Texas Performing Arts: Award-Winning Performances

From dance to Broadway, jazz to classical, a four-time Grammy Award-winning soprano, a conversation with a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter, and a racy circus from Australia, Texas Performing Arts is the place to be this April!

Meryl Tankard's The Oracle (The Rite of Spring) - Photo by Regia Lansac

Meryl Tankard’s The Oracle (The Rite of Spring)

April 6 at Bass Concert Hall, Texas Performing Arts presents celebrated choreographer Meryl Tankard’s The Oracle (The Rite of Spring), brought to life by the astonishing talents of Paul White, one of Australia’s most acclaimed dancers. This sensual and intense dance work explores the conflicting forces of nature and man, masculinity and femininity, violence and nurturing, strength and vulnerability.

Dawn Upshaw - Photo by Dario Acosta

Dawn Upshaw

Four-time Grammy Award-winning soprano Dawn Upshaw returns to Texas Performing Arts, April 7 at Bates Recital Hall after postponing her 2012 recital. Upshaw is a worldwide celebrity on both opera and concert stages, with a diverse repertoire that ranges from classic works of Bach to the freshest sounds of today. Pianist Stephen Prutsman will accompany Ms. Upshaw.

Tony Award- winning Broadway musical, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET rolls into Bass Concert Hall, April 9-14. MDQ is inspired by the true story of the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. On December 4, 1956, these four young musicians were gathered together by Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ’n’ Roll” at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions of all time!

Maria Schneider - Photo by Jimmy Katz

Maria Schneider

Grammy-winning arranger, composer, and big-band leader Maria Schneider joins The University of Texas Jazz Orchestra as part of the Butler School of Music’s annual Longhorn Jazz Festival, April 13 at Bates Recital Hall. Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, and beyond categorization.” Her early work with Gil Evans found her producing arrangements commissioned by Sting and scoring the films The Color of Money and Absolute Beginners. In 1992 she founded and gained notoriety with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, which has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide.

Alison Balsom - Photo by Mat Hennek

Alison Balsom

Virtuoso trumpeter Alison Balsom joins the versatile and ambitious chamber music outfit, The Scottish Ensemble, for an elegant evening of classical bliss, April 16 at Bass Concert Hall. Recently crowned Female Artist of the Year for the second time at the Classic BRITs, Alison Balsom has cemented an international reputation as one of classical music’s great ambassadors and is ranked among the most distinctive and ground-breaking musicians today. Glasgow’s Scottish Ensemble is a tight-knit band of outstanding musicians from Scotland and across Europe with an enviable reputation for innovative commissioning and programming, performing interesting and unusual pieces alongside better-known repertoire.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner will be in conversation with Evan Smith, April 22 at Bass Concert Hall. The recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, an Oscar nomination, and numerous other awards and honors, Kushner is best known for his two-part epic, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. He also wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols’ film of Angels in America, and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.

C!RCA - Photo by Justin Nicholas


Brisbane, Australia’s C!RCA, perform at Bass Concert Hall on April 27. This bold new vision of contemporary circus creates a space where acrobatics and movement meld into a seamless whole, fundamentally redefining the nature of circus as spectacle. Sexy, funny, and explosive, C!RCA presents a breathless cocktail of new circus, burlesque, and cabaret paired with an immersive use of sound, light, and projection.

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