Performing Arts Series

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2015-16 Performing Arts Series

Welcome to another great season of performances in the Performing Arts Series! All performances begin at 7:00 pm, with doors opening at 6:30 pm. The first seven performances are presented in the Richard & Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall located inside the Center for the Arts. The last performance is presented in the Harry & Laura Nohr Gallery located inside Ullsvik Hall.

Tickets for all performances are available through the University Box Office, located in the lower level of Ullsvik Hall. Call 608.342.1298 or 877.727.1CFA (toll free) or use the Online Box Office at

Michael Mao Dance logo

Michael Mao Dance

Friday, September 25

Michael Mao Dance is a critically acclaimed New York based modern dance company with an international corps of accomplished dancers. Passionate, yet meticulously crafted, Mao’s work is infused with a visceral, elemental power. His dances fill the stage with compelling images and enthrall audiences with their emotional immediacy. Rooted in the traditions of American modern dance, Mao’s works are graced with the formal considerations of classical ballet and reveal the choreographer’s Asian heritage in their spare yet expansive choreographic means.

Dances by Michael Mao have been performed worldwide. Commissions include original works for the Hong Kong Ballet, Café de la Danse, Paris, Festival Internaciónal Cervantinó, Mexico, and the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble. He has created over 50 works for his company that have been presented in New York City at the Joyce, Dance Theater Workshop, Kaye Playhouse, City Center Danspace, Symphony Space, Riverside Theatre, Madison Square Garden and at Purchase College. Michael Mao Dance has toured in Europe, throughout the continental US and Mexico, and to the major cities of China.

This performance is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Bert Glanz Endowed Fund for Classical Performing Arts.

Igudesmand and Joo picture

Igudesman & Joo: And now mozart

Thursday, October 22

More than 35 million YouTube views and sold-out performances around the world have turned the inspired lunacy of musicians Igudesman & Joo into a global hit show. For them, the mix of music, comedy and theatre is its own art form.

The New York Times said of their New Year’s Eve, 2013 debut with the New York Philharmonic, “Their blend of classical music and comedy, laced with pop culture references and a wholly novel take on the word slapstick, is fueled by genuine, dazzling virtuosity.”

Think South Park meets Bach, a mash-up of The Simpsons and West Side Story, and you have some idea of the mayhem created at the highest level of musicianship on worldwide stages – and immortalized on YouTube -- by violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo, two classically-trained artists who are filling concert halls and stadiums with their uproarious, sidesplitting approach to the concert performance.

This performance is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Brodbeck Theater Fund.

Tina Packer and Nigel Gore

Women of will: The Overview

Friday, November 20

A combination of riveting scenes and trenchant analysis, Women of Will explores themes of love, loss, freedom, control, violence, and power through the heroines of Shakespeare’s text. Using performance and discussion, Tina Packer traces the chronological evolution of Shakespeare’s female characters, and examines Shakespeare’s own journey and growth as a writer.

Director Eric Tucker returns to join forces with Packer and her talented acting mate, Nigel Gore, giving the trio another opportunity to tackle Shakespeare’s canon. Packer and Gore have starred opposite each other in several productions, including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (which netted Gore an Elliot Norton Award for Best Actor in 2010), Antony & Cleopatra, and Hamlet.

This Overview is a comprehensive presentation of Shakespearean scenes, insights, and discussion taken from the full five-part series. It covers the full breadth of Shakespeare’s works.

The Guthrie Brothers

Everything Everly: The Guthrie Brothers

Friday, January 22

Jeb Guthrie and Jock Guthrie, THE GUTHRIE BROTHERS, share their passion for great vocal music with their audiences. They perform music with startling authenticity in an “unplugged” acoustic style. Their playlist ranges from modern artists such as Coldplay, John Mayer, Green Day and Dave Matthews to classics including The Beatles, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, the Eagles, and Van Morrison. The brothers have been singing together for as long as either one of them can remember-–a major reason for the perfect blend of their harmonies. Both Jock and Jeb play acoustic guitar and sing.

“The music that we play is truly an extension of who we are,” Jock says. “Our philosophy is to do songs that we feel directly connected to. We can trace these connections back to shared experiences and feelings from our childhood.”

“We think this is the reason we can be so faithful to the spirit and sound of whatever period or type of music we’re playing--including our own music. We play together as one,” Jeb says.

The Guthries’ original music received national attention with the release of their self-titled, debut album. The album garnered extensive airplay on both Americana and Country radio stations. About the album, Billboard Magazine said, “Many stations will find the well-written, heartfelt lyrics and wonderful harmonies a welcome addition to their airwaves." The album was re-released earlier this year and can be heard and purchased online at the iTunes Music Store, Napster and Rhapsody.

Extensive touring, combined with live radio and television appearances in support of the album, added the seasoning that makes The Guthrie Brothers’ performances sparkle today.

Gordon Goodwin

Gordon Goodwin: 2016 Jazz Festival

Friday, February 5

Even for a successful composer and arranger in Hollywood, Gordon Goodwin’s numbers are impressive: A 2006 GRAMMY Award for his Instrumental Arrangement of “Incredits” from the Pixar film The Incredibles, three Emmy Awards, and thirteen GRAMMY nominations.

A steady, persistent audio diet of the giants of jazz, pop, rock and funk has nourished Goodwin’s being since childhood. Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Tower of Power, among many others, filled the well for the music his band makes today. And like those other bands, Goodwin’s music is nothing less than astonishing when experienced live.

A keyboardist and woodwind player, Goodwin has built a larger-than-life reputation throughout the music industry for his composing, arranging and playing skills. Ray Charles, Christina Aguilera, Johnny Mathis, Toni Braxton, John Williams, Natalie Cole, David Foster, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Torme, Brian McKnight and Quincy Jones are just a few of the artists with whom he has worked. Goodwin has also conducted world-renowned symphony orchestras in Atlanta, Dallas, Utah, Seattle, Toronto and London.



Monday, February 29

Hailing from County Waterford, Cork, Dublin and Donegal in Ireland, Danú is one of the leading traditional Irish ensembles of today. Their standing room only concerts throughout Ireland are true events featuring high-energy performances and a glorious mix of ancient Irish music and new repertoire.

For over 20 years, Danú’s virtuosi players on flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion, bouzouki, and vocals (Irish and English), have performed around the globe and recorded seven critically acclaimed albums. Their live DVD, One Night Stand, was filmed at Vicar St. Dublin. Winners of numerous awards from the BBC and Irish Music Magazine, Danú has toured throughout Europe and North America with stops at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Symphony Space in New York City. Danú takes its audiences on a musical journey to their native Ireland, offering a moving and memorable concert experience. Danú’s recordings are available on the Shanachie label and all the main digital stores. Their live performances are often broadcast on NPR, the CBC, RTE, TG4 and the BBC.

Third Coast Percussion

Third Coast Percussion

Monday, March 14

These “hard-grooving” musicians (New York Times) have become known for ground-breaking collaborations across a wide range of disciplines, including concerts and residency projects with engineers at the University of Notre Dame, architects at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, astronomers at the Adler Planetarium, and more. The ensemble has also designed free iPhone and iPad apps that allow audience members to create their own musical performances and take a deeper look at the music performed by Third Coast Percussion.

Third Coast Percussion is the Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, a position they assumed in 2013. They have the honor of being the first ensemble at the University of Notre Dame to create a permanent and progressive ensemble residency program at the center. Third Coast Percussion performs multiple recitals annually as part of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s Presenting Series, engages with the local community, and leads interdisciplinary projects in collaboration with a wide range of disciplines across campus.

Third Coast’s passion for community outreach includes a wide range of residency offerings while on tour, in addition to long-term community engagement residencies at home in Chicago. In addition to its national performances, Third Coast Percussion’s hometown presence includes an annual Chicago series, with four to five concerts in locations around the city. The ensemble has collaborated in performance with a wide range of artists and performing ensembles including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Eighth Blackbird, Glenn Kotche, and video artists Luftwerk.

The members of Third Coast Percussion —Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore— hold degrees in music performance from Northwestern University, the Yale School of Music, the Eastman School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and Rutgers University. Third Coast Percussion performs exclusively with Pearl/Adams Musical Instruments, Zildjian Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.

Pro Arte Quartet

Pro Arte Quartet

Tuesday, April 5

The Pro Arte Quartet was founded in 1911-12 by students at the Brussels Conservatory. Violinist Alphonse Onnou was the leader, and the other founding members included Laurent Halleux (violin), Germain Prévost (viola), and Fernand Auguste Lemaire (‘cello). The quartet made its début in Brussels in 1913 and soon became known as an exponent of modern music. In 1918 Fernand Quinet became the cellist, but in 1921 he was replaced by Robert Maas. That year, with the aid of Paul Collaer and Arthur Prévost, the Pro Arte Concerts began, in which performances were given of new works by, among others, Bartók (whose Fourth Quartet is dedicated to the Pro Arte), Casella, Honegger, Martin, Milhaud and Rieti. The quartet performed with great success at the 1923 ISCM Festival in Salzburg, and the same year played new works commissioned by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge at a concert in Rome. After touring Europe the quartet visited England for the first time in 1925; subsequent visits to England included annual series of a week’s performances in Cambridge (1932–8).  In 1932 the quartet was granted the title Quatuor de la Cour de Belgique, in recognition of its services to Belgian music.

The Pro Arte played their American debut in 1926, performing at the inauguration of the Hall of Music in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.  They returned for thirty tours to the United States,  as well as a tour of Canada, often under the auspices of the noted patron of chamber music, Mrs. Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. Their first visit to Madison was in 1938, where, two years later, the musicians were stranded  by Hitler’s invasion of Belgium and the outbreak of World War II. Following their concert on campus, the University of Wisconsin chancellor offered a permanent home to the quartet – it was the first such residency ever in a major American university, and became the model on which many other similar arrangements were developed at other institutions. Onnou died in 1940, but the quartet continued until 1947 as quartet-in-residence at Wisconsin University, led first by Antonio Brosa and from 1944 by Rudolf Kolisch.  The Pro Arte became the faculty string quartet at UW-Madison in the late 1950s, an appointment that continues to the present day.

Today, in addition to widely acclaimed performances of standard classical repertoire, the Pro Arte continues its tradition of championing new music.  In recent years, the quartet has recorded all the chamber music of Ernest Bloch, the fourth and fifth quartets of Andrew Imbrie, and the first and second quartets of Tamar Diesendruck.  They commissioned the ninth quartet of Ralph Shapey, premiered Walter Mays’ Quartet in G Minor, were recently awarded Koussevitsky Foundation grants for new works by Brian Fennelly and Tamar Diesendruck, and have given numerous New York premieres.  In collaboration with Samuel Rhodes of the Juilliard Quartet, the Pro Arte has performed the viola quartets of Roger Sessions and Samuel Rhodes.


Want a copy of the 2015-2016 PAS ticket booklet? If you have a high-speed Internet connection, then click here! Otherwise, please call the University Box Office at 877.727.1CFA to have one mailed to you.

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