The Lied Center for Performing Arts is offering nine free virtual events in April, including music, dance and theater. The lineup is part of the Lied’s commitment to continue bringing the arts to the people of Nebraska, regardless of the circumstances.
When required, registration for events is available here.
The events are:
“The Democracy! Suite” featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis, April 3, 7:30 p.m. — This performance aims to entertain, inspire and uplift audiences with the full vigor, vision and depth of America’s music. Legendary trumpeter/composer Marsalis and some of jazz’s finest soloists will celebrate the genre’s embodiment of freedom and democracy. The evening will feature “The Democracy! Suite,” a new Marsalis composition written during the pandemic as a response to the political, social and economic struggles facing the nation. Registration is required to receive the link for the event.
Lunch & Learn: Rob Rokicki and Anna K. Jacobs: Backstage at a (Movie) Musical, April 6, noon — On the Lied’s live video podcast, composers/lyricists Rokicki (“The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical,” “Monstersongs”) and Jacobs (“Pop!,” “Harmony,” “Kansas,” “Teeth”) will discuss their collaboration with University of Nebraska–Lincoln students to film the new movie musical “The Real Gemma Jordan.” They will talk about their experiences putting the film together and what’s next before the silver screen. This event is available on the Lied Center Facebook page and website.
- Dish It Up! with Silkroad Ensemble, April 6, noon — The Lied Center and the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services will host this conversation with Yo-Yo Ma’s “vibrant and virtuosic” Silkroad Ensemble. The trailblazing group is returning to the stage for the first time since the pandemic began to present “Home Within,” an emotional musical and visual accounting of the displaced Syrian people throughout the recent regional conflict. Composer/clarinetist Kevork Mourad and percussionist Shane Shanahan will discuss the hopes and fears of refugee communities, the lessons the ensemble’s art offers and their April 15 live concert at the Lied. Registration is required to attend the event.
Michelle Ellsworth, April 10, 7:30 p.m. — Ellsworth is one of the world’s most creative multimedia dance artists, who, according to The New York Times, “churns out surprises, from coin-operated choreography to implausible science experiments.” Recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, she combines movement with science, architecture and the humanities for a mind-blowing presentation. Registration is required to receive the link for the event.
Lied Live Online: LSO’s Edward Polochick and Anton Miller, April 11, 7 p.m. — Polochick and Miller will perform a range of popular and classical pieces for violin and piano. Pianist Polochick has been music director of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra since 1998. He is also artistic director of Concert Artists of Baltimore and a longtime faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. Violinist Miller has served as LSO’s concertmaster for nearly 30 years. Since his Carnegie Hall concerto debut, he has appeared throughout the United States and abroad as a soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and pedagogue. This event is available on the Lied Center Facebook page and website.
Tiny Lieders: An Adventure with Bugs in the Garden, April 15, 10 a.m. — Ashley Laverty, artistic director of the Kerfuffle theater company, will lead a 45-minute garden- and bug-themed movement, music and yoga jam specifically designed for children under 6. Since 2015, Kerfuffle has traveled the Midwest, creating theatre and dance for and with young children. This event is available on the Lied Center Facebook page and website.
Master Classes at the Lied: “The Play is Totally the Thing! Shakespeare with Ashley Kobza,” April 18, noon — This Zoom event for students ages 11-18 will be an exciting and active Shakespeare master class, led by Flatwater Shakespeare Company’s education director, Ashley Kobza. In this workshop, students will use clown, gameplay and other movement modalities to explore the playwright’s text. Participants should sideline what they think they know about the text and be prepared to welcome the odd, maybe even hilarious, unknown. The course will give students a fun and engaging approach to Shakespeare, help build self-confidence with Shakespearean text and allow students to work collaboratively and learn from one another. No preparation is required — just a willingness to try something new. This event will not be broadcast publicly. Registration is required to attend.
“Everytime I Talk About … Black Voices in a Time of Change: Poetry, Art and Music,” April 20, 7:30 p.m. — Drawing on the poetry of the late Lucille Clifton, Huskers will celebrate the long history of Black poets bringing often uneasy truths to the heart of America. Curated by Kwame Dawes, Chancellor’s Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at Nebraska, the poets, in conversation with music and visual art, will perform their own compositions and selections of poems by Clifton. The presentation will include performances from Mesonjixx, an Omaha artist who describes her music as Afro-futuristic experimental subculture soul. Registration is required to receive the link for the event.
Huskers in the Spotlight: David Besonen, April 27, noon — The Lied’s lunchtime concert series featuring Husker students and alumni returns with Besonen, a junior studying computer science, mathematics and music technology. A native of Apple Valley, Minnesota, he kicked off his musical journey at an early age — learning piano at 5, writing his first song in kindergarten and learning the saxophone at 11. In high school, he performed with many bands and excelled in several local piano competitions. Since beginning his studies at Nebraska, he has released music on Spotify, participated in five ensembles and collaborated with peers to write original compositions. This event is available on the Lied Center Facebook page and website.