Monday August 28, 2017
Tags for: The Cleveland Museum of Art Announces 2017–18 Performing Arts Series
  • Press Release

The Cleveland Museum of Art Announces 2017–18 Performing Arts Series

exterior of the CMA building

Tickets on Sale Now


Cleveland (August 28, 2017)—Some of the most original and acclaimed performing artists from around the world are featured in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s 2017–18 Performing Arts Series. Again this year, the series showcases the talents of performers and composers with a variety of styles and influences, ranging from 1920s jazz and music for gamelan and kayagum to Surrealist film scores.

“We’re excited for another season of performances celebrating the remarkable range of classical music and global music traditions. They are sure to appeal to a wide range of audiences, and we are privileged to have the opportunity to bring all of these talented artists to northeast Ohio,” said Tom Welsh, director of performing arts.

Tickets for individual 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 

2017–18 Season

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

Butler, Bernstein & the Hot 9

Wednesday, October 11, 7:30 p.m.

$43–$59, CMA members $38–$53

In conjunction with The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s, Butler, Bernstein & the Hot 9 is a rip-roaring combo led by the remarkable pianist Henry Butler and the irrepressible trumpeter Steven Bernstein, who first worked together in 1998 in the Kansas City All Stars. They reunited in 2011 for a concert in New York City, and the material they performed—including the classic blues of Bessie Smith and the first-generation jazz of Jelly Roll Morton—resonated in a way neither had expected. According to The New York Times, “Their collaboration is both historically aware and fully prepared to cut loose.” With a nod to the Hot Five and Hot Seven bands of Louis Armstrong, the Hot 9 takes the early jazz of the 1920s as its starting point. Their music is filled with modern flavors, agile arrangements, and a vitality that never allows the historical focus to limit itself to mere re-creation. 

Lou Harrison Centennial!

Friday, October 20, 7:30 p.m.

$33–$45, CMA members $30–$40

One of the most original composers America has ever produced, Lou Harrison successfully integrated traditional musics of Asia into classical music of the West. Having developed a deep knowledge of and reverence for various traditions in his 80 years, Harrison created an enormous body of music that synthesizes the East and West in structure, harmony, and instrumentation. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth, we present Harrison’s Concerto for Piano and Javanese Gamelan, featuring pianist Sarah Cahill, along with Gamelan Galak Tika performing on one of the composer’s own gamelans on loan from Harvard University, under the direction of Evan Ziporyn. As choreographer Mark Morris, Harrison’s longtime friend, put it, “You either love Lou’s music, or you haven’t heard it yet.”

SQÜRL: Jim Jarmusch & Carter Logan

Wednesday, November 1, 7:30 p.m.

$26–$35, CMA members $22–$30

Acclaimed filmmaker Jim Jarmusch brings his singular music and film project to the museum stage. Jarmusch (electric guitar) and Carter Logan (drums) perform as SQÜRL, a self-described “enthusiastically marginal rock band from New York City.” Jarmusch and Logan started scoring music for film in 2009, culminating most recently in Jarmusch’s films Only Lovers Left Alive and Paterson. The program features scores by Jarmusch and Logan for four silent films by Dada and Surrealist artist Man Ray. Relying heavily on loops, synthesizers, and effected guitars, the semi-improvised scores drift toward the band’s more experimental, ambient, and drone-like tendencies. The performance is followed by an onstage conversation with Jarmusch and Logan hosted by Reto Thüring, curator of contemporary art.

Ji Aeri

Sunday, November 5, 2:00 p.m.

$33–$45, CMA members $30–$40

In conjunction with the exhibition Chaekgeori: Pleasure of Possessions in Korean Painted Screens, kayagum virtuoso Ji Aeri is featured in an intimate concert of Korean music, both traditional and contemporary. The kayagum, a zither-like instrument with 12 strings, is related to the Japanese koto and the Chinese guzheng. Ji Aeri learned to play the kayagum from Hwang Byungki, the master musician who played a crucial role in disseminating traditional Korean music in the West and developing contemporary music for the instrument. A former member of the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts, she has won many national performance awards and currently teaches at Seoul National University. This rare performance takes place on the closing day of the Korean screens exhibition. 

This performance presented with support from the Korea Foundation.

Chamber Music in the Galleries

First Wednesday of each month, October–May, 6:00 p.m.

Free, no ticket required

The series of monthly chamber music concerts continues, featuring young artists from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the joint program with Case Western Reserve University’s early and baroque music programs. Outstanding conservatory musicians present a mixed repertoire, ranging from the standard to unknown gems, performed amid the museum’s collections to create a unique and intimate experience, often featuring instruments from the museum’s keyboard collection. These early-evening, hour-long performances offer delightful opportunities to relax after work or begin a night out.

Davide Mariano

Sunday, January 14, 2:00 p.m.

Free, no ticket required

Most recently the organist-in-residence at the Kitara Concert Hall in Sapporo, Japan, Davide Mariano has performed as organist, harpsichordist, and pianist in prestigious venues in Europe, the US, and Asia. He collaborates with diverse ensembles, among them Orchester Wiener Akademie, Musica Angelica Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra, and Israel Chamber Orchestra, and with conductors such as R. Paternostro, M. Pommer, M. Haselböck, and S. Sato. He holds degrees from the Lorenzo Perosi Conservatory of Music (Italy), the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse (Paris). A prize winner at several international competitions, Mariano makes his Cleveland debut with a program of works by Schumann, Widor, and J. S. Bach. 

Third Coast Percussion—Paddle to the Sea

Sunday, February 11, 2:00 p.m.

$30, CMA members $27, children 17 and under FREE with purchase of adult ticket

The classic children’s book and Academy Award–nominated film Paddle to the Sea is the focus of a new project that looks at our relationship to the bodies of water that connect our lives. Third Coast Percussion performs its new score for the film, which tells the story of a native Canadian boy who carves a wooden figure called Paddle-to-the-Sea, and sets him on a journey through all five Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and finally to the Atlantic Ocean. Existing works inspired by impressions of water and the natural world weave in and out of the original film, as does new music by composers such as Philip Glass and Jacob Druckman and the traditional music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. The performance flows together as a seamless whole; Third Coast Percussion uses the existing music as a jumping-off point for the new music they compose. Paddle to the Sea underscores the geographic, economic, and cultural connections in our shared waterways, and it also asks us to consider the human impact on the waters that allow us to transport goods, have electrical power, bathe ourselves, cook food, and quench our thirst. 

Mantra Percussion

Friday, February 23, 7:30 p.m.

At Transformer Station

$25, CMA members $22

Committed to honoring the past and expanding the future of percussion music, Mantra Percussion brings to life new works for percussion by living composers, collaborates with artists from diverse genres and styles, and questions what it means to communicate music through percussion instruments. Mantra Percussion engages new audiences by challenging the standard concert format through evening-length events that look toward a grander artistic vision. Hailed by the New York Times as “finely polished . . . a fresh source of energy,” Mantra Percussion has commissioned or premiered over 40 new works for percussion ensemble since it formed in 2009. They perform Michael Gordon’s evening-length percussion sextet Timber, which they cocommissioned; they also gave the work’s US premiere. 

Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble

Sunday, March 4, 2:00 p.m.

$10, CMA members free

Continuing our collaborative partnership with our neighbors down the road, the CMA welcomes the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble for another compelling program 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 northeast Ohio—in no small part due to the ambitions and success of Weiss, a recipient of the Adventurous Programming Award from the American Symphony Orchestra League. 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. Program to be announced. 

CIM Organ Studio Recital

Sunday, March 11, 2:00 p.m.

Free, no ticket required

Outstanding conservatory musicians in the studio of acclaimed organist Todd Wilson present an afternoon recital of works for solo organ on the museum’s McMyler Memorial Organ. Program to be announced. 

Wu Man with Huayin Shadow Puppet Band

Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m.

$43–$59, CMA members $38–$53

Wu Man is an internationally renowned pipa virtuoso, cited by the Los Angeles Times as “the artist most responsible for bringing the pipa to the Western World.” She is recognized as an outstanding exponent of traditional repertoire for the pipa, a lute-like Chinese instrument with a history of more than two thousand years. Considered a leading interpreter of contemporary pipa music by today’s most prominent composers, Wu Man joins the brilliant Huayin Shadow Puppet Band for an evening of old-tune traditional music with shadow puppetry. Amid shouts and the strumming of lutes and fiddles, the percussion of clappers, small and large gongs, and the battering of a wooden bench, the band sings and plays about rural life in remote China, drawing the audience into places and sounds rarely heard in the West. “Watching the musicians let fly on lutes, fiddles and gongs, as the singers roared through lively ballads recounting folk tales and myths, you were swept up by their energy and charisma. (Who could resist the cavorting performer who pounded a wooden block on a bench to keep time?)” —New York Times

Tallis Scholars

Friday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.

$43–$59, CMA members $38–$53

“Voices immaculately balanced and sublimely paced” —Jeremy Pound, BBC Music Magazine. The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. Through their recordings and concert performances, they have established themselves as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music throughout the world. Peter Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create, through good tuning and blending, the purity and clarity of sound that he feels best serve the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard. It is the resulting beauty of sound for which the Tallis Scholars have become so widely renowned. In September 2015 the ensemble gave its 2,000th concert. The Tallis Scholars record exclusively for Gimell. They perform “War and Peace,” a program commemorating those who lost their lives in the First World War, featuring works by Josquin, Guerrero, Pärt, Mouton, Lobo, Victoria, Tavener, and Palestrina. 

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