You are here

Announcing the 2023-24 Season

Stage with pink lights and the silhouette of an audience watching

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for!

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is happy to announce the 2023-24 performance season, featuring emerging artists, returning favorites, and the tenth edition of ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival. Events from September to May showcase national and international artists as well as university student performances in music, theatre, lyric theatre, dance, and more.

The complete season listing is at the bottom of this article.

“Announcing a new season at Krannert Center has always been a moment of great pleasure for me during my time here,” Krannert Center Director Mike Ross said, “but this time that sense of pleasure is accompanied by an even greater sense of gratitude and appreciation to everyone who has helped make it possible for us to offer such a beautifully diverse array of life-affirming experiences to our greater Champaign-Urbana community and beyond. The pandemic taught us all many things, none of which in my mind is more important than realizing how easy it is to take so much for granted — including the gift and privilege of being able to simply gather together. And it is my hope that this new season at Krannert Center will give people from all walks of life and of all ages reason to come together again and again, and to be reminded of what a very special gift it is to be able to gather in celebration of this extraordinary phenomenon we call art.”

The season—and ELLNORA—will kick off with the 2023 Opening Night Party on September 8, with ELLNORA continuing through September 9. This biennial festival will feature performers who showcase the range and diversity the guitar family has to offer, including Rodrigo y Gabriela, Ani DiFranco, Andy Summers, The Surfajettes, Ron Carter, Emmylou Harris, and many others. The festival will also feature food and drink, a musical instrument “petting zoo,” and other experiences. Several free events will be offered, including a free Saturday morning performance by Sharon Isbin and Pacifica Quartet.

Fall visiting artist performances include—among many others—Morris Day and the Time (Sep 16), PYGMALION (Sep 21), St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (Oct 1), Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin (Oct 14), and Kronos Quartet (Nov 8). The Champaign-Urbana Ballet returns with The Nutcracker (Nov 30-Dec 3).

A selection of spring visiting artists includes New Zealand’s Indian Ink Theatre Company presenting Mrs. Krishnan’s Party (Jan 18-20). Jazz takes center stage with saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet (Jan 27). Krannert Center regulars the Mark Morris Dance Group (Feb 9 & 10), and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Feb 22) will return. Honolulu Theatre for Youth presents The Pa’akai We Bring (Mar 3). Celebrated musical pairing cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott perform on April 6.

Visit the Krannert Center calendar for detailed descriptions of each performance. All performance times and dates at Krannert Center are subject to change.

Series ticket packages will be available for Great Hall Classical, Sunday Salon—Emerging Artistry, and Jupiter String Quartet series, as well as concert series featuring Sinfonia da Camera and the Chamaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra. Tickets for fall 2023 events will go on sale to the public at August 9; spring 2024 events will go on sale later this year. For more information visit our How to Buy Tickets page

Can’t wait for tickets? Krannert Center’s Marquee Circle and Loop members enjoy early access to tickets as one of the perks of being a donor; contact advancement [at] (Krannert Center’s Advancement team) for more information.

Patrons who have questions or who would like assistance purchasing tickets online are welcome to call 217.333.6280 (800.KCPA.TIX)

Email info [at] for questions about the season, ticketing information, or accessibility concerns. The staff at Krannert Center hopes you enjoy the upcoming season. 


2023-24 Krannert Center Season

(All times and performances subject to change)

ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival 


National Anthem with Malina Moye 

Roosevelt Collier 

Stephane Wrembel Band 

The Surfrajettes 

Rodrigo y Gabriela 

Sep 9  - ELLNORA Day 2

Sharon Isbin and Pacifica Quartet 

Yamandu Costa 

Ron Carter Trio featuring Donald Vega and Russell Malone 

Ani DiFranco 

Tosin Abasi and Jake Eddy 

Yasmin Williams and William Tyler 

Andy Summers: Broken String and Cracked Lens 

Emmylou Harris 

North Mississippi Allstars 



Sep 16 Morris Day and the Time 


Sep 23 Okaidja Afroso: Jaku Mumor—Ancestral Spirit 

Sep 24 Merz Trio: Of Light and Darkness 

Oct 1 St. Louis Symphony Orchestra 

Oct 3 Jupiter String Quartet 

Oct 10 Gene Machine 

Oct 14 Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin 

Oct 26 Los Angeles Master Chorale: Music to Accompany a Departure 

Nov 5 Duke Ellington’s The River Suite and Sacred Suites 

Nov 8 Kronos Quartet: KRONOS Five Decades 

Nov 10 Jupiter String Quartet with guest 

Nov 15-16 Pablo Ziegler Tango Trio 

Nov 30-Dec 3 Champaign Urbana Ballet: The Nutcracker 


Jan 18-20 Indian Ink Theatre Company: Mrs. Krishnan’s Party 

Jan 27 An Evening with Branford Marsalis 

Feb 6 Jupiter String Quartet with Guest 

Feb 9-10 Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble 

Feb 17 Manual Cinema: Leonardo! A Wonderful Show about a Terrible Monster 

Feb 17 JC Mitchell stars in Cassette Roulette 

Feb 22 Chicago Symphony Orchestra 

Feb 25 Chelsea Guo, soprano and piano 

Mar 2 Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra 

Mar 7 Bruce Hornsby and yMusic 

Mar 23 Honolulu Theatre for Youth: The Pa’akai We Bring 

Apr 6 Yo-Yo Ma, cello and Kathryn Stott, piano 

Apr 7 Krannert Center Debut Artist 

Apr 27 Acrobuffos: Air Play 



Oct 12-14 October Dance 

Feb 1-3 February Dance 

Feb 29-Mar 2 Studiodance 

Apr 5-6 Studiodance Extended 



Sep 15-16 2nd annual Daniel J. Sullivan Playwright in Residence with 

award-winning playwright Matthew-Lee Erlbach, title TBA 

Oct 26-28 RENT by Jonathan Larson (Krannert Center at the 


Nov 3-11 The Realness: a break beat play by Idris Goodwin 

Feb 9-17 Witch by Jen Silverman 

Apr 12-20 The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht and Bruce Norris 

TBD I Wish - Escape Room 

Feb 29-Mar 3 Airness by Chelsea Marcantel 



Sep 21-23 Lyric Under the Stars  (at Allerton Park & Retreat Center) 

Oct 28 Die Fledermaus (with Sinfonia da Camera) 

Nov 7-10 The Wild Party 

Feb 13 Carnaval! 

Mar 7-8 Fugitive Songs (at Allerton Park & Retreat Center)

Apr 2-6 Black Square 



Sep 16 Vive la France! 

Oct 28 Die Fledermaus (with Lyric Theatre @ Illinois) 

Nov 28 20th-Century Chamber Gems 

Feb 17 Lucia Lin, Violin 

Mar 23 From Ukraine to the Great Gate of Kiev 



Oct 7 Orchestral Splendor 

Dec 6 A Season of Joy featuring the University of Illinois Oratorio Society 

Feb 10 Celebration: Happy Birthday Bruckner! 

Apr 20 Fanfares Finale—Saluting Paul Vermel at 100 

All Stories