About the Distinguished Artists Series
Launched with the opening of Alumni Hall in 1991, the USNA Distinguished Artist Series has presented the world’s finest classical and cultural performers to the Academy with an eclectic mix of Opera, Ballet, Orchestra, and diverse national ensembles as part of a comprehensive program developed by the Naval Academy’s Senior Leadership to enrich the education of midshipmen through exposure and involvement with fine arts.
Over the past 29 years, we have hosted 128 world-class performances to include the National Ensemble of Republic of Guinea, Bamberg Symphony, Danish National Radio Symphony, Bolshoi Symphony, Kirov Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Central Ballet of China, Moscow Virtuosi, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Georgian State Dance Company, London City Opera, Ballet de L’Opera de Bordeaux, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Ballet, Venice Baroque Orchestra, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Krasnoyarsk Dance Company of Siberia, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Ballet, Royal Drummers of Burundi, Hamburg Symphony, Ballet Folklórico de México, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and Band of Coldstream Guards, Warsaw Philharmonic, Dublin Philharmonic, Orquestra de Sao Paulo, Virsky Ukrainian Dancers, Merchants of Bollywood, Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, German State Philharmonic, and the National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China, Branford Marsalis, and PENTATONIX to name only a few.
The existence of this flagship cultural program at the Naval Academy has long symbolized an institutional commitment to the educational role of the fine arts and the importance of cultural awareness – and we are thrilled to present our best season yet!
Friday, October 15, 2021
7:00 PM, Alumni Hall
USNA is honored to welcome special guest artist: TROMBONE SHORTY . One of the leading blues, jazz, and fusion musicians of his generation, Trombone Shorty has performed from concert stages - to the White House - on PBS - NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts - festivals - stadiums - and street corners. In the last four years alone, he banked his fifth White House gig; backed Macklemore and Madonna at the Grammys; played on albums by She & Him, Zac Brown, Dierks Bentley, and Mark Ronson; opened tours for Daryl Hall & John Oates and Red Hot Chili Peppers; appeared in Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways documentary series; voiced the iconic sound of the adult characters in The Peanuts Movie; inherited the esteemed annual fest-closing set at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in the tradition of Crescent City greats like the Neville Brothers and Professor Longhair; and released Trombone Shorty, a children’s book about his life that was named a Caldecott Honor Book.
His record, Backatown, hit Billboard jazz chart at number one and remained there for nine straight weeks, and was in the top ten for over six months. His newest album, Parking Lot Symphony, was just released!
This special concert will be performed in the full arena of Alumni Hall to accommodate the high demand for seating.
Don't miss this unique, high energy, cross-over performance!
Peter Dugan, pianist
Friday, January 21, 2022
7:00 PM, Mahan Hall
Heard nationwide as the host of NPR’s beloved program From the Top, Peter Dugan has appeared as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across North America and abroad. In 2020, he joined violinist Joshua Bell for At Home With Music, a national PBS broadcast and live album release on Sony Classical. Prizing versatility as the key to the future of classical music, Mr. Dugan is equally at home in classical, jazz, and pop idioms.
A sought-after multi-genre artist, Mr. Dugan has performed in duos and trios with artists ranging from Itzhak Perlman and Renee Fleming to Jesse Colin Young and Glenn Close. The Wall Street Journal described Mr. Dugan’s collaboration with violinist Charles Yang as a “classical-meets-rockstar duo.” Mr. Dugan has been presented in chamber music recitals by Carnegie Hall, Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, Music at Menlo, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the Moab Music Festival. He was the 2019 featured recitalist for the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, and has soloed with the San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, New World Symphony, and Mid-Texas Symphony.
His debut album with baritone John Brancy – A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song – pays homage to composers who lived through, fought in, and died in the Great War. Brancy and Dugan toured this program across North America in commemoration of the centennial of WWI, including performances at The Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Stanford University, the United States Naval Academy, and the Smithsonian Institute. Together Brancy and Dugan won first prize at the 2018 Montreal International Music Competition and second prize at the 2017 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition.
Mr. Dugan advocates the importance of music in the community and at all levels of society. As a founding creator of Operation Superpower, a superhero opera for children, he has travelled to dozens of schools in the greater New York area, performing for students and encouraging them to use their talents – their superpowers – for good.
Join us for an intimate Distinguished Artist Series concert in historic Mahan Hall – you will not want to miss this special performance from one of the world’s most incredible pianists!
“Stunning solo pianist” - Los Angeles Times
“Fearlessly athletic” - SF Chronicle
"A formidable soloist" - The Washington Post
48th Annual Spring Oratorio
Friday, April 22, 2022
7:00 PM, Alumni Hall
Mahler - Symphony No.2
A sublime evening of profound music!
Mahler - recognized as the last great German symphonist, whose epic Symphony No. 2 is "an intense emotional workout which captures the full realm of human passion within its sprawling scope."
Performed by the critically acclaimed USNA Glee Club, the George Washington University Chorus, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Don't miss this one!