A group of 18 musicians of color in formal dress, holding their instruments
The Sphinx Virtuosi played the second concert of our fall 2020 virtual season.

Welcome to Our Fall Season

The Middlebury Performing Arts Series is proud to announce an all-virtual fall 2020 season, featuring eight free, online concerts by nationally and internationally renowned musicians. With bonus content, live chats, and online residency activities, audiences will enjoy dynamic interaction with these extraordinary artists, all from the safety of home.

Our concerts will air every Friday night at 7:30 P.M., Eastern time, from September 25 through November 13, and remain online for several days, for those who miss the Friday night events. All concerts will be free and available to all.

This continues the Performing Arts Series’ 101-year tradition of enhancing Middlebury’s curriculum and igniting cultural and creative exploration by presenting a diverse spectrum of world-class performances and residencies for the greater Middlebury community. Middlebury is proud to have Vermont’s longest-running Performing Arts Series—over 1,150 performances since 1919!

Imani Winds

Friday, September 25, 2020

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

7:15 PM ET Opening Act: Matthew Evan Taylor, Assistant Professor of Music

A Nelson Fund event.

Free.

Sphinx Virtuosi

Friday, October 2, 2020

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

7:15 PM ET Opening Act: Heath Quartet, PAS Quartet-in-residence 

A Nelson Fund event.

Free

David Shifrin, Clarinet

Friday, October 9, 2020

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. 

7:15 PM ET Opening Act: Dan Frostman, Oboe; Library Manager and Affiliate Artist in Music

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

Michael Brown, Piano

Friday, October 16, 2020

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. 

7:15 PM ET Opening Act: Ronnie Romano ‘20, Piano

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

Arnaud Sussmann, Violin

Friday, October 23, 2020

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. 

7:15 PM ET Opening Act: Matt LaRocca ‘02, Viola/Composer

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.

Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung, Pianos

Friday, October 30, 2020

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.

7:15 PM ET Opening Act: Sophie Shao, Cello; 13-time PAS artist

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.

Gilbert Kalish, Piano

Friday, November 6, 2020

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.

Jupiter Quartet

Friday, November 13, 2020

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 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 made possible thanks to the Sunderman Family Concert Endowment Fund, in memory of Dr. F. William Sunderman Jr. and Dr. Carolyn Reynolds Sunderman.

Free