Celebrated Trumpeter Sean Jones Leads Ensemble with Grammy Award-Winning Vocalist Dianne Reeves as Special Guest
First-Ever Tour to Africa by One of Carnegie Hall’s Three Acclaimed National Youth Ensembles to Include Debut Performances in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Makhanda, and Bloemfontein, June 24-July 7, 2020
This June and July, Carnegie Hall’s critically-acclaimed national youth jazz orchestra—NYO Jazz—returns for its third season of extraordinary music-making, highlighted by its first-ever tour to South Africa from June 24-July 7, 2020. This remarkable ensemble, created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in 2018, annually brings together some of the most outstanding teen jazz musicians from across the United States to train, perform, and tour with some of the world’s greatest artists while also serving as music ambassadors for their country.
NYO Jazz’s historic visit to South Africa—to include debut performances in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Makhanda, and Bloemfontein—marks the first time that one of Carnegie Hall’s three acclaimed national youth ensembles will perform on the African continent. It follows successful international tours by NYO Jazz to some of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls and music festivals in 2018, and the ensemble’s debut tour to Asia in 2019.
Celebrated trumpeter Sean Jones returns to lead NYO Jazz in 2020. He is joined by iconic jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves as special guest. These NYO Jazz concerts will offer a rare chance to hear the five-time Grammy Award winning vocalist performing with a big band, singing jazz standards in arrangements that have been especially made for her. The ensemble’s diverse repertoire will also feature a new composition by John Beasley, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for this tour, and other contemporary pieces that explore jazz’s influence on hip-hop, R&B, and pop music alongside big band standards.
“We are thrilled to have NYO Jazz make its debut in South Africa this summer—the first visit to Africa by any of our national youth ensembles” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “Given South Africa’s extraordinarily rich music traditions, which include a deep passion for jazz, we know this tour will be a tremendous opportunity for musical and cultural discovery for these amazing young players. We are proud to showcase their incredible depth of talent and the high level of musicianship found across the United States as we find ways to connect the members of NYO Jazz with young musicians and music lovers across the country.”
NYO Jazz’s 2020 tour will offer America’s finest young musicians the opportunity to experience the richness of South Africa’s culture and history while sharing their remarkable artistry with audiences throughout the country. Complementing their performances, the players’ schedule will also include exciting opportunities for cultural exchange and peer-to-peer activities with local young people, an element that has become a hallmark of international tours by all three of Carnegie Hall’s national youth ensembles.
In Fall 2020, A Lifetime Retrospective Dedicated To Jasper Johns Will Be Presented Simultaneously In New York And Philadelphia
In an unprecedented collaboration, this major exhibition is jointly organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art
October 28, 2020–February 21, 2021
The most ambitious retrospective to date of the work of Jasper Johns, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, will be presented simultaneously in New York and Philadelphia this fall. A single exhibition in two venues, this unprecedented collaboration, Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror, will be the artist’s first major museum retrospective on the East Coast in nearly a quarter century. It opens concurrently in Philadelphia and in New York on October 28, 2020. Visitors who attend the exhibition at one venue will enjoy half-price adult admission at the other when presenting their ticket. And throughout the duration of the exhibition, members of each institution will receive free admission at both venues. (Additional details will be available at whitney.org and philamuseum.org.)
Filling almost 30,000 combined square feet across the two venues, the exhibition will contain nearly 500 works. It is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Johns, creating an opportunity to highlight not only his well-known masterpieces but also many works that have never been exhibited publicly. Conceived around the principles of mirroring and doubling that have long been a focus of the artist’s work, this two-part exhibition, which follows a loose chronological order from the 1950s to the present, offers an innovative curatorial model for a monographic survey. It will chronicle Johns’s accomplishments across many mediums—including paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, working proofs, and monotypes—and highlight the complex relationships among them.
Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, commented, “We are delighted to present this unique retrospective together with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, an important occasion for both museums, which have had connections with the artist going back decades. The Whitney has been collecting and showing Johns since the 1960s and we are thrilled to honor his ninetieth birthday in 2020, which also marks the ninetieth anniversary of the Whitney’s founding. Enigmatic, poetic, rich, and profoundly influential, Johns’s work is always ripe for reexamination.”
“Given the crucial place that Jasper Johns holds in the art of our time, this collaboration enables our two museums, together, to examine the artist’s vision in all its multiplicity and depth,” added Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art. “The Philadelphia Museum of Art has long dedicated a gallery to the display of Johns’s work, which, given his admiration of Cézanne and Duchamp, richly resonates with our collection. Along with our colleagues at the Whitney, we hope to introduce a new generation of visitors in our respective cities to the exceptional achievements of this artist over the course of a career that now spans nearly seven decades.”
Jasper Johns (b. Augusta, Georgia, 1930) grew up in South Carolina where he pursued an interest in art at an early age. He attended the University of South Carolina before moving to New York in 1948, and briefly attended Parsons School of Design. For two years he served in the army and was stationed in South Carolina and Japan. He returned to New York in 1953, where he met Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and Merce Cunningham, with whom he would famously collaborate. His work has been the subject of numerous retrospectives and solo shows, including Jasper Johns: A Retrospective at the Jewish Museum (1964), Jasper Johns at the Whitney (1977), Jasper Johns: Works Since 1974 at the PMA (1988–89, which traveled to the Venice Biennale, where Johns was awarded the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement), Jasper Johns: A Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1996–97, the last comprehensive East Coast survey), and most recently Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ at the Royal Academy, London, and The Broad, Los Angeles (2017–18). The innovative collaboration and structure of the Whitney and PMA’s retrospective distinguishes it from these previous shows and will account not only for the complexity and originality of Johns’s body of work at a new scale, but also will seek to test some of the conventional perceptions of it.
Since the early 1950s, Jasper Johns (b. 1930) has produced a radical and varied body of work distinguished by constant reinvention. In his twenties, Johns created his now-canonical Flag (1954–55), which challenged the dominance of Abstract Expressionism by integrating abstraction and representation through its direct, though painterly, deadpan visual power. His works have continued to pose similar paradoxes—between cognition and perception, image and object, painting and sculpture—and have explored new approaches to abstraction and figuration that have opened up perspectives for several generations of younger artists. Over the course of his career, he has tirelessly pursued an innovative body of work that includes painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, books, and the design of sets and costumes for the stage.
The exhibition is conceived as a unified whole, comprising two autonomous parts, and is co-curated by two longtime scholars who each has a close relationship with the artist: Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the PMA, and Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator at the Whitney. Basualdo noted, “We attempted to create an exhibition that echoes the logic of Johns’s work, and it is structured in a mimetic relation to his practice. Galleries at each venue will serve as cognates, echoes, and inversions of their counterparts at the other, allowing viewers to witness and experience the relationships between continuity and change, fragment and whole, singularity and repetition which Johns has used throughout his career to renew and transform his work.”
Rothkopf said, “One of our primary aims was to revivify the incredible sense of daring and discovery at the heart of Johns’s art. He stunned the establishment as a young man but continues to astonish audiences with surprising new ideas as he nears ninety. Surveying the whole of his career, we see an artist propelled by curiosity, constantly challenging himself—and all of us.”
March 17 Concert Includes New York Premiere of Music by John Adams, Cellist Gautier Capuçon Playing Saint-Saëns, and Stravinsky’s The Firebird
March 18 Performance of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony to be Heard by Listeners Everywhere via Carnegie Hall Live Broadcast and Digital Series
This March, acclaimed conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in his final Carnegie Hall concerts as the orchestra’s music director.
The orchestra’s program on Tuesday, March 17 at 8:00 p.m. includes the New York premiere of John Adams’s I Still Dance(co-commissioned by San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall as part of the Hall’s 125 Commissions Project) as well as Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with Gautier Capuçon and Stravinsky’s The Firebird.Throughout his tenure, Mr. Tilson Thomas has championed the work of groundbreaking American composers including John Adams, whose relationship with the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) spans nearly four decades. Mr. Adams’s new work, which opens the program, is dedicated to Mr. Tilson Thomas and his husband, Joshua Robison.
The following evening–Wednesday, March 18 at 8:00 p.m.–features a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6. Mr. Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s recording of this work was the first to be released on the orchestra’s in-house SFS Media label and was recognized with a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance, the first of seven Grammys to be received for their complete recordings of Mahler’s symphonies. This March 18 concert will be heard by listeners everywhere as part of the Carnegie Hall Livebroadcast and digital series with a live radio broadcast on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and online at wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr.
Mr. Tilson Thomas made his Carnegie Hall debut leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1969. He has since performed more than 100 times at the Hall, curating two extended Carnegie Hall Perspectives series. He last led the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall in October 2018, when the orchestra opened the Hall’s 2018-2019 season.
Mr. Tilson Thomas concludes his tenure as SFS Music Director in June 2020 with performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Upon concluding the final concert, he becomes the orchestra’s first Music Director Laureate.
Michael Tilson Thomas assumed his post as the San Francisco Symphony’s 11th Music Director in 1995, consolidating a relationship with the orchestra that began with his debut in 1974. Since then, he and the orchestra have formed a musical partnership hailed as one of the most inspiring and successful in the country. His tenure has been praised for outstanding musicianship, innovative programming, highlighting the works of American composers, and bringing new audiences to classical music. In addition, the orchestra has been recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in music education and pioneer in using digital technology to widen the reach of classical music.
A Los Angeles native, Mr. Tilson Thomas studied with John Crown and Ingolf Dahl at the University of Southern California, becoming Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra at nineteen. He worked with Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen, and Copland at the famed Monday Evening Concerts and was pianist and conductor for the Piatigorsky and Heifetz master classes. In 1969, Mr. Tilson Thomas was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ten days later, he came to international recognition after replacing Music Director William Steinberg mid-concert at Lincoln Center. He made his Carnegie Hall debut days later replacing Mr. Steinberg leading the BSO. He went on to become the BSO’s Principal Guest Conductor, and he has also served as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, and as a Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. With the London Symphony Orchestra, he has served as Principal Conductor and Principal Guest Conductor; he is currently Conductor Laureate. He is Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, which he co-founded in 1987. The NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,200 alumni worldwide, including more than 15 members of the SFS.
Evgeny Nikitin stars in the title role and Anja Kampe makes a notable Met debut as Senta
François Girard returns to the Met for the first time since his acclaimed production of Wagner’s Parsifal
Der Fliegende Holländer will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the world on Saturday, March 14, as part of The Met: Live in HD series
A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera; Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam; The Abu Dhabi Festival; and Opéra de Québec
The Metropolitan Opera presents a new production of Wagner’s early masterpiece Der Fliegende Holländer tonight, with performances continuing through March 27. Valery Gergiev conducts the new staging from director François Girard, whose interpretation is centered on the young woman Senta’s obsession with a portrait of the Dutchman.
Girard, whose revelatory 2013 take on Parsifal set the recent Met standard for Wagner stagings, now unveils a spellbinding new vision of the composer’s tale of a cursed sea captain doomed to sail the open ocean for eternity. With sweeping sets by John Macfarlane, Girard’s new production turns the Met stage into a rich, layered tableau reminiscent of a vast oil painting. Valery Gergiev conducts a brilliant cast led by bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin as the Dutchman, with German soprano Anja Kampe making her anticipated Met debut as the devoted Senta, whose selfless love is what the Dutchman seeks. Bass Franz-Josef Selig is her father, Daland, and tenor Sergey Skorokhodov is her deserted former lover, Erik. Mihoko Fujimura makes her Met debut as Senta’s nurse, Mary, and David Portillo sings the role of the Steersman.
The creative team includes set designer John Macfarlane, costume designer Moritz Junge, lighting designer David Finn, projection designer Peter Flaherty, choreographer Carolyn Choa, and dramaturg Serge Lamothe.
The performances on March 24 and 27 will be conducted by Patrick Furrer, making his debut. At the performance on March 24, the role of the Steersman will be performed by Alok Kumar.
Richard Wagner (1813–1883) was the controversial creator of music-drama masterpieces that stand at the center of today’s operatic repertory. An artistic revolutionary who reimagined every supposition about theater, Wagner insisted that words and music were equals in his works. This approach led to the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art,” combining music, poetry, architecture, painting, and other disciplines, a notion that has had an impact on creative fields far beyond opera.
The score of Der Fliegende Holländer is an extraordinary combination of operatic lyricism, dramatic insight, and magnificent effects. At the time it was written, Wagner had not yet developed his theories of music-drama, which would form the basis for his later works. Many of the features of conventional opera (recitatives, arias, ensembles), therefore, can still be found, but the way Wagner integrates them into the fabric of the score clearly foreshadows his later technique of a continuous musical flow.
The final phase of competition is the public Grand Finals concert on the Met stage, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra conducted by Bertrand de Billy, on Sunday, March 1
Winners will receive individual cash prizes of $20,000 and invaluable exposure in the opera world
Finals concert to be broadcast live on the Met’s website and SiriusXM
Following February 24th’s semi-final competition, nine young singers have advanced to the final round of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2020 National Council Auditions. In the public concert, finalists perform on the Met stage Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m., for an audience of judges, agents, industry leaders, and the general public (in the auditorium and live on the radio). The finalists, chosen by a panel of opera administrators from the Met and other companies, each perform two arias with the Met Orchestra conducted by Bertrand de Billy. Prize money will increase for the first time in 20 years, with the winners receiving individual cash prizes of $20,000 (previously $15,000), and the prestigious and potentially career-launching title of National Council Auditions Winner. The remaining finalists receive $10,000 (previously $7,500).
The concert will be hosted by soprano Lisette Oropesa, a 2005 National Council Auditions winner, and will also feature a performance by tenor Javier Camarena, while the judges deliberate.
The concert will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 75, and streamed live on the Met’s web site, www.metopera.org.
The 2020 finalists, the regions they represent in the competition, and their hometowns are:
Grammy Award-Winning Choir Performs New York Premiere of Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaragua Featuring Cellist Maya Beiser
On Wednesday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Grammy Award-winning new music choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, performs the New York premiere of Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaraguawith cutting-edge cellist Maya Beiser, a work co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall as part of its 125 Commissions Project.
Travel Guide to Nicaragua is inspired by Gordon’s hazy memory of his first eight years of life living on the outskirts of Managua, Nicaragua with his Eastern European parents who had emigrated to the country. In writing this third substantial work for The Crossing, Gordon—one of the founding members of Bang on a Can—also reaches beyond his childhood memories, pondering the world of the Maya and Aztecs and drawing on the words of poet Rube´n Dari´o and Mark Twain, who visited the country in the mid-1860s.
There’s a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m.: Conductor Donald Nally and composer Michael Gordon in conversation with John Schaefer, host of WNYC’s New Sounds and Soundcheck. Support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by members of Carnegie Hall’s Composer Club.
Hailed as “America’s most astonishing choir” (The New York Times) and “ardently angelic,” (The Los Angeles Times), The Crossing is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its nearly 90 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 19 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and five Grammy nominations in three years. They have presented nearly 90 commissioned world premieres.
The Crossing collaborates with some of the world’s most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, LA Phil, the American Composers Orchestra,Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, the Annenberg Center, Beth Morrison Projects, The Rolling Stones, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and more. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison. Their concerts are broadcast regularly on WRTI 90.1FM, Philadelphia’s Classical andJazz Public Radio.
The Crossing’s recordings of Robert Convery and Benjamin Boyle’s Voyages (August 2019, Innova) and Kile Smith’s The Arc in the Sky (July 2019, Navona) were both nominated for 2020 Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance. Lansing McLoskey‘s Zealot Canticles won the 2019 Grammy; The Crossing’s collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), won the 2018 Grammy Award; and Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer (Albany 2016) was nominated for the 2017 Grammy, all for Best Choral Performance. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forums’ 2017 Champion of New Music. The Crossing’s 2014 commission Sound from The Bench by Ted Hearne was named a 2018 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Learn more at www.crossingchoir.org.
Hailed for her “stirring emotional power” by The New York Times, Maya Beiser has been called a “cello rock star” by Rolling Stone, praised as “a force of nature” by The Boston Globe, and dubbed “the queen of Avant-garde cello” by The Washington Post.
Raised on a Kibbutz in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, by her Argentinean father and French mother, Beiser was discovered at the age of twelve by the late violinist Isaac Stern. Upon graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a rebellious career, passionately forging her artistic path through uncharted territories, expanding her art form and bringing a bold and unorthodox presence to contemporary classical music.
Beiser is a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAM, The Kennedy Center, BBC Proms, London’s Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, Sydney Opera House, Barcelona’s L’auditori, Paris’ Theatre de La Ville, Stockholm’s Concert Hall, and in major venues and festivals across five continents.
Among the wide range of artists she has collaborated with are Philip Glass, Louis Andriessen, Erin Cressida-Wilson, Brian Eno, Shirin Neshat, Steve Reich, Lucinda Childs, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Mark Anthony Turnage, David Lang, Bill Morrison, and Wendy Whelan.
Beiser’s discography includes twelve solo albums, many of them topping the classical music charts. In the summer of 2019, she launched her own record label – Islandia Music records – and released delugEON, a concept album that deconstructs the classical canon. On January 10 2020, she released “Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar” – a reimagination of David Bowie’s last album – topping the Classical Crossover charts and receiving rave reviews. Beiser is the featured soloist on many film soundtracks, including an extensive collaboration with James Newton Howard.
Maya Beiser is a United States Artists Distinguished Fellow in Music and was a Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT. Her mainstage TED Talk has been watched by over one million people. (www.mayabeiser.com)
Over the past 30 years, Michael Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles and major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio and kaleidoscopic works for groups of identical instruments. Transcending categorization, his music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness.
This season, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players with Roomful of Teeth and Splinter Reeds premiere the concert-length In a Strange Land, the Strings of Autumn festival in Prague feature Gordon as composer-in-residence and perform Timber plus all of Gordon’s string quartets; and the percussion/piano/bass trio Bearthoven premieres a new work.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the 2020-21 recipients of VMFA fellowships. Twenty-six students and professional artists were selected from more than 500 applicants to receive a total of $146,000 towards professional advancements in the arts. The VMFA Fellowship Program has awarded more than $5.8 million to over 1,395 artists since 1940. Recipients must be Virginia residents and may use the award as desired, including for education and studio investments. Each year, professional curators and working artists serve as jurors to select fellowship recipients.
“The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Program is proud to support student and professional artists working across the Commonwealth,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA director and CEO. “We offer one of the largest fellowship programs of its kind in the United States and recognize this effort as a core part of our mission.”
VMFA awarded ten professional fellowships of $8,000 each this year. Professional fellowship recipients are:
Paul Finch, New & Emerging Media, Richmond;
Emma Gould, Photography, Richmond;
Sterling Hundley, Drawing, Chesterfield;
Sue Johnson, Mixed Media, Richmond;
Abigail Lucien, Sculpture, Richmond;
Margaret Meehan, Sculpture, Richmond;
David Riley, Film/Video, Richmond;
Dash Shaw, Drawing, Richmond;
Jon-Philip Sheridan, New & Emerging Media, Richmond; and
Susan Worsham, Photography, Richmond.
Veronica Roberts, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum of Art, was the juror for the professional fellowship entries.
Undergraduate fellowships of $4,000 went to ten students this year. The recipients are:
Tatyana Bailey, Photography, Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy (VCU), Richmond;
Emma Carlson, Film/Video, VCU, Des Moines, IA;
Nicolas Fernandez, Photography, VCU, Fredericksburg;