Please wait...
Please wait...
ums.org

Classical Music

UMS Announces 10/11 Choral Union Series & Piano Series

Posted: 4/6/10 -- 6:00 pm

10

avatar by Sara Billmann

The University Musical Society is pleased to announce its 132nd Annual Choral Union Series, with 10 concerts in Hill Auditorium. The series includes:

Mariinsky Orchestra

Valery Gergiev, conductor

Denis Matsuev, piano

Sunday, October 10 | 4 pm
Hill Auditorium

Gergiev’s long association with the Mariinsky Theatre — including 10 UMS appearances, most recently the five-concert cycle of Shostakovich symphonies —has raised the ensemble’s profile to the point where it is now widely regarded one of the most dynamic and exciting ensembles on the world stage today. The fiery Russian pianist Denis Matsuev has received worldwide acclaim for his rare combination of technical virtuosity and deep musicality since his stunning victory at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1998. “His technique is phenomenal: blistering passagework, steely chords. Perhaps he is the new Horowitz.” (London Times)

Program
Rachmaninoff                   Piano Concerto No. 3 in d minor, Op. 30
Mahler                                 Symphony No. 5

Venice Baroque Orchestra

Robert McDuffie, violin

Wednesday, October 27 | 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

The Venice Baroque Orchestra was founded in 1997 by harpsichordist Andrea Marcon and is recognized as one of Europe’s premier ensembles devoted to period instrument performance. For this UMS debut, they perform music of their home city — Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons — paired with an “American Four Seasons” by Philip Glass featuring violinist Robert McDuffie, who has worked closely with Glass over the years and who made his UMS debut with the Jerusalem Symphony in 2008.

Program
Vivaldi   The Four Seasons, Op. 8 (1723)
Glass     Violin Concerto No. 2: “The American Four Seasons”

Murray Perahia, piano

Wednesday, November 10 | 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

Anyone who has heard one of Murray’s Perahia’s previous 11 UMS appearances would have to agree with the assessment of The Los Angeles Times: “Perahia is a marvel.” In the more than 35 years he has been performing on the concert stage, he has become one of the most cherished pianists of our time. “Perahia may be the closest thing to a pure conduit of music — one in which the imagination and skill of the player are entirely at the service of the composer, not the player’s ego…The soul of a poet, the mind of a thinker, the hands of a virtuoso: No wonder audiences love this guy.” (The Seattle Times)

Program to be announced.

Renee FlemingRenée Fleming, soprano

Sunday, January 16 | 4 pm
Hill Auditorium

One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. In addition to commanding the stages of the great opera houses of the world, she hosts the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD Series for movie theaters and television with behind-the-scenes interviews. Her fame is such that perfumes, desserts, and flowers have all been named after her, but those superficial accolades pale in comparison to her devoted following of opera lovers around the world. This great American soprano returns to UMS after her 1997 recital and her 2005 appearance in a concert version of Richard Strauss’s Daphne.

The Cleveland Orchestra

Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano

Tuesday, February 1 | 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

Founded shortly after the end of World War I, the Cleveland Orchestra has been guided by seven music directors, each of whom has left his mark on the widely admired “Cleveland” sound: Nikolai Sokoloff, Artur Rodzinski, Erich Leinsdorf, George Szell, Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Franz Welser-Möst, who leads the ensemble and the French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard in this performance.

Program
Bartók                   Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste, Sz. 106, BB 114
Schumann           Piano Concerto in a minor, Op. 54
Wagner                 Overture to Tannhäuser

Rafał Blechacz, piano

Friday, February 11 | 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

In October 2005, the 20-year-old Rafał Blechacz, an unassuming young man from a small town in northern Poland, arrived in Warsaw for the 15th International Chopin Competition. His sensational performance won not only the competition, but also all four special prizes for the polonaise, mazurka, sonata, and concerto performance — in fact, one of the judges remarked that he “so outclassed the remaining finalists that no second prize could actually be awarded.” Blechacz was the first Pole to win the prize since Krystian Zimerman 30 years earlier. Notwithstanding his young age, his playing offers poetry, maturity, poise and concentration, as well as a phenomenal and luminous technique. “How reassuring it is to see one so young putting poetry first…we were all on another planet.” (Financial Times)

Program to be announced.


Philadelphia Orchestra with Stokowski, 1916Mahler’s Symphony No. 8

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

UMS Choral Union
U-M Chamber Choir
U-M University Choir
U-M Orpheus Singers
MSU Children’s Choir

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Saturday, March 19 | 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s birth and the 100th anniversary of his death, UMS is collaborating with the DSO and Michigan Opera Theatre to present a spectacular, not-to-be-missed performance of Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 8, also known as “Symphony of a Thousand.”   The first performance of this “choral symphony” featured a chorus of about 850, with an orchestra of 171, leading Mahler’s agent to dub to the work “Symphony of a Thousand.” While Mahler himself did not approve of the title, it nevertheless remains associated with this work, which is rarely preformed due to the massive forces required to do it justice.

Bach’s Mass in b minor

Bach Collegium Japan

Masaaki Suzuki, conductor
Thursday, March 24 | 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

Founded in 1990 by Masaaki Suzuki with the aim of introducing Japanese audiences to period instrument performance of great works of the Baroque period, the Bach Collegium Japan comprises both orchestra and chorus. The group has developed a formidable reputation through its recordings of J.S. Bach’s church cantatas, and returns to Ann Arbor after its 2003 St. Matthew Passion in St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Widely regarded as one of the supreme achievements in classical music, the Mass in b minor was composed over a period of 25 years and assembled in its present form in 1749, the year before Bach died. “I have never heard period instruments played with such purity of tone, so reliably in tune. The small, precise, dramatically alert chorus breathed fire but also revealed a heartbreaking tenderness.” (The Los Angeles Times)

St. Petersburg Philharmonic

Yuri Temirkanov, conductor

Nikolai Lugansky, piano

Saturday, April 2 | 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

The Russian city of St. Petersburg boasts two world-class orchestras, and UMS has enjoyed a long relationship with each. The St. Petersburg Philharmonic has appeared in Ann Arbor five times under Yuri Temirkanov’s leadership. With a history dating back more than 200 years, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic is embedded with musical history, performing the world premiere of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in 1824, as well as Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, and many works by Shostakovich. Pianist Nikolai Lugansky, who won the 1994 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, makes his UMS debut. A Russian newspaper said of his performance in the final round of competition: “It was like getting sunstroke, a musical shock. Nobody could imagine that the soul of this unpretentious, modest young man, with his ascetic, but also poetic appearance, held such a volcano inside with inspired and resolute control.”

Program
Rimsky-Korsakov             Scheherazade, Op. 35
Rachmaninoff                    Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor, Op. 18

Liebeslieder Waltzes

Genia Kühmeier, soprano
Bernarda Fink, mezzo-soprano
Michael Schade, tenor
Thomas Quasthoff, bass-baritone
Malcolm Martineau, piano
Justus Zeyen, piano

Saturday, April 23 | 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

After nearly a decade in which he composed no vocal music at all, Schumann made a striking return to the genre with the Spanisches Liebeslieder song collection, which combines songs for solo voice with duets and quartets. A generation later, Brahms took the same instrumentation — vocal quartet plus four-hand piano —and composed the Liebeslieder and Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes. These three works serve the centerpiece of a program that also includes Brahms’ composition for vocal quartet and piano, performed by a brilliant quartet of musicians, including bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff, who last appeared at UMS in a Lydia Mendessohn Theatre recital in 2000.

Program
Schumann           Spanische Liebeslieder, Op. 138
Brahms                 Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52
Brahms                 Four Songs from Quartets for Four Voices and Pianos, Ops. 64 & 92
Brahms                 Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 65

Tickets for the 10-concert series range from $100-$650. Subscription renewal packets and brochures will be mailed in early May.

In addition to the 10-concert Choral Union Series, five events listed above will be packaged as a Piano Series (Kirov Orchestra with Denis Matsuev, Murray Perahia, Cleveland Orchestra with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Rafał Blechacz, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Nikolai Lugansky). Prices for the five-concert Piano Series range from $50-$310.

Tickets to individual events on the series go on sale on Monday, August 23 (via www.ums.org) and Wednesday, August 25 (in person and by phone).

Which events in the season are you most anticipating? Let us know in the comments area below.

Sara Billmann is UMS's Director of Marketing & Communications. A former UMS intern, she has spent half of her life working with UMS.

10 COMMENTS   view newest first

Connect with Facebook


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail!
You can also subscribe without commenting.

  • avatar

    As always, can't wait. New York-eat your heart out.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Is there a way to view the entire season as a simple list of events, without all the bells and whistles and genre-specific segregation?

    Reply
  • avatar

    Sorry, I find the interjection of large-format videos confusing. What is wrong with a nice list, clean and simple, and then a hyperlink to the video for those who want it? The whole page is so covered with banner headlines, the ordinary type (what little there is) gets lost. Banner HEADlines should be just for that — not so many and so diffused. Maybe the younger generation can cope — I find it just unreadable. — Mary Price

    Reply
    • avatar

      Mary –

      See Liz Stover's link above – it forwards you to the usual list we put out each year onhttp://www.ums.org. The umsLOBBY.org site was designed to incorporate the plethora of multimedia opportunities out there, as you see above. But we also know that you like to get your facts – straightforward and fast – and that's why we've kept the simple lists and ticket info on our main website,http://www.ums.org. There are also video links there on each individual artists' page as we get into the season. Hope that clears things up a bit.

      Beth, UMS IT/Admin

      Reply
  • avatar

    I'm a little confused about the 10/11 Choral Union series. I take it the Choral Union is an overtitle sponsor? Obviously not all of the performances are of the Choral Union.

    Reply
    • avatar

      HI! Jim from UMS here. It's definitely confusing! The name of the Choral Union Series goes WAAAAY back — as in 132 years! So here's a little history: UMS was created by a group of local university and townspeople who gathered together (calling themselves "The Choral Union") for the study of Handel's "Messiah." Their first performance of Handel's "Messiah" was in December of 1879, and this glorious oratorio has since been performed by the UMS Choral Union annually. As a large number of Choral Union members also belonged to the University, the University Musical Society was established in December 1880. UMS was comprised of the Choral Union and University Orchestra, and throughout the year presented a series of concerts featuring local and visiting artists and ensembles. The original series of concerts was known as "The Choral Union Series" (because it was created by the Choral Union), and the name of the series lives on today in honor of UMS's founding body.

      Reply
      • avatar

        Thanks, Jim! It definitely clears up the confusion as well as provides a nice historical context for the name of the series. I suppose I had just never identified UMS presentations into its different subcategories because I have attended performances of all genres.

        Reply
  • Pingback: UMS Lobby » UMS 10/11 Season: The Complete List

  • 10

    PERFORMANCES & EVENTS

    Dawnofmidi-new-334x230
    TICKETS

    1/31/2015

    Dawn of MIDI

    Helen and Edgar production
    TICKETS

    1/7-1/10/2015

    Helen & Edgar

    Valery Gergiev conductor
    TICKETS

    1/24-1/25/2015

    Mariinsky Orchestra

    Cinderella production
    TICKETS

    4/24-4/26/2015

    Lyon Opera Ballet

    Messiah score on organ
    TICKETS

    12/6-12/7/2014

    Handel’s Messiah