The Calendar

The Best Events in Arts and Culture this May

The Dandelion Chandelier Luxury Events Calendar for The Arts showcases our top picks for the best events in arts and culture this May 2019. These are the events we’re most excited about in ballet, modern dance, classical music concerts, opera and jazz. Plus the new art museum exhibits we can’t wait to see. For the rest of the Luxury Calendar, click here.

the best new events in the world of the arts in may

May is known for flowers. so it only makes sense that this month’s Arts calendar is a vast bouquet.

In the world of dance, there’s the Spring Gala for the American Ballet Theatre. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts On Site Opera and their production of Murasaki’s Moon.  And pianist Mitsuko Uchida explores Schubert at Carnegie Hall.

On the visual arts front, the Venice Biennale and the Whitney Biennale both kick off. In a groundbreaking exhibition in Mexico City, examine the works of two very different artists in Appearance Stripped Bare: Desire and the Object in the Work of Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons, Even.

events in the visual arts and performing arts in may 2019

performing arts

1. dance

The Royal Ballet performs works from three of today’s leading choreographers in Within the Golden Hour / Medusa / Flight Pattern.  Josh Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour is set to music from Vivaldi and Bossi. Pite’s Flight Pattern uses Górecki’s music as the accompaniment to a poignant and passionate reflection on migration. Between them will be Medusa, the premier of a new work created by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui – May 8 – 21

American Ballet Theatre’s Spring Gala will pay tribute to the 10th anniversary year of Alexei Ratmansky as ABT Artist in Residence. A new work by Ratmansky set to The Seasons by Alexander Glazunov debuts in its world premiere – May 20

In acknowledgement of the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda and the movement toward reconciliation and renewal, DanceAfrica at BAM offers a meditation on the path forward with Rwanda Reborn: The Remix – May 24 – 27

The New York City Ballet will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream at David H. Koch Theater – May 26 – Jun 2

The ABT Spring Gala

2. classical music

Emanuel Ax plays masterpieces from Mozart and Beethoven together with the LA Phil and Nora Fischer – May 2 – 5

Violinist Janine Jansen and the London Philharmonic Orchestra present Alpine Journeys.  The concert will include Brahms’ Violin Concerto and Bruckner Symphony No. 3. Both have been described as nothing less than an Alpine landscape in sound – May 3

Pianist Mitsuko Uchida continues her ongoing exploration of Schubert at Carnegie Hall – May 4

The New York Philharmonic presents Beethoven’s powerful Eroica Symphony at Lincoln Center – May 22 – 28

Mitsuko Uchida

3. opera

Motzart’s work returns to the Teatro alla Scala with a performance of Idomeneo – May 16 – Jun 6

On Site Opera will occupy the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Astor Chinese Garden Court to perform Murasaki’s Moon. It’s the tale of a lady-in-waiting in 11th-century Japan who uses writing to transcend the patriarchal shackles of society – May 17 – 19

The Glyndebourne Festival begins with a performance of La damnation de Faust – May 18 – Aug 25

Shakespeare in the Park returns with Much Ado About Nothing at the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park – May 21 – 23

Murasaki’s Moon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photo Credit: Stephanie Berger.

4. jazz and new music

Some of the best young musicians in jazz take the stage with Wynton Marsalis, Rodney Whitaker, Wycliffe Gordon, and Dan Block to perform the music of Duke Ellington at Ellington Through the Ages – May 3 – 4

Mark Morris debuts a new work that pays homage to the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Commissioned by the City of Liverpool in celebration of the album’s 50th anniversary, Pepperland at BAM teases out the album’s vast influences. From Bach to Stockhausen, music hall to raga, the work is performed live by a seven-piece ensemble – May 8 – 11

Lila Downs and Helado Negro come together at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA this month. Mexican-American singer-songwriter Downs mixes elements from Mexico, Mesoamerica and the US to produce a sound that’s both cosmopolitan and distinctly Latin. Negro wraps emotional songwriting in gauzy electronic pop – May 10

Now in its 47th year Nattjazz in Bergen, Norway is the longest running jazz festival in northern Europe – May 24 – 28

Helado Negro and Lila Downs. Courtesy Photos.

visual arts

1. europe, middle east and africa

May You Live in Interesting Times” is the title for the 2019 Venice Biennale. The show will explore colonialism via an allusion to a mistranslated Chinese curse. It will also address the preponderance of “fake” news and uncertainty in the world today. Highlights include Martin Puryear representing the United States; Natascha Süder Happelmann showing for Germany; and Charlotte Prodger representing Scotland – May 11 – Nov 24

Hermann Nitsch. Spaces of Color at the Albertina in Vienna offers an in-depth look at the lighter side of this avant-garde artist’s work – May 17 – Aug 11

At 98, Luchita Hurtado is finally having her moment, with her first solo exhibition at London’s Serpentine Galleries. Best known for her canvases offering perspectives on the female body, this survey will connect her historic work with recent pieces – May 23 – Sep 8

For the first time, the Norwegian capital will host the osloBIENNALEN. Eva González-Sancho, the former director of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León in Spain, and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk, the former director of the Kunsthall Oslo, are the co-curators. The biennial will last for 5 years – May 25, 2019 through 2024

The Venice Biennale 2019

2. north and south america

Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall is a survey of 22 living artists at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibit includes work by David Antonio Cruz, Park McArthur, John Edmonds and more – May 3 – Dec 8

The Institute of Contemporary Art Miami will host the first American solo exhibition of the Brazilian artist Paulo Nazareth.  The exhibit will present recent work, including a project where Nazareth visited various sites on the Underground Railroad. They’ll be shown alongside new drawings that examine segregation in the United States – May 16 – Oct 6

The 2019 Whitney Biennial features seventy-five artists including Nicole Eisenman, Christine Sun Kim, Janiva Ellis, James Luna and many more. There will be works in painting, sculpture, installation, film and video, photography, performance and sound – May 17 – Sep 22

Museo Jumex in Mexico City presents Appearance Stripped Bare: Desire and the Object in the Work of Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons, Even.  The exhibition overlays the work of Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons to address key concepts about objects, commodities, desires and the artist’s relationship to society- May 19 – Sep 29

Edward Burtynsky: Megaresources opens at the Philadelphia Contemporary.  The Canadian photographer’s images are both terrifying and grand, capturing the landscapes of quarries, mines and other sites where the earth is savaged by industry – May 31 – Jul 14

The Whitney Biennale 2019

3. asia

Catch Japan’s Mori Art Museum 15th Anniversary Exhibition before it closes at the end of the month.  The exhibition takes a close-up look at connections revealed via contemporary artistic expression – through May 26

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei is opening its newest installation, Where Have All The Flowers Gone. It traces the relationship between flowers, memory and music – May 1 – Jul 7

Mori Art Museum 15th Anniversary Exhibition

That’s it. Our top picks for the best new events in the world of the arts this May 2019. Have a brilliant month.

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