Front entrance to the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at twilight. (credit: Mark Teague)

Schwartz Center for Performing Arts celebrates 20 Years with 2022-23 season

EarRelevant Staff | 21 MAR 2022

The Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University announced its 2022-23 season this past Friday. The new season marks the 20th anniversary of performances at Schwartz Center.

In celebration, the season features artists at the pinnacle of classical, jazz, and crossover music, including violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and a quartet comprised of masterful genre-benders Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, and Rakesh Chaurasia. The season’s special dance event will be Urban Bush Women.

The season also features Music from Copland House and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, classical pianist Hélène Grimaud, the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble conducted by Michael Barenboim, and pianist Chad Lawson with violinist Judy Kang and cellist Seth Parker Woods.

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The Schwartz Center, which opened its doors on February 1, 2003, will also mark the two-decade anniversary with special events throughout the season, including receptions, free artist lectures, and masterclasses open to the public.

Here’s a rundown of the scheduled main events:


  • Music from Copland House featuring Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano:
    A Standing Witness
    Friday, September 23, 2022, at 8 p.m.
    In its Atlanta premiere, A Standing Witness is a monumental new collaboration between Grammy Award-winning composer Richard Danielpour and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former Poet Laureate Rita Dove, written for the incomparable mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and the celebrated Music from Copland House ensemble. The soaring music and probing poetry of this epic song cycle create a sweeping retrospective tracing enormous social and cultural upheavals in the United States since the watershed year of 1968. Rapturously received in premiere performances this season at the Kennedy Center, University of Chicago, and elsewhere around the United States, there is no more timely or provocative work for this pivotal moment in American history.
  • Hélène Grimaud, piano
    Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 8 p.m.
    The internationally acclaimed French classical pianist Hélène Grimaud makes a rare appearance in the Southeast for a transformative recital performance. Grimaud has been hailed as one of the world’s greatest pianists. Her recordings have received numerous accolades, including the Cannes Classical Recording of the Year, Choc du Monde de la musique, Diapason d’Or, Grand Prix du Disque, Record Academy Prize (Tokyo), MIDEM Classic Award, and the Echo Klassik Award.
  • Maria Schneider Orchestra
    Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 8 p.m.
    The 18-member Maria Schneider Orchestra performs worldwide, tackling lush and complex works that bring new energy to the jazz orchestra landscape. Known as a breakaway jazz orchestra leader and composer, Minnesota-born Maria Schneider is a 2019 NEA Jazz Master and Grammy Award–winner for her work in classical, jazz, and even pop with the late David Bowie. This concert features a world premiere commission in honor of the Schwartz Center’s 20th Anniversary.
  • Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Mutter Virtuosi
    Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 8 p.m.
    Anne-Sophie Mutter and the 14-member Mutter Virtuosi take the stage for a celebratory concert that hails 20 years from the opening month of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. A musical phenomenon performing major traditional works while constantly exploring new
    territory for her audience, this virtuoso violinist has been a fixture in all the world’s major concert halls—making her mark on the classical music scene as a soloist, mentor, and visionary.

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  • West-Eastern Divan Ensemble with Michael Barenboim
    Thursday, March 2, 2023, at 8 p.m.
    Violinist Michael Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble out of the full West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to spread and further ideas of unity through music and allow the public to experience the musicians’ unique artistry and personality up close. The ensemble brings the highly praised artistry of the large orchestra into an intimate chamber music format. Barenboim has recently appeared as a soloist with Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and Chicago Symphony.
  • Chad Lawson Trio featuring Judy Kang, violin, and Seth Parker Woods, cello
    Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 8 p.m.
    Steinway Artist, pianist, and composer Chad Lawson is a modern-day master of reinvention—his bold interpretation of the classics, electronic loops, and atmospherics resonate with electronic dance music fans and neo-classical traditionalists alike. For his Schwartz Center debut, Lawson will be joined by acclaimed violinist Judy Kang (Lady Gaga, Ryuichi Sakamoto) and cellist Seth Parker Woods (Sting, Peter Gabriel). The concert program bridges the gap between traditional and non-traditional audiences and features variations on works by composers ranging from Chopin to Billie Eilish.
  • Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Zakir Hussain, with Rakesh Chaurasia
    Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 8 p.m.
    This quartet features the most creative exponent of the banjo in our time, Béla Fleck, the greatest living player of the tabla, the legendary drummer Zakir Hussain, acclaimed virtuoso of the classical and bluegrass bass, Edgar Meyer, and the great Indian flutist Rakesh Chaurasia. With their decades of artistry and the magic of improvisation, the result is a powerful four-way musical dialogue to close out the Schwartz Center’s 20th Anniversary season.


  • Urban Bush Women: Legacy + Lineage + Liberation
    October 20–22, 2022, at 7:30 p.m.
    Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women (UBW) is a Brooklyn-based performance ensemble and dance company under the artistic direction of Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis. Legacy + Lineage + Liberation celebrates the power
    of women in an evening of classic works that transcend genres and amplify the voices of women of color. These iconic works by UBW founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar give multiple dimensions of life that resonate in this time of reflection around equity and justice and lift Black lives in inspiring ways. Works include but are not limited to: Give Your Hands to Struggle; Girlfriends; Women’s Resistance; and I Don’t Know but I Been Told… if You Keep on Dancin’ You Never Grow Old.

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  • An Evening with Fred Hersch and Esperanza Spalding
    Thursday, January 19, 2023, at 8 p.m.
    The duo of jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch and jazz vocalist Esperanza Spalding celebrates the 2020 release of their album “Live at the Village Vanguard” recorded at the legendary club. Spalding is renowned for her artistry and is a worthy heir to the leading ladies of jazz vocals. Hersch is well known for his many significant duo partnerships. The remarkable chemistry of their collaboration is genuinely exhilarating as they present an evening of songs from the Great American Songbook, music from Brazil, and jazz compositions, including several penned by Hersch.
  • Jazz Fest 2023
    February 10–11, 2023 at 8 p.m.
    Sharing its 20th Anniversary with the Schwartz Center, the Emory University Jazz Fest is a three-day event that has provided world-class jazz for thousands of jazz fans through master classes, artist lecture/demonstrations, and concerts. The Jazz Fest spotlights the Gary Motley Trio, Emory Big Band, and a featured guest artist. Previous Jazz Fest artists have included Vanessa Rubin, Bob Mintzer, Raul Midón, Anat Cohen, and Regina Carter.
  • Lawrence Brownlee, tenor: Rising
    Friday, March 17, 2023, at 8 p.m.
    A leading figure in opera, both as a singer on the world’s top stages and as a voice for activism and diversity in the industry, Lawrence Brownlee has captivated audiences and critics around the globe. Brownlee and pianist Kevin J. Miller will perform texts by black authors and poets of the Harlem Renaissance, set to music by leading composers. Along with the premiere of Brownlee’s new song cycle, Rising, they will perform music by composers such as Carlos Simon, Jessie Montgomery, Shawn Ohkpeblo, and Damien Sneed, among others.
  • EUSO Composer Commission Project
    April 21–22, 2023 at 8 p.m.
    In celebration of Emory University Symphony Orchestra’s centennial in 2023, the EUSO Composer Commission Project aims to bring emerging composers from underrepresented backgrounds within American classical music to campus. The project is a collaboration between the Schwartz Artist-in-Residence program, EUSO, and Emory composition faculty. The composer selected for the 2022–2023 commission will premiere the new composition in a free concert presented by the EUSO and Emory Choirs at the Schwartz Center.


All concerts in the 2022–2023 subscription series will take place at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emerson Concert Hall (1700 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322).

Single tickets to all concerts go on sale Monday, August 1. The 10-concert 20th Anniversary ticket package and a Build-Your-Own ticket package are available to order now with selections from the Candler Concert Series and the Schwartz Artist-in-Residence Program, which includes Jazz Fest 2023. For more information, visit or call 404-727-5050.

Current COVID-19 safety protocols are found on the Schwartz Center FAQ page and will be updated as the 2022–2023 season approaches. ■

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