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

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Ojai North!, Dawn Upshaw, soprano, Gilbert Kalish, piano, red fish blue fish with Steven Schick, percussion, Peter Sellars, director, George Crumb's Winds of Destiny -- American Songbook IV, June 16 & 18, 2011, Co-commissioned by Ojai Music Festival and Cal Performances, Patron Sponsors: Liz and Greg Lutz

Event Overview

"Rarely have I been so transported by an evening in the concert hall or theatre."

Cal Performances Director Matias Tarnopolsky was in the audience for the World Premiere at the Ojai Festival of The Winds of Destiny. Read what else he has to say about the production.


Read the NPR article and listen to the podcast on All Things Considered: From 'Shenandoah' To Afghanistan: George Crumb's 'Winds Of Destiny'

This Bay Area premiere event features a new staged production of George Crumb's The Winds of Destiny and a concert featuring some of Afghanistan's most distinguished musicians. Peter Sellars and Dawn Upshaw's riveting new work reinterprets Civil War songs and spirituals, set by George Crumb, as framed through the eyes of an American veteran returning from the war in Afghanistan (played by Upshaw). The evening also features beloved Afghan singer Ustad Farida Mahwash and internationally renowned Afghan rubâb master Homayoun Sakhi and his ensemble performing songs that celebrate both the past and future of Afghan music.

Please note that this performance has been moved to Zellerbach Playhouse and a second show has been added for Saturday, June 18.

And don't miss out our other Ojai North! events: Dawn Upshaw and the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Maria Schneider Orchestra.

Attend a free and open to the public Symposium with Journalist and Author Mark Danner and Director Peter Sellars Sat, June 18 [more information]

Ojai North! Overview

Ojai North!
Dawn Upshaw, music director
Cal Performances launches Ojai North!, a multi-year partnership with the celebrated Ojai, Music Festival involving co-productions, co-commissions, and multiple Ojai concerts in Berkeley. Established in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has an unparalleled musical legacy, defined by its intersection of daring artists, adventurous music, and passionate audiences.

"I have long admired the quality and breadth of programming at the Ojai Music Festival and am thrilled we can collaborate with this beacon of artistic endeavor to bring these concerts to Cal Performances' audiences."
—Matías Tarnopolsky, Director, Cal Performances

"It has been a long-held dream of mine to broaden the reach of the Ojai Music Festival. In launching this partnership with Cal Performances—a colleague organization acclaimed for its commitment to musical adventure—we make this dream a reality."
—Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director, Ojai Music Festival

Related Events

Symposium: Journalist and Author Mark Danner and Director Peter Sellars
George Crumb/Winds of Destiny
Sat, June 18, 5 pm

Zellerbach Playhouse
Free and open to the public

In the context of recent events in the Middle East and President Obama's speech justifying the Libyan intervention, Mark Danner writes: "The President posited a universal moral mission for the country that is, in its specificity, quite unprecedented: war as moral obligation, war as moral task. And moral task that falls, with the weight of destiny, upon the United States, and, presumably, upon the moral judgment—and, moral abilities, more to the point—of all Americans." Perhaps this points us "toward the necessity of the humanities in doing the kind of moral work, and making the sorts of moral judgments, that are being called for here as a guide to the use of American power."

Award-winning journalist and author Mark Danner and director Peter Sellars will discuss the civic consequences of the absence of the humanities in American public life and articulate a strengthened and re-purposed role for the humanities in the future of American public life.

Program Notes

Program notes are available online. [PDF]


Peter Sellars on George Crumb
Director Peter Sellars discusses George Crumb's haunting Civil War song cycle The Winds of Destiny. Part of Ojai North!, Sellars' production features soprano Dawn Upshaw as a soldier returning from Afghanistan, pianist Gilbert Kalish and percussion ensemble red fish blue fish with Steven Schick. The Bay Area premiere June 16 & 18, 2011, is at Zellerbach Playhouse. (2011)

Dawn Upshaw and Peter Sellars discuss their new upcoming work, George Crumb's Winds of Destiny — American Songbook IV (A cycle of American Civil War songs, folk songs and spirituals).

Purchase Tickets

Thu, Jun 16, 8 pm
Sat, Jun 18, 8 pm

Venue: Zellerbach Playhouse

Price: Tickets start at $44

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For information regarding Series options, please contact the Ticket Office in person or call 510.642.9988.

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