Welcome to our 100th Anniversary Season!

We’re thrilled to celebrate the Middlebury Performing Arts Series’ 100th anniversary season in 2019–2020. Our centennial season toasts the return of some of our favorite artists from the past while also inviting new voices that will take us well into the future. Our anniversary coincides with other milestones that are reflected in the programming—commemorating Beethoven’s 250th birth year, and raising women’s voices in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote—plus we’ll premiere new works, debut new artists, and connect with performers vital to the series’ development. 

The Season, by the numbers: 

    • 20 public performances 
    • Almost 70 individual artists hailing from over a dozen countries 
    • 5 collaborative performances with world-renowned artists and/or ensembles
    • More than 4 weeks of residency activities
    • 4 commissions or co-commissions of new works 2 world premieres and 2 Vermont premieres 

Thank you for your support of the series and the Arts at Middlebury!


Sophie Shao and Friends; 09/20/2019

Friday, September 20

Sophie Shao and Friends

7:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

Our 100th anniversary season opens with a perennial Middlebury favorite, cellist Sophie Shao. Applauded by the New York Times for her "eloquent, powerful" interpretations, Shao has a gift for assembling impromptu chamber ensembles that are brimming with passion and talent. This season, she's joined by violinists Jennifer Frautschi and Zachary DePue, violists Paul Neubauer and Che-Yen Chen, and cellist Fred Sherry for a program including Brahms's Sextet No. 1 in B-flat Major, Selected Consorts for Six Viols by Gibbons, and Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht. A Nelson Fund event.

Join us for a free, season-opening reception after the concert.

Reserved seating. Tickets: $30 General public/$25 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students*

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Heath Quartet - Beethoven Cycle 2019–2020

Heath Quartet

7:30 pm, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

Known for “passionate performances that combine technical accomplishment with interpretative flair” (Strad), the Gramophone award-winning Heath Quartet—the series’ first-ever quartet in residence—returns to help us celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birth year. They present Beethoven’s entire string quartet cycle over six concerts (two each term), bookending weeklong residencies with our campus and community. Nelson Fund events. All concerts at 7:30 PM at the Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall.

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Concert Dates, Programs, and Ticket Info*
OCTOBER 5 • OCTOBER 11
JANUARY 11 • JANUARY 17
MAY 2  MAY 8

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Stile Antico; 11/09/2019

Saturday, November 9 

Stile Antico 

7:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall 

This three-time Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble presents Breaking the Habit, a concert celebrating the unprecedented number of female rulers in the 16th century, from the powerful Medici women in Italy to the great Tudor queens of England. Many of these monarchs used their patronage to facilitate the production of exquisitely beautiful music by female composers. Through this fascinating program, Stile Antico shines a light on often- neglected repertoire, bringing women from the Renaissance to life through song. A Nelson Fund event, made possible with generous support from Olin C. Robison.

Middlebury’s Mountain Ayres will sing for arriving patrons starting at 7:00 PM.

Tickets: $28 General public/$22 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students

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Turtle Island Quartet and Cyrus Chestnut, Piano; 11/22/2019

Friday, November 22

Turtle Island Quartet;
Cyrus Chestnut, Piano 

7:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

The Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet makes its Middlebury debut in a collaborative concert with the series’ most frequent jazz artist, acclaimed pianist Cyrus Chestnut, to traverse countless colors of jazz in a program called Carry Me Home. The partnership is infused with the global reach of gospel and sacred music, ranging from the Appalachian Mountains to the spiritually defined musical landscape of J. S. Bach. This moving night of Duke Ellington, Bill Monroe, Bill Withers, Coltrane, and more, and features the world premiere of Saint Paul A.M.E., a new work by Middlebury College’s own music professor Matthew Evan Taylor, commissioned for our 100th anniversary season.

Toast the artists at a free post-concert reception.

Tickets: $30 General public/$25 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students

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JANUARY 11  and  JANUARY 17

Heath Quartet

7:30 pm, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

The Heath Quartet's Beethoven cycle continues.


Roomful of Teeth and Dublin Guitar Quartet; 01/30/2020

Thursday, January 30

Roomful of Teeth and Dublin Guitar Quartet

7:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

This collaborative concert features the Middlebury debuts of the Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and the world-renowned Dublin Guitar Quartet. Together they perform the East Coast premiere of a new, intimate arrangement of Vermont native Nico Muhly’s How Little You Are. Originally commissioned in 2015 for three guitar quartets and massed choir, the work is based on texts written by pioneer women during the 19th century. In addition to this powerful 40-minute work, each ensemble also performs individual selections.  A Nelson Fund event.

Pre-concert lecture by composer Nico Muhly at 6:15 PM in MAC 125.

Tickets: $30 General public/$25 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students

sign language linkPresented with sign language interpretation.

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Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne, Piano; 02/19/2020

Wednesday, February 19

Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne, Piano

7:30 pm, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

In 2003, we were the first American series to present world-renowned pianist Paul Lewis. Fast-forward 16 years: this performance marks our dear friend’s 22nd appearance on our stage. Internationally acclaimed pianist Steven Osborne is also a friend, having won our hearts in three previous Middlebury recitals. In this tour-de-force collaborative concert, Lewis and Osborne unite at the keyboard for a four-hand piano program of Fauré’s Dolly Suite, Poulenc’s Sonata for Piano Duet, Debussy’s Six épigraphes antiques and Petite suite, Stravinsky’s Trois pièces faciles, and Ravel’s Mother Goose suite. A Nelson Fund event. 

Pre-concert lecture by Professor Emeritus and former series director Paul Nelson at 6:15 pm in MAC 221.

Reserved seating. Tickets: $30 General public/$25 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students

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David Finckel, Cello and Wu Han, Piano; 02/28/2020

Friday, February 28

David Finckel, Cello and Wu Han, Piano 

7:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall 

We couldn’t celebrate the series’ 100th anniversary without including its most prolific artist, cellist David Finckel. For his 40th performance at Middlebury, Finckel joins his wife, acclaimed pianist Wu Han, in a program including Beethoven, Debussy, Mendelssohn, and Chopin. 

“Chamber music’s busy power couple” (New York Times) also performs the world premiere of a new work by Vermont-raised, prize-winning composer Pierre Jalbert, commissioned by the series to mark this special occasion. A Nelson Fund event, made possible with additional support from Performing Arts Series Society (PASS) members Marny and Rob Lichtenstein.

Jalbert gives a pre-concert lecture at 6:15 PM in MAC 221. Join us for a free post-concert reception.

Reserved seating. Tickets: $30 General public/$25 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students.

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L. A. Theatre Works: SEVEN; 03/03–04/2020

Tuesday–Wednesday, March 3–4

L.A. Theatre Works: SEVEN

7:30 PM each evening; Wright Memorial Theatre 

Called a “national theatrical treasure” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, L.A. Theatre Works presents the riveting documentary play SEVEN. Written by seven female writers, it’s based on personal interviews with seven remarkable women who faced life-threatening obstacles—resistance, death threats, entrenched norms, and pervasive violence—yet later brought heroic changes to their home countries of Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia, and Cambodia. SEVEN makes the powerful and timeless statement that even in the darkest times, one person, one voice, and a single act of courage can change the lives of thousands.

Q&A with the company after each performance.

Tickets: $22 General public/$16 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students

sign language linkWednesday’s show presented with sign language interpretation.

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Lida Winfield Dance: IMAGINARY; 03/13–14, 2020

Friday–Saturday, March 13–14 

Lida Winfield Dance IMAGINARY 

7:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Dance Theatre 

Mixing dance, theater, storytelling, and original music performed live, IMAGINARY is a quirky and innovative yet socially poignant work that explores perception in relationship to the imagination. The performance sifts through facts, allegations, and possibilities, bringing together the creative capacities of six amazing artists, many with Middlebury connections: Winfield, visiting assistant professor of dance; Laurel Jenkins, assistant professor of dance; Matthew Evan Taylor, assistant professor of music; alumna Ellen Smith Ahern ’05; Joseph Hall; and former W. Mellon Interdisciplinary Choreographer Maree ReMalia.

Tickets: $22 General public/$16 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students

IMAGINARY is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by the Middlebury Performing Arts Series, in partnership with the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, and The Yard.

 

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Dreamers' Circus; 03/06/2020

Friday, March 6

Dreamers’ Circus

7:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

This young Danish trio is the new driving force in Nordic world music, hailed as contemporary and endlessly innovative in their approach. They draw inspiration from the deep traditions of Nordic folk music and reshape them into something bright, shiny, and new. The ensemble has won five prestigious Danish Music Awards and toured throughout Europe, Japan, Australia, the United States, and more. Featuring Nikolaj Busk on piano and accordion, Ale Carr on cittern, and violinist Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen of the Danish String Quartet.

Singer-songwriter Aida O’Brien ’20 performs for arriving patrons starting at 7:00 PM.

Tickets: $28 General public/$22 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students

 

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Imani Winds and Catalyst Quartet; 04/03/2020

Friday, April 3

Imani Winds and Catalyst Quartet

7:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

Two acclaimed ensembles join forces in a program highlighting experiences of (im)migration. Featured: the Vermont premiere of a new work by Jessie Montgomery, commissioned by Music Accord and SPHINX, and inspired by the Great Migration. Through the lens of her great-grandfather, Montgomery brings together spirituals and work songs that reflect his travels from Mississippi to the west, north, and back to Georgia. Through the special timbral effects of winds and strings, Montgomery transforms these stories, continuing the storytelling tradition passed down by her mother, a playwright, actor, and teacher.

Cash bar and light refreshments available before the concert and at intermission.

Tickets: $28 General public/$22 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students

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Takács Quartet; 04/18–19/2020 (Bartók cycle)

Saturday–Sunday, April 18–19

Takács Quartet

7:30 PM on Saturday, April 18
3:00 PM on Sunday, April 19
Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall 

Now entering its 44th season, the Takács Quartet is no stranger to the series, having performed at Middlebury 26 times since 1994. The New York Times recently lauded this Grammy-winning ensemble for “revealing the familiar as unfamiliar, making the most traditional of works feel radical once more.” Bartók’s string quartets have been at the very heart of the quartet’s repertory since its founding in Budapest in 1975; Middlebury audiences can enjoy the full cycle over two weekend concerts. A Nelson Fund event, cosponsored by the members of the Performing Arts Series Society (PASS).

  • A pre-concert panel explores the relationship between Bartók and Beethoven on Saturday at 6:15 PM in MAC 221. 
  • See associated PASS reception for Sunday afternoon.
Reserved seating. Tickets: $30 General public/$25 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students.; PASS Members: $22/16/8/5

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Associated event
Sunday, April 19 

Performing Arts Series Society (PASS) Reception 

1:30 PM, Mahaney Arts Center, Lower Lobby 

This festive occasion is a chance for members to gather and celebrate PASS, preview select performances from the upcoming 2020–2021 season, and vote on which event to support. Membership information: 802-443-PASS (7277) or go.middlebury.edu/pass.




MAY 2
  and MAY 8

Heath Quartet

7:30 pm, Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

The Heath Quartet's Beethoven cycle comes to a conclusion.


Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax
cfa@middlebury.edu