skip to content

History

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, the 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, especially as UConn enters an era of astounding expansion with UConn 2000 and 21st Century UConn.

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, as well as first-rate theatre from the Royal Shakespeare Company to Chicago. Jorgensen also hosts popular children's theatre and offers its patrons series subscriptions, like the Cabaret Series, as well as special events.

With 2,630 seats in a flexible space, Jorgensen's architectural features highlight the breadth of its presentations. Jorgensen also houses the Jorgensen Gallery and Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre, which is the home of Connecticut Repertory Theater. To celebrate its success, Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts has undertaken the Art Deco Renovation Project, a creative tribute to the art and history of the theater itself, partially sponsored by Friends of Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. Jorgensen also serves the community through outreach programs, such as JOY!, and as a venue for local events.

We wish many warm thanks to our co-sponsors, affiliations, artists, and, most of all, to our audience for supporting Jorgensen's first 50 years. The best is yet to come.