With Juilliard undergoing a major redevelopment and Alice Tully Hall closed for a year, the School rises to the challenge of presenting a full performance season of more than 700 events showcasing its dance, drama, and music students and faculty this year. The season’s offerings, which also include an impressive roster of distinguished guest artists and cooperative programs with other institutions, will take place in the usual campus venues as well as off-site locations including Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Zankel Hall, the New York Society for Ethical Culture, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, Frederick P. Rose Hall, St. Peter’s Church, the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and others to be determined. Among the highlights are the 40th anniversary season of the Drama Division, with four fully-staged productions by fourth-year actors; productions of operas by Rossini and Ned Rorem; commissioned works by an exciting range of choreographers; a celebration of the music of Elliott Carter; the beginning of a two-year residency by James Conlon; and a New York-Switzerland exchange involving Juilliard, the Lucerne Festival Academy, and Ensemble Intercontemporain.
The season gets underway on September 23 with a visit from Vladimir Ashkenazy, who will lead an open rehearsal and performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at 2 p.m. This year’s Bachauer Competition winners—pianists Michael Brown and Rachel Kudo—will be featured in an hour-long program in Paul Hall on September 26 at 9 p.m., broadcast live on WQXR’s McGraw-Hill Companies’ Young Artists Showcase, hosted by Robert Sherman. Also this month, students from Juilliard’s collaborative piano department will join other student instrumentalists for a program of sonata repertoire on September 29 in Paul Hall at 6 p.m., and the New Juilliard Ensemble begins its 15th season, under the direction of Joel Sachs, on September 29 at 8 p.m. in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater.
Juilliard’s director of conducting and orchestral studies, James DePreist, leads the opening concert by the Juilliard Orchestra on October 4 at 8 p.m. in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The program includes Christopher Theofanidis’s Rainbow Body, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (with a student soloist to be announced), and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Maestro DePreist will also wield the baton three more times this year: on December 10 at the Rose Theater in a program of Bernstein, Jolivet, and Beethoven; on February 23 at Carnegie Hall in music by Bernstein, Rachmaninoff or Prokofiev, and Berlioz; and on May 21 in Avery Fisher Hall, for the commencement concert that will feature works by Mozart, George Walker, and Brahms.
This season’s lineup of guest conductors includes Anne Manson (October 11 in the Sharp Theater), Dennis Russell Davies (November 7 in Avery Fisher Hall); Emmanuel Villaume (February 18 in Avery Fisher Hall), Roberto Abbado (March 31 in Avery Fisher Hall), Stefan Sandering (April 17 in Avery Fisher Hall), and faculty member Jeffrey Milarsky (who leads the annual concert of new works by Juilliard student composers on May 1 in the Sharp Theater).
The music of Juilliard alumnus Christian McBride is highlighted on October 1, when McBride joins the Juilliard Jazz Ensembles as a guest artist. Other Jazz Ensembles concerts throughout the year include “Monk’s Mood” on November 6, “Movin’ Up” (works by jazz students) on December 4 and March 24, music of Billy Strayhorn on February 25, and “Jazz Emergent I” and “Jazz Emergent II” (featuring student works) on January 22 and April 15. The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra’s lineup of guest artists includes Paquito D’Rivera on October 17 and Maria Schneider on February 4. The final concert on April 30, “Jazz Emergent III,” will feature original student and alumni compositions. All Jazz Ensembles concerts are in Paul Hall, while the Jazz Orchestra performs in the Sharp Theater.
The Drama Division’s 40th anniversary season—its second with Jim Houghton at the helm—kicks off with August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, directed by Israel Hicks and featuring fourth-year students. The play runs October 24-28 in the Drama Theater. Set in a Pittsburgh boarding house in 1911, it is the third in Wilson’s 10-play historical cycle chronicling the African-American experience in the 20th century. Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts—one of his most powerful and controversial works, dealing with issues such as out-of-wedlock children, incest, infidelity, venereal disease, and euthanasia—follows on November 15-19, directed by Yevgeny Arye. John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves, a black comedy set in New York on the day in 1965 when Pope Paul VI visited the city, will be presented December 13-17 in a production directed by Will Pomerantz. Concluding the fourth-year offerings on February 14-18 is The Greeks, Part Two: The Murders, John Barton and Kenneth Cavander’s second installment in a three-part adaptation of Greece’s mythic history that weaves together the works of Aeschylus, Euripides, Homer, and Sophocles. The production will be directed by Brian Mertes, who directed Part One: The War last year.
The popular Composers and Choreographers Plus showcase opens the Dance Division’s season on December 7 and 8 in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, featuring student choreographer-composer collaborations along with the best choreographic work of the fall semester. The season continues with December Dance Creations on December 13-16, featuring premieres of newly commissioned choreography by Nicolo Fonte, and Juilliard alumni Adam Hougland and Robert Battle. The works are set to the music of three composers in James Conlon’s “Recovered Voices” project; Conlon will conduct the Juilliard Orchestra.
The Dance Division’s spring series, Masterworks of the 20th Century, will be presented on March 26-30 in the Sharp Theater, featuring Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring (set to Copland’s music and staged by Terese Capucilli), Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies (set to Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and staged by Donald Mahler), and José Limón’sThere is a Time (set to Dello Joio’s Meditations on Ecclesiastes and staged by Risa Steinberg). George Stelluto will conduct the ensemble AXIOM for these performances. Other spring dance events include the annual Senior Dance Production, to be presented in the Clark Theater in the Rose Building on April 24-27, as well as Choreographic Honors (May 16-17) and the Senior Dance Showcase (May 19), both in the Sharp Theater.
OPERA AND VOCAL ARTS
Two fully staged productions will be presented by the Juilliard Opera Center this season in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The first is Rossini’s 1817 comic opera in two acts, Le comte Ory, on November 14, 16, and 18. Sam Helfrich will direct and Asher Fisch will conduct. Set in rural France at the time of the Crusades, the opera is based on the story of a real-life villainous count. For its spring production, the J.O.C. will present the New York City premiere of Ned Rorem’s Our Town, a three-act opera with a libretto by J.D. McClatchy based on Thornton Wilder’s play. Anne Manson will conduct this production, which Edward Berkeley will direct.
The New York Festival of Song has collaborated with Juilliard for the past two seasons; their joint concert this year takes place on January 16 in the Sharp Theater. Liederabend and Songbook concerts will showcase student singers throughout the year—the former in Paul Hall on October 18, November 1, December 13, February 7, April 10, and May 1; the latter in Morse Hall on October 11, December 6, and April 3. The Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital takes place on February 29 in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, and the annual Vocal Honors Recital will take place on March 25 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture.
The American Brass Quintet opens the Daniel Saidenberg Faculty Recital Series on October 3 with the world premiere of a work by Billy Childs. Back from a 60th anniversary tour, the Juilliard String Quartet presents two recitals this season, on October 22 and February 25. Additional concerts include two recitals in Paul Hall by cellist Joel Krosnick and pianist Gilbert Kalish (on November 13 and December 6), featuring American music of the last 100 years; a program featuring pianist Margo Garrett with sopranos Lucy Shelton and Elizabeth Futral on January 23; and a recital by the New York Woodwind Quintet on February 6 in Paul Hall. All are in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater except where noted.
Juilliard’s seventh annual ChamberFest will feature seven performances—four in Paul Hall (January 14-17) and three in the Sharp Theater (January 16, 18, and 19). Juilliard’s new graduate string quartet-in-residence, the Biava Quartet, will give the annual Lisa Arnhold Memorial Recital on May 2 at the Society for Ethical Culture. In addition, chamber music concerts by student ensembles will be offered throughout the year at the Society for Ethical Culture, on November 8, December 3, December 11, April 2, April 14, and April 18.
The Lucerne Festival Academy, along with members of the Juilliard Orchestra and the Ensemble Intercontemporain, will present an all-Boulez program at Zankel Hall on January 17. (The collaboration will continue in August and September 2008, during a residency in Lucerne.) The Lucerne Festival Academy will also join the New Juilliard Ensemble on January 25 for the opening concert of Focus! 2008: All About Elliott, with Pierre Boulez conducting this early tribute to composer Elliott Carter as he approaches his 100th birthday (on December 11, 2008). The Focus! festival’s six concerts (through February 2) take place in the Sharp Theater.
Among the many other events to be held this year are a concert by the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble on October 19 in the Sharp Theater; the Jerome L. Greene Concert on November 28 at Saint Peter’s Church (featuring organist Paul Jacobs and Juilliard string players in music by Bach); the William Petschek Piano Debut Recital on March 27 at Zankel Hall; and Beyond the Machine 8.0 on May 3 at Columbia’s Miller Theater. Ensemble ACJW, the performance group of 16 postgraduate fellows participating in the pilot phase of the Academy—A Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute, will offer a series of concerts throughout the year at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall, as well as in Paul Hall.