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Introducing the 2016–17 Season of MetLiveArts

Last night MetLiveArts announced its new season of live performances. Recently renamed to better express the diversity of its innovative and genre-bending events, MetLiveArts has become a vital part of New York City's contemporary-arts scene and a powerful force in the live arts.

When I'm planning an upcoming season, I begin my creative process and my conversations with each artist by considering three things: What do we expect when we go to The Met (with an eye to embracing the unexpected)? What can The Met do that's additive, and that can't happen anywhere else? How do we create a shared experience between performer and audience? 

Over the course of the 2016–17 season, MetLiveArts offers an array of new works that will deliver a deep connection and collaboration between the live arts and the visual arts at The Met.

Artist in Residence—The Memory Palace: Nate DiMeo

This season we are excited to add yet another artistic medium and creative voice to the list of artists in residence, which in the past has included musicians, actors, and multimedia artists. MetLiveArts welcomes the sound artist Nate DiMeo as artist in residence—the creator of the powerful podcast The Memory Palace, which was a finalist for the 2016 Peabody Awards.

At The Met, DiMeo will explore The American Wing and create 10 singular podcasts. DiMeo makes an art of finding hidden narratives in a variety of topics, and each podcast is complete with newly commissioned music, sound design, and production, as well as DiMeo's compelling narration. His residency will also include a series of live events, and all podcasts will be available on both The Met's website and on The Memory Palace.

For just a taste of what's ahead next season, you can listen to the "Gallery 742" podcast DiMeo created last December in conjunction with the opening of Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age: Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room and was recognized with a 2016 MUSE Award.

Commissions and World Premieres

Al-Quds: Jerusalem
Premiering in December 2016

We've commissioned the celebrated composer Mohammed Fairouz to create an oratorio that is as much a performance as it is an extension of the exhibition Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven. The many voices of Jerusalem and the multilayered complexities of this city provide the robust inspiration for this work, which incorporates the poetry of the renowned poet Naomi Shihab. The Grammy-nominated Metropolis Ensemble and conductor Andrew Cyr will join forces with Fairouz for this premiere.

Actor Alan Cumming against a black background

Photo by Steven Trumon Gray

Max and Alan
Premiering in December 2016

Actor, singer, Tony Award winner, and chameleon of the screen and stage, Alan Cumming will create a new musical work that is a reflection on the life of artist Max Beckmann and his time here in New York City, as a response to the exhibition Max Beckmann in New York.

Two women stretch in The Met's European sculpture court while bathed in early morning light

Photo by Paula Lobo

The Museum Workout
Premiering in January 2017

An unprecedented collaboration between choreographer Monica Bill Barnes & Company and the artist Maira Kalman, The Museum Workout is a journey through The Met, before the Museum opens to the public, where you can create a very new and personal connection with the art through movement. Led by choreographer Monica Bill Barnes and dance partner Anna Bass (wearing sequined dresses and tennis shoes), you'll be off on a journey that spans the various galleries of The Met.

Quartet in Residence: PUBLIQuartet

PUBLIQuartet pose in front of The Met's logo holding their instruments

Photo by Paula Lobo

We welcome the New York–based ensemble PUBLIQuartet, whose style completely reinvents the traditional quartet formula, to bring their unexpected and original programs as well as their uncompromising technical and musical prowess to The Met next season. PUBLIQuartet will present diverse and exciting evenings of music that include a reimagining of Bach's music in the Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters; a program that explores American music and contemporary composers; and a special performance in the Vélez Blanco Patio, where the quartet will be joined by Detroit jazz guitarist A. Spencer Barefield (the father of quartet violinist Jannina Norpoth) and Grammy-nominated tuba player Bob Stewart (the father of quartet violinist Curtis Stewart).

The 2016–17 season of MetLiveArts is all about new works, daring commissions, and engaging performances. We hope you explore the online calendar and our season brochure, and come to The Met to be inspired in unexpected ways.

To purchase tickets to any MetLiveArts event, visit; call 212-570-3949; or stop by the Great Hall Box Office, open Monday–Saturday, 11 am–3:30 pm.

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