Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

UGA Performing Arts Center announces lineup for 20th season

Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck Banjo-h
Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Performing Arts Center has announced the roster of artists for 2015-2016, the 20th season.

“The UGA Performing Arts Center has established a rich tradition of exceptional performances,” said George C. Foreman, director of the Performing Arts Center. “As we prepare to celebrate 20 years, we are building on that tradition with an exciting vision for the future.”

The 20th season will feature an expanded relationship with the Grammy-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. “The ASO has always been popular with our audiences so I wanted to bring the orchestra to Athens more frequently and increase their presence in the local community,” Foreman said.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will open the Performing Arts Center’s 2015-2016 season Sept. 20 with a performance of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony featuring the Hodgson Hall debut of the 200-voice Atlanta Symphony Chorus. Music director Robert Spano will conduct.

The Atlanta Symphony will make four appearances on the Masterworks and Classics series throughout the season, including an April concert to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of ASO conductor Robert Shaw. Athens audiences will have the opportunity to hear the concert before the orchestra performs it in New York’s Carnegie Hall. The ASO will also come to Athens for a special New Year’s Eve concert, in addition to serving as orchestra-in-residence with educational programs for UGA students and area school children.

The Performing Arts Center will expand its relationship with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as well. “This is the world’s premier repertory company for chamber music and I’m excited about creating a long-term partnership with them,” Foreman said.

Members of the Chamber Music Society will visit Athens six times during the season to perform on the University’s Franklin College Chamber Music Series. The concerts will explore musical masterpieces from the 17th through the 20th centuries and will feature a rotating roster of Lincoln Center’s acclaimed musicians. Spano, an accomplished pianist as well as conductor, will join the Chamber Music Society in a February program showcasing famous piano compositions.

The Performing Arts Center’s classical music series will also feature return visits from favorites from past seasons: the Venice Baroque Orchestra, the King’s Singers, the State Ballet Theatre of Russia, The Knights chamber orchestra with violinist Gil Shaham and the Munich Symphony Orchestra with the Romeros Guitar Quartet.

Sir James Galway will return in the spring as he brings his International Flute Festival back to UGA.

“James is truly the living legend of the flute and we are delighted that he has once again selected Athens and the Performing Arts Center as the American location for his prestigious festival,” Foreman said.

For its 20th season, the Performing Arts Center will use the intimacy of Ramsey Concert Hall to showcase leading instrumentalists from some of America’s foremost classical music institutions. The Recitals in Ramsey series will include Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson, principal flute with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Anthony McGill, principal clarinet with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; and David Chan, concertmaster with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

The Performing Arts Center’s Show Biz and Celebrity Evenings series will shine the spotlight on more pops-oriented entertainment, including the Hodgson Hall debut of Rosanne Cash. She will perform with guitarist John Leventhal, her husband and collaborator on the multi-Grammy-winning The River and the Thread.

Banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck will return to the Performing Arts Center for a rare performance with his wife, Abigail Washburn, an equally talented banjo player. American Music Association Artist of the Year Patty Griffin will be joined by Sara Watkins and Anaïs Mitchell for an evening that celebrates American songwriting, and pianist Jim Brickman will offer a holiday concert in December with special guests, the Georgia Children’s Chorus.

The Performing Arts Center will continue its partnership with the Classic Center for two events, Disney Fantasia with live symphony orchestra and The Nutcracker with the State Ballet Theatre of Russia.

Subscription packages are now on sale for the 2015-2016 season with savings up to 30 percent off single ticket prices. For a free brochure stop by the Performing Arts Center box office or call 706-542-4400 or toll free at 888-289-8497 or see

The 2015-2016 season brochure can be viewed online at

Single tickets for individual events will go on sale Aug. 24.

Following is the 2015-2016 season of the UGA Performing Arts Center by series:

Opening Concert (on Masterworks and Classics series)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Sept. 20, 3 p.m.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Nov. 8, 3 p.m.
Munich Symphony Orchestra with Romeros Guitar Quartet, Nov. 15, 7 p.m.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Feb. 7, 2 p.m.
Venice Baroque Orchestra, April 12, 8 p.m.

The King’s Singers, Nov. 9, 8 p.m.
State Ballet Theatre of Russia-Tchaikovsky Spectacular, Jan. 11-12, 8 p.m.
The Knights with violinist Gil Shaham, Feb. 21, 3 p.m.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Atlanta Symphony Chorus, April 27, 8 p.m.
Masterworks and Classics Special Concert: Sir James Galway, April 10, 3 p.m.

Franklin College Chamber Music Series
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
David Finckel, Cello and Wu Han, Piano-Payne Memorial Concert, Oct. 4, 3 p.m.
Baroque Collection, Oct. 22, 8 p.m.
Classical Celebration-Orion String Quartet, Nov. 19, 8 p.m.
Romantic Masterworks, Jan. 28, 8 p.m.
Pianos/Pianists-Alessio Bax, Robert Spano and Wu Han, Feb. 11, 8 p.m.
Glorious Sextets, April 24, 3 p.m.

Recitals in Ramsey
Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson, principal flute, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Oct. 18, 3 p.m.
Gilles Vonsattel, piano, Jan. 19, 8 p.m.
Anthony McGill, principal clarinet, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, March 21, 8 p.m.
David Chan, concertmaster, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, April 3, 3 p.m.

Celebrity Evenings
Jim Brickman-Comfort and Joy. Special guests: Georgia Children’s Chorus, Dec. 8, 8 p.m.
Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins and Anaïs Mitchell, Feb. 16, 8 p.m.
Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, March 22, 8 p.m.
Rosanne Cash, April 16, 8 p.m.

Show Biz
The Julian Bliss Septet-A Tribute to Benny Goodman, Feb. 8, 8 p.m.
The Hollywood Concert Orchestra-A Night at the Oscars, Feb. 14, 3 p.m.
Salzburg Marionette Theatre-The Sound of Music, March 14, 8 p.m.
Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, March 16, 8 p.m.
Rockapella, April 1, 8 p.m.

Celebrity Evenings and Show Biz Bonus Show
The Second City, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m., Jan 26 at 6 and 8:30 p.m.

Special Events
The Nutcracker-State Ballet Theatre of Russia, Dec. 19-20, 3 p.m.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra-New Year’s Eve Concert, Dec. 31, 7 p.m.
Disney Fantasia-Live in Concert, March 1, 7:30 p.m.