Program Books/Matthew Whitaker

Matthew Whitaker Quartet

Saturday, March 26, 2022, 8pm
Zellerbach Playhouse

This performance will last approximately 90 minutes and be performed without an intermission. 

Matthew Whitaker is a Yamaha Artist.

Yamaha C7X grand piano provided by Yamaha Artist Services New York in association with Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland, CA.

Matthew Whitaker is endorsed by Hammond Organ, USA.

From the Executive and Artistic Director

Jeremy Geffen

One of the many impressive traits of Mitsuko Uchida is that her sonar is always on. Her awareness of the musical decisions made by those around her is at once instinctive and informed, and seems to feed into the larger portrait of the artistic sensibilities of those with whom she collaborates. To watch Mitsuko at the Marlboro Music Festival, of which she is co-artistic director and at which she works with countless young artists at the most formative stages of their careers, is to see someone completely engaged with those around her. There, she will read chamber music with every participant, in a search to understand what truly motivates each musician. In the process she gently shapes the development of so many, though she insists that she does not—and will not—teach individuals.

The membership of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra includes many instrumentalists who have felt her musical influence, which is perhaps one of the reasons the partnership they share is so extraordinary. Though all are aware that they are on stage and are keenly attuned to giving “a performance,” none seek to promote themselves over the music itself. I believe that this interest is pure, and that it gives them—and especially her—the energy needed for their astounding performances. We’re fortunate, indeed, to welcome these extraordinary artists to Zellerbach Hall on Sunday afternoon.

And I mustn’t forget to mention Saturday’s Zellerbach Playhouse concert with the singular Matthew Whitaker (like Mitsuko, a hit last year on Cal Performances at Home), a true jazz prodigy still in the early years of what promises to be a legendary career. Whitaker arrives in Berkeley for his Cal Performances live-concert debut, hot on the heals of the recent release of his third album, the brilliant Connections (Resilience Music Alliance). I can’t wait to hear him again!

March and April finds Cal Performances operating at full speed as we approach the April 20 announcement date for our brilliant 2022–23 season. (We just released our beautiful new 42-page season brochure to the printer; I can’t wait to share it with you!) From now through the beginning of May, the remainder of our current season is filled 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 feature more than a dozen works from the company’s legendary repertory
  • 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).
  • highly anticipated concerts with superb classical artists including Germany’s Tetzlaff Quartet (Apr 23), another favorite from last season’s Cal Performances at Home; pianist Daniil Trifonov (Apr 28), making his Cal Performances solo debut; and the Danish String Quartet (Apr 29)—a particular favorite of our chamber music audience—delivering the next installment in its ongoing Doppelgänger Project, a series of concerts that pairs late Schubert string quartets with newly commissioned works (on this occasion, a new quartet by the fascinating Finnish composer Lotta Wennäkoski).

Fasten your seatbelts; we have all of this—and more—in store before the season ends!

I know you join us in looking forward to what lies ahead, and to coming together—as we do today and have done so often in the past—to encounter the life-changing experiences that only the live performing arts deliver. We can’t wait to share it all with you!

Jeremy Geffen
Executive and Artistic Director, Cal Performances

Jeremy GeffenOne of the many impressive traits of Mitsuko Uchida is that her sonar is always on. Her awareness of the musical decisions made by those around her is at once instinctive and informed, and seems to feed into the larger portrait of the artistic sensibilities of those with whom she collaborates. To watch Mitsuko at the Marlboro Music Festival, of which she is co-artistic director and at which she works with countless young artists at the most formative stages of their careers, is to see someone completely engaged with those around her. There, she will read chamber music with every participant, in a search to understand what truly motivates each musician. In the process she gently shapes the development of so many, though she insists that she does not—and will not—teach individuals.

The membership of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra includes many instrumentalists who have felt her musical influence, which is perhaps one of the reasons the partnership they share is so extraordinary. Though all are aware that they are on stage and are keenly attuned to giving “a performance,” none seek to promote themselves over the music itself. I believe that this interest is pure, and that it gives them—and especially her—the energy needed for their astounding performances. We’re fortunate, indeed, to welcome these extraordinary artists to Zellerbach Hall on Sunday afternoon.

And I mustn’t forget to mention Saturday’s Zellerbach Playhouse concert with the singular Matthew Whitaker (like Mitsuko, a hit last year on Cal Performances at Home), a true jazz prodigy still in the early years of what promises to be a legendary career. Whitaker arrives in Berkeley for his Cal Performances live-concert debut, hot on the heals of the recent release of his third album, the brilliant Connections (Resilience Music Alliance). I can’t wait to hear him again!

March and April finds Cal Performances operating at full speed as we approach the April 20 announcement date for our brilliant 2022–23 season. (We just released our beautiful new 42-page season brochure to the printer; I can’t wait to share it with you!) From now through the beginning of May, the remainder of our current season is filled 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 feature more than a dozen works from the company’s legendary repertory
  • 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).
  • highly anticipated concerts with superb classical artists including Germany’s Tetzlaff Quartet (Apr 23), another favorite from last season’s Cal Performances at Home; pianist Daniil Trifonov (Apr 28), making his Cal Performances solo debut; and the Danish String Quartet (Apr 29)—a particular favorite of our chamber music audience—delivering the next installment in its ongoing Doppelgänger Project, a series of concerts that pairs late Schubert string quartets with newly commissioned works (on this occasion, a new quartet by the fascinating Finnish composer Lotta Wennäkoski).

Fasten your seatbelts; we have all of this—and more—in store before the season ends!

I know you join us in looking forward to what lies ahead, and to coming together—as we do today and have done so often in the past—to encounter the life-changing experiences that only the live performing arts deliver. We can’t wait to share it all with you!

Jeremy Geffen
Executive and Artistic Director, Cal Performances

Matthew Whitaker, piano and Hammond B3 organ
Marcos Robinson, guitar
Karim Hutton, electric bass
Johnny Steele, drums

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