Longtime Seattle musical favorites André Watts, Garrick Ohlsson, Richard Goode and the Emerson String Quartet will be back. So will dance troupes Grupo Corpo, MOMIX and Alonzo King LINES Ballet.
But it’s not just old friends enlivening the UW World Series’ 2013-2014 season at the University of Washington’s Meany Hall.
Newcomers, all making their Seattle debuts, include Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Switzerland’s Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, South Korean pianist Joyce Yang, France’s Modigliani Quartet and Mongolian musical ensemble AnDa Union.
Then there are the performers who’ve played here before — Portuguese fado singer Mariza and Soweto Gospel Choir, among them — who will be part of the UW World Series for the first time.
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Two special events are scheduled in addition to the regular dance, piano, chamber-music and world-music series. Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile (a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellow) presents a Bach program on Oct. 1. Violinist Hilary Hahn performs April 29, 2014.
The dance season kicks off on Oct. 3 with AXIS Dance Company, the noted San Francisco dance troupe featuring performers with “vastly different physicalities,” including some in wheelchairs. MOMIX then brings its extraordinary stagecraft and body-illusion work to Meany with “Botanica,” an electronica-tinged take on Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”
Grupo Corpo will offer “Sem Mim” (“Without Me”), inspired by the seven surviving songs from 13th-century composer Martín Codax’s “Sea of Vigo” song cycle. A new Grupo Corpo work, yet to be announced, is also on the program.
Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan brings its evening-length meditative/ritualistic “Song of the Wanderers,” drawn in part from Herman Hesse’s “Siddhartha,” and performed on a stage arrayed with three-and-a-half tons of golden rice.
Meany Hall’s new director, Michelle Witt, has been championing collaborations between local musicians and visiting dance artists in order to have live music for performances. Next season’s live-music dance events involve Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, with its Bach-inspired “Prelude et Fugues,” and Alonzo King LINES Ballet, with a program still to be determined.
On the classical music front, the Emerson String Quartet will be joined by noted UW professor of piano Craig Sheppard in Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor. Other chamber-music highlights include A Far Cry, a conductorless 17-piece string orchestra, and New York string quartet Brooklyn Rider, performing with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck. The President’s Piano Series, with Ohlsson, Goode, Watts and Yang on its roster, couldn’t be much stronger.
Along with Mariza, AnDa Union and Soweto Gospel Choir, the World Music & Theatre series features CIRCA, an Australian circus troupe specializing in extraordinary gymnastic and balancing feats. CIRCA has previously appeared at the Seattle International Children’s Festival (Giant Magnet).
The UW World Series’ biggest news may be its brand new Family Matinee Series, consisting of three weekend shows suitable for children. CIRCA, MOMIX and Soweto Gospel Choir will take part.
Subscriptions to all five series go on sale March 13. Prices vary: World Dance Series, $216-$246 (UW Students, $60-$120); International Chamber Music Series, $184-$214 (UW Students, $60-$120); President’s Piano Series, $145-$165 (UW Students, $40-$80); World Music Series, $128-$148 (UW Students, $40-$80); Family Matinee Series, $110-$125 (Child/Youth, $101-$116).
Subscribers to the piano and chamber-music series can add up to two free youth subscriptions (ages 5-17) with each adult subscription.
Chris Thile tickets are $41-$46 (UW Students, $10-$20). Hilary Hahn tickets are $63-$68 (UW Students, $10-$20). Both are available to subscribers before they go on sale to the general public.
For info and tickets: 206-543-4880 or www.uwworldseries.org. Single tickets go on sale to the public on Aug. 1.
Michael Upchurch: firstname.lastname@example.org