The Metropolitan Museum of Art Announces December Concerts


METROPOLITAN MUSEUM has announced CONCERTS for DECEMBER 2011 including Patti Smith and Friends , New York Philharmonic's CONTACT!, Homayun Sakhi, and Afghan Rubab Virtuoso. Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert Begins Its Ninth Season. Judy Collins, Paul Winter, Anonymous 4, Vienna Boys Choir, Ebony Ecumenical Ensemble, and More Perform Christmas Concerts. 

For tickets, visit or call 212-570-3949.

Tickets are also available at the Great Hall Box Office, which is open Tuesday-Saturday 10-5:00 and Sunday noon-5:00.

Student and group discount tickets are available for some events; call 212-570-3949.

Tickets include admission to the Museum on day of performance.

Tues.-Thurs., Nov. 29 & 30, December 1, 2011, at 6:30 & 8:30 p.m.- Chanticleer

The renowned vocal ensemble's annual holiday program - of which there are six performances - celebrates the mystery and wonder of Christmas with traditional carols, medieval and Renaissance sacred works, and new holiday music. The two December 1 concerts conclude Chanticleer's six holiday performances of 2011.

The concerts in the Medieval Sculpture Hall are presented in front of the Museum's Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche. The exhibition of the crèche is made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the Loretta Hines Howard Fund.

Chanticleer will return to the Met on May 3, 2012, with a program of new works by living American composers in celebration of the completion of the American Wing's multi-year renovation, highlighted by the January 2012 opening of the New Galleries for American Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts.

Among Chanticleer's season activities are a 10-country tour in early 2012 with return visits to Europe's most renowned concert halls, including the Musikverein (Vienna), Bela Bartok Concert Hall (Budapest), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), and Philharmonic Hall (Vilnius). The season also includes Chanticleer's performance on the soundtrack of the 10th-anniversary release by Microsoft of its legendary video game Halo, the ensemble's first live film score performance. Chanticleer is known for its vivid, a cappella interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to new music. With its blend of 12 male voices ranging from countertenor to bass, the ensemble has earned international renown as "an orchestra of voices." Collaborations between Chanticleer and the Metropolitan Museum include a PBS Great Performances program, "Christmas with Chanticleer," taped in the Metropolitan Museum's Medieval Sculpture Hall. And Chanticleer's 2002 recording of Sir John Tavener's Lamentations and Praises, a work co-commissioned by the Museum, won a Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance.

At the Medieval Sculpture Hall. Tickets are $65.

Friday, December 2, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.- Patti Smith

Patti Smith, Jesse Smith, and friends will consider Alfred Stieglitz and his circle, focusing on his collaborative relationship with Georgia O'Keeffe.

This concert is inspired by Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe, on view through January 2, 2012. It is the first large-scale presentation of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints from Alfred Stieglitz's collection, acquired by the Metropolitan in 1949.

The exhibition is made possible by the Iris & Gerald B. Cantor Foundation.

Patti Smith made her Metropolitan Museum debut in June 2001, when she performed a program in conjunction with the Museum's William Blake exhibition. Her subsequent appearances have included a program devoted to All Saints Day; an evening devoted to Joan of Arc and French cultural heroes; a concert titled "Poems and Songs for the Young at Heart"; "A Clear and Bright Gathering," commemorating All Saints' Day; a program in tribute to photographer Robert Frank in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum exhibition "Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans"; and, last year, a program devoted to the world of Khubilai Khan and the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. As one of the early pioneers of the dynamic New York City punk scene, Patti Smith has been sharing her unique blend of poetic rock and roll with the public for over a quarter of a century.

Tickets are $40

Saturday, December 3, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.- Ebony Ecumenical Ensemble

The Ebony Ecumenical Ensemble, formed to preserve, promote, and perform the music of the African-American religious experience, celebrates the holiday season with gospel music, spirituals, anthems, and carols in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

The Ebony Ecumenical Ensemble was founded by Bettye F. Forbes in 1979 to participate in the re-opening celebration of the renovated James Memorial Chapel at New York's Union Theological Seminary. The ensemble has performed at Carnegie Hall as part of the Korean Sacred Choral Festival, and in São Paulo and Rio di Janeiro, Brazil, as part of the International Black Arts Festival. The ensemble has also performed with artists Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville, with opera star Lauren Flanigan in special holiday benefit performances, as part of the concert production Three Mo' Tenors, and in Nativity, the African American Christmas-themed musical, at the United Palace Theater sponsored by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The ensemble made its debut appearance with the New York Philharmonic in excerpts from Porgy and Bess that were aired on Live from Lincoln Center, and performed with the Shaker Mountain Opera Company in its 2004 production of Aida. The Ensemble has made a recording, Release Your Song.

Tickets are $45.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. - Paul Winter

Paul Winter's musical realm has long embraced the traditions of the world's cultures. For his first performance at the Metropolitan Museum, Winter will perform a seasonal acoustic program on saxophone with longtime colleague pianist Paul Sullivan.

The concerts in the Medieval Sculpture Hall are presented in front of the Museum's Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche. The exhibition of the crèche is made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the Loretta Hines Howard Fund.

Paul Winter's music gives expression to what he refers to as "the greater symphony of the Earth." Having started his musical career as a jazz saxophonist, he became one of the first musicians to explore the genre of "world music," combining elements from an international variety of musical styles, and then exploring the use of sounds from the natural world, beginning with the songs of humpback whales. His concert tours and recording expeditions have taken him to thirty-seven countries and to wilderness areas on six continents.

In recognition of his musical contributions to the environment, Winter has received a Global 500 Award from the United Nations, the Award of Excellence from the United Nations Environment Program, the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal for service to animals from the United States Humane Society, and the Peace Abbey's Courage of Conscience Award, and the Spirit of the City Award presented at New York's Cathedral of St John the Divine.

At the Medieval Sculpture Hall. Tickets are $65.

Friday, December 9, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. - "In the Footsteps of Babur: Musical Encounters from the Lands of the Mughals"

Featuring musicians Homayun Sakhi, Afghan rubab; Rahul Sharma, santur; Salar Nader, tabla and zerbaghali; Sirojiddin Juraev, dutar and tanbur; and Mukhtor Muborakqadomov, Badakhshani setar, this is a program of new music developed from an artistic collaboration supported by the Aga Khan Music Initiative. Inspired by visual images and literary descriptions of exuberant music-making in the Mughal courts, the Music Initiative brings together musicians from Afghanistan, India, and Tajikistan with the aim of merging their talents, traditions, and musical instruments to create new sounds.

This concert is generously supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
It is presented in collaboration with the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

This program is presented in conjunction with the recent opening of the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia.

Homayun Sakhi is the outstanding Afghan rubab (short-necked, double-chambered lute) player of his generation, a virtuoso endowed with a charismatic musical presence. During Afghanistan's long years of armed conflict, when music was heavily controlled, censored, repressed, and, finally, totally banned, the classical rubab style to which Homayun has devoted his career not only survived but reached new creative heights. Homayun's performance style has been shaped not only by the musical traditions to which Afghan music is geographically and historically linked, but by his lively interest in contemporary music from around the world.

Homayun Sakhi was born in Kabul in 1976 into one of Afghanistan's leading musical families. From the age of ten, he studied rubab with his father, Ghulam Sakhi, in the traditional form of apprenticeship. Homayun's study of the rubab was interrupted in 1992, when his entire family moved to the Pakistani city of Peshawar, a place of refuge for many Afghans from the political chaos and violence that enveloped their country in the years following the Soviet invasion of 1979. In Peshawar, Homayun quickly became a popular entertainer. After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, many Afghan musicians in Peshawar returned to Kabul, but by this time, Homayun was on his way to Fremont, California, taking with him the sophisticated and original rubab style that he had developed during his years in Pakistan. Homayun quickly established himself as a leader of the local musical community. He opened a school to teach Afghan music to children, made recordings of popular Afghan songs, and became a sought-after performer.

Tickets are $35.

Saturday, December 10, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. - Pacifica Quartet

The Pacifica Quartet, called "one of the fastest rising ensembles today" by The New York Times, will perform the complete string quartets of Beethoven in six programs, each of which features early and later works.

This third program features the Quartets No. 6 in B flat Major, Opus 18, "La Maliconia"; No. 11 in F Minor, Opus 95, "Serioso"; and No. 13 in B-flat Major, Opus 130, "Liebquartett"; with "Grosse Fuge," Opus133. The succeeding concerts take place on January 7, February 25, and March 10.
This series is supported in part by the Grace Jarcho Ross and Daniel G. Ross Concert Fund.
Having performed the complete Shostakovich string quartets at the Metropolitan Museum last season, the Pacifica has embarked on a four-volume series of studio recordings. The Soviet Experience: String Quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich and his Contemporaries. Volume 1, just released, offers Shostakovich's Quartets Nos. 5-8, plus Nikolai Miaskovsky's String Quartet No. 13. Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often daring repertory choices, the Pacifica Quartet has carved out a compelling and critically lauded musical path. In addition to the Musical America Ensemble of the Year 2009 Award, and a 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance, the Pacifica Quartet has swept top awards in the U.S. and abroad, including the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2006, making the Pacifica only the second chamber music ensemble ever to be selected. Formed in 1994, the ensemble quickly began to win top prizes in leading international competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award.
The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, where they were appointed to the faculty of the University of Illinois in 2004 and serve as Faculty Quartet in Residence. They are also resident performing artists at the University of Chicago and the Longy School in Boston. The Pacifica Quartet was instrumental in creating the Music Integration Project, an innovative program that provides musical performances and teacher training to inner-city elementary schools. The quartet originated on the West Coast, where it first performed together, and takes its name from the Pacific Ocean. Throughout their journey as a string quartet, its members continually strive to be "Distinct as the billows/yet one as the sea" (James Montgomery).