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December 21, 2022

12 Memorable Moments of 2022


It’s been an unforgettable year. Thank you, UMS supporters and audience members, for continuing to support the performing arts. Because of you, we’ve been able to safely navigate a return to fully in-person performances and maintain the cultivation of the arts. From large-scale residencies to multiple sold-out performances, here are 12 Memorable Moments of 2022:

Premiering Fiddler on the Roof in Concert

In February, UMS premiered Fiddler on the Roof in Concert, featuring Broadway professionals, U-M musical theatre students, and the Grand Rapids Symphony. From reimagining John Williams’s Academy Award-winning orchestrations to rehearsing safely in person under strict protocols, this project was a massive undertaking with months of preparation and planning. In March, the production triumphantly traveled to Verizon Hall for a weekend with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Relive highlights from the production on our blog.

Building Connection Through Parable Path A2Ypsi

Ypsilanti Freighthouse meeting
Alongside Toshi Reagon’s operatic adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, UMS collaborated with the local community to bring Parable Path A2Ypsi, a series of gatherings reflecting on the themes seen in Butler’s work. Events included a community read of the novel, participatory arts experiences, a tour of the A2STEAM gardens, and so much more!

Planting Seeds with Joyce DiDonato’s EDEN

Joyce DiDonato graced the stage of Hill Auditorium with the period orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro for a brilliant and theatrical celebration of the majesty, might, and mystery of nature. As a part of this UMS co-commission, Joyce invited the Ann Arbor Youth Chorale to join her for the final encore where they sang “Seeds of Hope,” an anthem collaboratively written by 11–13-year-olds in London. Read more about the performance and Joyce’s work with the Ann Arbor Youth Chorale.

Watching from Home: UMS Live Sessions

Takács Quartet with Julien Labro
UMS continued its series of Live Sessions, a series of short digital performances recorded at local venues and designed for at-home viewing. Viewers had the rare opportunity to watch vibrant artists including the Tákacs Quartet with Julien Labro, JLin, Nicholas Phan, Imani Winds & Catalyst Quartet, Tammy Lakkis, and Elvis Perkins in up-close and beautifully produced videos.

Learning with UMS Performance Playground

Allen Dennard
In 2020, UMS created Performance Playground, a free video series where artists demonstrate their performance genre, to provide accessible and valuable performing arts resources to students. This year, students learned about jazz trumpet, shadow puppetry, West African dance, bassoon, and more from experienced artists throughout Michigan.

Opening our 2022/23 Season with Trevor Noah

UMS welcomed more than 3,400 audience members, including over 1,000 students, to Hill Auditorium for Trevor Noah’s Back to Abnormal tour. Earlier that day, Trevor met with over 2,000 students from Michigan Engineering to discuss his memoir, Born A Crime, which was their 2022 Common Read.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason Returns to Ann Arbor

Renowned cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason returned to Ann Arbor to join conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In Hill Auditorium, Mirga and Sheku proved a compelling pair with Elgar’s Cello Concerto. Earlier that day, Sheku dropped by a Hill Auditorium Open House for students from across the university. The surprise guest delighted those attending in discussing his artistic practice and life as a touring musician.

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Week-Long Residency

Wynton Marsalis’s ‘All Rise’ in Hill Auditorium
In October, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra completed its most extensive UMS residency to date, complete with learning and engagement opportunities at the University of Michigan and across Southeast Michigan and a weekend of unforgettable performances in Hill Auditorium. The cornerstone of the residency was the performance of Wynton Marsalis’s massive orchestral work All Rise, which came to life through the combined forces of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, U-M Choirs, and the UMS Choral Union. Revisit all of the residency activities on our blog.

Pina Bausch’s Iconic Rite of Spring in the Power Center

Pina Bausch's 'The Rite of Spring'
34 dancers from 14 African countries assembled in the Power Center to perform Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring and pay tribute to her unparalleled genius. Accompanying this piece was common ground[s], a new work created, performed, and inspired by the lives of  Germaine Acogny, who is widely considered “the mother of contemporary African dance,” and Malou Airaudo, who performed leading roles in many of Bausch’s early works.

Aida Cuevas Delights in Her School Day Performance

UMS welcomed students from across the region for our School Day Performance with Aida Cuevas. Throughout the concert, children watched with delight and amazement as she displayed her powerful voice alongside the dynamic instrumentation of Mariachi Aztlán. The performance was particularly special for one student, who received birthday wishes from the “Queen of Ranchera” herself, as Hill Auditorium broke out in an impromptu “Happy Birthday.”

The Berlin Philharmonic on Campus

The Berliner Philharmoniker in Hill Auditorium in 2022
Chief conductor Kirill Petrenko made his UMS debut with performances featuring Korngold’s Symphony in F-Sharp Major and Mahler’s Symphony No. 7. Preceding their performances in Hill Auditorium, members of the Berlin Philharmonic participated in a dozen master classes with SMTD students. These classes were free and open to the public for viewers both in-person and online.

Itzhak Perlman Celebrates His Artistic Friendships

In a sold-out, Hill Auditorium performance (Perlman’s first since 2014), Emanuel Ax, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and the Juilliard String Quartet joined Itzhak Perlman to celebrate their artistic friendships with a program displaying the range of Perlman’s remarkable artistry and career.

Thank you for your loyal support of UMS over the past year! We wish you a happy and safe New Year and look forward to seeing you soon in 2023.

To make a year-end contribution, visit

For more reflections on the 2021/22 season, view our 2022 annual report.