Aaron Greenwald Appointed Director of Duke Performances

Greenwald says he will continue thematic series such as "Following Monk" and "Soul Power"


 Aaron Greenwald has been appointed director of Duke Performances, Duke University Vice Provost for the Arts Scott A. Lindroth announced. 


Greenwald, 31, served as interim director since Jan. 1, 2007. The permanent appointment begins immediately.


"Aaron brings a distinctive curatorial talent to this position. He is knowledgeable in all areas of the performing arts, and he has successfully engaged audiences on campus as well as in the local community," Lindroth said.


Duke Performances offers 60 to 70 events by professional performing artists each year. The season includes music, theater, dance and talks as well as short- and long-term residencies integrated with academic programs, and community outreach and education. 


Greenwald has taken a thematic approach to this year's season, which has included the innovative "Following Monk" series celebrating the 90th birthday of North Carolina native Thelonious Monk. "Following Monk" featured 18 events in six weeks, including three commissioned pieces.


Currently, Duke Performances is exploring the past, present and future of soul music with "Soul Power," a six-week series of seven concerts and nine supporting events including conversations, talks, an exhibition and a special DJ performance.


Greenwald said he plans to continue this thematic approach in future seasons, as well as continuing to commission new work and to integrate Duke Performances into the academic curriculum.


"Thematic programming allows us, because we're producing in some context, to engage our students in a more vital manner. It also permits us to provide our off-campus patrons that same level of content and context, giving us the opportunity to offer layered programming in a manner befitting a top-tier institution of higher learning," he said.

After graduating from Columbia University with a degree in drama and theater arts, Greenwald studied theater in South Africa on a Fulbright Fellowship. He worked on music videos in Nashville, Tenn. with artists such as the late Waylon Jennings. He was a producer of the New Yorker Festival and the Toyota Comedy Festival. Immediately before coming to Duke, he spent two years producing programs at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.

Greenwald also served as director of the 2006 North Carolina Festival of the Book, which was held at Duke and in Durham.