Weis Center brings world performers to the stage
Posted: August 20, 2009
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University will bring musicians, actors and dancers from around the world to its stage during the 2009-10 season.
"The season includes performances of the classics 'As You Like It' and 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' dance by the Suzanne Farrell Ballet and Collage ensemble, and music by ensembles from the Cello Octet Amsterdam to a full-size symphony orchestra, the wonderfully unique Philharmonia of the Nations," said Bill Boswell, executive director of the Weis Center.
"Everyone who can get here is invited to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy one or many of these exceptional performances hosted by Bucknell in the region's premier concert hall each year. And even in this challenging economy, Weis Center Series ticket prices remain low, at a minor fraction of the cost of these same events in New York, Miami or Los Angeles."
Cello Octet Amsterdam with soprano Theresa Santiago opens the season on Friday, Sept. 11, with a premiere of American composer Terry Riley's "Archangels," a work inspired by the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The program also includes works by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Manuel de Falla, Olga Hans, Cristóbal Halffter and David Popper.
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet presents "The Balanchine Couple" on Saturday, Sept. 26. The legendary ballerina Suzanne Farrell herself provides between-the-scenes onstage narration for a program of pas de deux from nine iconic ballets including "Apollo," "La Sonnambula," "Don Quixote" and "Stars and Stripes."
Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer perform on Friday, Oct. 2. Music to be performed includes "Triple Concerto for Banjo, Double Bass, and Tabla," which is featured on the trio's fall 2009 recording release. "Masterful genre-benders and the leading virtuosi on their respective instruments, Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer easily move among many genres including classical, bluegrass and world music," said Boswell.
The Weis Center hosts a special family presentation of "Tubby the Tuba" with Matt Gaunt, the tuba soloist from the visiting Burning River Brass, on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m. Bob Gainer, professor emeritus of theatre at Bucknell, narrates the tale, accompanied by the Bucknell University Symphonic Band under conductor William Kenny. The program will include other short works by the band and Burning River Brass.
At 8 p.m. that same evening, Saturday, Oct. 17, Burning River Brass performs a concert with "slightly more adult content," says Boswell. "These are 12 of the finest brass and percussion players in the country, and the infectious joy of their music-making covers a huge range of repertory from early music through classics and on to popular and even big band arrangements," Boswell said.
Violinist Angèle Dubeau and her all-female string ensemble La Pieta perform a concert they call "Myth & Legend" on Friday, Oct. 23. "The group is named for the girls' school in Italy which is now remembered and famous because Antonio Vivaldi, the composer of that perennial favorite 'The Seasons,' taught there about three centuries ago," Boswell informs. La Pieta's program includes old and new music by Philip Glass, Alberto Ginastera, Astor Piazzola, Denis Dion and others. "There's even a set of variations on the theme from 'Friday the 13th.'"
Celebrate Halloween with Red Priest's "Nightmare in Venice - A Halloween Fantasy!" on Friday, Oct. 30. In a theatrically fantastic concert presentation of "some of the most shocking" music of the Baroque era, this lively early-instrument ensemble plays Vivaldi's "Nightmare Concerto," Tartini's "Devil's Trill" sonata, Jean-Marie Leclair's "Demon Airs" and the group's own Fantasia on Corelli's "La Follia."
The Montana Repertory Theatre performs its acclaimed stage adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Friday, Nov. 20. The tour celebrates the 50th anniversary of the novel's publication.
The winter holiday season includes "A Celtic Solstice Celebration" concert by Solas on Saturday, Dec. 5, and the annual Janet Weis Free Family Matinee with The Paper Bag Players on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Since 1996, Solas has been called one of the most popular and exciting Celtic bands to emerge from the United States, performing at all major Celtic folk festivals including the legendary National Folk Festival and Bottom Line folk club as well as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Queens Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland.
"The Paper Bag Players have been performing their annual family matinee at the Weis Center for well more than a decade," said Boswell, "and the troupe never fails to delight the full house of children and the adults they have been persuaded to allow to attend. This year's show, 'The Great Mummy Robbery,' is guaranteed to entertain the whole family."
Returning after a sold-out concert four years ago, the Soweto Gospel Choir raises the Weis Center roof on Friday, Jan. 29, performing, in eight different languages no less, an inspirational program of tribal, traditional and popular African and Western gospel.
Piano soloist Jon Nakamatsu joins Philharmonia of the Nations on Friday, Feb. 5, in a program of music by Beethoven, Brahms and Mahler. Founded in the mid-'90s by conductor Justus Frantz, this symphony orchestra is a unique, multicultural gathering of extremely talented young musicians from more than 40 countries and five continents. Chinese play next to Americans, Irish perform with English, and Syrians with Israelis. "This is the first time since the opening of the Weis Center 20 years ago that one of the landmark symphonies of Gustav Mahler will be heard in the hall," said Boswell, "and I am pleased that this group, which demonstrates the healing and connective power of music, is the orchestra that will do it."
Collage dance ensemble and musicians will perform on Friday, Feb. 12. "The mission of this internationally acclaimed company is to promote harmony between people from different cultural and social backgrounds," said Boswell. "Collage integrates Eastern European, Turkish, Israeli and other traditional performance practices with modern Western techniques to make folk dance and music more accessible."
Béla Fleck returns to the Weis Center for "The Africa Project" on Saturday, Feb. 27, in a performance with some of Africa's most talented musicians.
The Aquila Theatre Company, long a favorite with Weis Center audiences, will return on Friday, March 5, with a performance of Shakespeare's "As You Like It."
The Jupiter String Quartet with pianist Ben Kim will close the season on Friday, March 26, in a concert of music by Beethoven, Bartok and Schumann.
Tickets available beginning Aug. 31
Tickets for reserved seating for series evening performances range from $20 to $35 depending on the event; all evening performances begin at 8 p.m. Discounts for senior citizens and students are available.
The Campus Box Office opens Monday, Aug. 31, for the sale of Weis Center Series events tickets. Tickets are generally available at box office locations in the Weis Center lobby, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Bucknell Bookstore, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets also are available one hour prior to each performance.
Beginning Aug. 31, tickets can be charged at www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice or by calling 570-577-1000.
Contact: Division of Communications
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