We are thrilled to share some extraordinary updates about the Crossroads Music Festival, delivered directly from Artistic Director Erik Higgins. Following the resounding success of the previous three festivals, we have some major developments to announce. Let’s dive right in – but first, you heard it here first that tickets are available now for purchase!
First and foremost, we are ecstatic to reveal our collaboration with the prestigious New York Philharmonic and Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra. Together, we are co-commissioning a groundbreaking double concerto that will be a true masterpiece. The concerto, expertly crafted for clarinet, violin, and chamber orchestra, is being jointly composed by the exceptionally-talented Kinan Azmeh and Layale Chaker. Both artists have been making waves in the international composition scene and have graced our festival with their remarkable performances (and compositions) in the past.
Prepare yourselves for the world premiere of this remarkable concerto on August 4th as a highlight of our fourth annual Crossroads Music Festival. The Gene Leahy Mall in Omaha will be the backdrop for this momentous occasion. But that’s not all! We are proud to announce that New York will witness the concerto’s splendor as well, with an exclusive East Coast premiere scheduled for October 27th, 2023, at the illustrious David Geffen Hall in New York City. Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will also showcase the concerto a second time in Nebraska with a performance on October 20th in Lincoln.
In light of our expanding presence and the inclusion of Omaha in our festival, we have decided to embrace this growth by rebranding the festival. Henceforth, we proudly present the Nebraska Crossroads Music Festival, a name that truly encompasses our statewide reach. Rest assured, this is just the beginning of our journey towards captivating other cities across Nebraska and the wider region. We aspire to establish ourselves as the foremost summer music event on the plains, brimming with unparalleled talent and captivating performances.
Now, let’s delve into the exciting details of this year’s festival. From August 4th to 6th, get ready to immerse yourself in a spectacular three-day extravaganza. Our grand opening performance will take place at Omaha’s Gene Leahy Mall on August 4th starting at 7:30 pm, with over 18 international and 22 local artists. Throughout August 5th and 6th, our lineup of international, national, and local artists will captivate your senses, offering performances, workshops, storytelling events, and unforgettable jam sessions across various venues in Lincoln.
The festival roster boasts an impressive array of talent, including renowned tabla master and Guggenheim Fellow Sandeep Das, Crossroads favorite Maeve Gilchrist, “Solas” founder Séamus Egan, percussion genie John Hadfield and many others. Prepare to be enthralled by the Armenian folk/jazz ensemble Authentic Light Orchestra, the avant-garde German trio Toechter, and the local Peruvian ensemble Kusi Taki,. Additionally, we are honored to host the dynamic Rwandan band Live Lyve, showcasing the rich musical heritage of Rwanda. With over 50 artists participating, the diversity of genres on display will range from classical to world, from folk to jazz, and even indie electronic.
The Crossroads Music Festival stands as a beacon of cultural significance in our region, and this momentous national co-commission of a new classical work serves as a testament to its growing artistic reputation on the national stage. Embracing Nebraska’s cosmopolitan population, the festival draws inspiration from their rich cultural history and diverse stories, solidifying our relevance as a burgeoning cultural hub in the Midwest. Our audience proudly represents Nebraska’s immigrant, refugee, and minority communities, mirroring the artistic tapestry we weave. With an unwavering ambition, the Crossroads Music Festival aims to provide the plains with the finest summer music performances available anywhere in the United States.