The University of Texas at Austin

Texas Performing Arts Announces the 2017-18 Essential Series

Texas Performing Arts Announces the 2017-18 Essential Series

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Texas Performing Arts continues to present world-class performances to The University of Texas at Austin and Central Texas audiences with the unveiling of the 2017-18 Essential Series.

Highlights of the 2017-18 Essential Series include an 80th birthday celebration for iconic composer Philip Glass with his ensemble in a unique live performance accompanying a screening of the 1982 film KOYAANISQATSI; dance performances by Ezralow Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the Argentinean all-male company Che Malambo; jazz pioneer Monty Alexander; and a return engagement from Fifth House Ensemble who will perform a new arrangement of the musical score to the video game Journey, performed interactively with onstage gamers.

Texas Performing Arts offers three, four, and five (or more) show packages, with the option to include a Broadway performance and substantial subscriber ticket discounts. Subscriber tickets start as low as $25. To subscribe to the 2017-18 Essential Series, visit texasperformingarts.org or call 512.471.4454.

A tax-deductible Texas Inner Circle membership offers access to the best seats in the house, free parking, an exclusive members-only lounge, opportunities to purchase tickets before the public, and other unique benefits. It also provides financial support for student tickets and educational programs. For more information, visit texasperformingarts.org/support or call 512.232.8567.


Dover Quartet
September 18, 2017 | McCullough Theatre

The Dover Quartet catapulted to international acclaim after taking the Grand Prize at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, and recently received the Cleveland Quartet Award, the Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, and the prestigious 2017 Avery Fisher Career Development Award.

Storm Large & Le Bonheur
September 21, 2017 | McCullough Theatre

Singer, actor, author, and playwright Storm Large makes a triumphant return to the McCullough Theatre stage with her band Le Bonheur! Best known as guest vocalist for Pink Martini, Storm Large shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova, and as a critically acclaimed performer, she has taken her voice from rock clubs to concert halls.

Spanish Brass
September 24, 2017 | Bates Recital Hall

Founded in 1989 by five Spanish musicians, Spanish Brass rose to the top of its genre in 1996 when it won the Narbonne International Brass Quintet Competition, the most prestigious event of its kind in the world. Performing music that has been called sheer poetry, Spanish Brass has established itself as one of the world’s finest brass quintets and is known for its virtuosity as well as the wide variety of its programs.

Live! The Realist MC
September 29, 2017 | McCullough Theatre

Abraham.In.Motion’s work explores choreographer Kyle Abraham’s diverse training in classical music, visual art, and a multitude of dance forms from ballet to hip-hop to give range and depth to his sleek, evocative work. Dance Magazine named him one of the “25 to Watch” in 2009 and has described his work as “elastic and electric, luxuriantly rippling, poetically arranged with moments of perfect stillness that arrive amid splashes of expression.”

Live! The Realest MC references our own humanity in this digital age, creating an abstract and humorously dark narrative that places the iconic childhood character, Pinocchio, in an industrial dystopia. Inspired by Pinocchio’s plight to be a ‘real boy,’ Abraham’s ensemble dance work investigates gender roles in the black community and the quest for acceptance in the world of hip-hop celebrity.

Sergei Babayan, piano
October 5, 2017 | Bates Recital Hall

Winner of the Cleveland, Hamamatsu, and Scottish International competitions, Sergei Babayan is hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy, and remarkable levels of color.

Fifth House Ensemble Journey LIVE
November 8, 2017 | Bass Concert Hall

Praised by The New York Times for “conviction, authority and finesse,” Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble teams up with composer Austin Wintory to present an original, interactive live performance of his GRAMMY®-nominated score to the video game Journey. Described as “the most beautiful game of its time” by IGN, critics have called Journey one of gaming’s crowning achievements.

Never the same each time it is played, Journey is an interactive parable, an anonymous online adventure to experience a person’s life passage and their intersections with others. In this unprecedented collaboration, live musicians of Fifth House Ensemble respond to the actions of game players in real time on stage. Game players have been pre-selected.

Texas Theatre and Dance presents The Crucible
November 8-19, 2017 | Oscar G. Brockett Theatre

Accusations of witchcraft turn neighbor against neighbor in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts. The malicious trials that follow reflect the mob psychology of a community paralyzed by terror, in which piety and righteousness are masks for malevolent greed and self-interest.

The Crucible was originally written as an allegory for 1950s McCarthyism and the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which accused thousands of Americans of being communists or communist sympathizers.

Arthur Miller’s Tony Award®-winning masterpiece, continues to resonate in our contemporary society.

Seth Rudetsky
Deconstructing Broadway

November 16, 2017 | McCullough Theatre

SiriusXM radio's Broadway host Seth Rudetsky brings his hilarious one-man show to the McCullough stage for two performances. Deconstructing Broadway is described as a combination of America’s Funniest Home Videos and The Daily Show. Rudetsky uses his audio/video collection to break down performances from beloved Broadway divas (Patti LuPone, Betty Buckley) as well as showcase mind-boggling videos like The Osmonds singing a medley from Fiddler on the Roof or Cher performing all of West Side Story. This award-winning show has played to sold-out crowds in the U.S. and in London, where it received 5-star reviews and was referred to as "nothing short of brilliant!"

Monty Alexander 
Harlem-Kingston Express

November 18, 2017 | McCullough Theatre

In a career spanning over five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation for exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song,

and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. He has performed and recorded with a wide array of distinguished artists such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, and Quincy Jones, and as a band leader, Monty has recorded over 70 albums.

Harlem-Kingston Express is a musical depiction of Alexander's journey, from the sounds and rhythms of his native Kingston, Jamaica, to the classic jazz tradition of New York's Harlem—an exciting and uplifting interweaving between his heritage and his adopted home of America.

Kurt Elling with The Swingles
December 2, 2017 | McCullough Theatre

GRAMMY®-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling is joined by a cappella group The Swingles for an exquisite evening of jazz and harmony!

Revered as one of the world’s foremost jazz vocalists, Kurt Elling’s rich baritone spans four octaves and features both astonishing technical mastery and emotional depth.

For more than half a century The Swingles have pushed the boundaries of vocal music. Formed in 1963 by Ward Swingle, the seven young singers that make up today’s London-based group are driven by the same innovative spirit that has defined the five-time GRAMMY® winners since their inception.

Chanticleer, Soldier
January 20, 2018 | Bates Recital Hall

Hailed as “the world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker magazine, the GRAMMY® Award-winning ensemble Chanticleer returns with an all-new program. Based in San Francisco, Chanticleer is known around the world for the seamless blend of its twelve male voices ranging from countertenor to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to venturesome new music.

Sancho: An Act of Remembrance
Conceived, written and performed by Paterson Joseph
January 25 & 26, 2018 | McCullough Theatre

Charles "Sancho" Ignatius was born on a slave ship but never a slave; he was immortalized by the great English painter Thomas Gainsborough, and in 1774 became the first British-African to cast a vote. In this endlessly revealing, often funny one-man show, celebrated Royal Shakespeare Company actor Paterson Joseph (HBO’s The Leftovers) inhabits the curious, daringly determined life of Sancho—composer, social satirist, general man of refinement—while casting new light on the often-misunderstood narratives of African-British experience.

Ezralow Dance
February 1, 2018 | Bass Concert Hall

Award-winning choreographer / director / multimedia artist Daniel Ezralow's unique style of physical expression and articulate choreography has earned him a distinguished reputation as a groundbreaking artist worldwide. His work is celebrated in Julie Taymor’s film Across the Universe, Cirque du Soleil’s Love, and in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Ezralow Dance returns to Austin for the first time since 1990.

Ute Lemper
Last Tango in Berlin
February 2, 2018 | McCullough Theatre

Chanteuse Ute Lemper has made her indelible mark on stage, in films, in concert, and as a recording artist on more than 30 albums. The Last Tango in Berlin concert features the different musical chapters of Lemper’s main repertoire while leaving space for open improvisations and great moments of virtuosity.

Sérgio & Odair Assad, guitars
and Avi Avital, mandolin

February 16, 2018 | Bates Recital Hall

Brazilian-born guitarists Sérgio and Odair Assad’s exceptional artistry and uncanny ensemble-playing have led to great success in exploring different styles of classical and world music with collaborators as diverse as Latin jazz clarinetist and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, Lebanese-American singer Christiane Karam, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

For this tour, they team up for the first time with Israeli mandolin player Avi Avital who last performed on the UT campus with the Venice Baroque Orchestra. Passionate and “explosively charismatic” (The New York Times) in live performance, Avital is a driving force behind the reinvigoration of the mandolin repertory.

Phillip Glass Ensemble

February 23, 2018 | Bass Concert Hall

Considered to be one of the most influential composers ever to work in film, Philip Glass has reinvented the relationship between music and the moving image. Glass turned 80 on January 31, 2017, and to celebrate, Texas Performing Arts presents a unique musical and cinematic experience!

The Philip Glass Ensemble, conducted by long time music director Michael Riesman, will deliver a live performance to accompany a screening of Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 “environmental masterpiece,” KOYAANISQATSI. An apocalyptic vision of the collision of urban life, technology, and the environment, KOYAANISQATSI LIVE! - Life out of Balance is an intense performance experience where Glass brings new life to this cinematic classic.

March 8, 2018 | McCullough Theatre

Fans of the most talked about show on television can now get their fantasy fix live on stage with the hilarious send-up MUSICAL THRONES: A Parody. Composed by the hysterical mad men behind the long-running SILENCE! THE MUSICAL, Jon and Al Kaplan, MUSICAL THRONES: A Parody brings your most beloved and be-hated characters to life as you journey through all 6 seasons of the Emmy® Award-winning Game of Thrones television series.

Che Malambo
March 27, 2018 | Bass Concert Hall

Created by director and choreographer Gilles Brinas, Che Malambo performs with a dynamic blend of precision footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming, and song which originated in the 17th century in the South American pampas. A male-only dance form, malambo evolved from competitive duels amongst the Argentine gaucho that tested agility, strength, and dexterity. It soon integrated with what is now its hallmark, zapateo, the fast-paced footwork inspired by the rhythm of galloping horses. Malambo also features the drumming of traditional Argentine bombos and whirling boleadoras, a throwing weapon made up of intertwined cords and weighted with stones.

The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra
Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2

April 3, 2018 | Bass Concert Hall

The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, led by Gerhardt Zimmermann, is recognized as one of the top college orchestras in the nation. For this program, scheduled to coincide with the Passover and Easter celebrations, the UT Symphony Orchestra will be joined by The University of Texas Choirs under the direction of James Morrow for a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. Commonly referred to as the Resurrection Symphony, the work was first performed in 1895 and was one of Mahler's most popular and successful works.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
April 11, 2018 | Bass Concert Hall

Celebrating its 40th season, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has long been known as one of the most original forces in contemporary dance for its exceptionally talented dancers and a diverse repertoire of adventurous choreography.

Hubbard Street’s eighteen dancers display unparalleled versatility and technique. They transcend preconceptions by juxtaposing works inspired by a variety of genres, including jazz, modern, ballet, and theatrical. Under the artistic direction of Glenn Edgerton, Hubbard Street is one of the only American dance companies to operate year-round and produces bold and passionate performances in the Windy City, across the United States, and abroad.

The University of Texas Jazz Orchestra with Conrad Herwig
April 14, 2018 | Bates Recital Hall

Renowned jazz trombonist Conrad Herwig joins the UT Jazz Orchestra as part of the Butler School of Music’s annual Longhorn Jazz Festival.

Conrad Herwig is considered one of the world’s complete jazz musicians. To date, he has released more than 20 recordings as a leader in addition to contributing to some 200 other recording sessions with some of the most notable artists in jazz. He has performed and recorded with Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Eddie Palmieri Tito Puente, Frank Sinatra, Joe Lovano, and Tom Harrell, among many others.

Directed by Professor Jeff Hellmer, the UT Jazz Orchestra is the Butler School of Music's premiere jazz ensemble. The Jazz Orchestra has performed with such luminaries as Michael Brecker, Maria Schneider, Stefon Harris, Joshua Redman, and Cyrus Chestnut in recent years.

Full Performance Descriptions

Back to top