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Tippet Rise Art Center to break ground on Francis Kéré-designed pavilion
Exterior view of the pavilion designed by Francis Kéré at Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana. Rendering courtesy of Kéré Architecture.

FISHTAIL, MT.- Tippet Rise Art Center today announced that it will soon break ground on the latest of the lovingly crafted, sculptural buildings that dot its landscape: a new pavilion designed by the world-renowned architect Francis Kéré. The 1,900-square-foot gathering place is scheduled to open in summer 2019.

The scenic new pavilion is being built close to the art center’s central campus, amid aspen and cottonwood trees near the bank of Grove Creek. The design is inspired by the traditional togunas of the Dogon culture of Mali: sacred shelters with wooden pillars, carved with ornaments representing the ancestors. The toguna’s layered roof of wood and millet straw allows for protection from the sun as well as ventilation within the space beneath. Tippet Rise’s pavilion will be constructed of locally and sustainably sourced ponderosa and lodgepole pine, and features a canopy of vertical logs, which create what Kéré calls a “rain of light” effect above the seating areas. Visitors will be encouraged to gather to converse or contemplate the views, or to sit and meditate in solitude. The organic shapes of the seating elements are inspired in part by abstract paintings that artist and Tippet Rise co-founder Cathy Halstead created based on the forms of microscopic life, in addition to the sinuous topography of the surrounding hills.

In keeping with the educational mission of Tippet Rise, the Tippet Rise Fund of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation is also supporting Kéré in his work to build environmentally sustainable and climatically appropriate schools in West Africa, funding the construction of a new school he has designed in his birthplace, the village of Gando in Burkina Faso. Scheduled for completion in summer 2019, the Naaba Belem Goumma Secondary School is designed to accommodate approximately 1,000 students from the grassy savanna region that surrounds the village and features classrooms, offices, a resource center, an assembly hall, a sports field, and sheltered parking for bicycles and motorbikes. More details about the school, which is named for Francis Kéré’s father, are available here.

Tippet Rise co-founders Peter and Cathy Halstead said, “At Tippet Rise, we want the buildings to have the material and formal integrity of sculptures and the sculptures to have the scale and presence of architecture, with both kinds of structure rooted deeply in the experience of land and sky. That’s why, from the first time we encountered Francis Kéré’s enthralling work, we knew his architecture would be perfect for Tippet Rise, and that we wanted to support his wonderful philanthropic initiative in West Africa. We are eager to welcome our visitors to Tippet Rise again this summer, when they will be able to explore the landscape beyond the Olivier Music Barn, and gather in the light-dappled, contemplative space that Francis has created.”

Season Four at Tippet Rise
Tippet Rise also announced today that it has appointed Pedja Muzijevic as its new Artistic Advisor, succeeding the late Charles Hamlen. He will oversee the art center’s fourth concert season from July 12 through September 7, 2019. The seven weeks of concerts will feature an impressive list of artists, some of whom who will make their Tippet Rise debuts, while others will return for encore performances. Complete program details will be announced in early 2019.

Pedja Muzijevic’s symphonic engagements include the Atlanta Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Zagreb Philharmonic. He has played recitals at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Mostly Mozart Festival, 92Y and The Frick Collection in New York, Spoleto USA, Verbier, Aldeburgh Festival in Great Britain, and many others, including at Tippet Rise. In addition to maintaining a busy schedule of engagements as a performing artist, Pedja Muzijevic is the Artistic Administrator at Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York and the Artistic Director of Concert in the 21st Century, a residency program at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity in Canada. Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, he studied piano with Vladimir Krpan at the Academy of Music in Zagreb and came to the United States in 1984 to continue his education at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and The Juilliard School in New York.

Pedja Muzijevic said, “I’m honored to have been chosen to follow in the footsteps of Charlie Hamlen, who served with such distinction during his tenure as Tippet Rise’s Artistic Advisor. During the art center’s fourth season, I hope to build on the remarkable work that Charlie did, and to help Peter and Cathy Halstead continue to realize their wonderfully generous vision for Tippet Rise. It is a place for music like no other: where artists and audiences feel they’re brought together in an embracing community and are deeply connected to the magnificent landscape.”

Returning artists in 2019 will include pianists Stephen Hough, Julien Brocal, and Jenny Chen; violinist Paul Huang; and the St. Lawrence String Quartet and Escher String Quartet.

Among the artists making their Tippet Rise debuts will be violinists Jennifer Frautschi, a two-time GRAMMY nominee and Avery Fisher career grant recipient; rising star Benjamin Beilman; violists Ayane Kozasa and Nathan Schram from the Aizuri and Attacca quartets, respectively; cellist Sćunn Thorsteinsdóttir; oboist James Austin Smith; and bassist Anthony Manzo who will all join Pedja Muzijevic for a “festival weekend” featuring five sixty minute-long concerts with works by composers ranging from Bach, Haydn and Mozart to Luciano Berio and Steve Reich.

Also debuting through the summer, piano duo Anderson & Roe will perform a program of works by Mozart, Stravinsky and Schoenfield, along with their original composition Hallelujah Variations (Variations on a Theme by Leonard Cohen). Celebrated pianist Behzod Abduraimov will perform works by Liszt and Mussorgsky. Emerging pianist Aristo Sham, who in 2017 won prizes at the Verbier Festival, Clara Haskil, Saint-Priest and Viotti International Piano Competitions, will perform an evening of works by Schumann and Brahms. The Gryphon Trio, the award-winning Canadian ensemble formed in 1993, will perform a program of works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Dinuk Wijeratne, and the Rolston String Quartet will be heard in works by Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert. Additional artists making their Tippet Rise debuts include violinist Katie Hyun and flutist Brandon Patrick George.

The season will also include the world premiere of John Luther Adams’s String Quartet No. 5 (Lines Made by Walking) performed by the JACK Quartet, which is making its Tippet Rise debut.

Performances will take place both indoors and out. Venues include the 150-seat Olivier Music Barn, inspired by the intimate spaces where Haydn’s and Mozart’s works were performed, and the open-air Domo, a 98-foot-long, 16-foot-tall, acoustically rich sculptural structure designed by Ensamble Studio. Pre-concert lectures will continue to take place at the Tiara, a 100-seat outdoor acoustic shell, and at Stillwater cabin, a gathering and rehearsal space.

Earlier this year, Tippet Rise purchased additional acreage abutting its existing 10,260-acre ranch. Tippet Rise Art Center now encompasses 12,000 acres.

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