As she assumes the position of Artistic Director, Laura Kaminsky announces Symphony Space's 33rd year of diverse multidisciplinary arts programming, featuring an ever-expanding schedule of groundbreaking works by renowned musical artists, authors and performers. Primary to Kaminsky's artistic vision are a commitment to new and innovative work, internationalism, and creating an atmosphere of intimacy and access between artists and audience. To this end, through the multi-disciplinary, season-long SONIDOS initiative, the 2010/2011 season explores the breadth of artistic contributions of the multi-faceted Latino community. In addition, Symphony Space inaugurates a series of Salons that offer meaningful dialogue with leading artists on issues that matter to them. Performances take place in the 760-seat Peter Jay Sharp Theatre and the intimate cabaret-like Leonard Nimoy Thalia, where audiences are encouraged to come early, stay late, and enjoy drinks and snacks from Symphony Space's underground wine bar and lounge. Most performances are recorded and then posted to Symphony Space Live (symphonyspacelive.org), the on-demand streaming web site which currently hosts more than 100 performances from the past three years.
The 2010/2011 Music season focuses on the diversity of Latino musical cultures, celebrating musical traditions from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, and more, and featuring artists as diverse as Nuevo Tango master Pablo Ziegler, Afro-Cuban jazz aficionado Arturo O'Farrill, and Mexican new music percussionists, the Tambuco Quartet. As part of our commitment to new and innovative programming, the season features over a dozen world, U.S. and New York City premieres including works by Kati Agocs, Lisa Bielawa, Yu-Hui Chang, Francisco Cortez, Eugene Drucker, Amir El-Saffar, Amit Gilutz, Bernhard Lang, David Lang, Tania León, Arturo O'Farrill, Roberto Sierra, Sheila Silver, and Samuel Zyman.
New this season is a series of artist salons that bring artists and audiences together for intimate conversations; and a number of collaborations between the Symphony Space All Stars-a group including Anne Marie McDermott, Lucy Shelton, Jeremy Denk, David Leisner, Tara Helen O'Connor, the Cassatt Quartet, Arturo O'Farrill, Ursula Oppens and many others.
SONIDOS programs open with Mexico's Tambuco Percussion Ensemble on September 30 and continue with a performance by the Arturo O'Farrill Quartet on October 7. On October 15 the Cassatt Quartet presents world and U.S. premieres by composers Samuel Zyman and Francisco Cortez, and on October 28 SONIDOS celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music with Bongo Passion featuring performers from San Juan playing music by Sierra, Fuentes and Torres. "Beyond Tango" brings Argentine Nuevo Tango master Pablo Ziegler to Symphony Space on April 23, and Eddie Palmieri (with the Rutgers Jazz and Symphony Orchestras) performs on April 29.
On May 14 Symphony Space's annual gift to the city, Wall to Wall SONIDOS, presents a 12-hour marathon of Latino music featuring world premieres from Arturo O'Farrill, Tania León, Roberto Sierra and Carlos Sánchez-Guttiérez with performances by the Harlem, Colorado and La Catrina Quartets, the Afro-Peruvian Jazz Ensemble, Damocles Trio, Ensemble Pi, Fernando Otero, the Poulenc Trio and many others. Also included will be traditional Mexican dance for the family as well as a tango component.
The new series of artist salons in the Leonard Nimoy Thalia create a unique opportunity for conversations between artists and audiences on the creative process, collaboration, the role of the artist in society and more. In addition, audience members are invited to share their own artistry through show-and-tell activities and jam sessions. The salons kick off on November 18 with composer Aaron Jay Kernis, the youngest composer to win a Pulitzer Prize, and continue with composer-in-residence of the New York Philharmonic Magnus Lindberg on December 16; a Latin jazz jam session with Arturo O'Farrill on January 20; Ireland's dynamic Fidelio Trio with Evan Ziporyn on "New Trends in Irish and American Music" on February 24; and John Corigliano and Mark Adamo on Writing for the Voice on April 21. A date with acclaimed minimalist composer Steve Reich, celebrating his 75th birthday, and his wife, video artist Beryl Korot, is yet to be scheduled, and one additional salon will be announced at a later date.
The second annual Composers Now Week (February 21-28) opens with a marathon concert on February 21 featuring a multiplicity of world and U.S. premieres from composers and performers including the Amir El-Saffar Quartet, Ensemble Pi, Errollyn Wallen, Fidelio Trio, the Cassatt Quartet and many others; the Enso Quartet and guitarist David Leisner offer an evening of Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar on February 25, and Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra perform February 26.
Other highlights include pianist Anne Marie McDermott performing an evening of Chopin in her only solo recital in New York on October 19; an evening based on the literature of David Foster Wallace with Sequitur on February 10; and cellist Amit Peled with pianist Eli Kalman on March 3, following their Kennedy Center debut. Once again the Symphony Space All-Stars, featuring some of New York's finest chamber musicians including flutists Eugenia Zukerman and Tara Helen O'Connor, violinists Laurie Smukler and Cal Wiersma, cellists Julia Lichten and David Geber, bassist Timothy Cobb and harpsichordist Bradley Brookshire, come together to continue the New York holiday tradition of the complete Brandenburg Concertos with Basically Brandenburg on December 9. On March 10, the All-Stars offer a SONIDOS program of vocal works with ensemble by Ginastera and Crumb with soprano Lucy Shelton.
Jazz impresario George Wein returns to Symphony Space on January 13 with another evening of Seeing Jazz in which he shares anecdotes about a life in jazz illustrated by projections from his personal photo album, followed by a performance by renowned jazz violinist Jenny Scheinman. The Israeli Chamber Project offers a world premiere by composer Amit Gilutz on January 27, while the Escher String Quartet performs a world premiere by famed violinist Eugene Drucker on February 3. On February 19 Young Concert Artists celebrates its 50th anniversary with a free musical marathon featuring a cast of hundreds, including Emanuel Ax, Borromeo Quartet, Claremont Trio, Sasha Cooke, Jeremy Denk, Christopher O'Riley, Paula Robison, Donald Weilerstein and many others. Finally, the American Symphony Orchestra returns for a fourth year with Classics Declassified focusing on the last four Beethoven symphonies, while the World Music Institute brings a variety of traditional and modern music and dance programs from around the globe.
Literature in Performance:
Selected Shorts opens on October 13 with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo (Empire Falls), guest editor of The Best American Short Stories 2010, discussing some of his most compelling picks for this year's anthology. The season continues with Fairy Tales: Classic and Reimagined with Gregory Maguire from the new collection My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, on October 27. In keeping with Symphony Space's commitment to international programming Selected Shorts explores Roberto Bolaño & The Writers He Admired as part of SONIDOS on November 10. On January 26 Selected Shorts presents Haiti Noir with Edwidge Danticat; on February 16 Russian Tales, Classic and New; another SONIDOS program, Magical Realism: The World of Marvelous Stories, on April 27; and Edna O'Brien: Saints and Sinners (with the author in attendance) on May 25. Other contemporary writers are also well represented with National Book Award-winner Colum McCann's presentation of some of his favorite short stories on December 8, an evening with the inventive new lit magazine Electric Literature on March 2, and Etgar Keret and Jonathan Safran Foer on April 6. On March 16, an all-star cast celebrates the 40th anniversary of the cult classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The season of Selected Shorts closes with Man Walks into a Bar: Stories Set in Restaurants and Bars on June 8.