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Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory Celebrates 20 Years of World-Class Performances

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Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory Celebrates 20 Years of World-Class Performances

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(ATLANTA) – The 2022–2023 season at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts marks 20 years of presenting exceptional performances. In celebration, the anniversary season highlights artists at the pinnacle of classical, jazz, and crossover music—from the exquisite violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter to the Maria Schneider Orchestra featuring the world premiere of a Schwartz Center jazz commission. The Schwartz Center also welcomes the masterful genre-benders Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, and Edgar Meyer with flutist Rakesh Chaurasia and the season’s special dance event presenting Urban Bush Women.  Season ticket packages are on sale now at schwartz.emory.edu.

“Coming together as a community for these world-class artists gives us all the opportunity to connect, to learn, to be inspired, and to be transformed through extraordinary performances,” says Rachael Brightwell, Managing Director.

When the Schwartz Center opened its doors on February 1, 2003, what began at Emory University in the late 1960s with the vision and gifts of Flora Glenn Candler came to full fruition in an exquisite venue thanks to the support of Donna and Marvin Schwartz. The Schwartz Center will mark the two-decade anniversary with special events throughout the season including receptions, free artist lectures, and master classes open to the public.

The 2022-2023 season opens with Music from Copland House and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham presenting the Atlanta premiere of the epic song cycle A Standing Witness, a collaboration between Grammy Award–winning composer Richard Danielpour and Pulitzer Prize–winning author and former Poet Laureate Rita Dove. The classical line-up continues with a rare Southeast appearance by the internationally acclaimed French classical pianist Hélène Grimaud. Then in February 2023, virtuoso violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and the 14-member Mutter Virtuosi take the stage for a celebratory concert.

The classical experience continues with violinist and conductor Michael Barenboim, who founded the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble out of the full West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. This smaller ensemble of Israeli and Palestinian musicians is able to spread the ideas of unity through music further and allow the public to experience the musicians’ unique artistry and personality up close. Next on stage is Lawrence Brownlee, a leading figure in opera, both as a singer on the world’s top stages and as a voice for activism and diversity, with the premiere of his new song cycle, Rising. In celebration of the Emory University Symphony Orchestra’s centennial anniversary, the EUSO Composer Commission Project will present a collaboration between the Schwartz-Artist-in-Residence program, EUSO, and Emory composition faculty, bringing to campus emerging composers from backgrounds currently underrepresented within American classical music.

Jazz music is also on full display in the new season, led by NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider in October. The big band leader and composer with her 18-member Maria Schneider Orchestra will perform a world premiere commission in honor of the Schwartz Center’s 20th Anniversary. Next in the jazz line-up is An Evening with Fred Hersch and esperanza spalding, which sees jazz pianist and composer Hersch pairing with vocalist spalding to present songs from the Great American Songbook, music from Brazil, and jazz compositions, including several penned by Hersch. The annual Emory Jazz Fest follows, with the three-day event providing world-class jazz for hundreds of fans through master classes, artist lecture/demonstrations, and concerts featuring the Gary Motley Trio, Emory Big Band, and a special guest artist to be announced soon.

The crossover music category this season highlights musicians at the height of the genre. First, the Chad Lawson Trio performs in March 2023, with violinist Judy Kang and cellist  Seth Parker Woods joining the renowned pianist. Bridging the gap between traditional and non-traditional audiences, the trio’s concert program includes variations on compositions ranging from Chopin to Billie Eilish. In April, the Schwartz Center welcomes Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Zakir Hussain, with Rakesh Chaurasia. Beginning with the most creative exponent of the banjo in our time, Béla Fleck, this unique quartet also features the greatest living player of the tabla—legendary drummer Zakir Hussain; acclaimed virtuoso of the classical and bluegrass bass, Edgar Meyer; and the great Indian flutist Rakesh Chaurasia.

Rounding out the 20th Anniversary Season is the annual Candler Dance event featuring Urban Bush Women: Legacy + Lineage + Liberation. Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women is a Brooklyn-based performance ensemble and dance company under the artistic direction of Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis. The performance celebrates the power of women in an evening of classic works that transcend genres and amplify the voices of women of color.

Anniversary season subscription packages ranging from four to ten concerts are available to order now at schwartz.emory.edu or by calling 404.727.5050. Single tickets to all events go on sale Monday, August 1. All concerts in the 2022–2023 subscription series are presented at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emerson Concert Hall (1700 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322).