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2023-2024 Season

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K-12 Season Opening Party
Free
School & K12 Educators

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
Performance

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
Participatory Experience
Pay What You Wish
Ypsi Freighthouse

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.

Shakti: 50th Anniversary Tour
Performance

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.

Open Mic Night with Shara Nova
Free
Participatory Experience
Ypsi Freighthouse

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 and Music Making
Family Friendly
Free
Ypsi Freighthouse

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.

Sonic Contributions // Marcus Elliot
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

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.

Square Dance at the Freighthouse
Participatory Experience
Pay What You Wish
Ypsi Freighthouse

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.

Panel Discussion: Renée Fleming’s Music and Mind
Free
Partner Event
Talks & Discussions

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.

Renée Fleming, soprano & Inon Barnatan, piano
Performance

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.

LIGHTNING: A One-of-a-Kind Drag Show Extravaganza
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

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

West African Dance at the Freighthouse
Participatory Experience
Pay What You Wish
Public Workshop
Ypsi Freighthouse

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.

For Families // Moving to the Beat: West African Dance and Visual Art
Family Friendly
Free
Ypsi Freighthouse

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.

Inon Barnatan: Rachmaninoff Reflections
Free
Performance

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.

Jerusalem Quartet & Inon Barnatan, piano
Performance

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
Family Friendly
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

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
Dublin Trilogy
Performance

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
Dublin Trilogy
Performance

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
Dublin Trilogy
Performance

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.

Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería
Performance
Pre-Performance Talk

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
Performance

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.

Penny Stamps Speaker Series: Javaad Alipoor and King Raam
Free
Pre-Performance Talk

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.

Akropolis Reed Quintet
Performance

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.

Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World
Performance

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

School Day Performance: Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World
School Day Performance

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.

Maxim Vengerov, violin
Performance

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

Messiah Soloist Master Classes
Free
Master Class

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.

Messiah Pre-Concert Presentation: Fortunate the Eyes that See and the Ears that Hear
Free
Pre-Performance Talk

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
Performance

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.

UMS 101: All About the Uke
Public Workshop

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

School Day Performance: Jake Shimabukuro
School Day Performance

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

Holidays in Hawai’i
Family Friendly
Performance

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

Michael Feinstein and Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Performance

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.

The Godfather Live
Film Screening
Performance
Pre-Performance Talk

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.

Huddle
Digital Event
Family Friendly
School Day Performance

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.

Community Dance Party in Detroit
Free
Participatory Experience
Hélène Grimaud, piano
Performance

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)

The Jazz Continuum
Performance
Q&A

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.

Mariachi Herencia de México feat. La Marisoul
Family Friendly
Performance

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

Digital School Day Performance: Mariachi Herencia de México
Digital Event
School Day Performance

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

Emanuel Ax / Leonidas Kavakos / Yo-Yo Ma
Performance

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

Penny Stamps Speaker Series: Nkeiru Okoye
Free
Talks & Discussions

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: Post-Performance Student Afterparty
Free
U-M Student Event

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

Nkeiru Okoye’s When the Caged Bird Sings
Performance

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.

UMS 101: Reshaping American Movement: The Graham Technique
Public Workshop

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

School Day Performance: Martha Graham Dance Company
School Day Performance

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.

James Ehnes, violin
Performance

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

Martha Graham Dance Company
Performance

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.

You Can Dance! with Martha Graham Dance Company
Free
Public Workshop
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.
Igor Levit, piano
Performance

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)

Isidore String Quartet
Performance

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’s Binoculars
Digital Event
Family Friendly
School Day Performance

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
Performance
Pre-Performance Talk

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)

Weather Bird: Sullivan Fortner and Ambrose Akinmusire
Performance

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
Performance

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.

UMS 101: Dynamic Ladies of Jazz: An Evening of History and Appreciation
Public Workshop

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
Performance

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 Night
Participatory Experience
Pay What You Wish
Ypsi Freighthouse

Swing Dance Night

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.

Hub New Music: 10th Anniversary Show
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

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. 

Y2Gay: Drag Show at the Freighthouse
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi 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. 

K-12 Teacher Appreciation Party
Free
School & K12 Educators
Canceled Event: Marcel, Rami, and Sary Khalife: Legacy
Performance

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.

Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog Featuring Little Bang Theory, in collaboration with iFFY
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

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
Performance

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

For Families // Dancing Through México with El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil
Family Friendly
Free
Participatory Experience
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse
Open Mic at the Freighthouse
Free
Ypsi Freighthouse

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
Performance
Pre-Performance Talk

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

For Families // Joe Reilly Earth Day Performance + Family Activity
Family Friendly
Free
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

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. 

Shigeto Live Ensemble
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

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

Regenerate! Orchestra
Participatory Experience
Pay What You Wish
Performance
Ypsi Freighthouse

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.

Yo-Yo Ma and Kayhan Kalhor with Orchestra of the Americas
Performance

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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