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Penn Live Arts Blog

The Crossing @ Christmas: Thoughts from the conductor

Posted November 30, 2022

Accelerator Program Holiday Music New Music Philadelphia Premieres World Premieres

I remember the first time I encountered Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” with its chilling reference to the ephemerality of civilizations. 

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away. Read more...

Unveiling the Gabe Donnay Recording Studio

Posted November 8, 2022

Gabe Donnay’s family and friends at the Gabe Donnay Recording Studio dedication ceremony.
On October 22, over Penn’s Homecoming Weekend festivities, Penn Live Arts celebrated the memory of Gabe Donnay, Class of 2012 – a talented musician whose community of friends and family made a meaningful gift to honor Gabe’s life with the establishment of a music recording studio in the Annenberg Center. Read more...

5 Questions with Nora Fischer

Posted October 31, 2022

ListenHear Music New Music Philadelphia Premieres

Silkroad Ensemble member Nora Fischer is renowned for her adventurous approach to live performance and her creative and genre-defying collaborations. On November 6, Fischer joins several other artists from Silkroad Ensemble for the Philadelphia premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's gripping song cycle, Falling Out of Time. Get to know more about this Amsterdam-based vocalist in just 5 questions. Read more...

Finding presence in absence with Terence Blanchard

Posted October 24, 2022

Jazz ListenHear Music Philadelphia Premieres

Gordon Parks’ Untitled, from the series What Their Cry Means to Me (Nation of Islam), 1963, printed in 2017.
“Music and art have the power to change souls,” says five-time Grammy® Award-winning trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard. This heartfelt sentiment is echoed throughout everything he creates, from film scores to opera to jazz and everything in between. “A brass-wielding force of nature,” (Los Angeles Times), Blanchard is known for music that makes powerful statements on American culture, past and present, and his upcoming performance, Gordon Parks: An Empathetic Lens, furthers this dedication in spades. Read more...

Ballet Hispánico Makes A Glorious Return To Philadelphia

Posted October 20, 2022

Dance

Known for its sophisticated elegance, pulsating rhythms, superb dancers and captivating works created by some of the world’s most sought-after choreographers, Ballet Hispánico makes a rare Philadelphia appearance in conjunction with its 52nd anniversary season. 

An American Cultural Treasure, Ballet Hispánico is the nation’s leading ambassador for Latinx culture with a repertory of more than 80 commissioned works that explore the Hispanic world in all its complexity and beauty. Read more...

5 Questions with Brandee Younger

Posted October 13, 2022

Alice & John: A Coltrane Festival Jazz Music Penn Live Arts Debuts

Brandee Younger, a classically trained jazz harpist, wraps up our Coltrane Festival with her Penn Live Art debut on October 23. A 2021 Grammy® and NAACP Image Award nominee, Younger "has almost single-handedly made a persuasive argument for the harp’s role in contemporary jazz.” (The New York Times) As we await this undoubtedly mesmerizing debut, let’s get to know more about Brandee Younger in just five questions. Read more...

Celebrating Alice and John Coltrane

Posted October 5, 2022

Alice & John: A Coltrane Festival

Alice and John Coltrane are jazz royalty, and our Coltrane Festival (October 14-23) honors the tremendous impact this iconic duo had on American music, with an exciting emphasis on Alice’s significant and often underrepresented contributions. With rising star saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin serving as Artistic Advisor, the Festival showcases John’s bebop, free jazz and spiritual enlightenments alongside the more abstract sounds and Eastern influences of Alice’s compositions. An impressive line-up of artists brings new interpretations of the Coltranes’ music into the present day through world premieres and Penn Live Arts commissioned works, while films and discussions with Coltrane scholars round out the Festival’s thematic journey with these jazz icons. Read more...

5 Questions with Connor Houlihan

Posted September 30, 2022

Circus

We’re thrilled to welcome Machine de Cirque for their Philadelphia debut on October 2. The Québec-based group known for their “immensely gifted performers…and spectacular routines,” (The Boston Globe) will perform its newest work La Galerie. Leading up to the troupe’s exhilarating debut, we connected with ensemble member Connor Houlihan to learn more about the Minnesota native in just five questions. Read more...

The ever-evolving Pilobolus celebrates the Big Five-OH!

Posted September 22, 2022

Dance

Do you remember your big 30th, 40th or 50th milestone birthday? Just back from Saudi Arabia, Pilobolus, a fun-loving over-the-top imaginative troupe, continues to wow, amaze and entertain audiences worldwide after five decades. Known as an “irreplaceable treasure,” Pilobolus returns to Penn Live Arts with its Big Five-OH! tour in conjunction with our 50th anniversary season. The company’s repertory of 120 collaborative, groundbreaking and physically stunning productions has toured to 65 countries, reaching millions of fans in performances for television, film, corporate events, educational settings and world stages. Read more...

Announcing our brand-new Stuart Weitzman Theatre

Posted September 15, 2022

This week, we are thrilled to celebrate the announcement of the brand-new Stuart Weitzman Theatre on our outdoor plaza. As the cornerstone project in an ambitious, three-phase capital plan to renovate and expand the Annenberg Center, the Weitzman Theatre will be the first major expansion of the building since our founding in 1971. The new theatre will welcome innovative artists across genres to share their work in a flexible, reconfigurable performance space which will meet increasingly experimental styles in the performing arts. Read more...

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