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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Mondavi Center celebrates 10th anniversary

The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts has been serving the UC Davis music and arts community for the past 10 years. The Mondavi Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a series of concerts and events scheduled to take place at the commencement of the Center’s 2012 to 2013 season opening in September.

The Mondavi family, for which the center is named after, is a prominent family in the Davis community that has made great strides in the winemaking industry, boasting a business known for fine wines. The family patriarchs, Robert Mondavi and his wife, Vice President of Cultural Affairs, Margrit Biever Mondavi, are both passionate about combining the arts and music with fine wine and culinary arts. These passions helped inspire the creation of the Mondavi Center.

The Mondavi Center’s debut act featuring nine-time Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bonnie Raitt will take place on Sept. 18, 2012.

In addition, Raitt will be followed by jazz artist Christian McBride and the San Francisco Symphony in the month of September; both performances return to pay tribute to the Mondavi Center’s role in “changing the state of the arts in the Sacramento region for the better,” said Executive Director of the Mondavi Center Don Roth.

The center will also be featuring a number of free opening events set to take place on Oct. 6 and 7, including the annual Rising Stars of Opera Concert and The Dancer Films Live Event.

In the span of 10 years, the Center has achieved numerous accomplishments, including the accommodation of over one million event attendees, granting the UC Davis performing arts program with a world class venue and providing well over 100,000 school children with educational experiences at the Mondavi Center, boosting UC Davis’ reputation internationally with special events (including the US premiere of one of France’s leading choreographers Angelin Preljocaj’s production of Blanche Neige, French for Snow White). Another great achievement is the creation of programs offering UC Davis Students easy access to famed artists and world-class speakers, said Rob Tocalino, Director of Marketing of the Mondavi Center.

“We have changed the face of the arts on campus and in our region, regularly bringing the greatest artists in the world in all fields — from the New York Philharmonic to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre to Wynton Marsalis to Steve Martin and to speakers like Bill Clinton and Jane Goodall,”  Tocalino said.

In its upcoming second decade of existence, the Mondavi Center has established the Studio Dance series (located in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre),  thereby building on the center’s commitment to and history of presenting great modern dance, added Tocalino.

Roth and Tocalino said that they hope to continue the Mondavi Center’s work and success in the coming years.

“Continuing to bring the best and brightest to the Mondavi Center and our campus — ensuring that even more students take advantage of what the Mondavi Center has to offer. Aggie Arts interns are part of that effort [in] bringing more artists in residence so they have more time to touch the lives of people on our campus and in the community, working with other arts organizations to deepen arts education throughout the region and increasing the number of people throughout our region who see the Mondavi Center as the best and easiest place to see great artists perform,” said Roth and Tocalino.

The Mondavi Center continues to improve on its existing faculties and maintains its commitment in providing the UC Davis community with a nationally recognized venue for the advancement of the arts.

“We in the music department call this building a second home. It has treated us well from rehearsal to concert. Students are always thankful to be able to perform in the Mondavi Center on the same stage that Joshua Bell or the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra have been on. [As well as the stage] that President Clinton, Ira Glass, or even Harrison Ford have spoken from,” said Music Department Events Manager Phil Daley. “It affects how our faculty compose or choose repertoire and we really cannot imagine our department without it.”

GHEED SAEED can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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