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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

DPAC Working File

Presenting by DPAC: The 2024-2025 program annotated

The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC) recently announced the 2024-2025 program for its Presenting Series, which aims to use “the universal language of music, dance and theater [to] celebrate the power of live performance to bring us together.” The 2024-2025 season will mark its 20th anniversary, and DPAC is pulling out all the stops. Whenever a big name in the arts comes to campus, it’s usually the Presenting Series that’s to thank for it — and next year is going to be no different. Here are the highlights, annotated.

Fischoff Competition Gold Medal Winners — September 29 and November 3

South Bend, specifically DPAC, has the privilege of hosting the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition every year. The largest and oldest of such competitions, students and professionals convene on Notre Dame from around America — and even from abroad — to perform and participate in the festival. This year’s competition will take place at DPAC from May 10 to May 12, a must-see if you’re still on campus. The winners will return next fall to perform in the Presenting Series, the wind category winner in September and the string category winner in November. No matter who wins the spots, it’s bound to be good.

London Philharmonic Orchestra — October 16

This March, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields — one of the greatest chamber orchestras of all time since its founding by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 — visited DPAC with virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell simultaneously performing and conducting. Next fall, we’ll be treated to another great British orchestra on tour, the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO). To be honest, I’m not as excited about the LPO as I was about St. Martin’s. St. Martin’s has a unique, unrivaled string sonority (not the way it used to, of course, but it’s still nothing to wag your finger at). The LPO, on the other hand, sounds like every other London orchestra — like the London Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic and the Philharmonia and the BBC Symphony. Frankly, it sounds like every other orchestra, period. You might as well take the South Shore Line into the city some weekend to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) — you’ll get the same sound, and better executed too.

Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra With Winton Marsalis — January 31

A week after they’re set to play at the CSO’s Symphony Center, Winton Marsalis (the greatest living jazz trumpeter) and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (the greatest working big band) are coming to DPAC. South Bend sustains a healthy jazz community centered around Merriman’s Playhouse, a jazz venue which pulls acts from Chicago and the coasts. This show, though, is going to be a special treat.

Nathan Gunn and Mandy Patinkin — April 11

Midwestern operatic baritone Nathan Gunn and the famed Broadway tenor Mandy Patinkin are performing alongside each other on tour. Patinkin, who starred in “The Princess Bride” and “Homeland,” is 71 these days, but I’m sure their stop in South Bend will still be a lively evening.

Third Coast Percussion with Jessie Montgomery — April 27

Third Coast Percussion, a quartet which served as DPAC’s “Ensemble-in-Residence” from 2013 to 2018, is returning to Notre Dame, now with the addition of Jessie Montgomery — virtuoso violinist and composer-in-residence at the CSO. Third Coast is bound to give an energetic performance, and — besides her skillful playing — Jessie Montgomery’s new compositions always strike a healthy balance between listenable and compelling.

In addition to the ones listed above, there are countless other events worth seeing on the program. It includes, for instance, several organists to perform in DPAC’s Reyes Organ and Choral Hall as well as several performances by the Actors from the London Stage, DPAC’s resident company. I think it’ll shape up to be a great season, one worthy of a 20th anniversary.