Orion, which was commissioned for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, is a "collaborative concert work" created by Glass with musicians from around the world. It returns on October 6, 7, and 8.
This week's performances feature the Philip Glass Ensemble as well as didgeridoo player Mark Atkins of Australia, pipa player Wu Man of China, kora player Foday Musa Suso of Gambia, violinist Ashley MacIsaac of Canada, vocalist Eleftheria Arvanitaki of Greece, the Brazilian group UAKTI, and sitarist Kartik Seshadri of India. Each of the guest artists contributed to the composition of the work except for Seshadri, who performs music composed by fellow sitarist Ravi Shankar, and Arvanitaki.
Highlights of the Next Wave Festival, which runs through December 17, also include the world premiere of Glass's Eighth Symphony, American premieres from several dance companies, and a new music-theater piece by composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe.
Glass's new symphony will be performed by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, starting November 2. Also on the program is the composer's Symphony No. 6 ("Plutonian Ode"), a setting of Allen Ginsburg's poem; soprano Lauren Flanigan is the soloist.
The dance series includes the National Ballet of China performing Raise the Red Lantern, based on Zhang Yimou's film; Brazil's Grupo Corpo performing two American premieres with music by Caetano Veloso and Jos_ Miguel Wisnik; and the BAM debut of Italy's Compagnia Aterballetto.
Israel's Batsheva Dance Company gives the American premiere of Ohad Naharin's Mamootot at the Mark Morris Dance Center; choreographer Sasha Waltz brings the American premiere of her evening-length Impromptus, set to music by Schubert. Wally Cardona and his quartet perform his Everywhere, set to music by Phil Kline performed live by the string quartet Ethel.
Gordon, Lang, and Wolfe, the directors of Bang on a Can, return to BAM with the American premiere of Shelter, the third of three music-theater pieces commissioned by BAM since 2003. The multimedia work has a libretto by Deborah Artman and includes film by Bill Morrison and projections by Laurie Olinder. MusikFabrik and trio mediaeval perform the music; Brad Lubman is the conductor. Bob McGrath directs.
The theater schedule includes the Watermill Theatre's production of The Winter's Tale, directed by Edward Hall.