Brooklyn Academy of Music
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is a major performing arts venue in Brooklyn, a borough of
New York City, known as a center for progressive and avant garde performance.
Founded in 1861 the first BAM facility at 176-194 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights was conceived as the home of the Philharmonic Society of Brooklyn. It housed a large theater seating 2,200, a smaller concert hall, dressing and chorus rooms, and a vast "baronial" kitchen.
After the building burned to the ground on
November 30, 1903, plans were made to relocate to a new facility in the then fashionable neighborhood of Fort Greene. The cornerstone was laid at 30 Lafayette Avenue in 1906 and a series of opening events were held in the fall of 1908 culminating with a grand gala evening featuring Geraldine Farrarand Enrico Carusoin a Metropolitan Operaproduction of Charles Gounod's Faust. The Met would continue to present seasons in Brooklyn through 1921. The new building is adjacent to downtown Brooklyn, near the Flatbush Avenue Station of the Long Island Rail Roadand the Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, the tallest building in Brooklyn.
The building was designed by
Henry Beaumont Herts.
Post-1960s history and performance facilities
Its facilities feature:
* BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, with 2109 seats
* BAM Harvey Lichtenstein Theater, with 874 seats, formerly known as Majestic Theater, named in Lichtenstein's honor in 1999. A renovation by architect Hugh Hardy left the interior unpainted and with often exposed stonework, giving theater a unique feel of a "modern ruin".
* BAM Rose Cinemas opened in 1997 allowing Brooklynites the chance to see more art films without having to go to
* BAM Hillman Attic Studio, a flexible rehearsal/performing space.
Harvey Lichtensteinwas appointed executive director and during the 32 years that Lichtenstein was BAM's leader, BAM experienced a renaissance. BAM is now recognized internationally as a progressive cultural center well known for The Next Wave Festival (started in 1983). Artists who have presented their works there include Philip Glass, Peter Brook, Laurie Anderson, Lee Breuer, ETHEL, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Steve Reich, Robert Wilson, Ingmar Bergman, The Whirling Dervishesand the Kirov Operadirected and conducted by Valery Gergievamong others. Lichtenstein gave a home to the Chelsea Theater Center, in residence from 1967-1977.
Every Memorial Day weekend, BAM hosts
DanceAfrica. A celebration of African dance and culture showcasing dance groups from the U.S. and around the world, DanceAfricahas become a weekend-long community tradition with an outdoor bazaar, exhibitions, films, and live music.
Starting in 2006, BAM has collaborated with the
Sundance Instituteon a special series of film screenings, performances, panel discussions, and special events bringing the institutes's activities and its annual film festival's programming to New York City. The program highlights projects supported by the institutes's programs in film making, theater, and film music. [http://www.bam.org/sundance/]
Today, BAM is under the leadership of President Karen Brooks Hopkins and Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo.
List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City
List of major concert halls
* [http://www.bam.org Brooklyn Academy of Music]
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