After months of planning and solidification, the Mondavi Center is finally ready to put on another great season of iconic and talented performances.
Students returning next fall quarter are encouraged to purchase advanced tickets though the series subscriptions. Prices for these subscriptions start at $25 and provide priority seating.
The following highlights selected performances from the 2010-2011 season.
Concert: Itzhak Perlman, violin
An esteemed violinist, Perlman received the honor of taking part in President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. He was also awarded a “Medal of Liberty” by former President Reagan and the “National Medal of Arts” by President Clinton.
Other notable performances include Joshua Bell and Yefim Bronfman.
Crossings: The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, Christopher O’Riley, piano
The Silk Road Project has become known for merging together music from many cultures.
“Yo-Yo Ma enjoyed his last experience here so much that we are one of a handful of presenters to host the Silk Road Project this year,” said Don Roth, executive director of the Mondavi Center.
The Studio Classics theme will feature classical musician Christopher O’Riley.
“He plays modern rock songs from bands like Radiohead, Elliot Smith, Tears for Fears and The Smiths – but with a classic technique,” Roth said.
Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony
Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas will lead the symphony through performances from Ravel, Debussy and Berlioz. There will be soloist appearances from pianist Jean Frédéric Neuburger and clarinetist Carey Bell.
Other orchestra performances include the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dresden Staatskapelle.
Jazz: Ornette Coleman, Vijay Iyer
Ornette Coleman, the infamous and polarizing inventor of “free jazz,” is scheduled to perform in November.
“It’s rare to be in the same room with a musician that has single-handedly altered the direction of music – rarer still to hear one who is sill as inventive and powerful as Coleman,” said Rob Tocalino, marketing director of the Mondavi Center.
Well-known for his percussive style, Vijay Iyer will be taking part in the Capital Public Radio Studio Jazz Series.
“During our studio jazz weeks in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, it looks and feels like a top notch jazz club – complete with bar service and art on the walls,” said Jeremy Ganter, programming director of the Mondavi Center.
Speakers: Madeleine Albright, David Sedaris
Sedaris’s readings have become legendary for their depth and poignancy. He is scheduled to speak in April 2011. Other compelling and distinguished speakers include Madeleine Albright, Jonah Lehrer, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Daniel Handler.
“In the case of Albright, this will be a chance to hear firsthand someone who has had a significant role in many of the defining moments of both U.S. and global history over the past few decades,” Ganter said.
American Heritage: Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
“Longtime fans of Steve Martin know that he’s been a serious banjo player for many years,” Roth said. If you don’t believe it, check out his YouTube Videos – or better yet, listen to his album, The Crow, which won the 2009 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.
Los Lobos and Mark O’Connor will also mark their appearances next season.
Madness and Music: Alarm Will Sound, UC Davis Symphony Orchestra with conductor Christian Baldini
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of composer Robert Schumann’s birth, the UC Davis Department of Music will be co-presenting the Madness and Music Festival.
“It will explore the connections between Schumann’s music, his mental illness, and how that relates to the contemporary works today,” said Phil Daley, events manager for the Music Department.
“Alarm Will Sound will be playing some of their celebrated arrangements of the Warp Record’s Aphex Twin, and an arrangement of John Dowand by John Orfe,” said Sam Nichols, a composer and music lecturer. Other performances include pianist Eric Zivian and the Empyrean Ensemble with works by Lee Hyla.
The four-day-long festival will also be inviting eight aspiring or emerging composers to have their music performed. For more information, visit music.ucdavis.edu/madnessandmusic.
Marvels: MOMIX: Botanica
“Botanica takes on a number of important and related themes – including the changing seasons and global warming – but the grand theme is planetary evolution,” Ganter said. “What it shares with all MOMIX work and other Marvel presentations, is a combination of astounding physicality, stunning visual imagery and beautiful music.”
The Marvel series will also include Cirque Éloize’s ID.
World Stage: Buika, Tango Fire
Buika will be taking the stage for the World Stage: Music series.
“She is among the best examples of how artists are addressing the globalization of traditional forms, while simultaneously developing and evolving their own individual sense of sound and style,” Ganter said.
Dance performances will include a night of Argentinean sensuality from Tango Fire.
Other notable performances under the Director’s Choice include the Kronos Quartet, who will be playing the music of Sigur Rós. The Tony Award-winning show Stew and the Negro Problem will collaborate with Heidi Rodewald.
For a complete listing of the 2010-2011 Season Mondavi Performances, visit mondaviarts.org.
VANNA LE can be reached at email@example.com.