Hélène Grimaud, piano | Valentin Silvestrov, 'The Messenger' | Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon

Up Next in the 20th Anniversary Season

A milestone year! What started at Emory University from the vision and gifts of Flora Glenn Candler has come to full fruition in this exquisite venue thanks to the support of Donna and Marvin Schwartz.

On February 1, 2003, the Schwartz Center opened its doors. We are thrilled to mark two decades of exceptional performances with the 2022–2023 season, featuring the Candler Concert Series and the Schwartz Artist-in-Residence Program.

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Candler Concert Series

The Schwartz Center 2022–2023 Candler Concert Series features the pinnacle of classical, jazz, and crossover music with artists including the exquisite violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter; the Maria Schneider Orchestra featuring the world premiere of a new piece commissioned by the Schwartz Center; and the masterful genre-benders Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, and Edgar Meyer, with Rakesh Chaurasia.

Urban Bush Women: Women's Resistance

Women's Resistance photo by Hayin Heron

Urban Bush Women: Legacy + Lineage + Liberation
Thursday, October 20–Saturday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Schwartz Center Dance Studio

Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women (UBW) is a Brooklyn-based performance ensemble and dance company under the artistic direction of Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis. In honor of UBW’s 35th Anniversary, Legacy + Lineage + Liberation celebrates the power of Women(+) in an evening of classic works that transcend genres and amplify the voices of Women(+) of color.

These iconic works by UBW Founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar give multiple dimensions of life that resonate in this time of reflection around equity and justice, and that lift up Black lives in inspiring ways. Works include but are not limited to: Give Your Hands to Struggle; Girlfriends; Women’s Resistance; and I Don’t Know but I Been Told...if You Keep on Dancin’ You Never Grow Old.

Hélène Grimaud

Hélène Grimaud, piano
Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 8 p.m.

The world-renowned French classical pianist Hélène Grimaud makes a rare appearance in the Southeast for a transformative recital performance. In this Candler Concert Series performance, Grimaud performs Schumann’s Kreisleriana and selected works by Chopin, Debussy, and Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov.

“It is said that music rescues what has been lost. That is a beautiful idea. Yet in a sense, music does even more. Music peels back the layers of time to reveal the essence of experience,” Grimaud says. “Momentary pain, distress, elation, fade; what remains is sensation.”

In her Schwartz Center concert, Grimaud will perform Robert Schumann’s early masterpiece Kreisleriana, written in 1838 when his compositions had become more experimental and complex. This was a period of tormented courtship with pianist Clara Wieck, who would become his wife, and the music swings violently and suddenly between agitation and lyrical calm, between dread and elation.

Also featured will be works by Valentin Silvestrov, Ukraine’s most famous living composer. At age 84, Silvestrov is living as a refugee in Berlin, where he has become a musical spokesman for his country, now at war with Russia. In concert, Grimaud will also perform works by Claude Debussy, Frederic Chopin, and Erik Satie, which she recorded on her 2018 album Memory

Maria Schneider Orchestra

Maria Schneider Orchestra
Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 8 p.m.
World Premiere Commission

Known as a breakaway jazz orchestra leader and composer, Minnesota-born Maria Schneider is a 2019 NEA Jazz Master and Grammy Award–winner for her work in classical, jazz, and even pop with the late David Bowie. The 18-member Maria Schneider Orchestra performs worldwide, tackling lush and complex works that bring new energy to the jazz orchestra landscape. This concert features a world premiere commission in honor of the Schwartz Center’s 20th Anniversary.

Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Mutter Virtuosi

Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Mutter Virtuosi
Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 8 p.m.

Anne-Sophie Mutter and the 14-member Mutter Virtuosi take the stage for a celebratory concert that hails 20 years from the opening month of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. A musical phenomenon performing major traditional works while constantly exploring new territory for her audience, this virtuoso violinist has been a fixture in all the world’s major concert halls—making her mark on the classical music scene as a soloist, mentor, and visionary.

The “undisputed queen of violin-playing” (The Times, London) leads the ensemble in an evening of exemplary string music that includes The Four Seasons by Vivaldi and the Atlanta premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Gran Cadenza—a virtuoso duo for two violins, written expressly for Mutter.

Guests are invited to join the Schwartz Center for a celebratory toast following the evening's concert.

West-Eastern Divan Ensemble with Michael Barenboim

West-Eastern Divan Ensemble with Michael Barenboim
Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 8 p.m.

Violinist Michael Barenboim—who as a soloist has recently appeared with Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and Chicago Symphony—founded the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble out of the full West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to spread the ideas of unity through music further and to allow the public to experience the musicians' unique artistry and personality up close. 

The orchestra's origins lie in the friendship between its founders, Palestinian author/scholar Edward Said and Israeli conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim. In their conversations, they realized the urgent need for an alternative way to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This evolved into the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra that global audiences know today. Sharing the parent orchestra’s motto of “Equal in Music,” the ensemble brings together outstanding young Palestinian and Israeli musicians in a collaboration that supersedes national and cultural boundaries.

The evening's program includes Terzetto in C Major,op. 74, by Antonín Dvořák; Sonata (Duo) for Violin and Cello, M. 73, by Maurice Ravel; Trauermusik (Mourning Music) for Viola and Strings, by Paul Hindemith; and George Enescu's String Octet, op. 7.

Chad Lawson

Chad Lawson Trio featuring Judy Kang, violin, and Seth Parker Woods, cello
Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 8 p.m.

Steinway Artist, pianist, and composer Chad Lawson is a modern-day master of reinvention—his bold interpretation of the classics, electronic loops, and atmospherics resonate with electronic dance music fans and neo-classical traditionalists alike. For his Schwartz Center debut, Lawson will be joined by acclaimed violinist Judy Kang (Lady Gaga, Ryuichi Sakamoto) and cellist Seth Parker Woods (Sting, Peter Gabriel). Bridging the gap between traditional and non-traditional audiences, the concert program features variations on compositions ranging from Chopin to Billie Eilish.

Fleck, Meyer, Hussain, and Chaurasia

Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Zakir Hussain, with Rakesh Chaurasia
Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 8 p.m.

Beginning with the most creative exponent of the banjo in our time, Béla Fleck, this unique quartet also features the greatest living player of the tabla, the legendary drummer Zakir Hussain; acclaimed virtuoso of the classical and bluegrass bass, Edgar Meyer; and the great Indian flutist Rakesh Chaurasia. With their decades of artistry and the magic of improvisation, the result is a powerful four-way musical dialogue to close out the Schwartz Center’s 20th Anniversary season.

Susan Graham

Music from Copland House featuring Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano: A Standing Witness
Friday, September 23, 2022 at 8 p.m.

The Atlanta premiere of A Standing Witness opened the 20th anniversary season of Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. This Candler Concert Series performance is a monumental collaboration between Grammy Award–winning composer Richard Danielpour and Pulitzer Prize–winning author and former US Poet Laureate Rita Dove. The soaring music and probing poetry of this epic song cycle trace enormous social and cultural change in the United States.

Written especially for Susan Graham and the celebrated Music from Copland House ensemble, the 14 songs and one instrumental elegy of A Standing Witness comprise a sweeping retrospective of momentous events in American history over the past half-century, recounted in “testimonies” by an observer who is revealed in the epilogue. With lyrics from Rita Dove’s latest book of poetry, Playlist for the Apocalypse, the work begins in 1968, reflecting on events including the Kennedy and King assassinations, Woodstock, the Vietnam War, Nixon presidency, civil and women’s rights movements, economic boom times of the 1990s, the attacks on 9/11, and the whirlwinds of the last decade.

Watch a discussion about the creation of A Standing Witness moderated by Tameka Cage Conley with Richard Danielpour and Michael Boriskin:

Did you know?

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove was the featured poet of Emory's Raymond Danowski Poetry Library Reading Series in 2007 and 2016. Dove was also a featured speaker and guest during Women’s History Month events at Emory in 2011 and delivered the keynote address at Emory’s commencement in 2013, where she received an honorary doctor of letters degree.

Schwartz Artist-in-Residence Program

With opportunities for meaningful contact with performing artists, composers, and art scholars from throughout the world, the Schwartz Center 2022–2023 Schwartz Artist-in-Residence Program welcomes Lawrence Brownlee premiering a new song cycle: Rising; the duo of jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch and jazz vocalist esperanza spalding; the return of Jazz Fest weekend; and a composer commission project in celebration of the Emory University Symphony Orchestra’s centennial anniversary, and more!

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch

An Evening with Fred Hersch and esperanza spalding
Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 8 p.m.

The duo of jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch and jazz vocalist esperanza spalding celebrates the 2020 release of their album Alive at the Village Vanguard recorded at the legendary club. Renowned for her artistry, spalding is a worthy heir to the leading ladies of jazz vocals and Hersch is well known for his many significant duo partnerships. The remarkable chemistry of their partnership is truly exhilarating as they present an evening of songs from the Great American Songbook, music from Brazil, and jazz compositions including several penned by Hersch.

Warren Wolf, vibraphonist

Emory Jazz Fest 2023
February 9–11, 2023

Friday at 8 p.m. | Warren Wolf and the Emory Jazz Fest All-Stars | $30
Saturday at 8 p.m. | Emory Big Band | Free

Sharing its 20th Anniversary with the Schwartz Center, the Emory University Jazz Fest is a three-day event providing world-class jazz with master classes, artist lectures/demonstrations, and concerts featuring vibraphonist Warren Wolf and the Emory Jazz Fest All-Stars, the Gary Motley Trio, and the Emory Big Band.

Friday evening tickets are available now as part of a 20th anniversary season subscription.  Individual tickets for both concerts will be available on August 1.

Opens Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Runs Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m., through Thursday, Mar. 2.
Schwartz Center Theater Lab

Theater Emory reimagines this Thornton Wilder classic set in the American Southeast in the 21st century. It is a powerful story of an Atlanta community of immigrants as we follow two families as they go through life, love, and even death. This production is a multilingual interpretation, featuring translated passages by Nilo Cruz and Jeff Augustin.

Our Town, by Thornton Wilder centers on a small New Hampshire town Grover's Corners at the turn of the century, using minimalist production values to track the simply daily lives of the town's inhabitants as they fall in love, marry, and die. The work premiered at New Jersey's McCarter Theater in 1938 before eventually coming to Broadway the same year, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In addition to a 1940 film adaptation and 1955, 1977, 1989, and 2003 TV broadcasts, Our Town has become a favorite of regional and community theaters as well as schools.

Lawrence Brownlee

Lawrence Brownlee, tenor: Rising
Friday, March 17, 2023 at 8 p.m.

A leading figure in opera, both as a singer on the world's top stages and as a voice for activism and diversity in the industry, Lawrence Brownlee has captivated audiences and critics around the globe. With the premiere of his new song cycle, Rising, Brownlee and pianist Kevin J. Miller will perform texts by Black authors and poets of the Harlem Renaissance, set to music by leading composers such as Shawn Okpebholo, Damien Sneed, Joel Thompson, and others.

Emory University Symphony Orchestra

EUSO Composer Commission Project
April 22, 2023 at 8 p.m.
and April 23, 2023 at 4 p.m.

In celebration of Emory University Symphony Orchestra’s centennial anniversary in 2023, the EUSO Composer Commission Project presents a collaboration between the Schwartz-Artist-in-Residence program, EUSO, and Emory composition faculty, bringing to campus emerging composers from backgrounds currently underrepresented within American classical music. The composer selected for the 2022–2023 commission will premiere the new work in a free concert presented by the EUSO and Emory Choirs at the Schwartz Center.

Tickets are not required for this free concert.