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Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts Announces 2013-14 Season

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts celebrates its 25th anniversary with its 2013-14 season. Since its inception, Miller Theatre has served as a common ground for visionary artists and audiences with exacting tastes.

Held up repeatedly by music critics as a model for arts programming-a "pioneer" (The New Yorker), "invaluable" and "the place to go for sheer adventurousness" (The New York Times)-Miller Theatre now celebrates its remarkable history, honoring the institution's role as a pillar of the New York music community with a commanding 2013-14 twenty-fifth anniversary season.

Having flourished over the past three seasons under the leadership of Melissa Smey, Miller is stronger than ever. Smey has brought a focus on developing Miller's audience and, as recently appointed executive director of Columbia's Arts Initiative, a particular interest in engaging the neighborhood and campus. Under her guidance Miller has significantly expanded its young and diverse audience for contemporary music, while capacity-filled Early Music concerts have led Miller to enlarge the series.

A number of events in the 2013-14 season stand out for their scale and ambition. To open, Miller presents a three-night festival celebrating its longtime artistic partner John Zorn, whose 60th birthday in September is being recognized the world over. More than 100 longtime Zorn collaborators will perform, and Zorn is writing several new works expressly for this occasion. Other special events include a two-night Steven Schick solo percussion extravaganza, spanning the entire history of the genre.

The Early Music series assumes greater prominence with five of the world's preeminent ensembles, from France's flamboyant Le Poème Harmonique to England's revered Tallis Scholars (who turn 40 this year).

The Bach, Revisited series returns with a contemporary twist, featuring an incredible lineup of Bach masterpieces and modern-day works, all handpicked by three living composers: Steve Reich, Kaija Saariaho, and Joan Tower.

And the beloved Composer Portraits series, which Alex Ross just wrote about in The New Yorker, is back with a bracing international group of seven composers, ranging from newly appointed Columbia professor Georg Friedrich Haas to Anna Thorvaldsdottir, who travels to Miller from her native Iceland.
Miller's Morningside Lights partnership with the Arts Initiative at Columbia, a series of creative participatory workshops culminating in an eerily beautiful illuminated procession, will return as a September tradition for campus and community.

In the words of Executive Director Melissa Smey: "I'm thrilled about every event in our 25th anniversary season-it's a sweeping year that really shows our commitment to presenting important work not done elsewhere. To make dream programs happen with world-class ensembles and soloists who are today's most exciting specialists in modern music, early music, and jazz, is uniquely satisfying. Also of utmost importance to me is building stronger ties to the community and Columbia campus; a new wave of programs we've introduced exemplifies this, from the Morningside Lights parade to our cocktail-hour Pop-Up Concerts to this season's first-ever commissioned art installation in our lobby. At Miller, we like to think of ourselves as a creative haven for audiences and performers, a safe place for those not afraid to push the envelope. We look forward to another adventurous quarter-century, filling a vital niche in NYC."

The 2013-14 Season


This fall, Miller joins with venues across the city and around the world-from the Met Museum to the Venice Biennale-in celebrating the 60th birthday of a true New York icon: John Zorn. Miller's marathon roams widely, exploring notated and improvised music alike, and features an all-star lineup of 140 musicians, each one hand-selected by the composer.

Zorn says: "Miller Theatre and I have a relationship that goes back further than any other institution. In a way, this is my house, this is home in New York. In my earliest days as a composer in the 1970s, Columbia treated me with respect and made me feel like what I was doing had worth. Here it is 35 years later and I still feel the same. This is a very special house to me."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


John Zorn's dream team orchestra-80 players, at last count-performs some of the composer's great symphonic works, including his masterpiece violin concerto. Featuring violin soloist Christopher Otto and conductor David Fulmer heading up an entire orchestra of soloists.
Thursday, September 26, 2013

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