"Dance for Walt Whitman" Premieres (1959); Festival of Italian Music (1968); Group I's "Seagull" (1970)

1959 May 8, Helen Tamiris’s Dance for Walt Whitman received its New York premiere by members of the Juilliard Dance Theater. The choreography was set to excerpts from Leaves of Grass, narrated by Curt Lowens, and David Diamond’s Rounds for String Orchestra, performed by the Juilliard Orchestra with Frederick Prausnitz conducting. The production was part of a concert series in memoriam to Doris Humphrey (1895-1958), founder of the Juilliard Dance Theater.

Luciano Berio, Sylvano Bussotti, Cathy Berberian, and Marcello Panni

Luciano Berio, Sylvano Bussotti, Cathy Berberian, and Marcello Panni at the Festival of Italian Music at Juilliard in 1968

(Photo by Whitestone)

Berberian rehearsing a scene from Bussotti's La Passion selon Sade, which was performed at the festival.

(Photo by Whitestone)

Honorary degree recipient Paul Taylor at commencement in 1988

(Photo by Peter Schaaf)


1968 May 6, mezzo-soprano Cathy Berberian appeared as a guest artist with the Juilliard Ensemble, conducted by faculty member Luciano Berio, during the School’s three-week Festival of Italian Music presented in association with Istituto Italiano di Cultura. Berberian performed Berio’s Folk Songs and a staged version of Sylvano Bussotti’s La Passion selon Sade directed by Bussotti. Also on the program were the world premiere of Marcello Panni’s Patience for Voices and Instruments, conducted by the composer, and the U.S. premiere of Franco Donatoni’s Etwas Ruhiger im Ausdruck. Other festival events included the U.S. premiere of Francesco Cavalli’s opera Ormindo and concerts by the Juilliard String Quartet, the Juilliard Chorus, the Juilliard Orchestra led by Jean Morel, and the Juilliard Ensemble with Dennis Russell Davies conducting.

1970 May 29, Juilliard’s first class of actors, designated as Group I, presented Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull in a Drama Division workshop. Faculty member Marian Seldes directed the production featuring music by drama student Gerald Gutierrez.

1988 May 20, Juilliard bestowed honorary doctorates to conductor Leonard Slatkin, choreographer Paul Taylor, and philanthropist Lawrence A. Wien at the School’s 83rd commencement exercises. It was the second time in Juilliard’s history that honorary degrees had been awarded. President Emeritus William Schuman delivered the commencement address.


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