Met Museum Concert Series Expands into Galleries for 2013-14 Season

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Tuesday announced its 2013-14 season of concerts and lectures, one that expands the number of events taking place in the museum’s galleries, and outside the traditional confines of its concert hall, the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

In announcing the season, Limor Tomer, the general manager of Concerts and Lectures said her goal is to develop programming that "places the Met itself at the center of innovative performance." Since arriving at the museum in 2011, she said she's worked to establish relationships with the museum's curators, an effort that's reflected in more expansive, site-specific programming next year (previously Tomer was an executive producer at WQXR).

Among the highlights, the new-music ensemble Alarm Will Sound will have a four-concert residency that includes a site-specific dance work in the museum’s Charles Englehard Court (Feb. 20). Later, the group will premiere a music-theater work by Kate Soper and Nigel Maister called I was Here I was I in the Temple of Dendur (June 20).

The downtown composer and saxophonist John Zorn will be the focus of a 60th birthday celebration on Sept. 28, with eleven different performances throughout the Met’s galleries, courts and halls. The day will start with a fanfare for six trumpets commissioned by the Met and later feature Zorn himself improvising on the museum’s 1830 pipe organ.

In his remarks, Zorn noted he has been coming to the Met regularly since he was five or six, adding that he wants to choose music appropriate for the different rooms in the museum.

A greater emphasis on modern and early music is evident elsewhere. The Gotham Chamber Opera will present both chronological extremes, with a double bill of Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Lembet Beetcher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You (Feb. 26-27, in the Medieval Sculpture Court).

The New York Philharmonic will give three performances of HK Gruber’s madcap chamber opera Gloria, a Pig Tale, in a collaboration with Juilliard and designer Doug Fitch (May 29-June 1). The Calder Quartet will perform the complete Bartok string quartets over three concerts in October and November.

Also planned are holiday staples such as the Vienna Boys Choir and Calmus Ensemble Leipzig as well as a condensed version of Wagner's Ring Cycle by the Salzburg Marionette Theatre, part of the group's 100th anniversary tour.

Absent from next season is the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, an ensemble that in June ends a 10-year residency at the museum. In response to a reporter’s query about the non-traditional nature of the season, Tomer said that 50 percent of the offerings are still devoted to the classical canon.

WQXR will broadcast and web stream concerts from the Met in the 2013-14 season. Further details will be announced in the coming months.