In October, 1978, Quartet Canada performed at the University of Washington campus. It was the first performance, of countless now, for UW World Series. That first season included the Canadian Brass and the Philadelphia String Quartet, the Dorian Wind Quintet and the Orpheus Trio. It was to mark the beginning of something great that continues to this day – to present diverse and dynamic live performances and educational experiences that fuel artistic discovery, life-long learning, and cultural exchange.
Decades later, UW World Series, under artistic director Michelle Witt, is now more than international music – though that remains a cornerstone to their eclectic arts calendar. Performed on the beautiful University of Washington campus at Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, they have now four distinct performing arts series: World Dance, World Music and Theatre, President’s Piano, and International Chamber Music.
Performers are diverse and span the globe. Recent dance productions include Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Trey McIntyre Project and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. World music performers include Kathy Mattea, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Kodo. President’s Piano has included virtuosos Hélène Grimaud, Khatia Buniatishvili and Garrick Ohlsson. International chamber groups that have graced the stage include Julliard String Quartet, Emerson String Quartet and Tokyo String Quartet, amongst many others.
As part of a highly regarded institution, Meany Center for the Performing Arts is also committed to education and spreading the joy of the arts to local youth. In fact, each year the Mean Center Community Connections program reaches over 10,000 children and adults.