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May 13, 2021

Introducing the 2021/22 Season


Watch our 30-second trailer: Looking Forward

“We are all looking forward to returning, to restarting, to reconnecting, and to rejoicing with our audiences and artists once again.” — UMS president Matthew VanBesien.

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For Our Patrons & Season Ticketholders

Season Tickets will be available online starting Monday, May 17 at 10 am. Learn more or flip through our interactive season brochure.

You are our top priority. UMS is fully committed to the health and safety of our audiences, and will provide all flexibility and accommodation possible in the months ahead.

See Our Safety Protocols for Live Events and FAQ

For the Press

View Full Press Release (PDF)
View Chronological List of Events (PDF)

Season Highlights

Five New Commissions

Kyle Abraham and Jlin

Kyle Abraham and Jlin

UMS is proud to continue its work as a lead commissioner of innovative new works presented in-person or digitally this season. Five projects include:


Focus on the Arab World and Its Diaspora

'Night' by Ali Chahrour

Ali Chahrour’s Layl (Night)

Artistic projects will focus on artists, institutions, and ensembles from the Arab World and its diaspora, exploring the depth, complexity, and diversity of perspectives among Arab and Arab-American artists and communities. Events feature:

  • Choreographer and theater maker Ali Chahrour’s Layl (Night) (Sat Feb 12)
  • The National Arab Orchestra with singer Abeer Nehme (Sat Mar 19)
  • A celebratory evening of performances, Sahra, by violinist/composer Mike Khoury, choreographer Leyya Tawil, vocalist/producer/DJ Tammy Lakkis, and Moroccan performance group Kabareh Cheikhats (Sat Apr 9)
  • Mentioned above, Tarek Yamani’s new work for string quartet, premiering digitally with the Spektral Quartet (Wed Oct 27)


Creative Partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Nathalie Stutzmann

Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Principal Guest Conductor Nathalie Stutzmann

UMS is thrilled to begin a new 21st-century residency in the 2021/22 season, including two live concerts in Hill Auditorium led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Nathalie Stutzmann, a digital presentation, and engagements with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. The Friday night concert features U-M alumna and principal tuba Carol Jantsch in Wynton Marsalis’s Concerto for Tuba, which will have its world premiere in December.

The two organizations are also collaborating on a new semi-staged theatrical concert performance of Fiddler on the Roof, featuring the world premiere live performances of John Williams’s Academy Award-winning 1971 adaptation of the beloved musical score by composer Jerry Bock. The production, which will feature both Broadway stars and U-M Musical Theatre students, will begin in Ann Arbor with the Grand Rapids Symphony and then transfer to Philadelphia, where the Philadelphia Orchestra will perform it at the Kimmel Center.

Learn more on our blog


Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower

UMS will present Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon’s new work, Parable of the Sower, a triumphant, mesmerizing work of rare power and beauty that illuminates deep insights on gender, race, and the future of human civilization. The opera brings together over 30 original anthems drawn from 300 years of Black music to recreate author Octavia E. Butler’s Afrofuturist masterpiece live on stage with 20 singers and musicians.

Learn more on our blog


The “Return” of Performances Canceled due the Pandemic

Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández

Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández

Several events that were originally scheduled and canceled for the end of the 2019/20 season and the entirety of the 2020/21 season will be presented in 2021/22, and more will follow in the coming seasons as tours are rescheduled. Next season’s program includes:


Digital Programming

Spektral Quartet

Spektral Quartet, UMS Digital Residency Artists

During the pandemic, UMS’s free digital presentations reached over 75,000 people in 65 countries across six continents. UMS has made a commitment to continue these digital programs, bringing the arts to those who may not be ready or able to return to live performances or whose geographic boundaries may prohibit in-person attendance. Programs will include:

  • JAM3A, a virtual music and arts festival celebrating Arab talent, community, and identity, presented by the Arab American National Museum (Thu-Sun Sep 23-26)
  • Tarek Yamani and the Spektral Quartet (world premiere Wednesday, October 27)
  • Cleo Parker Robinson’s UMS Digital Artist Residency project, a documentary film about the creative process behind The Four Journeys, created by Amalia Viviana Basanta Hernández for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (dates TBA)
  • Unmasking the Arts: Looking to the Future, a series of conversations between multidisciplinary artist Helga Davis and prominent artistic voices, including Anthony McGill, Wu Han, Yuval Sharon, and Rhiannon Giddens, about the intersection between the arts and contemporary issues in the post-pandemic world, including the role of the arts in the context of social justice, how politics play into evolving cultural values, and more (dates TBA)
  • Davóne Tines and The Philadelphia Orchestra in a suite of arias and poetry on themes of social justice (dates TBA)
  • Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan (dates TBA)

Explore all 2021/22 events