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UNLV’s 14-show performing arts season begins Wednesday

Updated September 9, 2019 - 5:56 am

School is back in session.

And for students at UNLV, that means so are the arts.

In its 44th season, the university’s Performing Arts Center has 14 programs slated to bring music and theater to the campus’ performance halls.

“We were trying to bring a pretty diverse season this year,” says Lori Pullen, executive director of the UNLV Performing Arts Center. “Not only in the artists we’re presenting, but in terms of dance, music or instrumentals. We’re bringing a well-rounded program to the community.”

The season opens Wednesday with a multimedia performance piece featuring the Kronos Quartet.

“A Thousand Thoughts: A Live Documentary With the Kronos Quartet” will blend live music and narration with archival footage and filmed interviews featuring the group.

“In 2018, the film premiered at Sundance,” Pullen says. “I was at Sundance and privileged to see it. Sam Green, the director, was onstage narrating and the quartet plays live with the film documentary. It will be an unusual evening for all of us.”

Another unusual offering this season will be the UNLV Chamber Music Society’s lineup, which includes a concert called “Hidden Gems,” featuring music by lesser-known composers. Three of the five concerts in the lineup are performed by UNLV faculty and other Las Vegas performers.

“Chamber music was a series; now it’s made the leap to being a society,” says Nancy J. Uscher, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “It’s rare in the community to have five high-quality concerts of chamber music, both by faculty and interspersed with colleagues from around the world.”

WindSync, a North American wind instrument quintet, will perform in October as part of the series. In April, The Miró Quartet will showcase its string music at the Doc Rando Recital Hall.

The season also marks the 15th anniversary of the guitar series, which opens with “The Paco de Lucía Project.” “They’re probably the biggest name in flamenco,” Pullen says. “It’s going to be a phenomenal evening.”

The 2019-20 lineup also highlights theatrical productions, including the Russian National Ballet’s “Cinderella,” and New York Gilbert &Sullivan Players return with an interpretation of “The Mikado.”

In December, a cappella group Voctave will celebrate the holidays with a program of Disney and holiday favorites.

Pullen calls the season a bargain, with season tickets for all 14 shows starting at $219.

Uscher thinks of the season as a complement to The Smith Center’s offerings.

“The Smith Center is focused on theater and national traveling shows,” she says. “I think that’s complementary to our maturing series here. How fortunate are we to live in a place where we can take advantage of both?”

Contact Janna Karel at jkarel@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jannainprogress on Twitter.

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