UMS’s 142nd Season Kicks Off in September with Digital Presentations, Q&A, Virtual Book Launch, more

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Centenary Concert Online
Sir Simon Rattle, conductor
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello
Roopa Panesar, sitar

Digital Premiere: Sat, Sep 5 // 2 pm
Available on demand through Wed, Sep 30 at

While the live performance with CBSO this October was canceled, UMS is delighted to bring their Centenary Concert to audiences online. When CBSO gave its first concert in 1920, it was a gamble: a city recovering from war and pandemic had put its faith in the power of music to enrich the lives of all its citizens. The concert features specially-filmed live performances, interviews with conductors past and present, and music by Elgar, Schumann, Saint-Saëns, Hannah Kendall, and A.R. Rahman, closing with Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.

More information to come at

Paul Taylor: Celebrate the Dancemaker
Digital Premiere: Fri, Sep 11 // 7:30 pm
Available on demand through Mon, Sep 21 at 7:30 pm at
Live Chat with Michael Novak and Angela Kane: Mon, Sep 21 // 7:30 pm

University of Michigan dance historian and educator Angela Kane and Paul Taylor Dance Company artistic director Michael Novak host a unique viewing experience that celebrates the mind, work, and legacy of one of the world’s greatest dance makers: Paul Taylor.

Kane and Novak will take audiences through rarely-seen footage of several iconic Taylor works, culminating in a full viewing of his 2002 Promethean Fire — arguably one of his greatest artistic achievements, created in the wake of 9/11 and proclaiming that even after a cataclysmic event, the human spirit finds renewal and emerges triumphant.


Live Chat with Angela Kane and Michael Novak on Facebook
Mon, Sep 21 at 7:30 pm
After watching Paul Taylor: Celebrate the Dancemaker, audiences can join hosts Angela Kane and Michael Novak for a Q&A on Paul Taylor’s work.

Paul Taylor Dance Company Master Class (private)
The Paul Taylor Dance Company will offer a free, private master class with area studios, all UMS community partners.

You Can Dance — Outside!
Sat, Sep 12 // 10:30 am (modern dance with Jodie Randolph)
Sat, Sep 26 // 10:30 am (Mexican folkloric dance with Alejandro Quintanilla)
Wheeler Park

During the months of August, September, and October, UMS’s popular You Can Dance series will be moving outdoors, where dancers and “curious movers” can participate while socially distanced. No dance training or experience necessary, and all levels, ages 13 and up, are welcome. Free, but registration is required and first come, first served until the session reaches capacity.

Total capacity will be limited in order to adhere to public safety guidelines. Sign-in will begin at 10 am and last until 10:25 am. If there is still capacity, walk-ups will be accepted after the sign-in period has closed. The classes will begin at 10:30 am.

More information and registration available at

Supporting Sponsor: Masco Corporation

Behind the Scenes: Q&A with UMS President Matthew VanBesien
Wed, Sep 16 // 5:30 pm

UMS Board member Versell Smith chats with Matthew VanBesien about UMS’s upcoming plans for the fall and how the organization continues to adapt to the current circumstances. Viewers will be able to submit questions.

Virtual Book Launch: Ken Fischer’s Everybody In, Nobody Out
Tue, Sep 22 // 7 pm

UMS President Emeritus Ken Fischer sits down with local author, speaker, tv and radio commentator, and longtime friend John U. Bacon to talk about his new book Everybody In, Nobody Out: Inspiring Community at Michigan’s University Musical Society.

Published by University of Michigan Press with a wonderful foreword by Wynton Marsalis, the book highlights many of Ken’s wonderful stories from his three decades at the helm of UMS. The book is available for purchase online now at University of Michigan Press, Literati Bookstore, Nicola’s Books, and Amazon.

Co-presented by Literati Bookstore and University of Michigan Press.

Digital Artist Residency Kickoff Events
Tue, Sep 29 // 5:30 pm
Wed, Sep 30 // 5:30 pm

UMS is working with six artists over the course of the season to produce Digital Artist Residencies. Each artist will be sharing a project in development with UMS audiences, alongside other activities designed for the community.

In July, UMS announced that Wendell Pierce, Joyce DiDonato, and Brian Lobel would participate in this program. UMS is pleased to announce that dancer/choreographer Cleo Parker Robinson, Flint-based musician and artist Tunde Olaniran, and jazz artist Tarek Yamani (who will work on a collaborative project with the Spektral Quartet) will join the residency cohort.

The Digital Artist Residency program will kick off with two virtual events that feature conversations with the residency artists (different artists featured each night). Viewers will learn more about each artist’s specific projects and the behind-the-scenes work that will be showcased in the coming months. Each evening will feature a different lineup of participating artists.

Lineup and details to be announced at

Lead Presenting Sponsors: Tim and Sally Petersen
Supporting Sponsors: Julia Darlow and John O’Meara and Anne and Paul Glendon
Patron Sponsors: Stephen and Rosamund Forrest, Beverley and Gerson Geltner, and Susan and Richard Gutow
Funded in part by: UMS Sustaining Directors

Season Update: Takács Quartet Goes Digital
Digital Premiere: Wed, Oct 21 // 7:30
Available on demand through Sun, Oct 24

Due to the current State of Michigan guidelines, UMS will convert the Takács Quartet’s Rackham Auditorium performances, originally scheduled for October 16-18, to a free digital presentation. The digital presentation will be available on Wednesday, October 21 at 7:30 pm and will remain available on demand through Saturday, October 24.

The new program will feature works by Florence Price, Mozart, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Bartók, and Debussy.

Current ticket holders will be able to exchange their ticket(s) for a refund, donation, or gift certificate for a future UMS event. The digital concert will be free to all.

Full details to be announced at