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

Season Sponsor: Wells Fargo

Dear Friends,

November finds us at the midpoint of the first half of Cal Performances' 2014–2015 season, a year–long journey around the world of the performing arts in the company of great artists.

Since its opening in 1958, Hertz Hall has been hailed as one of the finest concert venues in Califor- nia, and for decades Cal Performances has presented the world's preeminent recitalists and ensembles in its excellent acoustic environment. Our 2014–2015 Hertz Hall recital series continues with the Cal Performances début of Mexican-born pianist Jorge Federico Osorio, one of the foremost interpreters of Spanish and Latin American piano music (November 2). His astutely curated program includes rarely heard works by Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz and Mexican composer Ricardo Castro alongside piano transcriptions of J. S. Bach and Schubert's last, great sonata, the B–flat major, D960. This season the St. Lawrence String Quartet celebrates 25 years as one of the premier Amer- ican quartets. The foursome's Hertz Hall program features Qohelet (2011), a haunting and meditative work composed for the St. Lawrence by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov, as well as Haydn's "Emperor" Quartet and Beethoven's sublime String Quartet No. 14 in C–sharp minor, Op. 131 (November 23).

On November 9, conductor Jiří Bělohlávek leads the Czech Philharmonic and Prague Philharmonic Choir in one of the towering choral masterworks of their homeland, Dvořík's Stabat Mater. Throughout its history, the Czech Philharmonic–which seldom performs in the Bay Area–has maintained a special connection to Dvořák, who conducted the orchestra's inaugural performance, at the Rudolfinum in Prague in 1896. Zellerbach Hall and Carnegie Hall are the only American venues where one can experience Dvořík's seminal work performed by the musicians who know it best. The matching of orchestra and reper- toire is central to Cal Performances' programming philosophy and enables our audience to become acquainted with, and get closer to, the world of the composer.

Paris's Théâtre de la Ville returns after the success of its production of Eugène Ionesco's absurdist masterpiece Rhinocéros at Cal Performances in 2012. This time the renowned com- pany performs its production of another modern classic, Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, directed by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, which is not to be missed (November 7 & 8).

Our early music series focuses on masterworks of the Baroque, experienced in the intimate acoustic of First Congregational Church. Cleveland's acclaimed Apollo's Fire and its director, Jeannette Sorrell, return in the company of Apollo's Singers to perform Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, their recording of which having received wide critical praise (November 13). Then Richard Egarr directs England's Academy of Ancient Music from the harpsichord for Bach's grand and graceful Orchestral Suites (November 15).

A signal event on our season, the acclaimed new staging of Benjamin Britten's church parable Curlew River (1964), starring tenor Ian Bostridge and directed by renowned multi- media artist Netia Jones, makes its West Coast première in one of only three United States performances. Part noh theater, part medieval mystery play, Curlew River is a haunting work that explores themes of community, suffering, and redemption through the figure of a madwoman and the loss of her child. Curlew River is a co–production Centre and Cal Performances (November 14 & 15).

Berkeley Talks, a new series of conversations presented by Cal Performances and hosted by UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks, continues with bestselling author David Sedaris, whose humorous personal stories and social commentaries of acerbic wit and bit- tersweet self-reflection are frequently featured in The New Yorker (November 15). The fol- lowing evening, our jazz series welcomes New Orleans trumpeter and music educator Irvin Mayfield and his swinging 18-piece New Orleans Jazz Orchestra back to Zellerbach Hall for the best of big-band jazz and blues (November 16).

A primary focus of our new music series is Project TenFourteen, our collaboration with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and their Artistic Director Steven Schick, which features ten world premières over four Hertz Hall concerts. The first concert in- cludes world premières of new works by George Crumb, Gabriela Ortíz, and Elena Ruehr (November 16). (A third Crumb composition receives its world première on March 29, and Mr. Schick returns as Music Director of the 2015 Ojai at Berkeley Festival in June.)

This month Cal Performances presents another rare opportunity for Bay Area audiences to experience a theatrical creation by Robert Wilson, after our 2012 revival of the ground– breaking Einstein on the Beach. Mr. Wilson's The Old Woman, co–commissioned by Cal Performances, stars Mikhail Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe in a surreal marriage of ab- stract storytelling and pitch-black comedy, and is based on an absurdist 1939 novella of the same name by avant-garde Russian author Daniil Kharms (November 21–23). This bringing together of a great theatrical visionary with two renowned figures of the stage to perform new and important work makes this a very special event on our season. As Mr. Baryshnikov recounted in an exclusive video interview for Cal Performances, "Bob [Robert Wilson] is very demanding. Willem and I helped each other: He helped me with delivery and certain dynamic suggestions, and I helped him a little bit with movement. We held each other's hands."

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

Matías Tarnopolsky
Executive and Artistic Director
Watch & Listen
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