Winchester, VA – Shenandoah Conservatory announces the 2019/20 season of Conservatory Performs, the conservatory’s premier performing arts series featuring a range of performances by award-winning faculty and students, as well as internationally acclaimed guest artists from across the globe. As an academic center of training devoted to exceptional artistry, Shenandoah Conservatory offers hundreds of performances throughout the year, and has become the region’s most expansive arts presenter of music, theatre and dance.
“Shenandoah Conservatory has something for everyone! In total, the Conservatory Performs season provides audiences hundreds of opportunities to observe and participate in exceptional live arts experiences,” said Conservatory Performs Managing Director and Performing Arts Live Artistic Director Courtney Reilly.
Performing Arts Live, the conservatory’s multi-disciplinary series, welcomes world-class guest artists, including “vibrant and stunning” world music by the all-female Zimbabwean five-piece Nobuntu; masterful performances by internationally acclaimed ensembles, Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet and Ballet Hispánico; exciting new creations by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Leyla McCalla; and Manual Cinema, an exciting, ambitious multidisciplinary art collective reshaping the performing arts experience.
The World of the Piano series welcomes an array of award-winning classical pianists, including Sofya Gulyak, an artist known for her “…tremendous precision and colouration…exquisite soft playing…with delicacy”; Moscow-born Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg, recognized as a leading interpreter of Rachmaninoff; first-prize winner at the 2018 Dublin International Piano Competition Sae Yoon Chon; and Anne-Marie McDermott, “a pianist who balances qualities of excitement and spontaneity with clarity and elegance” (The New York Times). The series culminates in a concert featuring Shenandoah Conservatory’s Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, Chair of Keyboard Division and Professor of Piano John O’Conor, Mus.D., celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday anniversary with a special performance of the composer’s last three sonatas.
Shenandoah New Music, an inventive series for the region’s most curious and adventurous arts lovers, highlights innovative new works by living composers typically performed in intimate and more casual settings, such as the Bright Box Theater in downtown Winchester. This year’s highlights include a rare solo concert by Tony Award-winning “Parade” composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown and the award-winning PUBLIQuartet, an ensemble known for its genre-bending programs and applauded as “a perfect encapsulation of today’s trends in chamber music.”
In addition to the lineup of world-renowned guest artist performances, conservatory students, faculty and ensembles present a range of performances throughout the year. The Theatre Division presents contemporary plays as well as musicals from the Broadway canon, including the U.S. college and university premiere of the hilarious Broadway hit musical comedy “Something Rotten!”; Jason Robert Brown’s Tony Award-winning “Parade”; Shakespeare’s enduring tragedy “Macbeth”; the musical “1776”; and Noël Coward’s beloved classic “Blithe Spirit.” The theatre series culminates in a collaborative new works initiative in partnership with The Farm Theatre featuring playwright Judith Leora.
The Dance Division presents “Moving Forces,” a program including works by guest choreographer Casey Noblett and faculty choreographers Tiffanie Carson, Erica Helm and Charlie Maybee; and “Reflections,” an invited choreographers’ showcase featuring Kimberly Fields, Ilana Goldman and Lucinda Childs, an internationally acclaimed artist revered for her collaborations with Philip Glass, Sol LeWitt, Andy Warhol, Wendy Whelan and Robert Wilson. All of the performances feature original works in various dance styles, ranging from jazz, modern and ballet to hip-hop and contemporary.
Shenandoah Conservatory’s commitment to creative collaborations manifests in several unique performances: “Winchester at 275” celebrating the city’s birthday with a performance by the Wind Ensemble and Shenandoah’s vocal and choral ensembles; “A Night at the Opera” featuring the Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and vocal students and faculty; and “The Body, The Voice, The Instrument” a major collaboration between the Dance Ensemble, Choral Division and Symphony Orchestra, which powerfully combines original choreography with live music.
The 2019/20 voice season features baritone Matthew Worth and pianist Tyson Deaton in a captivating recital exploring the relationship between pianist and vocalist. This year’s Opera Up Close production explores new American voices in opera, including three new works about the conflict between our internal and external lives. The program features excerpts from “Carnival of Souls,” an opera in progress by Shenandoah Conservatory’s Director of Composition, Coordinator of New Music and Associate Professor of Composition Jonathan Newman, M.M., based on the 1962 cult horror film; Christopher Weiss’ comic short opera “Service Provider;” and Laura Kaminsky’s “As One,” a two-person chamber opera about the journey of a transitioning transgender person.
One of the most groundbreaking, student-driven initiatives returns to Shenandoah in October for a week of unbridled exploration, collaboration and creativity. The week culminates Saturday, Nov. 2, with a “Festival of Arts, Ideas & Exploration” featuring a wide variety of exciting, innovative and provocative performances, presentations, roundtable discussions and other special events. Festival wristbands, which give participants access to a full day of performances and activities, will be sold for a suggested donation of $10 (student suggested donation of $5).
To view an entire calendar of events, purchase tickets and learn more, visit Conservatory Performs online at conservatoryperforms.org, in person at the Shenandoah University Box Office located in the Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre lobby or by phone at 540-665-4569. Regular box office hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m.
Tickets are on sale, and patrons are able to save 20 to 30 percent off general admission tickets with a flexible Pick 5 or Pick 8 subscription package.
MEDIA INFORMATION: Photo & Interview Opportunities
High-resolution photography and interviews with the artists are available upon request
Assistant Managing Director, Shenandoah Conservatory
(937) 510 1454 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Shenandoah Conservatory is home to more than 600 students enrolled in baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs in the areas of music, theatre and dance. Virginia’s oldest and premier center for performing arts training, the conservatory is led by a dynamic faculty composed of performers and scholars of national and international repute.
Shenandoah University was established in 1875, and is headquartered in Winchester, Virginia, with additional educational sites in Clarke, Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Shenandoah is a private, nationally recognized university that blends the best of professional studies and the liberal arts. With nearly 4,000 students in more than 100 academic programs in seven different schools, Shenandoah promotes a close-knit community rich in creative energy and intellectual challenge. Shenandoah students collaborate with accomplished professors who provide focused, individual attention, all the while leading several programs to be highly nationally ranked. Through innovative partnerships and programs at both the local and global level, there are exceptional opportunities for students to learn in and out of the classroom. Shenandoah empowers its students to improve the human condition and to be principled professionals and leaders wherever they go. For more information, visit su.edu.