Manhattan School of Music to Launch 90th Anniversary Season With Free Concerts

Classic Arts News   Manhattan School of Music to Launch 90th Anniversary Season With Free Concerts
On October 18, Manhattan School of Music jazz ensembles will kick off the school's 90th anniversary season with a pair of free outdoor concerts in Times Square and Harlem.

MSM's Brass Ensemble and Concert Jazz Band, led by Toby Hanks and Justin DiCioccio, respectively, will appear at 10 a.m. in Times Square (Military Island, at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets), performing Kander and Ebb's "New York, New York," Billy Strayhorn's "Take the A Train" and other works by Charlie Parker, Leonard Bernstein, Rodgers and Hart, and Vernon Duke.

At 5 p.m., the school's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, directed by Bobby Sanabria, will convene at the intersection of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard to perform Tito Puente's Cuban Nightmare and arrangements of works by Walter Gil Fuller, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Strouse, Aaron Sachs and Chano Pozo. NEA Jazz Master Candido Camero will also join the orchestra.

Listeners will be given kazoos to accompany the musicians in the New York-themed songs.

Other highlights of MSM's latest season — programmed to celebrate music created in Manhattan during the last 90 years — include a performance tonight by Thomas Hampson and the American String Quartet, and others in the coming months by the school's Opera Theater (Lukas Foss's Griffelkin in December, Kurt Weill's Street Scene in April and May) and Symphony. The latter will give the world premiere of school president Robert Sirota's 212 in January.

In February, the school's contemporary music groups, TACTUS and Zero Gravity, conducted by Patti Monson, will open a three-part series at Carnegie's Zankel Hall. The pair have programmed Richard Danielpour's Urban Dances (1988), Reiko Fueting's "...und ich bin Dein Spiegel" (2000), and Julia Wolfe's Believing (1997), along with world premieres by David MacDonald (Fanfare), Hayes Biggs (Fanfare), and J. Mark Stambaugh (Dervish). Nils Vigeland's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, after the poem by Walt Whitman, and Susan Botti's un baci, both composed as MSM 90th Anniversary commissions, will also be performed.

The Zankel concerts continue with the MSM Chamber Sinfonia joined by violist/conductor Pinchas Zukerman and violinist Viviane Hagner in works by Vivaldi and Mozart. The Jazz Orchestra along with saxophonist David Liebman will round out the series with works by Miles Davis and Gil Evans.

In March, the Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar, now in its fourth year, will conclude with a concert led by the maestro and selected student conductors. The featured work will be Siegfried Mathus's Manhattan Concerto (1993), commissioned by the school for its 75th anniversary.

The Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra returns in April to celebrate Afro-Cuban music through a panel discussion led by Sanabria and an evening concert featuring a recreation of the 1957 historical recording of "Kenya" by Machito and the Afro-Cubans.

Visit for more information and a complete calendar of events.

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