Yo-Yo Ma and
Isaac Stern at the Maine Center for the Arts, 1986.
© 1986 Bangor Daily News,
used with permission
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Sixteen years ago, the curtain
went up on the first performing arts season of the Maine Center for the
Arts at The University of Maine.
It launched a new era of cultural opportunities for eastern, central and
northern Maine — dozens of performances annually, in Orono, featuring
some of the world's most accomplished performers.
The initial performance Sept. 20, 1986, was indeed memorable.
Internationally renowned violinist Isaac Stern and cellist Yo-Yo Ma took
to the stage with the more than 70-member Bangor Symphony Orchestra,
under the direction of Werner Torkanowsky.
A crowd of 1,600 filled the MCA's Hutchins Concert Hall, named in honor
of longtime UMaine benefactors Ruth and Curtis Hutchins. In addition,
the sold-out concert was televised live statewide by Maine Public
Television. The broadcast was the first of many radio and TV broadcasts
to share MCA performances and events with statewide and regional
Over the years, the MCA's Hutchins Concert Hall has featured scores of
performances by award-winning artists, such as Rudolf Nureyev, the
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the New York City Ballet, Ella
Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, The Chenille Sisters, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins,
Wynton Marsalis and the Dave Matthews Band, as well as comedians Jerry
Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres and Jay Leno. In addition, each year the hall
hosts numerous lectures, ranging in interests from anthropologist
Richard Leakey to world leaders such as then-Secretary of State
Along with Hutchins Concert Hall, MCA is home to UMaine's Hudson Museum
and its world-renowned collection of pre-Columbian artifacts.
"Lasting Impression" features a memorable person or event in UMaine