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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES 2010-11 GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON SEASON

April 9, 2010
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S

CENTER FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES

THE 2010-11 SEASON OF

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF GREAT PERFORMANCES

  

· Broadway’s “quintessential song-and-dance man” JOEL GREY performs at ARTS BY GEORGE!

· Classical music of the highest caliber including BROOKLYN RIDER, the BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA under KEITH LOCKHART with pianist ILYA YAKUSHEV, TURTLE ISLAND QUARTET with pianist CYRUS CHESTNUT and mandolinist MIKE MARSHALL, DEUTSCHE STAATSPHILHARMONIE under PHILIPPE ENTREMONT with pianist SEBASTIAN KNAUER, OPOLE PHILHARMONIC OF POLAND under BOGUSLAW DAWIDOW with pianist JACEK KORTUS and the ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA with violinist ARABELLA STEINBACHER

· Stunning modern dance ensembles MOMIX, LAR LUBOVITCH DANCE COMPANY, MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP, PARSONS DANCE and TRISHA BROWN DANCE COMPANY

· The RUSSIAN NATIONAL BALLET THEATRE performing classics “ROMEO AND JULIET” and “SWAN LAKE”

· Professional enthralling theater productions by L.A. THEATRE WORKS, AQUILA THEATRE, THE ACTING COMPANY and Mason’s own THEATER OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT

· Global artistry from THE MERCHANTS OF BOLLYWOOD of India, Spanish songstress BUIKA, the colorful BAYANIHAN PHILIPPINE NATIONAL DANCE COMPANY, Afro-Peruvian song and dance troupe PERÚ NEGRO with diva EVA AYLLÓN, the seductive Argentine ensemble TANGO BUENOS AIRES and Celtic band DANÚ from Ireland’s County Waterford 

· Artists representing a variety of American art forms including the remarkable AMERICAN FESTIVAL POPS ORCHESTRA under ANTHONY MAIELLO; award-winning bluegrass duo DAILEY & VINCENT; NEW ORLEANS NIGHTS featuring musical legends ALLEN TOUSSAINT, NICHOLAS PAYTON and the JOE KROWN TRIO; acoustic and electric blues band HOT TUNA BLUES celebrating its 40th anniversary; the vibrant and energetic DRUMLINE LIVE; and Washington, D.C.’s own METROPOLITAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA

· THE VIRGINIA OPERA performing Verdi’s dark tragedy “RIGOLETTO,” Mozart’s deliciously witty opera buffa “COSÌ FAN TUTTE,” Wagner’s epic masterpiece “THE VALKYRIE” and Puccini’s heartbreaking “MADAMA BUTTERFLY”

·  Renowned pianist JEFFREY SIEGEL returns with KEYBOARD CONVERSATIONS®

·  HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES by CHANTICLEER, THE WAVERLY CONSORT, SYNERGY BRASS QUINTET, LEAHY and VIENNA BOYS CHOIR

And much, much more!

 

FAIRFAX, Va., April 8, 2009 Celebrating its 20th anniversary, George Mason University’s Center for the Arts announced the new season of Great Performances at Mason at a press conference on Mason’s Fairfax campus on Thursday, April 8. The 2010-11 season of Great Performances at Mason comprises nine performing arts series, beginning in fall 2010 and continuing through spring 2011.

“I am particularly pleased with the quality and variety of our programs for 2010-11,” began Tom Reynolds, director of artistic programming, marketing and audience services, as he described a season that includes both veterans and brilliant new stars of the arts world. “To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we have invited back some of our favorite and most popular artists from previous seasons, as well as an exciting host of gifted performers who appear on our stage for the first time, as we continue to bring to Fairfax the best of the performing arts.” Reynolds also emphasized the Center’s commitment to providing performing arts events of the highest caliber for affordable ticket prices. Members of the media, donors, sponsors, Mason staff and the faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts heard Reynolds elaborate on the artists and events coming to Fairfax this season.

William Reeder, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, of which the Center for the Arts is a part, emphasized the importance of the Great Performances at Mason series in supporting the academic departments and the artistic endeavors of Mason students. “The events of the Great Performances series deeply enrich the educational experience of the students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts by providing the opportunity to enjoy and learn from some of the world’s greatest artists, in addition to the solid academic foundation that they receive from our extraordinary arts faculty,” Reeder said. Reeder also recognized corporate sponsors HSBC Bank, the Magnificent Music series sponsor; Steinway Piano Gallery of Washington, D.C., the Keyboard Conversations® sponsor; and Wegmans, the performance sponsor for Danú, who will be appearing at the Center this March.

 

CELEBRATED CLASSICAL PERFORMERS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE

The Center announced a Magnificent Music series featuring a wealth of world-class performers and marvelous orchestras. The young, innovative string quartet Brooklyn Rider makes its Center debut, performing a program that encompasses traditional works as well as the music of contemporary composers. Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart brings the extraordinary BBC Concert Orchestra, performing impressive Russian works with piano soloist Ilya Yakushev. The genre-bending Turtle Island Quartet celebrates its silver anniversary in grand style with famed jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut and mandolin virtuoso Mike Marshall. Grand European ensembles Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie and Opole, Philharmonic of Poland perform at the Center as part of their first American tours, with the German Philharmonic performing under Philippe Entremont with piano soloist Sebastian Knauer and the Polish Philharmonic performing under Boguslaw Dawidow with piano soloist Jacek Kortus. The conductor-less Orpheus Chamber Orchestra joins forces with German violin virtuoso Arabella Steinbacher for a spectacular evening of music.

 

MODERN, CLASSICAL AND GLOBAL DANCE

The Center’s esteemed Dynamic Dance series continues to bring a diverse collection of professional dance ensembles to Northern Virginia, including five contemporary dance companies founded by the world’s most renowned choreographers. This fall, Center favorite MOMIX brings Moses Pendleton’s green-themed “Botanica,” and the illustrious Lar Lubovitch Dance Company performs a program of exciting new works and classic pieces from this legendary choreographer’s repertoire. In the spring, Center favorite Mark Morris Dance Group celebrates its 30th anniversary with a program that honors Morris’ commitment to blending graceful movement, beautiful music and delicious wit. The brilliant Parsons Dance returns to the Center with the East Village Opera Company to perform its critically acclaimed rock dance opera “Remember Me.” The groundbreaking Trisha Brown Dance Company brings Brown’s unique brand of inventive, intellectual and cutting-edge dance to the Center. The Russian National Ballet Theatre preserves the venerated Russian tradition of classical ballet with two beloved productions – “Romeo and Juliet” and “Swan Lake.”  Committed to its tradition of bringing culturally diverse artists to the region, the Center presents two thrilling performances by Tango Buenos Aires, which is known throughout Argentina as the most authentic and uncompromising representative of this passionate dance.

 

ENTHRALLING THEATER

The Center is honored to have remarkable theatrical productions from four talented theater companies as part of its Enthralling Theater series this season. Unique British-American touring company Aquila Theatre appears twice this season with Shakespeare’s most enchanting and beloved comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Luigi Pirandello’s surrealistic tragicomedy “Six Characters in Search of an Author.” America’s premier radio theater company, L.A. Theatre Works, returns with Peter Goodchild’s gripping docu-drama “The Real Dr. Strangelove,” about the dramatic events surrounding the development of the atomic bomb. The award-winning repertory ensemble The Acting Company brings Shakespeare’s hilarious tale of mistaken identity, “The Comedy of Errors,” to the Center’s stage. Theater of the First Amendment, Mason’s professional theater company, recreates the distinctive look, exciting sound and nostalgic feel of the classic radio days of the 1930s with “Live Wire.”

 

SONG AND DANCE TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

The artists in the Global View series are from all around the world – from India to Spain, the Philippines to Peru, Argentina and Ireland – and capture the diverse cultural traditions of song and dance from across the globe. This series begins with the smash hit “The Merchants of Bollywood,” an inspiring musical filled with an exhilarating fusion of Western and Indian dance, glittery costumes and non-stop, high-octane music. Sensual Spanish songstress Buika brings her signature smoky voice to the Center, performing a unique blend of jazz, blues and soul with gypsy rumba, Afro-Cuban music and flamenco. The radiant Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company performs spectacular and colorful folk dances that celebrate the country’s diverse Chinese, Spanish and Islamic cultures. The electrifying ensemble Perú Negro pairs up with sultry diva Eva Ayllón to perform festive music and dance that honors the company’s Afro-Peruvian heritage. Tango Buenos Aires brings the diverse and passionate dance of Argentina to the Center. Hailing from Ireland’s County Waterford, Celtic band Danú brings a spirited performance using traditional Irish instruments, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

 

AMERICAN ECHOES

The American Echoes series truly captures the diversity of American art forms – from classic pop music to bluegrass, to swingin’ jazz music and folk, to the show-stopping marching bands of black college and universities in the deep south. This season features the unbelievable American Festival Pops Orchestra, which made its worldwide debut at the Center last fall, performing a delightful program of music from Broadway, television and films under the direction of Anthony Maiello. Award-winning bluegrass duo Dailey & Vincent brings an intimate performance that highlights these musicians’ amazing two-part harmonies and flat-picking brilliance. Paying tribute grand epicenter of jazz music, New Orleans legends Allen Toussaint, Nicholas Payton and the Joe Krown Trio join forces for New Orleans Nights, an incredible evening of hot jazz music from America’s favorite southern city. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees (and D.C. natives) Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady celebrate the 40th anniversary of their acoustic and electric blues band Hot Tuna Blues, which developed as a side project while the pair were members of the famed rock band Jefferson Airplane. After a sell-out performance at the Center in 2009, Drumline LIVE returns with an electrifying program featuring amazing percussion-driven music, phenomenal choreography and incredible athleticism, which is a tradition at historically black colleges and universities in the south. D.C.’s own Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra takes the stage under the direction of Jim Carroll to perform awe-inspiring interpretations of works by such traditional jazz masters as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Louis Armstrong.

 

ARTS BY GEORGE!

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) announces the fifth annual ARTS by George!—a gala evening supporting student scholarships and the Great Performances season, on Saturday, September 25. The event features performing and visual arts by CVPA students and faculty, food and wine, and culminates with a concert by Oscar and Tony Award-winner Joel Grey, known for his roles as the demonic emcee in the Broadway and film versions of “Cabaret,” Roxie Hart’s milquetoast husband in Broadway revival of “Chicago” and The Wizard in the original Broadway production of “Wicked.” Hailed by The Washington Post as “the quintessential song-and-dance man,” Grey joins a 23-piece orchestra to take the audience on a virtual tour of his career—singing, dancing and storytelling —performing songs by Kander and Ebb, Rodgers and Hart, Billy Joel and more.

 

VIRGINIA OPERA

With a reputation for bringing the magnificence, excellence and musicality of great opera to throngs of delighted patrons each season, the Virginia Opera brings four of the world’s most beloved operas to Northern Virginia. The season opens with Verdi’s dark tragedy “Rigoletto,” the heartrending tale of the doomed jester, his naïve daughter and the lascivious duke; followed by Mozart’s uproarious and lusty opera buffa “Così fan tutte,” a hilarious story of two sisters in Naples whose soldier fiancés make a bet with a cynical old bachelor to test the women’s love and fidelity. In the spring, the company offers the epic masterpiece “The Valkyrie,” the cornerstone of Wagner’s majestic “Ring Cycle” and the second in this magnificent tetraolgy about a god who is torn between his conflicting loyalties among his mortal and divine children and his desire to possess a ring that would make him omnipotent. The season concludes with a stunning and heartbreaking production of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” the tragic tale of a flippant American officer who takes a young geisha as his bride and then leaves her to return home to the United States. When the Japanese girl discovers that her beloved husband has remarried, she takes her own life. This classic story about the clashing of cultures and love, loyalty and sacrifice is one of the world’s most popular operas and touches the hearts of both opera enthusiasts and novices alike.

 

KEYBOARD CONVERSATIONS®

Center veteran artist Jeffrey Siegel returns for an 18th season of his popular “concerts with commentary” series, Keyboard Conversations®. These fascinating programs feature the renowned pianist speaking about a related selection of compositions and composers, playing works in their entirety and then taking questions from the audience. This season, Siegel presents four performances that explore the lives and work of some of the greatest composers of all time. Titles include “Three Great B’s – Bach, Beethoven and Barber”; “The Fantastic Fantasy World of Robert Schumann”; “Northern Lights,” which explores the works of Scandanavian composers such as Grieg, Sibelius, Nielsen and Brahms; and “Paris 1911 – A Festive Musical Year!” in which Siegel shares the engaging and enduring compositions written and performed 100 years ago in Paris by such prolific composers as Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky and Fauré. 

 

SEASONS GREETINGS FROM FAIRFAX

The Center for the Arts presents something for everyone this holiday season! Center favorite Chanticleer kicks off the holidays on Thanksgiving weekend with its cherished program of traditional Christmas carols, revered sacred works and popular holiday favorites. The Waverly Consort brings its beloved traditional holiday pageant “The Christmas Story” to the Center for the first time, retelling the Biblical Christmas story with song using reproductions of medieval instruments. Acclaimed for its amazing technical skill, marvelous showmanship and diverse programming, the Synergy Brass Quintet brings a spirited holiday program that features lush brass arrangements of classical works amid a broad selection of Christmas carols. The Celtic family band Leahy and the Vienna Boys Choir, which both packed the house on their last visits to the Center, return with extraordinary performances that truly capture the spirit of the season. 

 

A GROWING CIRCLE OF FRIENDS

The Friends of the Center for the Arts (FCFA) is unique in its mission to support the Center and Great Performances at Mason. For more than a decade, this devoted group of volunteers has played a significant role in the growth of the Great Performances series. FCFA President Ida Portland spoke about the dramatic increase in FCFA membership, which 10 years ago totaled fewer than 100 households and now includes more than 700 households. “The professional growth of the performances presented at the Center for the Arts reflects the growth of the arts and its importance in our lives. The Center for the Arts has played an important part in bringing together the residents of Northern Virginia. We are very fortunate to have this ‘jewel’ in our community,” Portland said.

Subscriptions to Great Performances at Mason are available now and single tickets go on sale on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010.  For a brochure of more information, please call (703) 993-2787.

 

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

 

About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch by U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, dance, organizational psychology and health care, Mason students are routinely recognized with national and international scholarships. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage.