Burns to Speak as Part of UB Distinguished Speakers Series

Release Date: April 4, 2002 This content is archived.


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Filmmaker and historian Ken Burns will speak at UB on April 24 as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Filmmaker and historian Ken Burns -- director and executive producer of the highly acclaimed 1990 PBS series "The Civil War" and other distinguished historical films -- will speak at 8 p.m. April 24 in the Mainstage theater in the Center for the Arts on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus as part of UB's 15th annual Distinguished Speakers Series.

UB and the Don Davis Auto World Lectureship Fund are presenting the 2001-02 series. The UB undergraduate Student Association is the series sponsor. The UB School of Management Alumni Association will sponsor Burns' lecture.

Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and at all TicketMaster locations. Special group rates are available (call 645-6147, ext. 228). Ticket prices range from $20 to $30.

A compelling storyteller, Burns created "Baseball" (1994), "Thomas Jefferson" (1996), "The West" (1996), "Frank Lloyd Wright" (1998, with Lynn Novick) and JAZZ (2000), in addition to the Civil War series on PBS.

Historian Stephen Ambrose has said of Burns' films, "More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source."

"JAZZ," a GM Mark of Excellence Presentation that aired on PBS in January 2001, was Burns' third epic documentary, a 10-part production that follows this most American of art forms from its origins in blues and ragtime through swing, bebop and fusion. As with "The Civil War" and "Baseball," which together with "JAZZ" constitute a unique trilogy of American life and culture, Burns explores in detail the culture, politics and dreams that gave birth to this part of American history and life.

Burns' epics have received numerous accolades. "The Civil War" was the highest-rated series in the history of American public television at the time of its premiere in September 1990, attracting an audience of 40 million. It received more than 40 major film and television awards.

"Baseball," for which Burns was director, producer, co-writer, chief cinematographer, music director and executive producer, attracted more than 45 million viewers. The film won numerous awards, including an Emmy, the CINE Golden Eagle Award, the Clarion Award and the Television Critics Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sports and Special Programming.

Affiliate series sponsors of the Distinguished Speakers Series are the University Bookstores, WNED-TV and WBFO 88.7 FM, the National Public Radio affiliate operated by UB. Contributing series sponsors are the UB Alumni Association, Center for the Arts, Buffalo-Niagara Marriott, BAV Services and the Western New York Independent Living Project, Inc.

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