Symphony Space Announces Their 2010/2011 season


As she assumes the position of Artistic Director, Laura Kaminsky announces Symphony Space's 33rd year of diverse multidisciplinary arts programming, featuring an ever-expanding schedule of groundbreaking works by renowned musical artists, authors and performers. Primary to Kaminsky's artistic vision are a commitment to new and innovative work, internationalism, and creating an atmosphere of intimacy and access between artists and audience. To this end, through the multi-disciplinary, season-long SONIDOS initiative, the 2010/2011 season explores the breadth of artistic contributions of the multi-faceted Latino community. In addition, Symphony Space inaugurates a series of Salons that offer meaningful dialogue with leading artists on issues that matter to them. Performances take place in the 760-seat Peter Jay Sharp Theatre and the intimate cabaret-like Leonard Nimoy Thalia, where audiences are encouraged to come early, stay late, and enjoy drinks and snacks from Symphony Space's underground wine bar and lounge. Most performances are recorded and then posted to Symphony Space Live (, the on-demand streaming web site which currently hosts more than 100 performances from the past three years.

The 2010/2011 Music season focuses on the diversity of Latino musical cultures, celebrating musical traditions from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, and more, and featuring artists as diverse as Nuevo Tango master Pablo Ziegler, Afro-Cuban jazz aficionado Arturo O'Farrill, and Mexican new music percussionists, the Tambuco Quartet. As part of our commitment to new and innovative programming, the season features over a dozen world, U.S. and New York City premieres including works by Kati Agocs, Lisa Bielawa, Yu-Hui Chang, Francisco Cortez, Eugene Drucker, Amir El-Saffar, Amit Gilutz, Bernhard Lang, David Lang, Tania León, Arturo O'Farrill, Roberto Sierra, Sheila Silver, and Samuel Zyman.

New this season is a series of artist salons that bring artists and audiences together for intimate conversations; and a number of collaborations between the Symphony Space All Stars-a group including Anne Marie McDermott, Lucy Shelton, Jeremy Denk, David Leisner, Tara Helen O'Connor, the Cassatt Quartet, Arturo O'Farrill, Ursula Oppens and many others.

SONIDOS programs open with Mexico's Tambuco Percussion Ensemble on September 30 and continue with a performance by the Arturo O'Farrill Quartet on October 7. On October 15 the Cassatt Quartet presents world and U.S. premieres by composers Samuel Zyman and Francisco Cortez, and on October 28 SONIDOS celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music with Bongo Passion featuring performers from San Juan playing music by Sierra, Fuentes and Torres. "Beyond Tango" brings Argentine Nuevo Tango master Pablo Ziegler to Symphony Space on April 23, and Eddie Palmieri (with the Rutgers Jazz and Symphony Orchestras) performs on April 29.

On May 14 Symphony Space's annual gift to the city, Wall to Wall SONIDOS, presents a 12-hour marathon of Latino music featuring world premieres from Arturo O'Farrill, Tania León, Roberto Sierra and Carlos Sánchez-Guttiérez with performances by the Harlem, Colorado and La Catrina Quartets, the Afro-Peruvian Jazz Ensemble, Damocles Trio, Ensemble Pi, Fernando Otero, the Poulenc Trio and many others. Also included will be traditional Mexican dance for the family as well as a tango component.

The new series of artist salons in the Leonard Nimoy Thalia create a unique opportunity for conversations between artists and audiences on the creative process, collaboration, the role of the artist in society and more. In addition, audience members are invited to share their own artistry through show-and-tell activities and jam sessions. The salons kick off on November 18 with composer Aaron Jay Kernis, the youngest composer to win a Pulitzer Prize, and continue with composer-in-residence of the New York Philharmonic Magnus Lindberg on December 16; a Latin jazz jam session with Arturo O'Farrill on January 20; Ireland's dynamic Fidelio Trio with Evan Ziporyn on "New Trends in Irish and American Music" on February 24; and John Corigliano and Mark Adamo on Writing for the Voice on April 21. A date with acclaimed minimalist composer Steve Reich, celebrating his 75th birthday, and his wife, video artist Beryl Korot, is yet to be scheduled, and one additional salon will be announced at a later date.

The second annual Composers Now Week (February 21-28) opens with a marathon concert on February 21 featuring a multiplicity of world and U.S. premieres from composers and performers including the Amir El-Saffar Quartet, Ensemble Pi, Errollyn Wallen, Fidelio Trio, the Cassatt Quartet and many others; the Enso Quartet and guitarist David Leisner offer an evening of Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar on February 25, and Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra perform February 26.

Other highlights include pianist Anne Marie McDermott performing an evening of Chopin in her only solo recital in New York on October 19; an evening based on the literature of David Foster Wallace with Sequitur on February 10; and cellist Amit Peled with pianist Eli Kalman on March 3, following their Kennedy Center debut. Once again the Symphony Space All-Stars, featuring some of New York's finest chamber musicians including flutists Eugenia Zukerman and Tara Helen O'Connor, violinists Laurie Smukler and Cal Wiersma, cellists Julia Lichten and David Geber, bassist Timothy Cobb and harpsichordist Bradley Brookshire, come together to continue the New York holiday tradition of the complete Brandenburg Concertos with Basically Brandenburg on December 9. On March 10, the All-Stars offer a SONIDOS program of vocal works with ensemble by Ginastera and Crumb with soprano Lucy Shelton.

Jazz impresario George Wein returns to Symphony Space on January 13 with another evening of Seeing Jazz in which he shares anecdotes about a life in jazz illustrated by projections from his personal photo album, followed by a performance by renowned jazz violinist Jenny Scheinman. The Israeli Chamber Project offers a world premiere by composer Amit Gilutz on January 27, while the Escher String Quartet performs a world premiere by famed violinist Eugene Drucker on February 3. On February 19 Young Concert Artists celebrates its 50th anniversary with a free musical marathon featuring a cast of hundreds, including Emanuel Ax, Borromeo Quartet, Claremont Trio, Sasha Cooke, Jeremy Denk, Christopher O'Riley, Paula Robison, Donald Weilerstein and many others. Finally, the American Symphony Orchestra returns for a fourth year with Classics Declassified focusing on the last four Beethoven symphonies, while the World Music Institute brings a variety of traditional and modern music and dance programs from around the globe.

Literature in Performance:
Selected Shorts opens on October 13 with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo (Empire Falls), guest editor of The Best American Short Stories 2010, discussing some of his most compelling picks for this year's anthology. The season continues with Fairy Tales: Classic and Reimagined with Gregory Maguire from the new collection My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, on October 27. In keeping with Symphony Space's commitment to international programming Selected Shorts explores Roberto Bolaño & The Writers He Admired as part of SONIDOS on November 10. On January 26 Selected Shorts presents Haiti Noir with Edwidge Danticat; on February 16 Russian Tales, Classic and New; another SONIDOS program, Magical Realism: The World of Marvelous Stories, on April 27; and Edna O'Brien: Saints and Sinners (with the author in attendance) on May 25. Other contemporary writers are also well represented with National Book Award-winner Colum McCann's presentation of some of his favorite short stories on December 8, an evening with the inventive new lit magazine Electric Literature on March 2, and Etgar Keret and Jonathan Safran Foer on April 6. On March 16, an all-star cast celebrates the 40th anniversary of the cult classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The season of Selected Shorts closes with Man Walks into a Bar: Stories Set in Restaurants and Bars on June 8.

Selected Shorts continues to reach more than 500,000 listeners and audience members nationally through touring (15+ venues, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, East Hampton and New Haven among others), radio (150+ markets through Public Radio International), podcasts (via the NPR podcast project), CDs and digital downloads (the newest anthology, Even More Laughs, is scheduled for release in September 2010) and as on-demand streams on Symphony Space Live.
During the 2010/11 season the Thalia Book Club will feature intimate discussions with satirist David Rakoff (Half Empty) on October 20, New Yorker 2010 "20 under 40" designee Nicole Krauss (Great House) on November 17 and Salman Rudshie (Luka and the Fire of Life) (date tbd), as well as re-readings of classic novels Anna Karenina and One Hundred Years of Solitude (another SONIDOS project).

The ever-popular and growing Thalia Kids' Book Club features nine programs aimed at 9-12 year olds, with a number of events geared to younger and older readers, kicking off with the wacky and interactive Zombies vs. Unicorns on September 23, featuring authors and audience members squaring off across the theatre. Other programs include Pseudonymous Bosch's This Isn't What It Looks Like (the fourth installment in the Secret Series) on September 26, Sara Pennypacker's Clementine series (date tbd), and Wendy Mass' The Candymakers with special guest Newbery-winner Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me) on November 7 plus others to be announced.

On June 16, 2011 Bloomsday on Broadway marks its milestone 30th annual celebration of James Joyce's Ulysses with a 16-hour marathon of performances and readings from the watershed novel by an all-star cast.

Over the past several years, Symphony Space has played a leadership role in introducing New York audiences to top-notch family-centric programming from around the country, launching the New York careers of such artists as Ralph's World, Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players, the Sippy Cups and folksinger Elizabeth Mitchell as well as solidifying the fan base for a number of artists including Dan Zanes. Throughout the upcoming season, Symphony Space will continue this tradition of ground-breaking family programming with Just Kidding which begins October 2 with a performance by the Story Pirates, bringing adaptations of stories written by children to the stage in a song and sketch-comedy format. Circurious presents a circus show filled with jugglers, unicyclists, aerialists and more on October 23, while Farmer Jason, featuring Jason Ringenberg of `80s punk rock act Jason & the Scorchers, performs on November 6. The tradition will also continue with performances by Baltimore's Lunch Money on January 29, Seattle favorite Recess Monkey on February 26, Washington D.C.'s Rocknoceros on April 2 and Oklahoma's Sugar Free All-Stars on April 30. Audience favorites will continue to fill out the season with The Grammy-winning group Milkshake returning by popular demand on February 5, along with other noteworthy performers such as the Gustafer Yellowgold Show on November 20, the critically acclaimed folk singer Elizabeth Mitchell on December 4 and Just Kidding staple Justin Roberts on March 26.
Throughout the summer Symphony Space presents family-friendly films with its Summer Blockbusters series-a great way to get out of the heat on late Saturday afternoons. For just $5 per ticket the entire family can enjoy such classic blockbuster movies as The Princess Bride, Big, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid and many others.

The 2010/2011 Dance season at Symphony Space will showcase the work of several companies/choreographers, each of whom will receive severAl Weeks of rehearsal time and space for development of new work, followed by a work-in-progress performance in the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. Among the artists participating in the program is tap dancer/choreographer Andrew J. Nemr, known at Symphony Space for his performances with his troupe Cats Paying Dues Plus (CPD+).

In 2010/2011 Thalia Film Sundays returns with screenings of the best indie and foreign cinema, and with a special emphasis on important new documentaries. The successful Opera in Cinema series returns for a fourth season, offering New York audiences the unique opportunity to see operas live via satellite as well as recorded live in Dolby Digital sound from several of the great opera houses of Europe, including Teatro alla Scala, Teatro la Fenice, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Salzburg Festspielhaus and others. Several of these will be live broadcasts, including La Scala's opening night production of Die Walküre on December 7.
July and August features include Hitch in HD: seven of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest triumphs and underappreciated gems including Vertigo, The Birds, Rear Window and The Trouble with Harry all in digital High Definition format. Also running throughout July and August is Tati in HD featuring the influential French comedic director Jacques Tati's Trafic, M. Hulot's Holiday and Playtime. In keeping with Symphony Space's institutional focus on international programs, Thalia Films will partner once again with the 18th Annual African Diaspora Film Festival in December.
New in 2010/2011 is the Thalia Film Club hosted by Marshall Fine. The influential film critic screens fifteen pre-release films (five each in three series) and moderates discussions with the filmmakers in this subscription- and single-ticket series that has previously been met with significant success at several other performing arts centers.

The Thalia Follies returns for its seventh raucous season over three weeks of sharp political humor. On the eve of midterm elections the Follies presents The Midterm Shuffle on October 21-23 using songs, skits and sketches to scrutinize the national political landscape in this halftime assessment of the Obama administration. On February 17-19 Divided We Stumble takes a stab at healing-or at least band-aiding-the political wounds with which we are inflicted. Finally, the springtime Follies examines such topics as tweets, twitters, twirps and true love on Facebook with The Networking Follies May 19-21.

The 2010/2011 Season marks the 30th Anniversary of Symphony Space's Global Arts Education Programs, including the renowned Curriculum Arts Project (CAP). Led by prominent performing and visual artists, Global Arts highlights cultural literacy and heritage for children and adults through engagement with the arts. All Write!, Symphony Space's adult literacy program, is a spin-off of the popular Selected Shorts performance series. Offered at no charge to adult literacy classes from around the city, All Write! gives students the experience of having their own creative work read aloud on stage by leading Broadway and Hollywood actors.
Now in its 33rd Season of multidisciplinary, accessible and diverse programming, including music, dance, literature-in-performance, film, political cabaret, children's shows and arts education, Symphony Space presents, produces or hosts more than 600 events per year in its two theatres. It is a unique New York City destination for artists and audiences alike to come together in an atmosphere of intimacy and exploration.

Related Articles

Off-Broadway THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...