(Aiken, South Carolina) - The 5th annual Juilliard in Aiken Festival takes place Saturday-Friday, March 9 though 15, 2013, Including returning artists as well as new talent, for an upcoming season that keeps its sights set firmly on the future with exciting first-time events and a bevy of spectacularly talented rising stars. Make sure to get tickets early for a Juilliard in Aiken Festival that is not to be missed.
Some of the most popular performers from previous seasons return during Festival week. Grammy–award winning organist Paul Jacobs presents two free public concerts at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church. Also returning is Charles Yang, a young violinist whose charisma and crossover performances wowed Aiken audiences last March; Pre-College violinist Anna Lee; the dynamic percussion group Triptych; members of Juilliard415, specialists in historical performance; and the popular piano duo of Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Roe.
The 2013 schedule features an evening performance at the Green Boundary Club by the Juilliard Jazz Artists Diploma Ensemble, composed of Juilliard’s most advanced jazz musicians. The group will also reprise its back-by-popular-demand, standing-room-only “After Hours” performance at The Willcox.
Bringing special excitement to the Aiken festival this year will be a lively, narrated program of art songs and arias on the lawn of the Green Boundary Club. The wide-ranging program features an accomplished quintet from Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts.
In addition, Juilliard in Aiken is proud to announce that the festival will open with a drama event for Juilliard Juniors -- a high-energy, fun, interactive outreach performance for families with young children ages 4 through 6. The outreach performance, new to Aiken, will be presented by Juilliard’s Drama Division and features an engaging hour of masquerade and mystery, with excerpts from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
The Trustees Featured Performance Series this year features both solo performances and ensemble pieces for piano trio. Seventeen year-old violinist Anna Lee, who first performed during the 2010 festival, returns. Twelve-year-old Young Tchaikovsky Award-winning cellist Noah Lee will also be performing, in addition to Juilliard alumna Naomi Kudo, pianist extraordinaire.
Dr. Sandra Field, President of Juilliard in Aiken, says that in addition to celebrating past successes, the 2013 schedule is designed to set the stage – literally – for even bigger things to come in the following season. “For the 2014 festival, Juilliard in Aiken is going to bring Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion here before touring to Atlanta and New York,” she said. “That’s an enormous project involving some 62 singers and other musicians. In the 2013 festival, we’ll have a concert that features Bach cantatas performed by singers and Juilliard415, the school’s Baroque performance ensemble.”
Dr Field also noted that even with their busy performing schedules, the Juilliard artists stay busier yet behind the scenes, with daily performances in regional schools as part of the Juilliard in Aiken Outreach Program. “Outreach is very important to Juilliard’s mission, and to ours, too. It’s a huge part of what the Juilliard artists are here for. When they’re not on stage they’re in the schools,” she said. “They teach in their disciplines, but they also serve as mentors and role models.”
The exclusive Juilliard in Aiken Performing Arts Festival and Outreach Program is the only partnership of its kind maintained by Juilliard anywhere in the world. The Festival began in 2009, thanks to an extraordinary 1996 gift to Juilliard by Aiken residents Gregory White Smith and Steven Naifeh, the two Pulitzer Prize-winning authors who bequeathed the use of their Winter Colony mansion, Joye Cottage, to the school. “The Aiken community has given such great support to the Festival and outreach during the last four years,” Dr. Field commented. “And we’re so grateful for that.”
Juilliard in Aiken Festival tickets go on sale January 15, 2013. For information about programs or tickets, visit http://www.juilliardinaiken.com.