May 21, Dimitri Mitropoulos appeared as guest conductor of the Juilliard Chamber Ensemble in a Berg-Stravinsky double bill presented in collaboration with the International Society for Contemporary Music and Juilliard. The program consisted of Berg’s Chamber Concerto for piano, violin, and 13 wind instruments, with Edward Steuermann at the piano and Louis Krasner as violin soloist, and a fully staged version of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale by Frederic Cohen with designs by Frederick Kiesler and choreographic assistance by Elsa Kahl. An English version by Rosa Newmarch was revised for the performance by cast members Adolph Anderson (the reader), Herbert Voland (the soldier), Jack Bittner (the devil), and Atty Van Den Berg (the King’s daughter).
May 1, the Juilliard Opera Theater produced the New York City premiere of Leos Janacek’s sixth opera, Katya Kabanova. An adaptation of Ostrovsky’s play The Storm, Katya Kabanova is set in a 19th-century provincial Russian town on the banks of the Volga. Christopher West directed Norman Tucker’s English version with sets by Ming Cho Lee. Frederic Waldman conducted the Juilliard Orchestra.
May 22, Juilliard presented its first honorary doctorates at the School’s 82nd commencement. The six honorees were Martha Hill, founder of the Dance Division; John Houseman, first head of the Drama Division; violinist Itzhak Perlman; soprano Leontyne Price; Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd, arts patron and Juilliard board of trustees member; and William Schuman, composer and Juilliard president from 1945 to 1961.