UMS announces “spectacular” lineup for February performances


UMS is thrilled to present another all-star lineup in February. We’ll hear spectacular performances by musical artists like Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Las Cafeteras, and International Contemporary Ensemble. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra comes to UMS for the conclusion of Zubin Mehta’s final US tour as music director of the ensemble, and acclaimed photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems brings her latest stage work to the Power Center. To wrap up the month, Yo-Yo Ma will join us for a two-day UMS residency, which includes a talk at Hill Auditorium and a special “Day of Action” with community members and organizations in Flint. Additionally, we’re pleased to bring the HD broadcast of The Tragedy of Richard the Second from the National Theatre of Scotland, in partnership with the Michigan Theater.

Echo in the Valley
Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn

Thursday, February 7 // 7:30 pm
Hill Auditorium

Husband-and-wife duo Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn come to UMS to perform pieces from their Grammy-winning self-titled debut as well as their new record, Echo in the Valley (Rounder 2017). With one eye on using the banjo to showcase America’s rich heritage and the other pulling the noble instrument into new and unique realms, Béla and Abigail’s music feels wildly innovative and familiar at the same time.

A 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist, Béla Fleck has the virtuosic, jazz-to-classical ingenuity of an iconic instrumentalist and composer with bluegrass roots. His collaborations range from his ground-breaking standard-setting ensemble Béla Fleck and the Flecktones to a staggeringly broad array of musical experiments.

A singer-songwriter and clawhammer banjo player who re-radicalized it by combining it with Far East culture and sounds, Abigail Washburn has drawn critical acclaim for her solo albums. She has done fascinating work in folk musical diplomacy in China, presented an original theatrical production, and has contributed to singular side groups Uncle Earl and The Wu-Force. In addition to being named a TED Fellow in 2012, Abigail was recently named the first US-China Fellow at Vanderbilt University. She is also the Carolina Performing Arts/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s DisTil Fellow for 2018-2020.

Israel Philharmonic
Zubin Mehta, conductor

Saturday, February 9 // 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

This special concert will be the last stop on Zubin Mehta’s final US tour as music director of the Israel Philharmonic — he steps down in October 2019, 50 years after becoming the orchestra’s music advisor and 42 years after becoming its first official music director. It also marks the ensemble’s ninth UMS appearance and Zubin Mehta’s tenth since their respective debuts in the early 1970s.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1936 by famed Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, and its inaugural concert that year was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Two years earlier, in an effort to help fellow Jewish musicians escape Nazi persecution, Huberman set out to create an all-Jewish orchestra in Palestine. Huberman recruited and arranged for 70 leading musicians and their families to immigrate to Palestine to form the ensemble. Huberman’s extraordinary efforts ultimately saved hundreds of Jewish lives.


Ödön Pártos
Concertino for String Orchestra
Symphony No. 3 in D Major, D. 200
Symphony No. 6 in b minor, Op. 74 “Pathétique”

National Theatre, Live in HD
The Tragedy of King Richard the Second

Richard II, King of England, is irresponsible, foolish, and vain. His weak leadership sends his kingdom into disarray and his court into uproar. Seeing no other option but to seize power, the ambitious Bolingbroke challenges the throne and the king’s divine right to rule.

Simon Russell Beale stars as Richard II in this visceral new production about the limits of power. An Almeida Theatre production.

Sunday, February 10, 2019 7:00 PM // Michigan Theater
National Theatre, Live in HD
The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
Directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins
Starring Simon Russell Beale

Michigan Theater
603 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104




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