Juilliard launches its 2009-10 school year with a nod to the past and an eye to the future. This season—which features some 700 music, drama, and dance performances—marks the 25th anniversary of school President Joseph W. Polisi, who became Juilliard’s sixth president in 1984 and led the School into the 21st century by making significant changes in its culture, curriculum, and physical space (see "Celebrating a Landmark Anniversary"). As the fall semester gets underway, the School reaches completion of its three-year renovation and expansion, the second major construction project to occur during President Polisi’s tenure. Several new spaces will be dedicated this fall, including the main Juilliard building, which will be renamed the Irene Diamond Building in honor of the School’s late, longtime supporter. This season also marks the debut of Juilliard’s Historical Performance program, which opens its doors to its first class of graduate musicians this month.
The season opens on September 15 with organ department chair Paul Jacobs performing Bach’s Six Trio Sonatas for Organ (see "The Bach Trio Sonatas, Open to Interpretation"). Other highlights include premieres of orchestral works by Tan Dun, Augusta Read Thomas, Shafer Mahoney, Joan Tower, and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky; a concert conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas as part of a festival that celebrates Chinese culture; appearances by such guest conductors as Alan Gilbert, Bernard Haitink (as part of a one-week Juilliard residency with the London Symphony Orchestra), Leonard Slatkin, Nicholas McGegan, and Gary Thor Wedow; a master class with soprano Renée Fleming and a residency by pianist Alfred Brendel; an evening with jazz great Branford Marsalis and a concert of Count Basie’s music; a fully-staged performance of Handel’s opera Ariodante; four premieres of works created for the Juilliard Dance Division and performances of pieces by Merce Cunningham, Jerome Robbins, and Paul Taylor; and four fully-staged productions featuring fourth-year drama students, as well as two Shakespeare plays performed by students in their third year.
Conductor Nicholas McGegan returns to the School to lead the Juilliard Orchestra in its opening concert on October 2 at 8 p.m. in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The program features Britten’s Suite on English Folk Songs; Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto, K. 191; and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”). Conductor Bernard Haitink concludes a one-week residency at Juilliard by leading the orchestra in a program of Mendelssohn and Brahms on October 31 in Alice Tully Hall.
The orchestra performs two fall concerts as part of Carnegie Hall’s Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: Celebrating Chinese Culture festival. On October 26, composer Tan Dun conducts the premiere of his Violin Concerto, with faculty member Cho-Liang Lin as soloist, in Alice Tully Hall, and on October 28, Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony, wields the baton at a concert in Carnegie Hall featuring the premiere of a work by Chinese composer Chen Qigang with pianist Lang Lang.
James DePreist, Juilliard’s director of conducting and orchestral studies, leads the orchestra on December 7 in Alice Tully Hall in a program of works by Berlioz, Prokofiev, and Bartok. Maestro DePriest will return to the stage for a concert in Carnegie Hall on February 20 featuring Daniel Bortz, Prokofiev, and Richard Strauss, and will also lead the orchestra in its May 20 commencement concert that will include works by Rossini and Dvorak.
In honor of William Schuman’s centennial birthday, conductor Leonard Slatkin leads an all-Schuman program on April 1 in Avery Fisher Hall, and on April 12, New York Philharmonic music director and alumnus Alan Gilbert, who holds Juilliard’s first William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies, conducts an Alice Tully Hall concert. Other conductors making appearances this season include faculty member Jeffrey Milarsky (January 22 and February 26 in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater) and Xian Zhang (April 30 in Alice Tully Hall).
The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra performs the music of Count Basie on October 7 in the Sharp Theater, and on February 2, Christian McBride returns for a concert with the orchestra (also in Sharp), featuring his work The Movement Revisited. On April 8, the orchestra presents original student compositions in Alice Tully Hall.
The Juilliard Jazz Ensembles opens its season on November 4 with “Grits, Gravy and Groove,” a concert featuring work by Hank Mobley, Hank Crawford, Arnett Cobb, and others. Branford Marsalis joins the group for a performance on December 1, and original student works are presented on January 20 and March 22. The Artist Diploma Ensemble performs on February 23 and on April 19 with guest trumpeter Terell Stafford. All Jazz Ensembles concerts take place in Paul Hall.
The Drama Division’s 2009-10 offerings include four fully-staged productions featuring fourth-year students. The season opens with George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man, directed by Vivienne Benesch. Set during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War, the play is an “anti-romantic comedy” about Raina Petkoff, a young idealist whose conceptions of love and honor are turned upside-down when she meets a fleeing soldier from the opposite side. The production runs October 21-25. Next up is John Patrick Shanley’s Savage in Limbo, which takes place one night in a dive bar in the Bronx where five former classmates meet to escape the drudgery of their lives. Directed by Pam MacKinnon, the play will be performed November 12-16. The students take a musical turn with Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, which follows the antihero Mack the Knife through the gritty alleys of Victorian London, directed by Sam Gold, December 10-14. The season concludes its fourth-year selections with The Americans, Part I: The Lay of the Land, the first installment of a three-year project running February 11-15. Directed by Brian Mertes, the production is culled from works by Sam Shepard. All performances take place in the Stephanie P. McClelland Drama Theater.
The Dance Division kicks off the season with the popular annual Composers and Choreographers Workshop (also known as ChoreoComp). The production, which is the culmination of a semester-long collaboration between student choreographers and composers, features Juilliard dancers performing new student works with live musicians, as well as performances by guest dancers from the Paris Conservatory. It runs December 4-5 in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The season continues with New Dances: Edition 2009 on December 9-13, featuring premieres of works choreographed by Andrea Miller, Fabien Prioville, Stijn Celis, and Aszure Barton.
The spring semester opens with Juilliard Dances Repertory on March 24-28 in the Sharp Theater, featuring Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace (set to Morton Feldman’s Ixion, with costumes and backdrops by Robert Rauschenberg); Paul Taylor’s Last Look (set to music by Donald York, with sets and costumes by Alex Katz); and Jerome Robbins’s N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz (set to music by Robert Prince, with scenery by Ben Shahn). The Juilliard Orchestra, led by conductor George Stelluto, performs live music for the dancers. Additional spring performances include the Senior Dance Production on April 22-25 in the new Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater and the Senior Dance Showcase on May 17 in the Sharp Theater.
OPERA AND VOCAL ARTS
Juilliard Opera presents three fully-staged productions this season, in addition to a concert version of an Aaron Copland opera as part of the annual Focus! festival. The season opens with Handel’s Ariodante, directed by Stephen Wadsworth and conducted by Gary Thor Wedow, on November 11, 13, and 15 in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. On January 30 at 8 p.m., also in the Sharp Theater, a concert version of Copland’s The Tender Land, conducted by David Effron, brings Focus! to a close. The season continues with Conrad Susa’s Transformations, an opera in two acts based on a book of poems by Anne Sexton, on February 15, 17, and 19 at 8 p.m. in the Willson Theater. Anne Manson returns to the School to conduct the last Juilliard Opera production of the season, Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, on April 21, 23, and 25 in the Sharp Theater.
The annual Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital, featuring soprano Susanna Phillips, takes place on November 19. Juilliard and the New York Festival of Song team up for the fifth time this season, presenting the concert Killer B’s: A History of American Song From Amy Beach to the Beach Boys on January 13 at 8 p.m. in the Sharp Theater. Other vocal performances include the Vocal Arts Honors Recital on March 18 in Alice Tully Hall; and the Liederabend and Songbook concerts, which feature singers from Vocal Arts and take place throughout the school year.
Juilliard’s Historical Performance program marks its inauguration this fall with a full season of performances. Juilliard Baroque, a faculty ensemble led by the program’s artistic director, violinist Monica Huggett, makes its debut on October 27 in Paul Hall. The group makes a second appearance in the Music Before 1800 concert series on February 7 at Corpus Christi Church (located at 529 West 121st Street).
Huggett directs the Juilliard Period Instrument Ensemble, a student group, in a December 8 concert in Paul Hall, featuring works by W.F. Bach, Unico Willem van Wassenaer, Vivaldi, and Telemann, and leads the ensemble again on April 14 in Paul Hall.
The department also hosts several master classes and residencies this season. Dame Emma Kirby gives a vocal master class on November 2 in Room 309; William Christie returns for a weeklong residency, March 29-April 2, that culminates in a performance in Tully Hall; and Jordi Savall returns to the School for a two-day residency, April 30-May 1, which includes a public presentation in the Willson Theater and concludes the Historical Performance season.
The Daniel Saidenberg Faculty Recital Series features two landmark concerts this season: The American Brass Quintet celebrates its 50th season with a premiere by composer and Juilliard faculty member Shafer Mahoney on November 6 at 8 p.m. in Paul Hall; and flutist Carol Wincenc marks her 40th anniversary season with a recital on March 31 at 8 p.m. in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Other concerts include two recitals by cellist Joel Krosnick, one with pianist Gilbert Kalish on October 21 and another, a solo recital on March 17, both in Paul Hall; faculty members Donald Weilerstein and Vivian Weilerstein perform with the Enescu Chamber Players on January 21 in Paul Hall; the Juilliard String Quartet with new first violinist Nick Eanet on December 1 and February 22 in Alice Tully Hall; and the New York Woodwind Quartet on February 11 in Paul Hall.
Juilliard’s ChamberFest 2010 features seven performances this season, running January 11-16 in various venues at the School. The Afiara String Quartet, Juilliard’s newly-appointed graduate resident quartet, performs the annual Lisa Arnhold Memorial Recital on May 5 in Alice Tully Hall. The Sonatenabend concerts, featuring Juilliard collaborative piano students, take place in Paul Hall throughout the year. In addition, student ensembles perform chamber music on various dates in December and April in Alice Tully Hall.
The Focus! 2010 festival, titled Music at the Center: Composing an American Mainstream, runs January 22-30 and features music by American composers from the end of World War II to around 1970. It also celebrates the centennials of William Schuman and Samuel Barber, who were both born in 1910. It opens on January 22 in the Sharp Theater with a program of works by Copland, Bernstein, Schuman, and Barber led by Jeffrey Milarsky, and ends with a concert version of Copland’s aforementioned opera The Tender Land on January 30. Axiom, an ensemble led by Jeffrey Milarsky and focusing on classics of the last 100 years, opens its season on October 5 in the Sharp Theater with a works by Mario Davidovsky, Gyorgy Ligeti, and Harrison Birtwistle (see "Axiom Connects the Musical Dots"). Other Axiom performances include an all-Adams program on December 10 in Alice Tully Hall, and a concert on February 15 in the Sharp Theater, featuring works by Finnish composers Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg.
The season opener of the New Juilliard Ensemble, under the direction of Joel Sachs, features the premiere of Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky’s Paths of Parables II: Woody Allen’s Hassidic Tales With a Guide to Their Interpretation by the Noted Scholar with texts by Woody Allen, on September 26 in the Sharp Theater (see "N.J.E. Opens Season With Newly Commissioned Piece"). Other N.J.E. performances include a program of works by composers living and working in China today, on November 9, and a concert on April 29.
This year marks Lincoln Center’s 50th anniversary, and Juilliard is joining the celebration with three special events: a chamber music concert on October 8 in Paul Hall, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Juilliard building opening at Lincoln Center; the aforementioned Juilliard Orchestra concert, conducted by Alan Gilbert, on April 12 in Alice Tully Hall; and an exhibit in the Lila Acheson Wallace Library, opening on April 12 and featuring photographs and other materials from the Juilliard archives that highlight the School’s relationship with Lincoln Center.
Other notable performances this year include the Bachauer Piano Competition winners’ recital by Michael Brown and Eric Zuber on September 30 in Paul Hall (see article "Bachauer Competition Winners Take Risks, Reap Rewards"); the Petschek Piano Debut Recital Award (on May 6 in Alice Tully Hall; recipient to be announced this fall); and a performance by the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble on April 5 in Alice Tully Hall. For complete coverage and up-to-date information on these and other performances, see our online calendar of events.