Cal Performances :: Music, Dance, Theater :: University of California Berkeley

Season Sponsor: Wells Fargo

Dear Friends,

At Cal Performances this month, we present two world premières, two Bay Area premières, two artist residencies, a symposium, the best in modern dance, innovative new music, and top—flight classical soloists—a remarkable few weeks of performances!

We are particularly proud of our two major co-commissions, Mark Morris' Acis and Galatea, based on the Handel Opera, and Kronos Quartet's collaboration with Aleksandra Vrebalovand Bill Morrison, Beyond Zero. Making the investment to ensure that new landscapes can be discovered and new master works can emerge is an essential part of our commitment to our community as wel las the future of live art.

The great American choreographer Alvin Ailey first brought his innovative dance troupe to Cal Performances in March 1968. Just months before the opening of Zellerbach Hall, the Ailey company's performance took place on the modest Wheeler Auditorium stage. In the 45 years since, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Cal Performances have deepened and expanded this special artistic partnership. decades now, the Ailey company has spent a week each spring in residence in Berkeley. Artistic Director Robert Battle carries on Alvin Ailey's artistic legacy and upholds the company's status as one of America's cultural treasures, while maintaining Ailey's spirit of perennial freshness, and excellence in dance. This season the company's performances include two Bay Area premières: Ronald K. Brown's Four Corners to music by Carl Hancock Rux, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Yacoub and Aszure Barton's first creation for the Ailey company, LIFT to music by Curtis Macdonald Two of Alvin Ailey's dances to Duke Ellington round out the programs, along with Bill T. Jones's Bessie Award-winning D-Man in the Waters (Part 1). And, as always, each program closes with the beloved, iconic Revelations.

Our 2013—2014 dance series comes to a spectacular conclusion when we welcome the Mark Morris Dance Group back to its West Coast home for the world première of Mark Morris's new evening—length performance, Acis and Galatea, based on the opera by George Frideric Handel in its celebrated arrangement by Mozart (April 25—27). Isaac Mizrahi created the costumes for this production. Joining Mr. Morris and his Dance

Group for this long-awaited première are the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, conductor Nicholas McGegan, and a stellar cast of soloists: soprano Sherezade Panthaki, tenors Thomas Cooley and Zach Finkelstein, and bass—baritone Douglas Williams. Acis and Galatea is a commission of Mark Morris Dance Group, Cal Performances and Celebrity Series of Boston, in association with Krannert Center, Harriman—Jewell Series, and Lincoln Center.

The Kronos Quartet is Cal Performances' 2013—2014. On December 7,2013, the group celebrated its 40th birthday in a stunning concert at Zellerbach Hall, a highlight of which was a performance of George Crumb's Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land (1970), a ground breaking work written in response to the Vietnam War and the piece that inspired the founding of Kronos. Even after four decades, the group remains on the cutting edge of innovative live art performance. It must also be noted that in addition to stellar performances, the Kronos Quartet has given us innumerable gifts as Artist in Residence. The generosity of the Quartet has touched many of our constituencies, from students to life—long learners. Across the board there has been a depth of investigation and access we've been so fortunate to enjoy. In recent years the quartet has supplemented its Cal Performances concerts with workshops and colloquia for students in the UC Berkeley Department of Music. In Hertz Hall on April 6, Kronos concludes its residency with the world première of a new multimedia work, Beyond Zero: 1914—1918, the quartet's collaboration with composer Aleksandra Vrebalov and filmmaker by Bill Morrison, which is intended to continue the conversation about war—our understanding of it, our responses to it, and our collective responsibilities during and after conflict. Says Ms. Vrebalov, "Artand the creative spirit can keep us sane when everything around us is crumbling. "Immediately preceding Beyond Zero is Prelude to a Black Hole, Kronos' exquisitely curated suite of compositions written during or around World War I. Prelude to a Black Hole transitions from Byzantine chant, to Stravinsky's Three Pieces for String Quartet, a blues piece by Geeshie Wiley, and a Turkishtaksim by Cemil Bey, to Ravel's Troisbeauxoiseauxdu Paradis, Webern's Six Bagatelles, a patriotic song by Charles Ives, and an excerpt from Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil. Contributing further to our season-long exploration of the First World War is "A Meditation on War," our second symposium of this season, which takes place on April 4 at the Magnes Collection in Berkeley. Participants include David Harrison of Kronos, Ms. Vrebalov, Mr. Morrison, Drew Cameron of the Combat Paper Project, and noted author and UC Berkeley Professor of Journalism Mark Danner as moderator.

New music remains in focus this season on April 12 in Hertz Hall, when we present the second concert this season by UC Berkeley's own new music group, the eco ensemble, directed by David Milnes. On program are two works by young women composers, Mei-Fang Lin and Erin Gee. Ms. Lin is represented by her solo percussion work Multiplication Virtuelle (2004).Ms. Gee's Mouthpiece Segment of the 3rd Letter (2007), part of her extraordinary "Mouthpiece" series of compositions that explore the expressive potential of phonemes, is scored for female voice, bass flute, viola, double bass, and percussion, with the composer herself performing the vocal part. The late British composer Jonathan Harvey's Bird Concerto with Pianosong (2001) concludes the program. Harvey's Bird Concerto, written during his five years living and teaching in the Bay Area, is a beautiful work for large chamber ensemble and piano soloist that incorporates electronic sound samples of digitized birdsongs.

It is not often that one has the opportunity to hear two outstanding soloists perform a chamber recital together, but on April 8 we welcome two of classical music's brightest stars—violinist and violist Pinchas Zukerman and pianist Yefim Bronfman—to First Congregational Church for a very special concert of classical master works. Mr. Zukerman last appeared at Cal Performances in 2011 with his youthful ensemble, the Zukerman Chamber Players. Mr. Bronfman has long been a Cal Performances favorite, having given recitals in 2004, 2005, 2006, and, most recently, in 2012.The illustrious duo's program includes Schubert's engaging Sonatinain A minor,No.2; early Beethoven in the form of his Violin Sonata No.7 in C minor, Op.30, No.2; and, continuing this season's focuson Brahms, his Viola Sonatain F minor, Op.120, No.1, written late in the composer's life.

On April 29, Cal Performances announces our 2014—2015 season, and subscriptions are on sale now. Our new programming carries forward a curatorial vision of both preservation and progress. Next season abounds with the most important performing artists in classical, new, and early music, jazz and world stage, dance and theater—and features many unique performances that can be experienced nowhere else but here.

I look forward to welcoming you throughout the rest of this season, and into next.

Matías Tarnopolsky
Director, Cal Performances
Watch & Listen
Learn more about Cal Performances' events through videos featuring the artists and scholars who create them.
General Questions:

Ticket Office: 510.642.9988

Website Comments:

© Cal Performances, U.C. Regents, 1998 - 2014
UC Berkeley