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Great Performances

Great Performances

  • Premiered: 
    November 4, 1972
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: PBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Music
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter:
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Plot Synopsis

Television's longest-running, performing-arts anthology broadcasts the best in music, dance and theater. Recent theatrical performances include Patrick Stewart in "Macbeth" and David Tennant in "Hamlet."

On 9/11/2011, GREAT PERFORMANCES presented "A Concert for New York," in which the New York Philharmonic, with conductor Alan Gilbert, performed Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection," in remembrance and renewal of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. As part of the "PBS Arts" initiative in Fall 2011, GREAT PERFORMANCES showcased music and dance from around the United States, including Los Angeles ("Il Postino from LA Opera"), San Francisco ("The Little Mermaid from San Francisco Ballet"), Miami ("Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine & Tharp"), and New York ("Andrea Bocelli Live from Central Park").

On Friday, August 1, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT (check local listings), PBS aired the 40th season premiere of GREAT PERFORMANCES, with a concert presentation of the towering Requiem in commemoration of Verdi's bicentennial. In 2013, Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic performed a thrilling concert of Verdi's towering Requiem Mass at the Hollywood Bowl. The concert presentation featured soloists Julianna Di Giacomo (soprano), Michelle DeYoung (mezzo-soprano), Vittorio Grigolo (tenor) and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo (bass).

PBS premiered "GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends," a 90-minute GREAT PERFORMANCES program, on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 9pm (check local listings). In collaboration with the Recording Academy, GREAT PERFORMANCES presents the fifth annual all-star special showcasing 2020 Special Merit Awards recipients, including Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Chicago, Roberta Flack, Isaac Hayes, Iggy Pop, John Prine, Public Enemy and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Ken Ehrlich, Philip Glass and Frank Walker receive Trustees Award honors, and George Augspurger is the Technical GRAMMY Award recipient. Hosted by five-time GRAMMY Award winner Jimmy Jam, this year's special pays tribute to these diverse music legends through classic performance footage and newly recorded acceptance speeches from honorees and the performers they have influenced. The originally planned April ceremony and concert was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Prine tragically died from complications of COVID-19 on April 7.
"Black Lucy and The Bard", a new episode of GREAT PERFORMANCES, spotlights the mysterious love life of William Shakespeare and his illustrious muses, the "Dark Lady" and the "Fair Youth." A cross-disciplinary tour de force performed by Nashville Ballet, the film explores themes of love, otherness, equality and beauty as the narrator embarks on a journey to discover her own power and worth. "Black Lucy and The Bard" is based on the book and narrated by award-winning Nashville poet Caroline Randall Williams and features an original score by Grammy Award winning musician Rhiannon Giddens. Premieres Friday, September 16, 2022 on PBS.