A year and a half ago Samantha Pollack, the programming director of Washington Performing Arts, found out WPA’s space at the Kennedy Center would be under renovation during its 2016-2017 season. She started looking for a new space. The right-sized venue would have between 500 and 1,200 seats. It would have to allow for afternoon performances.
Then she found the UDC Theater of the Arts. The theater, which seats 900, was the right size, had great acoustics and could house WPA’s Steinway piano. She was so taken by the space that she brought representatives of Vocal Arts of DC, Young Concert Artists and Step Afrika! to see it. It was a winner. These groups have all signed on and will be bringing 25 performances to the UDC Theater of the Arts this fall, winter and spring.
Peter Russell, the director of Vocal Arts DC, told Forest Hills Connection he is looking forward to being at Van Ness, with easy access to a Metro station, more affordable parking, and restaurants close by.
“For Vocal Arts DC, our 2016-2017 season in the Van Ness neighborhood at the UDC Theater of the Arts is both an opportunity for our old friends to become better acquainted with a wonderful area of the city and performance venue, and to make new friends in the area as we increase the cultural profile there.”
Washington Performing Arts has made a video to acquaint visitors with the theater.
Forest Hills Connection welcomes these groups to Van Ness and to UDC. With their assistance, we have created a one-stop shop for concert tickets below. For more information on their efforts to support the performing arts as well as on other performances in the DC area, please visit their websites: WashingtonPerformingArts.org, VocalArtsDC.org, StepAfrika.org and YCA.org.
Step Afrika! The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence
Washington Performing Arts opens its 50th season with the debut of a new and expanded production of Step Afrika!’s signature work, The Migration, based on American painter Jacob Lawrence’s iconic series (displayed at the Phillips Collection and at MoMA in New York).
September 30-October 2, 2016: Step Afrika!, the acclaimed, DC-based, global ambassador for the tradition of step dance viscerally blends body percussion, dance, spoken word, projected images of Lawrence’s paintings, and live and recorded music to chart the story of African-American migrants moving from the South to the North in the early 1900s. The program features members of the Men and Women of the Gospel Choir. Single tickets go on sale August 24th. Purchase tickets – $45
Washington Performing Arts Virtuoso Series
The five concerts of the Virtuoso Series present a platform for emerging and established artists, including soloists and ensembles. Purchase single tickets (sales begin August 24th, click “Purchase tickets” below), buy the series for $168, or if you wish to see three or more Washington Performing Arts shows, create a custom series for savings of 10% off single ticket prices.
October 16, 2016: In a rare undertaking, cellist Alisa Weilerstein tackles Bach’s complete Suites for Unaccompanied Cello in a single performance. Purchase tickets – $47
November 13, 2016: Acclaimed bass-baritone Eric Owens – a regular at the world’s great opera houses and a favorite of local audiences for his roles in Porgy and Bess, The Flying Dutchman, and Lost in the Stars at Washington National Opera – is joined by soprano Susanna Phillips, recipient of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, for a program of works by Schubert. The concert is co-curated by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, recipient of Washington Performing Arts’ 2015 Ambassador of the Arts Award. Purchase tickets – $45
December 4, 2016: The Attacca Quartet performs twice in the 2016/17 season. In this presentation, the quartet gives a recital on their own, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte, Mendelssohn’s Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13, and Beethoven’s Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131. Purchase tickets – $35
February 2, 2017: The Danish String Quartet, recently awarded a 2016 prize for musical excellence by the London-based Borletti-Buitoni Trust, brings its exploration of Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 to their recital program. This thematically linked program includes Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 2, Op. 18, and is followed by Schnittke’s Quartet No. 3, which quotes the Grosse Fuge. Closing the program is Beethoven’s Quartet No. 18, Op. 130 and the Grosse Fuge, providing listeners with a unique opportunity to hear this thematic material in the way that the composer originally intended – as the Op. 130 finale. Purchase tickets – $47
March 24, 2017: The JCT Trio (pronounced “Junction Trio”) comprises three young Avery Fisher Career Grant-winning instrumentalists who have made names and careers for themselves as soloists in their own rights: pianist Conrad Tao, violinist Stefan Jackiw, and cellist Jay Campbell (the most recent, 2016, Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, whom Washington Performing Arts first presented in his Kennedy Center debut in 2014/15). Together, they perform a virtuosic program of works by Dvořàk, Ives, and Mozart. Purchase tickets – $35
Washington Performing Arts Piano Masters
The Piano Masters Series offers three recitals by some of the most prestigious keyboard artists performing today. Purchase single tickets (sales begin August 24th, click “Purchase tickets” below), buy the series for $148, or if you wish to see three or more Washington Performing Arts shows, create a custom series for savings of 10% off single ticket prices.
March 12, 2017: Richard Goode returns to Washington Performing Arts in 2016/17 with a program that juxtaposes music by Bach and Chopin. Purchase tickets – $68
April 25, 2017: Virtuoso and seemingly fearless pianist Yefim Bronfman brings a recital program of Bartók’s Suite, Op. 14, Schumann’s Humoreske, Debussy’s Suite bergamasque, and Stravinsky’s Petrouchka. Purchase tickets – $65
May 21, 2017: Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein made his debut on Washington Performing Arts’ Hayes Piano Series 12 years ago; since that time he has earned a reputation of renown and musical intelligence and won a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. His program opens with Brahms’ Sonata No. 2 in F minor and features what has become a signature work in his repertoire: Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes. Purchase tickets – $52
Washington Performing Arts Hayes Piano Series
Rising keyboard talents are presented each year as part of the Hayes Piano Series, established in 1966 in honor of Washington Performing Arts founder Patrick Hayes and his wife, Evelyn Swarthout Hayes. From Pollini to Perahia, Brendel to Bronfman, virtually every notable pianist performing today made his or her Kennedy Center debut on this exceptional series.
Purchase single tickets (sales begin August 24th, click “Purchase tickets” below), buy the series for $184, or if you wish to see three or more Washington Performing Arts shows, create a custom series for savings of 10% off single ticket prices.
October 29, 2016: Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams, who is currently completing a three-year Beethoven Sonata Cycle in London and in Cardiff, brings his expressive artistry to the Hayes Series in the fall. Purchase tickets – $45
November 12, 2016: French pianist Lucas Debargue – the largely self-trained winner of Fourth Prize at the Fifteenth Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015 – brings his youthful, individual approach to his Hayes Series program of music by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin, and Ravel. Purchase tickets – $47
December 3, 2016: Israeli pianist Tomer Gewirtzman’s appearance on the Hayes Series marks his Washington Performing Arts debut, co-presented with Young Concert Artists. He performs works by Couperin, Corigliano, Liszt, and Schumann. Purchase tickets – $45
February 11, 2017: Russian pianist Igor Levit makes his long-awaited Hayes Series debut after his originally scheduled date in 2015 was cancelled due to illness. Levit performs a program of music by Shostakovich, Rzewski and Beethoven for this highly anticipated recital. Purchase tickets – $47
April 29, 2017: Winner of Spain’s National Music Prize in 2012, young Spanish pianist Javier Perianes has already appeared with several of the world’s most renowned orchestras as a soloist, including the Vienna Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. His recital includes a program of music by Schubert, Ravel, and De Falla. Purchase tickets – $45
Vocal Arts DC
Committed to nurture and promote the classical voice recital, Vocal Arts DC presents an exceptional cadre of chanteurs. This stellar line-up of concerts features some exciting debuts and some very welcome returning artists. Single tickets for non-subscribers will be $50 each, and will be available on and after September 7. Contact Washington Performing Arts at 202-785-9727 or online at VocalArtsDC.org. Or, purchase a mini-subscription of three or more performances for $45 per ticket. A full-season subscription, including all seven shows, is $287, or $41 per ticket.
November 15, 2016: The wonderful young lyric tenor Ben Bliss opens our 26th season in the Gerald Perman Fund for Emerging Artists recital. He is accompanied by pianist Lachlan Glen, performing selections from Bellini, Liszt, Vaughn Williams, and Britten.
December 6, 2016: Baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber have been high on our subscribers’ “most frequently requested” list since their first appearance in Washington, DC under Vocal Arts DC auspices. They will perform a selection by Mahler. More Information
January 22, 2017: The always popular New York Festival of Song will return with Steven Blier and Michael Barrett as duo-pianists in a program centered on Tchaikovsky and his students. Their young soloists include the outstanding Ukrainian soprano Antonina Chehovska and Russian baritone Alexey Lavrov, who captivated our audience when he appeared with NYFOS in their “Letters from Spain” program in April of 2015. Besides selections by Tchaikovsky, they will perform Gliere, Scriabin, Taneyen, Rachmaninov and Rubinstein. More Information
February 21, 2017: French soprano Sandrine Piau and her longtime collaborative accompanist, Susan Manoff together have drawn rave reviews worldwide. They will perform selections by Schubert, Liszt, Wolf and Debussy. More Information
March 11, 2017: Young American soprano Lisette Oropesa, quickly ascending to stardom, is next in line with pianist Vlad Iftinca. An enthusiastic reception to her New York solo recital debut in January of this year prompted us to invite her to make her Washington solo recital debut. Oropesa will perform selections by Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Obradors, and Poulenc. More Information
April 20, 2017: German soprano Anne Schwanewilms’ only previous appearance in Washington, under Vocal Arts DC auspices, was a recital that drew raves in January of 2010. She returns with Malcolm Martineau at the keyboard to perform selections by Strauss. More Information
May 3, 2017: Closing the Vocal Arts DC 2016-2017 season will be the first Washington appearance of the sensational Polish tenor Piotr Beczala in concert with pianist Martin Katz, performing selections by Schumann, Karlowicz, Dvorak and Rachmaninov. More Information
Young Concert Artists of Washington
UDC is one of four Washington, DC venues for the Young Concert Artists series featuring extraordinary young performers. Learn more at YCA.org. Purchase single tickets for $38 (see below), or purchase a subscription for all three UDC concerts and more for $30 apiece. If you have trouble purchasing tickets please call 202-331-0405 or email email@example.com.
December 3, 2016: Tomer Gewirtzman, Israeli pianist and winner of the 2015 YCA International Auditions, the Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in Tel Aviv, and Gold Medlist at the 2014 Wideman International Competition in Louisiana, performs pieces by Couperin, Lizt, Corigliano and Schumann. Listen and learn more | Purchase tickets
February 7, 2017: Samuel Hasselhorn, charismatic German baritone and winner of 2015 YCA Auditions, the 2013 International Schubert Competitions in Dortmund and the “Prix de Lied” in the 2013 Nadia and Lili Boulanger Competition in Paris. Program: Songs by Schumann, Britten, Dutilleux, Dupark and Schubert. Listen and learn more | Purchase tickets
March 14, 2017: Dasol Kim, Korean pianist and winner of the YCA International Auditions in New York and Leipzig and first prize in the Epinal International Piano Competition in Seoul, and performances with the New York Philharmonic in Seoul. Program: Pieces by Beethoven, Barber, Chopin. Listen and learn more | Purchase tickets