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World-class performances in Wright Auditorium!

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Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling

Branford Marsalis Quartet with special guest Kurt Elling

Friday, October 7, 2016 at 8:00 pm

The Branford Marsalis Quartet joins the Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling in a collaboration of musical forces. Marsalis on saxophones, Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass and Justin Faulkner on drums rarely invite other musicians into the folds of their nearly telepathic cohesive unit. But Elling’s deep jazz vocabulary, technical versatility and outstanding intonation will enable the band to perform a variety of material in new ways. The collaboration between jazz’s most intense band and one of jazz’s foremost singers will prove to be anything but standard. It’s a not-to-be-missed event. 

Parsons Dance Company

Parsons Dance Company

Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 8:00 pm

The athletic, exuberant personality and joyous movement that is Parsons Dance is comprised of eight full-time dancers who maintain a repertory of more than 80 works (20 with commissioned scores) choreographed by David Parsons. The company’s style is a fusion of the gesture and movement that make up the modern dance vocabulary coupled with the discipline and precise execution one expects from a classical company. Come fly with us!


VIDEO: Last season's highlight reel offers an introduction to the Parsons movement vocabulary.

This performance is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment of the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 


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The Other Mozart

The Other Mozart

Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 8:00 pm

The true and untold story of Nannerl Mozart, the sister of Amadeus - a prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer, who performed throughout Europe with her brother, to equal acclaim, yet her work and her story faded away, lost to history. Based on facts, stories and lines pulled directly from the Mozart family’s humorous and heartbreaking letters, The Other Mozart enters a world of opulence and elegance.


VIDEO: A preview, with interviews: "Imagine an eleven-year-old girl performing the moist difficult concertos with precision, with incredible lightness, with impeccable taste. It was a source of wonder to many."

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Hot Sardines

The Hot Sardines Holiday Stomp

Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 4:00 pm

The Sardine sound – wartime Paris via New Orleans, or the other way around – is steeped in hot jazz, salty stride piano, and the kind of music Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt and Fats Waller used to make: Straight-up, foot-stomping jazz. (Literally – the band includes a tap dancer whose feet count as two members of the rhythm section). In Holiday Stomp, the Sardines infuse yuletide classics with lesser-known gems such as Ella Fitzgerald’s “Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney.” Expect plenty of surprises along the merry way!


VIDEO: This is the song that made us fall in love with the Sardines when we caught them at Joe's Pub in New York. 

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National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine

Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 8:00 pm

With more than 100 recordings to their credit since 1993, the NSOU is considered to be one of the finest symphony orchestras in Europe. Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Khatchaturian entrusted this ensemble with their premier performances, and soloists have included Rubinstein, Stern, Rostropovich and Jose Carreras. ECU’s program includes the Rachmaninov Symphony No. 3, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring pianist Alexei Grynyuk and Stravinsky’s “Suite” from Firebird.
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Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 8:00 pm

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is one of the best-known choirs in the world. Founded in 1981, their repertoire extends from Gregorian chant and baroque to the music of the 21st century. They’ve performed with the Norwegian, Australian, Lithuanian, Prague and Stuttgardt Chamber Orchestras; and the London Symphony, Mahler Chamber, Berlin Rundfunk orchestras, among others. With 14 Grammy nominations and two wins, they’re a sure bet. The program, the Orthodox Tradition, features excerpts of vespers and vigils from Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and more.


VIDEO: Hear the power of this small choir, coupled with introductory interviews.  

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Milos: Bach to the Beatles

Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm

With one recording launched by Deutsche Grammophon in 2011, Milos became the biggest classical-guitar phenomenon since John Williams in the 1960s. His ability to bridge hardcore classical and pops traditions result in ECU’s program: beginning with Bach’s mighty Chaconne from the D minor partita for solo violin, and, via a Latino-Spanish detour including “The Girl From Ipanema,” ending with newly-commissioned arrangements of Beatles’ classics.


VIDEO: Milos invites us to the Proms. Alas, that event has passed, but the program he promotes is the same

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Russian National Ballet Theatre

Russian National Ballet Theatre

Friday, March 31, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.

In 1994, the legendary Bolshoi principal dancer Elena Radchenko was selected by presidential decree to assume the permanent artistic directorship of the Russian National Ballet Theatre. She has upheld the grand national tradition of the Russian ballet. Enjoy “Stars of the Russian Ballet,” a gala program featuring ten excerpts including selections from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet, Prokofiev’s Cinderella and perhaps the most famous solo dance ever, “the Dying Swan.”
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United States Marine Band

United States Marine Band: The President's Own

Free added attraction!
Monday, October 3, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

The best band in the world (Washington Post) sold out Wright Auditorium on its last visit. “The President’s Own” began touring in 1891 under the leadership of John Phillips Sousa. Expect virtuosity and a varied program anchored by a Sousa piece. Or two. This added attraction is general admission seating. It is free, although tickets are required. 


TICKETS: Please visit on or after September 1.


VIDEO: An introduction and performance of Sousa's Semper Fidelis.

The Nile Project

The Nile Project

Added attraction: Friday, April 7, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.

NPR named the Nile Project’s debut recording one of five “Must Hear International Albums.” Witness one of the tightest cross-cultural collaborations in history, with artists from the 11 Nile countries showcasing the rich diversity of one of the oldest places on earth. Buzzing timbres and ingenious polyrhythms support vocals in more than ten languages. Instruments that parted ways millennia before are reunited and pushed into new places. Love songs have crossed geographic and linguistic barriers to forge new, close friendships. Added attraction, general admission seating. Limited tickets available. Purchase at a discount with a subscription.

VIDEO: Live performance from the 2015 tour. 

VIDEO: Artistic director Mina Girgis and Meklit Hadero explain The Nile Project.

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About the Series

The S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series effectively began when Rudy Alexander arrived at East Carolina in 1962 and bundled four student-selected classical offerings as a subscription package. Since that date, the series has presented more than 500 world-class artists and served more than one million patrons, university and K-12 students through its programming.

Today, the series continues a tradition of presenting the best performing arts touring attractions available for the enjoyment of regional audiences and the edification of ECU students. Behind the scenes, our guest artists are actively engaged in master classes and workshops.

The series is presented in the 1,483-seat Wright Auditorium located at the core of East Carolina University's main campus.

All dates, times, artists and details are subject to change.

Added attractions!

The Down East Talent Search is a general admission seating event. SRAPAS series services (Park & Ride, VIP parking, FRIENDS Lounge) are not offered for added attraction events.

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