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2021-2022 Season

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UMS is proud to announce the return of You Can Dance – Outside!, a free, outdoor dance workshop for all.

JAM3A
Presented by the Arab American National Museum

Thursday, September 23 - Sunday, September 26, 2021
JAM3A, which is Arabic for “gathering,” is a free virtual music and arts festival celebrating Arab talent, community, and identity.

BLISS is a Michigan Opera Theatre production that replays three sublime minutes of The Marriage of Figaro with the same cast and the same orchestra, without pause, for 12 hours.

UMS is proud to announce the return of You Can Dance – Outside!, a free, outdoor dance workshop for all.

Join our world premiere documentary film exploring the creation of a new work for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble.

UMS is proud to announce the return of You Can Dance – Outside!, a free, outdoor dance workshop for all.

Hailed as “the world’s greatest tenor” by The Telegraph, Jonas Kaufmann has been an international star since his sensational breakout appearance in 2006 at the Metropolitan Opera, performing over 70 different roles in the world’s leading opera houses.

Digital Artist Residency:
Spektral Quartet x Tarek Yamani

Wednesday, October 27 - Saturday, November 27, 2021

As the culmination of their collaborative 2020/21 UMS Digital Artist Residency, the Spektral Quartet performs the world premiere of a new four-movement suite composed by Tarek Yamani.

Program

Works by Tarek Yamani:

Berytus (world premiere for string quartet)
Skylines Ahead (for string quartet and Lebanese percussion)

Preview

Audiences everywhere simply love Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, known as the greatest mariachi in the world!

UMS champion and iconic trumpeter Wynton Marsalis welcomes audiences back to Hill Auditorium this Thanksgiving Weekend, when his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra brings its fun, one-of-a-kind holiday extravaganza to brighten up the season.

Iconic trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra welcome students back to Hill Auditorium for our return to in-person School Day Performances.

The Takács Quartet returns for a special collaboration with accordion and bandoneon player Julien Labro, including new works by Clarice Assad and Bryce Dessner.

Program

Bryce Dessner Circles *
Julien Labro Meditation No. 1
Dino Saluzzi Minguito
J. S. Bach (arr. Labro) Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645
Julien Labro Astoración
Maurice Ravel String Quartet in F Major
Clarice Assad Clash *

* UMS co-commission / World-premiere performance

Choreographer and MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham and pioneering producer, composer, and electronic music artist Jlin have come together to create a new work through a reimagining of Mozart’s Requiem in d minor.

Join artists from A.I.M by Kyle Abraham for a 75-minute exploration of the company’s signature movement style.

No dance training or experience is necessary, and all levels are welcome. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Free, but advanced registration is strongly encouraged.

Now celebrating over two decades of dynamic, adventurous, and imaginative music-making, Imani Winds is a groundbreaking ensemble deeply committed to education.

Now celebrating over two decades of dynamic, adventurous, and imaginative music-making, Imani Winds is a groundbreaking ensemble deeply committed to education.

The Imani Winds and the Catalyst Quartet present a program called (im)migration: music of change, commissioning music from new voices that reflect historical events and the times we live in.

Program

Ramón Mongo Santamaria (Arr. V Coleman) Afro Blue
Florence Price Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint
Jessie Montgomery Sergeant McCauley (UMS Co-Commission)
Roberto Sierra Concierto de Cámara

As Detroit’s Sphinx Organization celebrates its 25th anniversary, UMS presents the full orchestra on its first-ever national tour, immediately after its performances as part of the Sphinx Competition.

Join fellow readers and engage in a three-part discussion exploring Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, part of the Parable Path A2Ypsi Community Read.

UMS and the Copernicus Center for Polish Studies are proud to present a collection of Polish posters of Fiddler on the Roof from the last four decades. Each creation, by some of the most significant artists of the Polish School of Poster Design, uniquely captures an aspect of this rich musical play.

Mexico’s national dance company returns to Ann Arbor for the first time in over 15 years in a special Hill Auditorium performance that showcases the cultural richness of México.

Join artists from Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández for a 75-minute exploration of the company’s signature movement style.

No dance training or experience is necessary, and all levels are welcome. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Free, but advanced registration is strongly encouraged.

Return to Hill Auditorium to experience the explosion of colors, movement, and music that celebrates the vibrant tapestry of Mexican culture.

You’ll experience the explosion of colors, movement, and music that celebrates the vibrant tapestry of Mexican culture in this exciting livestream from Hill Auditorium.

Explore some of the signature movements and roots of this colorful and dynamic art form in this 90-minute UMS 101 workshop that correlates with the February 6, 2022 UMS performance of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández.

Electronic music producer Jlin performs tracks from her new EP album, Embryo, in a stunning DJ set immersed with live projections.

Lebanese choreographer and theater maker Ali Chahrour draws inspiration from Arabic stories, legends, and poems relating to love. Performed in Arabic with English supertitles.

Join artists from Ali Chahrour’s Layl (Night) for a 75-minute exploration of the company’s signature movement style.

No dance training or experience is necessary, and all levels are welcome. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Free, but advanced registration is strongly encouraged.

This roundtable features scholars of the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe and specialists in Yiddish who will provide the historical context and geo-political setting of the play, discuss the translation and adaptation of the original Yiddish text into the English-language play, explore the role of the play in representations of Jews and Jewish culture in North America and Europe, and analyze some of the key themes of the play.

A discussion exploring the current crisis taking place in the corner of Europe where the fictional shtetl of Anatevka was set, as well as concurrent crises, showing the ongoing relevance of a key theme of Fiddler on the Roof, that of people forced from their home into desperate circumstances.

Professional Broadway singers Chuck Cooper (Tevye) and Loretta Ables Sayre (Golde) star alongside phenomenally talented U-M Musical Theatre students in this lightly-staged concert performance.

Back by Popular Demand!

Join fellow readers and engage in a three-part discussion exploring Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, part of the Parable Path A2Ypsi Community Read.

Recognized as “one of the world’s most remarkable singers” (Boston Globe), lyric tenor and University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance alumnus Nicholas Phan leads a digital-exclusive recital of songs written by women composers.

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Friday, March 11 - Saturday, March 12, 2022

The Philadelphia Orchestra returns to Ann Arbor for a two-performance residency, with music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the first night and principal guest conductor Nathalie Stutzmann the second.

Fri Program

conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Wynton Marsalis Tuba Concerto
Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 1 in c minor, Op. 68

Sat Program

conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann

Missy Mazzoli Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)
Max Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in g minor, Op. 26
Franz Schubert Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D. 944 (“The Great”)

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Matias Tarnopolsky and Doris Parent join a discussion about the value of orchestral programming today, ways exclusionary history is being addressed, and the development of new frames and contexts.

In this special digital performance, bass-baritone and activist Davóne Tines intersperses a group of readings with musical selections for a powerful, expressive sermon on themes of social justice.

Back by Popular Demand!

Join Hai-Ye Ni, Principal Cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, for a masterclass with students at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Join Don Liuzzi, Principal Timpanist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, for a masterclass with students at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Join Dara Morales, Assistant Principal Violinist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, for a masterclass with students at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Join Ricardo Morales, Principal Clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, for a masterclass with students at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Through a series of monthly workshops intended to build vaccine confidence held from February through May 2022, Washtenaw County youth are invited to learn new skills as means of self-expression, communication, and self-care.

Founded a decade ago by Detroit-born conductor Michael Ibrahim, the National Arab Orchestra is dedicated to preserving and performing classical and contemporary Arab music.

A participatory microcinema. A ritual for worlds present in the now.

In celebration of the UMS presentation of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, Booksweet is proud to partner with Northside to explore the book’s themes of self-reliance and embracing change.

Take a journey with the characters from Octavia Butler’s novel Parable of the Sower and join the Institute for the Humanities’ Public Intern’s Scavenger Hunt!

An exploration of Afrofuturism in a variety of art forms, including music, literature, film, video, and the visual arts. Featuring Naomi Andre, Tananarive Due, John Jennings, and Susana Morris. Moderated by Christopher Audain. 

Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower

Friday, March 25 - Sunday, March 27, 2022

Based on the post-apocalyptic novel written in 1993 by the late Afro-futurist and science fiction author Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower is a genre-defying work that harnesses two centuries of Black music.

Young piano sensation Benjamin Grosvenor makes his UMS debut in an electrifying recital program.

Program

César Franck Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue
Franz Liszt Sonata in b minor, S. 178
Isaac Albéniz Iberia (Book 1)
Maurice Ravel Jeux d’eau
Maurice Ravel La valse

Join fellow readers and engage in a three-part discussion exploring Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, part of the Parable Path A2Ypsi Community Read.

UMS 101: SW!NG OUT

Thursday, March 31, 2022

SW!NG OUT
Directed by Caleb Teicher

Friday, April 1 - Saturday, April 2, 2022

Acclaimed choreographer Caleb Teicher brings the best of the swing dance world to the concert stage!

This digital concert features three world premieres by Clarice Assad, Bryce Dessner, and Julien Labro, all written for string quartet plus bandoneón and co-commissioned by UMS as part of the Music Accord commissioning consortium.

Program

Bryce Dessner Circles
Julien Labro Meditation No. 1
Clarice Assad Clash

Dance Party! Twelve extraordinary dancers will show how much fun it can be to celebrate the history and tradition of Lindy Hop, an American dance form, in this special one-hour family performance.

Join artists from Caleb Teicher & Company for a 75-minute exploration of their signature movement style.

No dance training or experience is necessary, and all levels are welcome. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Free, but advanced registration is strongly encouraged.

UMS’s Arab World focus closes with Sahra, which is Arabic for “soiree” or “evening.” This event — held at a new performance and gallery space in Detroit — brings together wildly different performances.

Joyce DiDonato explores the majesty, might, and mystery of Nature in EDEN, joined by original instrument ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro in a night of evocative music and theatrical effects.

HOME

Friday, April 22 - Saturday, April 23, 2022

After a year spent examining the interiors of our own homes in excruciating detail and fantasizing about others through Zillow, a theater piece that explores the idea of “home” may seem counterintuitive. Yet this piece, which premiered in 2017, takes a completely different look at these structures that not only house us but, in many ways, define who we are.

Featuring music from Clay in the Woods and Karen Jane Ludwig and poetry from Malin Andersson.

From Ash Arder, UMS/U-M Flint Artist in Residence, rock garden is a presentation of in-progress physical forms and conceptual ideas exploring the relationship between Black musical performance and ecological belonging.

Sibling cello and piano duo Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason return to Ann Arbor and close the 2021/22 season.

Program

Frank Bridge Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, H. 125
Benjamin Britten Cello Sonata, Op. 65
Karen Khachaturian Cello Sonata
Dmitri Shostakovich Sonata in d minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 40

The Imani Winds and Catalyst Quartet join forces for a special digital presentation, featuring a UMS Co-Commission that was composed by the Catalyst Quartet’s former violinist, Jessie Montgomery.

UMS Live Session:
Tammy Lakkis

Friday, May 13 - Monday, June 13, 2022

Singer, songwriter, producer, and DJ Tammy Lakkis performs a digital-exclusive set, filmed and recorded at Spot Lite in East Detroit.

We know it’s been a challenging year. UMS and our partners at UMMA want to show our appreciation for all that you do!

UMS Live Session:
Elvis Perkins

Friday, June 10 - Sunday, July 10, 2022

Hear singer/songwriter Elvis Perkins’ signature sound, blending contemporary folk with nostalgic Americana, in a special solo set recorded at the University of Michigan’s Blanche Anderson Moore Organ Recital Hall.

All singers are welcome to this popular choral reading session!

Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) makes her West End debut in Suzie Miller’s award-winning, one-woman play, captured live from the intimate Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End in 2022.

You Can Dance—Outside! returns for another summer of movement and community across southeast Michigan.

James McAvoy (X-Men, Atonement) returns to the stage in an inventive adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, captured live in 2020 from the West End in London.

Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart lead the cast in this glorious revival of Harold Pinter’s comic classic.

You Can Dance—Outside! returns for another summer of movement and community across southeast Michigan.

You Can Dance —Outside! returns for another summer of movement and community across southeast Michigan.

Ash Arder: Solar Juke

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Join Ash Arder, UMS’s Flint Artist-in-Residence, in a Detroit garden party and sound performance that uses “Whoop House” — a completely solar-powered sound sculpture — as a musical instrument.

Ralph Fiennes leads the cast in David Hare’s searing social critique of the most powerful man in New York, a master manipulator whose legacy changed the city forever.

You Can Dance—Outside! returns for another summer of movement and community across southeast Michigan.

Experience Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central’s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show, in his first live UMS appearance!

You Can Dance—Outside! returns for another summer of movement and community across southeast Michigan.

Celebrating a 20-year friendship, violinist Johnny Gandelsman and clarinetist & composer Kinan Azmeh explore the sounds of their adopted home through music written by American and U.S.-based composers.

You Can Dance—Outside! returns for another summer of movement and community across southeast Michigan.

The Emerson String Quartet returns to Ann Arbor as part of its farewell tour.

Program

Felix Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 12
Johannes Brahms String Quartet No. 3 in B-flat Major, Op. 67
George Walker Lyric for Strings
Antonin Dvořák String Quaret No. 14 in A-flat Major, Op. 105

UMS is partnering with Sidewalk Detroit to present Songs of Freedom, an evening of music, dance, and a candlelight healing ceremony. Join us!

Sir András Schiff brings masterful and intellectual insights to his performances which have inspired audiences and critics alike. The program will include works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert, with each selection introduced from the stage.

Tunde Olaniran: Everything is a Portal

Friday, October 7 - Saturday, October 8, 2022

‘Everything is a Portal’ is a live performance companion to Cranbrook Art Museum’s current exhibition, Tunde Olaniran: Made a Universe.

Wynton Marsalis sits down with UM Director of Athletics Warde Manuel to explore art, athletics, and the creative process. These two successful New Orleans natives come together in a conversation moderated by Christopher Audain, Managing Director of the U-M Arts Initiative.

Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra kick off our season of in-person School Day Performances with a Big Band concert tailored for young people.

Wynton Marsalis’s All Rise combines a symphony orchestra, a jazz orchestra, and a chorus in a 12-movement arc built on the structure of the Blues, that moves from uplifting and energetic to dark and distressing to Marsalis’s vision of the “togetherness and ascendance” of humanity.

Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra honor the rich heritage of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, while presenting a stunning variety of new works from illustrious names.

Electrifying conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla brings the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to Ann Arbor as part of a limited US tour with cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

Program

Benjamin Britten Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
Edward Elgar Cello Concerto in e minor, Op. 85
Thomas Adès The Exterminating Angel Symphony
Claude Debussy La mer

Go behind the scenes of Hill Auditorium and experience the venue like never before. Stroll through the venue, check out the view from the stage, and learn interesting facts about the history of the building. Bonus: we’ll send you off with a free bagel and coffee to enjoy on your way to your next class!

Pina Bausch’s pioneering work, one of the first that established her iconic approach to dance theater, is danced by a newly assembled company of dancers from more than a dozen African countries. Rite is paired with a new work created, performed, and inspired by the lives of two remarkable women: Germaine Acogny, the founder of the Senegalese company École des Sables who is widely considered “the mother of contemporary African dance,” and Malou Airuado, who performed leading roles in many of Bausch’s early works as a member of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.

In its third UMS appearance, The Danish String Quartet brings its Doppelgänger project, an ambitious four-year international commissioning project in which composers create new works in response to a masterwork by Franz Schubert.

Program

Franz Schubert String Quartet No. 14 in d minor, D. 810 (“Death and the Maiden”)
Lotta Wennäkoski Pige
Franz Schubert “Death and the Maiden” (Schubert song arranged by the Danish String Quartet)

How can we access the beauty and power of the earth while it is simultaneously disrespected, colonized, and exploited?

Captured live in 2011, this thrilling production has become an international sensation and appears for one night only — a perfect way to celebrate Halloween!

Explore the world of the mariachi art song and learn about the history, traditions, and interpretations of artists in traditional Mexican and Latin American music.

Based on Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals, Jack Absolute Flies Again is a rollicking new comedy that The Guardian called “one of the funniest productions in the National’s history.”

With a career of over 40 years and nearly as many albums, Grammy Award-winner Aida Cuevas, “the Queen of Ranchera Music, “is joined by Mariachi Aztlán, one of the top collegiate mariachi bands in the country.

For this School Day Performance Aida Cuevas, known as the “Queen of Ranchera Music,” exhibits her stunning vocals and her unwavering devotion to traditional mariachi music.

Berliner Philharmoniker
in two different programs

Friday, November 18 - Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Berlin Philharmonic’s new chief conductor, Kirill Petrenko, makes his UMS debut with this two-concert residency.

Fri Program

Andrew Norman Unstuck
W.A. Mozart Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 207
Erich Korngold Symphony in F-Sharp Major, Op. 40

Join host Doyle Armbrust for “The Society for Disobedient Listeners” — a special pre-performance talk. (Friday only)

Sat Program

Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 7

Berlin Philharmonic Master Classes

Friday, November 18 - Saturday, November 19, 2022

Join members of the internationally renowned Berlin Philharmonic and students from the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance for a series of master classes on North Campus.

Shakespeare’s rom-com on sun, sea, and mistaken identity takes place at the family-run Hotel Messina on the Italian Riviera, a legendary spot that has been visited by artists, celebrities, and royalty. But when the owner’s daughter weds a dashing young soldier, not all guests are in the mood for love. A string of scandalous deceptions soon surrounds not only the young couple but also the adamantly single Beatrice and Benedick.

Handel’s Messiah

Saturday, December 3 - Sunday, December 4, 2022

Ann Arbor’s most beloved holiday tradition with the UMS Choral Union and the Ann Arbor Symphony in Hill Auditorium.

Classic West African and Caribbean tales come to life through the magic of digital storytelling!

For this special performance in Hill Auditorium, superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman brings together pianists Emanuel Ax and Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Juilliard String Quartet for a mixed chamber music program.

Program

Jean-Marie Leclair Sonata for Two Violins in e minor, Op. 3, No. 5
W.A. Mozart Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-Flat Major, K. 493
Ernest Chausson Concerto for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet, Op. 21

Learn about the origins of American roots music known as bluegrass, and get to know some of the instruments and artists that make this uniquely American genre so soulful.

When Punch Brothers and Béla Fleck come together in this special double-bill evening, one thing is certain: audiences benefit from their lifelong devotion to bluegrass as much as the musicians.

Ash Arder: Whoop House
Work in Progress Showing

Monday, January 9 - Monday, January 23, 2023

The Plastic Bag Store is a public art installation and immersive film experience that questions our culture of consumption and convenience — specifically, the enduring effects of our single-use plastics.

salt:dispersed
Selina Thompson

Tuesday, January 17 - Monday, February 13, 2023

In this digital presentation, performance artist Selina Thompson recreates her award-winning dramatic monologue about a journey she made by cargo ship to retrace the triangular route of the transatlantic slave trade.

The Takács Quartet and Jeremy Denk return to Rackham Auditorium with a program featuring Fanny Mendelssohn, Haydn, and Schumann.

Program

Franz Joseph Haydn String Quartet in F Major, Op. 77, No. 2
Fanny Mendelssohn Quartet in E-Flat Major
Robert Schumann Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 44

Are we not drawn onward to new erA
Ontroerend Goed

Friday, January 20 - Saturday, January 21, 2023

Like its title, this performance is a palindrome that you will be able to see both forwards and backwards. A visual metaphor for this crucial moment in our future history, tracing the process of humans moving towards their downfall — or their salvation.

Climate change — an issue that is frequently cited by youth as one of the most pressing issues of our time — takes center stage in this ingenious theatrical presentation.

UMS is thrilled to share some exciting news about a partnership with the City of Ypsilanti, that will result in a two- to four-week artistic residency at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse twice each year. Join a free Community Arts Forum to provide input on and ideas for the kinds of programming you’d like to see during these residencies.

The Plastic Bag Store
Family Art Making Activity

Saturday, January 21 - Saturday, January 28, 2023

Families are invited to visit The Plastic Bag Store and participate in a guided hands-on workshop.

Cultural Exchange Rate
Tania El Khoury

Tuesday, January 24 - Sunday, January 29, 2023

Lebanese artist Tania El Khoury presents an interactive live art project, in which you immerse yourself into one family’s secret boxes to explore sounds, images, and textures that trace more than a century of border crossings.

Diehl’s new project, Mirrors, showcases his fluency in both classical repertoire and dynamic jazz improvisation, connecting Bach’s counterpoint with the vocabulary of bebop.

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra of top Black and Latinx professional musicians from around the country presents its first national tour.

Program

Carlos Simon Motherboxx Connection
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Ballade for Orchestra
Valerie Coleman Seven O’Clock Shout
Michael Abels Delights and Dances
Traditional, arr. Augustus Hill Fix Me, Jesus
Carlos Cordero Holding Our Breath
Joel Thompson Seven Last Words of the Unarmed
John Legend / Common, arr. Eugene Rogers “Glory” from Selma

Turn inspiration into impact with insights from researchers, scientists, artists, and activists tackling the question: What can we do about single-use plastics?

Our Carnal Hearts
Rachel Mars

Wednesday, February 1 - Saturday, February 4, 2023

Rachel Mars and four belting female singers come at you with a hilarious dark show about the hiding workings of one of our uglier emotions…envy.

Rachel Mars’s filthy, funny, and intimate show creates a love letter to the lost art of letter writing…which has degraded into X-rated anonymized sexts from platforms like Whatsapp and Grindr.

Join the University Musical Society Student Committee for a night of performances to celebrate UMS’s No Safety Net Festival, featuring two sets of music from Cece June and the Calista Quartet.

Joshua Bell, one of the most celebrated violinists of his era, returns for his fifth recital program with UMS.

Program

Ludwig van Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Major, Op. 12
Robert Schumann Violin Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 121
Ernest Bloch “Nigun” from Baal Shem
César Franck Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano

Join us at the Michigan League for an opportunity to park early, gather with friends, enjoy a meal, and learn more about the evening’s performance.

Brno Philharmonic

Friday, February 10, 2023

Dennis Russell Davies and the Brno Philharmonic perform works from Leoš Janáček and William Bolcom alongside the UMS Choral Union, brass players from SMTD, and organist Christian Schmitt.

Program

Leoš Janáček Sinfonietta
William Bolcom Humoresk for Organ and Orchestra
Leoš Janáček Glagolitic Mass

Join host Doyle Armbrust for “The Society for Disobedient Listeners” — a special pre-performance talk.

Calling All Curious Movers…You Can Dance! returns for another season of movement and community at Riverside Arts Center.

Travel into a digital world of swirling skirts, sashaying socks, glitter ball jackets, and tumbling t-shirts.

Ballet Preljocaj
Swan Lake

Friday, February 17 - Sunday, February 19, 2023

Contemporary dance superstar Angelin Preljocaj tackles the Mount Everest of the ballet world with his new take on Swan Lake.

Following his critically acclaimed production of Cyrano de Bergerac, Jamie Lloyd brings Anya Reiss’s adaptation of Chekhov’s classic play to the stage. Starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones). “A maverick show that proves how dangerous and daring a revival can be.” (The Guardian)

Immerse yourself in the world of stepping and learn some of the signature styles.

The NEA Jazz Master, Pulitzer Prize finalist, David Bowie collaborator, and seven-time Grammy winner Maria Schneider brings her 18-member collective to Hill Auditorium for its UMS debut.

Calling All Curious Movers…You Can Dance! returns for another season of movement and community at Riverside Arts Center.

Step Afrika!

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Step Afrika! introduces audiences to the importance of stepping in cultural identity and the use of body percussion as a means of communication.

Step Afrika! integrates song, dance, storytelling, humor, and audience participation in highlighting the importance of stepping in cultural identity and the use of body percussion as a means of communication.

Violinist Daniel Hope returns with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra in a new program that takes a deep dive into the rich repertoire of American music, exploring its roots and distinctive qualities.

Program

Aaron Copland “Hoe-Down” from Rodeo
Duke Ellington “Come Sunday” from Black, Brown and Beige
Florence Price Adoration
Kurt Weill American Song Suite
Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings, Op. 11
Aaron Copland “At the River” from Old American Songs
Philip Glass Echorus
George Gershwin Song Suite

Due to health considerations, Farida has canceled her March 2023 concert with the Iraqi Maqam Ensemble. We are in the process of reaching out to ticketholders for this event.

Chineke! Orchestra

Saturday, March 25, 2023

UK-based Chineke! Orchestra makes its UMS debut, in a program featuring Florence Price’s first symphony and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Violin Concerto performed by Elena Urioste.

Program

Carlos Simon Fate Now Conquers
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Violin Concerto in g minor, Op. 20
Florence Price Symphony No. 1 in e minor

Join host Doyle Armbrust for “The Society for Disobedient Listeners” — a special pre-performance talk, 7 pm in the lower lobby of Hill Auditorium. Armbrust will be joined by LaRob K. Rafael, producer and director of Chicago-based Hearing in Color and host, WFMT.

Calling All Curious Movers…You Can Dance! returns for another season of movement and community at Riverside Arts Center.

Lyndsey Turner directs this contemporary new staging, designed by Tony Award-winner Es Devlin (The Lehman Trilogy). Starring Erin Doherty (The Crown) and Brendan Cowell. “A gripping revival of Arthur Miller’s masterpiece.” (The Telegraph)

A UMS favorite since her 2017 debut, Cécile McLorin Salvant continues to defy expectations with her genre-obliterating virtuosity.

St. John Street Historical Committee and UM-Flint’s Community Design Studio invite you to reflect and share stories from our past while envisioning our shared future.

American composer, pianist, vocalist, and dancer Julius Eastman was young, gay, and Black when it was even more difficult to be young, gay, and Black in America. The Los Angeles music collective Wild Up is carrying the music of Julius Eastman forward, performing his chamber work Femenine.

UMS’s Ypsilanti Freighthouse residency begins with an invitation to community members to share their voices through a Community Sing, led by Detroit native Dr. Brandon Waddles, a transcriber of Black gospel music whose choral compositions and arrangements have been performed around the world.

UMS Live Session:
Christian Schmitt, organ

Saturday, April 22 - Monday, May 22, 2023

UMS celebrates 130 years of Hill Auditorium’s Frieze Memorial Organ with virtuoso Christian Schmitt and a digital-exclusive performance.

Audra McDonald

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald returns to the Hill Auditorium stage for one night only!

In this workshop, local movement artist Maurice Archer will lead families in an interactive breakdancing demonstration and a graffiti artist will guide families through developing their b-boy and b-girl names.

Baritone saxophonist Kaleigh Wilder has performed around the world, led her first album release, and now has plans to release two more albums as a bandleader with a New York-based record label—among several other ongoing projects. Hear her perform at the Freighthouse with Jaribu Shahid on bass, drummer Ben Hall, and dancer Alexandria Davis.

The Regenerate Orchestra, which is made up of community members of every stripe, comes together to bring Ypsilanti a one-of-a-kind musical experience.

In this participatory public event, Marsae Lynette presents an evening of film, performance, and community, inviting audiences to reconnect with one another and freshwater sources like the Huron River.

Open Mic Night

Friday, April 28, 2023

Bring yourself, your friends, and whatever unique creative contribution you can offer in a local artist showcase hosted by Ypsilanti resident and singer/songwriter Rochelle Clark.

Ghostly International artist Todd Osborn leads a free late-night DJ set, following Open Mic Night at the Freighthouse.

In the closing performance of UMS’s April Ypsilanti Freighthouse residency, John E. Lawrence and The Power Band take the stage for a sophisticated evening of jazz.

Experience Detroit Puppet Company’s presentation of The Carnival of the Animals and learn how to make your own shadow puppets.

Shakespeare’s compelling tragedy of boundary-defying love is brought startlingly up-to-date by a stellar cast, including Giles Terera (Hamilton) as Othello, Rosy McEwen as Desdemona, and Pal Hilton as Iago.

In a special Pride Month digital presentation, music collective Wild Up champions the music, life, and legacy of composer Julius Eastman.

The UMS Choral Union invites you to take part in the return of Summer Sings. Just come as you are to this no-audition, no-performance evening of memorable music-making!

UMS and UMMA co-host our annual K-12 season opening party to launch the 23/24 Season. Please join us for drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and live music at this special event for educators and administrators.

Snarky Puppy

Sunday, September 10, 2023

With their 2023 Grammy-winning Empire Central, the genre-defying super-band Snarky Puppy returns to Ann Arbor for its third UMS appearance and its first since 2019.

Yoga at the Freighthouse

Tuesday, September 12 - Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Yoga instructor and Ypsilanti resident Marly Spieser-Schneider, will touch on fundamental physical and philosophical elements of the Iyengar Yoga practice, accompanied by live music.

Following the Summer 2023 release of This Moment – their first new studio album in 46 years – revolutionary ensemble Shakti will continue to discover and explore the musical common ground bridging East and West on an exclusive US tour marking the 50th anniversary since their first concerts.

Singer, songwriter, and composer Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond), who spent formative childhood years in Ypsilanti, hosts this open mic night and local artist showcase.. Bring yourself, your friends, and whatever creative contribution you can offer!

For Families
slapslap
Performance + Music Making

Saturday, September 16 - Sunday, September 17, 2023

Just for families, join us for a musical and theatrical adventure provided by the unique electric bassoon and percussion quartet slapslap, which brings together up-tempo dance, music, storytelling, and creative play in a unique interactive event.

Detroit-based saxophonist Marcus Elliot leads a seven-piece band of musicians and artists in this special collaboration with the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County that celebrates the history of Ypsilanti as a refuge for Black Americans dating back to the 1830s.

Join us for an evening of Square Dancing with the Detroit Square Dance Society. We’ll start with light refreshments before heading to the dance floor as we bring the Southern Square Dancing tradition to the Ypsilanti Freighthouse, with live music, non-gender calling, and line dances for anyone and everyone to enjoy.

Soprano superstar Renée Fleming is a leading advocate for the study of powerful connections between the arts and health, and has worked with the National Institutes of Health and other leading organizations to bring attention to research and practice at the intersection of music, health, and neuroscience. During her Ann Arbor visit, she will be joined by local researchers and medical practitioners for a public conversation exploring these important topics.

One of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, Renée Fleming returns to Hill Auditorium for the first time since 2011 in a recital with pianist Inon Barnatan. Inspired by Renée’s 2023 Grammy Award-winning album, Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene, this special performance spans the classical, romantic, and contemporary eras, with beloved songs and new commissions exploring nature as both inspiration and victim of humanity. The National Geographic Society is providing an original video to reflect the musical selections.

UMS is delighted to collaborate with Heads Over Heels Productions and Chroma Productions for two different sets in this drag show extravaganza.

Originating from the Malinke people of West Africa, Moribayassa is a traditional practice in which participants are invited to relieve their burdens through movement and music.

Created especially for families, participants in this workshop will experience traditional West African Dance as well as contemporary AfroBeat dance moves! Afterward, families will participate in an art-making workshop that connects movement to visual art.

Pianist Inon Barnatan performs a free recital for students and general public audiences on North Campus, including his own virtuosic solo piano arrangement of Rachmaninoff’s acclaimed Symphonic Dances.

The Jerusalem Quartet returns for the first time in five years to Rackham Auditorium, performing Paul Ben-Haim’s rhapsodic quartet along with a quartet by Haydn, plus Dvořák’s sublime Piano Quintet with pianist Inon Barnatan.

Program

Franz Joseph Haydn String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 76, No. 6
Paul Ben-Haim String Quartet No. 1, Op. 21
Antonín Dvořák Quintet for Piano and Strings in A Major, Op. 81

Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About A Terrible Monster uses hundreds of illustrated puppets, book pages, two-dimensional props, furry monster puppets, live music, and the wonder of real-time filming to bring Mo Willems’ books to life.

DruidO’Casey:
The Plough and the Stars

Wednesday, October 18 - Saturday, October 21, 2023

Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars is a gripping portrayal of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, Ireland, a six-day conflict led by Irish Republicans who were attempting to establish an independent Ireland while the British were preoccupied by World War I.

DruidO’Casey:
The Shadow of a Gunman

Thursday, October 19 - Saturday, October 21, 2023

In The Shadow of a Gunman, Sean O’Casey explores the Irish War of Independence (1920-21). Set in a tenement house in Dublin, the story centers around the character of Donal Davoren, a struggling poet mistaken for an Irish Republican Army gunman by his neighbors, who approach him with a mixture of fear and intrigue.

DruidO’Casey:
Juno and the Paycock

Friday, October 20 - Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Irish Civil War of 1922-23 provides a backdrop of political unrest and social upheaval that amplifies the struggles of the working-class characters in Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock.

Carlos Miguel Prieto, named 2019 Conductor of the Year by Musical America, leads the Minería Symphony in their first Ann Arbor performance. Latin Grammy Award-winning pianist/composer Gabriela Montero, known for her passionate virtuosity and brilliant improvisation, performs her own first piano concerto.

Program

Gabriela Ortiz Kauyumari
Carlos Chávez Symphony No. 2 (“Sinfonía India”)
Gabriela Montero Piano Concerto No. 1 (“Latin”)
Silvestre Revueltas La noche de los mayas

DakhaBrakha

Friday, November 3, 2023

The world music quartet DakhaBrakha create a world of unexpected new music with their exuberant, transnational sound rooted in Ukrainian culture.

British-Iranian theater maker Javaad Alipoor and Iranian musician, writer, actor, and podcast host King Raam sit down to discuss their cultural backgrounds and theatrical murder mystery Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World”, moderated by Neda Ulaby from NPR.

Are We Dreaming the Same Dream? is an electrifying concert experience that blurs the lines between classical, jazz, and contemporary music. Ann Arbor’s own Akropolis Reed Quintet — composed of clarinet, oboe, saxophone, bass clarinet, and bassoon — joins forces with Grammy-nominated composer and jazz pianist Pascal Le Boeuf, and drummer Christian Euman.

Javaad Alipoor’s Things Hidden investigates the nature of investigation, with the unsolved murder of an Iranian pop icon at its center.

This thrilling new work by Javaad Alipoor explores the story of an unsolved murder and challenges the audience to question how we consume information in a post-colonial world.

Acclaimed violinist Maxim Vengerov brings his radiant and exuberant sound to the stage.

Program

Clara Schumann Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22
Johannes Brahms “Scherzo” from F-A-E Sonata
Robert Schumann Violin Sonata No. 3 in a minor, WoO27
Sergei Prokofiev Five Melodies, Op. 35bis
Sergei Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 9

The U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance Department of Voice, in conjunction with UMS, is pleased to present three Master Classes, each led by a soloist from this year’s UMS presentation of Handel’s Messiah.

Scott Hanoian, Music Director of the UMS Choral Union, in conjunction with the annual Handel’s Messiah performances, presents a pre-performance talk about the Saturday evening concert. He gives a conductor’s inside look at Handel’s treatment of the Charles Jensen’s libretto.

Handel’s Messiah

Saturday, December 2 - Sunday, December 3, 2023

Hear Handel’s Messiah, Ann Arbor’s most beloved holiday tradition, with the UMS Choral Union and the Ann Arbor Symphony in Hill Auditorium.

Immerse yourself in the virtuosity of the ukulele, an instrument rich with tradition that originated in Hawai’i in the 1800s.

Shimabukuro draws on a vibrant catalog of holiday classics for his return appearance in Hill Auditorium.

Jake Shimabukuro returns to the UMS School Day Performance series to present a program of holiday fun sprinkled with a little Hawaiian tradition.

Two of today’s most celebrated artists join forces in an innovative program for two pianos that celebrates the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and more.

With all of the plot twists, emotional outbursts, and suspenseful scenes of a true grand opera, Francis Ford Coppola’s epic film The Godfather deserves a full sensory experience.

Papa Penguin receives a special delivery from the sky — a baby chick penguin! The hapless pair navigates slippery slopes and perilous adventures in this funny and moving story about love, life, and learning.

Hélène Grimaud returns to Hill Auditorium for her UMS recital debut, bringing her thoughtful and tenderly expressive sound to the stage.

Program

Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109
Johannes Brahms Three Intermezzi, Op. 117
Johannes Brahms Fantasies, Op. 116
J.S. Bach Chaconne from BWV 1004 (arr. F. Busoni)

LaTasha Barnes’
The Jazz Continuum

Friday, January 19 - Saturday, January 20, 2024

LaTasha Barnes presents The Jazz Continuum, a new production centering the prolific artistry of jazz music and dance as a cornerstone of Black American culture and community.

A new generation takes mariachi to whole new heights when Latin Grammy nominee Mariachi Herencia de México presents Herederos (the “heirs”).

Introduce your students to the traditions of mariachi performed by the next generation of young, talented musicians.

This classical superstar trio returns to the Hill Auditorium stage with an all-Beethoven program.

Program

Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 (“Ghost”)
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21 (arr. Wosner)
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70, No. 2

Composer Nkeiru Okoye sits down with classical radio host Terrance McKnight to discuss her world premiere work, When the Caged Bird Sings, and her vibrant career.

When the Caged Bird Sings is a new commission by American composer Nkeiru Okoye, fusing elements of oratorio, theater, and opera in a multi-movement musical ceremony. Okoye describes the work as “a gathering” that invokes the ritual of the concert experience as a ritual of community.

Join the UMS Student Committee for food, games, and performances by U-M’s own Meghan Tuttle, Tarps Off, Maddy Ringo, and SANYA.

Explore Martha Graham’s life and work led by local dance artist Peter Sparling.

Bring your students to this riveting performance and experience not only the rich history of the ensemble but also the fresh innovation of artists expanding the landscape of dance.

Two of the most sought-after recitalists on the international stage join forces, as Canadian violinist James Ehnes and his longtime recital partner, American pianist Andrew Armstrong, make their UMS live performance debuts together in a concert that will also include faculty and students from the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Program

Leclair Violin Sonata, Op. 9, No. 3
Shostakovich Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 134
Howard They Have Just Arrived At This New Level (for string quartet, flute, and clarinet)
Sarasate Spanish Dances, Op. 22
Wieniawski Polonaise Brillante, Op. 21

The Martha Graham Company, recognized as a primal artistic force of the 20th century, gives a performance rooted in cultural history. These performances will include a new work choreographed by Jamar Roberts and set to music by Rhiannon Giddens, as well as Agnes DeMille’s 1942 classic Rodeo, with its iconic score by Aaron Copland reorchestrated for a bluegrass ensemble. Martha Graham’s final complete work, Maple Leaf Rag, rounds out the program.

Join us for a 60-minute dance workshop led by a member of the Martha Graham Dance Company and learn the fundamentals of the iconic Graham Technique first-hand.

In his much-anticipated return after his 2016 UMS debut, pianist Igor Levit performs a recital of transcriptions by Mahler, Hindemith, and Beethoven in Hill Auditorium.

Program

Paul Hindemith Suite 1922
Gustav Mahler
Adagio from Symphony No. 10 (arr. for piano by Ronald Stevenson)
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 (“Eroica”) (arr. for piano by Franz Liszt)

In its exciting UMS debut, the dynamic Isidore String Quartet takes the audience through a musical journey from the 18th to the 21st centuries.

Program

Franz Joseph Haydn String Quartet in C Major, Op. 20, No. 2
Billy Childs String Quartet No. 2 (“Awakening”)
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet No. 15 in a minor, Op. 132

Marvin loves exploring the parks around his home looking for birds, bugs, and animals. On his ninth birthday he receives his very own pair of grown-up, pro binoculars! But then something terrible happens: he loses them, and to get them back, he must face the intimidating park warden.

Orchestre de Paris

Thursday, March 14, 2024

The Orchestre de Paris returns to Hill Auditorium for the first time since 2002, featuring the UMS debuts of two young superstar artists — music director Klaus Mäkelä and Van Cliburn gold medal-winning pianist Yunchan Lim — in a program of Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Stravinsky.

Program

Claude Debussy Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor, Op. 18
Igor Stravinsky The Firebird (complete version)

Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and pianist Sullivan Fortner join forces for a concert at the intersection of jazz and chamber music in a tribute to the collaboration between Louis Armstrong and Earl “Fatha” Hines.

Canceled Event:
Batsheva Dance Company
MOMO

Saturday, March 23 - Sunday, March 24, 2024

We regret to inform you that Batsheva has postponed its March tour to the United States, including the March 23-24, 2024 performances co-presented by UMS and Detroit Opera. We look forward to bringing the company back to Southeast Michigan in the future. Ticketholders will receive an email with options to refund or donate their tickets.

The role of women in jazz goes back nearly a century. Local jazz bassist Marion Hayden leads this exploration of women who have made their name in this uniquely American art form.

Samara Joy

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

At 24, Samara Joy is already setting the music world on fire, winning the 2023 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, as well as the Best New Artist nod — only the second time in Grammy history that award has been bestowed upon a jazz musician.

Swing Dance Party

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Join Riverside Swings and Swing Ann Arbor for a night of swing dance at the Freighthouse! Learn the basics, then dance the night away to the sounds of special guest band The Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club.

Grab a drink and raise your glass – we’re celebrating this Michigan-based ensemble’s 10th birthday with an intimate night of chamber music at the Freighthouse. 

Back by popular demand: Drag Night is back in millennium glitching fashion! Dust off your favorite low-rise jeans, velour tracksuits, and platform sandals, because we are throwing it back with this 1990s and 2000s themed night. 

We regret that this performance has been canceled due to a hand injury Marcel Khalife sustained in a fall this summer. We are working to reschedule the date for the 24/25 season. Ticketholders will receive an email with options to refund or donate their tickets.

UMS is thrilled to collaborate with the Independent Film Festival Ypsilanti (iFFY) to present The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, a 1927 British silent thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock about the hunt for a serial killer in London. Michigan’s Little Bang Theory, a trio founded by Detroit avant-garde music legend Frank Pahl, performs an original score on toy instruments to bring life to the timeless art of silent cinema.

Takács Quartet

Friday, April 12, 2024

The Takács Quartet, a perennial UMS favorite, returns with a program that nods to the natural world, including a new UMS co-commission by Nokuthula Endo Ngwenyama.

Program

Franz Joseph Haydn String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 76, No. 4 (“Sunrise”)
Nokuthula Ngwenyama flow (UMS co-commission)
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet No. 8 in e minor, Op. 59, No. 2

Open Mic Night is back! From soulful music to gripping poetry, this is a platform where raw passion meets an appreciative audience and celebrates the incredible talent that exists in our own community.

The Philadelphia Orchestra and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin return to Hill Auditorium in two programs:

Sat Program

Florence Price Symphony No. 4 in d minor
Sergei Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in e minor, Op. 27

Sun Program

Johannes Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45

Joe Reilly is a singer/songwriter, social worker, and Michigan educator who writes songs from his heart. The Italian, Irish, and Native American (Cherokee) singer draws from his three children’s albums of environmental and community songs in this Earth Day-themed concert for families. After the performance, families are invited to stay for a hands-on Earth Day activity. 

Michigan electronic musician Shigeto joins artists Marcus Elliot (saxophone), Ian Fink (keyboards), and special guests for this late-night show.

Regenerate! Orchestra

Saturday, April 27 - Sunday, April 28, 2024

Part symphony, part jam session, part group meditation, the Regenerate! Orchestra invites audiences to participate at whatever level is comfortable: performing with the group, or sitting back and enjoying the results of a bespoke performance from musicians in our community.

UMS hosts a special project and culminating performance with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, composer and kamancheh (spiked fiddle) virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, and the Orchestra of the Americas on the University of Michigan campus.

Program

Gabriela Ortiz Téenek
Kayhan Kalhor Double Concerto for Cello and Kamancheh
Ottorino Respighi Roman Festivals
Ottorino Respighi The Pines of Rome

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