Great Performances

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Great Performances
Genre Performing Arts
Directed by Steve Ruggi
Presented by Walter Cronkite (1988–2009); Julie Andrews (1989–present), among others
Theme music composer John Williams
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 41
Release
Original network PBS
Original release November 4, 1972 (1972-11-04) – present
External links
Website

Great Performances, a television series devoted to the performing arts, has been telecast on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) public television since 1972. The show is produced by WNET in New York City (originally in conjunction with KQED San Francisco, WTTW Chicago, Maryland Public Television, South Carolina ETV and KERA-TV of Dallas/Fort Worth).

The series is the longest running performing arts anthology on television, as opposed to a program like Hallmark Hall of Fame, which presents only adaptations of plays and novels as well as made-for-TV films. Great Performances presents concerts, ballet, opera, an occasional documentary such as Toscanini: The Maestro, and plays. The series has also won many television awards, including an Emmy Award, three Peabody Awards [1][2][3] and an Image Award, with nods from the Directors Guild of America and the Cinema Audio Society.[4]

The program's spin-off, Great Performances: Dance In America, which began on PBS in 1976, concentrates solely on dance. The first episode "Sue's Leg: Remembering the Thirties" featured choreography by Twyla Tharp. Later episodes featured such performers as Mikhail Baryshnikov. Although it is not seen as often as previously, there have recently been new Dance in America programs, such as the Emmy-winning 2005 production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, starring Angel Corella, Gillian Murphy and the American Ballet Theatre.

In 2007, Great Performances began telecasting performances from the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series,[5] a series of HD opera tapings primarily meant for movie theatres.

Repeat guest hosts include Walter Cronkite, Julie Andrews and Whoopi Goldberg. Major underwriters throughout the show's run have included The National Endowment for the Arts, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS viewers, Exxon, Martin Marietta, Texaco, Deluxe, Duracell, Ernst & Young, Chase Manhattan Bank and UBS.

In 2009, a new theme music for Great Performances was introduced, composed by John Williams.[6]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1972–73)[edit]

Season 2 (1973–74)[edit]

  • The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd (January 16, 1974)
  • Enemies (January 23, 1974)
  • June Moon (January 30, 1974)
  • Cyrano de Bergerac (February 6, 1974)
  • Antigone (February 13, 1974)
  • King Lear (February 20, 1974)
  • In Fashion (March 20, 1974)
  • Feasting with Panthers (March 27, 1974)
  • Theater in America: A Touch of the Poet (May 15, 1974)
  • Monkey, Monkey, Bottle of Beer, How Many Monkeys Have We Here? (May 22, 1974)

Season 3 (1974–75)[edit]

  • The Windowing of Mrs. Holroyd (May 8, 1974)
  • Bernstein at Tanglewood (December 25, 1974)
  • The Seagull (January 5, 1975)
  • The Ceremony of Innocence (March 1, 1975)
  • The Rules of the Game (April 30, 1975)

Season 4 (1975–76)[edit]

  • Dance in America: Martha Graham Dance Company (April 7, 1976)

Season 5 (1976–77)[edit]

  • Secret Service (January 12, 1977)
  • Arthur Rubinstein at 90 (January 26, 1977)

Season 6 (1977–78)[edit]

  • The Royal Family (November 9, 1977)[7]
  • Verna: USO Girl (January 25, 1978)
  • Uncommon Women and Others (May 24, 1978)

Season 7 (1978–79)[edit]

  • The Good Doctor (November 8, 1978)

Season 8 (1979–1980)[edit]

  • The Five Forty-Eight (November 7, 1979)
  • Samuel Beckett's Happy Days (June 25, 1980)

Season 9 (1980–81)[edit]

  • Beverly! Her Farewell Performance (January 5, 1981)
  • Great Performances at the Met: "L'Elisir D'Amore" (March 2, 1981)
  • The Girls in their Summer Dresses and Other Stories (June 1, 1981)

Season 10 (1981–82)[edit]

  • Norma (September 20, 1981)
  • La Clemenza di Tito (October 19, 1981)
  • Brideshead Revisited (January 18, 1982)

Season 11 (1982–83)[edit]

  • Great Performances' 10th Anniversary Celebration (December 6, 1982)
  • Ellington: The Music Lives On (March 7, 1983)
  • The Innocents Abroad (May 9, 1983)

Season 12 (1983–84)[edit]

  • Alice in Wonderland (October 3, 1983)
  • Callas: An International Celebration (December 11, 1983)
  • The Magic Flute (January 9, 1984)
  • La Cenerentola (February 6, 1984)
  • Choreographer's Notebook: Stravinsky Piano Ballets by Peter Martins (February 13, 1984)

Season 13 (1984–85)[edit]

  • Dance in America: Baryshnikov by Tharp (October 5, 1984)
  • You Can't Take It With You (November 21, 1984)
  • Judy Garland: The Concert Years (March 22, 1985)

Season 14 (1985-86)[edit]

  • Doctor Fischer of Geneva (October 11, 1985)
  • Three by Three (October 18, 1985)
  • Laurence Olivier -- A Life (October 25, 1985)
  • The Gospel at Colonus (November 8, 1985)
  • (November 18, 1985)
  • Sylvia Fine Kaye's Musical Comedy Tonight III (The Spark and the Glue) (November 22, 1985)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (November 29, 1985)
  • San Francisco Ballet in Cinderella (December 7, 1985)
  • Falstaff (December 13, 1985)
  • Rossini at Versailles (December 27, 1985)
  • On the Razzle (January 3, 1986)
  • (January 14, 1986)
  • Heartbreak House (January 24, 1986)
  • Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera (January 31, 1986)
  • The Cotton Club Remembered (February 7, 1986)
  • Irving Berlin’s America (March 7, 1986)
  • Follies in Concert (March 14, 1986)
  • Cavalleria Rusticana (March 21, 1986)
  • Bernstein Conducts Haydn’s Mass in Time of War (March 28, 1986)
  • Elektra (April 11, 1986)
  • Early Days (April 18, 1986)
  • Choreography by Jerome Robbins with the New York City Ballet (May 2, 1986)
  • Grown Ups (May 9, 1986)
  • Boxes: With the Sydney Dance Company (May 16, 1986)
  • Bernstein on Brahms: Reflections and Performance (May 23, 1986)

Season 15 (1986-87)[edit]

  • (September 15, 1986)
  • (October 22, 1986)
  • (November 18, 1986)
  • (December 16, 1986)
  • (January 21, 1987)
  • (February 23, 1987)
  • (March 23, 1987)

Season 16 (1987-88)[edit]

Season 17 (1988-89)[edit]

Season 18 (1989-90)[edit]

Season 19 (1990-91)[edit]

Season 20 (1991-92)[edit]

Season 21 (1992-93)[edit]

Season 22 (1993-94)[edit]

Season 23 (1994-95)[edit]

Season 24 (1995-96)[edit]

Season 25 (1996-97)[edit]

Season 26 (1997-98)[edit]

Season 27 (1998-99)[edit]

Season 28 (1999-00)[edit]

Season 29 (2000-01)[edit]

Season 30 (2001-02)[edit]

Season 31 (2002-03)[edit]

  • (September 24, 2002)
  • (December 25, 2002)
  • (January 21, 2003)
  • (March 25, 2003)
  • (April 8, 2003)

Season 32 (2003-04)[edit]

  • (October 29, 2003)
  • (December 10, 2003)
  • (January 27, 2004)
  • (February 10, 2004)
  • (March 5, 2004)

Season 33 (2004-05)[edit]

Season 34 (2005-06)[edit]

Season 35 (2006-07)[edit]

Season 36 (2007-08)[edit]

Season 37 (2008-09)[edit]

Season 38 (2009-10)[edit]

Season 39 (2010-11)[edit]

Season 40 (2011-12)[edit]

Season 41 (2012-13)[edit]

Season 42 (2013-14)[edit]

Season 43 (2014-15)[edit]

Season 44 (2015-16)[edit]

Season 45 (2016-17)[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]