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Kate Baldwin, Karen Ziemba and More Set for 'Broadway Close Up' Series at Merkin Concert Hall; 2017-18 Season Announced!

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Kate Baldwin, Karen Ziemba and More Set for 'Broadway Close Up' Series at Merkin Concert Hall; 2017-18 Season Announced!

Kaufman Music Center will host a diverse 2017-18 season at Merkin Concert Hall, highlighting Broadway musicals with celebrations of the fruitful partnership between Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince, the musicals of Leonard Bernstein and Jerry Herman, and performances by Tony winner Karen Ziemba and Kate Baldwin.

In 2018, the adventurous ECSTATIC MUSIC FESTIVAL performances will feature KRONOS QUARTET, the BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS and MARGARET LENG TAN, who will premiere works by GEORGE CRUMB, SUZANNE FARRIN and KELLY MORAN.

NEW THIS SEASON: In Your Face-New York presents four live performance extravaganzas featuring the best of NYC's actors, writers and musicians hosted by Isaac Mizrahi, Mo Rocca and Nancy Giles. Kaufman Music Center teams up with SPARKS & WIRY CRIES to present the Merkin Concert Hall debut of mezzo soprano Stephanie Blythe, who will perform an evening of contemporary American songs.

Back by popular demand will be crowd favorite What Makes It Great?, with host and NPR and PBS music commentator ROB KAPILOW exploring masterpieces from Beethoven to the Gershwins; the Tuesday Matinees series, which presents rising classical stars including violinist STEPHEN WAARTS, pianist HENRY KRAMER and violinist NIKKI CHOOI. New York Festival of Song's 30th Anniversary Season will celebrate Leonard Bernstein and showcase soprano Julia Bullock and baritone JOHN BRANCY.

Special children's programming includes Broadway Playhouse, introducing kids to classic musicals by the legendary Leonard Bernstein (On the Town, West Side Story), Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!, La Cage Aux Folles) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera, Cats). Two Jewish holiday-themed family musicals, Hanukkah Playhouse and Passover Playhouse, provide fresh, funny takes on the traditional Biblical stories.


Program highlights include:

- Broadway Close Up (Oct 2, Oct 30, Nov 13, Dec 4): Featuring Tony winner Karen Ziemba along with Kate Baldwin, Reg Rogers, Emily Skinner and many more. Liz Callaway kicks off the new season with a taste of some of the best new musicals headed for New York Theaters at Bound for Broadway. Jack Viertel, Artistic Director of New York City Center's Encores! series and author of "The Secret Life of the American Musical," explores the recipe for Broadway success, and a stellar cast explores the power and emotion of great duets by Berlin, Bernstein, Sondheim and more. Music Director David Loud traces the rise and fall of the partnership behind some of the most memorable musicals of all time: Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince. www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/series/broadway-close-up

- What Makes It Great? (Oct 23, Dec 11, Jan 29, Mar 26): Performances explore musical masterpieces from Beethoven to the Gershwins, telling surprising stories about brilliant artists reinventing tradition. This season host and NPR and PBS music commentator ROB KAPILOW takes on the songs of George and Ira Gershwin, Beethoven's String Quartet No. 16, Haydn's "London Symphony" and Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 8 in G Major. Featuring the HARLEM QUARTET and Broadway stars Sally Wilfert and Michael Winther. www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/series/what-makes-it-great

- Ecstatic Music Festival (Jan-Apr 2018; dates TBA): Adventurous collaborations across the sonic spectrum include KRONOS QUARTET & FACE THE MUSIC, the BANG ON A CAN PEOPLE'S COMMISSIONING FUND CONCERT, XENIA RUBINOS & ADAM SCHATZ'S CIVIL ENGINEERING and MARGARET LENG TAN premiering works by GEORGE CRUMB, SUZANNE FARRIN & KELLY MORAN. www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/series/ecstatic-music-festival

- Tuesday Matinees (Sept 26, Oct 31, Nov 28, Jan 16, Feb 6, Mar 6, Apr 17, May 8): Series presents rising classical stars, including violinist STEPHEN WAARTS, pianist HENRY KRAMER, violinist NIKKI CHOOI and the VERONA QUARTET. www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/series/tuesday-matinees

- New York Festival of Song - 30th Anniversary Season (Nov 7, Feb 27, Mar 13, Apr 24): NYFOS celebrates the 100th birth anniversary of Leonard Bernstein with his masterwork "Songfest." Plus an evening of passionately defiant protest songs touching on hot-button issues of today, and a journey through four centuries of British music from the Renaissance to the Beatles. These intimate song concerts will feature sopranos Julia Bullock and Mikaela Bennett, Tony nominee Lauren Worsham, baritone JOHN BRANCY, tenor BENJAMIN BLISS and many others. www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/series/new-york-festival-of-song

- In Your Face-New York (Oct 22, Dec 6, Mar 12, May 10): Isaac Mizrahi, Mo Rocca and Nancy Giles host live performances featuring the best of NYC's actors, writers, musicians and more. www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/series/in-your-face-new-york

- Sparks & Wiry Cries (Jan 18): Merkin Concert Hall debut of celebrated mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, who will perform songs by the contemporary American composers Alan Louis Smith, Daniel Mertzlufft and Ben Moore. With pianist ALAN Louis Smith and special guest STEPHEN CARROLL, tenor. www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/event/sparks-wiry-cries-memories-near-far

- Four Nations (Feb 14, Apr 9, Jun 11): Presents "The Art of Seduction" featuring soprano PASCALE BEAUDIN and baritone TYLER DUNCAN performing amorous works for Valentine's Day. Plus works by Debussy, Fauré, Duparc and more. www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/series/four-nations

- Israeli Chamber Project (Oct 7, May 24): Stravinsky's "Soldier's Tale," and works by Schubert and Barber featuring soprano Susanna Phillips. www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/series/israeli-chamber-project

- Family Matinees (Jan 28, Feb 11, Mar 4): Introduces children to classic musicals by the legendary Leonard Bernstein (On the Town, West Side Story), Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!, La Cage Aux Folles) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera, Cats). Hanukkah Playhouse and Passover Playhouse, provide fresh, funny takes on the traditional Biblical stories. www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/event/musical-theater-for-kids


Kaufman Music Center is New York's go-to place for music education and performance. It's where music lovers, from curious fans to renowned performers, come together to explore their musical passions. Founded in 1952 as a community music school, today's Kaufman Music Center is home to Merkin Concert Hall; Lucy Moses School, New York's largest community arts school; Special Music School, New York's only K-12 public school for musically gifted children; and the youth new music ensemble Face the Music.

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center is located at 129 West 67th Street (btw Broadway & Amsterdam Avenue). Tickets at 212 501 3330 o online at www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch.



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