Juilliard's Upcoming Season Announced, Includes NY Premiere of Rorem's Our Town

Classic Arts News   Juilliard's Upcoming Season Announced, Includes NY Premiere of Rorem's Our Town
The Juilliard School has announced its 2007-08 season, comprising over 700 performances by the school's students, faculty and special guest artists.

Six fully-staged drama and opera productions, including the New York premiere of Ned Rorem's Our Town, five dance performances, a celebration of works by Elliott Carter and appearances by Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pierre Boulez, Paquito D'Rivera and musicians from the Lucerne Festival Academy and Ensemble Intercontemporain are among the season's highlights.

Ashkenazy, who recently retired from playing the piano publicly, will lead an open rehearsal and performance of Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto with Juilliard pianist Hong Xu in September. The event, which opens the school's concert season, is presented in cooperation with the Rachmaninoff Society, of which Ashkenazy is president.

The school's drama division will present four fully-staged productions between October and February: August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone directed by Israel Hicks; Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, directed by Yevgeny Arye; John Guare's House of Blue Leaves, directed by Will Pomerantz; and The Greeks, Part Two: The Murders, adapted by John Barton and Kenneth Cavander, and directed by Brian Mertes.

In October, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra opens its season with Cuban-born Paquito D'Rivera, who recently won his eighth Grammy Award. He is currently the composer-in-residence at the Caramoor Festival and Center for Music and Arts.

The Juilliard Opera Center presents in November a fully-staged production of Rossini's Le Comte Ory with direction by Sam Helfrich and Asher Fisch conducting the Juilliard Orchestra.

The last fully-staged opera production of the season will be the New York premiere of Rorem's Our Town, based on Thornton Wilder's play, with Anne Manson leading the Juilliard Orchestra and Edward Berkeley directing.

In December, James Conlon will lead the Juilliard Orchestra in five dance performances with recently commissioned choreography by Nicolo Fonte, Adam Hougland and Robert Battle, set to music by Franz Schreker, Erwin Schulhoff and Alexander von Zemlinsky. These performances are part of the conductor's two-year residency at the school.

In January, Pierre Boulez will lead the Lucerne Festival Academy Ensemble in a program of his works, Le marteau sans maêÎtre ("The Hammer Without a Master") and sur Incises, a chamber work after his own solo piano piece Incises. The concert, to take place in Zankel Hall, is the first part of a collaboration involving the academy, three musicians from Ensemble Intercontemporain (founded by Boulez) and members of The Juilliard Orchestra; the second part takes place abroad when the academy hosts Juilliard's orchestral musicians for a summer residency at the Lucerne Festival.

FOCUS! 2008, the school's festival for contemporary music, celebrates the 100th birthday of Elliott Carter with six concerts in January and February. Pierre Boulez leads members of the New Juilliard Ensemble and the Lucerne Festival Academy in works by Varse, Carter and Stravinsky, as well as one of his own scores. Conductor James Levine will lead the Juilliard Orchestra in the festival's closing performance, featuring works by Carter and Ives.

Other events of note include the premieres of new works by Robin de Raaff and Jude Vaclavik, performed by the New Juilliard Ensemble led by Joel Sachs, and the school's annual Jerome L. Greene concert of Baroque music at St. Peter's Church, featuring organist Paul Jacobs and student musicians.

The Juilliard School's 2007-08 season begins on September 23.

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