Judith Zilczer, author and Curator Emerita, Hirshhorn Museum
Marla Prather, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, MMA
George Condo, visual artist
September 17, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30

Judith Zilczer is joined by Met Museum curator Marla Prather and artist George Condo to discuss the lasting influence and inspiration of Willem de Kooning, one of the most important and prolific artists of the 20th century.

Orientalism and New York
Barry Lewis, architectural historian
September 30, 2014, 6:00 pm
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $40

In the 19th century, Europeans and Americans saw the Middle East as a veritable Shangri-la, where they could find refreshingly different cultural ideals. This was the beginning of “Orientalism,” a century-long infatuation with everything Middle Eastern. In terms of architecture, the new vogue provided Westerners in the field with a way of freeing themselves from rigid, established formulas. Middle East–inspired designs opened up cluttered interiors and created a new “metallic style” to better suit emerging iron and glass structures. Perusing the New York area, these talks uncover a fine collection of buildings with roots in Oriental design.

The Atelier with Alina Cho
Alina Cho, fashion journalist and Editor at Large, Ballantine Bantam Dell
October 22, 2014, and April 30, 2015, 6:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $45

Alina Cho, in conversation with fashion icons Anna Wintour and Donatella Versace, delves into the industry, which is at the intersection of art and ideas.

Alina Cho and Anna Wintour: October 22, 2014
Alina Cho and Donatella Versace: April 30, 2015

Masterworks at the Met: Mannerism’s Perverse Beauty
Jerrilynn Dodds, Dean, Sarah Lawrence College
October 29 and November 5 and 12, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30; $75 for series

Mannerism transformed late Renaissance art with a new energy and a sense of the unexpected: jarring, dramatic transformations that could range from an exquisite, exaggerated elegance to dramatic scenarios, which some contemporaries called “terribilità” in painting. This series explores Mannerism in Italy. Featured in the discussions are masterworks from the Metropolitan’s extraordinary collections, including Michelangelo’s Studies for the Libyan Sibyl (recto) and Studies for the Libyan Sibyl and a small Sketch for a Seated Figure (verso) (ca. 1510–1511); Bronzino’s Portrait of a Young Man (1530s), and Tintoretto’s The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (ca. 1545–50).

El Greco at the Met
Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman, European Paintings, MMA
Walter Liedtke, Curator, European Paintings, MMA
November 13 and 20 and December 4, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30; $75 for series

In celebration of the Met’s unprecedented display of El Greco’s works and in honor of the 400th anniversary of the artist’s death, please join us for a fascinating discussion on the life and paintings of El Greco.

El Greco: Spirit and Paradox
November 13 and 20, 2014: Keith Christiansen
In this two-part lecture, Keith Christiansen explores the notion of El Greco as a precursor to Modernism, the artist’s failed attempt at success in Italy, and the anachronistically sublime painter he became in Spain.

El Greco and the Met
December 4, 2014: Walter Liedtke
The Metropolitan Museum’s European paintings collection is rich in works by El Greco, ranging from the artist’s early years in Venice to his last projects in Toledo. This lecture considers all of the Museum’s El Grecos, including famous works such as View of Toledo and The Vision of St. John, with particular attention to new research.

SPARK: A Conversation Series
This fast-paced cabaret-style series explores vital cultural issues through the lens of the Met. Each program gathers artists and thought leaders to engage in unscripted, surprising, and engaging conversation. SPARK is hosted by Julie Burstein, author and Peabody Award–winning creator of public radio’s Studio 360.

Ideas That Spread, Art That Monetizes
Elizabeth A. H. Cleland, Curator, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, MMA
Seth Godin, bestselling author
December 1, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30; $50 for SPARK series

The glamorous tapestries of Flemish artist Pieter Coecke van Aelst were sought after by the most discerning rulers in 16th-century Europe, from Henry VIII to the Hapsburgs and Medicis. As his ideas spread throughout his world by means of paintings and books—and even a personal journey by the artist to Constantinople—his creations became hot commodities. In this SPARK conversation, Julie Burstein talks with Seth Godin and Met curator Elizabeth A. H. Cleland about what it takes to be an artist and entrepreneur, in both the 16th and 21st centuries.

This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry, on view October 7, 2014–January 11, 2015.

Dressed to Kill: Arms and Armor from Medieval Knights to Game of Thrones
With Michele Clapton, costume designer for Game of Thrones
Miya Ando, artist
Pierre Terjanian, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Curator in Charge, Dept. of Arms and Armor, MMA
December 2, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30; $50 for SPARK series
Over the centuries, warriors have tried to protect their all-too-vulnerable flesh in flashy carapaces of metal and wood. In this wide-ranging conversation about arms and armor, Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton reveals the pleasures and challenges of reimagining armor for the Starks and Lannisters; artist Miya Ando describes the influence of her sword-making ancestors on her 21st-century stainless steel kimono; and Met curator Pierre Terjanian offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Museum’s popular Arms and Armor Galleries.

The Unknown “Lincoln-Douglass” Debate
Harold Holzer, historian
Featuring Norm Lewis
February 13, 2015, 6:00 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $40

Although they met at the White House several times and regularly exchanged views, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass never publicly debated. This is the Lincoln-Douglass debate that never happened: using words from their correspondence and commentary, illustrated by period paintings, photographs, and sculptures, historian Harold Holzer brings the ideas and philosophies of these two great figures face-to-face. Featuring Tony Award-nominated actor and singer Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess, Phantom of the Opera, ABC’s Scandal).

Daytime Lectures

Gods and Goddesses
Kurt Behrendt, Assistant Curator, Asian Art, MMA
September 16, 23, and 30, 2014, 11:00 a.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30; $70 for series

The multifaceted deities of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religious faiths are at the foundation of one of the world’s great sculptural traditions. Images created in stone and bronze have given lasting form to a vast pantheon of deities, and have been the focus of devotion across the Indian subcontinent since at least the third century B.C. This three-part lecture series addresses the historic and religious history of South Asia, focusing on the great periods of artistic production.

The Early Buddhist Imagery of South Asia
September 16, 2014
Initially, it was Buddhism that received the greatest patronage, and great sculptural schools therefore emerged in Mathura, Andhra, and Gandhara, which resulted in some of the most refined and sublime sculptures of South Asia.

Hindu Gods and Goddesses
September 23, 2014
Hinduism emerged as the dominant religious tradition around the sixth century A.D., and artists responded by creating new types of imagery to give form and meaning to this nascent ideology. Sculptures of gods such as Shiva, Vishnu, and Durga gave these deities manifest form for the devout. How can we understand these vital images in terms of the artists’ underlying aesthetic goals?

Jainism and Tantra
September 30, 2014
Although the Jain community was never large, it existed alongside the major religious traditions. The Jains were represented in sculpture; though once again, different sets of ideological goals governed the creation of these images. This series closes by briefly examining the late Buddhist imagery that corresponds to the rise of the Tantric literary tradition that provided the foundation for Vajrayana Buddhism.

The Clark Brothers of Cooperstown
Marlene Strauss, art historian
October 8, 2014, 2:30 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $40

Brothers Sterling and Stephen Clark, heirs to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, grew up in Cooperstown, New York, amassing two of the most important collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early modern painting. While both brothers shared a love of great art, their individual preferences and collecting habits varied a great deal.

The siblings, close in their young years, quarreled over the disposition of their inheritance—and their relationship was severed forever. Each of the brothers, however, went on to build a great, individual art collection.

Stories in Silver: Uncovering the Narrative in the Objects
Beth Carver Wees, Curator of American Decorative Arts, MMA
October 20 and 27, 2014, 11:00 a.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30; $50 for series

This two-part series explores some of the Metropolitan Museum’s most treasured 17th- and 18th-century American silver, highlighting the narratives these objects tell about people, places, and social customs. Deeply personal and human, this singular art form was and remains the ideal choice for honoring personal, civic, and professional accomplishments. The objects’ individual stories simply await our investigation.

Life & Times
Rebecca Rabinow, Leonard A. Lauder Curator of Modern Art and Curator in Charge of the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art, MMA
December 2 and 9, 2014, 11:00 a.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30; $50 for series

Each lecture in this ongoing series sheds light on a different aspect of the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection, one of the foremost collections of Cubist art in the world.

Cubist Confetti
December 2, 2014
Confetti—those insidious little paper circles and squares—was ardently embraced in turn-of-the-century Paris, and figured surprisingly prominently in the Cubists’ visual vocabulary. Both Picasso and Braque embraced confetti showers as a phenomenon of optical mixing within three-dimensional space. This talk considers the Cubists’ colorful stippling during the prewar years as a sophisticated means of introducing formal qualities of texture and light into their art, while referencing popular culture and artistic movements such as Pointillism.

Games Cubists Play 
December 9, 2014
There’s no denying that Cubism has a playful side: puns, inside jokes, and games such as chess, cards, and dice were all enthusiastically welcomed by the artists as subject matter. This talk explores the impact of the games, jokes, and puns that define and characterize prewar Cubist masterpieces.

These programs are presented in conjunction with the exhibition Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection, on view October 20, 2014–February 16, 2015.

Rule, Britannia! British Painting from Hogarth to the Pre-Raphaelites
Kathryn Calley Galitz, Associate Museum Educator, MMA
March 18 and 25, and April 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30; $160 for series

This series charts the development of British painting from William Hogarth’s scenes of mid-18th-century London to the medievalizing tendencies of the Pre-Raphaelites and their followers during the Victorian era. Series includes Sir Joshua Reynolds, John Constable, and J.M.W. Turner.

Hogarth à la Mode and the Taste for English Art
March 18, 2015

Reynolds/Gainsborough: Portrait of a Rivalry
March 25, 2015

Americans in London: History in the Making
April 1, 2015

John Constable and the Rise of the English Landscape
April 8, 2015

J.M.W. Turner
April 15, 2015

Past Perfect: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
April 22, 2015

Van Gogh in Bloom
Remco van Vliet, third generation Dutch Master Florist
May 13, 2015, 2:30 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30

Remco van Vliet, the Met’s Great Hall floral designer, re-creates iconic Van Gogh scenes in a stunning floral demonstration.

This demonstration is in conjunction with the exhibition Van Gogh: Roses and Irises – Reunited on view May 11 – August 16, 2015.

Sargent’s Circle of Friends
Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, The American Wing, MMA
Stephanie L. Herdrich, Research Associate, The American Wing, MMA
May 27 and June 10, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Tickets start at $30; $50 for series

Throughout his career, John Singer Sargent created portraits of the most influential artists, writers, actors, dancers, and musicians of the era, many of whom were his close friends. As a group, these paintings and drawings are often highly charged, intimate, witty, idiosyncratic, and experimental. Brilliant works of art and penetrating character studies, these portraits are also records of relationships, influences, aspirations, and allegiances. These lectures explore the underlying friendships between Sargent and his sitters, and consider their significance for his life and art.

Actors and Artists
May 27

Performers and Patrons
June 10

These programs are presented in conjunction with the exhibition Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, on view June 30 – October 4, 2015.

General Information

Tickets for the Met Museum Presents 2014-15 Season of Events are Available Now:

* For tickets, visit www.metmuseum.org/tickets or call 212-570-3949.
* Tickets are also available at The Great Hall Box Office, which is open Monday-Saturday 11:00 a.m.—3:30 p.m.
* Tickets include admission to the Museum on day of the performance.
* 30 & Under Rush: $15 tickets for ticket buyers 30 years and younger, with proof of age, the day of the event on select performances (subject to availability).
* Bring the Kids!: $1 tickets for children (ages 7-16) for select performances when accompanied by an adult with a full-price ticket. For more information, visit www.metmuseum.org/tickets, call 212-570-3949, or visit the box office.

Exhibition Credits

Madame Cézanne:
The exhibition is made possible by The Florence Gould Foundation.

Early American Guitars: The Instruments of C. F. Martin:
The exhibition is made possible by The Martin Guitar Company.

Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection:
The exhibition is made possible by Cartier.

Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today Mural Rediscovered:
The exhibition is made possible by AXA. 

Leadership Support for Met Museum Presents Provided By:
Adrienne Arsht
Brodsky Family Foundation
Isabel C. Iverson and Walter T. Iverson
Mrs. Joseph H. King Fund
Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Fund
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Mrs. Donald Oenslager Fund
Grace Jarcho Ross and Daniel G. Ross Concert Fund
The Giorgio S. Sacerdote Fund
Estate of Kathryn Walter Stein
Xerox Foundation
Dirk and Natasha Ziff

Additional Major Supporters:
Chester Dale Fund
Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art
Friends of Concerts & Lectures
The Arthur Gillender Fund
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
The Kaplen Foundation
Lavori Sterling Foundation, Inc.
New York State Council on the Arts
Samuel White Patterson Lecture Fund
Ann G. Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee
Anonymous (2)

Gifts of $10,000 and above, as of April 20, 2014


April 29, 2014

Press resources