Though Middlebury College’s Mahaney Arts Center remains closed to the public due to the pandemic, the show must go on!

We’re proud to announce an all-virtual fall 2020 arts season, with eight concerts from the Middlebury Performing Arts Series, screenings from the Hirschfield International Film Series, and more. Check back here throughout the semester or more events from the Middlebury College Museum of Art and the seven academic arts departments and programs.

September

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Boys State

Boys State image

(Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, USA, 2020, 1h 49min) Free

The sensational winner of the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Boys State is a wildly entertaining and continually revealing immersion into a week-long annual program in which a thousand Texas high school seniors gather for an elaborate mock exercise: building their own state government. Filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine closely track the escalating tensions that arise within a particularly riveting gubernatorial race, training their cameras on unforgettable teenagers like Ben, a Reagan-loving arch-conservative who brims with confidence despite personal setbacks, and Steven, a progressive-minded child of Mexican immigrants who stands by his convictions amidst the sea of red. In the process, they have created a complex portrait of contemporary American masculinity, as well as a microcosm of our often dispiriting national political divisions that nevertheless manages to plant seeds of hope. An Apple Original Films and A24 release.

Sundance Film Festival Winner: Documentary Grand Jury Prize
 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

2020 Sundance Film Festival Shorts Tour

Online Virtual Cinema

A bight orange and black sun graphic with the words Sundance Film Festival Shorts Tour 2020

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour (Virtual Version) is a 80-minute theatrical program of 6 short films selected from this year’s Festival. Widely considered the premier American showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers for more than 30 years, the Short Film Tour includes fiction, documentary and animation from around the world, giving new audiences a taste of what the Festival offers.

The Festival’s Short Film Program has long been established as a place to discover talented directors, such as past alumni Dee Rees, Taika Waititi, Debra Granik, Damien Chazelle, Wes Anderson, Jill Soloway, Spike Jonze, Paul Thomas Anderson, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Lake Bell, Jay and Mark Duplass, Todd Haynes, Lynne Ramsay, Andrea Arnold, and many others.

See the film listings

Thursday, September 24, 2020 through Sunday, September 27, 2020

PTP/NYC: Julius Caesar

PTP/NYC YouTube

Still from performance of Julius Caesar.

A visceral, politically urgent thriller. Shakespeare’s study of ideology, power and populism. Who is listening? Play by William Shakespeare; a Middlebury College presentation directed by Cheryl Faraone. Free

Thursday, September 24, 2020 through Friday, September 25, 2020

Border South/Frontera Sur

a desert horizon at sunset, with drawings of immigrants crossing

Fragmented stories from individuals crossing through southern Mexico assemble a vivid portrait of the thousands of immigrants who have disappeared along the trail running from southern Mexico to the US border. Border South reveals the immigrants’ resilience, ingenuity, and humor as it exposes a global migration system that renders human beings invisible in life as well as death. Director: Raúl O. Paz Pastrana. Producers: Jason De León, Cecilia Girón Pérez, Raúl O. Paz Pastrana. (Guatemala, Mexico, USA, 83 minutes)

Associated event: Q&A with the filmmakers, Friday at 5:00 p.m.

Access the film below, or for Spanish, go to https://ucla.box.com/v/ht94bordersouthesp (password: HT94@hosts).
 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Live Q&A with the filmmakers of Border South/Frontera Sur

Online

a desert horizon at sunset, with drawings of immigrants

Filmmaker Raúl O. Paz Pastrana and anthropologist/artist/activist Jason De León answer questions about their film documenting the stories of immigrants who have disappeared along the trail running from southern Mexico to the US border.

Associated event: online film screening of Border South/Frontera Sur, Thursday-Friday.

Register for the live Q&A via Zoom below (limited to 300 participants) or watch the livestream on Facebook (unlimited)

Friday, September 25, 2020

Imani Winds

PAS Event

The five members of Imani Winds

Celebrating 20 years of music making, the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds have led both a revolution and the evolution of the wind quintet. Their dynamic playing, adventurous programming, imaginative collaborations, and commitment to education have inspired audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Though their playlist embraces traditional chamber music repertoire, they also reach forward into the 21st century, expanding the wind quintet repertoire by commissioning music from new voices that reflect both historical events and present times.

We planned to bring you this groundbreaking quintet last April, but now we proudly open the 20–21 season with the Imani Winds in an exclusive virtual concert, featuring works by John Harbison, Paquito D’Rivera, and Jeff Scott. This event is part of a digital residency that will also bring the Imani Winds into Middlebury College music classes.

“The signature contribution of this group [is] a technical ease with extravagant gestures, intense production of sound, and the daring expressive liberties that come only after musicians have developed a sixth sense of ensemble-bonding. Imani’s got it all.”—Philadelphia Inquirer

A Nelson Fund event.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Song Without A Name (Canción sin nombre)

Song Without a Name Image of woman walking alone across rocky field

Peru, at the height of the political crisis of the 1980’s.
Georgina is a young woman from the Andes whose newborn daughter is stolen at a fake health clinic. Her desperate search for the child leads her to the headquarters of a major newspaper, where she meets Pedro Campos, a lonely journalist who takes on the investigation.
Based on a true story.

 (97 minutes). A Hirschfield International Film Series event. Free
 

October

Thursday, October 1, 2020 through Sunday, October 4, 2020

PTP/NYC: Don't Exaggerate

PTP/NYC YouTube

A hauntingly-colored photo of a soldier and a skeleton

A political statement in the form of hysteria. A WWI soldier returns from the dead “the ease with which you can identify with the oppressed does not excuse your adulation of their banality.” Play by Howard Barker, directed by Richard Romagnoli, read by Robert Emmet Lunney. Free
 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Sphinx Virtuosi

Location link below

Sphinx Virtuosi

One of the nation’s most dynamic professional chamber orchestras, this self-conducted ensemble is comprised of 18 top Black and Latinx classical soloists. Its national tour includes annual stops at Carnegie Hall and Miami’s New World Center, bringing fresh, diverse programming to leading venues around the country. They engage in immersive outreach to bring classical music to communities nationwide, including students of all ages.

Their virtual concert program, entitled This Is America, draws inspiration from the country’s most promising voices of today. “Despite the physical isolation imposed by the pandemic, we are unified through our shared commitment to social impact through our expression…we seek to find new ways to lift the voices of our black and brown communities through the lens of our black and brown musicians.”

“Electrically charged performances of as high a caliber as any other professional group, but with the vital energy of a life-and-death mission.”—New York Concert Review

A Nelson Fund event.

Free

Thursday, October 8

The Diachronic Print: Rembrandt’s Posthumous Interlocutors

Zoom link below

Jun Nakamura

Public Lecture by Jun Nakamura, hosted by the Department of History of Art & Architectural Studies.
Prints are a unique medium in that, through the repeated printing of a plate or block, prints index their own histories. Most of the prints that we have today from plates made in the 16th and 17th centuries were likely pulled by hands not belonging to the artists who engraved, etched, and cut the plates themselves. Many, in fact, were printed posthumously, sometimes with interventions being made to the plates before reprintings by later artists and printers. This talk will focus on a few of Rembrandt’s posthumous printers, and how they engaged with the artist across time through the medium of the diachronic printing plate. An examination of these prints will lead to broader discussions about authorship, artistic value, and the temporality of prints.

Free
 

Friday, October 9, 2020

David Shifrin, Clarinet

PAS Event

David Shifrin

The Middlebury Performing Arts Series presents Avery Fisher Prize-winning clarinetist David Shifrin, one of only two wind players to have been awarded the prestigious prize since the award’s inception in 1974. Shifrin is in constant demand worldwide as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber music collaborator. In this virtual concert, he’ll perform works by Mozart, Bassi, and Duke Ellington. Fun fact: Duke Ellington performed on Middlebury’s Performing Arts Series in 1960. This dynamic program also features violinists Danbi Um and Bella Hristova, violist Mark Holloway, cellist Dmitri Atapine, and pianist Gloria Chien. 

Part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS: FRONT ROW, a series of exceptionally high quality, digital, chamber music concerts curated by David Finckel and Wu Han. Our CMSFRONT ROW broadcasts are part of the Nelson Fund series, and made possible with generous support from Raphael and Jane Bernstein.

Free

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Cocoon

Streamed live from the Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

a microphone that looks like a moth with wings

Inspired by the popular storytelling phenomenon The Moth, Cocoon is a special evening of true stories told live and without notes. This year’s virtual edition, on the theme of “Downpour,” will feature a select group of students and staff. This eight-annual community-wide event is produced by the Middlebury MothUp in partnership with the Mahaney Arts Center. Free and open to all.
 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Michael Brown, Piano

PAS Event

Michael Brown

Described as “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers” by the New York Times, pianist Michael Brown is the winner of both Lincoln Center’s 2018 Emerging Artist Award and a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant. He makes regular appearances with orchestras and festivals across the U.S. and was selected by pianist András Schiff to perform an international solo recital tour. In this online performance, Brown will play works by Barber and Mendelssohn, plus one of his own compositions, and will be joined by violinist Chad Hoopes, violists Paul Neubauer and Matthew Lipman, cellist Nicholas Canellakis, double bassist Joseph Conyers, and pianist Gilles Vonsattel,—many of whom have appeared in our own Robison Hall. 

Part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS: FRONT ROW, a series of exceptionally high quality, digital, chamber music concerts curated by David Finckel and Wu Han. Our CMSFRONT ROW broadcasts are part of the Nelson Fund series, and made possible with generous support from Raphael and Jane Bernstein.

Free

Friday, October 23, 2020

Arnaud Sussmann, Violin

PAS Event

Arnaud Sussmann

Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Arnaud Sussmann has distinguished himself with his unique sound, bravura, and profound musicianship. Minnesota’s Pioneer Press writes, “Sussmann has an old-school sound…a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener.” Sussmann will perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 and Chausson’s Concerto in D Major for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet. For this concert he is joined by flutists Sooyun Kim and Tara Helen O’Connor; violinists Bella Hristova, Francisco Fullana, Kristin Lee, and Yura Lee; violist Richard O’Neill; cellists Dmitri Atapine and Nicholas Canellakis; double bassist Xavier Foley; pianist Wu Han; and piano-harpsichordist Hyeyeon Park. 

Free

Part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS: FRONT ROW, a series of exceptionally high quality, digital, chamber music concerts curated by David Finckel and Wu Han. Our FRONT ROW broadcasts are part of the Nelson Fund series, and made possible with generous support from Raphael and Jane Bernstein.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung, Pianos

PAS Event

Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung

The real-life marriage of concert pianists Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung—with their abundant artistic chemistry, passion, and stunning virtuosity—has led to one of the most appealing and impressive piano duos of our time. In the words of the UK magazine Music and Arts, “Theirs is a marriage of wondrous colors and dexterous aplomb, subtly balanced to make a musical performance sound as one.” Bax and Chung will perform Mozart’s K. 449—and the Middlebury premiere of Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion—with a supremely talented group of collaborative musicians: violinists Bella Hristova and Arnaud Sussmann, violist Paul Neubauer, cellist Sophie Shao, double bassist Joseph Conyers, and percussionists Ayano Kataoka and David Rosenbaum.

Free

Part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS: FRONT ROW, a series of exceptionally high quality, digital, chamber music concerts curated by David Finckel and Wu Han. Our FRONT ROW broadcasts are part of the Nelson Fund series, and made possible with generous support from Raphael and Jane Bernstein.

November

Friday, November 6, 2020

Gilbert Kalish, Piano

PAS Event

Gilbert Kalish

The profound influence of pianist Gilbert Kalish as an educator and pianist has established him as a major figure in American music-making, receiving the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award for his significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field. He also holds the rare distinction of the longest Middlebury Performing Arts Series relationship, having first played on campus in 1966. Performing works by Crumb, Schubert, and Brahms, Kalish will be joined by soprano Lisette Oropesa, clarinetist David Shifrin, violinist Nicolas Dautricourt, violist Paul Neubauer, and cellist Torleif Thedéen. This concert is additionally made possible with generous support from Olin C. Robison.

Free

Part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS: FRONT ROW, a series of exceptionally high quality, digital, chamber music concerts curated by David Finckel and Wu Han. Our CMS: FRONT ROW broadcasts are part of the Nelson Fund series, and made possible with generous support from Raphael and Jane Bernstein.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Jupiter Quartet

PAS Event

Jupiter Quartet

The Jupiter String Quartet is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (Meg’s older sister), and cellist Daniel McDonough (Meg’s husband, Liz’s brother-in-law). Now enjoying their 17th year together, this tight-knit ensemble is firmly established as an important voice in the world of chamber music. Among their many honors are top prizes at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Young Concert Artists International auditions, the Cleveland Quartet Award, and the Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Middlebury enjoys a long and fruitful relationship with the Jupiters, who first visited campus in 2010. Though they have often treated us to core string quartet repertoire such as Beethoven and Bartók, they are also strongly committed to new music. For this they concert, they will treat us to a program of Mendelssohn, George Walker, and Michi Wiancko.

“Jupiter, always talented, has reached that stage where musical expression, not technical proficiency, has become the focus … an intensely alert investigation of the musical possibilities in each work.”—Boston Classical Review

This Nelson Fund event is fmade possible thanks to the Sunderman Family Concert Endowment Fund, in memory of Dr. F. William Sunderman Jr. and Dr. Carolyn Reynolds Sunderman.

Free