University of Richmond’s 2018-19 Tucker-Boatwright Festival of Literature and the Arts will center around the theme “Beyond Exoticism” which explores how different cultures are expressed in the arts.

Presented by the Department of Music, programming throughout the 2018-19 academic year will include a world premiere concert, musical performances exclusive to the festival, film screenings, and public panels. Each event artfully examines how contemporary artists maintain, resist, reject, and critique the impulse to exoticize others.

“Historically, cultures have frequently incorporated materials from other societies into their own, and this is particularly evident in the arts,” said Andy McGraw, this year’s festival co-organizer and an associate professor of music. “But this practice can be socially and politically complex. As part of this series, we’re asking at what point does admiration and inspiration become appropriation and misunderstanding?”

This year’s festival features a close partnership with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. The Modlin Center for the Arts will also present performances by visiting artists throughout the year that reflect the Festival’s theme.

Festival highlights include:

Oct. 3: Richmond Symphony Orchestra: Middle Eastern Connections,
7:30 p.m., Booker Hall of Music, Camp Concert Hall
This concert will feature classic works of the Western canon inspired by Middle Eastern cultures as well as modern works by contemporary Middle Eastern composers. The evening will include a special performance by the William and Mary Middle Eastern Music Ensemble featuring the Persian Master Musicians Dr. Nader Majd and Ali Reza Analouei.

Jan. 23: Richmond Symphony Orchestra: Southeast Asian Connections
7:30 p.m., Booker Hall of Music, Camp Concert Hall
This concert will feature classic works of the Western canon inspired by Southeast Asian cultures as well as modern works by contemporary Indonesian composers. The evening will include the first performance of a reconstruction of the Javanese music that Debussy heard at the 1889 Paris Exposition, performed by Gamelan Raga Kusuma, directed by the Javanese master musician Sumarsam. The Balinese shadow master Gusti Sudarta will perform an original shadow play accompanied by the symphony’s performance of Debussy’s Le boite a joujoux.

Feb. 22: Richmond Symphony Orchestra: South Asian Connections
7:30 p.m., Booker Hall of Music, Camp Concert Hall
This concert will feature classic works of the Western canon inspired by South Asian cultures as well as modern works by contemporary composers of South Asian descent. Featuring guest performers Saili Oak (vocal), Amit Kevlekar (tabla), Jan Müller-Szeraws (cello). 

April 13 &14: Richmond Symphony Orchestra: Influence of the World
8 p.m. and 3 p.m., Dominion Energy Center, Carpenter Theatre
Concluding the Festival, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will present a concert of works inspired by non-Western traditions featuring the world premiere of a new work for chorus and orchestra by Reena Esmail.

The festival kicks off kick on September 13 with a film screening of Brasileirinho, a 2005 documentary about Brazilian choro music and a performance by Trio Brasiliero. For a complete schedule of events and ticketing information visit: as.richmond.edu/tucker-boatwright.

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Associate Professor of Music
Ethnomusicologist
Southeast Asian traditional and experimental musics
Intercultural performance
Rhythm analysis