Press Room

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April 11, 2013
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.







  • Tony Award-winning Broadway soprano and television star Laura Benanti at the eighth annual ARTS by George! benefit event
  • Dazzling dance by Joffrey Ballet, Parsons Dance, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group, Shanghai Ballet and Moscow Festival Ballet
  • Virginia Opera with four fantastic productions: “Falstaff,” “The Magic Flute,” “Ariadne auf Naxos” and “Carmen”
  • Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet
  • Anne Bogart’s award-winning SITI Company with “Café Variations”
  • Celtic music legends The Chieftains with a St. Patrick’s Day celebration
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with violinist Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth
  • “World Blues” featuring Taj Mahal, Vusi Mahlasela and Deva Mahal with Fredericks Brown
  • Portuguese-Mozambican chanteuse Mariza, the face of contemporary fado music
  • Irish Chamber Orchestra featuring celebrated flutist Sir James Galway
  • And much, much more!


FAIRFAX, Va., April 11, 2013 – George Mason University’s Center for the Arts announced its 2013-2014 Great Performances at Masonseason, featuring a collection of performances by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles spanning the globe and diverse genres. The new season was announced at a press conference at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Mason’s Fairfax Campus on Thursday, April 11, 2013. The Great Performances at Mason season comprises nine performing arts series, beginning in September 2013 and continuing on through April 2014.

“I’m honored to reveal a fantastic season of events with an extraordinarily diverse range of offerings, from the Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel on its first U.S. tour to the bluesy and global sounds of Taj Mahal, from brilliant jazz icon Branford Marsalis to legendary pianist Peter Nero, and the amazing Portuguese fado singer Mariza,” said Tom Reynolds, the Center’s director of artistic programming, as he presented the new season. “With 50 marvelous performances, the 2013-2014 season endeavors to appeal to those who prefer the classics, as well as those who enjoy all that today’s creative artists have to offer.” Members of the media, donors, sponsors, Mason staff and faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts gathered together to hear Reynolds announce the exciting collection of artists and ensembles appearing at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in 2013-2014.

“We’re also pleased to announce that due to popular demand, we have extended our youth discount to all of our Great Performances at Mason events, and we continue to recommend events that are most appropriate for families to attend together by using our Family Friendly designation,” Reynolds said. Tickets will now be half price for youth through grade 12 for all Great Performances at Mason events.

“This season encompasses such a vast array of performances that I think we can truly claim to offer something for everyone – from the classical to the contemporary and spanning all kinds of performance styles,” said William Reeder, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University. “None of this would be even remotely possible without the superb underwriting that we receive from our sponsors, who recognize the value that the arts have in the lives of their customers and their employees.” Reeder announced that Steinway Piano Gallery of Washington, D.C. is returning as the 2013-2014 Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel Series Sponsor.



The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) kicks off the performance season with its eighth annual ARTS by George!galaon Saturday, Sept. 28. This eagerly anticipated benefit event supports CVPA student scholarships in the areas of dance, music, theater, visual arts, film and video studies, computer game design and arts management, as well as the Great Performances at Mason season. This spectacular evening begins with a showcase of the extraordinary talents of CVPA students and faculty amid a bountiful array of sumptuous buffets and beverages. The evening culminates in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall with an incredible performance by Broadway and television sensation Laura Benanti, who skyrocketed to fame at age 19 with her role of Maria in “The Sound of Music,” and who won the Tony Award for her performance as wallflower-turned-stripper Gypsy Rose Lee in “Gypsy” opposite Patti LuPone. This gifted soprano has also appeared in “The Wedding Singer,” “Nine” and “Into the Woods,” and currently stars on the hit NBC sitcom “Go On.” This will be an unforgettable performance filled with emotional ballads and powerful showstoppers.



One of the premier destinations for dance in the greater D.C. area, the Center announced a Dynamic Dance series featuring four of America’s most distinguished modern dance companies and two enchanting ballet ensembles from across the globe. The renowned Joffrey Ballet brings “American Legends” and “Body & Soul,” two powerful evenings of contemporary dance showcasing works by Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Wheeldon and Yuri Possokhov. Featuring two of Mason’s School of Dance alums, Mark Morris Dance Group presents an elegant program that includes the D.C. area premiere of “A Wooden Tree,” set to the music and words of Scottish poet and songwriter Ivor Cutler. The breathtaking Lar Lubovitch Dance Company returns with an exceptional program of works in celebration of the ensemble’s 45th anniversary season. Known for its sheer joy and exuberance on the stage, Parsons Dance presents an evening of quintessentially American works that evoke sensuality, athleticism, ingenuity and virtuosity. Known for its masterful interpretations of classical Chinese and western ballets, Shanghai Ballet brings spellbinding productions of “The Butterfly Lovers” and “La Sylphide.” Moscow Festival Ballet returns with an evening of two great romantic ballets in “Romeo and Juliet” and “Chopiniana” in the first performance of the company’s visit to Fairfax; the following afternoon, the company presents “Ballet Favorites,” featuring some of the most exquisite and popular pieces in the ballet repertoire.



A collection of outstanding orchestras, ensembles and performers from across the globe come to the Center this season as part of the Magnificent Music series. The Irish Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, shares the stage with Ireland’s great flutist, Sir James Galway, in a program that includes Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major, as well as Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony. One of the most illustrious orchestras in the world, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra returns with renowned conductor and violinist Pinchas Zukerman, presenting Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor, Schoenberg’s “Verklärte Nacht” and Brahms’ Double Concerto in A minor with cello soloist Amanda Forsyth. Under the baton of Boguslaw Dawidow, Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel appears as part of its inaugural U.S. tour, performing Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”), as well as Israeli composer Uri Bracha’s “Melodies for Mount Carmel” with virtuoso violist Avshalom Sarid. British a cappella sextet The King’s Singers returns with “The Great American Songbook,” a program featuring treasured songs by Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and other great American musical composers. Featuring some of Russia’s finest string players, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin presents a brilliant concert of classical gems by celebrated Russian masters, as well as other revered composers, under the baton of Misha Rachlevsky.



Each season, Center audiences travel to the far corners of the globe through the popular Global View series. Stunning Portuguese-Mozambican chanteuse Mariza returns with her soul-stirring interpretations of fado, a traditional genre that originated in the streets and taverns of working-class Lisbon. The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble brings the rich and colorful artistic traditions of its homeland with dance and live music in “Gypsy Romance.” Grammy Award winner Taj Mahal joins forces with South African folk-singer and poet-activist Vusi Mahlasela, as well as his daughter, Deva Mahal, and her band Fredericks Brown, for “World Blues,” an unforgettable evening of soulful, blues-based world music. Debonair baritone Max Raabe & Palast Orchester transport audiences to a Berlin nightclub in the 1920s with “I Won’t Dance,” a program featuring hits from the 1920s and 1930s, dance hall songs, chansons and other popular songs from the Weimar Era. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Grammy Award-winning Celtic legends The Chieftains bring a lively concert that captures the beauty of the Emerald Isle. One of China’s most revered ballet companies, the Shanghai Ballet brings “The Butterfly Lovers,” based on an ancient legend and often considered the Chinese equivalent to “Romeo and Juliet.”



This season’s American Echoes series features both internationally acclaimed American artists and talented local ensembles composed of some of the finest musicians from the D.C. area. “An Evening with Branford Marsalis” features the three-time Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist and composer performing an impressive collection of original compositions and modern and classic jazz standards with his tightly-knit quartet. On Valentine’s Day weekend, Peter Nero, the two-time Grammy Award-winning pianist and longtime conductor and musical director of the legendary Philly Pops, presents “Music from the Heart,” combining romantic works by both popular and classical composers. Founded by the late conductor Milt Stevens and acclaimed trumpeter Phil Snedecor, Washington Symphonic Brass presents “From Bach to Classic Rock,” a concert that travels from music originally played in powdered wigs to songs meant to be played with black t-shirts and pyrotechnics, all displaying the ensemble’s powerful and majestic brass sound. Under founder and Artistic Director Jim Carroll, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra teams up with celebrated crooner Steve Lippia for “Simply Swingin’ with Sinatra and Friends,” a concert that features Sinatra favorites, as well as hits by Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett and Barry Manilow. The American Festival Pops Orchestra performs hits from Broadway and Hollywood, light classics and rousing anthems of the Armed Forces under the baton of founder and Artistic Director Anthony Maiello.



A collection of beloved classic and contemporary plays comes to the Center as part of the Enthralling Theater series. Led by Anne Bogart, SITI Company explores longing, passion, love and romance through a collection of related vignettes set within the social arena of a café in “Café Variations,” a work based on the plays of Charles Mee and featuring Gershwin classics from the Great American Songbook. The Acting Company presents a modern existential masterpiece in Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning play, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” a humorous yet tragic work that explores the misfortunes and musings of two ill-fated minor characters from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” British-American touring troupe Aquila Theatre brings a Shakespearean comedy to the stage with “Twelfth Night,” as well as a riveting stage adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s chilling dystopian novel, “Fahrenheit 451.” Hailed as America’s premier radio theater company, L.A. Theatre Works returns with a stage adaptation of the coming-of-age novel and film, “The Graduate.” Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre presents Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning tale of race, class and the lifelong friendship between an elderly Jewish woman living in the south and her African-American chauffeur in “Driving Miss Daisy.”



Virginia Opera, the Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, returns to Fairfax this season with four extraordinary productions. The company begins its 2013-2014 season in October with Verdi’s grand finale, “Falstaff,” the uproarious tale of the corpulent and lecherous old knight whose plans to woo two women backfire when the ladies team up to outwit him. Virginia Opera returns in December with “The Magic Flute,” a profound and fantastical opera about the triumph of good over evil. Mozart’s final operatic work, this imaginative and charming operetta is a tale of loyalty and love, and is filled with terrifying serpents, moody monarchs, powerful magicians and mysterious spirits. In February, the company presents one of Strauss’finest works and a commentary about the competition between highbrow and lowbrow art for the public’s attention, “Ariadne auf Naxos.” This slapstick comedy is about a rising young composer who is distressed to find out that his tragic opera, commissioned for a nouveau riche gentleman’s dinner party, must be combined with a bawdy comedy when the dinner runs over and threatens to cancel the host’s lavish fireworks display. Virginia Opera concludes its season in April with Bizet’ssultry tragedy about opera’s ultimate femme fatale, “Carmen.” This heartrending tale of passion, betrayal and jealousy follows Don José and his ill-fated obsession with the alluring gypsy, and features some of the most memorable melodies in all of opera.



A cherished institution at the Center, piano virtuoso Jeffrey Siegel returns in 2013-2014 with four concerts in his 21st season of presenting his beloved Keyboard Conversations®series in Fairfax. This superb “concerts with commentary” series provides a unique introduction to classical music, as this gifted musician provides witty and illuminating insight into the lives and music of the world’s most prolific composers and performs their most famous works, as well as some that are less frequently performed. The season kicks off with “Gershwin and Friends,” featuring the rarely heard solo piano version of “Rhapsody in Blue,” as well as works by Copland, Bernstein, Joplin and Edward MacDowell. Siegel returns later in the fall with “The Glory of Beethoven,” exploring Beethoven’s intense personal challenges and featuring such works as the “Teresa Sonata” and Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, which was Beethoven’s final sonata written after his loss of hearing. In the spring, Siegel presents “The Romantic Music of Chopin,” featuring this vibrant composer’s heroic Polonaise in A-flat major, charming Waltzes, dreamy Nocturnes, virtuoso Études and the tempestuous Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor. Siegel concludes his season with “Mistresses and Masterpieces,” a concert that explores the great loves of Brahms, Schumann and Liszt and the works inspired by these women.



There’s a little something under the tree for everyone as the Center brings a diverse collection of holiday performances to Fairfax this season. Male vocal group Chanticleer kicks off the holidays with its annual Thanksgiving weekend concert, “A Chanticleer Christmas,” filled with beautiful music that spans centuries and genres. The spirit of the Christmas season comes alive when the angelic voices of the Vienna Boys Choir present “Christmas in Vienna.” Northern Virginia’s own American Festival Pops Orchestra comes home for the holidays with “Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season,” featuring popular carols and holiday tunes, as well as a traditional sing-along. Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano brings “Fiesta Navidad,” a festive concert featuring Mexican and American Christmas carols, authentic mariachi costumes and a joyful holiday sing-along. Renowned Irish-American fiddler Eileen Ivers presents “An Irish Christmas – An Nollaig,” featuring tales of Irish Christmas traditions and favorite Celtic holiday songs.


Subscriptions to Great Performances at Mason are available now and single tickets go on sale on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. For a brochure, please call (703) 993-2787 or email For more information about this upcoming season, please visit Like George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @GMU_CFA.


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

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.