Metropolitan Museum Announces 2012-13 Performances and Talks, Renamed Met Museum Presents

Metropolitan Museum Announces 2012-13 Performances and Talks, Renamed Met Museum Presents

The Metropolitan Museum of Art today unveiled the 2012-13 season of Met Museum Presents, its newly-renamed series of performances and talks. This is the first full season to be programmed by Concerts & Lectures General Manager Limor Tomer, who assumed her post at the Met in July 2011. The program offers interpretations of and reflections on the Museum's collection, special exhibitions, and tradition through the work of some of today's most celebrated composers and performing artists.

"As singular artistic statements and critical entry points to the Met's collections, these events herald the fresh energy that Limor Tomer brings to this important part of our work," said Metropolitan Museum Director Thomas P. Campbell. "Indeed, this bold, innovative season has emerged directly from the creative dialogue that she has encouraged between curators and performers. It is a program that will surely excite audiences to explore the Met in all sorts of new ways."

Among the wide-ranging offerings are:

  • Season-opening event with rock legend Patti Smith saluting Andy Warhol in conjunction with the exhibition Regarding Warhol: Fifty Artists, Fifty Years
  • Composer Tan Dun's 70-minute adaptation of the Chinese opera Peony Pavilion, which will take place in the Museum's Astor Court in conjunction with an exhibition devoted to Chinese garden imagery in painting and the decorative arts
  • Concerts featuring rare instruments of the famed Sau Wing Lam Collection, one of the most important collections of Western string instruments, played by the Salomé Chamber Orchestra in conjunction with a display of instruments from that collection
  • Framing Beethoven, eight events over 10 days, featuring England's Endellion String Quartet performing the complete string quartets, and talks by curators on Beethoven's role in the emergence of the Romantic era
  • Holiday concerts in the Medieval Sculpture Hall including David Lang's Little Match Girl Passion performed by The Crossing, Christopher Taylor playing Messiaen's Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus, Alla Francesca, the JACK Quartet, Chanticleer, the Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine, and more
  • The fourth season of the New York Philharmonic's CONTACT! series and the 10th anniversary season of Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert
  • A 75th birthday celebration for jazz saxophone legend Charles Lloyd
  • Talks with Fareed Zakaria, Tan Dun, and others
  • Gallery tours with Bill T. Jones, Miguel Gutierrez, and others

"In creating the first Met Museum Presents season," said Limor Tomer, Concerts & Lectures General Manager, "I realized that the greatest resource at our disposal-and what makes this job so exciting-is the Met Museum itself. I worked closely with the Met's brilliant curators to develop a program informed by and grounded in the Met's enviable intellectual and physical infrastructure. The events in this series aspire to be absolutely unique to the Met-they resonate with and illuminate this global, encyclopedic, and iconic institution." Limor Tomer was formerly executive producer for music at 105.9 FM WQXR and Adjunct Curator for Performing Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

A major change in 2012-13 is the introduction of a performing artist residency. The Met Reframed is an unprecedented year-long multilayered artistic partnership that kicks off next season with Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, a composer, multimedia artist, writer, and DJ who has made music and art across a huge expanse of styles. Over the course of the year, Paul Miller will engage with a wide variety of audiences at the Met: in addition to five major performances, he will host a number of panel discussions, conversations, workshops, and gallery tours for audiences including New York City public school teachers, Met Museum curators and educators, young people, and the general public. Among the performance events are a newly commissioned work inspired by the upcoming exhibition Photography and the American Civil War; a concert inspired by Oceania's musical legacy; a performance of DJ Spooky's original re-score to the Korean film Madame Freedom with a film screening; and a participatory concert using DJ Spooky's iPhone/iPad app.

In addition, the 2012-13 season introduces new enhancements for audiences, including:

  • Web streaming of select events
  • Post-concert receptions
  • Print-at-home tickets

The recently initiated ticket discount programs-including 30 and Under $15 tickets, and Bring the Kids! $1 tickets-will continue for select events (see details on page 13).

In addition, a new collaboration between the Metropolitan Museum and WQXR will launch in the 2012-13 season featuring the recording, broadcasting, and streaming of a selection of concerts and events including performances by the Salomé Chamber Orchestra and holiday concerts by Chanticleer, the Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine, Christopher Taylor, Alla Francesca, the JACK Quartet, and the Vienna Boys Choir.

The Met Reframed: DJ Spooky in Residence

An unprecedented Metropolitan Museum artist residency, The Met Reframed is a year-long multilayered artistic partnership. It launches in the 2012-13 season with Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, a composer, multimedia artist, writer, and DJ. His recorded output includes remixes of music ranging from Wu-Tang Clan, Metallica, and Bob Marley to classical/new music legends Steve Reich and the Kronos Quartet, and he has DJ'ed major festivals including Bonnaroo and Power to the Peaceful. His work as a media artist has been featured at the Whitney Biennial, Venice Biennial, and Miami/Art Basel; and his first collection of essays, Rhythm Science, was released by MIT Press in 2004, followed by Sound Unbound, an anthology of writings on electronic music and digital media (MIT Press, 2008).

"For me, it's such an honor to work with the Met from the viewpoint of sampling," says Paul D. Miller. "I want to make a vibrant reflection of this incredible collection of materials from all over the world. My residency will be a fun festival of ideas. From the South Pacific to Asia, from the Civil War to 3D photography, from Antarctica to environmental activism, I want to show that music and art are always in dialogue."

"Through engagement with our collection, living artists can animate gallery spaces, shed new light on the collection, and poetically transfer the power of artwork poetically to visitors," said Limor Tomer. "Paul Miller is an omnivorous and articulate artist who connects deeply and emotionally with diverse audiences and can engage with many different types of communities. In many ways he is the ideal performer to inaugurate this program: his capacity for experimentation is very high, and his collaborative spirit supports collective 'open source' program design."

During the year-long residency, from October 2012 through June 2013, Paul D. Miller will work with the Museum's Education Department on events including workshops for teachers and gallery discussions for students and the public. He will also present five performance events:

Madame Freedom – Film screening with live performance of an original score

Friday, October 26, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Conversation with SoYoung Lee: Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. in the Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall

In 2007, Paul D. Miller was commissioned by Art Center Nabi in Seoul, Korea, and the Korean American Film Festival in New York to re-score this classic 1956 film. As he explains, "In the 1950s, Korea went through a drastic modernization process. After the Korean War ended, South Korea was firmly embedded in a Western cultural sphere, families were put into radically unexpected contexts, and the rise of independent women changed the face of society. The film was viewed as a metaphor of the harmful westernization of all traditions in postwar Korea...."

Miller's score for string quartet evokes jazz nightclubs of the 21st century, and his use of electronic music enhances the dynamic tensions in the story and foregrounds the visual rhythm of the film's editing.

In a related event, Miller will talk with SoYoung Lee, Associate Curator in the Met's Asian Art Department, about his score for the film. This event is supported by The Giorgio S. Sacerdote Fund.

The Nauru Elegies – A live performance/multimedia event

Friday, January 18, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Paul D. Miller: "The Republic of Nauru is a small island in the South Pacific Ocean. It was, by consensus of several 'Great Powers,' used as a raw resource until there was literally nothing left. Nauru has been mined throughout the last two centuries for its phosphate deposits, which occupied 90% of the island. A small territory with no [other] exploitable resources, Nauru in the 1990s turned to off-shore financing and the creation of 'virtual banks' as a way of earning sorely needed foreign currency. The Nauru Elegies posits that Nauru reflects many of the issues facing our contemporary information economy.

"The music component of The Nauru Elegies reflects colonial and postcolonial issues facing the digital economy of the 21st century translated into a string quartet, while the literary and multimedia component of the project spatializes and formalizes otherwise invisible economic flows and irreversible ecological devastation.

"The Nauru Elegies is a technical synthesis of a live string ensemble, projected high-definition video footage, digital animation and live internet feed of GPS coordinates of specific aspects of the island and its physical and financial infrastructure. It is an orchestration of content retrieved and processed in multiple localities including research in New York City and documentation in Nauru. The Elegies are a statement of technology and media processes in the 21st century that is exponentially progressing to a more dematerialized and delocalized state."

Of Water and Ice – A Concert of Compositions Based on Water and Arctic Rhythms

Saturday, March 23, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Of Water and Ice is a composition for string quartet and video that evolved from Paul D. Miller's large-scale multimedia work Sinfonia Antarctica. Of Water and Ice is a music/video exploration of the composition of ice and water, and our relationship to the vanishing environment of the arctic poles.

World Premiere of New Work Relating to Photography and the American Civil War exhibition

Friday, May 10, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. in Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Working in tandem with Jeff L. Rosenheim, the Curator in Museum's Department of Photographs, Paul D. Miller creates a music-video piece for string ensemble with live-mixed electronic music and video, using images from the exhibition Photography and the American Civil War, on view April 2–September 2, 2013.

Audience Participation Event Using DJ Spooky's iPhone/iPad App

Friday, June 21, 2013, at 9:30 p.m. in the Great Hall

Paul D. Miller invites the audience to bring their iPhones and iPads and collectively mix a soundtrack for a listening party, using his iPhone/iPad app, in the Museum's Great Hall. This app already has been downloaded by more than 250,000 users.

The Peony Pavilion, Version by Tan Dun and Huang Doudou

Performed by Zhang Jun and the Shanghai Zhang Jun Art Center Company

Performances in The Astor Court:

Friday, November 30, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 1, 2012, at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 2, 2012, at noon and 3:00 p.m.

Conversation with Tan Dun and Maxwell K. Hearn:

Thursday, November 29, 2012, at 6:00 p.m., in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

With the aim of engaging with Metropolitan Museum galleries in new ways, Met Museum Presents offers five performances of a contemporary adaption of the 16th-century Kunqu opera masterpiece The Peony Pavilion in The Astor Court, which is modeled on a traditional 17th-century Chinese scholars' garden court. This 70-minute version features music by celebrated composer Tan Dun and choreography by Huang Doudou, one of China's most prominent dancers, and stars Zhang Jun, China's most celebratEd Kunqu performer, and his company. Fifty audience members will be seated at each performance, and select performances will be live-streamed for an audience in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

Tan Dun's new score, which recalls the style and themes of traditional Kunqu music, will be performed by a traditional Kunqu ensemble of four musicians, and will include taped elements.

The performances accompany the exhibition Chinese Gardens: Palace Pavilions, Scholars' Studios, Rustic Retreats, on view August 18, 2012?January 6, 2013, which explores the rich interactions between pictorial and garden arts in China across more than 1000 years, featuring more than 70 paintings and contemporary photographs as well as ceramics, carved bamboo, lacquerware, metalwork, and textiles drawn from the Museum's collection.

Composer Tan Dun and Maxwell K. Hearn, Douglas Dillon Curator in Charge of Asian Art and the curator of the exhibition, will talk about the role of the garden as locus for music, theater and intellectual activity in China, in a conversation to take place the day before the performances begin.

The Peony Pavilion is one of the most important works of classical Chinese opera. A sweeping love story with subplots involving feudalism, the work in its original form consisted of 55 acts, taking more than 20 hours to perform. This version is directed by Zhang Jun, one of China's most respectEd Kunqu performers, and remains faithful to the core plot focusing on the love story between the heroine and hero-Du Liniang and Liu Mengmei-and the Peony Pavilion, where their love began.

The Sau Wing Lam Collection of Violins Played by Salomé Chamber Orchestra

Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

The Sau Wing Lam Collection of Violins is one of the finest collections of violins currently in private hands, with instruments by Antonio Stradivari, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, the Amati family, and others. A selection of instruments from the collection will be on view in the Metropolitan Museum's André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments from December 18, 2012, through June 30, 2013.

In four concerts during the 2012-13 season, New York's dynamic young Salomé Chamber Orchestra ( will present programs featuring members and guest artists who perform on instruments from the collection:

Saturday, December 22, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. – Bach Brandenburgs – Violinist Karen Gomyo is the soloist in Bach's Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3, 5, and 6, and the Concerto in D Major, BWV 1064, for Three Violins, joined by members of the orchestra. Karen will play the "Bavarian" Stradivari of 1720.

Saturday, February 2, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. – The Eight Seasons – Violinist and Salomé co-founder Sean Avram Carpenter and violist David Aaron Carpenter are the soloists in Astor Piazzolla's Four Seasons and Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Friday, April 12, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. – The Dark Arts of the Viola – Violinist Philippe Quint joins Salomé co-founders Sean Avram Carpenter and violist David Aaron Carpenter in performances of works featuring viola: Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, and String Orchestra, K. 364; Lera Auerbach's Dialogues on Stabat Mater for Violin, Viola, and String Orchestra (after Pergolesi); and the New York premiere of Richard Dubugnon's arrangement of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier Suite for String Orchestra. Mr. Quint will play the "Bavarian" Stradivari of 1720 in the Mozart work, and Sean Carpenter will play the "Baltic" Guarneri del Gesù of 1731 in the Auerbach work. David Aaron Carpenter will play a viola from the collection made by Andrea Amati, Cremona, ca. 1580.

Saturday, May 4, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. – The Lam Collection in Action – Works by Paganini, Saint-Saëns, Kreisler, and Sarasate, and Heifetz transcriptions will be performed by guest violinists Philippe Quint and Chee-Yun, with David Aaron Carpenter, viola.

These concerts are generously supported by the Brodsky Family Foundation.

Framing Beethoven: Concerts and Conversations

The Endellion String Quartet Playing the Beethoven String Quartets

Talks on Beethoven's Role in the Rise of the Romantic Era

Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Friday, February 15 – Sunday, February 24, 2013

Framing Beethoven: Concerts and Conversations, eight events over 10 days, centers on the six-concert performance by England's Endellion String Quartet of the complete string quartets of Beethoven. Complementing the performances are talks by Metropolitan Museum art historian Kathryn Calley Galitz on the rise of Romanticism among Beethoven's art contemporaries, and by art historian Marsha Morton on the context in which his music became central to theories of romanticism and the sublime.

The Endellion String Quartet will make its first New York appearances since 1995 with these six concerts. This ensemble, in residence at Cambridge University, marked its 30th anniversary in 2009 with the release of a boxed set of the complete Beethoven string quartets on Warner Classics.