Program Books/Jakub Józef Orliński and Michał Biel

Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor
Michał Biel, piano

Sunday, March 13, 2022, 3pm
Hertz Hall

Major support provided by The Koret Foundation.
This performance is made possible, in part, by Patron Sponsor Patrick McCabe.

From the Executive and Artistic Director

Jeremy Geffen

This weekend, Cal Performances proudly presents the West Coast premiere of Ted Hearne and Saul Williams’ Place (Mar 12), a semi-staged secular oratorio and a bold meditation on the topographies of gentrification and displacement. One of this season’s Illuminations “Place and Displace­ment” events (see our website for more information), Place was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Music; it’s a remarkable work that I’m proud to see performed at UC Berkeley. (The recording for the New Amsterdam label captured the attention of the music world, earning two 2021 Grammy nominations—for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.)

We’ll also be privileged to witness the unique communicative powers and vocal pyrotechnics of Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński (Mar 13) in a wide-ranging program featuring works by Handel and Purcell, along with a wonderful—and less familiar—selection of Polish songs by such accomplished composers as Henryk Czyż, Mieczy­sław Karłowicz, and Stanisław Moniuszko. It might surprise you to learn that, in his spare time, Orliński is also an accomplished breakdancer. (“In breaking, there is a lot of freedom,” he told ABC News on a recent Zoom call from Warsaw. “It feels like you are becoming…a visual effect of the music you hear, which is really freeing…. I treat it as a meditation.”). But if Orliński refrains from breaking during his Cal Performances debut at Hertz Hall this weekend, you can bet that his singing will be equally jaw-dropping. Orliński will be joined by his one-time Juilliard dormmate and frequent collaborator, Polish pianist Michał Biel.

March marks the time of year that traditionally finds Cal Performances operating on all cylinders. From now through the beginning of May, the remainder of our 2021­–22 season is packed with adventurous programming. You won’t want to miss…

  • the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Mar 29 – Apr 3), returning to Zellerbach Hall for the first time since the initial pandemic shutdown in 2020; this year’s Ailey programs—featuring more than a dozen works from the company’s legendary repertory—have only recently been announced, so make sure to check our website for details
  • the one and only London Symphony Orchestra (Mar 20), appearing under the direction of luminary conductor Sir Simon Rattle in a program of orchestral masterworks
  • pianist extraordinaire Mitsuko Uchida playing and directing Mozart with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Mar 27)
  • the renowned English Baroque Soloists with conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner in a transfixing program of works by Mozart and Haydn (Apr 10)
  • Angélique Kidjo, our 2021–22 artist-in-residence, in her new music-theater piece Yemandja (a much-anticipated Cal Performances co-commission and Illuminations event, Apr 23).

Fasten your seatbelts; we have all of this—plus much more—in store for you!

We’re very proud of our updated winter brochure and know that a few minutes spent reviewing our schedule—in print or online—will reveal a wealth of options for your calendar; now is the perfect time to guarantee that you have the best seats for all the events you plan to attend.

I know you join us in looking forward to what lies ahead, and to coming together once again to encounter the life-changing experiences that only the live performing arts deliver. We can’t wait to share it all with you during the coming months.

Jeremy Geffen
Executive and Artistic Director, Cal Performances

P.S. – Stay tuned for exciting news about our brilliant 2022–23 season, to be announced in April!

Jeremy GeffenThis weekend, Cal Performances proudly presents the West Coast premiere of Ted Hearne and Saul Williams’ Place (Mar 12), a semi-staged secular oratorio and a bold meditation on the topographies of gentrification and displacement. One of this season’s Illuminations “Place and Displace­ment” events (see our website for more information), Place was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Music; it’s a remarkable work that I’m proud to see performed at UC Berkeley. (The recording for the New Amsterdam label captured the attention of the music world, earning two 2021 Grammy nominations—for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.)

We’ll also be privileged to witness the unique communicative powers and vocal pyrotechnics of Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński (Mar 13) in a wide-ranging program featuring works by Handel and Purcell, along with a wonderful—and less familiar—selection of Polish songs by such accomplished composers as Henryk Czyż, Mieczy­sław Karłowicz, and Stanisław Moniuszko. It might surprise you to learn that, in his spare time, Orliński is also an accomplished breakdancer. (“In breaking, there is a lot of freedom,” he told ABC News on a recent Zoom call from Warsaw. “It feels like you are becoming…a visual effect of the music you hear, which is really freeing…. I treat it as a meditation.”). But if Orliński refrains from breaking during his Cal Performances debut at Hertz Hall this weekend, you can bet that his singing will be equally jaw-dropping. Orliński will be joined by his one-time Juilliard dormmate and frequent collaborator, Polish pianist Michał Biel.

March marks the time of year that traditionally finds Cal Performances operating on all cylinders. From now through the beginning of May, the remainder of our 2021­–22 season is packed with adventurous programming. You won’t want to miss…

  • the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Mar 29 – Apr 3), returning to Zellerbach Hall for the first time since the initial pandemic shutdown in 2020; this year’s Ailey programs—featuring more than a dozen works from the company’s legendary repertory—have only recently been announced, so make sure to check our website for details
  • the one and only London Symphony Orchestra (Mar 20), appearing under the direction of luminary conductor Sir Simon Rattle in a program of orchestral masterworks
  • pianist extraordinaire Mitsuko Uchida playing and directing Mozart with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Mar 27)
  • the renowned English Baroque Soloists with conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner in a transfixing program of works by Mozart and Haydn (Apr 10)
  • Angélique Kidjo, our 2021–22 artist-in-residence, in her new music-theater piece Yemandja (a much-anticipated Cal Performances co-commission and Illuminations event, Apr 23).

Fasten your seatbelts; we have all of this—plus much more—in store for you!

We’re very proud of our updated winter brochure and know that a few minutes spent reviewing our schedule—in print or online—will reveal a wealth of options for your calendar; now is the perfect time to guarantee that you have the best seats for all the events you plan to attend.

I know you join us in looking forward to what lies ahead, and to coming together once again to encounter the life-changing experiences that only the live performing arts deliver. We can’t wait to share it all with you during the coming months.

Jeremy Geffen
Executive and Artistic Director, Cal Performances

P.S. – Stay tuned for exciting news about our brilliant 2022–23 season, to be announced in April!

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