Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Meany Center Announces 2021–2022 Season


Programming will feature Danish String Quartet, Imani Winds & Catalyst Quartet, Wu Han, Philip Setzer & David Finckel and more.

Meany Center Announces 2021–2022 Season

The University of Washington's Meany Center for the Performing Arts has announced a return to live performance on October 13, 2021, with the beginning of the 2021-22 Season. In an ongoing commitment to supporting performing artists, Meany Center is inviting back to the stage many of the visiting artists whose performances were canceled due to the pandemic. Returning artists whose work was presented virtually on Meany Center's digital stage, Meany On Screen, will perform new programs for their live events.

"We are thrilled to be able to present live performances at Meany again and are profoundly grateful to all of our wonderful patrons and donors who have supported us through this extraordinary time," said Executive and Artistic Director Michelle Witt. "As we reopen, our first concern is for the safety of our audiences, artists and staff. This means we'll be doing some things a little differently to ensure the best experience possible. To ease the transition back to normal, the majority of our events are scheduled for winter and spring. We are planning for full capacity performances, but if circumstances require, some events may be socially distanced for audience comfort and safety."

"We are committed to continuing to support artists who are rebuilding after nearly two years of devastating performance cancellations. Our artists and staff have responded with resiliency and innovation to engage and connect with audiences through digital programming this past year," Witt continued. "We are prioritizing the live performance experience next season but will continue our free virtual Creative Process Conversations. We are expanding these events to highlight diverse campus and community voices in dialogue with leading artists. Many live performance events will be streamed for ticket holders who are unable to attend their ticketed events, and will also be made available for educational purposes."

Four of the season's artists are Meany Center Creative Research Fellows at the University of Washington as part of the Mellon-funded Arts and Creativity Initiative: Third Coast Percussion, in collaboration with the dance organization Movement Art Is, will perform Metamorphosis, a new work created as part of their Meany Fellowship; Meklit debuts a live version of her PRX radio and podcast series, Movement, with stories and music created in collaboration with three Greater Seattle-based immigrant musicians who see migration as a core part of their creative journey; composer, pianist and singer Gabriel Kahane will perform his new solo show this fall and is continuing to develop his latest large-scale project, co-commissioned by Meany Center, to be presented next season; and Bill T. Jones' presentation of What Problem? marks the beginning of a longer-term artistic partnership with Jones joining Meany Center as an artistic associate in the 2022-23 Season. Also this season, Fellow and Catalyst alum Jessie Montgomery is showcased on the Imani Winds and Catalyst Quartet program with her new composition, Sergeant McCauley, inspired by her great-grandfather's journey in the Great Migration.

Meany Center is a co-commissioner for both the Movement live show and Metamorphosis, as well as for Conrad Tao's new solo piano work.

Danish String Quartet

Fri, October 15, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

Fierce friends as well as colleagues, the Danish String Quartet is celebrated not only for their integrated sound and impeccable intonation, but for the infectious joy they bring to music making. The quartet, which has been playing together since childhood, returns to the Meany stage with an imaginative program of Purcell as arranged by Britten, a suite of dances by composers spanning continents and centuries, and the quartet's own unique arrangements of traditional Nordic folk music.

A Curated Suite of Dances: "An Alleged Suite"
Prelude - M. CHARPENTIER: Prelude
Allemande - J. ADAMS: Pavane: She's so fine
Courante - Polska, trad.
Sarabande - F. BLUMENFELD: Sarabande
Gavotte - J. ADAMS: Stubble Crochet
Gigue 1 - M. CHARPENTIER: Gigue Française
Gigue 2 - J. ADAMS: Toot Nipple
H. PURCELL: Chacony in G Minor (arr. B. Britten)
Nordic Folk Music (arr. Danish String Quartet)

Imani Winds & Catalyst Quartet

(im)migration: music of change

Wed, January 26, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

The acclaimed Imani Winds and Catalyst Quartet present a bold combination of chamber music for winds and strings with (im)migration: music of change. Known for their dynamic performances and innovative repertoire, Grammy-nominated Imani Winds leads a revolution of the wind quintet while Catalyst Quartet features alumni from the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Organization. Performing individually and together, they present a program highlighting the experiences of migration, built around Sergeant McCauley, their newly commissioned piece from violinist and composer Jessie Montgomery.

M. SANTAMARIA: Afro Blue (arr. Valerie Coleman)
F.B. PRICE: A newly discovered work
J. MONTGOMERY: Sergeant McCauley
R. SIERRA: Concierto de Cámara

Wu Han, Philip Setzer & David Finckel

Wed, February 16, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Violinist Philip Setzer of the Emerson Quartet joins pianist Wu Han and cellist David Finckel for this performance of dynamic trio chamber music. Ranked among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today, the trio returns to Meany Center with a program that features Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Four African Dances for violin and piano alongside the eerily beautiful strains of Beethoven's "Ghost" trio and Dvořák's intense and stormy third piano trio.

L. BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, no. 1, "Ghost"
S. COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Four African Dances, Op. 58
(for violin and piano)
A. DVOŘÁK: Piano Trio No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 65

Emerson String Quartet

Fri, April 1, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

The Emerson String Quartet's performances combine "an extraordinary fusion of experience and authority with audacity and freshness" (The Boston Globe). Over four decades, the quartet has accumulated an impressive list of achievements, including over 30 notable recordings, nine Grammys, three Gramophone Awards and the Avery Fisher Prize. These longtime friends of Meany perform works by Haydn and Borodin, and the poetic Lyric for Strings, composed by George Walker - the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize in Music - as an elegy to his grandmother.

A. BORODIN: Quartet No. 2 in D Major
G. WALKER: Lyric for Strings
F.J. HAYDN: The Seven Last Words of Christ, Op. 51, Hob. XX:1b

Jerusalem Quartet

Wed, May 4, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

For over a quarter century, the Jerusalem Quartet has toured the world, earning rave reviews for its warm, full sound - a balance so finely tuned that The New York Times described the ensemble as "a single instrument with 16 strings." They return to Meany Center with a program that explores different approaches to the art of the fugue through jewels of the string quartet repertoire by Haydn, Beethoven and Shostakovich.

F.J. HAYDN: Quartet No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 20, "Sun," no. 5, Hob. III:35
D. SHOSTAKOVICH: Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 108
L. BEETHOVEN: Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59, no. 3, "Razumovsky"

Conrad Tao

Wed, October 13, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as both a pianist and composer. He has been praised as a musician of "probing intellect and open-hearted vision" by The New York Times. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Tao has emerged as a thought-provoking artist and a galvanizing leader among the new generation of classical musicians. For his anticipated Meany debut, Tao takes the listener on a journey through the sonic worlds of compositional voices from the past and the immediate present, including a newly commissioned piece from the pianist himself.

F. LARA: Injust Intonations (#BlackLivesMatter)
R. CRAWFORD SEEGER: Study in Mixed Accents (ossia ii)
T. LEÓN: Rituál
L. BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31, no. 2 "Tempest"
R. CRAWFORD SEEGER: Study in Mixed Accents (ossia i)
D. LANG: wed
R. SCHUMANN: Kreisleriana, Op. 16
C. TAO: New work, commissioned by Meany Center and Celebrity Series of Boston

Simone Dinnerstein

Thu, January 27, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Simone Dinnerstein is an inventive pianist "of strikingly original ideas and irrefutable integrity" (The Washington Post), known for projects that express her diverse musical interests. Her newest recording, An American Mosaic, features a 15-movement cycle for solo piano composed by Richard Danielpour. Inspired by Dinnerstein's Bach recordings, the composer created the work to give comfort to all who have struggled through these challenging times. This deeply affecting composition is accompanied by Danielpour's Three Bach Transcriptions, written as a thank-you to the pianist. Dinnerstein, in turn, has commissioned new works from Joseph C. Phillips Jr., and will perform his 2016 piece Never Has Been Yet, with poetry by Langston Hughes.

J.C. PHILLIPS JR.: Never Has Been Yet
Words by Langston Hughes
R. DANIELPOUR: An American Mosaic
J.S. BACH/R. DANIELPOUR: Three Bach Transcriptions

George Li

Fri, February 18, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Praised by The Washington Post for combining "staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression," pianist George Li possesses an effortless grace, brilliant technique and poised authority far beyond his years. A silver medalist at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, Li has established a major international reputation with performances on the world's most prestigious stages. For his Meany debut, Li showcases Qigang Chen's Peking opera-inspired "Moments," alongside Schumann's Op. 17 and 18, and Liszt's towering pinnacle for the piano, the B-Minor Sonata, dedicated to Schumann.

R. SCHUMANN: Arabeske in C Major, Op. 18R. SCHUMANN: Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17
Q. CHEN: Instants d'un opéra de Pékin (Moments from a Peking Opera)
F. LISZT: Sonata in B Minor, S. 178

Jeremy Denk

Tue, April 12, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

One of America's foremost pianists, Jeremy Denk's creative blend of virtuosic dexterity and colorful imagination has earned him praise as "an artist you want to hear no matter what he performs" (The New York Times). Winner of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and the Avery Fisher Prize, he is also lauded for his original and insightful writing about music. Denk returns to Meany with a program that examines the interplay between Bach and Schubert with four American-inspired works and culminates in Beethoven's final piano sonata.

J.S. BACH: Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829
F. SCHUBERT: Four Impromptus, Op. 142, D. 935
S. COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: They Will Not Lend Me a Child
T. WIGGINS: The Battle of Manassas
S. JOPLIN/L. CHAUVIN: Heliotrope Bouquet
F. RZEWSKI: Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues
L. BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

Joyce Yang

Tue, May 3, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Pianist Joyce Yang captivates audiences around the globe with her stunning virtuosity, heartfelt lyricism and vibrant musical personality. Yang first came to international attention as the Silver Medalist of the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Her powerful musicianship is showcased in a program ranging from Bach and Mozart to Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, combined with a musical "kiss" written by Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning American composer Aaron Jay Kernis, a work Yang premiered during quarantine.

J.S. BACH: French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816
S. RACHMANINOFF: Ten Preludes, Op. 23
W.A. MOZART: Fantasia No. 3 in D Minor, K. 397
A.J. KERNIS: "Un Bacio" - A Kiss (Romance and Transfiguration) on themes by John Corigliano and Mark Adamo (piano transcription)
I. STRAVINSKY/G. AGOSTI: The Firebird Suite

Gabriel Kahane

Sat, November 6, 2021 at 8 p.m.

Composer, pianist and singer Gabriel Kahane grafts a deep interest in storytelling to a keen sense of harmony and rhythm. For this intimate Meany Center event, he presents a companion piece to Book of Travelers, his musical diary of a cross-country train journey. Kahane's newest work looks inward on a journey of a different kind. These songs are, by design, introspective - marriage, fatherhood and mortality come to the fore against the backdrop of the pandemic and political turmoil.

Sharon Isbin

Fri, March 18, 2022 at 8 p.m.

Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, classical guitarist Sharon Isbin was named the 2020 Musical America Worldwide Instrumentalist of the Year, the first guitarist ever to receive the coveted honor. Isbin has won multiple Grammys and has recorded over 30 albums ranging from Baroque, Spanish and 20th-century classical guitar to jazz fusion and crossover. She continues to expand the guitar repertoire including recent performances with India's legendary Amjad Ali Khan in Strings for Peace. In this Meany Center concert, she will perform a selection of Spanish works for solo guitar.

Third Coast Percussion / Movement Art Is


Thu, April 14, 2022 at 8 p.m.

Third Coast Percussion joins forces with the groundbreaking choreography of Movement Art Is (MAI) for an evening-length program that explores the duality of human nature. At once intensely personal and fiercely virtuosic, MAI co-founders and choreographers Lil Buck and Jon Boogz seamlessly blend two disparate styles of street dance with new music by Jlin and Tyondai Braxton, as well as Third Coast Percussion's critically acclaimed arrangement of Philip Glass' Aguas da Amazonia.



Sat, May 7, 2022 at 8 p.m.

Known for her electric stage presence and galvanizing live shows, Meklit has rocked stages from London to Cairo. The Ethiopian American vocalist and songwriter makes music that sways between cultures and continents, blending jazz, folk and East African influences. An innovator and activist, Meklit co-founded the Nile Project and her latest album, When the People Move, The Music Moves Too, reached the top of the iTunes and European world music charts. In the world premiere of her new show, Movement, Meklit is joined by Seattle-based immigrant musicians for a multimedia exploration of global migration and personal stories of what it means to be American. Movement is a world premiere co-commissioned by Meany Center.


Humans 2.0

Thu-Sat, January 20-22, 2022 at 8 p.m.

Circa - Australia's contemporary next-gen circus ensemble - returns with a love letter to humanity. Created by Circa's Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz, with music by composer Ori Lichtik (Sharon Eyal/LEV), lighting by Paul Jackson and 10 Circa ensemble members, this new work pushes the boundaries of what circus and acrobatics can be. Intimate, joyous and searching, Humans 2.0 creates a message of hope and strength while celebrating what it means to be human as the world reels from pandemic fallout.

Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Company

What Problem?

Thu-Sat, March 24-26, 2022 at 8 p.m.

For over 38 years, the groundbreaking Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company has revolutionized modern dance while exploring issues of identity. The company's work What Problem? evokes the tension between belonging to a community and feelings of isolation in divisive times. Jones pursues the elusive "we" in this highly personal work with a performance that includes a cast of local community members. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and Herman Melville's Moby Dick serve as the basis for the spoken text Jones delivers as a performer in this work. Composer and vocalist Nick Hallett provides a multilayered score.

Mark Morris Dance Group & Music Ensemble

Words / Rock of Ages / Festival Dances

Thu-Sat, April 21-23, 2022 at 8 p.m.

Seattle native Mark Morris - revered as "the most artfully musical choreographer alive" (The New York Times) - creates singular works that combine beautiful music, graceful movement and delicious wit. This season, his dance group performs three joyful works accompanied by the company's own music ensemble: Words, set to 18 of Felix Mendelssohn's 48 enchanting Songs Without Words; Rock of Ages, performed to the adagio movement of Franz Schubert's Nocturne; and Festival Dances, set to a piano trio by Johann Nepomuk Hummel that reinterprets ballet conventions.



Thu-Sat, May 12-14, 2022 at 8 p.m. / Sat, May 14, 2022 at 2 p.m.

Celebrated around the world for performances of astounding inventiveness, MOMIX creates surreal and fantastic worlds with light, shadow, props and the human body. In their latest work, Alice, the dancer-illusionists of MOMIX take audiences down the rabbit hole into Lewis Carroll's beguiling tale. Founder and choreographer Moses Pendleton reimagines the beloved characters with magic and whimsy - the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the implacable Queen of Hearts - creating a magical wonderland that grows "curiouser and curiouser."


Full Series subscriptions are on sale now. Choose Your Own Series packages will go on sale this fall; the on-sale date will be announced in late summer. Single tickets go on sale quarterly, starting with fall events on September 7.

Regular prices for Full Series subscriptions to the Dance Series begin at $183; the Piano Series at $203; the Chamber Music Series at $200; and the Crossroads Series at $119.

Subscriber benefits include priority seating, free ticket exchanges (upgrade charges may apply), 10% off additional single ticket purchases and lost ticket replacement. Subscribers also have the opportunity to purchase discounted pre-paid parking passes.

Season tickets may be purchased through the ArtsUW Ticket Office. The Ticket Office remains closed for in-person transactions and staff are working remotely. Ordering online is the most efficient way to order at this time.

Phone: (206) 543-4880
Mail: 1313 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98105

Meany Center offers subscription discounts for seniors, youth, UW students, UW employees, UW retirees and members of the UW Alumni Association. Two free youth subscriptions are available with every adult subscription purchased to the Piano or Chamber Music Series, ages 5-17 only.

Meany Center also offers a variety of lectures, master classes, workshops, pre-and post-show conversations, free campus concerts and community events in tandem with visiting artist engagements. These events for the 2021-22 Season will be added at a later date. Check back on our website for updates throughout the season.

Related Articles View More Seattle Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You