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Park Ave Armory Announces 2012 Season, Begins With Tune In Music Fest


Park Avenue Armory announced today its second full season of cultural programming, comprising productions of visual art, dance, and music that are conceived and performed "outside the box" of conventional theaters and museums. Dedicated to presenting works that cannot be realized in traditional institutions, Park Avenue Armory's season includes commissions of monumental, immersive installations by visual artists Tom Sachs, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, and Ann Hamilton; epic music experiences, including the second annual Tune-In Music Festival, celebrating the 75th birthday of the iconic Philip Glass, as well as the New York Philharmonic in a program exploring the sonic qualities of the Armory's cathedral-like acoustics; the legendary Trisha Brown Dance Company bringing a restaging Astral Converted; and, "Under Construction," a salon series featuring Armory Artists-in-Residence and friends.

With its soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall and array of dramatic period rooms, the Armory's unique spaces catalyze artists to create-and the public to experience-unconventional work in all genres that could not be mounted elsewhere in New York City.

Park Avenue Armory's 2012 and 2013 seasons are sponsored by Citi.

"Our mission is to give artists and performers the freedom and support to create works of extraordinary imagination, and our second full season represents a breadth and depth of artists at the peak of their creative prowess," stated Rebecca Robertson, President and Executive Producer of Park Avenue Armory. "At the Armory, our spaces become a partner in the creative process, resulting in unparalleled experiences for both our artists and our audiences."

"Park Avenue Armory has built one of the most exciting cultural organizations in New York City, and we are delighted to be kicking off our two-year premier corporate sponsorship with some terrific events in 2012," said Peter Charrington, CEO of Citi Private Bank, North America. "The building itself is a National Treasure, and the artistic programs are bold, imaginative and cutting edge. We look forward to hosting many wonderful and thought-provoking events here."


Philip Glass: 75
February 23-26, 2012
Co-curated by Philip Glass, the Armory's second Tune-In Music Festival celebrates the iconic composer's extraordinary impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times on the occasion of his 75th birthday. The series of five concerts features his own music, as well as music, poetry, and art created and performed by his muses, collaborators, and artists he has influenced, and uses the Armory's Wade Thompson Drill Hall, with its cathedral-like acoustics and informal character, to set the scene for an immersive and intimate concert environment. The programs are:

Thursday, February 23, at 7:30 p.m.
As a friend and frequent collaborator with the great Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass's affinity and reverence for the late poet will be honored with a world premiere commissioned by Park Avenue Armory and featuring a score by Grammy Award Winning jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, original visual designs by "Gonzo" artist Ralph Steadman, and the conceptual energy of legendary music producer Hal Willner, who will also be a narrator along with actress Chloe Webb. Conducted by Frisell, an eight-piece ensemble will accompany a reading of Ginsberg's Kaddish. One of the greatest works to emerge from the Beat Generation, the poem is a sprawling, propulsive lament to Ginsberg's mother and a reflection on his own estrangement from Judaism.

Philip Glass and Patti Smith: The Poet Speaks
Friday, February 24, at 7:30 p.m.
Longtime collaborator Patti Smith and Philip Glass present "The Poet Speaks" in a rare New York appearance. The two musical icons will perform original work individually and together, with music and readings celebrating their favorite poets including Ginsberg and William Blake. The evening culminates in a reading of Ginsberg's epic Wichita Vortex Sutra¸ set to music by Glass and recited by Smith.

Music in Twelve Parts
Saturday, February 25, at 5:00 p.m.
The Philip Glass Ensemble will offer a rare marathon performance of the complete Music in Twelve Parts, Glass's epic minimalist composition which was considered his "breakthrough" work. Over the course of the evening, the audience will be enveloped in this work described by music critic Tim Page as "both a massive theoretical exercise and a deeply engrossing work of art."

Afternoon Concert
Sunday, February 26, at 2:00 p.m.
Artists Nico Muhly, Tania León, Vijay Iyer with his trio Tirtha, and Zack Glass, son of Philip Glass, who were selected by Glass for this program based on their musical ingenuity, their shared interests and musical tastes, and their dynamic influence on one another. Special guests include violist Nadia Sirota (with Muhly), and singer/songwriter Ruben Gonzalez and Canadian fiddler Ashley MacIsaac (with Glass).

Artist Talk: Composers in Conversation
Sunday, February 26, at 5:00 p.m.
Consulting Artistic Director Kristy Edmunds and Philip Glass moderate a conversation about the process, inspirations, and thoughts around the craft and artistry of composition. They will be joined on stage by Nico Muhly, Tania Leon, Vijay Iyer, and Zack Glass.

Another Look at Harmony – Part IV
Sunday, February 26, at 7:30 p.m.
The Festival concludes with the Glass's Another Look at Harmony – Part IV, a post-minimalist choral work Glass started in 1975 for organ and 100 voices (which has been expanded for the Armory's presentation to 160 voices). The program features the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, The Collegiate Chorale, and organist Michael Riesman, music director and keyboardist of The Philip Glass Ensemble, all under the direction of conductor James Bagwell.

Major support for the Tune-In Music Festival provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Reed Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Legislature, The Amphion Foundation, Inc. and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation.

May 18 - June 17, 2012
Visual artist Tom Sachs launches the next flight of his SPACE PROGRAM with an installation of meticulously crafted sculptures that transforms the Armory's drill hall into a dynamic mission to Mars. Using found and salvaged materials, Sachs renders the component parts of the mission-including elaborate spacecraft, exploratory vehicles, mission control, launch platforms, and a Martian landscape-with virtuosic technique and humor. Presented in collaboration with Creative Time, SPACE PROGRAM: MARS will be manned by Tom Sachs and his studio team, who will demonstrate the myriad tasks, rituals, and procedures of their four-week mission, from takeoff to landing.

SPACE PROGRAM: MARS is sponsored by Lighting Science. Additional support provided by Bloomberg LP, the Cogut Family Foundation, the Dorothea Leonhardt Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Wagner Family Foundation.

Generous individual support provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo, Ken Kuchin, Nancy and Robert Magoon, Gael Neeson and Stefan Edlis, and Elizabeth Swig.

A Co-Production with the New York Philharmonic
Alan Gilbert, Music Director
June 29–30, 2012
Alan Gilbert, known for his bold and imaginative programming, leads the New York Philharmonic in two concerts featuring Karlheinz Stockhausen's landmark composition, Gruppen-a massive work scored for three distinct orchestras, each with its own conductor. The rarely performed masterpiece will exploit the vast acoustic environment and the soaring spatial qualities of the Armory's 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall, with the orchestras surrounding the audience in the form of a horseshoe, and the three ensembles overlapping and interacting with one another. Sharing conducting duties with Alan Gilbert will be Magnus Lindberg, and composer-conductor Matthias Pintscher. Also on the program are Pierre Boulez's Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna (Maderna and Boulez, along with Stockhausen, were the conductors of Gruppen at its world premiere), the Finale of Act I from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, and Ives's The Unanswered Question.

Director and Designer: Michael Counts
Soloists for Don Giovanni: Ryan McKinny (Don Giovanni); Julianna di Giacomo (Donna Anna); Russell Thomas (Don Ottavio); Keri Alkema (Donna Elvira); Sasha Cooke (Zerlina); Kelly Markgraf (Masetto); Keith Miller (Leoporello)

Astral Converted
July 10- July 14, 2012
Legendary choreographer Trisha Brown brings her company to the Armory's Drill Hall for the restaging of Astral Converted, with visual and costume design by Robert Rauschenberg and original music by John Cage. Rauschenberg's metal frame towers, restored for this production, house the lights and sound system and are built from automotive supplies. The towers are activated by motion sensors to detect the dancers and respond to their movement. At once serene and highly physical, Astral Converted is the culminating piece in Brown's Valiant Series, which premiered at the National Gallery of Art in 1991 as an adaptation of Astral Convertible (1989).

Major support provided by The Rockefeller Foundation.

The Murder of Crows
August 3-September 9, 2012
In its U.S. premiere, The Murder of Crows animates the Armory's cavernous drill hall with a dreamlike soundscape that weaves together a fluttering of voices, music, and sounds. Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller's visceral audio-based experience narrates a captivating and confounding melodrama, investigating concepts of desire, intimacy, love, and loss. Ninety-eight speakers mounted on stands, chairs, and walls placed throughout the 55,000-square-foot space give voice to the various characters in this enigmatic composition-from crashing waves to a marching band to the hubbub of a factory floor. From the collection of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, the three-part, 30-minute composition transports the audience to an unexpected environment through its masterful manipulations of sound.

Ann Hamilton
The Event of a Thread [Working Title]
December 7, 2012-January 6, 2013
Celebrated for her multi-sensory, multi-media environments, Ann Hamilton has been commissioned to create a new large-scale installation for the Armory-her first solo presentation in New York City in more than ten years. Responding to the architecture and social history of the Armory, the immersive project weaves together Hamilton's interest in time-based performance, the act of public speaking, and the poetic accumulation of material for which she is best known. The work features a field of swings, suspended like pendulums from the drill hall trusses, and incorporates readings, sound, and other live elements whose presence and rhythms will completely transform the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall.

Dates and times to be announced.
Park Avenue Armory's spectacular period rooms serve as the stage for a new series of intimate, cabaret-style events launching this season. The Armory's Under Construction Series features performing artists from a range of disciplines-including performance artist Helga Davis, ETHEL string quartet, soprano Lauren Flanigan, Meredith Monk, vocalist and songwriter Somi, and composer and performer Bora Yoon-who will share works-in-progress with small audiences. The series is designed to function as a laboratory for both emerging and established artists and will draw the audience into the creative process. Discussions between performer and audience will be part of the evening, as a way to help shape the work and the audiences' experience of it.

About Park Avenue Armory
Part palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory fills a critical void in the cultural ecology of New York by enabling artists to create, and the public to experience, unconventional work that could not otherwise be mounted in traditional performance halls and museums. With its soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall-reminiscent of 19th-century European train stations-and array of exuberant period rooms, the Armory invites artists to draw upon its grand scale and distinctive character to both inspire and inform their work. The Armory is currently undergoing a $200-million revitalization of its historic building, named among the "100 Most Endangered Historic Sites in the World" by the World Monuments Fund in 2000. The renovation and restoration, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, will stabilize and preserve the building and create new resources and spaces for exhibitions, installations, and performances, as well as Artist-in-Residence studios, rehearsal rooms, and back-of-house amenities-offering dynamic environments for artists and audiences alike.

Since its first production in September 2007-AaRon Young's Greeting Card, a 9,216-square-foot "action" painting created by the burned-out tire marks of ten choreographed motorcycles presented with Art Production Fund-the Armory has organized a series of immersive performances, installations, and works of art that have drawn critical and popular attention. 2011 marked the Armory's first full season of artistic programming, which culminated in December with site-specific performances by STREB and Shen Wei Dance Arts, and the final performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

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