Announcing a new season may seem like business as usual for Spring in an Arts Organization -- and it is. But it's also more than that. For well over a year now we have been crafting a season, thinking about balance and mission, weighing different options and combinations, chasing down ideas, playing with the ingredients that go into offering you -- our audience -- the perfect concert series.
Of course, perfection doesn't exist. We are in the business of selling a human experience that is mostly out of our control. An artist gets sick and cancels. An artist has a bad night. A listener doesn't like her seat. A seatmate wears too much perfume. It all happens. The only thing we can do is try to identify those artists or repertoire or experiences that we feel have the potential to leave you not just wanting to come back...but feeling that you must come back to hear more.
People ask me all the time how we put together a season. I never know how to answer that. Why did the Danish String Quartet -- four modern Vikings with, as they say, "more than the average amount of facial hair" -- engross me more than just about any string quartet I've heard in years? How did the young pianist Behzod Abduraimov, an artist who has barely played a professional note in the United States, make Saint-Saëns Danse Macabre feel spooky and thrilling at the same time, as if I had never heard the piece before? And why did mezzo-soprano Joyce Didonato who could literally sing on any stage in the world pick Princeton as her one destination in the United States to give a recital next year? Homework, listening, watching, hearing, asking, mulling, and a little bit of luck are just a small part of the answer.
One thing I am sure of, though, is that we don't want to become predictable. Even though we protect our legacy and try to deliver you the quality and mix that you have come to expect from Princeton University Concerts, we will never stop taking risks, trying new things. I hope next season's offerings has its fair share of surprises. One of my favorites is the addition of two concerts for families. "Meet the Music" will feature musicians from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center hosted by Bruce Adolphe who crafts wacky and wonderful characters and stories that help introduce a young listener to the world of chamber music.
And I have to add that all the while that we are planning the 13/14 season we are experiencing the current season which, to my mind, has been a glorious experience, full of variety, memorable performances, and interesting repertoire. We can't help but have a bit of trepidation when things go well. Can we top this?
So, for me, and my colleagues -- all of us who help to plan our concert seasons - this feels much more than business as usual. It's an announcement and a "pro"nouncement and a birth, in a sense, of a set of experiences that we hope you will love as much as we do. And when we experience it together next year we hope that the weight of expectation will be replaced by the sheer joy and excitement we anticipated. It's a tall order but we wouldn't be doing our job if we weren't shooting for perfection. You'll have to let us know if we succeed.
You can view the entire 2013-2014 season here. Subscriptions are now on sale and, as always, we offer the lowest ticket prices in town. SUBSCRIBE NOW>