Public sales for UMS’s 140th season begin Monday, Aug. 13


Tickets to individual performances on the University Musical Society’s 140th season will go on sale to the public on Monday, August 13, 2018. With appearances by internationally renowned orchestras, chamber musicians, dance groups, jazz and global music artists, and international theater ensembles, the UMS season spans the complete spectrum of the performing arts. Events will take place in Ann Arbor venues, including Hill Auditorium, the Power Center, the Michigan Theater, and Rackham Auditorium. In addition, UMS will present five high-definition theater broadcasts from the National Theatre of London and the Bolshoi Theater of Moscow, all in partnership with the Michigan Theater.

A complete listing of performances in the 2018-19 season is included in the pdf enclosed at the bottom of this email.


A new addition to the season is An Evening with Audra McDonald on Saturday, November 17 at 8 pm at Hill Auditorium. Blessed with a luminous soprano and an incomparable gift for storytelling, Ms. McDonald is equally at home on Broadway and opera stages and in roles on film and television (Private Practice, The Good Fight). Ms. McDonald has won a record-breaking six Tony Awards and is the only person who has received awards in all four acting categories. She performs works from American musical theater with her backup trio.

UMS will also continue its partnership with the Michigan Theater to bring high‐definition broadcasts of five productions by the National Theatre of London and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater. The broadcasts include Polly Stenham’s Julie (based on August Strindberg, starring Vanessa Kirby, Sunday, September 30), Nick Dear’s Frankenstein (based on Mary Shelley, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Sunday, October 28), William Shakespeare’s King Lear (starring Ian McKellen, Sunday, November 4), Alan Bennett’s The Madness of King George III (starring Mark Gatiss, Sunday, December 9), and The Nutcracker (performed by the Bolshoi Ballet and choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich, Sunday, December 23).

The Aizuri Quartet, winners of the University of Michigan’s 2018 M-Prize chamber music competition, will perform on Friday, October 26 at 8 pm at Rackham Auditorium. In addition to the 2018 M-Prize, the Aizuri Quartet was awarded First Prize at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, and Third Prize at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. Their UMS debut program features a diverse mix of composers, including Komitas Vartabed (1869-1935), an exquisitely talented Armenian composer whose music has become an enduring symbol of home and identity for a people separated from their homeland (he spent the last 20 years of his life in an asylum, driven mad by the conditions of the Armenian genocide); Béla Bartók’s second string quartet, a journey of emotional extremes that is based on folk music from his homeland; and two works written specifically for the Aizuri Quartet, Caroline Shaw’s Blueprint and Paul Wiancko’s LIFT.


The season opening presentation of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey with live orchestral and choral accompaniment has been moved to Hill Auditorium with general admission seating. The performance will still take place on Friday, September 21, but will now begin at 8 pm rather than sundown. Tickets are free and may be requested through

The Sunday, September 30 reading of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman featuring Alec Baldwin has been cancelled due to scheduling complications. The Saturday, September 29 reading will be presented as planned.

The world première of the new theater piece about Robert Mapplethorpe, featuring music by Bryce Dessner has a new title. Instead of American Wedding, this piece is called TRIPTYCH (working title): On the Work of Robert Mapplethorpe.  Journalists: please replace all references to “American Wedding” with the new title. The world première will still be presented by UMS on Friday-Saturday, March 15-16, 2019.

The start time for UMS’s presentation of Handel’s Semele at Hill Auditorium on Friday, April 12 has been moved up to 7:30 pm.


Tickets to all events will go on sale to the public on Monday, August 13, 2018 at 10 am. Tickets are available for purchase online at, in person at the Michigan League Ticket Office (911 North University Avenue) or by calling the UMS Ticket Office at 734.764.2538 (toll‐free 800.221.1229). Ticket Office hours are 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. Beginning Tuesday, September 4, the Ticket Office will resume extended hours: Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday 10 am to 1 pm. Venue box offices open 90 minutes before the published start time of each performance.

Student tickets ($12 and $20) go on sale on August 30, 2018, and Kids Club tickets (up to two $10 kids’ tickets with the purchase of at least one adult ticket at $20) go on sale on September 10, 2018. Additional information about UMS’s Kids Club and student ticket programs can be found at and respectively.


A recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts, UMS (also known as the University Musical Society) contributes to a vibrant cultural community by connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. One of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, UMS is an independent non-profit organization affiliated with U-M, presenting over 70 music, theater, and dance performances by professional touring artists each season, along with over 100 free educational activities. UMS is committed to bold artistic leadership, engaged learning through the arts, and access and inclusiveness. Since 1990, the organization has co-commissioned and supported the production of nearly 80 new or reimagined works. Matthew VanBesien became the organization’s seventh president in July 2017.


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