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UMS Receives the Largest Gift in Its 146-Year History

With a generous gift of $5 million, University of Michigan alumna Eileen Weiser and her husband Richard “Dick” Caldarazzo establish the Weiser Caldarazzo Iconic Artists Endowment Fund at UMS. The fund will support two performances annually by significant artists or ensembles recognized as icons in today’s vibrant performing arts scene.

UMS Board of Directors co-chairs Brian Willen and Christina Kim, Dick Caldarazzo and Eileen Weiser, and UMS president Matthew VanBesien

UMS Board of Directors co-chairs Brian Willen and Christina Kim, Dick Caldarazzo and Eileen Weiser, and UMS president Matthew VanBesien

Having served on Michigan’s State Board of Education, the National Assessment Governing Board, the Presidential Scholars Commission, the Education Commission of the States, the 21st Century Education Commission, and as an appointee on the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the gift aligns with Weiser’s priorities of supporting student enrichment and achievement.

Weiser also holds piano performance degrees from Michigan State University (B.M.1972) and the University of Michigan (M.M., 1975), giving her a first-hand appreciation of how the performing arts support a vibrant cultural community in Southeast Michigan.

“The performing arts are precious to both of us for the haven they provide from everyday life. We treasure how the arts challenge us, make us laugh or cry, provoke new thoughts and ideas while lifting up our emotions. They are essential to creating tolerance, strengthening our humanity, and helping people find balance in our increasingly complex world.”
—Eileen Weiser

Weiser serves on U-M boards including the School of Education Dean’s Advisory Council and the UMS Campaign Council. She has supported UMS over the years, most recently serving as a Title Sponsor in helping to fund the presentation of Itzhak Perlman & Friends in December 2023 and Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-Yo Ma in January 2024.

“The University Musical Society has provided amazing performance opportunities for 146 years. We are grateful that we can help ensure that tradition of excellence for the future, both for the performers they nurture and the joy they bring to our community.”
—Dick Caldarazzo

Hailing from Chicago, Caldarazzo (U-M LSA ‘70, DePaul ‘75 J.D.) played offensive guard for the Michigan Wolverines in the 1970 Rose Bowl under the legendary Bo Schembechler. A Michigan Man through and through, Caldarazzo values upholding the distinctive “Leaders and Best” culture at Michigan — and establishing this new endowment at UMS does just that.

This is the first gift that Weiser and her husband Caldarazzo are making together, and the largest gift that UMS has ever received since its founding in 1879.

“As all of us at UMS look forward to our 150th season in 2028-29, and all the exciting things we are planning, it is incredibly gratifying to have this extraordinary commitment from Eileen Weiser and Dick Caldarazzo — two fervent believers in the arts and culture, UMS, and the University of Michigan,” Matthew VanBesien UMS president, noted. “Their support helps ensure we can always invite the world’s most iconic and important artists and ensembles to perform on our stages and for the benefit of our students and the broader community.”

Experience Orchestral All-Stars from Around the World

The Berliner Philharmoniker in Hill Auditorium in 2022

There’s nothing like hearing a great orchestra in the acoustic beauty of Hill Auditorium….and UMS’s 24/25 Season welcomes many opportunities to experience it!

Preview the orchestral all-stars of our 24/25 Choral Union Series, featuring two different programs by the Berliner Philharmoniker, phenomenal soloists, Prokofiev’s triumphant film score, and so much more!

 

London Philharmonic Orchestra


Fri Oct 18 at 7:30 pm

The London Philharmonic returns to Hill Auditorium after 13 years — with UMS debuts by principal conductor Edward Gardner and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja — in a program of Shostakovich, Sibelius, and works by composer-in-residence Tania León and Benjamin Britten.

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Berliner Philharmoniker with Hilary Hahn, violin

Hilary Hahn
Sat Nov 23 at 7:30 pm

In the first of two concerts by the Berliner Philharmoniker, violinist Hilary Hahn makes her first Ann Arbor appearance in two decades, performing Korngold’s heart-tugging violin concerto. Also on the program: Rachmaninoff’s first orchestral masterpiece, Isle of the Dead, and Dvořák’s dramatic Symphony No. 7.

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Berliner Philharmoniker: Bruckner 5

Kirill Petrenko conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker
Sun Nov 24 at 4 pm

The Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Kirill Petrenko perform Bruckner’s monumental Symphony No. 5, which explores themes of struggle, redemption, and spiritual transcendence, with rich brass chorales in the final movement.

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Film with Live Orchestra: Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky

An orchestra plays while the film Alexander Nevsky is projected on a screen above them.
Sat Mar 22 at 7:30 pm

The 1938 Soviet historical drama was directed by Sergei Eisenstein with a score written by Sergei Prokofiev. It depicts the attempted invasion of Novgorod in the 13th century by Knights of the Holy Roman Empire and their defeat by Prince Alexander, aka Alexander Nevsky. The film and music were a true collaboration in that some of the film was shot to Prokofiev’s music and some of Prokofiev’s music was composed to Eistenstein’s footage.

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra will be joined by the mighty UMS Choral Union, led by conductor Scott Hanoian.

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Les Arts Florissants: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at 300

Les Arts Florissants
Wed Apr 9 at 7:30 pm

When first published in 1725, nobody could imagine that Vivaldi’s Four Seasons would become some of the most frequently-heard music of all time! Violin sensation Théotime Langlois de Swarte joins acclaimed early music ensemble Les Arts Florissants in a performance that frames Vivaldi’s iconic concertos in a new light. The program invites questions about the fleeting cyclical nature of our existence, our relationship with nature, and the eternal renewal of earth’s cycles, now being modified by climate change.

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24/25 Season Ticket packages are on sale now! You can experience these performances in our 10-concert Choral Union Series for as little as $140. Or, craft a performance season as unique as you and save 10% with Series:You. Either way, you’ll get early access to the best seats in the Power Center — and at the best prices — before individual event tickets go on sale in August.

Subscribers save up to 17% over individual event prices and receive other great benefits as well, including discounts throughout the year to all UMS events, free exchange privileges, installment billing, and more!

Learn More

Provocative Theater in the 24/25 Season

With adventurous and exciting performers from the US and Europe, UMS’s 24/25 theater lineup is not for the faint of heart! It showcases opportunities to dig deep into our inner selves, reflect on our own values, and see shades of gray in a world that all too often presents itself in black and white.

Explore the artists and works coming to campus in the new season…and prepare to be moved!

 

Fight Night

Ontroerend Goed

Fight Night by Ontroerend GoedWed-Sun Sep 25-29 // Power Center

An interactive exploration of why we vote the way we do…

Five candidates. One winner. You decide who survives. On the brink of a presidential election, Belgium’s extraordinary Ontroerend Goed offers a fun and thought-provoking, examination of free will and politics that puts electronic voting devices — and the candidates’ fates — directly into the hands of audience members. Leave your politics at the door — this resolutely political show contains no identifiable political message, ideology, or social or economic reality, but draws attention to how the battle for our attention, sympathy, and approval reveal surprising and superficial snap judgments. Each performance is different depending on who is in the audience.

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Ulysses

Elevator Repair Service

Ulysses / Elevator Repair ServiceSat-Sun Oct 19-20 // Power Center

A madcap adaptation of James Joyce’s masterpiece…

Building on a rich history of staging modernist texts, Elevator Repair Service takes on this mammoth work of 21st-century literature (in an abridged version!) for their UMS debut. Seven performers sit down for a sober reading but soon find themselves guzzling pints, getting in brawls, and committing debaucheries as they careen on a fast-forward tour through Joyce’s funhouse of styles. With madcap antics and a densely layered sound design, Elevator Repair Service presents an eclectic sampling from Joyce’s life-affirming masterpiece.

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Nate — A One Man Show

Written by and starring Natalie Palamides

Natalie Palamides as 'Nate'Wed-Sun Feb 5-9 // Arthur Miller Theatre

A deconstruction of toxic masculinity…

Meet Nate, “a hypermasculine, adrenaline-fueled, protein powder enthusiast … a man’s man” (NPR) performed by Natalie Palamides in drag. Palamides premiered the show to wide acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018 before Amy Poehler produced it as a Netflix special. Nate careens between making the audience laugh and making them uncomfortable, earnestly asking for permission while manipulating audience members to comply with absurd requests. The constant mixed signals come to a head with conflicting interpretations of consent — though perhaps not in the ways you would expect. This clever and provocative deconstruction of toxic masculinity sticks with you long after the performance ends.

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TRIPTYCH

Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom: TRIPTYCHFri-Sat Mar 28-29 // Power Center

A suspense-filled universe…

In this noirish labyrinth of missing doors, lost rooms, and hidden floors — scenes you’d expect from the brain of David Lynch — time, memory, and premonition revolve around the illusions, utopias, and lost loves of characters who act out their own enigmatic fiction, continually drifting away and searching for one another. Originally created for Nederlands Dans Theater, Triptych is performed by the acclaimed Belgian dance-theater company Peeping Tom.

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24/25 Season Ticket packages are on sale now! You can experience these four works for as little as $130 with a Theater Series subscription. Or, craft a performance season as unique as you and save 10% with Series:You. Either way, you’ll get early access to the best seats in the Power Center — and at the best prices — before individual event tickets go on sale in August.

Subscribers save up to 17% over individual event prices and receive other great benefits as well, including discounts throughout the year to all UMS events, free exchange privileges, installment billing, and more!

Learn More

Meet the 2024/25 Season 21st Century Artist Interns

Each year, UMS and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance select students for a unique internship experience. Students are paired with internationally renowned artists and companies, including dance, theater, and music ensembles.

The 21st Century Artist Internship is a highly competitive program developed to prepare students for new demands that working artists face in the contemporary marketplace.

This summer, interns will develop industry contacts, hands-on work experience, and deep connections with internationally recognized performing artists. And upon their return to campus, the interns continue their work via a one-credit independent study where they serve as campus ambassadors, educators, and marketers to support their respective artists during their visit to Ann Arbor in UMS’s 2024/25 season.

The 21st Century Artist Internship program is made possible in part by Tim and Sally Petersen.

This Year’s Interns

Cristina Benn

Class of 2025
Major: Dance
Placement: TRIBE Multidisciplinary Visual Performances (New York City, NY)

Related UMS Performances
BLACK HOLE: Trilogy and Triathlon
Mar 14-15, 2025 // Power Center

Cristina “CiCi” Benn is a dancer, choreographer, and musician currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, with a minor in Music and Performing Arts Entrepreneurship and Leadership. Since the age of 4, CiCi has performed both nationally and internationally, involving herself in art that tells diverse stories. As a choreographer, her most notable works include MUSKET’s Once On This Island, Detroit Music Hall’s Hastings Street, and most recently her own BFA Dance Concert Exultant Existence. From choreographing musicals to performing in concert halls, CiCi strives to create art that showcases the representation of Black and Latino art.

 

Renata Rangel Renata Rangel

Class of 2025
Major: Percussion Performance
Placement: Berliner Philharmoniker (Berlin, Germany)

Related UMS Performances
Berliner Philharmoniker with Hilary Hahn, violin
Nov 23, 2024 // Hill Auditorium

Berliner Philharmoniker
Nov 24, 2024 // Hill Auditorium

Renata Rangel (she/her) is a dynamic Mexican-American percussionist hailing from Chicago. She is currently studying at the University of Michigan School of Music, where she is honing her craft as a percussion performance major, guided by the expert tutelage of Doug Perkins and Ian Antonio. Renata’s dedication to her artistry extends beyond performance, as she pursues a minor in performing arts management and entrepreneurship, further enriching her understanding of the backbone that holds down the arts world. She has performed captivating world premieres around the world, and whether it’s with the University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble touring the East Coast, performing on the mountains of Switzerland, or returning to her roots in Chicago, these collaborations leave a lasting impression. Beyond her accomplishments on stage, Renata is determined to drive meaningful change within the music industry. She envisions a future where classical music is accessible to all, making sure community music programs that she luckily grew up with are spread across everywhere. She is currently working on commissioning Mexican composers to help publish traditional marimba ensemble music, music that is not well known in American music schools.

 

Tyler Simpson Pouncéy Tyler Simpson Pouncéy

Class of 2025
Majors: Instrumental Music Education, American Culture
Placement: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (New York City, NY)

Related UMS Performances
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Feb 1, 2025 // Hill Auditorium

Tyler Simpson Pouncéy (he/they), from Cerritos, CA, is a 3rd year at the University of Michigan studying Instrumental Music Education (BM) as well as Ethnic Studies (BA). Being a Black and queer instrumentalist, they have always prioritized the intersection of identities through the intersection of various art mediums. As an arts leader, they believe that the communities should be able to have artistic experiences even if for a brief glimpse of their life.

Involved in arts education in the surrounding Ann Arbor area, he has worked with Michigan Youth Ensembles, MPulse performing arts summer program as well as the National Association for Music Education at the university. As a student, he music directed In The Round’s Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 and has led the euphonium section of the Michigan Marching Band as well as their Business Staff.

With a passion for uplifting other artists and collaboration, Tyler continues to make interpersonal connections through artistic spaces via the unifying language of music. In a time where diversity should permeate all walks of life, he wants to be in the push for inclusive frameworks of the whole picture.

 

Maddie Vassalo Maddie Vassalo

Class of 2025
Major: Interarts Performance
Placement: Ontroerend Goed (Ghent, Belgium)

Related UMS Performances
Fight Night
Sep 25-29, 2024 // Power Center

Maddie Vassalo is a rising senior at the University of Michigan from Washington DC, majoring in Interarts Performance with a minor in Computer Science. While her main concentrations are in game design, virtual production, and film, she has a wide range of experience in both the performing and visual arts, with background in technical direction, performance, stage management, animation, and garment design. While at Michigan, Maddie has been involved in numerous independent works, most recently a 40-minute virtual production film retelling the Greek myth of Iphis and Ianthe which she wrote, produced, and acted in, as well as creating the virtual backgrounds and real life set. Last year she co-directed and produced a devised theater piece called If the World Ends Tomorrow it’s all Your Fault which explored the pandemic’s impact through print media and photojournalism.

Maddie is especially interested in exploring the connections between STEM and the arts and is continuously looking for ways to integrate her interests in engineering and storytelling.

April 2024 at the Freighthouse: A Hub for Local Talent and Creative Expression

It’s hard to believe that UMS concluded a pilot week of programming at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse just one year ago. That pilot residency introduced a Pay-What-You-Wish ticket model and an eclectic variety of events for multi-generational audiences.

UMS’s April 2024 residency built on the momentum of our pilot week and a fantastic, four-week return to the Freighthouse last fall. We welcomed nearly 2,000 guests from across Southeast Michigan — a third of whom self-identified as Ypsilanti residents.

We are delighted that the Freighthouse has become a creative hub and gathering place for culturally curious audiences of all ages. Take a look back at our favorite moments — from the local talents of our Open Mic Night participants to the immersive fun of our free Family Days:

 

Getting Into the Swing of Things

Participants swing dance at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse
We kicked off our April 2024 residency with a night of swing dance led by Riverside Swings and Swing Ann Arbor. They taught folks the basics, and then everyone danced the night away to the hot horn riffs and bouncing bass lines of Ferndale’s Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club.

 

A Birthday Celebration of New Music

Hub New Music
Our first chamber music experience at the Freighthouse was a huge success. We celebrated Hub New Music’s 10th anniversary with an evening of exciting new works written specifically for the Michigan-based ensemble by celebrated living composers, including Tyshawn Sorey and Nico Muhly.

In the weeks leading up to their Freighthouse debut, Hub New Music worked with students from Estabrook Elementary School in Ypsilanti to develop an original composition (about pirates!), which they premiered in a special K-12 performance.

A student conducts Hub New Music in performance

 

Throwing It Back with Y2Gay

Zooey Gaychanel and local drag artists perform
By popular demand, Drag Night returned to the Freighthouse in millennium-glitching fashion! Hostess with the mostess Zooey Gaychanel led the crowd through dance hits of the 1990s and 2000s, featuring a cast of local drag artists and on-brand DJ sets by DJ Medusa.

 

A Not-So-Silent Movie Night

The Lodger
UMS teamed up with the Independent Film Festival Ypsilanti (iFFY) to present The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, a 1927 silent thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Michigan’s Little Bang Theory accompanied the film with an original score, played on toy and non-traditional instruments — adding a fresh thrill to this thriller.

 

Dancing Through Mexico

Dancing Through Mexico
Flint’s El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil led interactive performances for nearly 100 families and taught kids the basic movements of Mexican folkloric dance, accompanied by live music.

 

An Earth Day Celebration

Joe Reilly and friends lead the audience in dance
Local singer-songwriter Joe Reilly performed fun community and nature-inspired songs in a special Earth Day concert for families. His “Turkey Vulture” rap was an especially big hit with the crowd!

After Joe Reilly’s performance, Ypsilanti-based Growing Hope Urban Farm helped families craft seed balls to spread native wildflowers throughout our community.

Kids craft seed balls made of clay

 

Ypsi’s Got Talent

Local artists take the stage at Open Mic Night
Singer, songwriter, and UMS staff member Rochelle Clark hosted a free Open Mic Night, inviting local musicians, poets, and artists from Ypsi and beyond to share their talents with the community. The evening featured special appearances by the State of Michigan’s poet laureate Nandi Comer, as well as bass player Gwenyth Hayes.

 

Shigeto Live Ensemble

Shigeto Live Ensemble
Beloved Detroit electronic artist and percussionist Shigeto joined forces with saxophone virtuoso Marcus Elliot and Ian Fink on keyboard, in an electrifying, packed, and sold-out late-night set for our final Friday at the Freighthouse.

It was wonderful to welcome back Marcus Elliot, who gave the memorable world premiere of Sonic Contributions at the Freighthouse last Fall:

 

A Beautiful Ecosystem of Sounds

Members of Regenerate Orchestra play music and toss tissue paper in the air
The Regenerate! Orchestra returned to the Freighthouse for two events to close our residency. A community of musicians created immersive soundscapes inspired by nature and a blend of traditional instruments, vocals, and sounds from everyday objects, and the audience was invited to walk around and participate in sonic creation throughout the performances.

Enjoy this footage of the Regenerate! Orchestra’s first Freighthouse appearance from UMS’s pilot week in April 2023:

 

Thank you to all who participated in our April residency at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse! UMS will be back in Ypsi in September 2024. Sign up for our Freighthouse interest list for a reminder when full details are announced later this summer.

 

Thank You to Our Residency Supporters

The Ypsilanti Freighthouse residency is supported by Menakka and Essel Bailey and Matt and Nicole Lester.

Additional residency support from WEMU 89.1 FM.

Funded in Part by

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Preview Groundbreaking Dance in the 24/25 Season

UMS is known for welcoming cutting-edge international dance companies to Ann Arbor, and our 24/25 dance lineup proudly continues this rich legacy! Explore the artists and works coming to the Power Center stage in the new season:

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
13 Tongues

Sat-Sun, Oct 26-27 // Power Center

Choreographer Cheng Tsung-lung’s work 13 Tongues recalls his mother’s stories about a legendary street artist in the 1960s. Cheng transforms his childhood memories of Taoist rites and the bustling street life of Bangka (艋舺), the oldest district in Taipei, into a dreamlike fantasy world. Beginning and ending with the sound of a single hand bell, the evocative musical score interweaves Taiwanese folk songs, Taoist chant, and electronica on a journey from the ancient to the contemporary.

Learn More

 

 

Shamel Pitts | TRIBE
BLACK HOLE: Trilogy and Triathlon

Fri-Sat, Mar 14-15 // Power Center

Three Black dancers share the stage in a narrative of unity, vigor, and unrelenting advancement. Their journey originates in the darkness of the titular Black Hole, understood not as a cosmic void but a metaphorical place of transformation and potential. Engulfed in an evocative soundscape of original music, sound samples, and spoken word, the dancers embark on an hour-long, uninterrupted journey in movement, in which their tenacity and grace are emphasized by cinematic video projections and stark, monochromatic lights.

Learn More

 

 

Peeping Tom
TRIPTYCH: The Missing Door, The Lost Room, and The Hidden Floor

Fri-Sat, Mar 28-29 // Power Center

In this noirish labyrinth of missing doors, lost rooms, and hidden floors — “scenes you’d rather expect from the brain of David Lynch” — time, memory, and premonition revolve around the illusions, utopias, and lost loves of characters who act out their own enigmatic fiction, continually drifting away and searching for one another. Originally created for Nederlands Dans Theater, Triptych is performed by the acclaimed Belgian dance-theater company Peeping Tom.

Learn More

 

 


24/25 Season Ticket packages are on sale now! You can experience these three groundbreaking dance performers for as little as $75 with a Dance Series subscription. Or, craft a performance season as unique as you and save 10% with Series:You. Either way, you’ll get early access to the best seats in the Power Center — and at the best prices — before individual event tickets go on sale in August.

Subscribers save up to 17% over individual event prices and receive other great benefits as well, including discounts throughout the year to all UMS events, free exchange privileges, installment billing, and more!

Learn More

Subscribe and Save with 24/25 Season Tickets

Regenerate!: Community Orchestra for All

“Place a sound on the moon. Bury a sound in the earth. Emit a sound into the sun.”

Written by composer Akari Komura, these are the instructions given to members of Regenerate! Orchestra as they rehearse “Sonic Habitat #93.” Their interpretations create a cacophony of noise on varied instruments from the flute and cello to pieces of slate, forks, and mugs, as performers search for sounds to embody the prompt.

Regenerate! is a non-traditional orchestra. Open to all, regardless of musical experience, the ensemble isn’t trying to harmonize or blend, but is instead inspired by shape note or sacred harp singing, an American folk tradition of choir music. “Everybody is trying to sound their own specific way, very loudly. And it ends up sounding messy and very alive,” explains founder and conductor Clay Gonzalez. “In the orchestra, it’s really about the ecosystem of sounds. It’s about everybody sounding different and their voice fitting in with this ecosystem of voices.”

Regenerate! Orchestra plays at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse, April 2023

Beginning as a collaboration between Clay and Peter Littlejohn on orchestra house concerts in 2018, Regenerate! has evolved overtime, centering around shared values of community building and making music a more democratic civic space. “I definitely went through a personal transformation where the world of classical music, as it is practiced, no longer felt like a home to me. And so the group definitely became a kind of refuge from the strictures of the classical music world, a place where we could explore a different system of values,” explains Clay.

Peter, who often performs vocals with the ensemble, notes that the group’s development follows Clay’s personal compositional practice, observing what was naturally happening in music spaces and encouraging particularly exciting elements. He shares a key realization that “we didn’t just have to work with our friends from music school. Honestly, this is music that was perhaps even better played by people from multiple different backgrounds and even no background in music whatsoever.”

Bryce Richardson confirms Regenerate! is unique, because “anybody can show up and play any instrument, at any skill level. If you’ve never read music before, or if you don’t even play an instrument, you can join Regenerate! and enjoy music making with a group of people.” Bryce, who has been part of the orchestra for two years, particularly enjoys Regenerate!’s flexible instrumentation. In the upcoming performances, he’ll play the bassoon, two recorders, kindling, two pieces of slate, a fork, and a glass.

Mason jars of beans, egg shakers, and bells.

Regenerate! Orchestra’s found percussion instruments

Peter adds that a highlight of Regenerate! is getting to know the participants who make music together in a meaningful way. “I think many people are incredibly alienated and live lives that are really socially starved and without much meaning or connection to other people. I want to have a richer social tapestry, and Regenerate! is a really powerful example of how that’s possible with a pretty broad pool of people.” A key component of fostering this connection and community are shared meals, which Peter cooks for each rehearsal. “We are asking people to show up and be vulnerable and try hard at something, which is a big ask. Feeding them is an essential part of that bargain.”

Shannon Rau is playing her euphonium for the first time in roughly five years. They describe Regenerate! as a vibrant, refreshing reintroduction to music, “It’s simultaneously meditative and energizing. It’s fun to have something to practice, a good reason to just sit down and play.” They especially appreciate the experimental nature of Regenerate!, jangling chains and breaking sticks in addition to playing the euphonium.

Hoda Bandeh-Ahmadi, who began performing with Regenerate! in 2022, had always wanted to play music with other people, but didn’t have many opportunities for lessons or formal training growing up. “I had picked up ukulele because it’s easier to get a cheap one and play around with YouTube tutorials. But I didn’t really think I was good enough to play anything with other people.” When Hoda heard about Regenerate!, she took a chance. “At first when I saw the way the music is written which is unconventional, I’m like, ‘Is that even gonna sound good?’ And I just loved how it all came together, the way that Clay planned it out. That felt really magical and fun. I also just loved the people. And it worked. I don’t stress so much if I’m good enough.” 

The score of Stick Season

The score of “Stick Season”

The pieces are written using a specialized notation. Parts are guided by timers and written in brackets. Performers follow their bracketed instructions, which might be traditional music notation, guitar tabs, or descriptive text. This allows people at any level to participate , no matter their music practice. These scores serve as a guide, rather than a rulebook, with each iteration of the orchestra developing its own internal voice and sound.

Though anxious about performing on the flute for the first time since high school, Hazal Soyucengil enjoys the open endedness and casual nature of the orchestra, saying it’s nothing like music class or band. “I think it’s good to be in an environment where you’re not necessarily expected to know the answers.”

Over the course of rehearsals, Clay works with the orchestra to shape the pieces and guide the group into certain sounds or textures, but the end result is always a surprise — even to him. “This project is an exercise in letting go of expectations. It’s almost impossible to predict how it will sound.” 

On April 27 and 28, 2024, the orchestra will present four pieces, two by long-time members Maddy Wildman and Grey Rose Grant, one by Clay, and one from composer Akari Komura, who specializes in nature-centric text scores.

Bassoon player and UMS staff member Maddy Wildman wrote “Sugar Bush,” a piece about tapping trees for maple syrup and “embracing the sparkle of later winter.” It evokes the soundscape of a sugar bush, the forest stand of maple trees used for syrup, in spring. The performance will feature 22 performers dropping pebbles in water, mimicking the gentle sound of drops of sap falling into a bucket. Though initially written for a smaller group, Maddy says the piece will really shine with the Regenerate! Orchestra. “It was originally written for cello solo, but there are five cellists. So we’re going to spread them out around the room and have them all play the solo, slightly displaced. Yeah, this is where this piece belongs.”

Grey Rose Grant and Clay Gonzalez demonstrate the choreography to "Magical Thinking"

Grey Rose Grant and Clay Gonzalez demonstrate the choreography of “Magical Thinking” in rehearsal.

Regenerate! is the best kind of orchestra according to Grey Rose Grant, who describes the project as deeply tied to their values. “This is such a community-forward organization. Everyone who comes gets a free meal for every rehearsal. There is no barrier to entry. There are so many ways in which people are able to engage at any level of experience or any instrument.” Grey’s composition “Magical Thinking” explores aging, life change, and death, featuring an erasure poem created from Annie Dillard’s essay on the 1979 total solar eclipse. They particularly look forward to audiences engaging with the piece. “It’s really special to see audiences sometimes be a little confused, but then realize what’s happening — to see them go from kind of reserved when it starts, maybe sitting in their seats, to then moving — walking around the space and really moving through the orchestra and listening to these tiny details.”

Peter adds that Regenerate! is an in-person, site-specific performance and explains the best seats in the house are the ones inside of the orchestra. “We’re trying to give that experience to everyone by allowing them to walk around and hear how the piece sounds different in each corner. You might be close to someone who’s making a very soft sound that that you’ll never hear across the room, but right next to them it comes into focus and unlocks a piece of the soundscape to you.”

We hope you can join us Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28 to hear Regenerate! Orchestra at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse.

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Introducing the 24/25 Season


Watch our 30-second trailer

The Power of Together.

In the world of the performing arts, there are no dividing lines, but the shared rhythms and expressions of the human experience. Welcome to UMS’s 146th season.

Explore All 24/25 Events

View 24/25 Season Ticket Packages

or browse season highlights below

For Our Patrons & Season Ticketholders

24/25 Season Ticket packages are on sale now! Learn more or flip through our interactive season brochure.

Individual event tickets go on sale Tuesday, August 1.

For the Press

View Full Press Release (PDF)

 

Season Highlights:

 

Opening Week: You Decide the Winner

Fight Night by Ontroerend Goed

Fight Night by Ontroerend Goed

The 24/25 season opens with Ontroerend Goed’s Fight Night, a powerful, non-partisan theater work that speaks volumes about our current moment, human nature, and the coming election. Using a boxing ring as a metaphor for a political contest in a fun, yet thought-provoking, experience, Fight Night is part reality show, part arch commentary, and part provocation for all of us as voters and participants in our political process. (Wed-Sun, Sep 25-29, 2024)

 

Piano Phenoms

Isata Kanneh-Mason, Seong-Jin Cho, and Yunchan Lim

Isata Kanneh-Mason, Seong-Jin Cho, and Yunchan Lim

The 24/25 Choral Union Series includes three UMS solo recital debuts by a new generation of dynamic pianists who are taking the musical world by storm:

  • Isata Kanneh-Mason opens the Choral Union series with a wide-ranging and eclectic recital program with works composed over a 168-year period by Austrian, German, Danish, Russian, and Polish composers (Thu, Oct 10, 2024)
  • Seong-Jin Cho celebrates Ravel’s 150th birthday with a concert featuring the composer’s complete solo piano works — a monumental undertaking that will be performed in only a few select cities in 2025 (Fri, Feb 7, 2025)
  • Yunchan Lim, the youngest musician to win the Van Cliburn Competition, closes the Choral Union Series in a program featuring Bach’s Goldberg Variations (Wed, Apr 23, 2025)

 

The Berliner Philharmoniker Returns

Hilary Hahn and Kirill Petrenko

Hilary Hahn and Kirill Petrenko

UMS is thrilled to welcome the Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Kirill Petrenko back to Hill Auditorium in two different programs:

  • In her first Ann Arbor appearance in two decades, violinist Hilary Hahn joins the Berliner Philharmoniker in Korngold’s heart-tugging violin concerto, alongside works by Rachmaninoff and Dvořák (Sat, Nov 23, 2024)
  • Kirill Petrenko leads the Berliner Philharmoniker in his interpretation of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5 (Sun, Nov 24, 2024)

 

Plus More Extraordinary Violinists

Anne-Sophie Mutter

Anne-Sophie Mutter

The Choral Union Series showcases three additional outstanding violin soloists in the 24/25 Season:

  • Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja makes her UMS debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and principal conductor Edward Gardner (Fri, Oct 18, 2024)
  • Anne-Sophie Mutter performs her first UMS recital since 2013, featuring her longtime collaborator, pianist Lambert Orkis (Fri, Apr 4, 2025)
  • Théotime Langlois de Swarte joins the early music ensemble Les Arts Florissants to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Wed, Apr 9, 2025)

 

Provocative Theater

Ulysses / Elevator Repair Service

Ulysses by Elevator Repair Service

After our opening week of Fight Night, a robust theater lineup continues across campus for the entire 24/25 Season:

  • Seven performers of Elevator Repair Service present an eclectic sampling from James Joyce’s life-affirming masterpiece Ulysses, chronicling the experiences of three Dubliners on a single ordinary day in June 1904 (Sat-Sun, Oct 19-20, 2024)
  • Natalie Palamides presents Nate — A One Man Show, which won wide acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018 before Amy Poehler produced it as a Netflix special (Wed-Sun, Feb 5-9, 2025)
  • Peeping Tom blurs the lines between theater and dance in TRIPTYCH, a three-part dance-theater work that plunges the audience into a man’s mind within a labyrinth of missing doors, lost rooms, and hidden floors (Fri-Sat, Mar 28-29, 2025)
  • Additional No Safety Net theater programming and contextual events will be announced later this year

 

Groundbreaking Dance

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

Our 24/25 Dance and Dance-Theater Combined Series include:

  • Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan returns to Ann Arbor for the first time since 2011 under the artistic direction of Cheng Tsung-lung, whose work 13 Tongues recalls his mother’s stories about a legendary street artist in the 1960s (Sat-Sun, Oct 26-27, 2024)
  • Shamel Pitts and his arts collective TRIBE present BLACK HOLE, in which three Black dancers share the stage in a narrative of unity, vigor, and unrelenting advancement (Fri-Sat, Mar 14-15, 2025)
  • In Peeping Tom’s TRIPTYCH, created with Nederlands Dans Theater, the audience becomes the witness…or perhaps the voyeur…of what usually remains hidden and unsaid, taken into subconscious worlds to discover nightmares, fears, and desires (Fri-Sat, Mar 28-29, 2025)

 

Jazz Greats

Etienne Charles

Etienne Charles

Our Jazz Series is back in full force in the 24/25 Season with a lineup of living legends:

  • Genre-defying composer and drummer Tyshawn Sorey and his trio, including pianist Aaron Diehl and bass player Matt Brewer, perform pieces from his album Mesmerism, which showcases the joy of improvising over songs from the Great American Songbook (Sat, Nov 16, 2024)
  • Musician, composer, and storyteller Etienne Charles presents Earth Tones, a multimedia jazz performance featuring original compositions that draw attention to people and regions affected by climate change (Fri-Sat, Jan 17-18, 2025)
  • Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra return to Hill Auditorium to continue to honor the rich heritage of jazz while presenting a stunning variety of new works from illustrious names (Sat, Feb 1, 2025)
  • Three-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis makes his debut with the Branford Marsalis Quartet in the Michigan Theater (Wed, Feb 19, 2025)
  • Kurt Elling brings his contemporary lyricism and vocal ingenuity in celebration of Weather Report, one of jazz’s great supergroups, alongside Weather Report alumnus Peter Erskine (Fri, Apr 11, 2025)

 

Illuminating Perspectives

Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens

  • Silkroad Ensemble’s American Railroad project illuminates the impact of the Transcontinental Railroad and westward expansion on the communities it displaced, featuring new arrangements by Rhiannon Giddens and other Silkroad musicians (Fri, Nov 8, 2024)
  • Third Coast Percussion and Zakir Hussain share the stage for the first time as part of a collaborative concert presentation that blends the timbres of tabla with a classically trained percussion ensemble (Sun, Feb 23, 2025)
  • La Santa Cecilia, fronted by singer La Marisoul, takes the stage in a family-friendly concert featuring opening artist Sonia De Los Santos (Sun, Mar 9, 2025)
  • Legendary composer, singer, and oud master Marcel Khalife returns to Ann Arbor for the first time in 20 years, joined by his son, virtuoso pianist Rami Khalife, and his nephew, cellist Sary Khalife in a concert that celebrates their musical legacy (Sat, Apr 5, 2025)

 

Chamber Arts Debuts

Branford Marsalis, Liz Ames, and Tim McAllister

Branford Marsalis, Liz Ames, and Timothy McAllister

The six-concert Chamber Arts Series features three exciting UMS debuts:

  • The New York-based Escher Quartet performs Mendelssohn’s anguished last major composition and Dvořák’s joyful final string quartet, along with Bartók’s Quartet No. 2, following their full Bartók quartet cycle in New York this spring (Sun, Nov 10, 2024)
  • Saxophonist Branford Marsalis brings his classical chops to Rackham Auditorium in a chamber music evening featuring two members of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance community: saxophone professor Timothy McAllister and collaborative pianist Liz Ames (Fri, Feb 21, 2025)
  • The Rosamunde String Quartet unites esteemed musicians from renowned ensembles such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Los Angeles Philharmonic (Wed, Mar 12, 2025)

 

One-of-a-Kind Collaborations

Joyce DiDonato and Kings Return

Joyce DiDonato and Kings Return

  • The Ariel Quartet and cellist Alisa Weilerstein explore how folk music influences art music, with an uninterrupted suite of traditional folk music from around the world, along with pieces dating back to the origins of Western classical music (Thu, Dec 12, 2024)
  • Charismatic a cappella quartet Kings Return has attracted millions of fans, including mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who invited the group to collaborate for a special holiday program (Sat, Dec 14, 2024)
  • Caroline Shaw and Gabriel Kahane embark on their first large-scale collaboration with a new UMS co-commission that is inspired by the magical realism of Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges’s 1939 short story, “The Library of Babel” (Thu, Jan 23, 2025)
  • UMS presents Sergei Prokofiev’s 1938 Soviet historical drama, Alexander Nevsky, featuring the UMS Choral Union and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra with conductor Scott Hanoian, performing the full score alongside the original film (Sat, Mar 22, 2025)

 

Annual Favorites

Takács Quartet

Takács Quartet

  • Music director Scott Hanoian conducts the UMS Choral Union, four debuting vocal soloists, and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah (Sat-Sun, Dec 7-8, 2024)
  • The Takács Quartet celebrates its 50th anniversary with a program that pairs Haydn and Beethoven, two innovators of the string quartet form, with Benjamin Britten’s rarely-performed String Quartet No. 2 (Thu, Apr 24, 2025)

 

Discover all upcoming events at ums.org/season. Additional 24/25 Season programming — including School Day Performances, UMS Digital Presentations, and our Fall residency at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse — will be announced over the coming months.

Giving Florence Price Her Flowers

Much of the composer’s work was forgotten or lost. Now she’s starting to receive the recognition she deserves.

Born in Arkansas in 1887, Florence Price was the first African-American woman composer to have her work performed by a major orchestra. Her Symphony No. 1 in e minor caught the attention of conductor Frederick Stock after it won first prize in the Rodman Wanamaker Competition. Stock premiered the work with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933 as part of the Chicago World’s Fair exhibition. Price’s harmonic writing and arresting orchestration prompted the Chicago Daily News to declare it “a faultless work, a work that speaks its own message with restraint and yet with passion,” and “worthy of a place in the regular symphonic repertory.”

Price composed over 300 works, including four symphonies, four concertos, and chamber, choral, piano, and organ pieces. Her music is often influenced by folk music, church hymns, and spirituals. As music historian A. Kori Hill describes, “Hers was a conscientious practice of close study and subtle innovation in a style that incorporated African American folk idioms in Western classical forms. Price’s aesthetic…made her a central figure in the classical arena of the Black Chicago Renaissance.” She was also well-known for her arrangements of Spirituals. Contralto Marian Anderson concluded her landmark 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial with Price’s arrangement of “My Soul’s Been Anchored in De Lord,” a work she also used to close her UMS recital debut in 1937 and her appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1938.

“I have two handicaps — those of sex and race.”

Price often struggled to get her music performed because of discrimination. In a 1943 letter to Serge Koussevitzky, music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she famously wrote, “To begin with, I have two handicaps — those of sex and race. I am a woman; and I have some Negro blood in my veins. I should like to be judged on merit alone.” He declined to program her music. While her work remained celebrated in music programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, it largely disappeared from the classical scene following her death in 1953.

However, a 2009 discovery sparked new interest in the composer. An estimated 200 manuscripts were found in her abandoned Chicago home. These works, previously thought to be lost, included her fourth symphony and two violin concertos. This revelation prompted major cultural institutions to reexamine the composer and her work.

The Philadelphia Orchestra and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin have championed Florence Price in their repertoire, breathing new life into her compositions with a commitment to record her works. Their 2021 album of Price’s first and third symphonies received the Grammy Award for “Best Orchestral Performance.”

In response to the win, Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin declared:

“Though we can’t erase the prejudices of the past, we can work together to build a more equitable future for classical music — one in which all voices are heard, where everyone sees themselves on our stages, and where artists like Florence do not fade into obscurity. It is our hope that Florence Price becomes a staple in the classical music canon and that recordings of her works will be GRAMMY contenders — and winners — for many years to come.”

The Philadelphia Orchestra now brings Price’s majestic Fourth Symphony, which was never performed in her lifetime, to Hill Auditorium on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Tickets start at just $14, and $12-20 student tickets are available.

More Info & Tickets

Preview and stream Florence Price’s majestic Symphony No. 4 in The Philadelphia Orchestra’s latest recording on Apple Music or Spotify.

Meet the Debuting Soloists in Brahms’s German Requiem

UMS’s 23/24 season comes to a triumphant end on April 21 with a performance of Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem). Hill Auditorium will be packed with more than 200 performers on stage, featuring the return of The Philadelphia Orchestra with music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the full might of the UMS Choral Union, and two phenomenal singers making their UMS debuts. Meet soprano Ying Fang and baritone Will Liverman:

 

Ying Fang, sopranoYing Fang, soprano

Soprano Ying Fang has been praised as “indispensable at the Met in Mozart” (The New York Times) and for “a voice that can stop time, pure and rich and open and consummately expressive” (Financial Times).

In the 23/24 season, Ms. Fang returns to Opéra National de Paris as Zerlina in Don Giovanni conducted by Antonello Manacorda, Dutch National Opera as Poppea in Agrippina and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Riccardo Minasi, the Metropolitan Opera in her role debut as Euridice in Orfeo ed Eudidice, and Santa Fe Opera in her role debut as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier. On the concert stage, she reunites with conductor Raphaël Pichon in the Mozart Requiem on tour with Ensemble Pygmalion (a project which also features a recording by the Harmonia Mundi label), and joins Maestro Pichon for Mozart’s C Minor Mass in her debut with the Munich Philharmonic. She joins Noord Nederlands Orkest (and the Philadelphia Orchestra at UMS) in Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Mahler’s 4th symphony with Susanna Mälkki, and sings Carmina Burana with the St. Louis Symphony under the baton of Stéphane Denève with the Orchestra of St. Lukes at Carnegie Hall.

A native of Ningbo, China, Ms. Fang is the recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award, the Hildegard Behrens Foundation Award, the Rose Bampton Award of The Sullivan Foundation, The Opera Index Award, and First Prize of the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. In 2009, she became one of the youngest singers to win one of China’s most prestigious awards — the China Golden Bell Award for Music. She has been hailed as “the most gifted Chinese soprano of her generation” by Ningbo Daily.

Ms. Fang holds a Master’s degree and an Artist Diploma in Opera Study from The Juilliard School, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She is a former member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

Watch her breathtaking performance of “Aria Deh vieni, non tardar” from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, with the Dutch National Opera:


 

Will Liverman, baritoneWill Liverman, baritone

Called “a voice for this historic moment” (Washington Post), GRAMMY Award-winning baritone Will Liverman is the recipient of the 2022 Beverly Sills Artist Award by The Metropolitan Opera and the co-creator of The Factotum — called “mic-drop fabulous good” (Opera News) — which premiered at the Lyric Opera Chicago in 2023. Described as “nothing short of extraordinary” (Opera News) with a “beaming, high baritone that easily asserts” (LA Times), Liverman has been hailed by critics for his versatility in dramatic and comedic roles, as well as on concert stages in North America and internationally, and his dedication and vision as a composer, artist, and advisor helping to evolve and push the performing arts industry forward.

This season sees Liverman’s return to the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, Anthony Davis’ groundbreaking and influential work, and the third opera by a Black composer in the company’s history, to be conducted by Kazem Abdullah in its newly revised score. Liverman was previously seen on the Met stage opening its 2021-22 season in a widely celebrated, “breakout performance” (New York Times) as Charles in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones, which won the 2023 GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording. He later reprised the role at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in a “rich leading performance” (Chicago Tribune) described as a “beautifully vocalized […] gripping portrayal” (Opera News).

Liverman just released a new album, Show Me the Way, with pianist Jonathan King in March 2024 on International Women’s Day. The album celebrates women’s contributions to music, and includes works by composers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Jasmine Barnes, and Florence Beatrice Price. It also features five world-premiere recordings by living composers such as Jasmine Barnes and Libby Larsen, with appearances by renowned singers J’Nai Bridges and Renée Fleming.

Preview the album below and learn more in this NPR feature.

Will Liverman will also be on the University of Michigan campus in early April for a residency with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, culminating with a free recital on Sunday, April 7.


Hear Ying Fang and Will Liverman perform Brahms’s German Requiem with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the UMS Choral Union, Sunday, April 21 in Hill Auditorium.

Get Tickets

New Tiny Brochures!

 

Today, on April 1, 2024, UMS is delighted to announce our latest innovation…Tiny Series Brochures, arriving just in time for our new season announcement!

Tiny brochures. BIG season. Stay tuned for the full 24/25 season reveal on Thursday, April 18.

Why you should avoid ticket resellers in the unauthorized secondary market

Avoid TheHillAuditorium.com and Other Sellers in the Unauthorized Secondary Market

Unauthorized ticket resellers purchase tickets at face value from official sources with the intent of selling them for a profit on a secondary marketplace. Unfortunately, there are no federal laws that prohibit the resale of tickets, and the practice is considered illegal, without a special license, in only seven states (New York, Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Massachusetts).

 

Because there is neither federal nor state protection, many Michigan nonprofit arts presenters like UMS are vulnerable to secondary ticket reselling practices that harm organizations and their audiences.

 

We have put together this blog post in an effort to make these harmful practices more transparent to arts consumers searching for events online.

Unauthorized ticket resellers have challenged sports, arts, and entertainment presenters in large cities for years, and are now becoming a more common occurrence here in Ann Arbor by ticket resale websites such as TheHillAuditorium.com. This particular site features the most recognized performance venue of UMS and the University of Michigan in its title and claims to be a “fan site,” but it admits in smaller type that it is “not affiliated or sponsored by Hill Auditorium” and “links to resale tickets to events at Hill Auditorium.” Those links take visitors to a commercial reselling site that sells tickets at above-market prices with exorbitant fees and may promise seating locations that cannot be honored by UMS.

How Their Unauthroized Reselling Practices Work

  • Various websites with different names rely on ticket engines that scrape information from official ticket sellers and offer up generic seating locations at a premium price, often without specific seat locations (e.g., Section 10 row M, 1-6 tickets available).
  • The reseller purchases the ticket from UMS at face value, then offers it to the purchaser at an inflated price. Recently, UMS has seen $14 tickets sell for $68-$300+.
  • Ticket reselling sites also charge exorbitant fees that are not disclosed upfront (“junk fees”). One site recently charged $16.75 per ticket, more than double UMS’s ticket fees.

How Ticket Resellers Negatively Impact Audiences

  • Audience members pay inflated ticket prices and fees, even when less expensive options are available from ums.org.
  • Seat locations may not be provided and/or may be inaccurate.
  • There is no guarantee that tickets are valid — the same seats could be sold multiple times through different providers, and if that happens, UMS cannot honor them.
  • Audience members don’t receive customer service information from UMS about the performance, such as parking alerts, notices about late seating, extensive notes about the works being performed, etc.
  • Audience members instead receive information from the ticket reseller, encouraging them to purchase other UMS tickets at inflated prices.

How Ticket Resellers Negatively Impact UMS, Artists, and Presenters

  • The inflated ticket price and fees paid by fans to secondary market sellers do not benefit the performing artists and UMS.
  • Lost revenue potential for arts organizations. Ticket sales already only cover 35% of our total costs, so this puts more strain on fundraising to help support the events
  • UMS cannot reach customers directly with details about the performance they are attending
  • UMS offers low-priced options to make performances more accessible to all; when ticket resellers purchase these tickets and resell them at inflated prices, they are taking lower-priced tickets off the market
  • Some secondary resellers initiate credit card chargebacks if they are unable to sell the tickets (or even if they are), thus creating an extra administrative and financial burden for UMS
  • Some ticket resellers may be using stolen credit cards to purchase the tickets from the authorized source
  • It costs UMS significantly more to advertise events as we have to pay more than the reselling sites do to be listed online
  • Reputational Harm: if someone purchases at an inflated price from another source, or an invalid ticket, it reflects poorly on UMS. We are not able to provide refunds to ticketbuyers who pay inflated, secondary market prices for their tickets or accommodate people who have invalid tickets.

How You Can Protect Yourself and Others

  • Share this blog with your networks and other concertgoers
  • New sites are popping up all the time. The ones that we are currently aware of are thehillauditorium.com, ticketsqueeze.com, eventticketscenter.com, ticketsmarter.com, and others
  • ALWAYS make sure to purchase directly from ums.org and to look carefully at the url of any ticket purchasing site
  • Lobby your state representatives for legislation to make this practice illegal in Michigan and federally
  • If you, or someone you know, have purchased tickets through one of these sites, please reach out to us at ums-feedback@umich.edu. We would like to learn more about your experience.

The magic of live performance shouldn’t come at the cost of inflated ticket prices and exorbitant fees. Let’s work together to ensure everyone has the chance to experience the joy of live music, theater, and dance without getting taken advantage of.

UMS Staff Playlist: Leap Day

To celebrate this bonus day, UMS staff members contributed songs for a playlist of their favorite bonus tracks (and other leap day songs!)

Listen on your preferred streaming service, and read about the inspiration behind some of our picks below:

Apple Music logo Spotify logo


 

“Train in Vain (Stand by Me)” by The Clash

Submitted by Lisa Murray, Associate Director of Development and Terri Park, Associate Director: Learning & Engagement

I’ve been re-listening to the Clash lately, and this song was always a fave. I don’t think bonus tracks were a thing way back in 1979, but “Train in Vain” was a ‘hidden’ track; it wasn’t listed on the original album cover because it was added at the last minute, though I think it appears now. 

The title of this song never made it to the first printing of the album cover of “London Calling” which in my opinion is one of the greatest rock, new wave, punk albums of all time. Originally written and recorded for a promotional give away in connection with a popular British music magazine, the deal fell through. The song was so amazing the group decided to added it to the end of side four of the album, however the cover sleeves were already printed so it never made to track list. Of course people were very surprised when they played the album on this bonus track appeared.


 

“Tell Him” by Lauryn Hill

Submitted by Rochelle Clark, Patron Services Associate

This was a hidden track on “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” album. I remember when this song popped up and it just about took my breath away. At the time it wasn’t listed, but I think it became so popular that you’ll now find it on reissues. One of my favorite albums of all time!


 

“Tight” by Samara Joy

Submitted by Amy Valade, Finance Clerk

The interplay between the instruments and her voice is amazing! I’m so excited for her upcoming performance! This is a self-produced release, but it appears as a bonus track on the Japan special edition of her album “Linger Awhile Longer.”


 

“Questions for the Universe” by Laufey

Submitted by Candace Jung, Digital Marketing Assistant

This album expresses the often confusing emotions of yearning in a beautiful way, and “Questions For the Universe,” a bonus track on the deluxe version, ends the album asking for guidance to begin moving forward.


 

“Tristeza (Versión Acústica)” by Silvana Estrada

Submitted by Maddy Wildman, University Programs Manager

Former UMS employee Jake Gibson is actually the person who hipped me to this artist, listening to her in the office we shared. Her voice is so transportive, and much of her music is gorgeously orchestrated (highly recommend the album “Marchita”). I don’t think she’s super well known in the anglophone world, but I think she should be!


 

“One Day More” by the Original Broadway Cast of Les Misérables

Submitted by Miranda Tolsma, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Les Mis is always a bop, and what could be more appropriate for Leap Day than “One Day More”!


 

“Possession (Piano Version)” by Sarah McLachlan

Submitted by John Peckham, Director of Administration & Information Systems

My favorite bonus track is Sarah McLachlan’s “Possession.”  It is the title track on her album and the first song, and this hidden track at the end is a piano acoustic version of the same song.


 

“Punk Rock 101” by Bowling for Soup

Submitted by Corrinne Hamilton, Group Sales and Promotions Associate

I grew up during the punk rock (emo) era of the mid 2000s and have always loved Bowling for Soup. As their songs are often in jest of themselves or the world around them. This song is a perfect example of this, as they point out how quickly the “punk rock counter culture” become mainstream and in turn an over the top stereotype.


 

“Untitled” by Eminem (Explicit)

Submitted by Lilian Varner, Marketing and Media Relations Manager

The album is such a time capsule with a few undeniable bangers. The song leads in with, “Nah man. Not quite finished yet.” Goes too hard for a bonus track!


 

“Time” by Pink Floyd

Submitted by Justine Sedky, Community and Audience Programs Manager

you already know

 

UMS & Santa Ono Remember Maestro Seiji Ozawa

Film strip of Seiji Ozawa conducting in Hill Auditorium, from the UMS archives.

Film strip of Seiji Ozawa conducting in Hill Auditorium, from the UMS archives.

UMS and the classical performing arts community mourn the passing of conductor Seiji Ozawa, who led the Boston Symphony Orchestra for nearly three decades and was one of the most recognized and important figures in classical music around the globe.

Ozawa conducted six times in UMS performance history between 1966 and 1996, in concerts with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. These programs can all be explored in our UMS Rewind archives.

Ozawa has another meaningful connection to the University of Michigan community through U-M president Santa Ono. Ono shares his fond memories below.

From University of Michigan President Santa Ono:

Seiji Ozawa’s death is a massive loss for classical music. He leaves a huge legacy through his recordings, the memories of his thousands of concerts, and the countless young musicians he mentored over the years. I was fortunate to listen to the Boston Symphony during his long tenure as Music Director there and also at Tanglewood.

Seiji Ozawa in 1963

Seiji Ozawa in 1963

He also had a connection to our family. Ozawa and my father were prodigious emerging stars in music and mathematics when they were in Paris. Naturally, they became friends as Japanese citizens in Paris. My mother tells me they were 2 naughty young men during those days: “Ozawa was jumping parking car to car! Takashi was driving Motorcycle around City of Paris! When he came to Philadelphia to conduct, we met him after concert. Ozawa said to Takashi, Onosan! You are USA now! Then he talked about his wife and his daughter (also a pianist of Shacho at Mitsui Bussan).”

I had the privilege of speaking with Ozawa on a plane on a business trip many years ago. He had just won the Kennedy Center honors. He was gracious and said that my parents should be very proud of me, just as he was of me as a Japanese citizen.

What a loss. My Aunt pointed out that it was snowing on the day he died. Ozawa apparently loved the snow, partially from the many years he enjoyed the snow in New England. He was also a huge Red Sox fan.

I said to my Aunt:

美しい自然に囲まれて死ぬことは死ではなく天国に行くことだ

When you die surrounded by nature’s beauty, you aren’t dying, you are actually entering heaven.

 

— Santa Ono

Hear a Beethoven Symphony Like Never Before, Courtesy of Liszt

UMS is delighted to welcome internationally acclaimed pianist Igor Levit to Ann Arbor on Friday, March 8. His innovative program features rarely performed piano transcriptions (arrangements of large ensemble works for solo piano) of powerful orchestral works by Mahler and Beethoven.

A great example of transcription is this 2020 video, in which Igor Levit demonstrates Franz Liszt’s arrangement of Beethoven’s ninth symphony and its famous “Ode to Joy” (originally featuring a full orchestra and choir):

Beethoven’s nine symphonies were all painstakingly transcribed for solo piano in the 1800s by the famous composer and pianist Franz Liszt. But what inspired Liszt to take on such a daunting task, and what makes Liszt’s transcriptions a special treat for listeners?

Liszt started his project in 1838, when he was still a young and dazzling pianist, touring Europe and impressing audiences with his unparalleled technique and expressive power. He initially transcribed the fifth, sixth, and seventh symphonies, which were published by different publishers in Germany and Austria. Liszt then put aside his work for more than two decades, until 1863, when he received a request from the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel to transcribe the complete set of symphonies for a future publication. Liszt agreed and revised his earlier transcriptions, adding more details, indications, and fingerings.

Liszt’s motivation for undertaking this monumental task was not only his admiration for Beethoven, whom he regarded as the greatest composer of all time, but also his desire to make Beethoven’s music more accessible to the public.

At the time, orchestral concerts were rare and expensive, and most people could only hear Beethoven’s symphonies through piano arrangements. Liszt wanted to provide the most faithful and accurate versions possible, using all the resources of the modern piano, which had improved significantly since Beethoven’s time.

Liszt wrote in his preface: “Through the immense development of its harmonic power, the piano is trying increasingly to adopt all orchestral compositions. In the compass of its seven octaves it is able, with only a few exceptions, to reproduce all the characteristics, all the combination, all the forms of the deepest and most profound works of music.”

His transcriptions are not only faithful to Beethoven, but also witty, creative, and original. He does not merely copy the orchestral parts but adapts them to the idiomatic possibilities of the piano, adding embellishments, variations, or modulations to enhance the musical effect. He also uses a wide range of dynamics, articulations, and pedaling to create contrast and clarity.

Liszt’s virtuosic transcriptions are among the most technically demanding piano music ever written. They require not only speed, agility, strength, and endurance, but also finesse, sensitivity, and imagination. They offer a unique listening experience and perspective on Beethoven’s symphonies, revealing new aspects and details that might be overlooked in the orchestral version.

In a 1988 interview, famed pianist Vladimir Horowitz stated: “I deeply regret never having played Liszt’s arrangements of the Beethoven symphonies in public – these are the greatest works for the piano – tremendous works – every note of the symphonies is in the Liszt works.”

Igor Levit

None of these transcriptions have ever been performed in UMS’s 145-year history…until now!

On March 8, Igor Levit will perform Liszt’s arrangement of Beethoven’s beloved Symphony No. 3, the “Eroica” (Heroic).

Levit is one of the most celebrated pianists of our time, whose accolades include prizes at numerous international competitions, including the Maria Callas Grand Prix in Athens, the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan, and the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv. Most notably, he won the 2018 Gilmore Artist prize — the most elusive and prestigious of them all, only awarded every four years to an exceptional pianist who has the potential to make a lasting impact on the musical world.

We cannot wait to hear his own virtuosic interpretation of Beethoven’s symphony…courtesy of Franz Liszt!

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