The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $300,000 grant to assist in the creation of a curated concert series, "Kurt Weill's America," conceived and hosted by historian and musicologist Joseph Horowitz and presented as part of the "Music Unwound" consortium. Between 2017 and 2019, "Kurt Weill's America" takes up residence with six orchestras and festivals around the country, several of which are augmenting its basic offerings to present even more of Weill's music.
DePauw University goes first, presenting the series as part of its campus-wide festival, "Cultural Connections: Weill and Brecht." DePauw Opera's production of Street Scene, 9-12 February, caps two semesters of interdisciplinary events, including a scholarly symposium entitled "Kurt Weill and the Search for the Great American Opera" and vocal master classes with Lisa Vroman and William Sharp. Among the highlights: "Save the World, It Needs It: A Weill/Brecht/Blitzstein Cabaret," developed by Joseph Horowitz and Kim H. Kowalke and starring Vroman and Sharp, premiered in January to great acclaim. The show was forced to move to a larger venue at the last minute due to unexpectedly high demand.
Up next is Brevard Music Center, where this summer's events feature a "Festival within a Festival" devoted to Weill. In addition to the cabaret and a fully staged production of Street Scene, events at Brevard include chamber and orchestra concerts, lectures, readings, and community concerts. Keith Lockhart, a longtime advocate of Weill's music who has led the Boston Pops for twenty years and Brevard for ten, conducts two all-Weill concerts, including The Seven Deadly Sins and a new suite of dances from The Firebrand of Florence. Brevard has already received a Foundation Sponsorship for their programming; additional events and guest artists will be announced as summer approaches.
Over the next two years, "Kurt Weill's America" will be hosted by the Buffalo Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, and the University of Texas at El Paso with the El Paso Symphony.
Press release from Brevard Music Center
Complete program of DePauw festival
Learn more about Street Scene
Learn more about The Seven Deadly Sins
Originally posted: 27 January 2017