Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Return to Carnegie Hall, November 15-16

November 15 Concert Featuring Music Inspired by Rome Includes Carnegie Hall Perspectives Artist Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato as Soloist

November 16 Features an All-Prokofiev Program

This November, Music Director Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra return to Carnegie Hall for two concerts in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. The first evening, on Friday, November 15 at 8:00 p.m., features music inspired by Rome, including Berlioz’s La mort de Cléopâtre, written in 1829 as a bid for a Prix de Rome, with Perspectives artist mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato; Bizet’s rarely performed symphonic poem Roma; and Respighi’s Pines of Rome, one of three symphonic poems written by the Italian composer about different aspects of the Eternal City. Maestro Muti and the Orchestra return on the following night, Saturday, November 16 at 8:00 p.m., with an all-Prokofiev program featuring selections from Romeo and Juliet and Symphony No. 3.

The concert on November 15 is part of the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast 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. Produced by WQXR and Carnegie Hall and co-hosted by WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon and Clemency Burton-Hill, Carnegie Hall Live broadcasts include behind-the-scenes access to the artists and broadcast team, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other. Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra last performed at Carnegie Hall in February 2018. Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

This performance is also part of Joyce DiDonato’s Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall with concerts and events throughout the 2019–2020 season that highlight her full range of vocal artistry, as well as her work as an educator. (For more information on upcoming Perspectives performances, please visit: www.carnegiehall.org/didonato.

Program Information

Friday, November 15, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.

  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Riccardo Muti, Music Director and Conductor
  • Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • Georges Bizet Roma
  • Hector Berlioz La Mort De Cléopâtre
  • Ottorino Respighi Pines Of Rome
  • Public support for Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Perspectives: Joyce DiDonato

Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.

  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Riccardo Muti, Music Director and Conductor
  • Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • Sergei Prokofiev Selections From Romeo And Juliet
  • Sergei Prokofiev Symphony No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 44

Born in Naples, Italy, Riccardo Muti is one of the preeminent conductors of our day. In 2010, when he became the tenth music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), he had more than forty years of experience at the helm of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (1968–80), the Philharmonia Orchestra (1973–82), The Philadelphia Orchestra (1980–92), and Teatro alla Scala (1986–2005).

Photo of Riccardo Muti by Todd Rosenberg Photography

Mr. Muti studied piano under Vincenzo Vitale at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella in his hometown of Naples, graduating with distinction. After he won the Guido Cantelli Conducting Competition—by unanimous vote of the jury—in Milan in 1967, his career developed quickly. In 1968, he became principal conductor of Florence’s Maggio Musicale, a position that he held until 1980.

Herbert von Karajan invited him to conduct at the Salzburg Festival in Austria in 1971, and Mr. Muti has maintained a close relationship with the summer festival and with its great orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, for more than 45 years. When he conducted the orchestra’s 150th anniversary concert in 1992, he was presented with the Golden Ring, a special sign of esteem and affection, and in 2001, his outstanding artistic contributions to the orchestra were further recognized with the Otto Nicolai Gold Medal. He is also a recipient of a silver medal from the Salzburg Mozarteum for his contribution to the music of Mozart and the Golden Johann Strauss Award by the Johann Strauss Society of Vienna. He is an honorary member of Vienna’s Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of the Friends of Music), the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Vienna State Opera.

Mr. Muti succeeded Otto Klemperer as chief conductor and music director of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra in 1973, holding that position until 1982. From 1980 to 1992, he was music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and, in 1986, he became music director of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. During his 19-year tenure, Muti conducted operatic and symphonic repertoire ranging from the baroque to the contemporary, also leading hundreds of concerts with the Filarmonica della Scala and touring the world with both the opera company and the orchestra. His tenure as music director, the longest of any in La Scala’s history, culminated in the triumphant reopening of the restored opera house with Antonio Salieri’s Europa riconosciuta, originally commissioned for La Scala’s inaugural performance in 1778.

Riccardo Muti’s vast catalog of recordings, numbering in the hundreds, ranges from the traditional symphonic and operatic repertoires to contemporary works. He also has written three books, Verdi, l’italiano and Riccardo Muti: An Autobiography: First the Music, Then the Words, both of which have been published in several languages, as well as Infinity Between the Notes: My Journey Into Music, published May 2019 and available in Italian.

Chicago symphony orchestra logo

During his time with the CSO, Mr. Muti has won over audiences in greater Chicago and across the globe through his music making as well as his demonstrated commitment to sharing classical music. His first annual free concert as CSO music director attracted more than 25,000 people to Chicago’s Millennium Park. He regularly invites subscribers, students, seniors, and people of low incomes to attend, at no charge, his CSO rehearsals. Mr. Muti’s commitment to artistic excellence and to creating a strong bond between an orchestra and its communities continues to bring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to ever higher levels of achievement and renown.

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Atlanta’s High Museum Of Art To Present “Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings” This Fall

This Major Survey Exhibition Features More Than 100 Photographs, Including New Work By The Renowned Southern Artist

For more than 40 years, Sally Mann (American, b. 1951) has made experimental, elegiac and hauntingly beautiful photographs that explore the overarching themes of existence: memory, desire, death, the bonds of family and nature’s indifference to human endeavor. This fall, the High Museum of Art will present the first major survey of her work to travel internationally, Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings” (Oct. 19, 2019–Feb. 2, 2020). “Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings” will be presented in the High’s Anne Cox Chambers Wing.

Sally Mann (American, born 1951), Easter Dress, 1986, gelatin silver print, Patricia and David Schulte

Organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, the exhibition presents figure studies, landscapes and architectural views that are united by their common origin and inspiration in the American South. Using her deep love of her homeland and her knowledge of its historically fraught heritage, Mann asks powerful, provocative questions—about history, identity, race and religion—that reverberate across geographic and national boundaries.

Sally Mann (American, born 1951), Deep South, Untitled (Scarred Tree), 1998, gelatin silver print, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred H. Moses and Fern M. Schad Fund

The exhibition is co-curated by the High’s recently appointed Donald and Marilyn Keough Family Curator of Photography Sarah Kennel (previously with the Peabody Essex Museum), who developed the project with Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photographs at the National Gallery.

“I’m thrilled to launch my tenure at the High with ‘A Thousand Crossings,’ an exhibition that is not only dear to my heart, but also makes perfect sense for the museum, which awarded Sally Mann the first ‘Picturing the South’ commission in 1996. Mann’s drive to ask the big questions—about love, death, war, race and the fraught process of growing up—coupled with her ability to coax powerful emotional resonances from the materials of her art make her one of today’s most compelling artists.”

Sally Mann (American, born 1951), Hephaestus, 2008, gelatin silver print, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Kathleen Boone Samuels Memorial Fund

With this exhibition we continue to recognize of the importance of Mann’s work, which explores themes that will strongly resonate with our regional audience but that also addresses universal human concerns,” said Rand Suffolk, the High’s Nancy and Holcombe T. Greene, Jr., director. “We are delighted to have Sarah on board to lead the project, and we look forward to bringing these powerful photographs to Atlanta.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings” investigates how Mann’s relationship with the South—a place rich in literary and artistic traditions but troubled by history—has shaped her work. The exhibition brings together 109 photographs, including new and previously unpublished work, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog that offers an in-depth exploration of the evolution of Mann’s art.

Sally Mann (American, born 1951), Triptych, 2004, 3 gelatin silver prints, The Sir Elton John Photography Collection

Organized into five sections—Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me and What Remains, the exhibition opens with works from the 1980s, when Mann began to photograph her three children at the family’s remote summer cabin on the Maury River near Lexington, Virginia. Made with an 8–x–10-inch view camera, the family pictures refute the stereotypes of childhood, offering instead unsettling visions of its complexity. Rooted in the experience of the natural environment surrounding the cabin—the Arcadian woodlands, rocky cliffs and languid rivers—these works convey the inextricable link between the family and their land and the sanctuary and freedom that it provided them.

The exhibition continues in The Land with photographs of the swamplands, fields and ruined estates Mann encountered as she traveled across Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi in the 1990s. Hoping to capture what she called the “radical light of the American South,” Mann made pictures in Virginia that glow with a tremulous light, while those made in Louisiana and Mississippi are more blasted and bleak. In these photographs, Mann also began to experiment with her process, employing antique lenses, high-contrast Ortho film and the 19th-century wet plate collodion process. The resulting photographic effects, including light flares, vignetting, blurs, streaks and scratches, serve as metaphors for the South as a site of memory, violence, ruin and rebirth.

Sally with Camera, ca. 1998, gelatin silver print. Collection of Sally Mann. Photo © R. Kim Rushing.

Mann used these same techniques for her photographs of Civil War battlefields in the exhibition’s third section, Last Measure. These brooding and elusive pictures evoke the land as history’s graveyard, silently absorbing the blood and bones of the many thousands who perished in battles such as Antietam, Appomattox, Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Spotsylvania and the Wilderness. 

Sally Mann (American, born 1951), The Turn, 2005, gelatin silver print, Private collection
Sally Mann (American, born 1951) Blackwater 25, 2008-2012 tintype Collection of the Artist

In the early 2000s, Mann continued to reflect on how slavery and segregation had left their mark on the landscape of Virginia and, in turn, shaped her own childhood. The fourth section, Abide with Me, explores these entwined histories. Two groups of photographs imagine the physical and spiritual pathways for African Americans in antebellum and post–Civil War Virginia: the rivers and swamps that were potential escape routes for enslaved people and the churches that promised safe harbor, communion and spiritual deliverance. This section also includes photographs of Virginia Carter, the African American woman who served as Mann’s primary caregiver. A defining and beloved presence in Mann’s life, Carter taught Mann about the profoundly complicated and charged nature of race relations in the South. The last component of this section is a group of pictures of African American men rendered in large prints (50 x 40 inches) made from collodion negatives. Representing the artist’s desire to reach across what she described as “the seemingly untraversable chasm of race in the American South,” these powerful photographs explore Mann’s own position in relation to the region’s fraught racial history.

Sally Mann (American, born 1951), St. Paul United Methodist 04:01, 2008-2016, gelatin silver print, Collection of the artist

The final section of the exhibition, What Remains, explores themes of time, transformation and death through photographs of Mann and her family. Her enduring fascination with decay and the body’s vulnerability to the ravages of time is evident in a series of spectral portraits of her children’s faces and intimate photographs detailing the changing body of her husband, Larry, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. The exhibition closes with several riveting self-portraits Mann made in the wake of an accident. Here, her links to Southern literature and her preoccupation with decay are in full evidence: the pitted, scratched, ravaged and cloudy surfaces of the prints function as analogues for the body’s corrosion and death. The impression of the series as a whole is of an artist confronting her own mortality with composure and conviction.

Sally Mann (American, born 1951) Last Light, 1990, gelatin silver print Joseph M. Cohen Family Collection
Sally Mann (American, born 1951), The Two Virginias #4, 1991, gelatin silver print, Private collection


Born in 1951 in Lexington, Virginia, Mann continues to live and work in Rockbridge County. She developed her first roll of film in 1969 and began to work as a professional photographer in 1972. She attended Bennington College, Vermont, and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Hollins College, Roanoke, Virginia, where she earned a Master of Arts in creative writing the following year. She has exhibited widely and published her photographs in the books “Second Sight: The Photographs of Sally Mann” (1983), “Sweet Silent Thought: Platinum Prints by Sally Mann” (1987), “At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women” (1988), “Immediate Family” (1992), “Still Time” (1994), “Mother Land: Recent Landscapes of Georgia and Virginia” (1997), “What Remains” (2003), “Deep South” (2005), “Sally Mann: Photographs and Poetry” (2005), “Proud Flesh” (2009), “Sally Mann: The Flesh and the Spirit” (2010) and “Remembered Light: Cy Twombly in Lexington” (2016).

Sally Mann (American, born 1951), Battlefields, Antietam (Black Sun), 2001, gelatin silver print, Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Mann’s bestselling memoir, “Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs” (2015), was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 1996, Mann was selected to inaugurate the High’s “Picturing the South” photography series, a distinctive initiative that creates new bodies of work inspired by the American South for the Museum’s collection. She has received numerous other honors as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2011 Mann delivered the prestigious William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University.

Sally Mann (American, born 1951), Battlefields, Fredericksburg (Cedar Trees), 2001, gelatin silver print, printed 2003, Waterman/Kislinger Family


Published by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, in association with Abrams, this richly illustrated monograph constitutes an in-depth exploration of the evolution of Mann’s art through its five sections: Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me and What Remains. Plate sections are enriched by the inclusion of quotations from Mann herself and from her most beloved authors. Essays by curators Sarah Greenough and Sarah Kennel analyze Mann’s photographic development in concert with her literary interests and Mann’s family photographs, respectively. In their valuable contributions, Hilton Als, New Yorker staff writer and recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism; Malcolm Daniel, Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Drew Gilpin Faust, former president and Lincoln Professor of History, Harvard University, explore literary and photographic responses to racism in the South, Mann’s debt to 19th-century photographers and techniques, and the landscape as repository of cultural and personal memory. Featuring 230 color illustrations, the 332-page catalog will be available at the High Museum Shop.

Sally Mann (American, born 1951),The Ditch, 1987, gelatin silver print, The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Sally Mann and Edwynn Houk Gallery
Sally Mann (American, born 1951) On the Maury, 1992, gelatin silver print, Private collection.

Exhibition Organization and Support
Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings” is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts. This exhibition is made possible by Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Exhibition Series Sponsors Georgia Natural Gas, Northside Hospital and WarnerMedia; Premier Exhibition Series Supporters the Antinori Foundation, Sarah and Jim Kennedy, Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot, and wish foundation; Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporter Anne Cox Chambers Foundation; Ambassador Exhibition Series Supporters Tom and Susan Wardell and Rod Westmoreland; and Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters Lucinda W. Bunnen, Marcia and John Donnell, W. Daniel Ebersole and Sarah Eby-Ebersole, Peggy Foreman, Robin and Hilton Howell, Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones, Margot and Danny McCaul, Joel Knox and Joan Marmo, and The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust. Generous support is also provided by the Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, and the RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund.

About the High Museum of Art
Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, the High Museum of Art connects with audiences from across the Southeast and around the world through its distinguished collection, dynamic schedule of special exhibitions and engaging community-focused programs. Housed within facilities designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the High features a collection of more than 17,000 works of art, including an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American fine and decorative arts; major holdings of photography and folk and self-taught work, especially that of artists from the American South; burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, including paintings, sculpture, new media and design; a growing collection of African art, with work dating from pre-history through the present; and significant holdings of European paintings and works on paper. The High is dedicated to reflecting the diversity of its communities and offering a variety of exhibitions and educational programs that engage visitors with the world of art, the lives of artists and the creative process. For more information about the High, visit www.high.org.

New York City’s City Parks Foundation Announces SUMMERSTAGE 2017 SEASON, Presented by Capital One Bank

Opening Night on June 3rd Featuring Mavis Staples

Season Highlights Include Digable Planets, BalletX, Khalid, Bob Moses, Slick Rick the Ruler, KRS-One, La India, Frankie Negrón, Valerie June, and many more

Benefit Concerts Featuring Elvis Costello, Regina Spektor, Gov’t Mule, and more

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary this Season

Season runs May 17 to September 28

More than 100 FREE and benefit shows across all 5 boroughs of NYC

The City Parks Foundation is excited to announce the 2017 season of SummerStage, New York City‘s largest free outdoor performing arts festival, bringing more than 100 performances to Central Park and 15 neighborhood parks throughout the five boroughs. This year’s festival, presented by Capital One Bank, will showcase over 150 unique artists performing shows from a plethora of genres and disciplines, including indie-rock, hip-hop, Latin, jazz, R&B, salsa, bhangra, poetry, opera, contemporary dance, and theater.summerstage-2017

The City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to offer programs in public parks throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The organization is dedicated to invigorating and transforming parks into dynamic, vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community development and education programs for all New Yorkers. Its programs and community building initiatives — located in more than 350 parks, recreation centers and public schools across New York City — reach 425,000 people each year. Our ethos is simple: we believe thriving parks reflect thriving communities.

SummerStage, a program of City Parks Foundation, is New York’s largest free outdoor performing arts festival. SummerStage annually presents more than 100 performances in 16 parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin, world music, dance and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception 32 years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage.

This year, SummerStage will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beloved Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, New York City’s annual salute to the eponymous late saxophonist. The festival, which each year coincides with Charlie Parker’s birthday, takes place uptown in Harlem’s historic Marcus Garvey Park and downtown in Tompkins Square Park, across the street from the apartment Parker called home. This year, the festival has been extended to four days and will include Emmy Award-winning tap dance virtuoso Jason Samuels Smith, world-renowned Anat Cohen Tentet, jazz master Lee Konitz Quartet, slow-funk Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science, reverend drummer Louis Hayes, young American vocalist Charenee Wade, Grammy nominated Joshua Redman Quartet, modern jazz creative voice Lou Donaldson, saxophonist Tia Fuller of the all-female band touring with Beyoncé, vocalist Alicia Olatuja, and more.

SummerStage will also expand its family-friendly pre-show workshop offerings this season to include dance classes, beatboxing lessons, and introductions to DJing and Latin percussion. These interactive workshops will take place prior to select SummerStage shows throughout the season, and all ages are encouraged to come out to the park early to participate. To kick off the season, SummerStage will host a DJ lesson from Scratch DJ Academy and a beatboxing tutorial with renowned beatboxer Exacto before the Digable Planets performance in Coffey Park. Other workshops will include salsa dance lessons in St. Mary’s Park and a poetry class in Marcus Garvey Park.

City Parks Foundation is dedicated to providing every New Yorker with access to excellent, culturally relevant performing arts experiences in their home communities. Our SummerStage festival brings outstanding artists from genres across the globe directly to city parks across the five boroughs, all free of charge, making those parks community and cultural centers,” said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation.

SummerStage will kick off its first free show of the season with performances from the legendary Mavis Staples and contemporary blues artist Toshi Reagon in Central Park on June 3rd. Staples will lead a powerful vocal showcase of rock, blues, gospel and R&B. Digable Planets will reunite to open the citywide SummerStage run with a rare performance in Coffey Park in Brooklyn on June 21st. New York rap icon KRS-One and DJ Chuck Chillout will also perform in Coffey Park on June 25th and dynamic emcee Jadakiss will take the mic at Crotona Park on August 6th. Wu-Tang Clan founding member GZA “The Genius” will drop knowledge in Corporal Thompson Park in Staten Island on July 23rd. Brasil Summerfest returns featuring iconic samba singer Elza Soares and rising star Liniker e os Carmelows on August 5th in Central Park. Jazz veteran Joshua Redman Quartet will pay tribute to Charlie Parker as part of the annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival on August 27th in Manhattan’s Tompkins Square Park.

This season will also feature benefit shows in Central Park to help support City Parks Foundation‘s free programs for all New Yorkers. American rock band Gov’t Mule, the Grammy award-winning Elvis Costello & The Imposters, progressive rock multi-stylists Umphrey’s McGee, avant-rocker PJ Harvey, indie pop singer Regina Spektor, energetic rockers All Time Low, anthemic artists The Revivalists, and indie rock trailblazers Young the Giant with special guests Cold War Kids have been confirmed with many more to be announced. All benefit concerts are produced by The Bowery Presents.

Other highlights include:

  • George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic along with Main Source, DJ Marley Marl and host Roxanne Shante will bring the funk to Flushing Meadows Corona Park as part of the Only In Queens Summer Festival on June 11
  • Indie-folk pop singer and indie-folk singer rising star Margaret Glaspy performs on June 22nd in Coffey Park
  • Classic hip-hop innovators Slick Rick the Ruler and GrandWizzard Theodore will team up in Queens’ Springfield Park on July 7th
  • Timeless architect of alternative-rock PJ Harvey will host a benefit show in Central Park on July 19th
  • Contemporary ballet company BalletX will perform their acclaimed piece “Big Ones” set to the music of Amy Winehouse in Central Park on July 26th
  • Latin Grammy Award-winning princess of salsa La India will perform in St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx on July 28th
  • Salsa’s next definitive voice Frankie Negrón will perform in St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx on July 29th
  • Rock Steady Crew will celebrate the 40th anniversary of their Bronx-conceived b-boy crew in Central Park with a who’s who of classic hip-hop performances including the legendary MC Lyte on July 30th
  • Taj Mo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ Band, two generations of blues giants, will take over Central Park on Aug 13th
  • A performance from the cast of Broadway’s new hit musical A Bronx Tale, based on the critically acclaimed play that inspired the classic film, will make its way to Crotona Park in the Bronx on Aug 3rd
  • Alternative rock band and one of Rolling Stone‘s “10 Bands You Need to Know,” The Revivalists will perform a benefit concert in Central Park on Aug 10th
  • SummerStage Family Day, featuring performances from They Might Be Giants and Bill Childs of Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child Radio, comes to Central Park on Aug 12th
  • The Russell Simmons / Mos Def-backed series Def Poetry Jam will host a reunion in Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan on Aug 20th

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First Retrospective in 20 Years of Master Photographer Irving Penn, Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty, Opens February 24 at Nashville’s Frist Center

Irving Penn (1917–2009), known for his iconic fashion, portrait and still life images that appeared in Vogue magazine, ranks as one of the twentieth century’s most prolific and influential photographers. The first retrospective of his work in 20 years, Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty conveys the extraordinary breadth and legacy of the American artist and will be on view at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts from February 24 to May 29, 2017.

penn_young_boy

Irving Penn. Young Boy, Pause Pause, American South, 1941, printed 2001. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation. © The Irving Penn Foundation

Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Merry Foresta, the museum’s curator of photography from 1983 to 1999, the exhibition contains more than 140 photographs, including the debut of 100 photographs recently donated by The Irving Penn Foundation and several previously unseen or never-before-exhibited photographs. Penn’s renown as a fashion photographer is matched by the recognition of his innovative and insightful portraits, still lifes, nudes, and travel photographs. The exhibition features work from all stages of Penn’s career, including street scenes from the late 1930s, photographs of the American South from the early 1940s, celebrity portraits, fashion photographs, and Penn’s stunning late color work.

penn_bee

Irving Penn. Bee, New York, 1995, printed 2001. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation. © The Irving Penn Foundation

In a career that spanned nearly 70 years, Penn’s aesthetic and technical skill earned him accolades in both the artistic and commercial worlds. He was a master of both black-and-white and color photography, and his revival of platinum printing in the 1960s and 1970s was a catalyst for significant change in the art world. He successfully crossed the chasm that separated magazine and fine-art photography, narrowing the gap between art and fashion. “Penn adopted a workmanlike approach to making pictures,'” says Frist Center Chief Curator Mark Scala.But even in his most commercial images, he upended convention with a penchant for formal surprise.”

penn_woman_in_moroccan_palace

Irving Penn. Woman in Moroccan Palace (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Marrakech, 1951, printed 1969. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist. © Condé Nast

Schooled in painting and design, Penn eventually chose photography as his life’s work. His portraits and fashion photographs defined elegance, yet throughout his career, he also transformed mundane objects—storefront signs, food, cigarette butts, street debris—into memorable images of unexpected, often surreal, beauty.

penn_miyake

Irving Penn. Issey Miyake Fashion: White and Black, New York, 1990, printed 1992. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation. © The Irving Penn Foundation

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THIRTEEN’s American Masters Presents Exclusive U.S. Broadcast Premiere of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, February 21 on PBS During Black History Month

First Feature Documentary On The Author/Activist Features Exclusive Interviews With Dr. Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Bill And Hillary Clinton, And Others

Year-Long #InspiringWomanPBS Online Campaign Launches This Week At pbs.org/americanmasters

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Dr. Maya Angelou on the set of “Oprah’s Master Class,” circa January 2011. Credit: OWN

Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014) led a prolific life. As a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer, she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Random House), she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. The first feature documentary about her life, American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, premieres nationwide Tuesday, February 21 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) during Black History Month as part of the 31st season of THIRTEEN‘s American Masters series. PBS Distribution will release the film on DVD the same day, with additional bonus features, and on Digital HD February 22. The film title is based on one of our favorite poems by Dr. Angelou, “Still I Rise” from her poetry collection And Still I Rise (Random House).

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Dr. Maya Angelou, circa late 70s/early 80s. Credit: Getty Images

MAYA ANGELOU

Dr. Maya Angelou is best known for her best-selling autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (Random House), photo taken November 3, 1971. Credit: © WF/AP/Corbis

With unprecedented access, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace Dr. Angelou’s incredible journey, shedding light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos and her own words. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South and her early performing career (1957’s Miss Calypso album and Calypso Heat Wave film, Jean Genet’s 1961 play The Blacks) to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana and her many writing successes, including her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise reveals hidden facets of her life during some of America’s most defining moments. The film also features exclusive interviews with Dr. Angelou, her friends and family, including (in alphabetical order) Diahann Carroll, actress; Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State; Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the U.S.’ Common, hip-hop artist/actor; Jules Feiffer, writer/cartoonist; Nikki Giovanni, writer; Louis Gossett, Jr., actor; Guy B. Johnson, Dr. Angelou’s son; Quincy Jones, musician/producer/composer; Robert Loomis, Dr. Angelou’s editor; Don Martin, dancer/opened for Dr. Angelou; Louise Meriwether, writer; Eugene Redmond, professor of English literature; Valerie Simpson, singer/songwriter; John Singleton, director; Cicely Tyson, actress; Alice Windom, friend/roommate in Ghana (1963-65); Oprah Winfrey, global media leader/philanthropist and Alfre Woodard, actress.

Photo of Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou, circa 1970. Credit: Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Dr. Maya Angelou called Sonoma, California, home in the late 70s/early 80s. Credit: Magnum

“It was a unique privilege to be the first filmmakers to tell Dr. Angelou’s full story and exciting to uncover stories that most people hadn’t heard,” said co-director and co-producer Bob Hercules.

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Louis Gossett, Jr., is interviewed in “American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.” He and Dr. Angelou were part of the casts of off-Broadway play “The Blacks” (1961) by Jean Genet and TV miniseries “Roots” (1977). Credit: © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders | Photo credit required at all times.

The film reflects on how the events of history, culture and the arts shaped Dr. Angelou’s life, and how she, in turn, helped shape our own worldview through her autobiographical literature and activism,” said co-director and co-producer Rita Coburn Whack.

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Dr. Maya Angelou. Credit: Getty Images

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Dr. Maya Angelou. Credit: Ron Groeper

Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou, San Francisco, CA, circa 1970. Credit: Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS. Courtesy of Caged Bird Legacy

It is bittersweet that Dr. Angelou takes her rightful place in the American Masters series posthumously,” said executive producer Michael Kantor, Co-Executive Producer and American Masters series Executive Producer. “We are fortunate that Bob and Rita captured these insightful interviews with her just prior to her death so we can all learn from her wisdom firsthand.” Continue reading

THIRTEEN’s American Masters Tells the Story of Legendary Bluesman B.B. King During Black History Month on PBS

B.B. King: The Life of Riley Premieres Nationally Friday, February 12 at 9 p.m. (check local listings)

Features interviews with Bono, Eric Clapton, Aaron Neville, John Mayer, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Ringo Starr, and more

B.B. King, born Riley B. King, was one of the most influential and celebrated blues musicians of all time. From his roots as a sharecropper’s son, working in the cotton fields of Mississippi, he rose to become a living legend — the most renowned blues singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer of the past 40 years — earning the moniker ‘King of the Blues‘. King’s story of struggle and triumph is chronicled in American Masters: B.B. King: The Life of Riley, premiering nationwide during Black History Month on Friday, February 12 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listing). Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman narrates and appears in the film.

 B.B. King performs on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Photo: Kevin Nixon

B.B. King performing on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Photo: Kevin Nixon

Made with the full cooperation of The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, Mississippi, B.B. King: The Life of Riley was filmed in locations across America, as well as the United Kingdom. Award-winning Producer/Director Jon Brewer worked on the film with King for two years. Filming was completed shortly before King passed on May 14, 2015.

The bio-doc explores King’s challenging life and career through candid interviews with the man himself, his family, longtime friends, and fellow music contemporaries such as Bono, George Benson, Eric Clapton, Aaron Neville, John Mayer, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Ringo Starr, Johnny Winter, and more.

Born September 16, 1925 on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, near Indianola, King was raised by his maternal grandmother, Elnora Farr in nearby Kilmichael. After she died, his father brought him to live in Lexington. There, for the first time, King experienced segregation. A mob hung a black boy and dragged him behind a car to the courthouse in Lexington. King witnessed the boy being dragged; it was an image he would never forget. Like so many blacks of his generation, King was subjected to bigotry, racism, hatred and denial. But he never allowed it to destroy his spirit or his music.

King candidly reminisces about memorable people in his life such as preacher Archie Fair, the first person he heard play an electric guitar; cousin Bukka White, who taught him about being a blues singer; the musical influence of bluesman T-Bone Walker and French jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt; his stint as a disc jockey where his radio names (Beale Street Blues Boy and Blues Boy King) were eventually shortened to B.B. King; and how and why he came to name his guitars Lucille. A bittersweet moment in the film is King’s reflection on marriage. King had two wives, Martha Lee Denton, and then Sue Carol Hall. The failures of each marriage were attributed to King’s relentless touring schedule.

Rare archival footage is interspersed throughout the film, including his 1968 performance at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West where he was billed with some of the hottest rock stars, who idolized him and helped to introduce him to a young white audience.

Among the highlights from the film is footage of King’s collaboration with Bono, where King reveals that he “does not do chords,” and the story behind King and Eric Clapton‘s recording of Riding with the King. Though he made an exception for Clapton, King admits he doesn’t like to play acoustic guitar.

The ‘King of Blues,’ who delighted audiences around the world with such classic R&B hits as Three O’ Clock Blues, Paying The Cost To Be The Boss, Every Day I Have The Blues, and of course his most popular cross over hit, The Thrill Is Gone, died at age 89. The city of Memphis, where he had performed so many times, held a funeral procession for him down Beale Street, with a brass band marching in front of the hearse, playing When the Saints Go Marching In.

Play the best that I can. Reach as many people as you can, as many countries,” says King. “In other words, I’d like the whole world to be able to hear B.B. King sing and play the blues.

B.B. King became America’s most recognizable and influential blues musician,” says Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. “The thrill isn’t really gone yet – I think anyone who sees this film will be thrilled and inspired by this legendary artist.”

"American Masters," THIRTEEN's award-winning biography series, explores the lives and creative journeys of America's most enduring artistic and cultural giants. With insight and originality, the series illuminates the extraordinary mosaic of our nation's landscape, heritage and traditions. Watch full episodes and more at http://pbs.org/americanmasters. (PRNewsFoto/WNET)

“American Masters,” THIRTEEN’s award-winning biography series, explores the lives and creative journeys of America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants. With insight and originality, the series illuminates the extraordinary mosaic of our nation’s landscape, heritage and traditions. Watch full episodes and more at http://pbs.org/americanmasters. (PRNewsFoto/WNET)

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World Renowned Soundsuit Artist Nick Cave “Blankets” Shreveport, Louisiana

The Shreveport Regional Arts Council and Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau announce details of Cave’s eight-month artist-in-residency program in Shreveport

Louisiana is no stranger to the colorful and the outrageous, whether it is embodied by the celebration of Mardi Gras or the spicy local cuisine. It’s no wonder that Soundsuit artist Nick Cave thinks the northwest corner of this flamboyant state is the perfect place to bring his elaborate, symbolic and engaging art.

Nick Cave refers to himself as “an artist with a responsibility.” His work is grounded in civic consciousness. His Soundsuit art is exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of Modern Art, Crystal Bridges Museum, the Trapholt Museum in Denmark and he works around the world in London, Paris, China, Jerusalem and Australia. His current exhibition, “Here Hear” at the Cranbrook Museum near Detroit, is creating social change as Detroit discovers Detroit.

But why Shreveport, and why now?

I like the neighborhood in which I will work in Shreveport,” said Mr. Cave. “It’s a nine-block area called Shreveport Common that is completely uncommon because of its amazing quirks and diversity. My work here will be like nothing I’ve ever done, a brand new idea. It will be about change and about being proactive. I hope that it will be the mortar that unifies this neighborhood and that helps the rest of the world recognize who is here and see how we value and recognize that they matter.

Shreveport Common was named the 2015 National Development Council’s #1 Community Development Project in the Nation. Cave is coming to Shreveport Common as an artist-in-residency with The Shreveport Regional Arts Council to work with residents in the care of social service organizations within Shreveport Common. Over an eight-month period, Mr. Cave will work alongside local artists, choreographers, dancers, musicians, spoken word artists and filmmakers to engage the social service residents to weave and construct elaborately beaded blankets that symbolize their “hidden stories,” the ones seldom heard in our nation’s disenfranchised communities.

Mr. Cave’s work in Shreveport will culminate with a performance at the Shreveport Memorial Municipal Auditorium on Sunday, March 20, 2016.

People throughout the Shreveport community will be encouraged to take part in the Nick Cave experience by participating in fun, public “Bead-a-Thons” to help string beads for blankets to be used in the March 20 performance. They will also have the opportunity to spontaneously experience Nick Cave “INvasions” on Shreveport street corners and at local landmarks. These INvasions are often a part of the Nick Cave “Soundsuit” experience and have been performed in locations including Grand Central Station, Detroit and Denver.

Mr. Cave’s Artist-in-Residency program in Shreveport and the finale performance are funded, in part, through a grant award from the National Endowment for the Arts to the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.

To find out more about #NickCaveBlanketsShreveport, the local artists with whom he will work and the Shreveport Common social organizations that he will impact, visit the Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s website at http://www.shrevearts.org.