Less than two months after Nelson Mandela died, resulting in a worldwide outpouring of grief and tribute, Carnegie Hall said on Wednesday that it will stage a 27-day "Music and Arts of South Africa" festival this autumn that will extend to museum exhibits, film screenings and events with other New York City venues.
The festival, called "Ubuntu," opens Oct. 10 and culminates on Nov. 5 with vocalist Angélique Kidjo presenting a tribute to South African singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba. Over three weeks, there will be concerts by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, trumpeter/composer Hugh Masekela, and jazz pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim.
While the country's native musical traditions will take a primary focus, there will also be classical vocal recitals by South African sopranos Pretty Yende and Elza van den Heever, and a program featuring film shorts by William Kentridge with live musical accompaniment.
The hall said that festival events will take place at 15 other venues including the Apollo Theater, Flushing Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Juilliard School, Le Poisson Rouge and the New York Public Library. This follows a format established by past festivals including this season's Vienna festival. Further details are expected to be announced this summer.
The season opens Oct. 1 with Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in works by Rachmaninoff, Bruch and Stravinsky, a concert that WQXR will broadcast live as part of the Carnegie Hall Live series.
Violinist Anne Sophie Mutter and soprano Joyce DiDonato will be featured in "Perspectives" series, with Mutter performing the Bruch Violin Concerto on opening night. She’ll return in November with two programs: a recital with pianist Lambert Orkis and another with the Mutter Virtuosi, an ensemble of string players whom she has mentored. Further performances are slated for the spring.
DiDonato's residency will include a concert performance of Handel’s Alcina with the English Concert in October, a concert with the Brentano String Quartet, Venice-inspired recital and a concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Meredith Monk will follow David Lang and hold the composers' chair. She will appear with her own ensemble as well as orchestras like the St. Louis Symphony and American Composers Orchestra.
A month-long early music series called “Before Bach" is slated for April 2015 and features 13 concerts by L’Arpeggiata, English Baroque Soloists, Les Violons du Roy and Le Concert des Nations, among other groups.
Carnegie Hall also said Wednesday that its new Judith and Burton Resnik Education Wing will formally open this fall in the building's upper floors and feature programming by the Weill Music Institute.
WQXR is a broadcast partner of Carnegie Hall.