Saratoga Performing Arts Center

On October 28th and 30th, Pakistan’s Sachal Ensemble will come to Proctors and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center as part of their first United States tour.

The Sachal Jazz Ensemble was created by Izzat Majeed, a Pakistani investor and hedge fund manager turned philanthropist and music producer. Majeed had been deeply influenced by American Jazz. The Sachal Ensemble, based in the city of Lahore, caught a break when a video of them performing a version of Brubeck’s ‘Take Five’ went viral and caught the attention of trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis. This resulted in a collaboration with Marsalis at Lincoln Center.

Their journey from Lahore to Lincoln Center was documented in the film Song of Lahore, which was created by Academy Award® winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy & Andy Schocken. It shows traditional musicians trying to survive under the oppression and brutality of modern day Pakistan.

The film Song of Lahore will be screened at Proctors on Tuesday, October 24 and Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas in Saratoga Springs on Sunday, October 29.

Joining us today is Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and the President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center Elizabeth Sobol.

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center is presenting the 17th Annual Saratoga Wine & Food Festival taking place September 8th & 9th. Over the course of the weekend, patrons will indulge in a variety of premier wines, spirits and exhibitors from across the country, while enjoying mouthwatering cuisine from some of the finest restaurants in the Capital Region. The goal of the Festival is to help raise funds for the Saratoga Performing Art’s Center Children’s Education Program.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

On August 2nd, the Philadelphia Orchestra kicked off its 2017 residency at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Elizabeth Sobol, a veteran of the classical music and recording industry, is spending her first summer as the President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She joins us this morning to tell us what is happening on stage and behind-the-scenes at SPAC over the coming weeks.

She comes to Saratoga Springs from Miami Beach, where she was president and CEO of Universal Music Classics. Before that she spent nearly three decades at IMG Artists as its managing director.

After a successful with the NYC Ballet, she is here to tell us about the Philadelphia Orchestra coming to SPAC tonight as well as SPAC on Stage and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Elizabeth Sobol, a veteran of the classical music and recording industry, is spending her first summer as the President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She joins us this morning to tell us what is happening on stage and behind-the-scenes at SPAC over the coming weeks.

She comes to Saratoga Springs from Miami Beach, where she was president and CEO of Universal Music Classics. Before that she spent nearly three decades at IMG Artists as its managing director. After a successful weekend of Jazz, she is here to tell us about the NYC Ballet, the Mini-Argentinian Festival and Café Lena @ SPAC.

Acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein and the young, virtuosic Havana Lyceum Orchestra led by José Antonio Méndez Padrón will bring their remarkable cross-cultural Mozart in Havana tour to Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center on June 20 at 7 p.m., in a concert co-presented by Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Skidmore College. 

Simone Dinnerstein joins us to tell us more.

This August, Saratoga Performing Arts Center is debuting a new series during its classical season. "SPAC on Stage" will invite guests to surround artists on the main stage for a more intimate performance.

The idea came from new SPAC President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol, who spoke with WAMC's Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard.

For more information on this summer's "SPAC on Stage" series visit SPAC.org.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Performing Arts Center has just announced the lineup for its summer season. The Philadelphia Orchestra, New York City Ballet, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center are all returning for their summer residencies this year.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center has selected a new President and Executive Director. Elizabeth Sobol will step in this October after the conclusion of SPAC’s 2016 50th Anniversary Season.

SPAC revealed Elizabeth Sobol as the next President and CEO of the performing arts organization Thursday.

Renée Fleming
Decca/Andrew Eccles

  This Thursday at 8pm the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the baton of its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will take the stage at SPAC and be joined - for her first time at that venue - by opera star, Renée Fleming.

Ms. Fleming joins us to discuss that concert, travel, language, and her role as Kennedy Center Artistic Partner.

Jonathan Stafford
Henry Leutwyler

  Our final guest today is Jonathan Stafford. Jonathan is a ballet master at New York City Ballet and a member of the faculty at the School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official school.

Born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Mr. Stafford began his dance training at the age of eight. He was invited to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet in October 1998 and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in February 1999. He was promoted to the rank of soloist in March of 2006 and became a principal dancer in May 2007. After retiring from the Company in May 2014, he was appointed an NYCB ballet master.

At the School of American Ballet, Mr. Stafford served as a member of SAB’s guest faculty during the 2006-07 school year and joined the School’s permanent faculty in September 2007. Mr. Stafford received the Martin E. Segal Award from the School of American Ballet in 1999.

NYCB performs Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream
Paul Kolnik

  Marquerite Mehler is the Director of Production of New York City Ballet and has been stage managing for more than 20 years, primarily in dance. Since joining the Production Department of New York City Ballet in 1995, she has stage managed more than 2000 performances of more than 150 ballets in the New York City Ballet repertory, including world premieres by Peter Martins, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Jerome Robbins, and Christopher Wheeldon.

With the production staff, Ms. Mehler supervises scenery, lighting, and all other production elements of the NYCB repertory both at home and on tour. She also coordinates with the other NYCB departments and supervises the NYCB and State Theatre stagehands.

Maria Kowroski
Paul Kolnik

  Maria Kowroski is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet. She began her training in Grand Rapids, where she was born.

Ms. Kowroski entered the School of American Ballet in the fall of 1992. She became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in the summer of 1994 and was invited to join the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in January of 1995. In the spring of 1997, Ms. Kowroski was promoted to the rank of soloist and in the spring of 1999, she was promoted to principal dancer.

Ms. Kowroski was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in 1994. She will perform the principal role in Balanchine’s Agon while at SPAC.

  Troy Schumacher is a choreographer and member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet.

In 2010, Schumacher founded BalletCollective, and as the company’s director and resident choreographer, he collaborates closely with composers, artists, and designers on original works. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, began his ballet training with Atlanta Ballet and the Chautauqua School of Dance before entering the School of American Ballet in 2002.

He became a New York City Ballet apprentice in 2005 and a member of the corps de ballet in December of that year. His second work for New York City Ballet, Common Ground, will have its SPAC premiere at the sold-out Gala performance. He will also perform the role of “Puck” in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Lauren Lovette
Luis Pons

  Lauren Lovette is a Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. She was born in Thousand Oaks, California and began studying ballet at the age of 11 at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, North Carolina

Ms. Lovette became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in September 2010. She was promoted to soloist in February 2013 and to principal in June 2015. She was the 2012-2013 recipient of the Janice Levin Award.

Ms. Lovette will choreograph her first-ever work for New York City Ballet, which will premiere in the fall of 2016. She will perform a principal role in Balanchine’s “Rubies” from Jewels and will have her debut in Christopher Wheeldon’s most recent work for NYCB, American Rhapsody, set to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” when it has its second SPAC performance on 7/30.

  Peter Martins first joined the New York City Ballet in 1970, having already achieved international fame with the Royal Danish Ballet. His career in New York saw him move from Principal Dancer to his current position as Ballet Master-in-Chief.

Martins most popular performances as a dancer include Apollo and as the Cavalier in mentor George Balanchine’s Nutcracker. His contributions as a world renowned choreographer include Calcium Light Night, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet.

Martins has accompanied the Ballet on their annual summer journey up to Saratoga, and has taken the time to speak with us this morning.

  Andrews Sill is the Associate Music Director of New York City Ballet. He joined New York City Ballet in the spring of 2009 and served as Interim Music Director from 2012 to 2015. He also serves as Music Director of Milwaukee Ballet.

Andrews was just fifteen years old when he was accepted as a conducting and piano student at Yale University, where received his bachelor’s degree with honors. He continued his education under scholarship and fellowship awards from the Manhattan School of Music, earning his doctorate in 1987.

He will be conducting A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Gala program of Contemporary works on Saturday night.

Justin Peck
New York Times

  Justin Peck is a Soloist and the Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet. He has created more than 25 works for a range of companies including New York City Ballet, the Paris Opéra Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Miami City Ballet.

In 2011, NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins designated Justin to receive New York Choreographic Institute’s first year-long choreographic residency. Peck was named New York City Ballet’s Resident Choreographer, the second in the Company’s history, in July of 2014.

His latest work Scherzo Fantastique will premiere here at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday Night for SPAC’s 50th. It will be his 11th work for the Company.

  Taylor Stanley has danced at SPAC before. But, this summer marks his first performances in Saratoga as a Principal dancer.

In September 2009, Taylor became an apprentice with NYCB, and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet a year later. He was promoted to soloist in 2013 and to principal dancer in May of this year.

He will be performing a principal role in Justin Peck’s SPAC World Premiere Scherzo Fantastique which will be performed this Saturday Night as part of the Anniversary Gala. Taylor will also perform in Balanchine’s Jewels presented twice next week.

Marcia White
DONNA ABBOTT VLAHOS

  Marcia White, in a former life was a nurse and political aide, but for the past 12 seasons – she has been SPAC’s president and executive director.

In February of this year – she announced that this 50th Anniversary season – would be her last and she will retire at its conclusion. Marcia was appointed the president of SPAC in 2005 and is credited for leading major renovations, bringing the facility out of the red and maintaining SPAC’s classical offerings.

Courtesy Michael Torke

Composer Michael Torke will be premiering a new piece to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Saratoga Performing Arts Center this August. The piece, titled “Unconquered,” was rehearsed for the first time this week by the Philadelphia Orchestra.  In the third part of a series on the creation of the work, Torke tells WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard about his reaction to hearing the piece for the first time.

Courtesy Michael Torke

Renowned American composer Michael Torke, who has produced pieces for the Atlanta Olympic games, Disney, and penned numerous operas, is premiering a new work with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Saratoga Performing Arts Center this summer.

Joe Donahue / WAMC

On Tuesday, legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp joined representatives from the Catskill Mountain Foundation, Proctors, and Saratoga Performing Arts Center to announce Pathways To Dance. The initiative, supported by a $90,000 grant from the NYS Regional Economic Development Council,  is designed to support dance programs and performance at ten venues in eight upstate counties.

As part of the program, Tharp will revisit two repertory dances and create a new work at a six-week Catskills residency. Tharp says she wants to create an evening that's easy to understand.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

There’s been a major shakeup at one of our region’s most important arts organizations. Marcia White, President and Executive Director of Saratoga Performing Arts Center, recently announced her retirement effective at the conclusion of SPAC’s upcoming 50th season.

SPAC

Executive director Marcia White, who has served Saratoga Performing Arts Center for 11 years, announced her retirement Friday, saying the upcoming 50th season will be her last.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

The 15th Annual Saratoga Wine and Food Festival & Concours d'Elegance kicks off this weekend. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York City Ballet soloist and Resident Choreographer Justin Peck’s 'Rōdē,ō: Four Dance Episodes is being performed at Saratoga Performing Arts Center tonight at 8 p.m. on the main stage.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir is currently performing across the Northeast as part of its 2015 Atlantic Coast tour. The group known for its long history and varied repertoire is making a rare visit to Saratoga Performing Arts Center Monday, June 29th. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard caught up with   General Manager Scott Barrick.

This week, Saratoga Performing Arts Center unveiled details of another summer of events. With two new elected board members and a 50th anniversary on the horizon, SPAC’s season features returning favorites and brand new performances. SPAC Executive Director Marcia White caught up with Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard at the venue.

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