By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Performing artists from both sides of the globe will be featured on the stage of the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University during the 2010-11 season.
"The season includes music by ensembles from the Shanghai String Quartet to the Cape Town Philharmonic and Taipei Chinese Orchestra, dance by Ballet Hispanico, Shakespeare's classic 'Romeo and Juliet,' a show by Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway, and the return of our favorite Finnish piano virtuoso, Paavali Jumppanen," said Bill Boswell, executive director of the Weis Center.
"Bucknell takes great pride in offering the opportunity to enjoy these brilliant performances in the region's premier concert hall, with its architectural beauty and outstanding acoustics. Even in this challenging economy, Weis Center Series ticket prices are still exceptionally low, a fraction of the cost of these same events almost anywhere else in the world."
Season opens with 'Boom!'
Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway will open the Weis Center events season on Sept. 25 with "Boom!" Featuring hit songs of the boomer generation of the '60s and '70s, including memorable songs by Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Paul Simon and the Beatles, these two consummate stars of Broadway and cabaret make these iconic and well-loved songs meaningful and immediate, not to mention fun and funny.
Award-winning movie and television actor and Bucknell alumnus Edward Herrmann, Class of '65, will portray August Franchomme in "Mazurka: My Friend Chopin" on Oct. 2. This performance, which celebrates Frederic Chopin's 200th birthday, relates the story of the friendship, accompanied by music performed by cellist Harry Clark and pianist Sanda Schuldmann.
Chamber Orchestra Kremlin will perform music by the great Russian composers Tchaikovsky, Miaskovsky, Kalinnikov and Stravinsky on Oct. 23. Founded in 1991 and led by Misha Rachlevsky, the orchestra of virtuoso young string players has earned national and international recognition.
Doug Elkins and Friends present "Fraulein Maria," a post-modernist deconstruction in dance of "The Sound of Music" on Oct. 30. "This rollicking experience, part parody and part homage, received the 2008 Bessie Award," said Boswell. "The work is hilarious and moving, traditional and of-the-moment, with references to everything from ballet to hip-hop. Audiences in New York laugh and cheer." The performance is part of the University's Homecoming Weekend celebration.
The Shanghai String Quartet along with pipa virtuoso Wu Man, who is making a return appearance at Bucknell, comes to the Weis Center on Nov. 13. The program includes the Pennsylvania premiere of Lei Liang's Quintet for Strings and Pipa as well as a quartet by Beethoven and Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" Quartet.
The winter holiday season includes "This Christmas," a concert by Imani Winds and Friends including pianist Cyrus Chestnut, on Dec. 4, and the annual Janet Weis Free Family Matinee with The Paper Bag Players on Dec. 11.
Imani Winds, which first performed at Bucknell in 2005, is an outstanding Grammy-nominated woodwind ensemble whose members are of African-American and Latin heritage. "This Christmas" mixes classical, jazz and world influences into a program of Christmas standards.
"The Paper Bag Players have been performing the annual Janet Weis family matinee at the Weis Center for well more than a decade," said Boswell, "and the troupe never fails to delight and enthrall the children and adults who attend. This year's show, 'Whoop-dee-doo,' is guaranteed to entertain with dragons and poodles and songs and a new dance, 'The Paper Bag Boogie.'"
Ballet Hispanico will open the spring semester on Feb. 4. Founded in 1970, the company fuses Latin dance with elements of classical and contemporary forms. It has performed for more than 2 million people in the United States, Europe and South America. This is Ballet Hispanico's second Weis Center appearance.
The Taipei Chinese Orchestra with pipa soloist Wu Man will perform on Feb. 11. A large orchestra of traditional Chinese instruments, many of which have been around for centuries, the ensemble has been considered a leading exponent of traditional and contemporary Chinese music since its founding in 1979.
The Acting Company will perform its co-production with the Guthrie Theater of Shakespeare's classic and still-moving story of young love, "Romeo and Juliet," on Feb. 19.
Pianist Paavali Jumppanen will participate in a three-week residency in February, courtesy of funding by the Kushell Music Endowment.
"The residency will include several performances," said Boswell. The main Weis Center Series concert will include Beethoven's great "Hammerklavier Sonata," along with music by Mozart and others, on Feb. 25.
Jumppanen also will be featured in a family matinee performance of Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals" on Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. with pianist Barry Hannigan, Bucknell professor of music, and the Bucknell University Symphonic Band with conductor William Kenny. The matinee concert is free to the community through the generosity of the Weis Center Green Room Board.
The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra will perform music by Barber, Korngold, Walton and Rimsky-Korsakov in a concert on Friday, March 4. Violinist Philippe Quint will be the featured soloist.
Songwriter Suzanne Vega will present her "Close Up" acoustic trio tour on March 25. Guitarist Gerry Leonard and bassist Mike Visceglia will join her in a concert of Vega's original music.
The Weis Center Events series will close on April 15, with a performance by Ethel, acclaimed as America's premier post-classical string quartet, with Native American flutist Robert Mirabal as guest artist.
Tickets available beginning Aug. 30
Tickets for reserved seating for series evening performances range from $20 to $25 depending on the event; all evening performances begin at 8 p.m. Discounts for senior citizens and students are available.
Beginning Aug. 30 at 11 a.m., tickets can be charged at www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice; by calling 570-577-1000; or in person from the Campus Box Office in the Weis Center lobby weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets also are available one hour prior to each performance.
Contact: Division of Communications