The Metropolitan Museum is celebrating spring and New York City’s post-pandemic return with special programming for visitors, including concerts by Grammy-winning artist Angelique Kidjo and “Date Night” events.
It will also offer a five-hour marathon of the music of Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez at the Met Cloisters, as well as gallery performances by MetLiveArts Artist-in-Residence Bijayini Satpathy, who will explore the future and traditions of Odissi, a classical Indian dance.
Kidjo—who won five Grammy Awards, including one for Best Global Music Album earlier this month—will play tonight and tomorrow night in the museum’s Grace Rainey Rodgers Auditorium, accompanied by musicians on the cajon (wooden box used as a drum), percussion, guitar and bass.
According to the museum, Kidjo’s concerts “were organized in anticipation of the 2024 reopening of (his) Michael C. Rockefeller wing, whose galleries, currently under construction, celebrate the genius of sub-Saharan creative expression. . . The concerts represent a musical odyssey from Africa (an incomparably rich source of inspiration) to New York (a unique global hub and catalyst for its ever-expanding innovative repertoire.)”
The museum also called Kidjo “a leader among the community of about 30 visionaries.” . .who contribute to the redesign of the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing and the importance of the traditions it presents.
“Date Night at the Met” offers everything from live musical performances of contemporary string quartets and Jazz Age classics, to “gallery chats” with “museum guides” who help visitors “get to know” a work of art, just like a first date. purchase includes drink specials, small bites and light meals Upcoming parties will be April 29-30, May 6-7
Satpathy’s gallery performances will take place twice every afternoon on May 14 (in the Islamic art galleries); May 15 (n modern and contemporary art galleries); and May 21 at the Astor Chinese Garden Court. The museum said Odissi, the dance she performs, “is rooted in temple shrines, royal courts and village squares in the Indian state of Odisha…recreated on contemporary stages.
The Prez marathon, by the Clarion Choir and Orchestra, will take place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 8 in the Fuentiduena Chapel of the Met Cloisters and will celebrate the 500and anniversary of the composer’s death, featuring early to mature compositions in what the museum calls “one of New York’s most enchanting spaces.”
The museum closed due to the pandemic in March 2020 and began offering digital arts programming, attracting millions of viewers, according to Limor Tomer, chief executive of MetLiveArts. Although the museum reopened to the public in August 2020, it continued to film live performances without an audience and offer them online, including concerts with violinist Leila Josefowicz and with Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the orchestra’s first African-American soloist at a concert « inspired by the 20 years of his familyand century’s migration from the Deep South to Chicago as well as by the paintings of Kerry James Marshall and others in the Met’s collection. Another novelty, the digital series, “Sonic Cloisters”, which, according to the museum, “emphasizes the look, feel and sound of cloisters as an inspiration and starting point for new electronic music”.
These concerts are available free of charge on the museum’s social media platforms.
Live programming with a live audience at the museum resumed last October, with a concert by Gavin Creel
Tomer said the museum’s virtual programming has attracted viewers “from around the world and from all 50 states. It’s been an incredible silver lining for this horrible time, paving avenues into the music” for those who “for whatever reason” can’t attend in person.