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Harris Theater Presents Music & Dance 2016-17 Season
From a press release
2016-04-28

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CHICAGO — The Harris Theater for Music and Dance is pleased to announce its thirteenth season of Harris Theater Presents performances spanning the farthest reaches of artistry, both from the United States, and globally. Bringing two Chicago Debuts for international companies, and presenting seven Chicago Premieres of new works, two Harris Theater commissions for Chicago-based dance companies, two World Premieres, and five performances from the Chamber Music of Lincoln Center, the Harris is bringing the very best of what is being created in music and dance around the world straight to Chicago audiences.

"Now that the Theater's renovations and expansion are complete, the Imagine campaign has shifted its focus to furthering our artistic and programmatic excellence. This begins with the installment of our first ever Choreographer in Residence, Brian Brooks, creating a work for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago next season," said Harris Theater President and Managing Director Michael Tiknis. "This season is full of both emerging artists who are the future of their craft, and household names who embody everything we love most about the arts. With this season, we continue to explore and deepen our relationships with important companies at home, nationally, and internationally."

3-Pack Flex passes are on sale now. Pick your top three Harris Theater Presents performances to customize the perfect Flex Pack for you. And when you buy a 3-Pack Flex, additional Harris Theater Presentssingle tickets are discounted by 50%* and you will receive an "Elite Seat" card. "Elite Seat" benefits include:

— FREE exchanges to other Harris Theater Presents performances in the season

— Exclusive reduced parking at Millennium Park Garage - $16 for 8 hours

— Discounts at select restaurants — receive 15% off your bill when you dine at any of our NEW Restaurant Partners, to be announced

— Purchase additional individual Harris Theater Presents performances before single ticket go on sale to the general public.

* On full price tickets and select performances only. Subject to availability.

See harristheaterchicago.org/season-gallery .

Wednesday, September 28 & Thursday, September 29, 2016, 7:30PM

With Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Internationally renowned Shanghai Jingju Theater Company transforms Shakespeare's Hamlet into one of China's most impressive forms of traditional art, setting the story in the fictitious ancient Chinese state of the Red City. Here, as in Shakespeare's classic, the prince becomes disillusioned after discovering his uncle has killed his father and seduced his mother. The stage presentation of this Peking Opera strictly follows the rules of Chinese dramatic aesthetics, famous for its succinct and meaningful depiction.

As a prominent art company in China, Shanghai Jingju Company, established in March 1955, is one of ten national key Peking opera troupes entitled by China Ministry of Culture. Zhou Xinfang, the first president, who was a famous Peking Opera master himself.

For more than half the century, fed by the special humanistic atmosphere, Shanghai Jingju Company has formed its unique art style and made itself a top culture troupe with a wealth of talents and numerous plays. Shanghai Jingju Company not only inherits and follows traditional spirits of Jingju but makes every effort possible to combine modernity and tradition with the mission of popularizing Jingju and developing larger performance markets.

Peking Opera is a stylized Chinese form of opera dating from the late 18th century in which speech, singing, mime, and choreographed movement are performed to an instrumental accompaniment.

Danish Dance Theatre, Black Diamond, CHICAGO DEBUT

Friday, October 21 & Saturday, October 22, 2016, 7:30PM

With Black Diamond, Tim Rushton explores a more conceptual and futuristic universe, where focus has been set on graphic aesthetics, scenes and geometrical forms. Black Diamond is a new creation by Tim Rushton, made for Danish Dance Theatre's 13 international dancers. To the sounds of the violinist Alexander Balanescu, the beat king Trentemoller and the classic composer Philip Glass, small pockets of sound are created - from fragmented and noisy to tempo-filled electronic beats to lyrical and romantic tracks.

The first act of Black Diamond consists of a massive diamond shaped background — black and uneven. Destruction rules here and the scenography gives thought to a harsh landscape of aggressive volcanoes, black ash and rock walls. Dressed in futuristic black coats and geometrical garb, Rushton creates a futuristic tale about the inherent duality of everything, where both the shadowy and the light side of man are explored psychologically, scenographically and thematically.

In the second act, the background changes from inky black to shining silver as the structure remains unchanged. In an organic and flowing idiom, hope is making its way out of the darkness. The dancers float across the stage in gauzy, balloon-formed creations, while small cracks of darkness try to break through the light.

Just as the music promises contrasting worlds, we also meet: the goddess of fate in an extravagant design construction, where she spins the thread of life, militaristic men in somber coats, faceless and pure bodies plus a petrified man in a skin colored costume of crystal.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Brian Brooks Commission, WORLD PREMIERE RUN; HARRIS THEATER COMMISSION

Friday, November 18, 2016, 7:30PM

This season, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will see their debut in choreography by 2013 Guggenheim Fellow and current Choreographer in Residence of the Harris Theater, Brian Brooks. Hubbard Street is the first company to perform original work by Brooks as part of his inaugural residency. This world premiere is commissioned by the Harris Theater and made possible by the Jay Franke and David Herro Choreographer in Residence Fund through the Imagine campaign.

Also featured during Hubbard Street's Season 39 Fall Series, running November 17—20 at the Harris Theater, is the 15th world premiere for the company by its Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, and two ensemble works by master dancemaker Jli Kylian: Sarabande and Falling Angels. Hubbard Street returns to the Harris Theater in March, May, and June 2017 for its Season 39 Spring Series, Chicago Series, and Summer Series. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

R.E.M.'s Mike Mills and Robert McDuffie, Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and String Orchestra, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Monday, November 7, 2016, 7:30PM

Mike Mills and Robert McDuffie have been close friends since they were teenagers growing up in Macon, Georgia. Now, inspired by the blurred lines between contemporary classical audiences, pop and contemporary music, McDuffie has commissioned a new composition from R.E.M.'s Mike Mills- one of the most prolific song-writer/composer/collaborators from the world of rock and pop. The concerto, with arrangements and additional music by David Mallamud, will feature McDuffie, performing the solo violin part, a four-member rock band, led by composer, Mills ( bass and keyboard ) along with two electric guitarists, and a drummer, who will perform with a string orchestra.

R.E.M. was formed in 1980, in Athens, Georgia, by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early popular attention from its first single, "Radio Free Europe", in 1981. After three decades of record breaking CD sales, sold-out live performances in the largest rock venues in the world, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ( 2007 ), R.E.M amicably disbanded in 2011. Their legacy and fan base remains very strong, demonstrated by over 4.6 million Facebook fans.

Joyce DiDonato , In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Friday, December 9, 2016 7:30PM

Joyce DiDonato, a singer the Financial Times said, "can do almost anything," explores the dichotomy of discord and harmony in times of war, through her powerful interpretation of Baroque arias. During the Baroque era, such vocal masters as Monteverdi, Purcell, Handel, Leo, Jommelli, and others expressed these striking contrasts in music of great power; now audiences will experience Ms. DiDonato's interpretation. In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music will feature accompaniment by Il Pomo d'Oro.

Winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Kansas-born Joyce DiDonato entrances audiences across the globe, and has been proclaimed "perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation" by the New Yorker. With a voice "nothing less than 24-carat gold" according to the Times, DiDonato has soared to the top of the industry both as a performer and a fierce advocate for the arts, gaining international prominence in operas by Handel and Mozart, as well as through her wide-ranging, acclaimed discography. She is also widely acclaimed for the bel canto roles of Rossini and Donizetti.

Much in demand on the concert and recital circuit she has recently held residencies at Carnegie Hall and at London's Barbican Centre, toured extensively in South America, Europe and Asia and appeared as guest soloist at the BBC's Last Night of the Proms. Recent highlights in opera have included the title role in Maria Stuarda at the Metropolitan Opera, for The Royal Opera and at the Liceu in Barcelona; the title role in Alcina on tour with the English Concert and Harry Bicket and Marguerite La damnation de Faust with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle.

Batsheva Dance Company, Last Work, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Friday, January 27 & Saturday, January 28, 2017, 7:30PM

Batsheva Dance Company has been critically acclaimed and popularly embraced as one of the foremost contemporary dance companies in the world. They bring with them the stunning Last Work, which The New York Times describes as, "…breathtaking for the extraordinary dancing by the Batsheva dancers, and the way Mr. Naharin can evoke states of pleasure, pain, madness and a kind of animality — a sheer state of being in the body — through his movement."

Batsheva Dance Company was founded in 1964 by the Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, who enlisted Martha Graham as its first artistic adviser, a role that she held until 1975. Ohad Naharin assumed the role of Artistic Director in 1990 and propelled the company into a new era with his adventurous curatorial vision and distinctive choreographic voice. Mr. Naharin is also the originator of the innovative movement language, Gaga, which has enriched his extraordinary movement invention, revolutionized the company's training, and emerged as a growing international force in the larger field of movement practices for both dancers and non-dancers. Batsheva will be participating in a Gaga workshop for pre-professional dancers during their time in Chicago.

Bruckner Orchester Linz / Angelique Kidjo / Dennis Russell Davies, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Friday, February 3, 2017, 7:30PM

Two-time Grammy Award winner Angelique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today, a creative force with twelve globally acclaimed albums. As a performer, Angelique Kidjo's striking voice, stage presence and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers and expanded her following across universal borders.

The Bruckner Orchester Linz looks back on more than two hundred years of history and tradition, and over the past few decades it has become one of Central Europe's leading orchestras. With 130 musicians, The Bruckner Orchester Linz fulfils a number of prominent tasks, including participation in the Bruckner Festival, the Ars Electronica Festival, the Linzer Klangwolke and 170 opera and ballet performances in the Linz opera as well as its own concert series at the famous Musikverein Vienna. In the last few decades the Orchestra has earned an outstanding reputation for itself both in Austria and abroad.

In 2002 Dennis Russell Davies became the Chief Conductor of the Bruckner Orchester Linz and the Opera Director of the Landestheater Linz. He and the orchestra have extended their devotion to Bruckner's music to include a wide range of international composers with a significant focus on new works. Highly respected in the US, Maestro Davies has returned to his country to conduct performances with the Symphony Orchestras of Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Cleveland. He is a frequent guest conductor with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Dresdner Philharmonie, the Filarmonica della Scala Milano and the Munchner Philharmoniker

Program

Gershwin, Porgy & Bess ( Suite-arr. Morton Gould )

Zemlinsky, Symphonische Gesange op. 20 Baritone and Orchestra

"Africa Sings" ( songs after poems by Langston Hughes )

Baritone — Martin Achrainer

Philip Glass, Ife, Three Yoruba Songs

Vocalist — Angelique Kidjo

Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks, and Brooklyn Rider, Some of a Thousand Words, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Friday, February 24, 2017, 7:30PM

Wendy Whelan, past principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, and Brian Brooks, the Harris Theater's newly instated Choreographer in Residence, will create a second project together with new solos and duets, full of elegance and electricity, entitled Some of a Thousand Words. This singular performance is amplified by the remarkable, live musical stylings of string quartet Brooklyn Rider, hailed as "the future of chamber music" ( Greg Cahill, Strings Magazine ).

Whelan and Brooks will be collaborating closely with Brooklyn Rider in the holistic process of creative conception. Inasmuch, this second project will bring music to the foreground as a dynamic and central creative component, both shaping and being shaped by the evolution of the choreography designed by Brooks. Emphasizing the agency of the music in relation to the dance, the project will use existing music from composers John Luther Adams, Tyondai Braxton, Philip Glass, Evan Ziporyn and a new composition from Brooklyn Rider's own Colin Jacobsen.

Some of a Thousand Words follows up Whelan and Brooks' first endeavor, Restless Creature, co-produced by The Joyce Theater in 2013. Described as "luminous" and a "tour de force" in the Boston Globe and "instantly intimate" in the Chicago Tribune, the work bears testament to the personal friendship and effervescent artistic chemistry which emerged from this collaboration.

Visceral Dance, New work, to be announced, HARRIS THEATER COMMISSION

Saturday, April 8, 2017, 7:30PM

The Harris Theater will commission a new work choreographed by Nick Pupillo for Visceral Dance. Details forthcoming.

Founded in 2013 by Artistic Director Nick Pupillo, Visceral Dance Chicago is a contemporary dance company dedicated to a bold and progressive world of movement. In less than three years, the company has developed a diverse and respected repertoire. With works by distinguished choreographers Sidra Bell, Monica Cervantes, Marguerite Donlon, Brian Enos, Robyn Mineko Williams, Banning Bouldin, Harrison McEldowney, Fernando Melo, Ohad Naharin, and Pupillo, Visceral Dance Chicago continues to challenge audiences' expectations. In January of 2015, Visceral Dance Chicago was named one of Dance Magazine's 25 to Watch, recognizing the company's accomplishments and potential in the national community. "Visceral Dance Chicago breathes life into the Chicago arts community with their ability to intertwine complex human emotions with the raw beauty of dance and physical movement." ( Chicago Stage Standard )

Visceral Dance Chicago will perform in five engagements at the Harris Theater during the 16-17 season, including SPRINGFOUR which include a work by Canadian-based choreographer Mark Godden as well as a new work by Pupillo, commissioned by the Harris Theater itself. In an "expertly devised and stylish" ( Chicago Tribune ) repertoire, Visceral Dance Chicago distinguishes its unique position in the Chicago, national, and international dance communities; "...the buzz about this troupe is more than justified" ( Chicago Sun-Times )

This commission was made possible by the Pamela Crutchfield Dance Fund of the Imagine Campaign.

Jessica Lang Dance, The Wanderer, CHICAGO PREMIERE

Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 7:30PM

After last season's world premiere of Tesseracts of Time, commissioned by the Harris Theater and the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, prolific choreographer Jessica Lang creates a wondrous, romantic world in "The Wanderer." This contemporary story ballet features sweeping choreography, imaginative set design, and beautiful dancing set to Franz Schubert's moving operatic song cycle, "Die schone Mullerin," performed live.

Hailed "a master of visual composition" by Dance Magazine, the Bessie Award winning Jessica Lang seamlessly incorporates striking design elements and transforms classical ballet language into artfully crafted, emotionally engaging contemporary work. Lang challenges the collaborative process and excels in her unconventional collaborations.

2016-17 Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performances:

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center The Emerson at Forty

Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 7:30PM

This concert tribute to the incomparable Emerson String Quartet, on the occasion of the ensemble's 40th anniversary season, will live long in the memories of listeners. The Emerson celebrates with a selection of repertoire that has earned the quartet its unrivalled nine Grammy Awards, delighted quartet aficionados the world over, and cemented its reputation as one of the greatest chamber ensembles of all time.

Program:

Beethoven Quartet in F minor for Strings, Op. 95, "Serioso" ( 1810-11 )

Bartok, Quartet No. 4 for Strings, BB 95 ( 1928 )

Mendelssohn, Octet in E-flat major for Strings, Op. 20 ( 1825 )

Musicians:

Emerson String Quartet / Eugene Drucker, volin / Philip Setzer, violin / Lawrence Dutton, viola / Paul Watkins, cello / Calidore String Quartet / Jeffrey Myers, violin / Ryan Meehan, violin / Jeremy Berry, viola / Estelle Choi, cello

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Brandenburg Concertos

Monday, December 19, 2016, 7:30PM

CMS's annual performances of Bach's "Six Concertos for Various Instruments" have become an essential component of the holiday season for listeners of all ages and musical experience. Perhaps no other secular music unfailingly provides such spiritual fulfilment for music lovers of all faiths and beliefs, inspiring strength at year's end and a vision of the brightest future. Bach's addictive melodic ideas, his consummate contrapuntal technique, and instrumental ingenuity combine in perfect harmony for works that have gained true musical immortality.

Program:

Bach The Complete Brandenburg Concertos, BWV 1046-1050 ( 1720 )

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Mendelssohn on Fire

Monday, February 13, 2017, 7:30PM

Mendelssohn's dazzling first trio raised the bar of excitement for all piano trios to come. Before listeners rise to their feet at the finale's conclusion, they'll be left breathless by Schubert's and Mendelssohn's turbulent string quartets. Mozart's sublimely meditative Adagio briefly breaks this program's whirlwind pace before the fleet-fingered Mendelssohn has the final word.

Program:

Schubert, Quartettsatz in C minor for Strings, D. 703 ( 1820 )

Mendelssohn ,Quartet in E minor for Strings, Op. 44, No. 2 ( 1837 )

Mozart, Adagio in B minor for Piano, K. 540 ( 1788 )

Mendelssohn, Trio No. 1 in D minor for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 49 ( 1839 )

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Love Sonnets WORLD PREMIERE; HARRIS THEATER COMMISSION

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 7:30PM

From Cesar Franck's musical wedding gift for Eugène Ysaye to Ravel's romantic Greek melodies, love and courtship take center stage in this delightful program. A collection of Petrarch's timeless love sonnets will be brought to electrifying life in a new work of composer and recent Guggenheim Fellowship and Rome Prize recipient, Jonathan Berger, while Mendelssohn's Trio for piano, violin, and cello quartet will bring the evening to a thrilling conclusion.

Julia Bullock has been hailed as an "impressive, fast-rising soprano… poised for a significant career." ( The New York Times ) Equally at home with opera and concert repertoire, she has captivated audiences with her versatile artistry and commanding stage presence.

Program:

Franck, Sonata in A major for Cello and Piano ( 1886 )

Ravel ,Cinq melodies populaires grecques for Voice and Piano ( 1904-06 )

Berger ,New Work for Soprano, Violin, Cello, and Piano

Mendelssohn, Trio No. 2 in C minor for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 66 ( 1845 )

Co-commissioned by the Harris Theater for Music and Dance and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, funded by the Laura and Ricardo Rosenkranz Artistic Innovation Fund through the Imaginecampaign.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Parisian Tableau

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 7:30PM

This season's final concert offers a tantalizing French music tasting menu of works that bridge France's golden Baroque era with its flamboyant modern age. With flair, allure, and stunning virtuosity, this program captures the magic of France through the ages, with music that delights and amazes.

Program:

Leclair Concerto in E minor for Violin, String Quartet, and Continuo, Op. 10, No. 5 ( 1745 )

Francaix Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello ( 1933 )

Ravel Tzigane, rapsodie de concert for Violin and Piano ( 1924 )

Chausson Concerto in D major for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet, Op. 21 ( 1889-91 )

=All programs, prices, and dates are subject to change

Sponsorship

The Northern Trust Company is the Harris Theater's 2016—2017 season sponsor. United Airlines is the official airline of the Harris Theater. The Theater gratefully acknowledges the Irving Harris Foundation for its leadership support of the Presenting Fund. All performances take place on The Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage at the Harris Theater.

About Harris Theater for Music and Dance

The Harris Theater's primary mission is to partner with an array of Chicago's music and dance performing arts organizations to help them build the resources and infrastructure necessary to achieve artistic growth and long-term organizational sustainability. The Harris Theater's original group of 12 resident companies has grown to include 35 diverse organizations. Through these partnerships, the Theater has earned national recognition as a distinctive model for collaboration, performance, and artistic advancement.

Opened on November 8, 2003, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance was the first multi-use performing arts venue to be built in the Chicago downtown area since 1929. Today the Theater continues to host the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, featuring the city's world-renowned music and dance institutions and the Harris Theater Presents series of acclaimed national and international artists and ensembles.

Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater, is a $38.8M comprehensive fundraising effort supporting the Theater's multifaceted mission. The campaign ensures the continued growth and artistic development of the Harris Theater over the next 10 years.

The Imagine campaign is led by four transformational gifts: from The Irving Harris Foundation, Joan W. Harris; Alexandra and John Nichols; Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Abby McCormick O'Neil and D. Carroll Joynes; Caryn and King Harris, The Harris Family Foundation. Additional leadership gifts supporting programmatic and capital projects have been generously funded by Jay Franke and David Herro, The Crown Family, Jack and Sandra Guthman, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Neisser Family Foundation, The Northern Trust Company, Zell Family Foundation, Laura and Ricardo Rosenkranz, Christine and Glenn Kelly, Jim and Kay Mabie, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Marilyn and David J. Vitale.

The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust are the lead underwriters of fundraising for Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater.

The Harris Theater maintains a commitment to engaging Chicago residents of all ages and communities. Programs like the popular Eat to the Beat and Exelon Family Series advance access to, and understanding of, the performing arts. The Theater partners with health and human service agencies, K-12 schools, and community arts organizations, providing more than 8,800 underwritten performance tickets through the Access Tickets Program since 2009. The Theater also connects gifted young artists and students to presented artists through master classes, artist talks, and other enrichment activities.

To learn more about the Harris Theater, please visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org . Call the Box Office at 312.334.7777 to request a brochure or additional information.


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