Learn more about Cal Performances' events through videos and podcasts featuring the artists and scholars who create them.
Cal Performances 2018/19 Season Overview
Welcome to our 2018/19 Season! Explore what we have in store for our 113th Season!
Cal Performances 2018/19 Season Introduction
Matías Tarnopolsky, Cal Performances' executive and artistic director, and Rob Bailis, Cal Performances' associate director introduce highlights of the upcoming 2018/19 season.
Introducing Women's Work: Cal Performances' Berkeley RADICAL strand 2018/19
Matías Tarnopolsky, Cal Performances' executive and artistic director, and Rob Bailis, Cal Performances' associate director introduce the 2018/19 season's Berkeley RADICAL Women's Work programming strand.
Introducing Citizenship: Cal Performances' Berkeley RADICAL strand 2018/19
Matías Tarnopolsky, Cal Performances' executive and artistic director, and Rob Bailis, Cal Performances' associate director introduce the 2018/19 season's Berkeley RADICAL Citizenship programming strand.
Berkeley RADICAL 2017/18 Season: Transcending Borders
We invite you to take an in-depth look at artists, works, and ideas that challenge boundaries of all types—of genre, of time, of convention, and most importantly, of our understanding of ourselves. Watch to learn more about Cal Performances' groundbreaking and dynamic artistic programming philosophy.
Berkeley RADICAL 2017/18 Season: Joining Generations
Exploring the work of four generations of African-American Choreographers who have expanded the boundaries of contemporary dance. Each speaks profoundly, deliberately, and uniquely to issues of personal identity.
Reggie Wilson (Joining Generations)
Camille A. Brown (Joining Generations)
Donald Byrd (Joining Generations)
Robert Battle/Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Joining Generations)
Berkeley RADICAL 2017/18 Season: Blurring Boundaries
These artists are dissolving the very boundaries of their art forms, creating performances that cut across cultures and disciplines, accepted definitions of classical and contemporary, and even time and space.
Berkeley RADICAL 2017/18 Season: Vaulting Walls
These artists boldly challenge us to expand our understanding of the world around us, to vault past the limitations of conventional thought and break through barriers that confine us.
Cal Performances 2017/18 Season: The Joffrey Ballet
The Joffrey Ballet heads to Zellerbach Hall in November of our 2017/18 season. Watch this video of Associate Director, Rob Bailis, interview The Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director, Ashley Wheater.
Cal Performances 2017/18 Season: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Muti Interview
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs in October of our 2017/18 season. Watch this interview with Conductor Riccardo Muti by Cal Performances Executive and Artistic Director, Matías Tarnopolsky.
Cal Performances Education & Community Programs
The cornerstone of all of Cal Performances’ educational and community programs is a commitment to artistic literacy and access, and the belief that the performing arts are essential and transformative for people of all backgrounds and in all stages of life. Immersive artist residencies, free public programs, and participatory educational activities explore the dynamic intersections of creativity, arts, and learning for local K-12 youth, UC Berkeley students, and lifelong learners. University students and off-campus audiences alike are invited to engage more deeply with works of art through carefully curated programs and events, and create community through the shared experience of the performing arts.
Layla and Majnun 2016/17 Season Residency and Symposium
Reading of Layla and Majnun
Mutual Understanding: Making Art Together Across Cultures
Universal Truths from a Story of Unrequited Love
Takács Quartet Cal Performances 2016/17 Season Residency
Cal Performances welcomed back the Takács Quartet for a momentous series of six concerts, the complete string quartet cycle of Ludwig van Beethoven, performed over three weekends in Hertz Hall. Cal Performances' extensive residency, which featured quartet members, scholars, and students, and was a significant part of the 2016/17 season's Berkeley RADICAL Immersion thematic strand of programming offering deep exploration of important composers and genres of artistic expression.
AileyCamp 2016 — where kids spin, twirl and grow
AileyCamp has spun its magic at Berkeley for 15 years, and touched the lives of some 900 youngsters. Kids come in on full scholarships from Berkeley, Richmond, Oakland and Albany to develop their dancing and creative expression along with personal skills like critical thinking and self-discipline.
Cal Performances 2016/17 Season
Experience our 2016/17 Season.
Esa-Pekka Salonen is Coming Back to Cal Performances
Legendary conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen will hit Zellerbach Hall in October 2016 as part of the 2016/17 Season. Here he speaks on his excitement and what makes Cal Performances and Berkeley so special.
Letter to a Man trailer
The legendary Mikhail Baryshnikov takes you on a journey through the diaries of ballet icon Vaslav Nijinsky in the inspired collaboration of Baryshnikov and Robert Wilson. "Letter to a Man" hits Cal Performances Zellerbach Hall in November 2016 in our 111th Season.
Artists, Aesthetics, and the Natural World: Berkeley Radical Natural World Symposia, January 2016
Our planet and life upon it has been an inspiration for generations of artists, with an increasing focus on the need to balance humankind's thirst for advancement with preservation and moderation. In the 2015/16 season Cal Performances launched Berkeley Radical, a new Research and Development Initiative in Creativity, Arts, and Learning. Berkeley Radical's season-long exploration of The Natural World was designed to harness the performing arts to inspire us to think differently about our environment. The concert series included Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan's Rice, Olivier Messiaen's From the Canyon to the Stars with the St. Louis Symphony and a commissioned visual essay by Deborah O'Grady, Kaija Saariaho's Notes on Light with the eco ensemble, and Terry Riley's Sun Rings with Kronos Quartet. Twin symposia held in January 2016 explored two of these productions—Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s Rice and the St. Louis Symphony's From the Canyon to the Stars—in the context of creative, aesthetic and spiritual responses to the natural world.
Composer John Adams discusses Available Light
Composer John Adams recalls the 1983 Los Angeles production of his composition, Available Light, a collaboration with choreographer Lucinda Childs and architect Frank O. Gehry. Hailed in its 1983 premiere as "a career breakthrough...a work of blazing formal beauty" (The New York Times), Lucinda Childs' choreography is set to Adams’ richly impressionistic score, with a striking set designed by Frank O. Gehry. Childs, whose work last graced Zellerbach Hall's stage in Einstein on the Beach in 2012, returns with her company for this Cal Performances co-commissioned revival—a rare opportunity to experience the collaborative work of these three visionary artists February 3–4, 2017.
Available Light has been remounted and will be performed at Cal Performances' Zellerbach Hall in February of 2017; Cal Performances is a co-commissioner of the production.
Mark Morris introduces Layla and Majnun
Choreographer/director Mark Morris introduces his new production of Layla and Majnun; a treasured love story that is the cornerstone of Middle Eastern folklore. The evening-length work features singers Alim Qasimov and Fargana Qasimova, musicians of The Silk Road Ensemble, and a dozen dancers from the Mark Morris Dance Group; backdrop and costumes by Howard Hodgkin. Cal Performances is the lead commissioner of this production with a world premiere on September 30th, 2016 at Zellerbach Hall.
Ojai at Berkeley 2016 with Peter Sellars Ojai at Berkeley 2016: Peter Sellars and Matías Tarnopolsky discuss Kaija Saariaho
This year's Ojai Music Festival and Ojai at Berkeley music director Peter Sellars sits down with Cal Performances executive and artistic director Matías Tarnopolsky to discuss composer Kaija Saariaho's creativity, innovation, and why people are drawn to her brilliant, evocative compositions.
Ojai at Berkeley 2016: Peter Sellars and Matías Tarnopolsky discuss La Passion de Simone
This year's Ojai Music Festival and Ojai at Berkeley music director Peter Sellars sits down with Cal Performances executive and artistic director Matías Tarnopolsky to discuss composer Kaija Saariaho's "musical journey in 15 stations," La Passion de Simone, which explores Saariaho's connection with French philosopher Simone Weil and pays homage to a courageous female leader.
Ojai at Berkeley 2016: Peter Sellars and Matías Tarnopolsky discuss the importance of women's voices
Ojai Music Festival and Ojai at Berkeley music director Peter Sellars sits down with Cal Performances executive and artistic director Matías Tarnopolsky to discuss the importance of the voices of powerful women and the role of this theme in this year's Ojai at Berkeley concerts.
Ojai at Berkeley 2016: Peter Sellars and Matías Tarnopolsky discuss Roomful of Teeth and ICE
Ojai Music Festival and Ojai at Berkeley music director Peter Sellars sits down with Cal Performances executive and artistic director Matías Tarnopolsky to introduce two groups performing at this year’s concerts—Roomful of Teeth and ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble)—that prove through their vital and exhilarating performances that classical music can be "music of the future, not music of the past."
The Nile Project and Artistic Literacy at Cal Performances Feb 2015
In February 2015 Cal Performances embarked on a pilot project to cultivate artistic literacy in every sixth grader in the Berkeley Unified School District. Here is a look inside the project.
Bach Collegium Japan Pre-performance Talk: "Bach Transcending"
A Berkeley RADICAL pre-performance talk with Chuy Varela, music director of KCSM 91 jazz radio, for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis concert, Sep 18, 2015. One of a series on jazz along with Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club (Oct 9) and Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour (Jan 24).
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis Pre-performance Talk
A special one-hour Berkeley RADICAL pre-performance talk around the international appeal of the music of J.S. Bach held on Oct 24, 2015, for the Bach Collegium Japan concert. With Jeffrey Thomas, Music Director of American Bach Soloists, Mina Yang, Musicologist from Mount St Mary's College with a specialty in the global reach of Western Music, and Rob Bailis, Associate Director, Cal Performances.
ZellerBACH Panel Discussion: "Inspired by J.S. Bach"
A talk held on Sat, Oct 17, 2015, in Wheeler Auditorium (UC Berkeley campus) in conjunction with Twyla Tharp's 50th Anniversary Tour. With Brenda Way, choreographer and co-founder of ODC Dance and Davitt Moroney, UC Berkeley Department of Music University Organist and Performer, moderated by Rob Bailis, Associate Director of Cal Performances.
Introducing Our 2015/16 Season
Explore music, dance, and theater being presented across our stages during our 2015/16 Season.
Cal Performances Announces its 2015/16 Season
Matías Tarnopolsky, Cal Performances' Executive and Artistic Director, announces the 2015/16 season. Listen to excerpts from the press conference held on April 20, 2015, at Meyer Sound in Berkeley.
Meet David Robinson
Conductor David Robinson in New York talks via Skype to Cal Performances' Executive and Artistic Director Matías Tarnopolsky at UC Berkeley about Messiaen's Des Canyons aux Étoiles.
Photographer Deborah O'Grady in Her Studio
Landscape photographer Deborah O'Grady tells how she is creating a visual component for composer Olivier Messiaen's ode to natural beauty Des Canyons aux Étoiles. The work has been co-commissioned by Cal Performances and will be presented January 31, 2016.
Meet Dance Maker Trajal Harrell
American in Paris choreographer Trajal Harrell is creating a new work titled The Ghost of Montpellier Meets the Samurai. Cal Performances' Associate Director Rob Bailis talks to him about his work which will be part of Cal Performances' 2015/16 season.
Make a Difference with Cal Performances
Cal Performances creates transformative arts experiences for our community. Learn how you can make a difference by partnering with us.
David Harrington Coaches UC Berkeley Student Quartet
David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet coaches a string quartet made up of UC Berkeley students. He began the Kronos Quartet almost 40 years ago and offers advice to the young musicians as they rehearse a work by Philip Glass written for the Kronos Quartet.
The Vienna Philharmonic 2011 Residency at Cal Performances
The Vienna Philharmonic Residency in Berkeley included three concerts in addition to a number of open rehearsals, sectionals, master classes and a chamber music concert for students. Watch as musicians from this famed orchestra work with UC Berkeley music students. (Length 2:55; 2011)
Fall Free for All
Take a look at scenes from past Fall Free for All festivals in this exclusive video.
AileyCamp, the nationally acclaimed summer youth program, conceived by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and locally produced by Cal Performances, teaches life lessons through ballet, modern, jazz and African dance to Berkeley/Oakland middle school students. Follow three AileyCampers from beginning impressions through the grand finale performance at the end of the six week experience. (Length: 8:25)
Cal Performances in the Classroom: A Teacher Workshop on The Music of Revelations
Watch as one of Cal Performances teaching artists, Melanie DeMore, works with classroom teachers to prepare them and, in turn, their students, to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform in a special one hour SchoolTime performance at Zellerbach Hall. (Length: 2:40; 2011)
Cal Performances At 100
Composer Jake Heggie narrates the story of Cal Performances' origin and highlights from its 100 years featuring luminaries such as Yo-Yo Ma, Mark Morris, Dave Brubeck and Laurie Anderson. Recorded April 2006. (Length: 11:00)