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The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts Blog Schimmel Center seeks to enrich and engage our audiences by bringing world-class talent to Lower Manhattan. Our programming features internationally-acclaimed talent in the areas of music, dance, film, cabaret and lecture.

11 April 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Putting the Fun Back in Classical Music

Classical music is about to get its humor back. This Sunday, April 17th, the Schimmel is very excited to welcome the four ladies of Salut Salon to our stage. This quirky quartet is comprised of four established musicians at the top of their game who also happen to have quite the comic chops. Come marvel at this group’s musical mastery and comic skill as they blend classical and contemporary favorites. The stunning quartet is comprised of Angelika Bachmann (violin & vocals), Iris Siegfried (violin & vocals), Sonja Lena Schmid (cello & vocals) and Anne-Monika von Twardowski (piano & vocals).

The group has been around for decades but recently went viral in 2014 when their video titled “la dispute” hit over twenty million views on YouTube.



In their latest stage show, Carnival of the Animals and Other Fantasies, the group tackles “epic animal stories.” Audiences can expect to hear Billy May’s”Green Hornet,” Astor Piazzolla’s “Escualo” (a shark who has the pleasure of meeting John Williams’ great white brother from the famous movie) and even selections from Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book. It’s sure to be a truly entertaining evening of song and laughter.



Salut Salon;  Sunday, April 17th at 7:30pm; All seats $39; Schimmel Center at Pace University; 3 Spruce St, New York, NY 10038;(212) 346-1715; Tickets available at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/949259

05 April 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Chamber Music for a New Generation: Stewart Copeland & Jon Kimura Parker’s “Off The Score”

Music lovers are in for a treat. This Friday, April 8, World renowned drummer, 5 time- Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Stewart Copeland and Acclaimed pianist Jon Kimura Parker are joining together in a unique musical program titled, “Off the Score.” The program promises to “explore the intersection of the notes on the page combined with the improvisational instincts of the rock and jazz musician.

Copeland was described by Downtown Magazine writer, Kellie M Walsh as, “that rare bird of rockstar in a classical world, a wide, wild fury of flailing arms, eye teeth, polyrhythms and flying drumsticks infiltrating the lush, regimented tradition of the symphony. Copeland is the guy that brings a trashcan to a concerto.” It is with this passion for both contemporary and classic musical styles that Copeland designs this special program along with renowned musician Jon Kimura Parker.

The evening will also be a collaboration with established musical artists such as Metropolitan Opera Orchestra violinist Yoon Kwon, classical/jazz double bassist Marlon Martinez and electronic valve instrumentalist Judd Miller. Program selections may include classical standards, Copeland originals, a modern interpretation of The Police and possibly Aphex Twin.

Don’t miss the trailer for this exciting musical event below. Be sure to book your seats for an evening that promises to be chamber music for a new generation: propulsive, engaging, interesting and, most of all, fun!


Stewart Copeland & Jon Kimura Parker & Co. Off the Score;  Friday, April 8th at 7:30pm; $65 | $49 | $39; Schimmel Center at Pace University; 3 Spruce St, New York, NY 10038;(212) 346-1715; Tickets available at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/949256

29 March 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Ancient Influences: ZviDance’s DABKE

In 2013, New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay recognized ZviDance’s Dabke as one of his TOP DANCE FAVORITES of 2013. The critic declared the piece was, “an infectious, folk-based dance, its propulsive rhythm often alternating between two feet and one. And its variations include solos, duets, private moments, vulnerabilities. I’d had no previous experience of the work of Mr. Gotheiner; I loved “Dabke” so much that I returned to see it a second time.”  We are proud and excited to be bringing that very piece to the Schimmel stage for one weekend only.

ZviDance was founded by the Israeli born dancer and choreographer, Zvi Gontheiner. The group uses its own unique dance vocabulary to define a, “unique set of relationships and experiences.” Their work has been said to, “boldly address the depths of the human experience.” The Arabic word, “dabke,” refers to stomping on the ground. “Dabke,” is itself, a folk dance common in Middle-Eastern heritage and can be traced back to ancient times. It is the national dance of countries such as Lebenon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine and is also enjoys its own version in Isreal. In DABKE, Mr. Gotheiner uses the power of dance to highlight tribal and national identities as well as dissolve those definitions. Reflecting on the recent “Arab Spring” movement that ignited the Middle East with unstoppable forces for change, Gontheiner aspires to celebrate this trend, and by creating DABKE, acknowledges its ripple effect on all of us.

Check out the promo for this truly remarkable piece below. Then be sure to book your seats.


This event is part of The New York State Presenters Network Presenter-Artist Partnership Project made possible through a regrant from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. nysca+logo+small

This season’s dance series is sponsored by the SHS Foundation

ZviDance: DABKE;  Friday and Saturday, April 1st and 2nd at 7:30pm; All tickets $29; Schimmel Center at Pace University; 3 Spruce St, New York, NY 10038;(212) 346-1715; Tickets available at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/949255

22 March 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Bedroom Community’s Whale Watching Tour Postponed

We are saddened to report that that due to unforeseen circumstances, the Bedroom Community Whale Watching Tour has been postponed. We will be announcing rescheduled dates shortly. Unfortunately, the situation was beyond our control. All refunds will be issued at point of purchase.


16 March 2016 ~ 0 Comments

The Power of Music

This Friday, March 18th, we welcome back the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra. This time the group is presenting two world premieres along with two classics. The theme of the evening; human rights. Conductor Gary Fagin premieres his original and timely operetta, Supreme Justice: The Battle for Gay Rights, which dramatizes the Obergefell vs. Hodges Supreme court case which decided marriage equality as the law of the land. Come see Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (the Notorious RBG) portrayed by legendary soprano Lucy Shelton and the late Justice Antonin Scalia played by tenor John Duykers. Mr. Fagin describes the composition process of his piece below.

The Knickerbocker Orchestra's Gary Fagin. Photo Credit Kevin Yatarola

The Knickerbocker Orchestra’s Gary Fagin.
Photo Credit Kevin Yatarola

“The lawyers’ arguments, and the Justices’ questions and comments, spoke to the fundamental aspects of relations between human beings, governmental regulation of those relationships, and if, or how, the rights in questions were subject to protection by the United States Constitution, specifically under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Reading the transcripts, and listening to the audio recordings, of the Supreme Court proceedings of April 28, 2015, one is struck by the passion of the participants and how gripping the drama of a courtroom can be.

There’s something fascinating about how legal proceedings address universal and fundamental aspects of the human experience, so it’s not surprising how numerous are the examples of legal proceedings in novels, plays, operas, and films, for example, The Merchant of Venice; Crime and Punishment; The Marriage of Figaro; Inherit The Wind; To Kill A Mockingbird, and, more recently, the ubiquitous Law And Order and its spinoffs, to name just a few.

On June 26, 2015 the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in favor of the plaintiffs, another 5 – 4 split from a bitterly divided court. Associate Justice Arthur Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, his words remarkable in their poetry and humanity, ‘Same-sex couples, too, may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage and seek fulfillment in its highest meaning.’ Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia were scathing in their dissents, ‘Who do we think we are?’ (Roberts); “What really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s Putsch” (Scalia).

Supreme Justice: The Battle For Gay Rights uses verbatim excerpts from the Supreme Court arguments and decision in the Obergefell and DeBoers cases, and incorporates some of the choice public comments of Justice Antonin Scalia, representing the conservative wing, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, representing the liberal wing. Until Scalia’s recent death, Scalia and Ginsburg were unlikely, but famously, close friends.

However their legal opinions, for the most part, could not be more opposite, and they were not shy about calling each other out. Ginsburg really did say, ‘I love him [Scalia], but sometimes I’d like to strangle him.’ Scalia eviscerated his colleagues’ opinions as ‘Jiggery-pokery’ and ‘Argle-bargle,’ and described himself, in an interview, as ‘a snoot, a nitpicker.’

Supreme Justice: The Battle For Gay Rights is presented as a traditional oratorio, beginning with a chorale, with recitatives, arias, and choruses, ending with a full-blown chorale prelude in the style of J.S. Bach. “

The new piece is juxtaposed with John William’s “Equality, Under The Law,” from the motion picture Lincoln and Elmer Bernstein’s Suite from To Kill a Mockingbird. These established pieces deal with human rights in their own ways.

The Knickerbocker Orchestra round out their evening with the World Premiere of Michael Bacon’s Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra, which continues this season’s special relationship with Michael Bacon of the Bacon Brothers. The new orchestral piece is performed with special guest Christine Kim. You can enjoy a preview of the piece in the video below.

The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra;  Friday, March 18 at 7:30pm; All tickets $39; Schimmel Center at Pace University; 3 Spruce St, New York, NY 10038;(212) 346-1715; Tickets available at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/949252