Tippet Rise Art Center will open for its fourth season on July 5, 2019
On July 5, 2019, Tippet Rise Art Center will open for its fourth season of classical music concerts and tours of its monumental outdoor sculptures and architectural structures. This year, visitors can also explore a new scenic pavilion, Xylem, designed by the celebrated architect Francis Kéré. The pavilion is the first site-specific commission to be added to the art center’s collection since Tippet Rise opened in 2016.
Xylem, Designed by Francis Kéré
World-renowned architect Francis Kéré has designed Tippet Rise’s new 2,100-square-foot pavilion, Xylem, drawing inspiration from the wooden and straw toguna structures sacred in Dogon communities in West Africa. Nestled in a grove of aspen and cottonwood trees beside Grove Creek and the art center’s central campus, Xylem is constructed of locally and sustainably sourced ponderosa and lodgepole pine and features a canopy of vertical logs, which filters shafts of light onto the seating areas. The seating elements’ organic shapes are inspired in part by abstract paintings that artist and Tippet Rise co-founder Cathy Halstead created based on forms of microscopic life, in addition to the sinuous topography of the surrounding hills. Visitors to Tippet Rise may gather within Xylem to converse or contemplate the views, or sit and meditate in solitude. Future plans for the pavilion include poetry readings and musical performances.
Music at the Art Center
The summer’s concert season begins July 12 and continues for seven weeks, through September 7, 2019. The 2019 concert season brings together accomplished artists and up-and-coming stars for 23 recitals and chamber music performances, spanning more than four centuries of repertoire. Highlights include world premieres of John Luther Adams’s Lines Made By Walking (String Quartet No. 5), a Tippet Rise commission performed by the JACK Quartet, and three compositions by BBC Music Magazine’s 2018 Newcomer Award Winner and pianist Julien Brocal, who returns to the art center for his second season. Other artists returning to Tippet Rise include celebrated pianist Behzod Abduraimov, the Rolston String Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and Jenny Chen, who recently made her Carnegie Hall debut and has performed at the art center every year since the inaugural season.
A special festival weekend will be held August 23-25, featuring Tippet Rise’s Artistic Advisor, the renowned pianist Pedja Muzijevic, joined by seven musicians—Benjamin Beilman, Jennifer Frautschi, Ayane Kozasa, Anthony Manzo, Nathan Schram, James Austin Smith, and Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir. Tippet Rise will cap the season by welcoming members of Ensemble Connect, a two-year fellowship program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. Piano duo Anderson & Roe will perform the summer’s final concert.
Performances take place in the 150-seat Olivier Music Barn, its scale and proportions inspired by the intimate and acoustically pristine concert spaces of the 18th century where Haydn’s and Mozart’s works were performed. Weather permitting, Saturday morning concerts take place at the open-air Domo (2016), a 98-foot-long, 16-foot-tall, acoustically rich sculptural structure designed by Ensamble Studio. Pre-concert talks are presented Friday and Saturday evenings at Tiara, a 100-seat outdoor acoustic shell.
Season Four’s concert tickets sold out through a randomized drawing. Tickets that are returned to the box office will be placed for sale on the Events page of the Tippet Rise website the week of the ticketed concert, and will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets are $10 each, free to anyone 21 and under. For those who are unable to attend concerts in person, recorded performances are added regularly to the Tippet Rise website and to the art center’s YouTube channel. Other happenings, such as art workshops and concerts for children will be added to the Events page through the summer and fall.
Words from Tippet Rise Co-Founders and from Xylem Architect Francis Kéré
Tippet Rise co-founders Peter and Cathy Halstead said, “We are eager to welcome our incredible visitors to Tippet Rise again this summer. The fourth season offers a variety of special experiences from world premieres to Francis Kéré’s new gathering place—a quiet place to contemplate nature. We are thrilled to have collaborated with Francis on such a meaningful piece of architecture. We also hope that this pavilion will forever create a link between Montana and Burkina Faso, where the Tippet Rise Fund of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation is supporting the completion of a secondary school built in Francis’s unique, context-specific language.”
Francis Kéré said, “Standing on the high meadow of Tippet Rise Art Center, looking out at the mountains under a vast sky, people can face nature at its widest scale. But with this pavilion, Tippet Rise offers a more intimate experience of its landscape within a quiet shelter, where people can access the most secret part of nature: the heart of the trees. I am honored that Peter and Cathy Halstead invited me to contribute to their magnificent art center, and I am deeply grateful for their generosity in linking the creation of this pavilion to the construction of a new school in my home of Burkina Faso.” In keeping with the educational mission of Tippet Rise, the Tippet Rise Fund of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation is supporting Francis Kéré in building environmentally sustainable and climatically appropriate schools in West Africa by funding the construction of a new school he designed in his birthplace, the village of Gando in Burkina Faso. Opening in January 2020, the Naaba Belem Goumma Secondary School will accommodate approximately 1,000 students. More details about the school, which is named for Kéré’s father, are available here.
Land Art and Architecture at Tippet Rise
The new pavilion by Francis Kéré joins other large-scale works at Tippet Rise. Site-specific artworks set within the landscape include two other sculptural structures by the innovative Ensamble Studio: the 25-foot-tall Beartooth Portal (2015), composed of two vertical rocklike forms that lean together at the top, and the similarly designed 26-foot-tall Inverted Portal (2016). Tippet Rise is also home to Daydreams (2015) by Patrick Dougherty and Satellite #5: Pioneer (2016) by Stephen Talasnik. Also set in the landscape are two monumental works by the internationally renowned sculptor Mark di Suvero, Beethoven’s Quartet (2003) and Proverb (2002), and two works by Alexander Calder on loan from the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Two Discs (1965) and Stainless Stealer (1966). Two works by Modernist painter Isabelle Johnson, an original owner of part of the land on which the art center is situated, have been acquired by Tippet Rise and hang in the Olivier Music Barn. Additionally, two smaller works by Stephen Talasnik frame the Olivier Music Barn’s performance space—Galaxy (2014) and Archeology (2012).
Sculpture Tours at the Art Center
Visitors can tour the 12,000-acre working ranch and its outdoor sculptures and architectural structures via 10.5 miles of hiking and biking trails, or by shuttle van. Tours via shuttle van are $10 each, free to those 21 and under and are available first-come, first-serve (space is limited). Hiking and biking at the art center are free for everyone; however, registration via the Tippet Rise Tours page online is required for admission for all tours.
Dining at Tippet Rise
For concert ticketholders and tour guests, morning pastries, coffee and tea, lunch and dinner options, as well as wine and craft beer, are available for purchase in Will’s Shed. All fare is prepared by Cordon Bleu-trained Chef Nick Goldman and Chef Wendi Reed of Wild Flower Kitchen.
Getting to the Art Center
Located in Stillwater County, Tippet Rise is approximately one hour southwest of Billings, two hours southeast of Bozeman, and two-and-a-half hours north of Yellowstone National Park.
All visitors to the art center must have concert tickets or have registered for a tour, workshop or other event via the Tippet Rise website.