- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2003

The Washington Performing Arts Society will feature four artist debuts and the premieres of seven works during the presenting arts organization's 2003-04 season, it was announced at a press conference yesterday.
More than 60 performances of music and dance are scheduled to take place from the Sept. 6 opening date through May 22 at various area venues.
Highlights include appearances by a number of names familiar to local audiences, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma (with pianist Kathryn Stott and Brazilian guitarist duo Sergio and Odair Assad) Sept. 23; sitarist Ravi Shankar performing with his daughter, Anoushka, Oct. 1; recital flutist James Galway April 3; pianist Alfred Brendel May 1; the Irish band the Chieftains March 7; and violinist Hilary Han, a Grammy nominee, Feb. 21.
Artists scheduled to make their Kennedy Center debuts are pianists Yundi Li Sept. 20 and Claire Desert Oct. 18, the Lucerne Festival Strings Nov. 9 and violinist Julia Fischer March 2. The nine orchestras on tap include the Berlin Philharmonic Nov. 17, the Philadelphia Orchestra April 19 and the Royal Philharmonic Feb. 16.
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns for a weeklong run in a co-presentation with the Kennedy Center Jan. 27 through Feb. 1. Other dance presentations will be Dance Brazil May 7, and the U.S. debut Oct. 27 and 28 of Ballet Boyz/George Piper Dances. Two world premieres on the schedule are Ronald K. Brown and his company, Evidence, in "Come Ye" Feb. 27 and 28 and Jane Comfort with her company in "Persephone." (Spring 2004 dates are to be determined later.)
Scheduled under jazz, gospel and soul categories are the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra Sept. 21, the Herbie Hancock Quartet Nov. 8 and Sweet Honey in the Rock in a 30th-anniversary special Nov. 7 at the Warner Theatre with the folk-rock band Big Lovely. Sweet Honey will perform the D.C. premiere of a WPAS-commissioned work in what is said to be the group's last WPAS concert with founder Bernice Johnson Reagon. Her daughter, Toshi Reagon, is the leader of Big Lovely.
Sweet Honey in the Rock will give its annual children's show Jan. 17 at People's Congregational Church.
The opening event Sept. 6 has District native Paul D. Miller performing under his alias DJ Spooky, That Sublimal Kid. Known for his experimental work combining a variety of sounds and attempts to bridge what once was described as "the physical gap between art and music," he will present a work in progress that is a digitized and rescored version of D.W. Griffith's silent film "Birth of a Nation."
The final concert May 22 will feature Moscow-born pianist Boris Berezovsky, gold-medal winner of the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition, performing in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater.

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