Looking Back at a Season that Brought Artistry from Around the Country and World
One of the best things about the performing arts is that no two performances are alike. The Wisconsin Union Theater’s (WUT’s) 2022-23 season provided members and guests with 16 unique opportunities to experience many groups and genres. As we look forward to a plethora of new season events, we invite you to take a trip down memory lane with these facts about some of your favorite performers and performances.
1. The lineup featured artists from more than five countries.
Artists travel from far and wide to perform as part of the WUT season. Last season, the performers primarily had roots in five different countries:
- Denmark: The Danish String Quartet is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- France: DOMi of DOMi & JD Beck was born and raised in Nancy, France, and Cécile McLorin Salvant studied in Grenoble and Aix-en-Provence, France.
- New Zealand: Violinist Geneva Lewis is from Auckland, New Zealand.
- South Africa: The Soweto Gospel Choir hails from Soweto, South Africa.
- United States: Many of the artists from last season come from across the United States.
2. United States-based groups came from more than eight states.
The states represented by last year’s performers include:
- Florida: Cécile McLorin Salvant was born and raised in Miami, Florida.
- Illinois: Joel Ross and Anthony McGill grew up in Chicago, Illinois.
- Minnesota: Evren Ozel is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- New Hampshire: PILOBOLUS was founded at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
- New York: Many of the performers have past or current ties to New York City.
- North Carolina: Caroline Shaw is from Greenville, North Carolina.
- Pennsylvania: Immanuel Wilkins was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Texas: JD Beck of DOMi & JD Beck grew up near Dallas, Texas.
3. Ten of the 16 groups have ties to New York City.
Some artists were born and raised in the Big Apple, while others moved there later to pursue their careers in the performing arts. Artists who traveled from New York City to Madison during the 2022-23 season included:
- Joel Ross, who is based in Brooklyn
- Cory Henry, who grew up and still lives in Brooklyn
- Cécile McLorin Salvant, who now lives in New York City
- Samara Joy, who was born and raised in the Bronx
- The Manhattan Chamber Players, a group composed of New York-based musicians
- The Emerson String Quartet, which initially formed at the Juilliard School
- Sō Percussion, which is based in Brooklyn
- Immanuel Wilkins, who resides in New York City
- Anthony McGill, who is the principal clarinetist for the New York Philharmonic
- The American Patchwork Quartet, which is based in New York City
4. This year’s performances spanned more than nine different genres.
The WUT season was composed of a Jazz Series and a Classical Series, but these weren’t the only genres that patrons experienced. Other genres of music and dance included:
- Gospel music, performed by the Soweto Gospel Choir
- Folk music, performed by the American Patchwork Quartet and the Danish String Quartet
- Modern dance by PILOBOLUS
- A blend of genres by Cécile McLorin Salvant, including vaudeville, blues, theater and baroque
5. The 2022-23 performers have won many prestigious awards.
Don’t just take our word for how incredible these performers are; they have been awarded or nominated for some of the most coveted awards in the performing arts industry. The 2022-23 WUT season featured:
- One MacArthur Genius Grant winner: Cécile McLorin Salvant
- Five GRAMMY Award winners: Samara Joy, Cécile McLorin Salvant, the Emerson String Quartet, Caroline Shaw and three members of the American Patchwork Quartet
- Two recipients of the Avery Fisher Career Prize: The Emerson String Quartet and Anthony McGill
- Two winners of the Avery Fisher Career Grant: Geneva Lewis and Anthony McGill
- One TED Fellowship recipient: PILOBOLUS
- One Academy Award nominee: the Soweto Gospel Choir
6. Five of the groups have fascinating namesakes.
Did you know the stories behind these five groups’ names?
- The modern dance troupe PILOBOLUS was named after Pilobolus crystallinus, a light-loving fungus.
- Emerson String Quartet takes its name from American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- Members of Sō Percussion were inspired by the Japanese character 奏, which has a fourfold definition: “to play an instrument,” “to be successful,” “to determine a direction and move forward,” and “to present to the gods or ruler.”
- Imani Winds takes its name from the Swahili word for “faith.”
- The American Patchwork Quartet highlights centuries-old folk songs that celebrate the country’s immigrant roots.
Want to experience more impressive artists like this in the future? Check out the 2023-24 season lineup here—each performance promises to be an experience like none other.