Athens, Ga. - The University of Georgia Performing Arts Center has announced the roster of artists for the 2014-2015 season.
"I'm excited about the upcoming season for many reasons," said George C. Foreman, director of the Performing Arts Center. "We have some very special events to look forward to, and we're presenting a lot of orchestral performances as well, which our audiences love."
The season will feature a return appearance by best-selling author and "A Prairie Home Companion" host Garrison Keillor, whose 2012 UGA show was a sell-out. "People have been asking me when we were going to bring him back, and I'm glad we were able to make it happen," Foreman said. (The date of this show is yet to be determined.)
In November, opera superstar Kathleen Battle will perform a program of spirituals celebrating the roots of African-American music and freedom via the Underground Railroad. Battle will share the stage with UGA's Hodgson Singers and African-American Choral Ensemble.
The Performing Arts Center will present two December holiday events. The State Ballet Theatre of Russia will return with its popular production of "The Nutcracker," presented in partnership with the Classic Center, and The Knights chamber orchestra from New York will join with UGA's Hodgson Singers and four professional soloists to offer a complete performance of Handel's "Messiah."
The Knights' residency in Athens will continue in February as they become the chamber orchestra in residence for the entire city with a concert on the Performing Arts Center's Masterworks series along with school visits and a concert for area school children. The Athens residency of the Knights is presented in cooperation with the Classic Center Foundation.
The Performing Arts Center has also scheduled a special concert by Kodo, the Japanese taiko drumming sensation whose fans and collaborators include Blue Man Group and Cirque de Soliel.
In addition to the special events, the Performing Arts Center will present seven different performance series: Masterworks, Classics, the Franklin College Chamber Music Series, the Ramsey Concert Hall Series, Show Biz, Off-Broadway and the ARCO Series.
The PAC's popular Saturday Morning Club, the family-oriented series that premiered in 2013, will grow from three performances to five. The series showcases UGA student ensembles and is designed for children ages four through 12 and their parents and grandparents.
The Performing Arts Center will continue to offer informative pre-concert lectures 45 minutes prior to select performances, and the PAC is again collaborating with the Georgia Museum of Art to invite patrons to "Make It an Evening" by arriving early for gallery tours and dessert.
Subscription packages are now on sale for the 2014-2015 season with savings up to 30 percent off single ticket prices. For more information or a free brochure, contact the Performing Arts Center box office at 706-542-4400 or toll free at 888-289-8497. The 2014-2015 season brochure can be viewed online by visiting the PAC's website at pac.uga.edu.
Single tickets for individual Performing Arts Center events will go on sale Aug. 25.
Following is the 2014-2015 season of the UGA Performing Arts Center by series:
• Garrison Keillor, date TBD, Hodgson Concert Hall
Keillor, hosts of the radio variety show "A Prairie Home Companion" returns to Hodgson Hall. The event is presented in cooperation with the Classic Center.
• Kathleen Battle presents "The Underground Railroad," Nov. 9, 3 p.m.
An afternoon of spirituals celebrates the roots of African-American music and freedom via the Underground Railroad. UGA's Hodgson Singers and African-American Choral Ensemble join Battle for the performance.
• Handel's Messiah, Dec. 20, 7 p.m., Dec. 21, 2 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The Knights chamber orchestra from New York City, UGA's Hodgson Singers and four professional soloists join forces under the direction of Daniel Bara for a complete performance of Handel's masterpiece.
• State Ballet Theatre of Russia, "The Nutcracker," Dec. 20, 3 and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 21, 3 p.m., Classic Center Theatre
The State Ballet Theatre of Russia returns to perform perennial holiday favorite set to Tchaikovsky's music, including "Waltz of the Flowers," "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and "Waltz of the Snowflakes."
• Kodo, One Earth Tour, March 29, 7 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
Performing on taiko drums, Kodo turns traditional Japanese music into a spectacle and a vibrant expression of artistic excellence.
• Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Donald Runnicles, conductor, Nicola Benedetti, violin, date TBD, Hodgson Concert Hall
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra returns to Hodgson Concert Hall with an all-Beethoven program that features two of the composer's most popular works, the Concerto for Violin and the Sixth Symphony (Pastoral).
• St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Lande, conductor, Dmitry Kouzov, cello, Jan. 5, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The concert will include a mix of American and Russian favorites, including Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, Bernstein's "Candide Overture" and Schumann's" Cello Concerto with Russian."
• The Knights, Eric Jacobsen, conductor, Feb. 12, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The chamber orchestra is dedicated to creating original, engaging musical experiences that both honor the classical tradition and also explore new avenues for musical discovery.
• Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Jacomo Bairos, conductor, Miloš Karadaglic, guitar, March 22, 3 p.m. Hodgson Concert Hall
The concert opens with the Suite No. 2 from Manuel de Falla's "Three-Cornered Hat" and continues with Joaquín Rodrigo's concerto for guitar "Fantasía para un gentilhombre" (Fantasia for a Gentleman).
• Christina and Michelle Naughton, duo piano, April 7, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The twin sisters made debuts at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theatre with the New Jersey Symphony and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 2008-2009 season.
• Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Valery Polyansky, conductor, Vladimir Feltsman, Piano, Nov. 13, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The all-Russian program includes Glinka's "Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila," Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 1 and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1.
• State Ballet Theatre of Russia, "Swan Lake," Jan 13-14, 8 p.m., Fine Arts Theatre
The State Ballet Theatre production is set to score featuring Tchaikovsky and filled with authentic Russian choreography and lavish sets and costumes.
• Chanticleer, Feb. 5, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
An orchestra of 12 male voices, the group performs original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz and from gospel to new music.
• Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Robert Spano conductor, Midori, violin, Feb. 22, 3 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The performance will include 19th century orchestral favorites. Midori, one of the world's most popular violinists, joins the orchestra in Schumann's Violin Concerto.
• Vadym Kholodenko, piano, March 31, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
Ukrainian pianist Kholodenko is the gold medalist in 2013 Van Cliburn Competition.
• Red Priest, Nov. 12, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The British baroque quartet's repertoire ranges from obscure 17th century sonatas to the most famous works of Bach and Vivaldi, all presented in imaginative programs with filmic titles like "Priest on the Run" or "Pirates of the Baroque." This bonus concert in included in subscriptions to both the Masterworks and Classics series.
Franklin College Chamber Music Series
• The Attacca Quartet, the Payne Memorial Concert, Oct. 5, 3 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The Attacca Quartet was formed by four students at New York City's Juilliard School in 2003. The quartet was recently named quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
• Juilliard String Quartet, Oct. 7, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The Juilliard String Quartet plays new works as if they were established masterpieces and established masterpieces as if they were new.
• Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, Oct. 15, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
Founded in 1988, the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet was the first permanently established wind quintet in the orchestra's rich tradition of chamber music.
• Jupiter String Quartet, Jon Manasse, clarinet, Jon Nakamatsu, piano, April 20, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The group consists of violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg) and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz). The quartet is joined by members of the celebrated Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo.
• Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Arch Chamber Music Festival, April 25, 8 p.m., April 26, 3 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is America's premier repertory company for chamber music. The CMS visits the Arch Chamber Music Festival annually.
Ramsey Concert Hall Series
• Paul Huang, violin, Oct. 21, 8 p.m., Ramsey Concert Hall
The 22-year-old Taiwanese-American violinist is gaining attention for his distinctive sound and compelling stage presence. Among his honors are First Prize at the 2011 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and First Prize at the 2009 International Violin Competition Sion-Valais in Switzerland.
• Javier Perianes, piano, Nov. 3, 8 p.m., Ramsey Concert Hall
Perianes is one of Spain's most popular young artists; he was the artist-in-residence at the Granada Festival in 2012, and he was in residence with the Seville Orchestra at Teatro de la Maestranza during the 2012-2013 season.
• Andrew Tyson, piano, March 24, 8 p.m., Ramsey Concert Hall
The pianist won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 2011 and received an Avery Fisher Career Grantin 2013.
• The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Oct. 26, 3 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
William Count Basie started the Count Basie Orchestra in 1935, in Kansas City, Missouri. Still going strong today, the orchestra has won 17 Grammy Awards and 20 Downbeat and Jazz Times polls, more than any other big band in jazz.
• The 5 Browns, piano, Dec. 8, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra and Desirae Brown all attended New York's Juilliard School, becoming the first family of five siblings ever accepted simultaneously.
• Peter Schickele, "50 Years of P.D.Q. Bach: A Triumph of Incompetence!" Jan. 29, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
This musical extravaganza will feature the crème de la crème of history's most justifiably neglected composer.
• A Night in Old New Orleans, Feb. 7, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
Veterans of the Off-Broadway smash "One Mo' Time" reunite for the show, which features clarinetist Orange Kellin and his trio as well as song and dance man Vernel Bagneris. The performance will showcase classic tunes from the old days of the Big Easy.
• Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, "Visions from Cape Breton and Beyond: A Celtic Family Celebration," March 5, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster is joined by husband Donnell Leahy and their children for a new show that features dancers and singers from the traditions of their hometowns of Cape Breton and Lakefield, Ontario.
• Accordion Virtuosi of Russia, Oct. 28, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
Accordion Virtuosi of Russia's repertoire ranges from folk music to arrangements of rock songs.
• The Hot Sardines, Nov. 17, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
Bandleader Evan "Bibs" Palazzo and lead singer "Miz Elizabeth" Bougerol combine with the Sardine ensemble-and their very own tap dancer-to play hot jazz and sultry standards from the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
• Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, Jan. 15, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The music/comedy ensemble from New Zealand features many types of ukuleles, a double bass and a host of voices performing harmonious and hilarious renditions of modern and traditional tunes.
• Urban Bush Women, Jan 23-24, 8 p.m., Fine Arts Theatre
Urban Bush Women was founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar to bring the untold stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance. It its 30th year, the company uses dance as both the message and the medium to bring together diverse audiences through innovative choreography.
• Mnozil Brass, Feb. 24, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
Combining musicianship with humor, Mnozil Brass has been called "the Monty Python of the music world."
The ARCO Series
• ARCO Chamber Orchestra, Levon Ambartsumian, conductor, Nov. 18, 8 p.m. and Feb. 23, 8 p.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
The ARCO Chamber Orchestra was established by Levon Ambartsumian during his years as professor of violin at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Since 1995, the orchestra has been based at UGA, where Ambartsumian is Franklin Professor of Violin at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.
Saturday Morning Club
This series features UGA student performers and is designed for children ages four through 12 and their parents and grandparents. Presented in partnership with Athens Regional Health System.
• UGA Wind Ensemble, Oct. 25, 10 a.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
• Saxophone Extravaganza, Nov. 8, 10 a.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
• UGA Theatre, Feb. 14, 10 a.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
• UGA Dance, March 28, 10 a.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
• UGA Symphony Orchestra, April 18, 10 a.m., Hodgson Concert Hall
**Note to editors: Updated 9-4-14 to update Garrison Keillor date change