Carolina Performing Arts announces 2015-16 lineup

Increase font size
Decrease font size

For immediate use


Carolina Performing Arts announces 2015-16 lineup


Eleventh season highlights include dynamic artists and collaborators-in-residence, cutting-edge creators and the North Carolina debut of four world-class orchestras and ensembles


(Chapel Hill, NC – May 21, 2015) – Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will present 42 performances by internationally renowned artists alongside emerging artists for its 11th season, the organization announced today.


“As CPA enters its second decade, I’m very excited to announce our schedule for the upcoming 2015-16 season,” said Emil Kang, CPA’s Executive and Artistic Director. “Our audience’s enthusiasm, willingness to take risks, and thoughtful engagement allow us to continue to push boundaries and welcome new artists to Chapel Hill.”


Artists and collaborators-in-residence are of primary focus this coming season. 2015-16 artist-in-residence and violin virtuoso, Gil Shaham, will make three appearances including performances with the UNC Symphony Orchestra, trailblazing orchestral collective The Knights and visual artist David Michalek. Shaham will also conduct ensemble coaching and offer master classes during his residency.


Memphis jookin’ dance phenomenon Lil Buck and Nashville-based banjoist and singer-songwriter Abigail Washburn will serve as collaborators-in-residence and both will perform with members of the Silk Road Ensemble, founded by Yo-Yo Ma. Collaborators include Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato, violinist Johnny Gandelsman, Chinese sheng virtuoso Wu Tong and Indian tabla master Sandeep Das.


“We are very excited to be working with Lil Buck and Abigail Washburn and cannot wait to experience the artistic alchemy generated by these creative and globally informed geniuses,” said Kang.


The season also features many forward-thinking artists working to advance their own art forms and asking critical questions of society. These groundbreaking performances include an appearance by Cuban rapper and hip-hop musician Danay Suárez on Oct. 29; Japanese butoh dance company Sankai Juku performing on Nov. 6; a production of Antigone directed by Ivo van Hove and featuring Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche in a new translation by Canadian poet and essayist Anne Carson on Oct. 9 and 10; and You Us We All, a radical new chamber opera by Shara Worden and directed by Andrew Ondrejcak on Nov. 17.


“CPA strives to nurture artistic innovation, and this season we will see a number of trailblazing artists who share a powerful spirit of rebellion,” said Kang. “They represent the ideal artist-as-citizen, working to create socially-charged art which helps us to understand ourselves and propels us forward.”


Four of the world’s greatest ensembles will also make their North Carolina debuts. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by music director Riccardo Muti, performs on Oct. 30; Paris-based new music giants Ensemble intercontemporain perform two concerts led by their music director Matthias Pintscher on Nov. 10 and 11; the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, led by its chief conductor Mariss Jansons, appears on Apr. 13; and renowned early music group Les Arts Florissants and its director William Christie performs on Apr. 20.


CPA’s innovative Arts@TheCore initiative, designed to integrate the performing arts into the academic work of the university, will feature the second edition of the Curatorial Fellows program of performances chosen by a member of UNC’s faculty. This year’s performances include a reading of Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up by Oscar-nominated writer/performer Lucy Alibar, who wrote the screenplay for Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Japanese taiko drumming masters Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe.


“Central to our work is Arts@TheCore, which operates with the belief that the arts have a critical role to play in the research, teaching and service mission of the university,” said Kang. “We believe the performing arts can provide an entirely new experience that will unfold before our students, faculty and community, one that can shape their learning and their lives for years to come.”


The official opening weekend kicks off on Oct. 2-3 with back-to-back concerts by roots music icons Lucinda Williams and Buddy Guy. Additional season highlights include contemporary dance company Compagnie Marie Chouinard who returns with CPA-commissioned “Gymnopédies,” in which dancers play the piano works of French composer Erik Satie, and contemporary circus artists Compagnia Finzi Pasca in La Verità, featuring an original hand-painted backdrop by Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, not used since its 1944 appearance at The Metropolitan Opera in New York.


Single tickets and subscriptions go on sale to UNC Faculty, Staff and Students on June 3, 2015 and to the general public on June 10, 2015. For more details on the 2015-16 season, including ticket information and an interactive digital brochure, please visit


2015-16 SEASON


Fall 2015

Sept. 29           Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe, taiko

Oct. 2               Lucinda Williams

Oct. 3               Buddy Guy

Oct. 9 & 10       Antigone by Sophokles featuring Juliette Binoche, directed by Ivo Van Hove

Oct. 20             Gil Shaham, violin: Bach Six Solos with original films by David Michalek

Oct. 22             Gil Shaham, violin with the UNC Symphony Orchestra and Tonu Kalam, conductor

Oct. 23             Mariza

Oct. 29             Danay Suárez

Oct. 30             Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Riccardo Muti, music director and conductor

Nov. 6              Umusuna, Memories Before History: Sankai Juku

Nov. 10 & 11     Ensemble intercontemporain with Matthias Pintscher, music director and conductor

Nov.14              Del McCoury and David Grisman: The Music of Woody Guthrie

Nov. 17             You Us We All: An Opera by Shara Worden & Andrew Ondrejcak performed by Box                                   Baroque Orchestration X

Dec. 5 & 6         The Nutcracker: Carolina Ballet

Dec. 11             Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Denzal Sinclaire,                                           vocalist

Dec. 12             Steep Canyon Rangers


Spring 2016

Jan. 16              Compagnie Marie Chouinard

Jan. 22              Melissa Aldana, saxophone with Pablo Menares and Jochen Rueckert

Feb. 5               Jason Moran & The Bandwagon

Feb. 18 & 19      Throw Me On The Burnpile And Light Me Up: Lucy Alibar

Feb. 20              The Count Basie Orchestra with Diane Schuur and New York Voices

Feb. 23 & 24      Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Feb. 25             The Knights With Gil Shaham, violin

Mar. 4               Fred Hersch, piano and Julian Lage, guitar

Mar. 22             The Ghost Of Montpellier Meets The Samurai: Trajal Harrell

Mar. 29             An Evening with Garrison Keillor

Apr. 7               Leif Ove Andsnes, piano/Christian Tetzlaff, violin/Tabea Zimmermann, viola/                                           Clemens Hagen, cello: The Brahms Piano Quartets

Apr. 9               Gabriel Kahane and Timo Andres

Apr. 13             Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Mariss Jansons, chief conductor and                                         Leonidas Kavakos, violin

Apr. 15 & 16      Lil Buck @ Chapel Hill: A Jookin’ Jam Session

Apr. 17              Abigail Washburn and Friends

Apr. 20              Les Arts Florissants with William Christie, harpsichord and director

Apr. 22 & 23      Martha Graham Dance Company

Apr. 27 & 28      La Verità: Compagnia Finzi Pasca


About Carolina Performing Arts

The mission of Carolina Performing Arts is to enrich lives by creating and presenting exceptional arts experiences and connecting them to the UNC community and beyond. Established in 2005 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Performing Arts presents the very best from the full spectrum of the performing arts: internationally renowned recitalists and orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz, folk, and world music artists, dance and theater. Carolina Performing Arts strives to nurture artistic innovation and the development of new works on and off campus; to challenge and inspire audiences with powerful and transformative performances; and to integrate the arts into the life of the University, embracing its mission of teaching, research and public service.


About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 78 bachelor’s, 112 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 292,500 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 159,000 live in North Carolina.


High resolution images available at





Carolina Performing Arts contact: Mark Z. Nelson, (919) 260-7430,

Communications and Public Affairs contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090,