Symphony Space 2015-16 Season



PROJECT FIFTEEN: a century of innovation
FUSE PROJECT: new music, new visions
PROJECT B-WAY/95: the Great White Way goes uptown
THE SOURCE PROJECT: Africa shapes Cuban culture

Steinway Salon debuts, Liaisons comes to a close

“I wanted to take advantage of the impressive breadth of programs and use it to explore four larger stories central to Symphony Space's identity.” – Andrew Byrne

Symphony Space, New York’s adventurous arts center on the Upper West Side, is proud to announce its 37th season of innovative programming, running from October 2015 to June 2016. In a bold new initiative, the season will be structured around four Projects, each uniting Symphony Space’s multidisciplinary offerings around a shared theme. It is the first season programmed by Artistic Director Andrew Byrne, and reflects his vision for the institution: focusing on areas of traditional excellence while reflecting more deeply the history and cultural richness of Uptown Manhattan.

Says Byrne, “With literature, music, film, comedy, public affairs talks, and more, Symphony Space is one of those rare cultural gems that is celebrated for so many things. For my first season, I wanted to take advantage of the impressive breadth of programs and use it to explore four larger stories central to Symphony Space's identity: an emphasis on new and innovative work (Fuse Project); Broadway and music theater (Project B-way/95); an international focus, this year exploring on influence of Africa on Cuba (The Source Project); and to open the season, a two-week program that explores the world of 1915, inspired by the 100th birthday of our building (Project Fifteen).”

Following are some highlights of the four Projects:

PROJECT FIFTEEN, October 14 – 28. Inspired by the rise of Symphony Space's building in 1915, exploring NYC and the world as it was over the past 100 years. Highlights include centennial celebrations of Frank Sinatra (Oct. 17) and Edith Piaf (Oct. 23). Project Fifteen also includes an exhibition at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts titled Symphony Space, A Cultural Town Square (Oct. 14 – Jan. 16), an Uptown Showdown comedy duel pitting Old New York vs. New New York (Oct. 20), and a Thalia Book Club presentation saluting the 100th anniversary of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, hosted by Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen (Oct. 28).

FUSE PROJECT, February 1 – 11. This Fuse is set to spark innovative collaborations across genres and media. With a week of concerts and conversations hosted by violist and resident curator Nadia Sirota, including premieres of Symphony Space-commissioned works by David Lang (Feb. 1) and Donnacha Dennehy (Feb. 5), plus a screening of the documentary film Dreamland with live performance of the soundtrack by Valgeir Sigurdsson and others. Complementing the Fuse Project’s aural treats, Secret Science Club North presents What’s That Smell? with neuroscientist Leslie Vosshall, who talks about her pioneering research into the more than one trillion scents that human beings can discern (Feb. 11).

PROJECT B-WAY/95, April 7 – 19. Bringing Broadway to 95th Street, spotlighting new artists and repertoire, plus a few established masters. Among the highlights are Symphony Space’s signature event, Wall to Wall Stephen Schwartz (April 16), and Patti LuPone in Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda…played that part (April 19). A talk, with readings, live performances, and film clips, sketches the evolution of The King and I: From Book to Stage to Film (April 10). Diversity on the Great White Way is the subject of The Changing Face of Broadway, with conversations and live excerpts from In the Heights, Miss Saigon, Dreamgirls, plus film clips from Cabin in the Sky and Carmen Jones (April 13).

THE SOURCE PROJECT, May 1 – 8. First installment of a multi-year exploration of the influence of Africa on world culture, with a focus this season on Cuba. “A Rumba in the Alley” turns 95th Street into Havana’s famed Callejon de Hamel with a free, outdoor Afro- Cuban block party (May 1). Cuban Composer/instrumentalist Yosvany Terry and his band take over the Leonard Nimoy Thalia on May 5. The Cuban Beat: An Homage to Cuban Music and Cinema, presented with the Havana Film Festival New York, spotlights rarely screened works from the 1960s to today, celebrating Cuban music through documentary cinema (May 1, 7, 8).

Says Cynthia Elliott, President and CEO of Symphony Space, “Under Andrew's artistic leadership, Symphony Space is embarking on an exciting next stage in the life of the institution. Gathering the various programming strands strands around the four projects, Andrew has created a brilliant vision that unifies and celebrates the multiplicity of disciplines for which Symphony Space is so well known.”

See the full calendar of events here