"Something magnificent was born at Storrs."
— THE HARTFORD COURANT, 1955
Magnificent indeed. Since its opening concert, featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra, on Dec. 6, 1955, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts has presented the communities of eastern New England with the best the world of the performing arts has to offer, from world-renowned masters to rising stars. By hosting a wide range of performing arts, including full-scale international orchestras, chamber quartets, dance companies, soloists, and theatrical productions, Jorgensen fulfills its missions as an integral part of the University of Connecticut's commitment to teaching, research, and public service.
Dedicated to University of Connecticut president Albert N. Jorgensen, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts continues to follow his vision of the University as the state's educational and cultural leader. Jorgensen's founding of the Auditorium represents the zenith of the University's enormous growth during his tenure. And under the guidance of dedicated directors Willard M. Sistare (1955-65), Michael Brotman (1965-72), Jack Cohan (1973-89), Edmund Seagrave (1989-90), Arppie Charkoudian (1990-96), and current director Rodney Rock, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts remains an active center and symbol of UConn's commitment to the arts in education.
The finest in music from all around the world have brightened Jorgensen's stage, from classical luminaries, such as Itzak Perlman and Marion Anderson, to jazz greats, such as Dave Brubeck and Duke Ellington. Jorgensen has brought pre-eminent world music masters from the East, such as the Kodo Drummers, and the West, such as Sweet Honey In The Rock. It has also presented superior dance companies, from the American Ballet Theater and Paul Taylor Dance Company to Pilobolus and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. All of these fine artistic presentations are highlighted by the flexibility of the space and by the Art Deco architectural features of the building.
In addition to serving the community through outreach programs, such as JOY!, and as a venue for university events, Jorgensen also houses the Connecticut Reperotry Theatre, the professional theatre run by the Department of Dramatic Arts, a part of the School of Fine Arts, and the Jorgensen Gallery.
We wish many warm thanks to our co-sponsors, affiliates, artists, and most of all, to our audience for supporting Jorgensen's first 60 years. The best is yet to come.