Rhiannon Giddens (Courtesy of Ebru Yildiz)

ORONO — The University of Maine Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center (MHC) and the Collins Center for the Arts will welcome Grammy, Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur “Genius” grant winner Rhiannon Giddens for a free public lecture and conversation with trumpet professor Jack Burt at 1 p.m. on Sept. 23 in the Donald P. Corbett Business Building.

An acclaimed musician, author and television host, Giddens has made a singular, iconic career out of stretching her brand of Americana music, with its miles-deep historical roots and contemporary sensibilities, into just about every field imaginable. She has centered her work around the mission of lifting up people whose contributions to American musical history have previously been overlooked or erased, and advocating for a more accurate understanding of the country’s musical origins through art. Giddens, a two-time Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, also composes opera, ballet and film. 

“Rhiannon Giddens is not only an outstanding performer and composer, but also a scholar of the ways in which American music interacts with our society, both in the past and in the present,” says Beth Wiemann, MHC director and professor of music at UMaine. “We’re so lucky to welcome her, particularly now, with the release of a new album, a television program, at a moment when her work is having such an impact on American music.”

Burt directs the brass and trumpet ensembles, coaches student chamber brass groups and teaches music history at UMaine. He earned degrees from the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music, the University of South Carolina and the University of Texas at Austin, with additional private studies in Berlin. He has worked with members of major orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic.

This event is free and open to the public. Following the MHC lecture, Giddens will take the stage of the Collins Center at 8:00 pm. Tickets for that performance begin at $30, and are available from the Collins Center box office.

“The CCA and McGillicuddy have a long-standing partnership working to present pre-show lectures throughout our season, but this is by far our most ambitious collaboration. We are thrilled to be part of bringing an artist of this caliber to UMaine,” says Collins Center Executive Director Danny Williams.

For more information about the lecture or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact the MHC at mhc@maine.edu

The MHC supports excellent teaching, research and public engagement in the humanities to deepen understanding of the human condition. It supports programs that foster intellectual curiosity, critical reflection and creative innovation. Central to the center’s work is the belief that study of the humanities inspires compassion across differences, develops empathy, strengthens critical thinking skills and cultivates the emotional and intellectual agility needed to navigate an increasingly interconnected and complex global landscape.

The Collins Center is the anchor for the performing arts at UMaine, and supports the university’s overall mission of teaching, research and service. The center also serves as a cultural resource for the region, and offers a broad and exceptional selection of programming designed to enrich, educate and entertain.