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Metropolitan Museum Concerts
November 2011

  • The Alwan Arab Music Ensemble Performs at Museum’s Great Hall Balcony Bar to Mark Opening of New Islamic Department Galleries
  • Compañia Flamenca José Porcel Performs “Gypsy Fire”
  • Pacifica Quartet Continues Its Beethoven Quartet Cycle
  • Mile Square Theater Presents “The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi” for Families
  • Chanticleer Begins Metropolitan Museum Christmas Concerts

For tickets, visit www.metmuseum.org/tickets or call 212-570-3949.
Tickets are also available at the Great Hall Box Office, which is open Tuesday-Saturday 10-5:00 and Sunday noon-5:00.
Student and group discount tickets are available for some events; call 212-570-3949.
Tickets include admission to the Museum on day of performance.

Friday, Saturday, November 4 & 5, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. – The Alwan Arab Music Ensemble
at the Balcony Bar
To mark the opening of the Metropolitan Museum’s New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia on November 1, the Alwan Arab Music Ensemble, comprised of six of the leading practitioners of Arab music in New York who sing and play a wide range of Arab musical styles on traditional instruments, will present performances of classical art music from Cairo, Aleppo, and Baghdad at the Museum’s Balcony Bar overlooking the Great Hall.  The concerts are free with Museum admission.
 This program is generously supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
 The Alwan Arab Music Ensemble consists of George Ziadeh, oud, vocals; Tareq Abboushi, buzuq, vocals; Sami Shumays, violin, vocals; Johnny Farraj, riqq, vocals; Zafer Tawil, qanun, violin, vocals; and Amir ElSaffar, santur, vocals.
The notion of “classical" in Arab culture has existed since the Islamic Golden Age (750-1250 CE), a period in which great strides were made in the arts and sciences, much of which was influenced by ancient Greek philosophy and thought which, in turn, had its foundation in Egyptian and Semitic cultures. During this era, musicians and theorists developed the complex system of seven-note modes known as maqamat (singular: maqam), which lie at the heart of most Arab, as well as Persian, Turkish, and Central Asian musical styles to the present day. 
In the classical art music traditions of Cairo, Aleppo, and Baghdad--three important Arab cities with great legacies in art and culture—each has a unique repertory:  the dawr and qasida of Cairo, the muwashshahat andalusiyya of Aleppo, and al-maqam al-iraqi of Baghdad – with distinct characteristics, rules, and aesthetics. Yet all adhere to the maqam – a system of seven-note modes – and place great importance on poetry and the vocal melody, which is sung either by a soloist or a chorus and accompanied by ensembles of traditional instruments, including oud (lute), qanun (zither), nay (flute), violin, santur (hammered-dulcimer), riqq (tambourine), and tabla (goblet drum).
Great Hall Balcony Bar
Free with Museum admission

Friday, November 4, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. - Compañia Flamenca José Porcel – “Gypsy Fire”
This celebrated company of acclaimed flamenco dancers, musicians, and a vocal soloist perform a program focusing on the oldest form of flamenco from Andalusia – gypsy (roma) flamenco. 
José Porcel, who has been a premier dancer with the National Ballet of Spain, was born in Sevilla, and at the age of 13 began dancing Andalusian folkloric dances and flamenco in cultural centers in Valencia. He began his dance studies at 16 with the master Martín Vargas. He moved to Madrid and continued his studies with Paco Romero, Isabel Quintero, Cristóbal Reyes, Pedro Azorín and José Granero.  In 1989 he made his professional debut with the Ballet de Valencia, directed by Martín Vargas, and was promoted to soloist in the company the following year.  In 1991 Mr. Porcel choreographed his first flamenco work, Te traigo al sur, Miguel, under the direction of the flamencologist Federico Torres, in the Teatro Principal in Alicante. In 1992 he directed and performed in his first flamenco company, in the Expo de Sevilla. In addition to having starred with the National Ballet of Spain, he has performed with the Compañía Española de Antonio Márquez.
Tickets:  $45

Saturday, November 12, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. - Pacifica Quartet – Beethoven String Quartets
The Pacifica Quartet, called “one of the fastest rising ensembles today” by The New York Times, will perform the complete string quartets of Beethoven in six programs, each of which features early and later works.
 This second program features the Quartets No. 3 in D Major, Op. 18; No. 12 in E-flat Major, Op. 127; and No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky.”  The succeeding concerts take place on December 10, January 7, February 25, and March 10.
 This series is supported in part by the Grace Jarcho Ross and Daniel G. Ross Concert Fund.
Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often daring repertory choices, the Pacifica Quartet has carved out a compelling and critically lauded musical path.  In addition to the Musical America Ensemble of the Year 2009 award and a 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance, the Pacifica Quartet has swept top awards in the U.S. and abroad, including the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2006, making the Pacifica only the second chamber music ensemble ever to be selected.  Formed in 1994, the ensemble quickly began to win top prizes in leading international competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. 
The members of the Pacifica Quartet live in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, where they were appointed to the faculty of the University of Illinois in 2004 and serve as Faculty Quartet in Residence. They are also resident performing artists at the University of Chicago and the Longy School in Boston. Reflecting its dedication to musicians and music lovers of the next generation, the Pacifica Quartet was instrumental in creating the Music Integration Project, an innovative program that provides musical performances and teacher training to inner-city elementary schools. The quartet originated on the West Coast, where it first performed together,  and takes its name from the Pacific Ocean. Throughout their journey as a string quartet, its members continually strive to be “Distinct as the billows/yet one as the sea” (James Montgomery).   www.pacificaquartet.com
Tickets:  $45

Saturday, November 19, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. - “The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi” Family Event
The Rudyard Kipling tale of a mongoose who teams up with a self-involved bird and a gentle muskrat to rid their garden of a cobra is adapted for the stage by Y York and performed by Mile Square Theatre.  This comedy about sharing, cooperation, and growing up will appeal to audiences four years of age and older.
 Mile Square Theater was founded in 2002 in Hoboken, New Jersey, by Chris O’Connor, the company’s artistic director, to produce new works and classics, community-based projects, and school residencies.  Every year since its inception, MST has produced a festival of 10-minute plays called 7th Inning Stretch.  A decade-long artistic associate of Seattle Children’s Theatre and a member of the theatre faculty at Rutgers University, Chris O’Connor directed MST’s production of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. His plays for young people have been produced at theatres and schools in the Puget Sound area and his play The Mascots is featured in The Best 10 Minute Plays of 2011 by Smith & Kraus.
Tickets:  $15

Tuesday-Thursday, November 29, 30, December 1, 2011, at 6:30 & 8:30 p.m.- Chanticleer Christmas Concert
The renowned vocal ensemble’s annual holiday program – of which there are six performances – celebrates the mystery and wonder of Christmas with traditional carols, medieval and Renaissance sacred works, and new holiday music.  A new holiday CD, “Our Favorite Carols,” will be released this season.
The holiday concerts in the Medieval Sculpture Hall will be presented in front of the Museum’s Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche.  The exhibition of the crèche is made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the Loretta Hines Howard Fund.
Chanticleer will return to the Met on May 3, 2012, with a program of new works by living American composers in celebration of the completion of the American Wing’s multi-year renovation, highlighted by the January 2012 opening of the New Galleries for American Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts.
Among Chanticleer’s season activities are a 10-country tour in early 2012 with return visits to Europe’s most renowned concert halls, including the Musikverein (Vienna), Bela Bartok Concert Hall (Budapest), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), and Philharmonic Hall (Vilnius). The season also includes Chanticleer's performance on the soundtrack of the 10th-anniversary release by Microsoft of its legendary video game Halo, the ensemble's first live film score performance, and a return visit to six California missions with more newly discovered music of the period.
Chanticleer is known for its vivid, a cappella interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to new music. With its blend of 12 male voices ranging from countertenor to bass, the ensemble has earned international renown as “an orchestra of voices.”  Collaborations between Chanticleer and the Metropolitan Museum include a PBS Great Performances program, “Christmas with Chanticleer,” taped in the Metropolitan Museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall.  And Chanticleer’s 2002 recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises, a work co-commissioned by the Museum, won a Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance.  www.chanticleer.org
Medieval Sculpture Hall
Tickets:  $65

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October 7, 2011

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