New season on horizon for Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

The Ten Tenors (Photo courtesy of Dylan Evans)

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts has announced its new 2017-18 season — featuring a lineup of music, dance, theater, comedy and more — and tickets go on sale to the general public Monday, May 22.

Among the artists making their Center debuts are Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara Jan. 27 and Megan Hilty on Feb. 24 as well as pop musician Steven Page, former lead singer of the Barenaked Ladies, according to a press release.

Megan Hilty (Photo courtesy of Sidney Beal)

Pianist Seth Rudetsky will play and host both Ms. O’Hara’s and Ms. Hilty’s concerts and will have his own concerts on March 17 and April 7.

The Center continues its tradition of welcoming international performers including Ireland’s The Chieftains Feb. 27, South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo Feb. 2, Argentina’s The Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires March 9 and Australia’s The Ten Tenors Feb. 28 and March 1, a release states.

Other highlights include the Parsons Dance ensemble and classical musicians Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman and Murray Perahia, along with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and Zurich Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Hope.

Most performances will take place at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts’ Virginia G. Piper Theater, 7380 E. 2nd St.

As part of the Scottsdale Arts Presents initiative, the Center will offer performances at three other Phoenix venues including the Celebrity Theatre, Musical Instrument Museum and Orpheum Theatre.

“With its intimate theaters and world-class performers, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts offers a truly unique experience for arts patrons,” Scottsdale Arts President and CEO Neale Perl said in a release.

“Our 2017-18 season is an exhilarating combination of legendary artists and emerging talents, spanning virtually every genre of the performing arts. We invite everyone to join us.”

Scottsdale Arts members may purchase single tickets starting Monday, May 15, at 10 a.m. Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Monday, May 22, at 10 a.m. Information and tickets are available through or 480-499-8587.

The 2017-18 season will go as follows:

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

In the spotlight

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, along with pianist Kathryn Stott, will perform Nov. 10 at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St. in downtown Phoenix.

The annual Scottsdale Arts Gala Dec. 2 will showcase the work of two artists in Ansel Adams: America featuring more than 100 images by photographer Ansel Adams paired with a commissioned symphonic work by the late jazz pianist Dave Brubeck and his son, musician and composer Chris Brubeck.

Steven Page.

Legendary voices

The Manhattan Transfer will perform at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St. in Phoenix Jan. 31.

The former lead singer of the Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, and the Art of Time Ensemble will present Songbook — an evening of seminal pop songs — on Feb. 9.

American Originals

Danny Zelisko Presents will bring two musicians to Scottsdale: David Bromberg, performing music from his new blues album on Sept. 7, and guitarist and singer-songwriter Tom Rush, with special guest Danny O’Keefe, on Oct. 8.


As a tribute to jazz composer-pianist Thelonious Monk, Mr. Monk’s son T.S. Monk, a drummer and bandleader, will perform the Monk on Monk tribute concert Oct. 14.

Also, the Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Orchestra will return with Eddie at 80, a night of red-hot salsa music Nov. 9. Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band will bring their jazz, soul, Latin and South American rhythms to Scottsdale March 31.


Ugandan instrumentalist Samite will share his message of peace and hope in concert Oct. 6 while Canadian rumba-flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook will perform songs from his new album, Beyond Borders, Feb. 25.

The 2017-18 Discovery Japan Series will explore the art and culture of that island nation through a series of live performances, special events and educational programs, including a showcase of Japanese taiko drumming by Yamato March 3.

Spoken word

Best-selling author and humorist David Sedaris will return to the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix Nov. 18 to read some of his latest works and answers questions from the audience, followed by a book signing.

Ira Glass, the host and creator of the public radio show “This American Life,” will share stories and life lessons in Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Evening With Ira Glass Jan. 20, also at the Orpheum Theatre.

Theater and comedy

Direct from Washington D.C., the singing comedians of The Capitol Steps will return for their annual Thanksgiving weekend performances Nov. 24-25.

Actress Patti Hannon will star as Sister in the comedies Late Nite Catechism and Late Nite Catechism III: ‘Til Death Do Us Part, performed weekly January through March.


Also starring Ms. Hannon, Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold will return for a special holiday engagement, Dec. 8-17.

Jose Hernandez and his Mariachi Sol de Mexico will share A Merri-Achi Christmas Dec. 16 while Windham Hill recording artists Will Ackerman, Barbara Higbie, Alex DeGrassi and Todd Boston will perform the acoustic Winter Solstice Dec. 21.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild Swingin’ Holiday Party on Dec. 22 will feature originals and reworked Yuletide classics.

Family time

A combination of art, theater and electroluminescent technology, Lightwire Theater will present Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey, a family-friendly cosmic adventure about celebrating differences, Oct. 21.

The Okee Dokee Brothers will share their Grammy Award-winning folk songs that aims to inspire kids and families to explore nature Nov. 5.

Festivals and films

The annual Brazilian Day Festival will take place on Sept. 23.

One of the country’s top arts fairs, the 48th Scottsdale Arts Festival will showcase 175 artists, live music, gourmet food trucks and family fun March 9-11.

Additional events will be announced, including Harlan Jacobson’s Talk Cinema sneak-preview film series and the San Francisco Opera’s Grand Opera Cinema Series.

Virginia G. Piper concert series

The Center’s Virginia G. Piper Concert Series will open Nov. 4 with a concert by the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Pavel Kogan. The orchestra’s program will feature Dmitry Masleev, the gold medalist of the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, performing Tchaikovsky’s brilliant Piano Concerto No. 1.

Pianist Emanuel Ax will feature works by Bach, Beethoven, Liszt and Mozart on Jan. 7 while pianist Yefim Bronfman will perform on Feb. 16 with a program that includes Stravinsky’s Petrushka.

The First Prize winner of the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition, Seong-Jin Cho, will return for a solo concert on March 2.

Cellist Amit Peled will be joined by pianist Noreen Polera March 16 for a program of works by Brahms, Popper and Schubert. On March 24, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra with violinist and conductor Daniel Hope, will perform Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

The Virginia G. Piper Concert Series will conclude the season April 19 with a solo concert by pianist Murray Perahia.

Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great?

Returning after three sold-out concerts last season at the MIM, Mr. Kapilow will present two classical-themed discussions with performance at MIM as part of his What Makes It Great? series.

Those discussions include Dvorak’s American Quartet Jan. 16 and Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata with pianist Hye-Jin Kim Feb. 20.

Mr. Kapilow will also explore the music of the American Songbook in three special What Makes It Great? presentations at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Those performances include You’re the Top: The Songs of Cole Porter Jan. 18, From “On the Town” to “West Side Story”: The Theater Music of Leonard Bernstein Feb. 22 and Finishing the Hat: The Songs of Stephen Sondheim March 15.

Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel

Keyboard Conversations With Jeffrey Siegel will return for its 39th Scottsdale season for four concerts with commentary.

Those commentaries include Keys to the Classics Dec. 5 featuring Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven; Virtuoso Variations Jan. 23 offering variations on famous melodies by Chopin, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Liszt; Bach and Chopin: A Musical Kinship Feb. 20 showcasing preludes and dances for the ears by these two popular composers; and Leonard Bernstein at 100: A Musical Celebration April 3, highlighting pianistic arrangements of songs.

Close Encounters with Music

A concert experience that brings together chamber music, performers and commentary, Close Encounters With Music will return for two concerts.

Each one will feature an onstage introduction from cellist and Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani, who aims to place the composers’ works and times in perspective.

Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman Jan. 17 will showcase music to celebrate the approaching centennial in 2020 of women’s suffrage. Pianist Renana Gutman, violinist Peter Zazofsky and soprano Danielle Talamantes will all perform in this showcase.

The Passion of Camille Saint-Saëns and César Franck: L’Amour Toujours! on Feb. 7 will feature the Saint-Saëns Violin Sonata No. 1 and the Franck Piano Quintet, performed with pianist Roman Rabinovich, violinists Hagai Shaham and Diana Cohen and violist Pierre Henri Xuereb.

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