Strathmore today announces its 2012-2013 season – marked by highlights including the season-long exploration Storied Strings: The Violin in America, a number of theatrical productions that stretch the adaptability of the Music Center and the Strathmore Children’s Chorus. Tickets are available to Strathmore Stars today, and to the general public on June 28, 2012.
Twelve artists are making their debuton the Music Center stage, including the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, eccentric organist Cameron Carpenter and local favorite Pat McGee, with return engagements from high-caliber performers such as Patti LuPone, Kathleen Battle, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Keb’ Mo’. Season highlights in the Music Center include Sing the Truth, bringing together Angélique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright for the first time together on Strathmore’s stage to pay homage to legendary black women in music. Renowned Scottish fiddler Alasdair Frasier will premiere a new program of traditional American music at Strathmore with fellow strings players Natalie Haas, Jay Ungar, Molly Mason and Dirk Powell. Performances by iconic pianists Marvin Hamlisch, Cyrus Chestnut(with Kathleen Battle), George Winston and Maurizio Pollini show a strengthened commitment to utilize the acoustic properties of the Music Center for piano.
A hallmark of Strathmore is its student concerts, which introduce more than 20,000 elementary school children to orchestral music each year—now it will touch even more young lives through music by founding the new Strathmore Children’s Chorus. This is the first time in Strathmore’s 33 year history that it has lent its name to a performing ensemble, and also the first time that it haspioneered the creation of an ensemble for promising young musicians. At its start, the group will consist of about 50 members ages 8-16. Chorus members will receive exemplary instruction under Artistic Director Christopher G. Guerra and will perform in the Mansion and the Music Center at Strathmore.
“By establishing the Strathmore Children’s Chorus, we hope to provide a professional children’s chorus experience in Montgomery County that celebrates the diverse musical traditions of our residents, engages talented youth in joy-filled and uplifting music-making, and provides Strathmore with a living, breathing ,singing presence in our community,” said Strathmore President Monica Jeffries Hazangeles.
Strathmore continues to assert the versatility of the Music Center stage by presenting technically challenging and elaborate theater and dance productions. The 2012-2013 season features the high-energy, athletic theater experience Tap Dogs; off-Broadway sensation VOCA PEOPLE; the gravity-defying acrobatics of Cirque Ziva; and the light marvels of Luma Theater. Strathmore will also present complementary performances of Spanish-influenced dance by Ballet Folklórico De México and Flamenco Vivo/Carlota Santana.
“This season, Strathmore stretches the boundaries of our stage into a full-scale theatrical venue filled with torrid dance, new spectacles of light and sound, and thrilling cirque choreography that will redefine audiences’ concept of our Concert Hall,” said Strathmore founder and CEO Eliot Pfanstiehl. “From the onset, the Hall was conceived as a flexible space that could accommodate a range of art forms, and as we mature as an arts presenter, it’s exciting that we can grow to fully utilize the space for all its potential. We’re not just for music anymore.”
Salon-style Mansion concerts continue to incubate remarkable emerging talents, many making their Strathmore debut in the early stages of already impressive careers, including George Li, piano; Mattias Jacobsson and Mak Grgic, guitar; Kristin Lee, violin; Aaron Weinstein Trio; Aviv Quartet; Duo Amaral; Guido’s Ear; and the Tia Fuller Quartet. Highlights in the Mansion including the Washington, D.C. premiere of violinist Jennifer Koh’s Bach and Beyond Series, the Washington-area premiere of Korine Fujiwara’s Fiddle Suite Montana performed by Carpe Diem Quartet and aworld premiere Strathmore commissioned work by composer Robert Miller, performed by violinist and former Strathmore Artist in Residence Chelsey Green. Also among the Mansion’s standout programs are the premiere of fiddler Casey Driessen’s Singularity Tourand Celtic vocalist Julie Fowlis, gaining notoriety for her work on the soundtrack to Pixar’s new film, Brave.
Additional world premiere performances will be offered by Strathmore’s six new Artists in Residence, emerging musicians cultivated and educated by Strathmore staff and mentors to make the arts a sustaining career.
As it grows, Strathmore Fine Art has begun deliberately presenting more contemporary works and modern themes. In a continuation of this new direction, Strathmore will explore epidermal décor, interpretations of ailments, color and puppet culture in Skin; In Sickness and in Health; Grayscale; and World on a String.