- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2001

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Alvin American Dance Theater and violinist Itzhak Perlman are just a few among a barrage of high-caliber acts the Washington Performing Arts Society will serve up during its 36th season, announced yesterday at the Hay-Adams Hotel.
One of the highlights of the 2001-2002 season will be cellist Yo-Yo Mas exploration of cross-cultural experiences surrounding the Silk Road trade. And who could be better suited for such examination than the touring virtuoso who criss-crosses the continents like a Ping Pong ball?
"In my musical journey, I have had the opportunity to learn from a wealth of different musical voices - from the immense compassion and grace of Bachs cello suites, to the ancient Celtic fiddle traditions alive in Appalachia, to the soulful strains of the bandoneon of Argentinas tango cafes," Mr. Ma said in a prepared statement.
Mr. Ma and accompanying musicians will perform using Asian and American instruments, mixing traditional sounds with newly commissioned works.
"We live in a world of increasing awareness and interdependence, and I believe that music can act as a magnet to draw people together," Mr. Ma said.
Mr. Ma started the Silk Road project in 1998 to study the ebb and flow of ideas among different cultures along the Silk Road, which refers to a series of routes that crossed Eurasia from the first millenium B.C. through the middle of the second millennium A.D.
The season will also include pure Americana, in the form of a celebration of the 75th birthday of jazz greats John Coltrane and Miles Davis by keyboardist Herbie Hancock, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker and trumpeter Ray Hargrove. The trio will surely give Mr. Coltrane and Mr. Davis a cool tribute.
Among returning artists are the Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, the Irish band The Chieftains who will perform in celebration of St. Patricks Day and the skilled Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
For those in favor of traditional, classical fare, the Philharmonica of London will play an all-Rachmaninoff program, while the New York Philharmonic will mix Gustav Mahler and Leonard Bernstein.
Several performers will make their Washington debuts during the season, including the Big Dance Theater, a group that combines dance and drama, and the Shanghai Quartet with Bright Sheng on piano.
A quick look at some of the highlights:
Philharmonica of London, the world's most recorded orchestra, with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting, will play Sept. 16 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. They will perform the all-Rachmaninoff program.
Nrityagram Dance Ensemble of India will perform "SRI: In Search of the Goddess" on Sept. 29 at George Mason University Center for the Arts.
Soprano Audra McDonald, who has won several Tonys in her young career, sings on Oct. 12 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble will perform on Oct. 20 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker and Roy Hargrove in "Miles Davis and John Coltrane's 75th Birthday Celebration," Oct. 21 at the Warner Theatre.
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter with the Trondheim Soloists perform on Nov. 10 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform on Jan. 22-27, 2002, at the Kennedy Center Opera House.
Dance company Streb will perform "Action Heroes," new piece that pays tribute to the daredevils Evil Knievel, Annie Taylor and Harry Houdini, on Feb. 2 at George Mason University for the Arts.
The Chieftains in their annual St. Patricks Day performance, March 11 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
Violinist Itzhak Perlman plays May 1 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
New York Philharmonic with Kurt Masur conducting his last season with the orchestra, May 18 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.

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