Thursday September 15, 2016
Tags for: The Cleveland Museum of Art announces 2016–17 Performing Arts Series
  • Press Release

The Cleveland Museum of Art announces 2016–17 Performing Arts Series

exterior of the CMA building

Fall Performance Tickets on Sale Now

Cleveland (September 15, 2016) –Continuing its commitment to presenting the best in performing arts from around the world, the Cleveland Museum of Art announces its 2016–17 Performing Arts Series. The CMA’s Performing Arts Series brings together thoughtful, fascinating and beautiful experiences, comprising a concert calendar notable for its boundless multiplicity. Highlights of this season include the flirtatious and spicy-humored songs of Brazilian singer Dona Onete, the century-spanning program of viol consort Fretwork that juxtaposes the old and new, and the presentation of Radhe, Radhe: Rites of Holi by composer and MacArthur “genius grant” winner Vijay Iyer and International Contemporary Ensemble that will complement the centennial exhibition Art and Stories from Mughal India.

This season also features a four-concert series by the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, organ recitals by Jean-Baptiste Monnot and Emmanuel Arakélian, a film series honoring composer Philip Glass on the occasion of his 80th birthday, and Cleveland premieres by noted vocal groups Quince and The Crossing. The museum also welcomes violinist Francesco D’Orazio and cellist Jeffrey Ziegler for solo concerts at Transformer Station. In the spring Frode Haltli and Emilia Amper present Grenseskogen (The Border Woods), a new work rooted in Nordic folksong, and harpist Brandee Younger plays the music of Alice Coltrane.

“We’re excited for another season of performances celebrating the remarkable range of classical music and global music traditions – rare and thrilling and entirely fitting in this centennial year,” said Tom Welsh, director of performing arts.

Tickets for individual fall performances are on sale now. Special student rates are available for select performances. Tickets and more details are available by calling the Cleveland Museum of Art ticket center at 888-CMA-0033 or online at 

2016–17 Season
All CMA performances take place in the museum’s Gartner Auditorium unless otherwise noted. Programs are subject to change.

Dona Onete
Wednesday, September 21, 7:30 p.m.
$33–$45; CMA members $30–$40
The septuagenarian singer and composer from the Amazonian state of Pará performs carimbó chamegado—music that blends indigenous rhythm and dance with African and European traditions and a Caribbean sound. Her songs often portray her characteristic flirtatiousness and spicy sense of humor. 

CIM/CWRU Joint Music Program
First Wednesdays, October 2016 through May 2017, 6:00 p.m., FREE
This popular series of monthly concerts in the galleries featuring young artists from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the joint program with Case Western Reserve University’s early and baroque music programs enters its sixth season. Outstanding conservatory musicians present mixed programs of chamber music amid the museum’s collections for a unique and intimate experience. Concerts regularly feature instruments from the museum’s keyboard collection.

From standard repertoire to unknown gems, these early-evening, hour-long performances are a delightful after-work encounter or the start of a night out.

Wednesday, October 12, 7:30 p.m.
$33–$45; CMA members $30–$40
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Fretwork is a champion of great English consort music, from Taverner to Purcell. The ensemble is also a pioneer of contemporary music for viols, having commissioned more than 40 new works. For its performance in Cleveland, the ensemble presents works from the 16th and 17th centuries by John Taverner, Christopher Tye, Henry Purcell, Robert Parsons and William Lawes, as well as works by contemporary composers Maja Ratkje, Nico Muhly and Gavin Bryars. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Myth and Mystique: Cleveland’s Gothic Table Fountain.

Vijay Iyer with International Contemporary Ensemble
Wednesday, October 19, 7:30 p.m. 
$53–$69; CMA members $48–$62

“There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of Vijay Iyer.” ––The New York Times

This 2013 MacArthur Fellow and DownBeat magazine’s 2014 Pianist of the Year regularly tops critics’ lists and fan polls. A polymath whose career has spanned the sciences, the humanities and the arts, Iyer received an interdisciplinary PhD in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley. 

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) has received the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award for its contributions to new music, the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming and in 2013 was named Musical America Worldwide’s Ensemble of the Year. 


Radhe, Radhe: Rites of Holi is Iyer’s collaboration with the filmmaker Prashant Bhargava: a ravishing, impressionistic nod to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring filmed in northern India, and performed by Iyer with ICE. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Art and Stories from Mughal India

Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble
Various dates, 2:00 p.m. (see below)
Cleveland Museum of Art, Gartner Auditorium, FREE

Expanding a collaborative partnership, the CMA welcomes the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble for a series of compelling programs under the baton of Tim Weiss. Long a wellspring of contemporary classical music and the birthplace of award-winning chamber groups such as Eighth Blackbird and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Oberlin Conservatory is a treasure in the northeast Ohio region—in no small part due to the ambitions and success of Weiss. He is the recipient of the Adventurous Programming Award from the American Symphony Orchestra League, and in his 21 years as music director of the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble he has brought the group to a level of artistry and virtuosity in performance that rivals the finest new music groups.

Saturday, November 5, 2:00 p.m.
Elizabeth Ogonek, Lightenings for ensemble (2016)   
Stephen Hartke, Willow Run for saxophone and 9 players (2016): Noah Getz, solo saxophone, premiere
James Macmillan, As Others See Us for ensemble (1990) 

Sunday, December 4, 2:00 p.m.
Jacob Druckman, Counterpoise for soprano and ensemble (1995)
Judith Weir, Piano Concerto (1997): Haewon Song, solo piano
Augusta Read Thomas, Selene (Moon Chariot Rituals) (2014) for percussion quartet and string quartet

Sunday, February 26, 2:00 p.m.
Program: Coming soon

Sunday, April 9, 2:00 p.m.
Program: Coming soon

Jean-Baptiste Monnot
Sunday, November 13, 2:00 p.m.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Gartner Auditorium

Jean-Baptiste Monnot is currently the titular organist of the Cavaillé-Coll organ at St. Ouen Church in Rouen. Born in 1984 in France, he started the Conservatoire national de région de Rouen at age 15. In 2003 he was awarded the First Prize of Perfection in organ. He gained entrance to the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris in 2004 and was awarded the First Prize of Excellence in organ. In May 2007, he received his master’s degree in organ with first-class honors, then went to study with Bernhard Haas in the Stuttgart Hochschule für Musik.

In 2010 he created the incidental music for Macbeth by Jean Guillou in the framework of a Japanese tour (Kyoto concert hall and Nagoya concert hall) with Masaru Sekine. Soon after, he was appointed as artist-in-residence at the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, New Orleans. As a soloist, he performs regularly with ensembles and orchestras all over the world. 

Coming soon

Francesco D’Orazio
Friday, December 9, 7:30 p.m.
Transformer Station

Violinist Francesco D’Orazio (b. Bari, Italy) was awarded the Premio Abbiati as Best Soloist of the year by the Italian National Music Critics Association in 2010. His large repertoire includes works ranging from early to classic, romantic and contemporary music. He is a favorite of many composers and premiered violin and orchestra works by Terry Riley, Michael Nyman, Ivan Fedele, Michele dall’Ongaro, Lorenzo Ferrero, Gilberto Bosco, Raffaele Bellafronte, Marco Betta, Nicola Campogrande, Fabian Panisello and Flavio Emilio Scogna. 

D’Orazio has performed the Italian premiere of the violin concertos by John Adams (The Dharma at Big Sur for electric 6-string violin), Kaija Saariaho (Graal théâtre), Unsuk Chin, Luis de Pablo, Michael Daugherty (Fire and Blood), Aaron Jay Kernis (Lament and Prayer) and Michael Nyman (Violin Concerto no. 1). D’Orazio plays a violin by Giuseppe Guarneri, “Comte de Cabriac,” Cremona 1711.

Luciano Berio, Sequenza VIII (1976)
Curt Cacioppo, Elegy (2015)
Salvatore Sciarrino, Capricci nos. 1 and 4 (1975)
Ivan Fedele, Suite Francese II (2010)
Luciano Chessa, “Sarabanda” and “Corrente” from the Partita for solo violin (1987–2013)
Michele Dall’Ongaro La Musica di E. Z. (1999)

The Crossing
Friday–Sunday, January 6–8, performances throughout each day
Cleveland Museum of Art, gallery 218, FREE

Consistently recognized in critical reviews, The Crossing has been hailed as “superb” by The New York Times, “ardently angelic” by the Los Angeles Times and “something of a miracle” by The Philadelphia Inquirer

In this unique performance, a Hadean-period rock sample, estimated to be more than 4 billion years old, hangs from the ceiling. During performances, this rock is “played” by three vocalists whistling and breathing, which subtly moves the rock like a pendulum. The singers’ breaths, acting as a poetic form of wind erosion, bring humans into close contact with this rock sample. 

Commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fabric Workshop for their major exhibition by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, David Lang’s Lifespan connects the present moment with that of the earth’s origins—a time when there were no witnesses to the planet’s geological transformation.

David Lang, Lifespan

The Qatsi Trilogy
Friday–Sunday, January 27–29
Cleveland Museum of Art and Cinemathque

On the occasion of composer Philip Glass’ 80th birthday, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Cinematheque collaborate in a rare weekend presentation of The Qatsi Trilogy, the tour de force cinematic works by Glass and filmmaker Godfrey Reggio: Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi. Screened to be experienced either in one marathon session or individually over the weekend, these landmark scores for film rank among Glass’ masterworks. 

An unconventional work in every way, Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi was a sensation when it was released in 1983. This first work of The Qatsi Trilogy wordlessly surveys the rapidly changing environments of the Northern Hemisphere in an astonishing collage created by the director, cinematographer Ron Fricke, and composer Philip Glass. It shuttles viewers from one jaw-dropping vision to the next, moving from images of untouched nature to others depicting human’s increasing dependence on technology. Koyaanisqatsi’s heterodox methods (including hypnotic time-lapse photography) make it a look at our world from a truly unique angle.

Five years after Godfrey Reggio stunned audiences with Koyaanisqatsi, he again joined forces with composer Philip Glass and other collaborators for a second chapter. Here, Reggio turns his sights on third-world nations in the Southern Hemisphere. Foregoing the sped-up aesthetic of the first film, Powaqqatsi employs a meditative slow motion to reveal the beauty of the traditional ways of life in those parts of the planet, and to show how cultures there are being eroded as their environments are taken over by industry. This is the most intensely spiritual segment of Reggio’s philosophical and visually remarkable trilogy.

Godfrey Reggio takes on the digital revolution in the final chapter of his trilogy. Through a variety of cinematic techniques, including slow motion, time-lapse photography, computer-generated imagery and found footage, the film depicts a world that has completed the transition from the natural to the artificial. Globalization has been accomplished; all of our interactions are technologically mediated and all images are manipulated. From this (virtual) reality, Reggio sculpts a frenetic yet ruminative portrait of an era in which the cacophony of “communication” has rendered humankind effectively postlanguage.

Emmanuel Arakélian
Sunday, February 19, 2:00 p.m.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Gartner Auditorium, FREE

Born in 1991 in Avignon, Emmanuel Arakélian began his musical studies at the age of 12 with organists Jean-Pierre Lecauday and Henri Pourtau. He would later continue his musical studies at the Conservatoire national de région de Toulon, studying the organ with Pascal Marsault and the harpsichord and basso continuo with Claire Bodin. 

His love for early music, and his interest in instrument building has led him to work extensively with historic organs and harpsichords, and to undergo research on baroque ornamentation and musical rhetoric. He also frequently performs the contemporary music of Vincent Paulet, Bernard Foccroulle, Thierry Escaich and Grégoire Rolland and recently worked intensely on the works of Jehan Alain (1911–1940). 

A student at the Conservatoire national supérieur de Paris since 2012, he is simultaneously pursuing studies in organ, harpsichord and basso continuo. He has been honored with scholarships by the Fondation de France, the Fonds Tarazzi and the Fondation Meyer. Parallel to his studies, he is also organist of the Pascal Quoirin / Jean-Louis Loriaut organ of Saint Léonce Cathedral of Fréjus. 

JS Bach, Toccata, adagio and fugue in C major, BWV 564
JS Bach, Transcription of “Sheep may safely graze” from BWV 208 “Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd”
Maurice Durufle, Prelude and Fugue sur le nom de A.L.A.I.N.
Gregorio Rolland, (work to be announced)

Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
Wednesday, March 22, 7:30 p.m.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Transformer Station

“A new force of vocal excellence and innovation.” ––The Brooklyn Rail 

Comprised of vocalists Elizabeth Pearse (soprano), Kayleigh Butcher (mezzo soprano), Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (soprano) and Carrie Henneman Shaw (soprano), Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble thrives on unique musical challenges and a genre-bending repertoire.

With the precision and flexibility of modern chamber musicians, Quince continually pushes the boundaries of traditional vocal ensemble literature, and serves as dedicated advocates of new music. They recently received a Chamber Music America award to commission a new song cycle by composer LJ White, and will be releasing an album of New Focus Recordings in early 2017.

In 2016, Quince was featured on the KODY Festival Lublin, Poland, in collaboration with David Lang and Beth Morrison Productions. They have also appeared on the Outpost Concert Series, the Philip Glass: Music with Friends concert at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn and the SONiC Festival in New York. During the 2016–17 season, they will collaborate with Eighth Blackbird and Third Coast Percussion on performances of Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich, and will be presented on the Ear Taxi and Frequency Festivals in Chicago. 

Coming soon

Frode Haltli & Emilia Amper
Wednesday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Gartner Auditorium

Norwegian composer, and accordionist Frode Haltli teams up with Swedish nyckelharpa virtuoso Emilia Amper for an evening of Scandinavian folk-inspired music. Haltli’s concert-length work The Border Woods is scored for accordion, two percussion and the nyckelharpa, or “keyed fiddle.”

Haltli works across folk, improvisation and contemporary classical genres, and creates a modern identity for his instrument. Blending the accordion with the richly resonant sounds of the Swedish nyckelharpa, The Border Woods picks up resonances and overtones from Nordic folk music and traces their connections with Indian and Arabic scales. 

Frode Haltli, accordion; Emilia Amper, nyckelharpa; Eirik Raude, percussion

Zakir Hussain & Rahul Sharma
Wednesday, April 12, 7:30 p.m.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Gartner Auditorium

The pre-eminent classical tabla virtuoso of the time, Zakir Hussain is appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world as an international phenomenon. A national treasure in his native India, Hussain is one of the world’s most esteemed and influential musicians, renowned for his genre-defying collaborations. Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Hussain’s contribution has been unique, with many historic and groundbreaking collaborations including those with Shakti, Remember Shakti, Masters of Percussion, the Diga Rhythm Band, Planet Drum, Tabla Beat Science, Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland, in trio with Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer and, most recently, with Herbie Hancock. 

A Grammy-award winner, Hussain is the recipient of countless awards and honors, including Padma Bhushan, National Heritage Fellowship and Officier in France’s Order of Arts and Letters. In 2015, he was voted Best Percussionist by both the Downbeat Critics’ Poll and Modern Drummer’s Reader’s Poll.   

Santoor player Rahul Sharma has carved a niche for himself in the world of Indian classical and fusion world music with over 60 released albums over 15 years. Sharma learned music and the santoor from his father and guru, the legendary Pt. Shivkumar Sharma. Shivkumar Sharma was instrumental in bringing the little-known santoor out of the valleys of Kashmir and introducing it to the Indian classical music world. 

Jeffrey Zeigler
Wednesday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
Transformer Station

Described as “fiery,” and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone.”––The New York Times

Jeffrey Zeigler is one of the most versatile cellists of our time. Known for his independent streak, he has commissioned dozens of works and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. Zeigler has premiered works by John Adams, Damon Albarn, Derek Charke, John Corigliano, Henryk Gorecki, John King, Steve Reich, Terry Riley and John Zorn. His collaborations include Andy Akiho, Laurie Anderson, Nora Chipaumire, Helga Davis, Philip Glass, Hauschka, Magos Herrera, Vijay Iyer, Glenn Kotche, David Krakauer, Hafez Modirzadeh, Kimmo Pohjonen, Gyan Riley, Netsayi and Black Pressure and Tom Waits. 

In 2014, Zeigler released his first solo album, Something of Life, featuring world premiere recordings of works by Philip Glass, Glenn Kotche, Felipe Perez Santiago, Paola Prestini, Gity Razaz and John Zorn. Other upcoming highlights include a curatorial position at National Sawdust, and a number of newly commissioned works by Doug Cuomo, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Richard Reed Parry and Jim Thirlwell.

Brandee Younger & Courtney Bryan 
Wednesday, May 10, 7:30 p.m.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Gartner Auditorium

A fearless and versatile talent, harpist Brandee Younger delivers a consistently fresh take on the ancient instrument as an educator, event curator, performer and leader of the Brandee Younger Jazz Harp Quartet. Known for expressive interpretations of traditional harp repertoire as well as her continued work with a diverse cross section of musical talents, Younger is widely recognized as a creative linchpin whose nuanced presence and willingness to push boundaries have made her irreplaceable on record and in performance. 

The same protean ability has found her sharing stages with jazz leaders and popular hip-hop and R&B titans including Ravi Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Jack DeJohnette, Reggie Workman, Common, John Legend and Lauryn Hill. 

Courtney Bryan, a native of New Orleans, is “a pianist and composer of panoramic interests,” says The New York Times. Her music is in conversation with various genres including jazz and other types of experimental music, as well as traditional gospel, spirituals and hymns. Bryan has academic degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (BM), Rutgers University (MM) and Columbia University (DMA) with advisor George Lewis. Following an appointment as postdoctoral research associate in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, she will begin her position as assistant professor of music at Tulane University’s Newcomb Department of Music beginning in fall 2016. 

Bryan’s work has been presented in a wide range of venues, including Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre, Symphony Space, The Stone, Roulette Intermedium, La MaMa Experimental Theatre, National Gallery of Art, Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz Gallery and Bethany and Abyssinian Baptist Churches. Upcoming commissions include pieces for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Miller Theatre, Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program and Duo Noire. 

The evening’s program at the Cleveland Museum of Art revolves around the music of Alice Coltrane, as well as Brandee Younger’s original compositions. 

The CMA Performing Arts Series is made possible in part by: The Ernest L. and Louis M. Gartner Fund, The P. J. McMyler Musical Endowment Fund, The Anton and Rose Zverina Music Fund, The Frank and Margaret Hyncik Memorial Fund, The Adolph Benedict and Ila Roberts Schneider Fund, The Arthur, Asenath and Walter H. Blodgett Memorial Fund; The Dorothy Humel Hovorka Endowment Fund, and The Albertha T. Jennings Musical Arts Fund. 

Series Sponsors:
Medical Mutual, The Musart Society

Museum Sponsors:
Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Ohio Arts Council

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261