Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Names Ken-David Masur as its Seventh Music Director

Four-Year Contract Runs through 2022-2023 Season1819_MSO--MusDir--web--hmPromo_1250x410

Following a 36-month international search, Ken-David Masur has been named the seventh Music Director and Polly and Bill Van Dyke Music Director Chair for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO). Masur is currently the associate conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Munich Symphony. He will begin immediately as Music Director Designate and join the MSO as Music Director for the 2019-2020 season as it builds towards the much anticipated grand opening of the Milwaukee Symphony Center in fall 2020. Masur made his Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra debut on May 19, 2018, and was immediately invited back to open the MSO’s current season in September 2018.

Ken-David_Masur_Credit_Chris_Lee

Ken-David Masur. Photo Credit: Chris Lee

The relationship between the conductor, musicians, and the audience is a magical alchemy,” said Mark Niehaus, president & executive director of the MSO. “Both on and off the podium, Ken-David leads and provokes, but also builds and inspires to create experiences that go beyond the notes on a page. His energy, passion and collaborative nature are the very right fit for the MSO, and also for Milwaukee as its reputation as a culturally vibrant destination continues to Printgrow.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. The MSO’s musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee and its standard of excellence extends beyond the concert hall and into the community, reaching more than 40,000 children and their families through its Arts in Community Education (ACE) program, Youth and Teen concerts, Family Series, and Meet the Music pre-concert talks.

Through a committee composed of board members, donors, and orchestra musicians, the search for the MSO’s seventh Music Director was deliberate and diverse, encompassing candidates from around the globe,” said Doug Hagerman, chairman of the MSO’s Music Director Search Committee. “Ken-David is a once-in-a-generation musician, conductor, and innovator who boasts an impressive resume of accomplishments yet is friendly and approachable. He was unanimously voted to serve as the next Music Director given his artistic brilliance and genuine passion for how the arts can unify people and communities. We are thrilled to welcome Ken-David and his family to Milwaukee.

My family and I are humbled and grateful to join such a fantastic team of orchestra musicians, chorus, staff, and board members who are working in harmony for our audience and community,” said Masur. “In particular, I am inspired by the incredible community-wide collaboration to create the new performance home for the MSO. Having seen the plans and having visited the Warner Grand Theatre myself, it is clear it will become a destination as well as a point of departure for great programming befitting a city and region of this caliber. I’m eager to begin planning the next few seasons, which includes Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, as well as the much-anticipated opening of Milwaukee Symphony Center in the fall of 2020.

Born in Leipzig into a family of musicians, Ken-David Masur first studied violin and piano at the Mendelssohn Bartholdy Conservatory and was a member of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Children’s Chorus. After moving to New York City, he received further training in composition, trumpet, and percussion. He then went on to graduate from Columbia University, where he served as the first Music Director of the Bach Society Orchestra and Chorus from 1999-2002. He returned to Germany for post-graduate studies at the Detmold Academy and the Hanns Eisler Conservatory in Berlin. Masur and his wife, pianist Melinda Lee Masur, are co-founders and Artistic Directors of the Chelsea Music Festival in New York City, an annual summer festival of music, visual art, and food lauded by The New York Times as a “gem of a series.” He received a Grammy nomination from the Latin Recording Academy in the category Best Classical Album of the Year for his work as a producer of composer Miguel Del Aguila’s album, Salon Buenos Aires.

Music allows us to feel what is essential, and through its expression begins a conversation about who we are and where we want to go” continued Masur. “This is why I’m so very excited to start with the MSO and communicate the music that will speak to each listener in personal ways. This is a great American city filled with creativity, imagination, and ideas, and the music we will reveal will spark continued dialogue.

Critics from around the world have hailed Masur as “fearless, bold, and a life-force” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and “a brilliant and commanding conductor with unmistakable charisma” (Leipzig Volkszeitung). Masur began the 2018-19 season making his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia, then returned to Tanglewood to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Over his career, Masur has made many successful debuts with the likes of the Los Angeles, Dresden, Israel, and Japan Philharmonics; the Hiroshima, San Diego, San Antonio, and Memphis Symphonies; and the Orchestre National de France in Paris. His guest engagements during the 2018-19 season include weeks with the Louisville Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, and the Chicago Civic orchestra plus concerts abroad with the National Philharmonic of Russia, Collegium Musicum Basel, the Stavanger Symphony, and the Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra in France.

The MSO acquired the former Warner Grand Theater building on West Wisconsin Avenue in December 2017, which, once renovated, will serve as the MSO’s dedicated performance center. The grand opening of the future Milwaukee Symphony Center is expected in the Fall of 2020.

With control over its own venue, along with new revenue streams from facility rental fees, catering and concessions, a dedicated MSO performance space would help drive increases in annual earned revenue by as much as 60 percent. The MSO would also have greater flexibility to schedule marquee guest performers and conductors who typically require substantial multi-year lead notice for performance requests. Once complete, the Milwaukee Symphony Center will deliver a one-of-a-kind, first class patron experience that will create magical, memorable experiences for patrons. Its size, accessible location, outstanding acoustics and more make an ideal canvas to reclaim this historical venue as a modern-day community asset. In addition to restoring its former grandeur, plans for the Milwaukee Symphony Center include a number of community, education and collaboration spaces, ample lit and accessible parking options, onsite catering, easy curb-side drop off/pick up, and more.

More people than ever before are choosing to attend our inspiring performances and there is tremendous community interest in fostering a thriving MSO. Closing on the acquisition of the Warner Grand Theater is a significant step in both our artistic and financial future,” said Niehaus. “We remain humbled and grateful to our donors and the greater Milwaukee community, whose response to this effort to date has been amazing. Together, we are investing in both the MSO and Milwaukee’s reputation as a vibrant, culturally-significant home and destination.”

CRITICAL PRAISE FOR KEN-DAVID MASUR

“…Masur led the [Boston Symphony] orchestra through a neat mix of excerpts from Prokofiev’s ballet “Romeo and Juliet”. Each was given a transparent, eloquent reading…

– Zoë Madonna, The Boston Globe, Oct 19, 2018

Masur and the BSO fully embodied the tension, scampering, scampering, playful fast passagework, and luxuriating unbridled passion; we are the richer for the experience.

-Chasman Kerr Prince, Boston Musical Intelligencer, Oct 19, 2018

Masur and the [Milwaukee Symphony] orchestra filled the program’s second half with a beautifully rendered performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, using perfectly placed tempos shifts, artfully layered textures, and meaningful dynamic changes to bring a fresh energy to the four movements, along with musical urgency and momentum.” – Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept 16, 2018

Under Masur, the music emerged with refined subtleties with only rare and selective moments of heat. What seemed to be a bond of trust between [Milwaukee Symphony] musicians and conductor, and vice versa, created especially sensitive playing.” – Rick Walters, The Shepherd Express, Sep 18, 2018

Masur… steered the [Boston Symphony] orchestra through a piquant journey through those magical, dreamlike passages…

– Clarence Fanto, The Berkshire Eagle, Aug 6, 2018

Conducting without a baton, Masur used a score but hardly looked at it. He showed an impressive structural grasp both in his warm and perfectly paced Andante and in his supple shaping of the score’s wraith-like transition from the Scherzo into the bracing Allegro finale. Masur also highlighted the riveting virtuosity of the [Los Angeles] Phil’s cellos and basses in the Scherzo’s trio section.” – Rick Schultz, Los Angeles Times, Aug 24, 2016

On Location Experiences And Bud Light Launches Three Day Music Fest Leading Up To Super Bowl Liii In Atlanta

First Ever Bud Light Music Festival Brings The Biggest Names In Music on 2019 SuperBowl LIII Weekend

Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Aerosmith, Ludacris, Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby And More To Perform

Tickets To The General Public Went On Sale Friday, November 9 At 12:00 Pm Via Superbowlmusicfest.Com And Ticketmaster

On Location Experiences, the official hospitality partner of the National Football League (“NFL” or “The League”) and Bud Light, the official beer sponsor of the NFL, announced the launch of the first-ever Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. The three-night festival will give football fans and the entire city of Atlanta an opportunity to enjoy the artists they love from Thursday, January 31st through Saturday, February 2nd at Atlanta’s fully transformed, premium, sports, and live entertainment venue State Farm Arena. On Saturday Night, the Bud Light Super Bowl Eve concert will feature one of the world’s biggest pop artists Bruno Mars and one of the top female rappers in the game Cardi B. Friday’s lineup includes Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Aerosmith and a soon-to-be-announced special guest.

On Location Experiences Music Fest

On Location Experiences Music Fest (PRNewsfoto/On Location Experiences)

Electronic Arts Inc.‘s EA SPORTS BOWL will once again serve as the unofficial kickoff to the biggest weekend in the NFL season Thursday night with a Welcome to Atlanta Showcase that features Atlanta hip-hop legend Ludacris and friends, as well as a special Quality Control Music showcase featuring rap supergroup Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby and more.

Super Bowl Music Fest was created from the vision of bringing the scale of a top-tier music festival and building it around the excitement of one of the world’s biggest sporting events. With an all-star lineup and the chance to showcase outstanding local talent to over 45,000 people over three nights at State Farm Arena, Super Bowl Music Fest creates a one of a kind experience,” said John Collins, CEO of On Location Experiences. “We are tremendously excited to bring this unique experience to Atlanta and fans all weekend long.”

In addition to top-level talent spanning a multitude of genres, the festival will feature celebrity and athlete appearances. Additional presenting partners for the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest are StubHub and Ticketmaster. An array of premium seating offerings, including suites and club packages, will be available also featuring options for premium hospitality. For updates, visit https://www.superbowlmusicfest.com.

Atlanta is a city with such a strong music culture, that we wanted to work together with our partners at On Location Experiences to bring a music festival to the city that has something for everyone and pays homage to the city’s history of iconic music,” said Shana Barry, Director of Experiential, Bud Light. “Between bringing some of the biggest acts out there right now along with some local Atlanta flavor, we hope that we can give people a chance to come together, drink a few beers and have an unforgettable experience during Super Bowl weekend.

BUD LIGHT SUPER BOWL MUSIC FEST SCHEDULE

  • Thursday, January 31 – Ludacris & Friends, Quality Control Presents: Migos, Lil Yachty, & Lil Baby. Plus Metro Boomin + Special Guests, a DJ set by Lil Jon, & more
  • Friday, February 1 – Aerosmith and Special Guest
  • Saturday, February 2 – Bruno Mars and Cardi B

The Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest is executive-produced by On Location Experiences and SYNERGY Productions, LLC with production support from Live Nation Urban.

On Location Experiences (a privately held company, owned by RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital, 32 Equity and the Carlyle Group) is a leader in premium experiential hospitality business, establishing a new industry standard to serve iconic rights holders with extensive experience in ticketing, curated hospitality, live event production and travel management in the worlds of sports and entertainment. The events planning company is a partner to over 150 rights holders including the NFL, NCAA, the PGA of America and the United States Tennis Association, and provides unrivaled official access for both corporate clients and fans looking for immersive experiences at marquee events including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Draft, NCAA Final Four, PGA of America events, numerous College Football Bowl Games and the Tennis Majors.

On Location through CID Entertainment & Future Beat also partner with numerous artists and music festivals across genres, including Imagine Dragons, Metallica, Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa, Electric Daisy Carnival, Migos, Post Malone, Iron Maiden, and J. Cole. On Location’s operations include Anthony Travel, CID Entertainment, Future Beat, KreateInc., PrimeSport, and Steve Furgal’s International Tennis Tours.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS / HASHTAGS
Website:
www.superbowlmusicfest.com
Instagram:
SBMusicFest
Facebook: SBMusicFest
Twitter: SBMusicFest
Hashtag: #SBMusicFest

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary Opening Night Gala Benefit Performance And Party

Honorary Chairs are Iconic Screen Stars Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson

Evening Features a Piece d’Occasion by Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations Sung by Ledisi, Erica Campbell, Norm Lewis, and Brandie Sutton, and the Premiere of Becoming Ailey – a Multimedia Work that Returns Alvin Ailey’s Presence to the Stage

Celebration Honors Prudential Financial and Launches Ailey’s Five-Week New York City Center Season

As a centerpiece to its yearlong Ailey Ascending 60th Anniversary celebration and a kickoff to its five-week holiday season, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will host a star-studded gala benefit on Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm, complete with a performance for the ages at New York City Center and party at the New York Hilton Midtown Grand Ballroom. The Honorary Chairs for the evening are screen icons, Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson.

Alvin-Ailey-American-Dance-Theater's-Samantha-Figgins-and-Jeroboam-Bozeman. CREDIT_ Photo by-Andrew-Eccles_logo_Email

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Samantha Figgins and Jeroboam Bozeman. Photo by Andrew Eccles

Bassett, a Golden Globe Award winner, stars in the hit television series 9-1-1, and was most recently featured in the 2018 blockbusters Black Panther and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Tyson – known for a myriad of roles across television and film, including Roots, Fried Green Tomatoes, and most recently How to Get Away With Murder – has received three Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and on November 18th will make history as the first black woman to receive an Honorary Academy Award.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” grew from a now-fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, recent posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011.

(The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people of all ages; and The Ailey Extension (2005), a program offering dance and fitness classes to the general public, which began with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home—the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world —named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.)

CREDIT_ Photo by Christopher Duggan. CAPTION_ AAADT with live onstage music in Alvin Ailey's Revelations

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with live onstage music in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photo by Christopher Duggan

The once-in-a-lifetime program features selections of classic Ailey works including a specially staged excerpt of Memoria, a work he choreographed as an elegy for a dear friend; a piece d’occasion by Battle, set to Nina Simone’s Black is the Color; and culminates with Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, performed with live musicians and special guest singers Ledisi (Grammy-nominated jazz and R&B artist), Erica Campbell (Grammy-winning singer from the gospel duo Mary Mary), Norm Lewis (Tony-nominated baritone known for Broadway’s Porgy and Bess and NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar live), and Brandie Sutton (critically-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera soprano). The program also features the premiere of Becoming Ailey, a multimedia piece celebrating the continual gift of Alvin Ailey’s presence in our hearts, minds, and stages. Created in collaboration with the award-winning artists Bob Bonniol and Caryl Glabb of MODE Studios, Inc., it will bring the voice and likeness of Alvin Ailey back to the stage at the start of each performance during the New York City Center season.

Cicely Tyson. CREDIT_ Photo courtesy of Ailey, DCP.

Cicely Tyson. Photo courtesy of Ailey, DCP.

On this historic night we will mark 60 groundbreaking years and carry Alvin Ailey’s pioneering legacy onward and upward with a performance featuring renowned guest performers, cutting-edge innovation, and the artistry and inspiration that has made Ailey one of the world’s most beloved dance companies,” said Artistic Director Robert Battle. “It is also fitting that we take this occasion to honor Prudential Financial, a company that has helped Ailey reach so many milestones and was instrumental in creating the New Jersey Performing Arts Center where Ailey is the Principal Resident Affiliate and has performed annually for two decades. We welcome everyone to join the celebration and share in the joy during this milestone season.”

Ailey’s 60th Anniversary Holiday Season of premieres by renowned choreographers Rennie Harris, Ronald K. Brown, and Wayne McGregor, and returning favorites also features special programs, including “Timeless Ailey,” “All New,” “Three Visionaries,” “All Ailey,” and “All Battle,” plus a sparkling Season Finale on Sunday, December 30th. Click here for more information.

This historic evening also honors Prudential Financial for its generous support and commitment to Ailey for over three decades, especially its educational and community programs.

As one of our longest-standing corporate benefactors, Prudential Financial has played a vital role in Ailey’s success for more than half of the Company’s lifetime,” said Executive Director Bennett Rink. “Prudential has been indispensable in funding our outreach programs in Newark, AileyDance Kids and AileyCamp – a free summer program in Newark and 10 cities nationwide that helps guide inner city youth to their full potential. We thank them for their strategic planning and leadership support, as well as their commitment to advancing young people through education, and we applaud them for the tremendous work they’ve done to elevate the city of Newark.”

Prudential Financial is honored to have worked alongside Alvin Ailey to help achieve his vision to bring dance to all people,” said Lata Reddy, senior vice president, Diversity, Inclusion, and Impact at Prudential Financial. “His belief that the arts give voice to our shared humanity is one that we share. It’s with great joy that we at Prudential congratulate the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on their 60th Anniversary.

Christopher Taylor, an alumnus of the inaugural AileyCamp Newark (2011) and a current scholarship student at The Ailey School, will join Artistic Director Robert Battle in presenting Prudential Financial with the Ailey Legacy Honor.

Prominent figures in the worlds of entertainment, business, philanthropy, and politics will join Robert Battle and the Company for dinner and dancing to live music in the New York Hilton Midtown’s Grand Ballroom following the performance. The Gala benefits the creation of new works, scholarships to The Ailey School, and Ailey’s educational programs for young people. Emily & Len Blavatnik, Paulette & Howard Bradnock, Mellody Hobson & George Lucas, Debra L. Lee, Stephen Meringoff & Kim Charlton, Lata N. Reddy, Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach, and Joan & Sandy Weill serve as Co-Chairs for the Gala. (Call 212-405-9031 or visit alvinailey.org/support/60th-anniversary-gala for tickets.)

(Opening Night Gala Benefit Sponsors are Emily & Len Blavatnik, BNY Mellon, Debra L. Lee, The Meringoff Family Foundation, Prudential Financial, Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach, The Weill Family Foundation.)

Ailey is also proud to announce the Ailey Ascending Honorary Committee, a distinguished group of individuals across industries who will join the organization in celebrating 60 years of artistry and excellence: Gbenga Akinnagbe, Christiane Amanpour, Jon Batiste, Harry Belafonte, Colman Domingo, André Holland, LaTanya & Samuel L. Jackson, Jane Krakowski, Audra McDonald, Naturi Naughton, Yvonne Orji, Robin Roberts, Anika Noni Rose, Jussie Smollett, Lorraine Toussaint, and Fredricka Whitfield.

Tickets for season performances start at $29, and are now on sale at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212, or online at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org.

Lead support for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater‘s 60th Anniversary is provided by Emily and Len Blavatnik. Major support for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary is provided by the  Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and Pamela D. Zilly & John H. Schaefer. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary Season in New York. American Express is the Official Card of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gratefully acknowledges the support of Diageo North America during the 60th Anniversary Season. The 60th Anniversary Season is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 25 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms – promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami‐Dade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland to Host Holiday Concert Weekend December 14-15, 2018

Three Concerts Celebrating Elvis Presley and the Christmas Season: Christmas with Elvis at Graceland with Live Orchestra led by Renown UK Conductor, Robin Smith; An Elvis Gospel Christmas Starring the Blackwood Brothers Quartet and Former Members of JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet; and Elvis Live in Concert Featuring Legendary TCB Band Guitarist James Burton

In addition to special tours of Graceland Mansion decorated inside and out with Elvis’ original decorations, the holiday weekend will include a “Christmas at Graceland” Archive Presentation, Christmas Tips, Tricks and Crafts seminars, and two newly expanded Exhibits at Elvis Presley’s Memphis

There’s no place more magical than Elvis Presley’s Graceland® at Christmas. On December 14 and 15, 2018, Graceland will host a special weekend of holiday music and activities highlighted by three incredible live concerts on the Graceland Soundstage at Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment and exhibit complex: Christmas with Elvis with Live Orchestra; An Elvis Gospel Christmas and Elvis Live in Concert. Anyone attending these concerts will receive free admission to Elvis Presley’s Memphis at 3:00 p.m. that day where they can visit two newly expanded exhibits: ICONS: The Influence of Elvis Presley and Presley Cycles.

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(Photo Credit: Businesswire)

The weekend will also include several unique holiday activities such as a “Christmas at Graceland” Archive Presentation, Christmas Tips, Tricks and Crafts seminars at The Guest House at Graceland hosted by Lifestyle Expert JJ Keras, who has been regularly featured on the Today Show and Good Morning America, and a special screening of the Hallmark Channel’s movie “Christmas at Graceland” in The Guest House Theater.

In addition to the concerts and activities, the joy and beauty of the holiday season can be found throughout the Graceland campus. The Mansion will be decked out with a Christmas display that includes hundreds of blue lights along the driveway, a life-size Nativity scene, Santa and his sleigh, and much more, all originally displayed at Graceland by Elvis and the Presley family. Seasonal holiday tours of the interior of Graceland Mansion, featuring the Presley family’s personal Christmas décor, will be offered through January 8.

Christmas with Elvis at Graceland – With Live Orchestra
Friday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m. at the Graceland Soundstage
This special Christmas concert debuted last year and became an instant classic with fans and families. The show features Elvis’ holiday favorites performed live on stage, with the full, rich sound of a 32-piece orchestra, featuring local Memphis musicians, vocalists, choirs and dancers including members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Tennessee Mass Choir, and Havenview Middle School Choir. For the second consecutive year, the concert will be under the musical direction of and conducted by, Robin Smith of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. Smith conducted the critically-acclaimed live orchestra tour of Elvis Live in Concert performances throughout the United Kingdom, continental Europe, and the United States in 2016 and 2017.

Elvis Presley's Graceland at Christmas with Elvis' original decorations. (Photo Business Wire)

Elvis Presley’s Graceland at Christmas with Elvis’ original decorations. (Photo Business Wire)

An Elvis Gospel Christmas – Live at Graceland
Saturday, December 15 at 5:00 p.m. at the Graceland Soundstage
An inspirational and uplifting concert featuring Elvis’ favorite gospel and Christmas classics performed by gospel greats the Blackwood Brothers Quartet and former members of JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet. The original Blackwood Brothers Quartet, led by James Blackwood, sang at Gladys Presley’s funeral at the special request of Elvis and Vernon Presley. James’ younger son Billy Blackwood now continues the Blackwood Quartet legacy. JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet were Elvis’ male back-up singers from 1971 to 1977. Former members who will be performing include Donnie Sumner, Ed Hill, Larry Strickland, and Bill Baize.
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Philadelphia Museum of Art to Present Celebrated Film Trilogy and New Performance by Artist Yael Bartana

This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will premiere Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies!, a new site-specific public performance by acclaimed Israeli-born artist Yael Bartana. Scheduled to take place on September 22, 2018 (through to January 1, 2019) at the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, this performance will be presented as part of a solo exhibition at the Museum dedicated to the artist’s provocative film trilogy, And Europe Will Be Stunned (2007-2011). Marking its Philadelphia debut, this trilogy will be an immersive installation in the Joan Spain Gallery of the Museum’s Perelman Building.

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Portrait of Yael Bartana. Photo by Birgit Kaulfuss. Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Born in 1970 in Kfar Yehezkel, Israel, Yael Bartana lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. In her films, installations, and photographs, Bartana investigates the ideas of homeland, return, and belonging, often in ceremonies, memorials, public rituals, and actions that are intended to reaffirm and question collective identities and ideas of the nation or the state.

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Image from “Zamach (Assassination),” 2011, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Taking the complex history of Jewish-Polish identity as its point of departure, And Europe Will Be Stunned addresses the themes of nationhood, memory, and belonging that are integral to Bartana’s work. It first debuted at the Venice Biennale in 2011, where Bartana represented Poland. Shortly thereafter, the trilogy was jointly acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Employing a visual vocabulary reminiscent of Stalinist and Zionist propaganda of the early 20th century, And Europe Will be Stunned chronicles the radical program of a fictional political movement called the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP). Created by Bartana, together with Polish activist Sławomir Sierakowski, the JRMiP advocates for the return of over three million Jews to their forgotten Polish homeland. Informed by the histories of the Israeli settlement movement, Zionism, anti-Semitism, and the Palestinian right of return, the trilogy uses the real and the imagined to speak to global complexities about identity and self-determination in an increasingly unstable world.

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Still from “Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower),” 2009, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Beyond the walls of the Philadelphia Museum, Bartana will realize Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies! as a means of extending the themes of the artist’s trilogy into the birthplace of American democracy – Philadelphia. Bartana’s performance is a call to action, aiming to make visible the systems of violence and displacement that have been perpetuated through weapons, both literal and symbolic. As the title suggests, the performance will bury these weapons, rendering them useless, as they are incorporated into a choreographed funeral—a living monument—that will include a staged procession and a collective eulogy about war and survival. The movements of the performers are inspired by those of Israeli artist and dance composer Noa Eshkol (1924-2007), specifically evoking Eshkol’s 1953 memorial assembly performed in remembrance to the Holocaust. Bringing together funerary tradition, military ritual, and personal testimony, Bartana’s new performance will deepen the artist’s investigations into the construction of memory and the aesthetics of national identity.

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Still from “Mary Koszmary (Nightmares),” 2007, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

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The Whitney To Present The First Andy Warhol Retrospective Organized by a U.S. Institution Since 1989

Andy Warhol—From A To B And Back Again, The First Major Reexamination Of Warhol’s Art In A Generation, To Open At The Whitney On November 12

Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again—the first Andy Warhol retrospective organized in the U.S. since 1989, and the largest in terms of its scope of ideas and range of works—will be an occasion to experience and reconsider the work of one of the most inventive, influential, and important American artists. With more than 350 works of art, many assembled together for the first time, this landmark exhibition, organized by The Whitney Museum of American Art, will unite all aspects, media, and periods of Warhol’s forty-year career. Curated by Warhol authority Donna De Salvo, Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, with Christie Mitchell, curatorial assistant, and Mark Loiacono, curatorial research associate, the survey debuts at the Whitney on November 12, 2018, where it will run through March 31, 2019.

 

While Warhol’s Pop images of the 1960s are recognizable worldwide, what remains far less known is the work he produced in the 1970s and 80s. This exhibition positions Warhol’s career as a continuum, demonstrating that he didn’t slow down after surviving the assassination attempt that nearly took his life in 1968, but entered into a period of intense experimentation, continuing to use the techniques he’d developed early on and expanding upon his previous work. Taking the 1950s and his experience as a commercial illustrator as foundational, and including numerous masterpieces from the 1960s, Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again tracks and reappraises the later work of the 1970s and 80s through to Warhol’s untimely death in 1987.

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Andy Warhol (1928–1987), Self-Portrait, 1964. Acrylic, metallic paint, and silkscreen ink on linen, 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago; gift of Edlis/Neeson Collection. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York

(Following its premiere at the Whitney, the exhibition will travel to two other major American art museums, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Art Institute of Chicago. Bank of America is the National Tour Sponsor)

Perhaps more than any artist before or since, Andy Warhol understood America’s defining twin desires for innovation and conformity, public visibility and absolute privacy,” noted De Salvo. “He transformed these contradictory impulses into a completely original art that, I believe, has profoundly influenced how we see and think about the world now. Warhol produced images that are now so familiar, it’s easy to forget just how unsettling and even shocking they were when they debuted. He pioneered the use of an industrial silkscreen process as a painterly brush to repeat images ‘identically’, creating seemingly endless variations that call the very value of our cultural icons into question. His repetitions, distortions, camouflaging, incongruous color, and recycling of his own imagery anticipated the most profound effects and issues of our current digital age when we no longer know which images to trust. From the 1950s until his death, Warhol challenged our fundamental beliefs, particularly our faith in images, even while he sought to believe in those images himself. Looking in this exhibition at the full sweep of his career makes it clear that Warhol was not just a twentieth-century titan but a seer of the twenty-first century as well.

Occupying the entirety of the Whitney’s fifth-floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, the adjacent Kaufman Gallery, the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Lobby Gallery, the Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater, Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again will be the largest exhibition devoted to a single artist yet to be presented in the Whitney’s downtown location. Tickets will be available on the Whitney’s website beginning in August.large_68.25_warhol_resized

Through his carefully cultivated persona and willingness to experiment with non-traditional art-making techniques, Andy Warhol (1928–1987) understood the growing power of images in contemporary life and helped to expand the role of the artist in society, making him one of the most distinct and internationally recognized American artists of the twentieth century. This exhibition sets out to prove that there remains far more to Warhol and his work than is commonly known. While the majority of exhibitions, books, articles, and films devoted to Warhol’s art have focused on a single medium, subject, series, or period, Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again will employ a chronological and thematic methodology that illuminates the breadth, depth, and interconnectedness of the artist’s production: from his beginnings as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, to his iconic Pop masterpieces of the early 1960s, to the experimental work in film and other mediums from the 1960s and 70s, to his innovative use of readymade abstraction and the painterly sublime in the 1980s. The show’s title is taken from Warhol’s 1975 book, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), an aphoristic memoir in which the artist gathered his thoughts on fame, love, beauty, class, money, and other key themes.

Building on a wealth of new materials, research and scholarship that has emerged since the artist’s untimely death in 1987, as well as De Salvo’s own expertise and original research conducted by the Whitney’s curatorial team, the checklist of works has been carefully selected from amongst the thousands of paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, films, videos, and photographs that Warhol produced during his lifetime.

Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney, commented: “This exhibition takes a fresh focus, while continuing the Whitney’s decades-long engagement with Warhol’s work which we presented in 1971 in a traveling retrospective and in Andy Warhol: Portraits of the 70s, organized by the Whitney in 1979–80. Few have had the opportunity to see an in-depth presentation of his career, and account for the scale, vibrant color, and material richness of the objects themselves. This exhibition, to be presented in three cities, will allow visitors to experience the work of one of America’s greatest cultural figures firsthand, and to better comprehend Warhol’s artistic genius and fearless experimentation.”

Early Work

The exhibition covers the entirety of Warhol’s career, beginning with a concentrated focus on the commercial and private work he made between 1948 and 1960. Arriving in New York from his native Pittsburgh in the summer of 1949, Warhol began his career in an advertising world that was increasingly technological, and, concurrently, an art world obsessed with originality and the authenticity of the hand-made mark. The 1950s were a foundational period for the artist, a young gay man, beginning to find his way in the city. Though far less known than his later work, the commercial art that Warhol produced during his first decade in New York lays the groundwork for many of the themes and aesthetic devices that he would develop throughout the length of his career. Continue reading

The Whitney To Present Eckhaus Latta: Possessed

This summer, The Whitney Museum of American Art will present the first museum solo exhibition of Eckhaus Latta, the New York-and Los Angeles-based fashion label, founded in 2011 by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta. Eckhaus Latta: Possessed highlights the work of this compelling young design team who belong to a new generation of designers operating at the intersection of fashion and contemporary art.

Untitled (Preparatory drawing for Possessed), 2018. Colored pencil on paper. Image courtesy the artists

Untitled (Preparatory drawing for Possessed), 2018. Colored pencil on paper. Image courtesy the artists

Eckhaus Latta’s fashion designs—for which they are currently finalists for the 2018 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers—explore, in part, identity and reflect the fluid nature of gender and sexuality. While they fully participate in the fashion system, Latta and Eckhaus remain self-aware of their roles in a consumer society. Their recognizable designs have featured experimental knitwear; a wide range of materials including lace, rust, and recycled fabrics; and a general approach that supersedes gender binaries. At times, models are sent down the runway wearing clothes that challenge traditional definitions of male and female. Vanessa Friedman, fashion director and chief fashion critic at the New York Times, wrote that their clothes “are a kind of petri dish of associative splicing,” and that they “grapple honestly with what is on the designers’ minds: questions of gender and difference and the details of fallible beauty…

This will be the first exhibition related to fashion at the Museum in twenty-one years, since The Warhol Look: Glamour, Style, Fashion (1997).

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed is organized by Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator, and Lauri London Freedman, head of product development.

The exhibition, part of the Museum’s emerging artist series, will be on view in the first-floor John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery from August 3 through October 8, 2018. Access to the gallery is free of charge.

Mike Eckhaus (b. 1987, New York, NY) and Zoe Latta (b. 1987, Santa Cruz, CA) met as students at the Rhode Island School of Design while studying sculpture and textiles, respectively. They are known for using unexpected materials, emphasizing texture and tactility in their designs, and for incorporating writing, performance, and video into their practice. Through their emphasis on collaboration—with artists, musicians, and others—and an approach that plays with, and against, industry conventions, Eckhaus Latta addresses the crosscurrents of desire, consumption, and social relations. Their work has been featured in Greater New York 2015 at MoMA PS1 and Made in L.A. (2016) at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

As part of the Whitney’s emerging artist program, we sometimes showcase creative figures outside of the visual arts,” said Lew. “These figures from fields such as fashion, music, architecture, design, and food approach their disciplines in ways that are akin to visual artists, often questioning the systems and parameters that define what they do, speaking to the broader cultural moment, and blurring the boundaries between disciplines.”

Working with Mike and Zoe has challenged us to consider the roles that our Museum spaces play and the objects that are presented. They pushed us to ask broader questions such as ‘How can we reexamine the format of an exhibition?’ and ‘What is the best way to exhibit an artist’s work?’ said Freedman.

For their Whitney exhibition, Eckhaus Latta will create a new three-part installation that embraces and brings into conversation various aspects of the fashion industry, from advertising and the consumer experience to voyeurism. At the entrance to the gallery will be a sequence of photographs that play on the tropes of iconic photoshoots found in fashion advertisements and magazines. These photographs explore how Eckhaus Latta’s unique aesthetic functions in relation to the highly polished look of the industry’s media. The core of their installation will be an operational retail environment in which visitors are welcome to touch, try on, and purchase clothing and accessories designed specifically for the show. This space is made in collaboration with more than a dozen artists whom Eckhaus Latta has been in dialogue with over the years who have created functional elements such as clothing racks, display shelves, and a dressing room. The exhibition concludes with a darkened room, evocative of a security office, which features a bank of screens depicting surveillance footage. Visitors will have a voyeuristic view of not only the rest of the installation but a glimpse of the tracking and surveillance that so often accompanies the experience of shopping.

The featured collaborators are Susan Cianciolo (b. 1969, Providence, RI; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), Lauren Davis Fisher (b. 1984, Cambridge, MA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Avena Venus Gallagher (b. 1973, Seattle, WA; lives and works in New York, NY), Jeffrey Joyal (b. 1988, Boston, MA; lives and works in New York, NY), Alexa Karolinski (b. 1984, Berlin, Germany; lives and works in Los Angeles), Valerie Keane (b. 1989, Passaic, NJ; lives and works in New York, NY), Jay Latta (b. 1951, Santa Cruz, CA; lives in works in Santa Cruz, CA), Matthew Lutz-Kinoy (b. 1984, New York, NY; lives and works between Los Angeles, CA and Paris, France), Annabeth Marks (b.1986, Rochester, NY; lives and works in New York, NY), Riley O’Neill (b. 1992, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Emma T. Price (b. 1987, Santa Cruz, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Jessi Reaves (b. 1986, Portland, OR; lives and works in New York, NY), Erica Sarlo (b. 1988, Briarcliff Manor, NY; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), Nora Jane Slade (b. 1986, Washington, D.C.; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Sophie Stone (b. 1987, Boston, MA; lives and works in New York, NY), Martine Syms (b. 1988, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Torey Thornton (b. 1990, Macon, GA; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), Charlotte Wales (b. 1986, Farnborough, UK; lives and works in London, UK), Eric Wrenn (b. 1985, Southfield, MI; lives and works in New York, NY), and Amy Yao (b. 1977, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Long Beach, CA and New York, NY).

Major support for Eckhaus Latta: Possessed is provided by the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation. Additional support is provided by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is located at 99 Gansevoort Street between Washington and West Streets, New York City. Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10:30 am to 6 pm; Friday and Saturday from 10:30 am to 10 pm. Closed Tuesday. Adults: $25. Full-time students and visitors 65 & over: $18. Visitors 18 years & under and Whitney members: FREE. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays, 7–10 pm. For general information, please call (212) 570-3600 or visit whitney.org.