Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Juilliard Announces Details of Weeklong Focus Festival, January 23-28 [Works of Scott Joplin, William Grant Still, Mary Lou Williams, James P. Johnson and Duke Ellington]

Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981)

Scott Joplin (c.1867-1917)

William Grant Still (1895-1978)

James Price Johnson (1894-1955)

Duke Ellington (1899-1974)


January 11, 2022

Focus 2022 | The Making of an American Music, 1899-1948

All Performances to be Livestreamed Via Juilliard LIVE;

Tickets to Focus 2022 Are Free With Online Ticket Reservation

NEW YORK––Juilliard announces additional programming details for its annual Focus festival—January 23-28, 2022—which this year traces the emergence of a genuinely American musical culture between 1899 and 1948 through classical, modernist, Broadway, ragtime and jazz. Six performances—by the New Juilliard Ensemble, conducted by festival director Joel Sachs; the Juilliard Orchestra led by guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen; and chamber ensembles—take place in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater and Alice Tully Hall. The opening night of Focus was rescheduled from January 21 to 23 to align festival rehearsal schedules with the one-week delay in the start of in-person work for Juilliard’s spring semester. All other dates remain the same. Reserved tickets to all Focus 2022 events are free, and events will be livestreamed through Juilliard LIVE on the school’s website.


Focus 2022 opens with Sachs leading the New Juilliard Ensemble in a program of rags by Joplin in contemporaneous theater orchestra versions; two of Ives’ Ragtime Dances; Varèse’s Octandre; Cowell’s Sinfonietta; and Crawford Seeger’s Three Songs to Poems by Carl Sandburg (with soprano Britt Hewitt as soloist). Charles Ives’ Symphony No. 3, “The Camp Meeting,” completes the program on January 23 in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. 

The January 26, the program includes Persichetti’s Sonatine for Organ Pedals Alone; Wolpe’s Two Pieces for Piano; Carter’s Sonata for Cello and Piano; William Grant Still’s Incantation and Dance for oboe and piano; Menotti’s “Monica’s Waltz” from The Medium; and a survey of ragtime to jazz featuring Blake’s “Charleston Rag,” Mary Lou Williams’ “Drag ‘Em,” James P. Johnson’s “Carolina Shout,” and Ellington’s “Come Sunday.”

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