Present Music | September 8, 2020

MILWAUKEE – With a full slate of online and in-person happenings, Present Music’s 2020-2021 season transcends the limitations imposed upon artists and audiences, creating a bold, new paradigm of live performance. The four headline performances, three "In the Key of Now" piano concerts, and two free events in the new Community Series make this PM’s most ambitious season to date.

Limitless answers physical distancing with radical connectivity, creating seriously fun programs both at home and in-person. The events feature music by Milwaukee hip-hop artist Klassik, eclectic composer Angélica Negrón, musical community builder Mark Stewart, and Milwaukee’s own Yotam Haber.

The season will begin with three concerts performed by Present Music’s stellar musicians on rooftops and in recording studios. All three fall programs will be recorded in high-quality video and audio and released online worldwide. On the concert dates, ticket holders and subscribers will be invited to join an online event and interact with the artists before watching the concert videos. Following those events, they will be able to watch the concert videos on-demand for three months.

Innovative pianist Mabel Kwan starts the season off with a strikingly original online recital on Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 pm CDT on Zoom video conferencing. This "In the Key of Now" recital with music by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Ann Cleare, and more, Kwan will innovate before your very ears.

Starting in December, the organization will invite live audiences into performances throughout Milwaukee, with physical distancing measures as necessary. High-fidelity digital streaming options will continue to be available for in-person concerts throughout the season.

Single tickets and subscriptions are now on sale at and (414) 271.0711.


With Limitless, Present Music brings its flagship Ensemble Series into its 39th season. This season features PM’s stellar musicians along with world-class guest artists in both groundbreaking online concerts and thrilling in-person performances that blur lines of genre, feature both established and emerging composers, and champion the diversity in the most exceptional musical creativity of our time.

REALITY CHECK — Online concert

Saturday, October 24, 2020 | 7:30 pm CDT Zoom Video Conferencing Available on-demand through January 24, 2021

With this highly-produced concert filmed on a rooftop, Present Music highlights critical social issues from domestic prison reform to global women’s rights with a passionate musical call to action. Milwaukee hip-hop artist Klassik is PM’s featured guest, performing his positive and innovative music, and the program also includes music by Frederic Rzewski, David T. Little, and Emma O’Halloran.


November 22, 2020 | 5:00 pm CDT Zoom Video Conferencing Available on-demand through February 22, 2021

An essential fixture of Milwaukee’s cultural landscape, this season’s Thanksgiving concert continues to explore the promise of life while inviting audience participation from home. The program includes gorgeous music by Pulitzer Prize finalist Alex Weiser in Yiddish and English, a special performance by instrument builder/composer Mark Stewart, and favorite guests The Bucks Native American Singing and Drumming Group and Reagan High School Choir.

OUT WITH THE COLD, IN WITH THE NEW — In-person concert, with online option

Thursday & Friday, March 25-26, 2021 | 7:30 pm Jan Serr Studio | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Celebrate new beginnings and exalt in triumphant return in this equinox that journeys from winter to spring, from darkness into light, and from isolation to the unity of live music in person! From the chilly sounds of Hans Abrahamsen to the warm radiance of Christopher Cerrone and Reena Esmail to music by Andy Akiho and Angélica Negrón that pulses with life, this intimate chamber program welcomes the season we’ve all been wishing for.

SPAGHETTI WESTERN — In-person concert, with online option

Friday, June 11, 2021 | 7:30 pm Bader Concert Hall | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

With tumbleweeds rolling down the aisles, Present Music brings its unprecedented 39th season to a rowdy close with a new mythology of the Old West, served up al dente. Ennio Morricone’s iconic sounds mingle with music by Rome Prize winning composers David Lang and Yotam Haber (a son of Milwaukee) and others paint a picture of scorched landscapes from Italy to the frontier.


These intimate recitals feature three of the most creative pianists in the country: Mabel Kwan, Michael Mizrahi, and PM favorite Cory Smythe. Both online and in-person, these concerts will expand the possibilities of the piano before your very ears. Now in its second season, this series empowers each artist to curate and perform a program of the most exciting music of now.

MABEL KWAN — Online recital

Saturday, September 19, 2020 | 7:30 pm CDT Zoom Video Conferencing Available on-demand through December 19, 2020

Dizzyingly adventurous pianist Mabel Kwan creates groundbreaking musical experiences with the piano. A founding member of Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente, her program includes music by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Igor Santos, Ann Cleare, Trevor Baca, and more.

MICHAEL MIZRAHI — In-person recital, with online option

Saturday, February 20, 2021 | 7:30 pm Venue TBD | Milwaukee, WI

Acclaimed pianist Michael Mizrahi has performed at the world’s leading concert halls and festivals. He is a founding member of NOW Ensemble and serves on the faculty of the Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, WI.

CORY SMYTHE — In-person recital, with online option

Friday, April 16, 2021 | 7:30 pm Venue TBD | Milwaukee, WI

GRAMMY Award-winning pianist Cory Smythe, well loved in Milwaukee as a long-time former member of Present Music’s ensemble, features his own work on the leading edge of new, improvisatory, and classical music.


Limitless marks the debut of the newest addition to Present Music’s season: the ensemble’s Community Series. These two free events give back to the community that has made Present Music so special over the organizations nearly 40 years. In true PM style, the community won’t just listen, they’ll participate!

PHIL KLINE’S UNSILENT NIGHT — In-person happening Friday, December 4, 2020 | 6:00 pm Meeting place TBD | Milwaukee, WI

Bring a boombox or mobile device to join this free, postmodern caroling street promenade. We’ll supply music by Phil Kline to play while walking the streets of Milwaukee, making a unique mobile sound sculpture in which the audience is the performer.

MUSICIRCUS — In-person happening Friday, May 14, 2021 | 6:00 pm Venue TBD | Milwaukee, WI

John Cage’s Musicircus is an open invitation to any number of artists to perform anything they like simultaneously. Join the joyous chaos and immerse yourself in Milwaukee’s vibrant and eclectic arts scene with performances from every imaginable genre and medium.

Limitless is made possible with generous support from the United Performing Arts Fund, the sponsorship of Saint John’s on the Lake, and grants from the Milwaukee Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.