Emmy Award-Winner, Jac Venza, to Speak April 18 at University of Idaho

Wednesday, April 11 2012

MOSCOW, Idaho – Jac Venza, father of fine arts programming on public broadcasting, will speak at the University of Idaho on April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building Auditorium.

Venza is a legendary figure who has worked in television from the very early years. He pioneered connections between the European media and PBS. Venza was responsible for finding funding for arts programming on PBS, bridging the gap between arts and business. He has won a primetime Emmy for Lifetime Achievement and a personal Peabody Award.

For three decades, Jac Venza’s New York NET primetime series “Great Performances,” “Theater in America” and “Dance in America” have brought the international stars of stage, film, music and dance to American audiences on PBS.

The “Great Performances” series has received every major television honor, including nearly 50 Emmy Awards. His hundreds of music programs have introduced television audiences to a wide range of artists, including Luciano Pavorotti, Andrea Bocelli, Frank Sinatra, Josh Groban, Duke Ellington and Wynton Marsalis.

He was executive producer of many musical tributes to great composers such as Rogers and Hammerstein, and of the acclaimed music history series, “Broadway: The American Musical” with Julie Andrews as host and narrator. He has presented classical music performances of the world’s leading conductors, orchestras and opera houses.

Venza’s series “Theater in America” presented over 80 theater productions, often recording the early performances of stars like Dustin Hoffman, Merryl Streep and Kevin Kline. Venza pioneered the international co-production and exchange of British drama series like “Brides Head Revisited,” the BBC complete series of “Shakespeare’s 36 Plays” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”

For more than 20 years, “Dance in America” has recorded the master works of American dance including George Balanchine and Bob Fosse. In over 80 programs, “Dance in America” has preserved key performances of dances with Peter Martins, Suzanne Farrell, Gregory Hines, Rudolph Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The event, part of the College of Art and Architecture’s Speaker Series, is free and open to the public.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to more than 70 additional research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.