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UMS, SMTD & New York Philharmonic announce details for 2017 Michigan residency

A standing ovation for conductor Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra after a performance at Hill Auditorium. Photo courtesy of Chris Lee.

The University Musical Society of the University of Michigan (UMS) and the New York Philharmonic, in conjunction with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), announce full details for the New York Philharmonic’s 2017 residency in Ann Arbor, taking place November 16-19, 2017. The residency will feature numerous performances, master classes, lectures, and workshops for University of Michigan students, as well as activities for the regional community. This is the orchestra’s second of three residencies; the first took place in October 2015.

As announced earlier this month, Jeremy Irons will participate in the New York Philharmonic’s performance on Sunday, November 19, performing as Speaker in Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony. A Golden Globe, Primetime Emmy, Tony, Screen Actors Guild, and Academy Award-winning actor, Irons is praised for his performances on the screen (Batman v Superman: Dawn of  Justice, Disney’s The Lion King, Reversal of Fortune), on the stage (Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing), and on television (Elizabeth IThe Hollow Crown).

The centerpiece of the residency is three mainstage performances by the Philharmonic, which take place November 17-19 in Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium. On Friday, November 17 at 8 pm, New York Philharmonic music director designate Jaap van Zweden makes his UMS debut in a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. The orchestra will perform a special hour-long Young People’s Concert on Saturday, November 18 at 2 pm with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s music director Leonard Slatkin at the helm. The weekend of performances closes with Slatkin leading the orchestra on Sunday, November 19 at 3 pm in Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”). The residency is part of the Philharmonic’s Bernstein’s Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival, celebrating the former Philharmonic music director and laureate conductor on the centennial of his birth.

The New York Philharmonic performing in Hill Auditorium. Photo courtesy of Chris Lee.

The New York Philharmonic performing in Hill Auditorium. Photo courtesy of Chris Lee.

Two University of Michigan musical theatre students will be cast in the roles of Tony and Maria for the West Side Story segment of the Young People’s Concert in Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan’s musical theatre program is one of the most represented on Broadway. And two New York Philharmonic musicians– principal trombone Joseph Alessi and principal clarinet Anthony McGill–will be featured soloists with the U-M Symphony Band on their November concert, “Bernstein and Bolcom: Celebrating the American Experience.”

Additionally, the performance on Sunday, November 19 will be broadcast live on Interlochen Public Radio across 20 counties in Northern Michigan. It will also be part of the syndicated radio concert series “The New York Philharmonic This Week” with a delayed broadcast nationally and internationally via the WFMT Radio Network.

UMS President Matthew VanBesien noted, “In its 139-year history, UMS has presented many multi-day residencies with world-renowned orchestras, but we’re particularly excited about this partnership between America’s first orchestra and its first university arts presenter. Our collaboration in 2015 reached thousands of people, and we’re thrilled to join forces with our university partner–the School of Music, Theatre & Dance–and the New York Philharmonic in putting together another great residency. As the New York Philharmonic’s president during the last residency, I was completely bowled over by the enthusiasm of local audiences who participated in attending these events and am thrilled by the scope represented in this schedule of activities.”

“Our rich residency in Ann Arbor showcases the greatness of the Philharmonic’s past while looking to the future,” said New York Philharmonic President and CEO Deborah Borda. “The chemistry between music director designate Jaap van Zweden and our world-class musicians will shine in Mahler, following thrilling opening week performances in New York. We salute our history in concerts celebrating ‘our Lenny,’ with Leonard Slatkin, a true Bernstein aficionado. Both onstage and off, a wide range of activities builds on a century of history shared by the Philharmonic and UMS, reflecting our mutual determination to seek innovative ways to deepen our impact.”

“We are so grateful for this partnership with UMS, which provides our students with incomparable experiences,” said Melody Racine, interim dean of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. “The New York Philharmonic residency affords students the opportunity to study and perform with some of the finest musicians working today, helping our young musicians to hone both their artistic and professional skills. We are thrilled to collaborate with UMS in making this residency the great success that it is.”

In addition to the scheduled residency activities, U-M faculty and students, led by Associate Professor of Musicology Mark Clague, are collaborating with faculty and students at Harvard University, with assistance from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development faculty, on a course in fall 2017 that explores Bernstein’s role as a conductor and educator. The students will visit New York in November 2017 as part of a collaborative research project led by the Philharmonic Archives. They will record interviews with Philharmonic audience members who attended Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts as children and believe that those concerts inspired their lifelong love of music. The recordings will be preserved in the Philharmonic Archives and Harvard’s Loeb Music Library. Interviews will also be scheduled around the weekend of the New York Philharmonic’s residency in Ann Arbor, November 17-19. For information:

For tickets and more information about the concerts, contact or 734-764-2538. 

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