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Princeton University Concerts Announces Its 125th Season, With Gustavo Dudamel As Artist-in-Residence

Princeton University Concerts Announces Its 125th Season, With Gustavo Dudamel As Artist-in-Residence

Princeton University Concerts ("PUC")'s 2018-19 season will celebrate the series' 125th anniversary with a set of performances that redefine the scope of what a chamber music series can encompass. Building on PUC's long history of offering the absolute pinnacle of talent, the concerts and initiatives will blur the lines of genre, build new relationships between audiences and performers, and expand the boundaries of the concert experience.

At the heart of the new season is the series of concerts and events centered around PUC's first Artist-in-Residence, conductor Gustavo Dudamel. The Maestro, currently the Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will visit the Princeton campus three times throughout the 2018-19 season. In his first extended University residency, Maestro Dudamel will curate a series of three chamber concerts that feature ensembles from the orchestras with which he is most closely associated - the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic. Each concert will explore music's relationship to the world around us through a different lens. Three themes - Art & the Americas, Art & Faith, and Art & Nature - will be discussed in depth following each concert by prominent thinkers from a range of disciplines, with Maestro Dudamel as host. In addition to the curated concerts, Maestro Dudamel will conduct the Princeton University Orchestra and Glee Club in two programs. One will feature video projections by Venezuelan film director Alberto Arvelo.

In keeping with PUC's vision of bringing classical music beyond the concert hall, Maestro Dudamel's three trips to Princeton will also include campus-wide interdisciplinary collaborations, incorporating Princeton's Center for Human Values, the Woodrow Wilson School's Center for Arts and Cultural Policy, and the Princeton University Art Museum, among others. The residency will also highlight Dudamel's singular ability to inspire and empower the next generation of music-makers, with a series of educational events culminating in a collaboration with Trenton Music Makers - the local branch of El Sistema, the Venezuelan program which has been at the core of so much of Maestro Dudamel's life and work.

The overarching goal of the residency at PUC is to explore the impact and relevance of music both inside and outside of the concert hall, and to redefine the boundaries of all that the word "musician" can encompass. The full schedule of events for the residency will be announced later in the spring.

The season will also include a pair of special, genre-defying concerts by vocalist Bobby McFerrin and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. McFerrin will sing his joyfully transcendent and communal Circlesongs, while DiDonato will offer a program that traces the musical thread from the Italian Baroque to the American songbook, art songs to sambas to jazz ballads, and back again.

A new series, Crossroads, will draw musicians from around the globe, in celebration of music's ability to tell stories and start conversations. Performers include Abigail Washburn, banjo and Wu Fei, guzheng, Avi Avital, mandolin and Omer Avital, bass, and a new song cycle from composer/pianist Gabriel Kahane that grew out of an 8,890-mile cross-country train trip he took following the 2016 election.

PUC will continue its commitment to changing how audiences experience classical music concerts. Its Performances Up Close, created three seasons ago in anticipation of the 125th anniversary, invites audience members to sit on stage "up-close" for hour-long, single-work programs featuring some of music's most transcendent pieces ever written - including Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time played by violinist Stefan Jackiw, cellist Jay Campbell, clarinetist Yoonah Kim, and pianist Conrad Tao, Schubert Cello Quintet by the Takács String Quartet with cellist David Requiro, and Schubert Octet by the Brentano String Quartet and friends. Every detail of these concerts, from stage lighting to seating configuration, is specially curated to foster as direct an experience of the musical work as possible. In addition, PUC will continue its ground-breaking Live Music Meditations - a series of free, guided half-hour meditations to music performed live by artists on the series as part of their visit to campus, offered throughout the season.

The Concert Classics Series, the bedrock upon which PUC built its 125-year legacy, will continue its tradition of bringing the world's best performers to the Richardson Auditorium stage. Returning artists include the Jerusalem String Quartet with violist Pinchas Zukerman, pianist Alexander Melnikov, the Takács String Quartet with pianist Marc-André Hamelin, the Australian Chamber Orchestra directed by Richard Tognetti with pianist Paul Lewis, and the Ébène String Quartet; while much-anticipated debuts include clarinetist Martin Fröst, cellist Steven Isserlis, and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

PUC will also release a new book in 2019, collecting reflections on music from some of today's greatest minds, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, music critic/writer Alex Ross, architect Frank Gehry, director Peter Sellars, music critic Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, conductor Gustavo Dudamel, violinists Mark Steinberg (Brentano Quartet), Edward Dusinberre (Takács Quartet), Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri Quartet), and poet Paul Muldoon. The book will be released in spring 2019, just as the 125th season is closing.

Said Princeton University Concerts Director Marna Seltzer (named one of Musical America's 30 Movers & Shapers of 2017) of the landmark season: "For our 125th season, PUC is proud to look back on its extraordinary legacy of world-class artists and performances, but also - more importantly - to look forward to the future of chamber music and the art form as a whole. Working with musical luminaries like Gustavo Dudamel, Bobby McFerrin, Joyce DiDonato and the other remarkable talents that make up this year's series, we're honored and excited to push the boundaries of the concert experience, and to continue to build a unique musical community here at Princeton."

PUC maintains its commitment to accessibility with tickets for all of the programs on the 2018-2019 season starting at just $10. Throughout the year, PUC also invites the community to a range of free supplemental events including pre-concert talks given by renowned musical scholars, musical previews by talented Princeton students, live music meditations, opportunities to converse with the artists at receptions, post-concert Q&As, and an annual "Late Night Chamber Jam."

Subscriptions to the 2018-2019 season will go on sale in May. Interested individuals are highly encouraged to secure their tickets as early as possible. Patrons can choose from a flexible variety of subscription packages online at princetonuniversityconcerts.org or by phone at 609-258-2800, Monday-Friday, 10AM-4PM.


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