Perspectives from the Executive Director: A Wealth of Talent

By Ted Barron, Ph.D | Executive Director, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, May 24, 2019 Arts at ND, News & Announcements, Perspectives, Perspectives from the Executive Director

[About a 4 MIN read]

This has been a remarkable year for us at the Center, one of our best in terms of overall attendance at events. We are fortunate to do the work that we do and take great pride in sharing this pleasure with our audiences. We are happy to see so many people coming out for our programs, a great reward for all of the effort that goes into presenting entertaining, thought-provoking artists.

Leonard BernsteinThe centennial celebration of the incomparable Leonard Bernstein inspired a series of memorable events this year. We were privileged to host a talk by Rita Moreno who discussed her legacy as a Latina artist in film, television, and theatre. This was coupled with a screening of West Side Story featuring Bernstein’s timeless score. The celebration culminated for us with the arrival of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra who performed along with opera star Isabel Leonard under the direction of conductor John Mauceri who filled the evening with wonderful anecdotes from his time working directly with Bernstein.

Philip GlassSpring was also the season to reflect (pun intended) on the legacy of Philip Glass. The legendary composer joined us on campus in March for a series of events including a screening of Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi and a chamber and symphony concert featuring undergraduate and graduate music students. These wonderful presentations were mere palate cleansers to the main event when we welcomed Philip Glass to perform onstage along with expert violinist Tim Fain in an extraordinary evening that also featured a performance by Third Coast Percussion who wrapped up a five-year residency at DPAC with an inspired rendition of a new Glass composition. During this week, we were honored to welcome visitors from across the country who traveled far and wide for this extraordinary opportunity to engage with Glass’s work.

Of course, it is impressive to dedicate our programming energies to icons such as Bernstein and Glass. But this year was also special because of the growth of emerging artists at the Center, in particular, our Notre Dame students. We wrapped up this academic year with a heartfelt farewell to one of our most accomplished students, Alex Mansour. Alex has been pursuing a dual degree in music and film, television, and theatre, working toward a career in music composition for film. Alex first visited the Center as a high school student when he performed in the annual Fischoff competition. When he enrolled at Notre Dame the following year, he found his second home at DPAC.

Alex MansourAn accomplished cellist and pianist, Alex played onstage with performers ranging from Todd Rundgren to Arturo Sandoval in our Presenting Series, performed live scores for silent films as part of our cinema program, and filled our lobby with joyful sounds from our trusted upright on many nights. Alex graduated in May and will be pursuing a master’s degree in music beginning next semester. Having already scored a major feature film (Hesburgh), he is well on his way to becoming the most sought after composer in Hollywood!

Whether honoring the work of a late master, recognizing established artists or providing support to new talent, we will continue to pursue opportunities like these as we are pleased to serve as your center for the performing arts at Notre Dame.

Executive Director Ted Barron

Ted Barron is executive director of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center and Judd and Mary Lou Leighton Director of the Performing Arts. Barron previously served as senior associate director overseeing the center’s cinema program during which time he led visits to Notre Dame by renowned filmmakers such as Claire Denis, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Larry Karaszewski, Margarethe von Trotta, Benny Safdie, Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Barron also teaches courses on global cinema history, documentary film and German film in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. Read more