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Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts Announces New Digital Initiatives for 2020-21 Season


Upcoming programs include MISSION: COMMISSION, a new six-episode podcast, MORNINGSIDE LIGHTS, a video celebration of community art-making and more.

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts  Announces New Digital Initiatives for 2020-21 Season

Miller Theatre's celebrated, fun and free Pop-Up Concerts resume, with a change of venue. Filmed live in the awe-inspiring Lantern (the top floor venue in the Lenfest Center for the Arts, with sweeping views of Manhattan), Miller invites the public to take a virtual front-row seat for exciting performances by world-class musicians. Miller brings Columbia to audiences around the world through these unique digital concert experiences showing the breadth of Miller's programming, from Bach to jazz to living composers, while highlighting the iconic beauty of the campus of Columbia University.

In previous Pop-Up Concerts, audiences sat on on the Miller stage and enjoyed a free drink during hour-long weeknight concerts, mingling with the musicians and fellow concertgoers after the show. While this season's iteration features a change in setting, it offers the same up-close opportunity to experience music-virtually.

Viewers can tune in to
to watch and learn more.

Video premiere
Tuesday, November 17, 7pm

Mariel Roberts, cello

"Listeners should come running," declares WQXR regarding the work of gifted cellist Mariel Roberts. For this solo recital, she performs a diverse and thrilling program, including one of her own compositions and excerpts from the beloved sixth Cello Suite by J.S. Bach.

Video premiere
Tuesday, December 15 at 7pm
Simone Dinnerstein, piano

Simone Dinnerstein's "majestic originality of vision" (The Independent) has made her one of today's most sought-after pianists. The frequent Miller collaborator performs a solo recital highlighting her thoughtful interpretation and signature expressive elegance.

Video premiere
Tuesday, January 19 at 7pm
Brandee Younger, harp & Dezron Douglas, double bass

The duo of harp and bass may be an uncommon combination, but this particular duo makes one wish it was a regular occurrence. Genre-defying harpist Brandee Younger and the in-demand bassist Dezron Douglas join together for an incredible evening of inspired jazz works.

Video premiere
Tuesday, February 16 at 7pm
JACK Quartet

The very first public performance by the acclaimed JACK Quartet featured Helmut Lachenmann's string quartet Grido, and it's been a constant for them ever since. The mastering of this technically demanding piece shows their incredible talent, but their expressive interpretation reveals their brilliance as an ensemble. Hear them perform this work, alongside two other solo pieces by Lachenmann which explore nontraditional techniques and sounds.


Mariel Roberts

American cellist Mariel Roberts is widely recognized not just for her virtuosic performances, but as a "fearless explorer" in her field (Chicago Reader). Her appetite for collaboration and experimentation as an interpreter, improvisor, and composer have helped create a body of work that bridges avant-garde, contemporary, classical, improvised, and traditional music. Roberts is widely recognized for her "technical and interpretive mastery" (I care if you listen) and for performances which seethe with "excruciating intensity" (The Whole Note).

Roberts has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across four continents, most notably as a member and co-director of the Wet Ink Ensemble (named "The Best Classical Music Ensemble of 2018" by The New York Times), as well as with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Mivos Quartet, Bang on a Can All Stars, and Ensemble Signal. She performs regularly on major stages for new music such as the Lincoln Center Festival (NY), Wien Modern (Austria), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Cervantino Festival (Mexico), Klang Festival (Denmark), Shanghai New Music Week (China), Darmstadt Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), and Aldeburgh Music Festival (U.K.). Roberts has been featured in a wide variety of outstanding recordings, including titles on Innova Records, Albany Records, New World Records, New Amsterdam, Carrier Records, New Focus, and Urtext Records. Roberts' compositions have been performed at venues such as Merkin Hall and Miller Theatre at Columbia University.

Roberts has released two solo albums of new works commissioned for her. The first, Nonextraneous Sounds (2012), was noted for its "technical flair and exquisite sensitivity" (Composers Forum). In 2017, the release of Cartography solidified Roberts' position as "one of the most adventurous figures on New York's new music scene-one with a thorough grounding in classical tradition but a ravenous appetite for and tireless discipline in new work" (Bandcamp).

a??Her close collaborators have spanned a wide range of genres and include some of the most important figures on the contemporary and experimental scene, such as George Lewis, Alex Mincek, Tim Hecker, Nate Wooley, M. Lamar, Patrick Higgins (Zs), Ingrid Laubrock, Jeffrey Mumford, Sam Pluta, Eric Wubbels, and Ambrose Akinmusire.

JACK Quartet

The JACK Quartet is one of the most acclaimed, renowned, and respected groups performing today. JACK has maintained an unwavering commitment to performing and commissioning new works, giving voice to underheard composers, and cultivating an ever-greater sense of openness toward contemporary classical music. In 2018, they were selected as Musical America's "Ensemble of the Year," named to WQXR's "19 for 19 Artists to Watch," and awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Additional awards include Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award, New Music USA's Trailblazer Award, and the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, JACK has performed to critical acclaim at leading venues and festivals around the world.

Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell, JACK is focused on new work, working with artists such as Julia Wolfe, George Lewis, Chaya Czernowin, Helmut Lachenmann, Caroline Shaw, and Simon Steen-Andersen, with upcoming and recent premieres including works by Tyshawn Sorey, Sabrina Schroeder, John Luther Adams, Clara Iannotta, Philip Glass, Catherine Lamb, Lester St. Louis, and John Zorn. JACK also recently announced JACK Studio, an all-access initiative to commission six artists each year, who will receive money, workshop time, mentorship, and resources to develop new work to be performed and recorded by the quartet.

Operating as a nonprofit organization with a commitment to education, JACK is the Quartet-in-Residence at the Mannes School of Music, which will host JACK's new Frontiers Festival, a multi-faceted festival of contemporary music for string quartet. JACK also has a long-standing relationship with the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program. They also teach at New Music on the Point, a contemporary chamber music festival in Vermont for young performers and composers, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, numerous universities including Columbia, Harvard, NYU, Princeton, and Stanford, as well as the Lucerne Festival Academy, of which the four members are all alumni.

Simone Dinnerstein

American pianist Simone Dinnerstein is known for her "majestic originality of vision" (The Independent) and her "lean, knowing, and unpretentious elegance" (The New Yorker). Her self-produced recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations in 2007 brought her considerable attention. It reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart in its first week of sales and was named to many "Best of 2007" lists including those of The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, which called her "a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation." She has gone on to make ten albums since then with repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Ravel, all of which have topped the Billboard Classical charts. Her most recent album, A Character of Quiet, was recorded from her home and released this past September.

The New York-based pianist's performance schedule has taken her around the world. She has performed at venues including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Sydney Opera House, Seoul Arts Center, and London's Wigmore Hall; festivals that include the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival, the Aspen, Verbier, and Ravinia festivals; and performances with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and many others. Additionally, she has performed in correctional facilities for the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing classical music to non-traditional venues.

Recent highlights include Dinnerstein's recital at the Kennedy Center; her debut with the London Symphony Orchestra; touring of Piano Concerto No. 3, a piece that Philip Glass wrote for her as a co-commission by twelve orchestras; Circles, her world premiere recording of the concerto with A Far Cry; participating in the premiere of André Previn and Tom Stoppard's Penelope with Renée Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet at Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Aspen music festivals; and a residency in San Francisco with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, among others. Most recently, she created her own string ensemble, Baroklyn, which she directs from the keyboard.

Dedicated to her community in Brooklyn, Dinnerstein founded Neighborhood Classics in 2009, a concert series that raises funds for music education programs in New York City schools, and Bachpacking, a music program for elementary schools. A graduate of The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, Dinnerstein is on the faculty of the Mannes School of Music.

Brandee Younger

Brandee Younger is a classically trained musician who plays in the avant-garde tradition of Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane and is known for expressive interpretations of traditional harp repertoire as well as her continued work with a diverse cross-section of musical talents. As an educator, event curator, performer, and leader of The Brandee Younger Quartet, she delivers a consistently fresh take on the instrument.

As a classical musician, Younger has been a soloist with The Harlem Chamber Players and North Shore Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Impulse Artist Series. She has also performed with an array of ensembles including the Eastern Connecticut Symphony, Waterbury Symphony, Soulful Symphony, Ensemble Du Monde, Camerata New York, and the Red Bull Artsehcro. She has worked and recorded with a number of jazz luminaries including Jack DeJohnette, Pharoah Sanders, Christian McBride, Ravi Coltrane, Wycliffe Gordon, Charlie Haden, Rashied Ali, Butch Morris, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Kenny Garrett, and Bill Lee. Her work in R&B and hip-hop has found her sharing studios and stages with John Legend, Common, Drake, Salaam Remi, and Lauryn Hill.

Since the debut of her seminal album Prelude EP (2011), she has produced an impressive body of work including Brandee Younger Live @ The Breeding Ground, a breakthrough performance on Revive Music's Supreme Sonacy Vol. 1 (2015), the critically acclaimed Wax & Wane (2016), a 2018 appearance as a featured artist on A Day in the Life: Impressions of Pepper-the Impulse tribute to The Beatles, and her most recent album Soul Awakening (2019).

Younger earned undergraduate degrees in Harp Performance and Music Business from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford and attended graduate school at New York University. She has taught at Adelphi University, Nassau Community College, The Hartt School Community Division of the University of Hartford, and currently is a private instructor and teacher at Greenwich House Music School. She also serves as Symphonic and Jazz Harp Artist in Residence at the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts. Younger recently served as curator of the weekly Harp On Park lunchtime concert series for Arts Brookfield.

Dezron Douglas

Known for his musical versatility, bassist Dezron Douglas is one of the most in demand young bassists in jazz today. As a composer, educator, and bandleader, Dezron has established himself as a musician's musician, respected not only for his talent but also for his dedication to the authenticity of the music.

Born and raised in Hartford, Douglas studied at the Jackie McLean Institute of African American Music at the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford). While in college, he co-founded The New Jazz Workshop of Hartford. In the following years, he has performed and recorded with Michael Carvin, Pharoah Sanders, Cyrus Chestnut, Abraham Burton/Eric McPherson, Louis Hayes, Rene McLean, Al Foster, Ravi Coltrane, Billy Drummond, Steve Davis, Winard Harper, Lewis Nash, Kevin Mahogany, Carla Cook, Kenny Garrett, Willie Jones III, Jeremy Pelt, Eric Reed, Papo Vazquez, and The Marsalis Brothers. Douglas is a long-standing member of the Cyrus Chestnut Trio and Papo Vazquez and the Mighty Pirates.

He has recorded four albums as a leader: Walkin' My Baby Back Home and Ganbare Nippon on Venus Records (Japan); "Underground" by the New Jazz Workshop and, most recently, Dezron Douglas, Live at Smalls on the Smalls Live label.

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