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Performances

Dear Friends,

A Cal Performances season is a year–long journey around the world of the performing arts in the company of great artists. Since mid–August we have shared in an unforgettable concert of solo Bach by Yo–Yo Ma at the Greek Theatre, celebrated with the unbounded joy of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, and experienced two diverse programs of premières by the Mark Morris Dance Group, including a restaging of Mr. Morris's Spring, Spring, Spring.

October takes us deeper into the fabric of the season. The Australian Ballet, one of the world's premier ballet companies, brings a signature work, Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake (2002), to the Zellerbach Hall stage for its West Coast première. Mr. Murphy's take on this iconic ballet casts off the story's magical trappings and makes Odette, Prince Siegfried, and the Baroness von Rothbart emotional analogues for Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker–Bowles. The Berkeley Symphony performs Tchaikovsky's sumptuous score to accompany the dance (October 16–19). "The Evolving Body Aesthetic," a panel discussion that includes Australian Ballet Artistic Director David McAllister and Cal Performances Associate Director Rob Bailis, explores currents in 21st–century ballet (Wheeler Auditorium, October 18). In the tradition of German expressionism as practiced by such choreographers as Pina Bausch and William Forsythe, Sasha Waltz & Guests come to Cal Performances with a large–scale modern dance work, Impromptus (2004). Founded in 1993, the Berlin–based company is an international, evolving collaboration of choreographic, visual, and musical guests known for their fearless artistic vision. Impromptus, Ms. Waltz's first dance built on classical music, features seven dancers, and Schubert's beautiful music (October 24 & 25).

Masterworks of classical music enliven our stages this month. Our recital series opens with the return of the great pianist Richard Goode to Zellerbach Hall to perform Schubert's final three sonatas, D958–60 (October 26). Mr. Goode is a frequent and beloved presence at Cal Performances, and we are delighted to welcome him back. The Takács Quartet, on the heels of their memorable Barték cycle last season, perform two Hertz Hall concerts this fall. The first includes music by Haydn, Debussy, and, with pianist Marc–André Hamelin, Franck's Piano Quintet (October 12). (Their second concert, on December 7, brings together Beethoven's Quartet in B–flat major, Op. 130, and Mozart's String Quintet in G minor, for which they are joined by violist Erika Eckert.) Pre–performance talks precede all three concerts.

Our world stage series continues with a double–bill of the Krar Collective from Ethiopia and famed Malian griot Bassekou Kouyaté for an "Afropop Spectacular" certain to bring Zellerbach Hall to its feet (October 11). Our first jazz performance of 2014–2015 series is by gospel and R&B legend Mavis Staples, a prominent voice of the civil rights movement as a member of the Staple Singers, who makes her Cal Performances début (October 30) as part of UC Berkeley's "On the Same Page" program, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement. Ms. Staples, whose enduring career has witnessed a resurgence in recent years, won her first Grammy Award in 2011. She also participates in "Music and Protest," an event sponsored by the College of Letters and Sciences, featuring Professor Waldo Martin, Kim Nalley, and Chris Strachwitz and moderated by Professor Mark Peterson.

Berkeley Talks, in its inaugural season, is a new series of conversations presented by Cal Performances and hosted by UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks that bring together thought leaders, scholars, creators, and innovators to examine important issues of our time. First in the series is Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Maus and the godfather of modern comics. Wordless!, a multimedia presentation of slides, stories, and history, with live jazz by Phillip Johnston, is Mr. Spiegelman's personal tour of the wordless novels of the early 20th century that influenced him and generations of graphic artists to follow (October 10).

I look forward to welcoming you throughout the 2014–2015 season.


Matías Tarnopolsky
Executive and Artistic Director
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