Annenberg Center Announces 19/20 SeasonApril 23, 2019
The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania Announces its 2019-20 Season
#GLASSFEST, a three-week celebration of preeminent composer Philip Glass, features the world premiere of The White Lama: The Improbable Legacy of Theos Bernard, as well as Music in Twelve Parts and Knee Plays
Brownstein Residency for Artistic Innovation honors Grammy® and Latin Grammy® award-winning vocalist Lila Downs, continuing The Philadelphians: Migrations That Made Our City series with a focus on Philadelphia’s Mexican American residents
The Annenberg Center hosts the first local residency of Philadelphia’s Grammy® Award-winning new music choir, The Crossing, directed by Donald Nally
Season opens September 13 with Tina Satter/Half Straddle’s production of Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription, a co-presentation with FringeArts as part of the 2019 Fringe Festival
The Annenberg Center and NextMove Dance co-present a special retrospective celebrating the legacy of dance in Philadelphia while looking to its future
In partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Music, the Annenberg Center presents a two-concert series with the Daedalus Quartet
A robust schedule of jazz, world music, early music, new music, theatre, family, and holiday presentations completes the Annenberg Center’s 48th season
(Philadelphia – April 23, 2019) — The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania has announced its 2019-20 season, the third season curated by Executive and Artistic Director Christopher A. Gruits. Subscriptions are on sale now at AnnenbergCenter.org or 215.898.3900. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date.
The Annenberg Center Presents the 2019-20 Season
Continuing its long tradition of introducing new artists and innovative work to Philadelphia, the Annenberg Center announces its 2019-20 season, including 19 world, U.S. and Philadelphia premieres, and seven artists who will make their Philadelphia debut appearances. One of the most significant classical modern composers of our time, Philip Glass, will be celebrated with the three-week #GLASSFEST, which honors his legacy in a range of performances, including one featuring the groundbreaking composer himself. Grammy® and Latin Grammy® award-winning vocalist and global superstar Lila Downs is the 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence, expanding the Annenberg Center’s The Philadelphians: Migrations That Made Our City series. In the 2019-20 season, the series shines a spotlight on Mexican Americans, our city’s largest current immigrant group, and how this population has reshaped and contributed to the culture of Philadelphia. The University of Pennsylvania’s quartet-in-residence, the Daedalus Quartet, performs a migration-focused series, and the Annenberg Center presents Philadelphia’s own Grammy® award-winning new music choir, The Crossing, in its first local residency. The Annenberg Center and NextMove Dance continue their successful partnership to present a special retrospective series that will celebrate the tradition of bringing the best in dance to Philadelphia while also looking to the future of the art form. A robust schedule of jazz, world music, early music, new music, theatre, family, and holiday presentations completes the Annenberg Center’s 2019-20 season.
“The Annenberg Center’s 48th season presents the best in music, dance, and theatre, programs that entertain, bring joy, and challenge our perception of the world, sparking important conversations,” said Executive and Artistic Director Christopher A. Gruits. “We continue our commitment to commissioning new works and fostering diverse, up-and-coming artists alongside renowned masters beloved by our audiences. This powerful convergence highlights new ideas while amplifying the contributions of some of the most influential artists of the last century. We are proud of the role the Annenberg Center plays in connecting Penn and Philadelphia communities—serving Penn students in their creative endeavors, interacting with the West Philly neighborhood in which we reside, and sharing the transformative power of the performing arts with audiences all across the metro-Philly area.”
Festivals and Residencies
The Annenberg Center celebrates the career and impact of Philip Glass, one of our nation’s most significant modern composers, with #GLASSFEST. The Annenberg Center first presented the composer with the Philip Glass Ensemble in the 1990s. Through frequent appearances and a long-term commitment to showcasing new music, the Annenberg Center championed Glass and familiarized him to Philadelphia audiences. The three-week #GLASSFEST includes The Crossing choir performing Knee Plays works by Philip Glass and David Byrne (February 21-22, 2020); the Philadelphia premiere of Glass’ groundbreaking Music in Twelve Parts, which will be performed in its five-hour entirety by The Philip Glass Ensemble (February 29, 2020); Glass Reflections performed by pianist Jenny Lin in the Egypt Upper Gallery at the Penn Museum (March 5, 2020); and theatrical work, The White Lama: The Improbable Legacy of Theos Bernard (March 13-14, 2020) by multi-disciplinary theatre artist and filmmaker Nikki Appino, featuring a score that will be performed by Glass himself.
Brownstein Residency for Artistic Innovation
2019-20 Artist-in-Residence: Lila Downs
The Brownstein Residency for Artistic Innovation links notable visiting artists to the Penn and Philadelphia communities with a focus on interdisciplinary work and experiences for broad audiences. The 2019-20 season Artist-in-Residence will be Grammy® and Latin Grammy® award-winning vocalist and global superstar, Lila Downs. Oaxaca-born and Minnesota-raised, Lila Downs has curated several performances as part of her residency, expanding the Annenberg Center’s series, The Philadelphians: Migrations That Made Our City, with a spotlight on one of Philadelphia’s largest current immigrant groups, Mexican Americans. The performances, campus workshops and local outreach activities will provide a lens to explore how Mexican Americans have reshaped Philadelphia and contributed to the city’s culture and community traditions. Performers during the residency include Lila Downs (May 1, 2020), Jarana Beat (May 2, 2020), winner of the 2015 Mexican Music Award for Best Contemporary Folk Band; and Mexico’s leading contemporary dance troupe Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza (May 29-30, 2020).
The Crossing Residency
The Annenberg Center presents Philadelphia’s Grammy® Award-winning new music choir, The Crossing, in its first-ever local residency. Directed by Donald Nally, The Crossing will perform a three-concert series that includes The Crossing @ Christmas featuring David Lang's Pulitzer Prize-winning the little match girl passion and a world premiere by composer Edie Hill (December 20, 2019, Church of the Holy Trinity); Knee Plays by Philip Glass and David Byrne (February 21-22, 2020); and the world premiere of Michael Gordon’s A Travel Guide to Nicaragua featuring cellist Maya Beiser (March 22, 2020). The choir will also be present on campus, working with students from Penn’s Department of Music.
The Daedalus Quartet
The Daedalus Quartet, Penn’s quartet-in-residence, will also explore migration through music as part of The Philadelphians: Migrations That Made Our City, illustrating the ways in which centuries of cultural cross-pollination has enriched our artistic and spiritual life. In two concerts co-presented by the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Music, the quartet will perform works that exhibit the richness and complexity of this cultural convergence, including two world premieres: an arrangement of traditional African American spirituals by Nansi Carroll with soprano Karen Slack (January 25, 2020) and a collaborative work by Kinan Abou-afach, featuring Abou-afach on cello and rababeh (April 4, 2020).
The Annenberg Center opens its 2019-20 season September 13-15 with Tina Satter/Half Straddle’s production of Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription, the true story of 25-year-old former Air Force linguist Reality Winner, who in 2017 was surprised at her home by the FBI, interrogated, charged with leaking evidence of Russian interference in the U.S. election, and ultimately imprisoned. This “blistering piece of political theater” (ARTFORUM) stages the FBI transcript of what happened in this real-life thriller. Is This A Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription premiered at The Kitchen in New York City on January 5, 2019. This production is a co-presentation with FringeArts as part of the 2019 Fringe Festival.
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