Tippet Rise Performance Art Center has announced its seven-week summer season, highlighted by a piano series, a world premiere of a Tippet-Rise commissioned vocal work, and cellist Matt Haimovitz performing with pianist Christopher O'Riley.

The season runs June 17 through Aug. 21, and performances are open to the public. Tippet Rise, near Fishtail, features indoor and outdoor performance venues and sculpture installations.

The 2016 season includes 20 concerts performed at sites throughout Tippet Rise’s 11,500 acres, in intimate and picturesque settings that include the 150-seat Olivier Barn, the open-sided Tiara band shell, and the sculptural, open-air Domo, as well as at the site of select sculptures.

Tickets for all concerts are $10 for adults, and free for anyone 18 or younger. For additional information and tickets, visit www.tippetrise.org. All ticket revenue is dedicated to the Art Center’s education programs.

The inaugural season, curated by music director Christopher O’Riley, will include musical experiences in settings that blur the lines between nature, art, and architecture. John Luther Adams’ monumental outdoor composition "Inuksuit" will be played by 45 percussionists including members of the Billings Symphony, the Excelsis Percussion Quartet, and others, coordinated by Douglas Perkins.

The world premiere of a newly commissioned song cycle by Spanish composer Antón García-Abril, "Tippet Rise Songs," will be performed by soprano Emily Helenbrook at Domo, a 98-foot-long, 16-foot-tall, concrete structure created especially for Tippet Rise. Domo is one of several such structures commissioned from the composer’s son, also named Antón García-Abril, principal architect for the cutting-edge practice Ensamble Studio.

The piano recital series includes Stephen Hough, Nikolai Demidenko, and Tchaikovsky Piano Competition Laureates George Li and Lucas Debargue in a U.S. debut.

Tippet Rise also features outdoor sculptures and commissioned artworks by artists Mark di Suvero, Patrick Dougherty and Stephen Talasnik.

Peter Halstead, co-founder of the Art Center, said, “There are moments in music when we are figuratively struck by lightning, when suddenly the gap between a sound and an emotion is bridged. At Tippet Rise, we hope to provide the kind of atmosphere, and the kind of performers, that make such moments possible.”

Cathy Halstead, co-founder of the Art Center, said, “In a way, the meeting of music, landscape and sculpture at Tippet Rise returns us to the experience of performances and celebrations at the ancient Greek amphitheaters or Stonehenge."

Musical director Christopher O’Riley said for the inaugural season, he looked for music inspired by the environment. 

The Tippet Rise 2016 schedule:

  • Friday, June 17, at 6:30 p.m., Nikolai Demidenko, piano, performing a two-part recital that includes waltzes and mazurkas by Chopin and the "Ballade No. 1" and B minor Sonata of Liszt.
  • Saturday, June 18, 2 p.m., Stephen Talasnik Celebratory Concert, featuring the Ariel String Quartet performing music by Aaron Jay Kernis and John Adams.
  • Saturday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m., Ariel String Quartet with Nikolai Demidenko to perform Brahms, C Minor Piano Quartet.
  • Friday, June 24,  6:30 p.m., Jenny Chen, piano.
  • Saturday, June 25, 2 p.m., Ensamble Studio Commission Celebratory Concert at the site of Domo, featuring Emily Helenbrook, soprano, and Christopher O’Riley, piano. The suite of seven songs and piano solos include the world premiere of "Tippet Rise Songs," a cycle by Antón García-Abril based on poetry by Peter Halstead.
  • Saturday, June 25, 6:30 p.m., Alessandro Deljavan, piano.
  • Friday, July 1, at 6:30 p.m. Yevgeny Sudbin, piano.
  • Saturday, July 2, 2 p.m., Matt Haimovitz, cello, performing the complete Bach Suites for Solo Cello with commissioned overtures to each suite.
  • Friday, July 8, at 6:30 p.m., George Li, piano.
  • Saturday, July 9, at 2 p.m., Patrick Dougherty Celebratory Concert, featuring Eunice Kim, violin; John-Henry Crawford, cello; Christopher O’Riley, piano
  • Saturday, July 9, 6:30 p.m., All-Scriabin concert at the site of Domo to include performance by Christopher O’Riley, Svetlana Smolina (piano) and Elmer Churampi (trumpet) and Yevgeny Sudbin (piano)
  • Friday, July 15, 6:30 p.m., Matt Haimovitz, cello and Christopher O’Riley, piano performing Cello and Piano Sonatas of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff.
  • Saturday, July 16, 2 p.m., Mark di Suvero Celebratory Concert featuring Dover String Quartet and Matt Haimovitz, cello.
  • Saturday, July 16, 6:30 p.m., All-Messiaen concert at Domo featuring Svetlana Smolina and Christopher O’Riley, pianos; Caroline Goulding, violin; Matt Haimovitz, cello; and John Bruce Yeh, clarinet.
  • Friday, July 22, at 6:30 p.m., Konstantin Lifschitz, piano, performing Bach, Goldberg Variations.
  • Saturday, July 23, at 2 p.m., John Luther Adams, "Inuksuit," ensemble to include the Excelsis Percussion Quartet and percussionists from the Billings Symphony and others, with Douglas Perkins, coordinator.
  • Saturday, July 23, at 6:30 p.m., Stephen Hough, piano.
  • Saturday, August 20, at 2 p.m., Anne-Marie McDermott and Christopher O’Riley performing two-piano recital to include works by Philip Glass, David Lang, Paul Lansky and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
  • Sunday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m., Lucas Debargue, piano
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Entertainment Reporter

Jaci Webb covers entertainment for The Billings Gazette.