Hello Writers and Editors!

UMS wraps up its 2018-19 season in April with another diverse lineup.

The month kicks off with French director Arthur Nauzyciel's production of Julius Caesar, which adopts the look and style of the 1960s and features a live jazz trio.

Classical music audiences will enjoy a performance by the Takács Quartet with New York Philharmonic principal clarinet Anthony McGill, the English Concert's semi-staged opera in concert production of Handel's Semele, and a recital performance by beloved pianist Murray Perahia.

Martha Graham Dance Company makes its return to the UMS stage with two unique programs that showcase masterpieces by Graham alongside newly commissioned works by contemporary artists.

Closing out the month is an HD screening of the National Theatre's Allelujah!, Alan Bennett’s hilarious new play on the reality of funding cuts and care for the aging.

Read on for more details about these events. Press images are always available at, or they can be downloaded by clicking the respective "Press Photos" buttons below.

As always, don't hesitate to reach out if I can help enhance your story with interviews, quotes, or additional photos.


Julius Caesar
Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

Théâtre National de Bretagne
Created in conjunction with American Repertory Theater
Arthur Nauzyciel, director

Friday, April 5 // 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 6 // 7:30 pm
Power Center

French director Arthur Nauzyciel revives his production of Julius Caesar, first created for Boston's influential American Repertory Theater in a US election year 10 years ago. Now artistic director of the Théâtre National de Bretagne, Nauzyciel highlights the continuing relevance of Shakespeare's great political tragedy. The production features costumes and design that evoke the era of JFK, a live jazz trio, and provocative staging that refocuses the action so that the tyranny unfolds as the dream of a minor character, Brutus' slave Lucius.

One of the greatest theatrical studies of tyranny, revolution, and civil war, Julius Caesar is also a highly personal play — a breathless, gripping portrayal of friendships and alliances torn apart by political ambition and the intoxicating effects of power.

Performed in English.


Talk: On Shakespeare’s Roman Trails
Friday, April 5 // 4 pm // Michigan League Hussey Room
How do we address Shakespeare’s Roman plays to contemporary audiences? We can make our productions strongly, even aggressively, about our politics rather than Rome’s or early modern England’s. But one area of Shakespeare marketing that Shakespeare cultural criticism has almost completely ignored is the film — and now also the theater — trailer. Trailers are everywhere. No longer only in the movie theater, they fill our TVs and are all over the web. Scholar Peter Holland considers how they conceptualize, and invite us into, Shakespeare’s Roman plays.

Post-Performance Artist Q&A
Fri, Apr 5 only
Must have a performance ticket to attend.

Presenting Sponsors: Michigan Medicine and The James Garavaglia Theater Endowment Fund

Patron Sponsor: The Ilene H. Forsyth Theater Endowment Fund and the Herbert S. and Carol L. Amster Endowment Fund

Takács Quartet
Takács Quartet
Anthony McGill, clarinet

Sunday, April 7 // 4 pm
Rackham Auditorium

The Takács Quartet, now entering its 44th season, returns to Ann Arbor for its 25th appearance since its 1984 UMS debut. Based at the University of Colorado in Boulder, the ensemble includes Edward Dusinberre and Harumi Rhodes (violins), Geraldine Walther (viola) and András Fejér (cello). They are joined by New York Philharmonic principal clarinet Anthony McGill.

The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér, while all four were students. The quartet first received international attention in 1977 and made its North American debut tour in 1982. After several changes of personnel, the most recent addition is second violinist Harumi Rhodes, following Károly Schranz's retirement in April 2018. The Quartet last appeared at UMS in the 2016-17 season, presenting the complete Beethoven String Quartets over six performances.

String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76, No. 1
String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Op. 83
Clarinet Quintet in b minor, Op. 115


Pre-Performance Talk: The Sense of Endings
Sunday, April 7 // 3 pm // Rackham Amphitheatre (4th floor)
U-M Professor of Musicology Steven Whiting reveals the surprising harmonic and textural connections between the Haydn, Brahms, and Shostakovich works on the Takács program, unraveling how each represents a distinctive take on the problem of ending.

Exclusive Presenting Sponsor: The Ilene H. Forsyth Chamber Arts Endowment Fund
Media Partners: WRCJ 90.9 FM and WGTE 91.3 FM

Handel's Semele
Opera in Concert
Handel's Semele

The English Concert
Harry Bicket, artistic director and conductor
Brenda Rae, soprano (Semele)
Elizabeth DeShong, mezzo-soprano (Juno/Ino)
Soloman Howard, bass (Cadmus/Somnus)
Benjamin Hulett, tenor (Jupiter)
Christopher Lowrey, countertenor (Athamas)
Ailish Tynan, soprano (Iris)
The Clarion Choir (Steven Fox, artistic director)

Friday, April 12 // 7:30 pm
Hill Auditorium

The English Concert and artistic director Harry Bicket return with their semi-staged production of the English-language Handel opera Semele. Soprano Brenda Rae sings the title role.

In this sensuous and sparkling charmer, mortal maiden Semele incites the jealousy of the goddess Juno, resulting in some of opera’s most delicious arias of lust and rage. Show-stopping arias include the title character’s "Endless pleasure, endless love" and touching "O sleep, why dost thou leave me," and Jupiter’s "Where’er you walk."

With an unsurpassed reputation for inspiring performances of Baroque and classical music, The English Concert ranks among the finest chamber orchestras in the world. Its most recent UMS appearances include Radamisto (2013) and Ariodante (2017).

Presenting Sponsor: William R. Kinney Endowment Fund
Patron Sponsor: Jim Toy

Media Partners: WRCJ 90.9 FM, WGTE 91.3 FM, and Between the Lines

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
Cécile McLorin Salvant & Christian Sands

Christian Sands, piano and music director
Melissa Aldana, tenor saxophone
Bria Skonberg, trumpet
Yasushi Nakamura, bass
Jamison Ross, drums and percussion

Sunday, April 14 // 4 pm
Michigan Theater

The Monterey Jazz Festival's fifth national tour showcases the next generation of jazz legends with a lineup that features critically-acclaimed, Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated jazz artists, including three winners of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant fronts the ensemble with pianist and Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour director Christian Sands.

One of the most acclaimed vocalists of her generation, Cécile McLorin Salvant won the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Other honors include selection for Jazz Album of the Year by the DownBeat International Critics Poll and NPR, as well as Top Female Vocalist from the Jazz Journalists Association. Her last three Mack Avenue releases, For One to Love, Dreams and Daggers, and The Window, each won Grammy Awards for "Best Jazz Vocal Album."


UMS 101: Jazz
Sunday, April 14 // 2 pm // Location TBA
Registration fee with ticket: $69
Registration fee for workshop only: $15

Take a deeper look into the timeless songs that make up the Great American Songbook and you’ll understand why Cécile McLorin Salvant is compared to legends like Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. Her distinct sound is at the core of traditional vocal jazz while seamlessly crossing into show tunes and adult contemporary genres. This class will guide you toward a deeper understanding of the role of jazz vocalists as storytellers and ensemble leaders. Register for the workshop and performance, or the workshop only. Space is limited and class groups are intentionally kept small to create an engaging and intimate learning experience. Register at

Supporting Sponsor: Louise Taylor
Funded in part by:
JazzNet Endowment Fund
Media Partners: WEMU 89.1 FM, WRCJ 90.9 FM, WDET 101.9 FM, Ann Arbor’s 107one, and Metro Times

Murray Perahia
Murray Perahia, piano

Thursday, April 25 // 7:30 pm
Hill Auditorium

With 12 appearances since his UMS debut over four decades ago, Murray Perahia is one of the most treasured artists to perform under UMS auspices and consistently delivers performances that audiences remember years later. He is the principal guest conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with whom he has toured as conductor and pianist throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

Perahia is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, and he holds honorary doctorates from Leeds University and Duke University. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary KBE by Her Majesty The Queen, in recognition of his outstanding service to music.

A master of a vast range of repertoire, Mr. Perahia’s recital program will include works by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin.

Supporting Sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. Donald L. Morelock, Mr. and Mrs. Robert O. and Darragh H. Weisman, and Ann and Clayton Wilhite
Patron Sponsor: The Family of Marian P. and David M. Gates
Media Partners: WRCJ 90.9 FM and WGTE 91.3 FM

Explore the Lineup
Two Different Programs
Martha Graham Dance Company

Janet Eilber, artistic director

Friday, April 26 // 8 pm
Saturday, April 27 // 8 pm
Power Center

Founded in 1926 by dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, the Martha Graham Dance Company is the oldest and most celebrated contemporary dance company in America. The pioneering choreographer and her dancers radically expanded the dance vocabulary, rooting it in social, psychological, and sexual ideas, and forever altering the scope of the art form.

Today, the company continues to foster Graham’s spirit of ingenuity by embracing a new programming vision that showcases masterpieces by Graham alongside newly commissioned works by contemporary artists inspired by Graham’s legacy. With programs that unite the work of choreographers across time within a rich historical and thematic narrative, the company is actively working to create new platforms for contemporary dance and multiple points of access for audiences.

Secular Games (Martha Graham)
Deo (Maxine Doyle & Bobbi Jene Smith)
Lamentation Variations (Aszure Barton)
Chronicle (Graham)
Diversion of Angels (Graham)
Ekstasis (Graham)
Untitled (Souvenir) (Pam Tanowitz)
Herodiade (Graham)
I used to love you (Annie B. Parson)


Post-Performance Artist Q&A
Fri, Apr 26 only
Must have a performance ticket to attend.

You Can Dance: Martha Graham Dance Company
Sat, Oct 20 // 1:30 pm // Ann Arbor YMCA (400 W Washington St)
Dancers from Martha Graham Dance Company will lead an exploration of the company's movement style. No dance training or experience necessary, and all levels, ages 13 and up, are welcome. Free, but first come, first served until studio reaches capacity. Sign-up begins at 12:50 pm. Picture ID required at registration.

Presenting Sponsors: Ken Fischer Legacy Endowment Fund and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Media Partner: Ann Arbor's 107one

NTL in HD Allelujah!
National Theatre, Live in HD

by Alan Bennett
Directed by Nicholas Hytner

Sunday, April 28 // 7 pm
Michigan Theater

The Beth, an old-fashioned, cradle-to-grave hospital serving a small town in Yorkshire, is threatened with closure as part of a National Health System efficiency drive. As Dr. Valentine and Sister Gilchrist attend to the patients and campaign to save it, a documentary crew, eager to expose the truth of its situation, follows the daily struggle to find beds on the Dusty Springfield Geriatric Ward. Meanwhile, the old people’s choir, in readiness for next week’s concert, is in full swing. As the fight for survival continues, unexpected secrets come to light about the staff at the hospital.

Alan Bennett’s hilarious new play is a love letter to regional communities and a thought-provoking but stinging comedy on the reality of funding cuts and care for the aged. This production marks the 10th collaboration between Alan Bennett and Nicholas Hytner. A Bridge Theatre production.

Presented in partnership with the Michigan Theater.

2014 National Medal of Arts recipient

University Musical Society
Burton Memorial Tower
881 N University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1011
United States