2016-2017 Candler Concert Series Brings Classical Favorites to Schwartz Center for Performing Arts

Renée Fleming ©Decca/Andrew Eccles

March 3, 2016

The Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University welcomes some musical favorites back to Atlanta, along with a roster of innovative newcomers, with its 2016-2017 Candler Concert Series lineup.  

The University’s hallmark concert series kicks off with the return of internationally-recognized violinist Sarah Chang, one of the first Candler artists to perform in the newly-built Schwartz Center in 2003. Also returning after previous sold-out shows is the incomparable soprano Renée Fleming and the Branford Marsalis Quartet, this time accompanied by acclaimed jazz vocalist Kurt Elling.

“Emerson Concert Hall’s intimate setting gives the audience a unique opportunity to hear Renée Fleming in such a special way; they can’t get that anywhere else,” said Katie Pittman, managing director of the Schwartz Center.

Violinist Robert McDuffie is also making his return, alongside R.E.M.-founding member Mike Mills and Wordless Music Orchestra for the 2016 U.S. tour of Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra. Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will present a world premiere of a piece written by Emory University composer Richard Prior. Rounding out the series is the piano pairing of sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque, and then the St. Lawrence String Quartet, accompanied by pianist Pedja Muzijevic closing out the 2016-2017 season.

“This season brings to Atlanta some of today’s greatest musicians. From contemporary to classical, this lineup embodies the Candler Concert Series’ mission to bring a diverse array of musical offerings to our audience,” adds Robert McKay, Schwartz Center’s executive director.

The Candler Concert Series events, made possible by the Flora Glenn Candler Endowment, are presented in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts on the Emory University campus (1700 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta, 30322). Concert subscription packages are on sale now. For details, call the Arts at Emory Box Office at 404-727-5050 or subscribe online. Single ticket sales open to the public on August 1, 2016.

Full 2016-2017 Season Calendar

Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Sarah Chang, violin
Sarah Chang is recognized as one of the world’s great violinists. Since her debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 8, she has performed with the greatest orchestras, conductors, and accompanists internationally in a career spanning more than two decades.

Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Branford Marsalis Quartet with special guest Kurt Elling

The Branford Marsalis Quartet is joined by guest vocalist Kurt Elling in a spectacular collaboration of musical forces. This tight-knit working band, featuring Marsalis on saxophone, Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums, rarely invites other musicians into the fold of their nearly telepathically cohesive unit, and Elling's deep jazz vocabulary, technical versatility, and outstanding intonation enables the band to perform a variety of material in new ways.

Friday, October 28, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Robert McDuffie, violin
R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, electric bass and piano
Wordless Music Orchestra

Grammy nominated violinist Robert McDuffie returns to the Schwartz Center along with Mike Mills, founding member of R.E.M., and Wordless Music Orchestra for Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra, written by Mike Mills for Robert McDuffie featuring Wordless Music Orchestra. The program also includes Philip Glass's Symphony No. 3.

Friday, January 20, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
performing a world premiere by composer Richard Prior

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra creates extraordinary musical experiences that enrich lives and empower individuals through collaboration, innovation, and a passion for artistic excellence. Orpheus strives to be the world’s premier chamber orchestra by performing music at the highest level, challenging artistic boundaries, inspiring the public to think and work with new perspectives, and building a broad and active audience in New York City and around the world.

Award-winning conductor and acclaimed composer Richard Prior holds the Edward Goodwin Scruggs Conducting Chair at Emory University. As Director of Orchestral Studies, he conducts both the Emory University Symphony Orchestra and Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra, in addition to being the senior lecturer in composition. A winner of numerous awards for his compositions and conducting, Prior received the 2008 Harvey Philips Award for Excellence in Composition at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 8 p.m.
ée Fleming, soprano
One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony in 2013, the President awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist. Known as “the people’s diva” and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, she continues to grace the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls, now extending her reach to include other musical forms and media.

Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 4 p.m.
Katia and Marielle
Labèque, piano duet
Katia and Marielle Labèque are sibling pianists renowned for their ensemble of synchronicity and energy. Daughters of Ada Cecchi (a pupil of Marguerite Long), Katia and Marielle had a childhood filled with music. Their musical ambitions started at an early age and they rose to international fame with their contemporary rendition of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (one of the first gold records in classical music) and have since established a stunning career with performances worldwide.

Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 8 p.m.
St. Lawrence String Quartet with Pedja Muzijevic, piano
Established in 1989, the St. Lawrence String Quartet has developed an undisputed reputation as one of the world's great ensembles. Called “witty, buoyant, and wickedly attentive” (The Gazette, Montreal), with a “peerless” sense of ensemble (Financial Times, London), the quartet is celebrated for its “smoldering intensity” (Washington Post), and “flexibility, dramatic fire and… hint of rock 'n' roll energy” (LA Times). SLSQ performs around the world and has served as Ensemble-in-Residence at Stanford University since 1998.

Hailed by critics as a "thinking" musician with engaging stage presence and a gratifying combination of virtuosity and eloquence, pianist Pedja Muzijevic has defined his career with creative programming, unusual combinations of new and old music, and lasting collaborations with other artists and ensembles.  The London Financial Times eloquently sums him up as “a virtuoso with formidable fingers and a musician with fiercely original ideas about the music he plays.”