Archive | Art

Edwin Outwater Leads Pianist Simon Trpčeski And The SF Symphony 
In Program Featuring Eastern European Composers
Ligeti, Prokofiev, Dvořák, And Lutosławski
October 24-26 At Davies Symphony Hall

Former San Francisco Symphony Resident Conductor Edwin Outwater returns to the SFS October 24-26 to lead a program of Eastern European works, including Ligeti’s Concert Românesc,  Dvořák’s Legends, Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra, and Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto, with pianist Simon Trpčeski.

These are the first SFS performances of Concert Românesc and Dvořák’s Legends for Orchestra. Prokofiev’s Third Piano has a rich SFS history: its SFS premiere was in 1930 with Prokofiev himself as soloist and then-Music Director Alfred Hertz. In 1959, Van Cliburn performed the work with the SFS, led by then-Music Director Enrique Jordá. The piece was featured in the Prokofiev Festival and subsequent European tour in 2007 with MTT and Yefim Bronfman, and in 2012 MTT led Lang Lang in its most recent SFS performances. The first SFS performances of Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra were in 1966 under conductor Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt at The War Memorial Opera House. Witold Lutosławski himself conducted the piece at Davies Symphony Hall in 1991, and the most recent SFS performances were in 2000, conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier.

Edwin Outwater has a long history with the San Francisco Symphony and has become a regular presence at Davies Symphony Hall this year. In addition to these performances, Outwater also conducts the San Francisco Symphony Music for Families concerts on September 28 and December 7. Outwater conducted several SFS concerts during the Orchestra’s 2013 Summer and the Symphony series, including a Fourth of July concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre, the SFS’s annual outdoor concert at the Stern Grove festival, two performances with Johnny Mathis, and Carmina burana with the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus.

Outwater served as Resident Conductor of the SFS from 2001-2006 and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) from 2001-2005. As Resident Conductor, he worked closely with Michael Tilson Thomas and conducted numerous concerts each season, including family and summer concerts, as well as Adventures in Music and Concerts for Kids performances for grade school children. He first conducted the SFS in a series of 2001 holiday concerts, and made his SFS regular subscription concert debut in 2002 as one of two conductors (Kurt Masur was the other) for Britten’s massive War Requiem. On two occasions, Outwater stepped in for Michael Tilson Thomas, conducting performances of Stravinsky’s complete Pulcinella, as well as works by Beethoven, Wagner, and Cherubini. In 2006, Outwater conducted the world premiere performance of The Composer is Dead, an SFS-commissioned work with music by Nathaniel Stookey and text by Lemony Snicket, which was later released by HarperCollins.

As Music Director of the SFSYO, he led the ensemble in all of their season concerts, as well as on tour in Europe in the summer of 2004, when the orchestra made its debut at Vienna’s Musikverein and Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and returned to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Outwater’s work in music education and community outreach has been widely celebrated. In 2004 his education programs at the San Francisco Symphony were given the Leonard Bernstein Award for Excellence in Educational Programming, and his Chinese New Year Program was given the MET LIFE award for community outreach.

Outwater is currently Music Director of Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and regularly guest conducts the Chicago and New World Symphonies. In addition to his appearances with the SFS, highlights of his 2013-14 season include three appearances with the Chicago Symphony, and further guest appearances with the New World Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Indianapolis Symphony, and many others.

In the United States, Outwater has conducted the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, Detroit, and Seattle. In Canada, he has conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra, as well as the symphonies of Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Victoria. International appearances include the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the New Zealand Symphony, the Adelaide Symphony, the Malmö Symphony, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. In 2009 he made his professional opera debut with the San Francisco Opera conducting Verdi’s La Traviata, and he has since conducted Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires with concert:nova Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Opera, as well as Menotti’s one-act opera Amahl and the Night Visitors at New York’s Lincoln Center. He participated as Associate Conductor with MTT in both YouTube Symphony projects, at Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House.


Simon Trpčeski made his SFS debut in 2004 playing Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2 with conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier. Most recently in 2012, he performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with former Music Director Edo de Waart conducting. He performs regularly with the world’s most important orchestras, including the London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Bolshoi, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Sydney and Melbourne symphony orchestras and on tour with the New Zealand Symphony.

In North America, Trpčeski performs regularly with many of the major orchestras, including those of Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Toronto. He has also given solo concerts in Amsterdam (on the main stage of the Concertgebouw), Atlanta, Bilbao, Lisbon, Hamburg, London, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Prague, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Toronto and Vancouver. Trpčeski often performs chamber music, having attended festivals such as Aspen, Verbier, and Risor. With the special support of KulturOp – Macedonia’s leading cultural and arts organization – and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia, Trpčeski works regularly with young musicians in Macedonia in order to cultivate the talent of the country’s next generation of artists.

In 2010, Trpčeski released his concerto recording debut on the Avie label, showcasing Rachmaninov’s notoriously challenging Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 with Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. The album was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’année and Classic FM’s “Editor’s Choice” Award. In 2011, Avie released the second concerto album from Trpčeski, Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 4 alongside Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The second disc also received the Diapason d’Or de l’année and Classic FM’s “Editor’s Choice” Award, as well as an “Editor’s Choice” award from Gramophone magazine. In 2009, the President of Macedonia, H.E. Gjorge Ivanov, honored Trpčeski with the Presidential Order of Merit for Macedonia, a decoration given to foreign and domestic dignitaries responsible for promoting Macedonian culture abroad. In 2011, Trpčeski was awarded the first-ever title “National Artist of the Republic of Macedonia.”

Continue Reading

Alonzo King LINES Ballet presents its Fall Home Season 2013

Featuring the San Francisco premiere of Writing Ground, a collaboration with award-winning author Colum McCann; a world premiere work set to music by Bach; and the release of LINES Ballet’s beautiful new dance photography book

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Lam Research Theater, San Francisco
October 25 – November 3, 2013
Tickets: $30-$65,, 415.978.2787

Alonzo King LINES Ballet is pleased to announce the program for its fall season, October 25 – November 3, 2013 at the Lam Research Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

This season the company brings Writing Ground home for its San Francisco premiere. Commissioned in 2010 by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Alonzo King’s masterful work draws inspiration from writings by Colum McCann, winner of the National Book Award. An emotionally searing and lyrical work, set to a collection of sacred early music from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, Writing Ground challenges the Company to explore new physical territory. Writing Ground ”illustrates the power of Alonzo King’s story-telling at its height” (Huffington Post).

Of working with McCann, King says, “Colum’s words made me think of the endless trillions of thoughts that proceed from humanity in our unanimous quest to avoid suffering and attain some ever interesting joy, and how ultimately those words become sacred texts which design our lives.”

The fall season also features the world premiere of a highly physical full-company work set to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. One of the composer’s most famous pieces, the Double Violin Concerto has been used in seminal works by a number of American choreographers – including George Balanchine and Paul Taylor.
In tandem with its 2013 fall home season LINES Ballet is also pleased to announce the publication of a luxurious new dance photography book about the company. The book includes never before published photos of the company created by photographer RJ Muna as well as several by Marty Sohl. Designed by Company Co-Founder and Creative Director Robert Rosenwasser, the book includes text by Alonzo King. A discussion and book signing with King, Rosenwasser and Muna will follow the performance on Sunday, October 27.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet’s fall home season will feature the company’s 11 dancers: Robb Beresford, David Harvey, Courtney Henry, Ashley Jackson, Babatunji Johnson, Yujin Kim, Michael Montgomery, Caroline Rocher, Jeffrey Van Sciver, Meredith Webster and Kara Wilkes.

About Alonzo King
Alonzo King is a visionary choreographer who collaborates with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists, creating works that draw on diverse sets of deeply rooted cultural traditions and imbue classical ballet with new expressive potential. King has been commissioned to create works for the repertories of companies throughout the world including the Swedish Royal Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Washington Ballet. He has worked extensively in opera, television, and film, and has choreographed works for prima ballerina Natalia Makarova and film star Patrick Swayze. Mr. King has also collaborated with artists such as actor Danny Glover, legendary jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, and the Shaolin Monks of China. Renowned for his skill as a teacher, King has been the guest ballet master for National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Rambert, Ballet West and others.

In 1982, King founded Alonzo King LINES Ballet, which has developed into a world-renowned touring company. Seven years later, he inaugurated the San Francisco Dance Center, which has grown into one of the largest dance facilities on the West Coast. In 2001, King started the LINES Ballet School to nurture and develop the talents of young dancers. Expanding the scope of his educational visions to the college level in 2006, King and LINES Ballet embarked on a partnership with the Dominican University of California, creating the West Coast’s first Joint BFA program in Dance. It is the only Joint BFA program in the country to be led by a living master choreographer.

Alonzo King is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Dance Masters of America, President Award, and the first ever Barney Choreographic Prize from White Bird Dance, which King received in July 2013 and April 2013 respectively. In October 2008 King was honored to receive the 2nd Annual Mayor’s Arts Award by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. In June 2008, King received the Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award, in recognition of his contribution to “moving ballet in a very 21st-century direction.” In 2006, he was recognized as one of the fifty outstanding artists in America by the United States Artists organization, and in 2005, received the Bessie Award for Choreographer/ Creator. He is also the recipient of the NEA Choreographer’s Fellowship, Irvine Fellowship in Dance, National Dance Project and the National Dance Residency Program, as well as five Isadora Duncan Awards. He has also received the Hero Award from Union Bank, the Lehman Award, and the Excellence Award from KGO, and was chosen as the recipient of the San Francisco Foundation’s 2007 Community Leadership Award.

About Colum McCann
Colum McCann was born in Ireland in 1965. He is the author of six novels and two collections of stories. He has been the recipient of many international honors, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. His work has been published in over 35 languages. He lives in New York with his wife, Allison, and their three children. He teaches at the MFA program at Hunter College.

Continue Reading

San Francisco Symphony Launches Season-Long Film Series With A Week Of Hitchcock Presentations, October 30-November 2 In Davies Symphony Hall

Hitchcock films include Vertigo, Psycho, and an evening of excerpts from

To Catch a Thief, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder and North by Northwest,

all accompanied live by the SFS, along with The Lodger with organ accompaniment

The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) introduces a season-long film series beginning October 30 with a week devoted to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic films and their unforgettable scores. Subsequent film presentations in the series include Singin’ in the Rain, A Night at the Oscars—an evening of excerpts from Academy Award-winning films, Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, and Fantasia in Concert, a compilation of the most memorable clips from Disney’s 1940 classic and Fantasia 2000. The San Francisco Symphony performs the scores to these iconic movies while the films are projected on a large screen above the stage.

The San Francisco Symphony launches its first film series during the regular season after overwhelmingly positive audience responses to several similar film presentations over the past few summers, including screenings of The Wizard of Oz and The Matrix with live orchestral accompaniment, and the world premiere of Pixar in Concert, a compilation of music and imagery from Pixar’s thirteen feature films.

To begin the series, the SFS devotes a week of presentations to the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, for whom music played an essential role in the development of his characters, plot, and atmosphere. The Hitchcock Film Week includes full presentations of Psycho, the silent film The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog with organ accompaniment, Vertigo—in a world premiere presentation of the full score performed live—and an evening of excerpts from several of Hitchcock’s other classic movies. Joshua Gersen makes his SFS debut conducting the three orchestral presentations.

Steven Smith, a leading expert on the music of Hitchcock’s most frequent collaborator, Bernard Herrmann, observes of Hitchcock’s use of music, “Hitchcock learned his craft making silent films, and said throughout his career that he avoided making movies that were ‘pictures of people talking.’ Instead, he used sound to heighten emotion, whether through natural sounds without music or through full-blooded scoring.” As the composer with whom Hitchcock collaborated with the most, Herrmann’s music is featured prominently during this week of presentations. “The pairing of a master visualist like Alfred Hitchcock and a composer like Bernard Herrmann, who set out to pull viewers ‘into the drama,’ remains the greatest director-composer partnership in cinema,” Smith states. “Each artist excelled at exploring the dark side of human relationships—especially romantic ones—in ways that blended emotional intensity with formal beauty. For a decade, the partnership was so close that Herrmann could sometimes go against Hitchcock’s instructions—most famously in writing music for Psycho’s shower scene, which Hitchcock originally wanted to play out without score.”

Hitchcock Film Week opens on October 30 with Psycho, considered one of Hitchcock’s greatest films. Special guest Tere Carrubba, Alfred Hitchcock’s granddaughter, introduces the film that evening, and will sign memorabilia and books after the performance.

On October 31, audiences can experience an early realization of Hitchcock’s genius with the presentation of his 1927 silent film The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog. Organist Todd Wilson makes his San Francisco Symphony debut improvising an accompaniment to the film on Davies Symphony Hall’s Rufatti Organ. The Lodger introduces themes and filming techniques that run through much of Hitchcock’s later work, such as the theme of the innocent man on the run, hunted down by a self-righteous society, and the use of ominous camera angles and claustrophobic lighting. While Hitchcock had made two previous films, in later years he would refer to The Lodger as the first true “Hitchcock film.”

The San Francisco Symphony performs the score of Hitchcock’s Vertigo along with the film on November 1, marking the world premiere performance of the full score. The music for Vertigo was also composed by Bernard Herrmann, and Steven Smith notes that in this particular score, “The Wagner-tinged love theme evokes the obsessive desire of James Stewart’s character, and in the exhilarating opening credits, Herrmann’s music and Saul Bass’ visuals swiftly plant us in worlds of irrationality, fear and excitement.” Shot on location here in San Francisco, Vertigo is considered one of the defining works of Hitchcock’s career. One hour prior to the presentation of Vertigo on November 1, Steven Smith will give an informal talk from the Davies Symphony Hall stage to shed light on the working relationship of Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann.

The Hitchcock Film Week concludes on November 2 with a presentation of Hitchcock!—Greatest Hits, in which the SFS performs excerpts along with the respective clips from a number of Hitchcock’s movies. The films included in the evening’s compilation are To Catch a Thief, with music by Lyn Murray; Strangers on a Train and Dial M for Murder, both of whose scores were written by Dimitri Tiomkin; and Vertigo and North by Northwest, scored by Bernard Herrmann. North by Northwest star Eva Marie Saint serves as host for the evening to guide audiences through some of the most famous scenes from Hitchcock’s films, with their unforgettable scores performed live by the Orchestra.

About the Hitchcock Week Performers and Speakers

Joshua Gersen made his conducting debut at age 11 with the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra in Bridgeport, CT, and his professional conducting debut 5 years later, when he led the Greater Bridgeport Symphony in a performance of his own composition, A Symphonic Movement.  He is currently the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, where he serves as the assistant conductor to Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas, and leads the orchestra in various subscription, education, and family concerts.  He is also the Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony, a post he began in September 2012. He has attended numerous conducting workshops and summer festivals, most recently the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival in the summers of 2010 and 2011, where he worked such distinguished conductors as Larry Rachleff, Hugh Wolff, and Robert Spano.  As a result of winning the 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize, he served as the festival’s assistant conductor for the 2012 summer season. Mr. Gersen is a graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller.

Beyond his conducting interests, Gersen is also an avid composer.  In 2006, Gersen finished his work at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in composition studying with Michael Gandolfi. He has had works performed by the New Mexico Symphony, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and frequently with the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra. His work as a composer has also led to an interest in conducting contemporary music.  He has conducted several world premieres and collaborated with such established composers as John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Steven Mackey and his teacher Michael Gandolfi.

Todd Wilson is head of the organ department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Director of Music and Worship at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Wilson has been heard in concert in many major cities throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. In addition, he is Curator of the E.M. Skinner pipe organ at Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra, and House Organist for the newly-restored Aeolian organ at the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio. Mr. Wilson was previously director of music and organist at the Church of the Covenant in Cleveland for nineteen years, and from 1989 through 1993 he was Head of the Organ Department at Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music. Prior to these positions, he served as organist and choirmaster of the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, New York. Mr. Wilson received his bachelor’s and master’s of music degrees from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied organ with Wayne Fisher and piano with John Quincy Bass. He received further coaching in organ repertory with Russell Saunders at the Eastman School of Music.

Producer and journalist Steven C. Smith is the author of the biography A Heart at Fire’s Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann, winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. The book was the primary research source for the Academy Award-nominated documentary Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann. A four-time Emmy nominee and five-time Telly Award winner, he has produced over 200 documentaries for such television series as A&E Biography and AMC Backstory, including profiles of Steven Spielberg and Marlon Brando. Smith has provided DVD audio commentaries for such films as Vertigo, Jane Eyre and The Day the Earth Stood Still, and written about film music for The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly and Newsday.

With a career spanning more than six decades, Eva Marie Saint first starred opposite Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront, for which she won an Academy Award.  In addition to North by Northwest, she went on to star in several other movies including A Hatful Of Rain, Raintree County, Exodus, The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!, All Fall Down, Grand Prix, Loving, Nothing In Common and I Dreamed Of Africa. Her recent films include Because of Winn-Dixie, Don’t Come Knocking, Superman Returns and the upcoming Winter’s Tale. Saint’s television appearances include roles on Frasier, Moonlighting, Time To Say Goodbye and The Last Days Of Patton.  She has earned four Emmy nominations for her work in Philco TV Playhouse, Our Town, with Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman, Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Taxi!!! With Martin Sheen and How The West Was Won.  In 1990, Saint won an Emmy for her performance in the NBC mini-series People Like Us. In theater, she has starred in the Broadway presentations of Trip to Bountiful, The Lincoln Mask and Duet for One.  Saint and her husband director Jeffrey Hayden produced the PBS television documentaries Primary Colors: The Story of Corita, which she narrated, and Children in America’s Schools, for which they won an Emmy.

Continue Reading

Pablo Heras-Casado Leads The SF Symphony And Chorus, Leila Josefowicz, And Guest Vocal Soloists In Two-Week Festival Pairing Music By Thomas Adès And Mendelssohn October 3-13 At Davies Symphony Hall

Festival program is inspired by Shakespearean and literary themes, dance, and the Baroque

Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, whose compelling command of the repertoire ranges from early music through core classical works and new music, returns to the SF Symphony to lead the Orchestra and Chorus with violinist Leila Josefowicz and guest vocal soloists in a two-week Mendelssohn-Thomas Adès festival October 3-13 at Davies Symphony Hall. The festival’s musical focus explores and juxtaposes the works of the two composers in orchestral and chamber settings of music influenced by Shakespeare, dance, literature, and the artists’ mutual fascination with the Baroque. Thomas Adès performs two of his own works and music by Ravel at the piano and harpsichord in an October 3 chamber concert with SF Symphony musicians.

Week 1: October 3-6

The festival’s opening orchestral program, beginning October 3 at 2 pm, features the first SFS performances of Adès’ Three Studies from Couperin and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, Scottish on a program with Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, performed by Leila Josefowicz. Illuminating Mendelssohn and Adès’ shared enthusiasm for the Baroque, the program also includes the first SFS performances of Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Overture and Passacaille from Armide (1686).

Also on October 3, at 8 pm, Thomas Adès will perform two of his compositions, Piano Quintet, and Sonata da Caccia for Oboe, Horn, and Harpsichord, at the keyboard with members of the Orchestra in a chamber concert at Davies Symphony Hall. Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp and Ravel’s Chansons madécasses, with Adès on piano, round out the program.

Week 2: October 10-13

In a program inspired by William Shakespeare and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Heras-Casado conducts the SF Symphony and Chorus with a cast of soloists including soprano Audrey Luna (Ariel), mezzo-soprano Charlotte Hellekant, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, tenor Alek Shrader, and baritone Rod Gilfry in the Orchestra’s first performances of scenes from The Tempest, Adès’ acclaimed second opera (his first was Powder Her Face). Luna sang the role of Ariel at the Metropolitan Opera in 2012 under Adès’ direction. The program also includes Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the first SFS performances of Die erste Walpurgisnacht.

Hellekant’s SFS debut and only previous performances were in 1992 under Conductor Laureate and then-Music Director Herbert Blomstedt, performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. Luna, Leonard, Shrader and Gilfry will all make their SFS debuts with these performances.

About Pablo Heras-Casado


Pablo Heras-Casado enjoys an unusually varied conducting career, encompassing the great symphonic and operatic repertoire, historically-informed performance, and cutting-edge contemporary scores. In 2011 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York, beginning a four-year term, including an annual concert season at Carnegie Hall. He made his first conducting appearances with the SF Symphony in 2010, conducting the music of Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Liszt, and Kurtág. He returned in 2012 and 2013, with programs encompassing Stravinsky, Prokofiev, de Falla, Ravel, Liszt, Magnus Lindberg, and Luigi Dallapiccola.

In the 2013-14 season, Heras-Casado debuts with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, as well as at the Metropolitan Opera, where he conducts Verdi’s Rigoletto. He returns to Carnegie Hall and the Caramoor Festival with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at the New Year’s concerts of Staatskapelle Berlin. Other highlights, in addition to his performances with the San Francisco Symphony, include engagements with Münchner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Ensemble Intercontemporain. He also tours with Freiburger Barockorchester and guest conducts a series of concert and opera performances at the Mariinsky Theatre.

This month, Harmonia Mundi releases Heras-Casado’s recording of Schubert’s Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 with Freiburger Barockorchester. A second album, featuring Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2, Lobgesang, follows in March 2014. Also this fall is the release of a disc on Sony featuring Plácido Domingo in baritone arias by Verdi with the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, conducted by Heras-Casado.

Recognized also for his work with contemporary music, Heras-Casado is a laureate of the 2007 Lucerne Festival conductors’ forum. In summer 2013, he returned for the third time to co-direct the festival’s Academy at the personal invitation of Pierre Boulez.

Heras-Casado is the holder of the Medalla de Honor of the Rodriguez Acosta Foundation, and in February 2012 was awarded with the Golden Medal of Merit by the Council of Granada, his hometown, of which he is also an Honorary Ambassador. His 2011 DVD recording of Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny from Teatro Real received the Diapason d’Or.

About Thomas Adès



Renowned as both a composer and a performer, Adès works regularly with the world’s leading opera companies and festivals. He has conducted the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC, Finnish and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestras, the London Sinfonietta, and many others. The SF Symphony co-commissioned and performed his work Polaris with original video from Tal Rosner during its 2011-12 Centennial season. The Orchestra and Leila Josefowicz performed Adès’ Violin Concerto (Concentric Paths) in 2009.

Last season, Adès made his Metropolitan Opera debut both as a conductor and as a composer, leading the Met premiere of his 2004 masterpiece, The Tempest, in a new production by Robert Lepage that was also seen internationally as part of “The Met Live in HD” cinemacast series. He also led the Boston Symphony in performances of his piano concerto In Seven Days and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 – both with Kirill Gerstein – as well as Sibelius’s Sixth Symphony and Luonnotar with soprano Dawn Upshaw. During the 2013/2014 season, Adès returns to the Boston Symphony to conduct a program of Mendelssohn, Ives, Franck, and his own Polaris.

Adès’ first opera, Powder Her Face, has been performed all around the world, was televised by Channel Four, and is available on a DVD and an EMI CD. Most of the composer’s music has been recorded by EMI, with whom Adès has a contract as composer, pianist and conductor. Recently released to outstanding reviews, The Tempest is also available on an EMI CD. The disc was awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’année and Adès won the 2010 Classical Brit Award for Composer of the Year.

Adès’ most recent works include In Seven Days, a collaboration with video artist Tal Rosner, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and London’s Southbank Centre, and Lieux Retrouvés, a work for cello and piano written for Steven Isserlis and commissioned by Aldeburgh Festival and Wigmore Hall. Adès’ music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious Grawemeyer Award (in 2000, for Asyla), of which he is the youngest ever recipient.

About Leila Josefowicz

An outstanding advocate and champion of contemporary music for the violin, Leila Josefowicz is a frequent collaborator of several leading composers, and works with orchestras and conductors at the highest level around the world. She has also been awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, joining prominent scientists, writers and musicians who have made unique contributions to contemporary life.

Violin concertos have been written especially for Leila Josefowicz by Colin Matthews, Steven Mackey and Esa-Pekka Salonen, while John Adams and Luca Francesconi have recently been commissioned to write new pieces for her. The latter will be given its world premiere by Josefowicz in February 2014 with Susanna Mälkki and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The Salonen concerto was first performed by Josefowicz with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by the composer, before subsequent performances throughout Europe and North America. She also gave the premiere of Matthews’ Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra before performing the piece with the Orchestre national de Lyon and the BBC Symphony and Finnish Radio Symphony orchestras.

During the 2013-14, season Leila Josefowicz performs John Adams’ Violin Concerto with the Sydney Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer. Elsewhere, she appears with the BBC Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony and Toronto Symphony orchestras, the Orchestra della Scala, and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai. In addition to her San Francisco Symphony performances, Josefowicz also has engagements this season with the Chicago Symphony and Baltimore Symphony orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and National Symphony Orchestra. Josefowicz also appears in recital at London’s Milton Court Concert Hall and Handelsbeurs Concertzaal in Belgium.

Continue Reading


Weekend Two: David Serva
Celebrating over 50 Years in Flamenco                                              

This concert is a celebration of David Serva’s foundational influence on the flamenco community of the Bay Area. A Bay Area native who has lived and worked in Spain as a professional flamenco guitarist for most of his life, David Serva has built a singular style on the artistic legacy of his maestro, Gypsy guitarist Diego del Gastor (1908-1973). Read more…

David will be joined on stage by a group of extraordinary musicians and dancers from Spain including Jose Galvez “El Duende”, Kina Mendez, Javier Heredia and Luis de la Tota.  


Friday, September 27 8pm Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz    TICKETS


*Paella on the Patio: street-style paella by Ñora Spanish Cuisine available before the show on patio outside of Kuumbwa, Santa Cruz, Friday, 9/27 (No Reservations)


Sunday, September 29 8pm The Freight & Salvage, Berkeley      TICKETS






Baile Workshops with Javier Heredia: Berkeley, Saturday, September 28, 3:30pm Ashkenaz      REGISTER

Palmas with Luis de la Tota: Berkeley, Saturday September 28, Casa Latina Bakery                  REGISTER

Guitarra with Jose Galvez: Berkeley: Saturday, September 28, 2:30pm, Private Home, Oakland   REGISTER

Cante with Jose Galvez: Berkeley Sunday, Septemer 29, 1pm, Private Home, Oakland                REGISTER

Private Guitar Classes with David Serva: October 1-19  email



Special Event: Flamenco Project
A Slideshow & Roundtable Discussion
Vintage images from the acclaimed collection edited by guitarist photographer Steve Kahn will spark discussion among a group of artists and flamenco aficionados who lived in Spain in the 1960s & 70s. The rare, never before seen film “Flamencología” will also be shown. Read more…


Panelists include Steve Kahn, David Serva, Paul Shalmy, Jill Bacán, Mica Graña and Kenny Parker.


Thursday, September 26  7pm La Peña, Berkeley  TICKETS

Weekend Three: Gema Moneo                         
Rising Star of Gypsy Flamenco Dance from Jerez de la Frontera

Gema Moneo is from the legendary Moneo clan of Gypsy flamenco singers and guitarists in Jerez de la Frontera. Niece of the famed singer El Torta, she grew up in the middle of an ongoing flamenco fiesta with constant singing and dancing at home and at family gatherings. At the age of 18 she joined Farruquito’s company and has appeared with him all over Spain and at festivals including the Bienal de Flamenco in Sevilla. Last year Gema debuted in the US with the all-star ensemble led by Diego del Morao, Fiesta Jerez at Festival Flamenco Gitano USA. Read more…

Gema will be joined on stage with a group of artists from Jerez de la Frontera including Jose Gálvez “El Duende” and El Quini.

GEMA MONEO        Friday, October 4 8pm Brava Theater, San Francisco              TICKETS

PERFORMANCES:   Saturday, October 5 8pm Thrust Stage, Berkeley Rep.           TICKETS

Sunday, October 6 8pm Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz    TICKETS




Baile Workshops with GEMA MONEO: Berkeley, Saturday, October 5, 3:30pm Ashkenaz      REGISTER

Palmas with Luis de la Tota: Berkeley, Saturday October 5, 11am, Casa Latina Bakery          REGISTER

Cante with El Quini de Jerez: Berkeley: Saturday, October 5, 1pm, Private Home, Oakland     REGISTER

Guitarra with Jose Galvez: Berkeley Saturday, October 5, 2:00pm, Private Home, Oakland      REGISTER



Continue Reading

Z Space and Joe Goode Performance Group present the world premiere of Hush

Following the success of their 2012 co-production, When We Fall Apart, Z Space and Joe Goode Performance Group (JGPG) are proud to present the world premiere of Hush. A dance theater collaboration with sound effects artist Sudhu Tewari and musician/composer Ben Juodvalkis, Hush dramatizes the stories of six interlocking characters who are alternately silenced and silencer. Hush runs from Thursday, September 26 to Saturday, October 5, 2013 at Z Space in San Francisco.

Choreographer Joe Goode drew inspiration for Hush from personal stories gathered from members of his audience and community. The search for one’s individual voice as a figure of self-discovery and self-empowerment stood out as a recurring theme, and Goode chose six of the stories as material for his latest work.

The theme of finding one’s voice takes on atmospheric depth in a sound installation by Sudhu Tewari and Ben Juodvalkis. Tewari specializes in creating electro-acoustic sound art from the remains of discarded stereo equipment, kinetic sculptures, and other devices. For Hush he uses techniques from the world of movie sound effects – techniques known as Foley art – to create a many-textured ambient environment for the performers.

Hush is Juodvalkis’ second musical commission for JGPG; he composed and performed original music for Goode’s When We Fall Apart. A member of San Francisco’s rock band Battlehooch, Juodvalkis has composed original music for a number of dance companies including Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Company C Contemporary Ballet and Oklahoma City Ballet. Both Tewari and Juodvalkis will perform live each evening.

Tewari and Juodvalkis’ technologically produced sound creates a lush backdrop for Goode’s organic movement style and the performers’ narratives, both spoken and sung. Hush also features an original set design by Erik Flatmo.

JGPG company dancers performing in Hush are Felipe Barrueto-Cabello, Melecio Estrella, Damara Vita Ganley, Jessica Swanson, Andrew Ward and Alexander Zendzian.


About the Joe Goode Performance Group
JGPG’s innovative form of dance-theater is accessible, personal, and explores unabashed emotional terrain with humor and honesty. Using text, voice, and high velocity movement, JGPG blurs the line between theater and dance to make work that is thoughtful, groundbreaking, and deeply felt. JGPG believes in the power of theater to create a transformational experience. The work touches on social issues-including gender, race and sexuality-with the idea of illuminating and investigating in order to stimulate questions and conversations. And perhaps remind the viewer of his/her own humanity, however flailing or imperfect that might be.

Where a piece like The Maverick Strain uses both camp and poetry to illuminate the resilience of the outsider, their much-lauded collaboration with avant-garde puppeteer Basil Twist in Wonderboy tells a tale of searching for love and belonging by using a “queer” puppet-boy in the central role. Their installation work, Traveling Light, muses on the necessity of shedding the confines of excess in order to move forward, while the award-winning dance/play, Deeply There, examines the havoc brought on by the AIDS crisis. The company has made over 25 works since its inception and has a devoted following in its home city of San Francisco. While maintaining a robust touring schedule domestically, the company has also performed in Europe, Canada, Africa and the Middle East.

The Joe Goode Performance Group has received multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, SF Arts Commission, and the California Arts Council, as well as receiving the Isadora Duncan Dance Award (“Izzie”) for both choreography and performance and the New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”) for choreography.

About Z Space

Founded in 1993, Z Space is a hub for artists and audiences to revel in the creation, development, and production of outstanding new work. Z Space commissions, develops, and produces a full season of new works from a variety of disciplines including theater, dance, music, performance art, and new media. Z Space fosters opportunities around the nation for these works and for their Bay Area artists. The organization engages diverse audiences through direct interactions with the process, the projects, and the artists. Since 2009 Z Space has managed and operated a 13,000 sq/ft, 229-seat performing arts venue and gallery: home to more than 40 weeks of public multidisciplinary arts programming annually. In March 2013 Z Space opened Z Below, a 2,100 sq/ft 88-seat second stage ideal for the development of new work that will allow the organization to provide more rehearsal and performance options for its companies in residence.


Continue Reading

Beauty Revealed: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting (September 25—December 22, 2013)

Film Archive (BAM/PFA) proudly presents Beauty Revealed: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting, on view September 25 through December 22, 2013. Featuring nearly thirty works, this exhibition is the first to bring together a genre of Chinese painting known as meiren hua, or paintings of beautiful women. Situating the works within the social and economic contexts of the High Qing period (mid-seventeenth to the late eighteenth century), the exhibition challenges the prevailing opinion that these subjects are high status women—either members of the court or other privileged women. By reading the visual codes embedded in the images,Beauty Revealed instead makes the case that these women are courtesans.

Borrowing seldom-before-utilized techniques from the West, including one-point perspective and heavy opaque colors, the artists, many of them unknown professional painters who painted on demand and for a fee, pursue a realism not previously seen in Chinese painting. Rather than the willowy beauty shown in a garden setting or surrounded by family among luxurious furnishings typical of earlier periods, these paintings generally feature a single, near life-size figure, often in a brazenly unladylike posture. Their garments tend to be low cut and transparent, and their bound feet exposed. For example, the direct gaze of the woman in Putting out the Lamp, addressed to the (presumably male) intended viewer, offers a suggestive undercurrent of greater intimacy, one of the hallmarks of this genre. Other codes of accessibility include the woman’s relaxed posture with right leg drawn up under left, the open sleeves that reveal her arms, and the highly stylized extension of her right hand in a controlled gesture reaching to snuff out the light. Her expression engages the audience in a way never before seen in Chinese figure painting.

The backdrops further draw viewers into the women’s world, conveying significant information about their wealth, taste, learning, and accomplishments. The women are depicted surrounded by everyday objects packed with erotic symbolism. The art has an immediate impact, inviting viewers to enter and enjoy another world, one perhaps longed for and unattainable.

In addition to several paintings from BAM/PFA’s own collection, Beauty Revealedfeatures loans from institutions and private collections from around the U.S. and Europe. It is organized into distinct sections that explore the intimate life of women within the garden, home, bath, and brothel. Curated by Senior Curator for Asian Art Julia M. White in collaboration with UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus James Cahill, the exhibition is accompanied by an exquisitely illustrated catalog with essays by Cahill, White, and noted historian Sarah Handler. The catalog entries are by Chen Fongfong, with contributions by Nancy Berliner and White.

Tours in both Mandarin and English, an illustrated talk by Cahill, a conversation between by Judith Zeitlin (University of Chicago) and Margaret Francesca Rosenthal (University of Southern California) about courtesan cultures in China and Italy, a presentation by Handler on furnishings depicted in the meiren paintings, a performance by internationally renowned musician Wang Fei on the qin instrument, and other related events will provide visitors with additional opportunities to explore and re-evaluate this previously misunderstood genre of Chinese painting.

Continue Reading

Two SFMOMA Photography Exhibitions Will Travel to Six California Communities, Deepening Engagement with Modern and Contemporary Art throughout the State

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presents a statewide tour of two exhibitions drawn from its internationally acclaimed photography collection that will travel to six cities throughout California. Venues include Bakersfield, Riverside, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, and Stockton, with an additional location to be announced. Launching in September 2013, an exhibition tour of this scale within California is unprecedented in the museum’s history, providing greater access to its collection and enabling SFMOMA to collaborate with museums throughout the state.

“It is a tremendous privilege to make these photographs available to a wide range of new audiences and forge fruitful relationships with institutions throughout the state,” says Corey Keller, SFMOMA curator of photography, who is organizing the tour. “We are truly grateful to our sponsors, particularly The James Irvine Foundation, for their generosity and foresight in making this extraordinary opportunity possible.” Each venue’s exhibition costs are generously funded by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation and by Bank of America.

The tour’s exhibitions—Photography in Mexico from the Collection of SFMOMA and The Provoke Era: Japanese Photography from the Collection of SFMOMA—are a part of the museum’s extensive array of off-site programming taking place while its building is temporarily closed for expansion construction from the summer of 2013 until early 2016. Featuring the photographic traditions of Mexico and Japan, the exhibitions highlight particular strengths of SFMOMA’s holdings and explore themes resonant with California’s diverse communities. The tour’s first exhibition, Photography in Mexico, opens at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa on September 28, 2013.

SFMOMA is distinguished as one of the first museums in the United States to recognize photography as an art form, and for more than 75 years, it has been home to innovative scholarship about the medium as well as in-depth exhibitions of the practice. Drawn from SFMOMA’s collection of more than 16,000 photographs—its largest collection of objects—this statewide tour of exhibitions expands opportunities for the public to encounter and understand the history of photography.

Photography in Mexico from the Collection of SFMOMA

SFMOMA has a longstanding commitment to collecting and presenting works of Latin American modernism. Featuring approximately 100 photographs, Photography in Mexico reveals a distinctively rich and diverse tradition of photography in Mexico. The show begins with works from the medium’s first artistic flowering in the wake of the Mexican Revolution (1910–20) and goes on to explore the explosion of the illustrated press at midcentury; the documentary investigations of cultural traditions and urban politics that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s; and more recent considerations of urban life and globalization. Photography in Mexico includes work by Lola Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Carrillo, Alejandro Cartagena, Graciela Iturbide, Elsa Medina, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Edward Weston, and Mariana Yampolsky, among others. Many of the photographs in the exhibition are recent gifts from Los Angeles collectors Dan Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser.

Photography in Mexico will travel to the Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa (September 28, 2013–January 12, 2014); Bakersfield Museum of Art (September 11, 2014–January 4, 2015); and the Haggin Museum, Stockton (dates TBD).

The Provoke Era: Japanese Photography from the Collection of SFMOMA

SFMOMA is home to the largest collection of Japanese photography in the United States and has been actively acquiring the work of internationally recognized artists including Masahisa Fukase, Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, and Shōmei Tōmatsu since the 1970s. The Provoke Era begins with the avant-garde tradition that emerged in Tokyo in the 1960s and 1970s, and explores its influence on the diverse photographic practice that continues today. The tumultuous period following World War II proved fertile ground for a generation of Japanese photographers who responded to societal upheaval by creating a new visual language dubbed “Are, Bure, Boke”—rough, blurred, and out of focus. Named for the magazine Provoke, which sought to break the rules of traditional photography, this exhibition traces how Japanese photographers responded to their country’s shifting social and political atmosphere.

The Provoke Era will travel to the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento (October 12, 2014–February 1, 2015) and the California Museum of Photography, UC Riverside (March 28–August 15, 2015).

The California tour of Photography in Mexico and The Provoke Era is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The presentation of these exhibitions is made possible by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Major support is provided by Bank of America.

Photography at SFMOMA

SFMOMA’s renowned photography program traces the medium’s transformation from a scientific development in the 1930s to one of today’s most publicly accessible art forms. Creating a dynamic forum for photography, SFMOMA leads the field with groundbreaking publications, collection stewardship, and landmark exhibitions. The museum has continually collected and presented important artists in great depth and context, highlighting its strengths related to California and the West, the European avant-garde, postwar Japan, and American Modernism.

Earlier this year, SFMOMA premiered the most comprehensive retrospective of Garry Winogrand, featuring more than 300 photographs—many of which have never been seen or printed before. In addition, the museum recently announced promised gifts of 473 photographs, amplifying its holdings of such major photographers as Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Daido Moriyama, and Shōmei Tōmatsu. As SFMOMA undergoes its current expansion program, the museum continues to invest in its photography resources with plans to establish one of the largest and most sophisticated photographic destinations of any museum in the world.

Continue Reading

Endless Summer Cinema


Harold and Maude, October 4, 2013

Free outdoor movies on September 27 and October 4!

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) has announced that it will host a pair of free outdoor movies adjacent to the site of BAM/PFA’s future home in Downtown Berkeley on consecutive Fridays in late September/early October. Copresented by the Downtown Berkeley Association, Endless Summer Cinema will feature a pair of seventies cult classics set in the Bay Area—Berkeley-based director Philip Kaufman’s intelligently creepy allegory of Watergate-era paranoia, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Hal Ashby’s darkly funny, but tender tale of an unlikely cross-generational romance, Harold and Maude.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) will have audiences squirming on September 27. A remake of the 1956 film about the perils of mass conformity, it follows a health inspector (Donald Sutherland) who uncovers the existence of a growing species of “pod people” inhabiting the bodies of human clones hiding among us in plain sight. Audiences will seek the embrace of their dearest neighbors not out of fear, but tenderness during our October 4 program, Harold and Maude (1971). The story of a death-obsessed teen (Bud Cort) and his romantic devotion to a fun-loving septuagenarian (Ruth Gordon) is a touching black comedy that only gets better with age.

“We ‘re excited to present another series of free outdoor screenings across the street from our future home, especially with construction now fully underway,“ says BAM/PFA Director Lawrence Rinder. “In just a couple of years, engaging events like this will be an almost daily opportunity in our new downtown location.”

”We are delighted to be partnering with BAM/PFA,” adds DBA CEO John Caner. “And we think the Crescent lawn overlooking the new downtown BAM/PFA site will be a marvelous setting. And what better timing than during our wonderful extended Bay Area summer?”

Endless Summer Cinema events will take place on the Crescent lawn at the West Gate of the UC Berkeley campus, where Oxford and Center Streets meet. Shorts and other surprises begin at 7:30 p.m. for each event, with the feature films screening at 8 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs, and arrive early and eat at one of the many downtown restaurants. Also, Bittersweet Cafe ( and Cakes and Purls ( will be offering tasty treats and drinks on the Crescent prior to and during each screening.

Endless Summer Cinema Calendar
Friday, September 27, 7:30 p.m.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Philip Kaufman (U.S., 1978)
Bay Area paranoia abounds in this remake of the 1956 classic cloner, where extraterrestrial “pod people” are breeding conformity in a culture immersed in the unconventional. Filmed in San Francisco, with Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, and Jeff Goldblum. Preceded by Hardware Wars, a riotous mock movie trailer, featuring the galactic antics of Fluke Starbucker, Ham Salad, Darph Nader, Princess Anne Droid, and Augie “Ben” Doggie.

Friday, October 4, 7:30 p.m.
Harold and Maude Hal Ashby (U.S., 1971)
This cult favorite, a dark comedy from the counter-culture (shot in the Bay Area) with music by Cat Stevens, follows death-obsessed Bud Cort, a twenty-year-old who falls for the ageless charms of seventy-nine-year-old Ruth Gordon, a quirky anarchist who has thrown inhibition to the wind. Preceded by Quasi at the Quackadero, an award-winning psychedelic hand-drawn animation about a slightly demented duck who visits a zany amusement park.

Continue Reading

CAN YOU DIG IT Begins at Marsh Berkeley on Friday

Don Reed’s autobiographical journey CAN YOU DIG IT? The ‘60s – Back Down East 14th will move to The Marsh Berkeley, where is will start a limited engagement September 14 through October 27, 2013. From the Beatles to the Black Panthers, James Brown to The Jerk, and MLK to JFK to the KKK – CAN YOU DIG IT? The ‘60s – Back Down East 14th offers a view of the 1960s through the eyes of an awkward kid who’s just trying to fit in. Reed, an Oakland-born comedian, is currently the opening act/warm-up comedian for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The third installment in Reed’s hilarious coming-of-age trilogy, CAN YOU DIG  IT? Performs Saturdays at 8:30pm and Sundays at 7pm in the The Marsh Berkeley Theater Stage, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. For tickets, the public may visit or call 415-282-3055 between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Called “Flat out hilarious!” by KQED and “Remarkable. Terrific. Very funny,” as well as “Unexpectedly touching” by the San Francisco Chronicle, CAN YOU DIG IT? The ‘60s – Back Down East 14th rewinds to the ‘60s, going back to young Reed’s formative years in Oakland grammar school when the family was whole – that is before his father became a pimp and his mother reluctantly became a Jehovah’s Witness. As the plot unfolds, a series of wild, wonderful, scary, amazing, unnecessary, cool, moving, unbelievably true stories are revealed. 

The first installment in Reed’s trilogy, East 14th, traced the actor-comedian’s irregular teen years through the ‘70s (his stepfather forced him to become a Jehovah’s Witness, and his biological father was a pimp). East 14th went on to become one of the Bay Area’s longest running solo shows, and also ran Off-Broadway. The second installment, The Kipling Hotel, followed Reed’s collegiate years at UCLA through the ‘80s, as he struggled to supplement a partial scholarship by working as a live-in waiter at an unforgettable retirement hotel.

Reed, a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Nominee and NAACP Double Nominee for Best Actor and Best Playwright, has performed, written, and directed in film, television, and theatre all over the country. His 1991 segment on HBO’s Robert Townsend & His Partners in Crime, which featured a variety of up-and-coming comedians, was well-received and led to many recurring and guest starring roles on various television programs. In addition to performing as the opening act/warm-up comedian for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Reed has opened for Tony Award winner Tommy Tune, and has worked on programs including Spiderman, The Flintstones, ER, Frasier, Friends, Scrubs, Will & Grace, Law & Order, and Saturday Night Live. Reed has written promos for the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards and the Olympics. Additionally, he has written and developed screenplays for Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule and Maverick Filmworks. Reed is currently a board member of the thriving 51Oakland foundation keeping music and the arts alive in Oakland Public Schools.

Continue Reading

The 18th Annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival

Buoyed by record-breaking crowds every year and ever-increasing corporate support, this year’s 18th Annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival ( on Saturday & Sunday, September 14 & 15 takes place in the midst of an unprecedented focus on San Francisco Bay. Occurring during the final week of America’s Cup sail boat racing and in the shadow of the newly completed Bay Bridge eastern span, this year’s Festival, also caps a successful fundraising effort including new major sponsorship from Raytheon Corporation (

“This Festival is the largest family friendly event in Northern California,” said Linda Cheu, Festival Director of the California Dragon Boat Association that sponsors the event. “Raytheon’s support this year is a perfect compliment to an event so focused on youth participation, especially with Raytheon’s commitment to math and science education.”

Raytheon will be sponsoring the Raytheon Math Moves U area within Dragon Land, the children’s pavilion at the Festival, featuring a series of interactive math-oriented activities for kids.

“Raytheon is supporting this year’s festival to excite San Francisco area youth about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers,” said Christine Shimizu, Vice President of Information Technology for Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services business. “We are keenly aware that investing in math and science education is critically important for a strong economy.”

Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 91 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

This year’s Festival features several an unprecedented number of novice teams, representing a wide range of corporations such as Google, Wells Fargo, KPMG, AT&T, and PG&E, hospitals such as Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health’s Palo Alto Medical Foundation, San Francisco General, St. Mary’s Medical Center, and Chinese Hospital, and an array of community serving organizations including schools, labor unions, and other non-profits. There will also be dozens of visiting teams from around the United States and Canada.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee will help kick-off the event on Saturday as he visits the teams, including one, “the Golden Serpents,” representing City Hall and ChinaSF, the Mayor’s China business initiative. Both days of the Festival feature racing from 8am – 5pm, and an on-land Festival of Dragon Boat cultural and related activities from 10am – 5pm. Entrance to the Festival is free and open to the public, as is viewing of the races. The festival provides an exciting array of activities off the water as well, from food trucks to entertainment to children’s activities and is a very family friendly event.

Cheu notes that dragon boating has continued to grow in popularity throughout the country – and world — citing as evidence the growing number of international competitors.

“The California Dragon Boat Association again expects record attendance in all divisions this year,” said Dave Chen, President of the California Dragon Boat Association and also a longtime dragon boat paddler. “It’s going to be another great weekend of good, hard racing, excellent entertainment and food, and great times on and off the water!”

In 1996 a handful of paddlers came together with the vision to build an organization to foster the growth and development of dragon boating in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each had little experience in starting up a non-profit organization most were relatively new to the sport themselves. With only commitment and their faith in dragon boating becoming a great activity for the community they moved forward to promote a sport people knew little about in an area already saturated with team sports.

So, what exactly is Dragon Boating?

For those unfamiliar with the sport, dragon boating simply put, is a boat of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steers person paddling to cross the finish faster than their competition. It’s a team sport in its purest form that encompasses the elements of power, speed, synchronization and endurance.

With its beginnings in Southern China, dragon boating today is the fastest growing international team water sport. Each year, race festivals are held around the world in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States, one of the largest festivals in the North America is held right here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The appeal to dragon boating is mainly contributed to the sport’s ability to accommodate a wide spectrum of skill levels ranging from novice to competitive,” Chen explains. “At the novice and recreational level, teams often form as a means of social outlet, team building and an alternative means of exercise. For the spectator, the true display of the sport’s intensity and skill is witnessed in the competitive ranks.”

Dragon boat racing is one of the earliest known forms of aquatic competition and is celebrated at festivals and races throughout the world. This mythical celebration is a symbol of Chinese culture and spirit and is one of the three largest festivals in that country, with its roots going back over 2,000 years.

Legend has it that Qu Yuan, a scholar and advisor to the emperor of the Chu Kingdom, jumped into the Mei Lo (Mi Luo) River in despair and protest against government corruption. Local fishermen raced out in their boats to save him. They beat drums and pounded their paddles on the river’s waters and threw rice dumplings wrapped in silk into the river to distract the water dragons and keep them from eating from Qu Yuan’s body. Dragon boating evolved from the re-enactment of this legend at annual festivals.

After 18 years, the California Dragon Boat Association is now the largest dragon boating organization in the Bay Area and organizes one of the largest competitive dragon boat festivals in the United States. In addition, the Association oversees the largest high school and college dragon boat program in the nation.

“No one who has discovered dragon boating – either on the water or as an on land volunteer leaves unchanged,” says Cheu. “Only recently are people outside of Asia beginning to see and experience the magic team and community building aspects of this ancient sport.”

Continue Reading

America’s Cup Race Jury Decision Makes Oracle Team USA Underdog in Most Contested America’s Cup in History


Oracle Team USA Now Is The Underdog in Most Heated America's Cup in History


An international jury has levied the harshest penalties in the 162-year history of the America’s Cup, docking defending champion Oracle Team USA two points in the finals against Emirates Team Zealand and expelling a key sailor.

The penalties announced against the syndicate Tuesday are for illegally modifying prototype boats in warmup regattas last year and earlier this year.

Oracle Team USA must win 11 races to retain the silver trophy. Team New Zealand must still win nine races in the series, which starts Saturday on San Francisco Bay.

Dirk de Ridder, who trims the wing sail, is barred from sailing in the regatta, and two shore crew members also have been expelled. Grinder Matt Mitchell has been barred from the first four races.

Oracle Team USA also was fined $250,000.

“The rules infractions involved only a few of our 130 team members, and were done without the knowledge of either our team’s management or the skippers who were driving the boats,” said team CEO Russell Coutts in a statement. “While we disagree with the unprecedented penalties imposed by the Jury, we have no choice but to make the necessary changes to personnel on our race boat and do our best to use the next four days for the new team to practice and get ready for the start of the 34th America’s Cup.”

The scenario creates the most hotly contested America’s Cup race in the storied history of the sport, clearly placing the Oracle Team USA as the underdog in the series against Emirates Team Zealand.  Despite the stupidity of Team USA members for participating in the boat weighting affair, the hard lesson learned has created a more than healthy rivalry with the Kiwi team.

The Kiwi team and the New Zealand media may have overplayed their hand and protested too much, creating an animosity with the American team.  American’s fight best when they are down, and they are assuredly down now, having lost three members of their team and two match points.

The New Zealander team has been together for four years and now the Oracle Team USA has only been selected and together for four days.  That’s quite a contrast, and, combined with the jury’s penalties, puts them in a fight, win or die position.  And, it also adds excitement and a new angle to what has been, up until now, a rather lackluster sporting event in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hand it to Larry Ellison. Even when his team screws up, they make the best and most exciting things out of it.

Continue Reading

West Coast Premier of Zosha Di Castri’s Lineage, The First New Voices Commission



Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) will conduct the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in the West Coast premiere of Zosha Di Castri’s New Voices commission Lineage and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 3 September 11 and 14 at Davies Symphony Hall and September 12 in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. Yefim Bronfman joins the Orchestra for performances of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 at these concerts.

Composer Zosha Di Castri

New Voices is a new creative partnership between MTT, the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony, and music publisher Boosey & Hawkes that commissions an emerging composer annually and offers them further development of these new works at the New World Symphony as well as guidance in publishing from Boosey & Hawkes. New Voices commissions are premiered by Michael Tilson Thomas with the New World Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony.  The New Voices project began in May 2012 and Zosha Di Castri is the inaugural recipient.  Her work Lineage had its world premiere at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach on April 20, 2013.


Zosha Di Castri is a Canadian composer and pianist. She is currently finishing her doctoral studies in composition at Columbia University, where she also teaches composition, electronic music, and music history. Her work has been performed in Canada, the US, and Europe by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie, L’Orchestre de la Francophonie, the NEM, JACK Quartet, L’Orchestre national de Lorraine, members of the L.A. Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Talea Ensemble. Di Castri has participated in residencies at the Banff Center, Domaine Forget, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne’s Forum, and the National Arts Centre’s summer program. She was named a laureate of the 3rd International Composer’s Competition for the Hamburger Klangwerktage Festival, won two SOCAN Foundation awards for her chamber music in 2011, and in 2012, tied for the John Weinzweig Grand Prize for her first orchestra piece Alba, commissioned by John Adams and Deborah O’Grady and premiered at the Cabrillo Festival in 2011. Recently, her work Cortège garnered her the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. Di Castri’s work includes interdisciplinary collaborations in the realms of electronic music, sound installation, video, performance art, and contemporary dance. Her latest mixed-media works include Akkord I for flute, piano, electronics, and large sculpture, and a collaboration with choreographer Thomas Hauert of the ZOO Contemporary Dance Company on a new piece for electronics and dance at Ircam in Paris. She is also creating a new evening-length work for ICE in collaboration with David Adamcyk for ICElab 2014.


Di Castri described her inspiration for Lineage on video explaining, “In Lineage, I was interested in exploring the idea of what is passed down. As a kid, I loved listening to my grandparents tell stories about “the old country” or of life in the village or on the farm. These tales were at once so real through their repetition, and yet at the same time were so foreign and removed from my own personal experience. Thinking of this, I hoped to create a piece in which certain elements are kept constant while others are continually altered, adopted, or are added on, creating an ever-evolving narrative.” DiCastri’s eleven-minute Lineage is her second work for orchestra. Later this season the SFS percussion section will perform the West Coast premiere of her second New Voices commission, Manif, a chamber work for percussion quartet.


Pianist Yefim Bronfman, affectionately known as Fima, has been a frequent guest of the San Francisco Symphony since 1984. He last performed with MTT and the Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall and the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in December 2012 in concerts of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. Among his recent recordings is one of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 with Mariss Jansons and the Bayerischer Rundfunk (2007) on Sony. He performed Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2, commissioned for him, with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic and released on the Da Capo label. This year The Wall Street Journal praised Bronfman as “a fearless pianist for whom no score is too demanding,” and added, “…a more poetic touch has lately complemented his brawny prowess.”  He talks about Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in this video.


Continue Reading

America’s Cup: Is Emirates New Zealand Team Celebrating America’s Cup Jury Decision Too Soon?

America’s Cup: Jury Rigged?

The level of glee by the Emirates New Zealand  team and news media over foibles of Oracle Team USA has taken such a decidedly nasty turn that members of the International Jury have delayed their decision over what penalties, if any, should be given to defending America’s Cup champion team in the “weighting scandal.”

Clearly, Oracle Team USA made a serious mistake. Who in Hell puts weights on a ship to make it go faster? And, who in Hell does it in “pre-season” matches when it doesn’t matter in scoring America’s Cup races?

It was a stupid move by someone/s on Team USA, but it shouldn’t impact the most sought after silver trophy in the World, The America’s Cup.

But the New Zealand team, and the media down-under, have gone “John Bull Mad” over the alleged scandal and created such an ugly scene they have brought disrepute on themselves as much as Team USA. It’s embarrassing to read the ‘homer” news copy from the Kiwis.

The N.Z. media’s fawning stories about the “cheating scandal” and how it has harmed the sport are hogwash.  The America’s Cup is always controversial and the Kiwi’s namby-pamby media patter has made the entire sport look amateurish, low-class and soft.

The jury should make its decision and it should be fair and square–something that has not been so far with leaks from the Jury and other questionable allegations making their way into the media.

The Jury’s pending decision should not be delayed any longer and the decision must be commensurate with the alleged wrong doing: if no harm and no impact was had on the America’s Cup race itself, why should any of the sailors or Team USA be penalized? Really?

Continue Reading

Placido Domingo at the Greek


with Guest Sopranos Angel Joy Blue and Micäela Oeste

and Guest Conductor Eugene Kohn

Plácido Domingo will perform a very special evening of music at UC Berkeley’s historic Greek Theatre on Saturday, September 7,at 8:00 p.m. Joined by guest sopranos Angel Joy Blue and Micäela Oeste and guest conductor Eugene Kohn, this will be Plácido Domingo’s first appearance at the Greek Theatre and his first evening-length solo performance in the Bay Area since 1995. This concert is presented by Another Planet Entertainment in association with Cal Performances.

Plácido Domingo is a world-renowned, multifaceted artist, recognized not only as one of the finest and most influential singing actors in the history of opera but also as a respected conductor. Domingo’s vocal repertoire encompasses 140 stage roles, a number unmatched by any other celebrated tenor in history. His more than 100 recordings of complete operas, compilations of arias and duets, and crossover discs have earned him eleven Grammy Awards and two Latin Grammy Awards, as well as two Emmy Awards for the television film Homage to Seville and for the Met’s “Silver Gala” program. He was the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year in 2010. He celebrated his 70th birthday in January 2011, but his gifts and energy remain undiminished. Newsweek and other international publications have fittingly described Plácido Domingo as “the King of Opera,” “a true renaissance man in music,” and “the greatest operatic artist of modern times.”

Continue Reading

Castro Street Fair Announces Peaches as Headliner for 40th Anniversary Celebration

Performance and Electronic Music Artist, Peaches, makes Castro Street Fair Debut

 The Castro Street Fair Board of Directors announced today that they have signed Peaches, world renowned and sexually progressive pop-star, to perform at the 40th anniversary of the Castro Street Fair on October 6th.

Peaches, along with her Peachettes, will be headlining the Castro Street Fair Main Stage. Her performance will include a never-before-seen tribute to disco legend Sylvester, who performed at the second annual Castro Street Fair in 1975. The Peachettes are a group of local performers produced by Midnight Mass choreographer, Rory Davis

“The Castro Street Fair is beyond thrilled to have Peaches as part of our Ruby Anniversary celebration,” said Executive Director George Ridgely. “She will undoubtedly deliver a show stopping performance,” he said.

Since the release of her debut album in 2000, Peaches has spread her smart and progressive lyrics to the pop culture landscape, harnessing a worldwide audience and, along with the countless followers, shaped the mainstream into a more inclusive and sexually progressive surrounding. 2013 saw the release of Peaches’ critically acclaimed feature film debut, Peaches Does Herself.  Of the film, The Hollywood Reporter stated that it was, “A loosely biographical rock opera featuring outlandish costumes, transsexual dancers, lashing of smutty humor and simulated hardcore sex, this self-directed carnival of carnal excess feels like The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a postgrad doctorate in Queer Theory.” Over the years, she’s built a reputation for her suggestive and intelligent lyrics, her amalgamation of rock and electro sounds, and her balls-out performances; while continuing to outdo herself with each brash step.

“I am so proud to be part of Castro Street Fair, especially because it was started by the fearless Harvey Milk.  This year, being the 40th anniversary, I will help honor another fearless incredible San Fran LGBT Legend, Sylvester. I can’t wait to be a part of this! Yes!!!!”

Entertainment at this year’s fair will pay homage to the 40 years of music and entertainment that has been the fabric of the Castro Street Fair since its inception. A full line-up of performers and set times will be published on the Castro Street Fair website ( in the weeks prior to the event.

The Castro Street Fair is a not-for-profit community street celebration that was founded by Harvey Milk in 1974. Hundreds of local artists, vendors, craftspeople, and organizations line the streets and celebrate the diversity of the neighborhood. Stages with live entertainment and dance stages can be found throughout the fairgrounds. The Castro Street Fair is held the first Sunday of October every year and this year will be held on October 6th from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Market and Castro Streets.

Proceeds from the Fair, including gate donations, will be shared with these beneficiaries in 2013: AIDS Emergency Fund/Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, AIDS Housing Alliance, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Bay Positives, Castro Community On Patrol, Community United Against Violence (CUAV), Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association, Castro Country Club, Ducal Council of San Francisco, The Family Link, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, Haight Ashbury Community Nursery School, Hartford Street Zen Center, Imperial Council of San Francisco, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Metropolitan Community Church-San Francisco, McKinley Elementary School – Parent-Teacher Association, Most Holy Redeemer – AIDS Support Group, Project Open Hand, Queer Life Space, and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

Sponsors of the 2013 Castro Street Fair include Miller Brands, Chevron, US Bank, the GLBT Historical Society, The Bay Area Reporter, Whole Foods, Via Media and Recology; along with additional funding and support from Grants for the Arts and the SOMArts Cultural Center’s Technical Services Program.

To learn more about Peaches, please visit her website at: 

To learn more about the Castro Street Fair, please visit our website at:

To follow the Castro Street Fair on Facebook, please visit the following page:

Continue Reading

BOOMERANG Extends Through October 29

The Marsh announces that Will Durst’s hit one-man show, BOOMERAGING: FROM LSD TO OMG will extend its run at The Marsh San Francisco through October 29, 2013. A tribute to the joys, achievements, and looming terrors that accompany being a member of the Baby Boom Generation, this rollicking show assesses that group’s vibrant role in today’s youth-obsessed society. Durst’s hilarious romp celebrates Boomers for refusing to grow old in the face of changing times, gravity, and the reflection that greets them daily in the mirror. BOOMERAGING: FROM LSD TO OMG continues at The Marsh San Francisco now through October 29, with shows on Tuesdays at 8pm. For tickets, the public may visit or call 415-282-3055 between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Bay Area comedian Will Durst was called “quite possibly the best political comedian working in the country today,” by The New York Times. In BOOMERAGING: FROM LSD TO OMG, utilizing technology specifically designed not to spook the target audience (overhead projector), Durst explores the Boomer revolutions and evolutions, while detailing how to lose the fear of aging and embrace the wrinkles. He shamelessly strokes the egos and pats the hands of the self-described “Most Important Generation” through segments entitled “Hey You Punks, Get Off My Wireless Router,” “The Blinking VCR,” “Still Doing Drugs, Only Now There’s a Co- Pay,” “The Brightside of Extreme Maturity” and “Hope I Die Before I… Oops, Too Late.”

Acknowledged by peers and press alike as one of the premier political comedians in the country, Durst has built a stellar comedy career, weaving together columns, books, commentaries, acting, and stand-up comedy into a hilarious fulcrum of outraged and outrageous common sense. He is currently a nationally syndicated humor columnist, and his writings have appeared in Esquire, the San Francisco Chronicle, National Lampoon, The New York Times and many others. He is a five-time Emmy nominee; has been fired by PBS three times; told jokes in 14 countries and his over 800 television appearances include Letterman, HBO, Showtime, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and the BBC. The critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run of his one-man show, The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing was subsequently turned into a book by Ulysses Press and Elect to Laugh is available on Amazon as an e-book or as a trade paper published by Hyperink, and an audio version will soon be released via Stand Up Records. Durst’s performances are made possible by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

SPECIAL NOTE: Due to the graphic nature of some images and the startlingly archaic technology involved, children under the age of 40 will not be admitted unless accompanied by a grown-up or a note from their guardian. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Continue Reading

Cal Performances Presents Grammy-Winnin The Goat Rodeo Sessions with Cellist Yo-Yo Ma



(l-r): Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan and Chris Thile

Legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma is known for his superb musicianship and his driving curiosity which sends him searching for new musical traditions in which to participate.  In 2011, Ma joined forces with four bluegrass virtuosos: Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Edgar Meyer (bassist), Chris Thile (mandolin), and guest vocalist Aoife O’Donovan to create a new brand of string ensemble. While each artist is a prominent figure in his own musical sphere, they came together as a unified band on a remarkable cross-genre project and in the process created a Grammy Award-winning album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, a testimony to the success of the collaboration. The ensemble reunites on Saturday, August 24 at 8:00 p.m. at Cal Performances’ Greek Theater to perform works from the album. The music feels both new and familiar—it is composed and improvised, uptown and down home, funky and pastoral and above all, uniquely American.

The four string musicians had played together in various combinations but never all together. One of the frequently asked questions is how the ensemble came up with the humorous title. Many of their songs had working titles using the word “rodeo.” One of the definitions of a goat rodeo is a chaotic situation, often one that involves several people, each with a different agenda/vision/perception of what’s going on. The group thought that described their collaborative style.  “Everybody could be a leader or everybody could be a follower at various times,” Ma says. “How can we ever get any work done when we’re laughing all of the time…for me, that’s the goat rodeo part…” (All Things Considered, NPR).


Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris in 1955 to Chinese parents and began studying the cello with his father at age four. One year later his family moved to New York so he could study at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose. Ma graduated from Harvard University in 1976. He is known for maintaining a balance between his engagements as a recitalist, leading small ensembles, performing with premier orchestras, and a prodigious recording output.  Ma created the Silk Road Project in 1998 to promote the study of cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient Silk Road trade route.  More than 60 works have been commissioned for the Silk Road Ensemble, which tours annually and was most recently at Cal Performances in 2011 and will return to Zellerbach Hall as part of the 2013/14 season on Sunday, October 27.

Ma has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), Glenn Gould Prize (1999), National Medal of the Arts (2001), World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), and the Kennedy Center Honors (2011).  He also serves as a U.N. Messenger of Peace. Ma has released over 80 albums and has won 16 Grammy Awards in six different categories.  His records often cross genres, and he has collaborated with such music giants as Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman, and Joshua Redman. His most recent album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, was released in 2011. Ma currently plays on two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello and a 1712 “Davidoff” Stradivarius.

Multi-instrumentalist Stuart Duncan has built upon his bluegrass roots to become an artist that defies categorization. The consummate sideman, Duncan has lent his particular taste and tone to countless artists and projects. Whether trading instrumental licks with the likes of Béla Fleck and Jerry Douglas, or adding complimentary fills for vocalists Alan Jackson and Barbara Streisand, Dunan has found a professional home both in the studio and on tour.  From Robert Plant to Panic at the Disco, Duncan’s playing and influence can be heard among many of today’s top hit-makers.

In demand as both a performer and a composer, Edgar Meyer was hailed by The New Yorker as “…the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument.”  Meyer is comfortable in a broad range of genres, including classical, bluegrass, newgrass, and jazz. His collaborators illustrate this range: Joshua Bell, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Sam Bush, James Taylor, Chris Thile, Mike Marshall, Mark O’Connor, Alison Krauss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and the trio Nickel Creek. In 2000, he won the Avery Fisher Prize, given once every few years to classical instrumentalists for outstanding achievement. In 2002, he was named a MacArthur Fellow. Meyer’s collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma and Mark O’Connor on the acclaimed Appalachia Waltz reached the top of the United States pop charts. Their second collaboration, Appalachian Journey, earned a Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album.

The 31-year-old multi-instrumentalist Chris Thile has been playing music his entire life. His earliest memories of music are listening to Stan Getz’s recording of “The Girl from Ipanema” before he even turned one-year-old. He began playing in his family’s band Nickel Creek at age 8, and at 12 won an international mandolin championship. In 2004, Thile released Deceiver, an experimental album on which he recorded every track himself, including electric guitar, piano, drums, violin, viola, cello, and bass. He is best known for his work with Punch Brothers that released its first album in 2008. He has performed with a cross-section of musicians from Yo Yo Ma to Béla Fleck and Dolly Parton. In 2009, Thile completed a mandolin concerto entitled Ad astra per alas porci that was commissioned by a consortium of orchestras and had its premiere with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Aoife O’Donovan is known for her work as lead singer for Crooked Still and the folk trio Sometymes Why. She attended the New York Conservatory of Music and comes from a musical family: both parents are musicians. Her “Lay My Burden Down” was a hit record for Alison Krauss in 2011 and her first solo album, Fossils, is being released June 11. Her summer tour schedule includes performances at the Grand Ole Opry, Ottawa Jazz Festival, and Bonnaroo, joining Garrison Keillor on tour, and re-uniting with Ma, Duncan, Meyer, and Thile for The Goat Rodeo Sessions at Tanglewood before coming to Cal Performances.


Tickets for The Goat Rodeo Sessions with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Aoife O’Donovan on Saturday, August 24, at 8:00 p.m. at the Greek Theatre range from $35.00-$125.00 and are available for sale to the public on Monday, June 18 through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  For more information about discounts, go to or call (510) 642-9988.

Continue Reading

Three Benefit Performances of Will Durst’s BOOMERAGING: From LSD to OMG

The Marsh Berkeley is delighted to present famed comedian Will Durst in three benefit performances of his hit one-man show, BOOMERAGING: FROM LSD TO OMG. Come and howl with both laughter and chagrin as Durst pays tribute to the joys, achievements and looming terrors that accompany being a member of the Baby Boom Generation. The show assesses their still vibrant role in today’s youth-obsessed society and celebrates them for refusing to grow old in the face of changing times, gravity and the reflection that greets them daily in the mirror. All proceeds benefit The Marsh.

BOOMERAGING will play on Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10 at 8:00 pm and on Sunday August 11 at 3:00 pm on the TheaterStage at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way near Shattuck The public may visit or call 415-282-3055.

Utilizing technology specifically designed not to spook the target audience (overhead projector), Durst explores the Boomer revolutions, evolutions and still vibrant role in today’s youth obsessed society (which we invented, for crum’s sake). He shamelessly strokes the egos and pats the hands of the Love Generation through segments entitled “Racing From The Shadow Of A Mushroom Cloud,” “The Blinking VCR,” “Still Doing Drugs, Only Now There’s a Co- Pay,” “The Brightsides of Extreme Adulthood” and “Hope I Die Before I… Ooops, Too Late.”

Acknowledged by peers and press alike as one of the premier political comedians in the country, Will Durst has patched together a quilt of a comedy career, weaving together columns, books, commentaries, acting and stand-up comedy into a hilarious patchwork of outraged and outrageous common sense. He currently writes a nationally syndicated humor column, and his scribblings, have appeared in Esquire, George, the SF Chronicle, National Lampoon, New York Times and scads of other periodicals. He is a five-time Emmy nominee; has been fired by PBS three times; told jokes in 14 countries and his 800+ television appearances include Letterman, HBO, Showtime, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and the BBC. The critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run of his one-man show: “The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing,” was subsequently turned into a book by Ulysses Press and “Elect to Laugh” is available on Amazon as an e-book or as a trade paper published by Hyperink and will soon become a CD released by Stand Up Records. Durst’s performances are made possible by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.


SPECIAL NOTE: Due to the graphic nature of some images and the startlingly archaic technology involved, children under the age of 40 will not be admitted unless accompanied by a grown-up or a note from their guardian. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Continue Reading


Asian Art Museum presents the Cyrus Cylinder—sometimes called the first bill of human rights—in U.S. tour

Modest in size and appearance and made more than 2,500 years ago, the Cyrus Cylinder continues to be hailed as an international symbol of tolerance and justice. In its first U.S. tour on loan from the British Museum, the Cylinder will travel to the Asian Art Museum (along with four other venues) as part of the intimate exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning. On view Aug. 9–Sept. 22, 2013, the exhibition also includes 16 rare artworks from ancient Persia (Iran) during the Achaemenid period (550–330 BCE), providing a context for understanding the Cylinder’s cultural and historical significance.

Dating to 539 BCE, the Cyrus Cylinder—one of the most famous surviving icons from the ancient world—was uncovered in 1879 at Babylon (in modern Iraq) during a British Museum excavation. The Cylinder was inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform script on the orders of the Persian king, Cyrus the Great (ruled 559–530 BCE), after he captured Babylon in 539 BCE. It is often referred to as the first bill of human rights, as it mentions Cyrus’s return from Babylon of deported peoples to their homelands and his encouragement of freedom of religious practice.

The Cyrus Cylinder is truly an object of world heritage, produced for a Persian king in Iraq and seen and studied for more than 130 years in the British Museum. The values of freedom from captivity and freedom of religious practice proclaimed by Cyrus the Great are the enduring ideas underlying ethical governance that have made the Cylinder a universal icon. Today, a copy of the Cylinder is on display in the United Nations building in New York City. The Cylinder appears on postage stamps issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it was seen firsthand by about half a million people at the 2010–2011 exhibition in Tehran.

More information on the exhibition can be found here:

Continue Reading


The work of four Bay Area artists will appear in unexpected places from September 14 through November 17, 2013, as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presents site-responsive projects by the 2012 winners of its signature SECA Art Award: Zarouhie Abdalian, Josh Faught, Jonn Herschend, and David Wilson. For the first time in the history of the museum’s biennial award program honoring up-and-coming Bay Area artists, SFMOMA has commissioned all four recipients to create new work and to present it outside of the traditional gallery context. Encompassing a wide range of media, these diverse projects will be installed in various non-art spaces of the artists’ choosing in San Francisco and Oakland and will be on view for free to the public for two months this fall.

Established to recognize Bay Area artists of exceptional talent with an exhibition, accompanying catalogue, and an honorarium, the biennial award is supported by SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art), an SFMOMA art interest group. The art award has been at the center of SECA’s multifaceted activities over the past half century, offering an inside look at the most noteworthy art being made right here in the Bay Area.

During the SECA exhibition, Abdalian activates downtown Oakland with a sound installation of bells; Faught responds to the Neptune Society Columbarium in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond neighborhood with textile-based sculptures; Herschend investigates SFMOMA’s temporary art and office relocation through a film shot on site at the museum and presented online; and Wilson organizes a series of self-guided tours that lead to sites throughout San Francisco, starting from a trailhead at the front of the SFMOMA’s currently closed Third Street building.

This unique multi-location presentation of the SECA Art Award exhibition is organized by Jenny Gheith, assistant curator of painting and sculpture, and Tanya Zimbardo, assistant curator of media arts. Gheith and Zimbardo announced the four award winners on December 13, 2012; the selection process included a review of over 250 applications from nominated artists. Fifteen finalists were chosen by the award curators for studio visits and also asked to submit a proposal for a solo commission at a potential location. The four award winners were selected based on the strengths of their previous artistic work and their new proposals.

“This off-site iteration provided us with an incredible opportunity to rethink and reimagine the exhibition model for this long-standing award,” says Gheith. “By presenting four solo commissions sited at locations of the artist’s choosing, we are able to realize projects that highlight their distinct visions and share their work more broadly.”

Zimbardo adds, “There is a dynamic range of art being presented now in the Bay Area outside of the gallery context in the urban environment. This is the perfect moment for SFMOMA to be able to directly contribute to this dialogue around contemporary art in the public sphere through this exhibition and other upcoming off-site projects.”

Location: Downtown Oakland; played once daily during daytime hours; full schedule available at beginning September 3, 2013

Zarouhie Abdalian works with the specifics of a site to create subtle interventions into everyday perception. Often bordering on the edge of invisibility, her minimal installations address the dynamics between visitors and a given site by staging small shifts in sight or sound. Through her research into the history and physical features of a location, she arrives at simple adjustments such as making a window flutter with Mylar or illuminating an abandoned building with lights set on timers. Her refined modifications transform a viewer’s physical or emotional understanding of a specific environment.

For her SECA project, the Oakland-based artist has created a sound installation consisting of brass bells that are programmed to ring simultaneously at a different designated time each day from rooftops in and around Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, at 14th Street and Broadway. For several minutes, each bell will play a randomized rhythmic structure of accelerandi and ritardandos that will sound differently every time. Abdalian is interested in the way that “bells regulate the activities of social spaces—announcing the passing of hours, shift changes, festivals, calls to service, and emergencies—and become powerful mechanisms by which the listener is situated in space.” This experiential piece shifts the listener’s attention and awareness of the city center, a historic place associated with community gathering, performance, and protest. Abdalian first noticed the potential for this site in 2010 through gatherings in support of Oscar Grant’s family that were held in the plaza during the Johannes Mehserle trial. Since the bells are out of view from those who hear them, their sound has no visual anchor, an absence accentuated by the empty bell tower atop city hall. Seven days a week, the bells will play for several minutes during daytime hours.

Abdalian (born 1982, New Orleans, Louisiana) earned her BA at Tulane University and her MFA from California College of the Arts. Her work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions including Zarouhie Abdalian / MATRIX 249 (August 2–September 29, 2013), currently on view at the Berkeley Art Museum; the 9th Shanghai Biennial (2012), the 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2012); and the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011). In 2014 Abdalian will participate in Prospect 3, New Orleans.

Location: Neptune Society Columbarium, 1 Loraine Court, San Francisco; public hours: Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sat–Sun, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Free admission.

Josh Faught’s work mines the rich histories of craft in sculpture, pairing traditional textiles and homespun techniques such as loom-weaving, knitting, and crocheting with everyday objects that reference domesticity, political slogans, or kitsch. His assemblages typically start with raw fibers that are hand dyed with organic materials such as ground-up cochineal bugs or covered in spray paint or nail polish. These labor-intensive sculptures draw on histories of gender and sexual politics, and precariously balance an urgent sense of anxiety with a nostalgic view of the present.

For his SFMOMA commission, titled Be Bold for What You Stand For, Be Careful for What You Fall For (2013), Faught creates a constellation of hand-woven, fiber-based sculptures that respond to the architecture and history of the Neptune Society Columbarium, a repository for cremation urns located in the Inner Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco. The only nondenominational cemetery in the city, this 19th-century neoclassical treasure houses more than 8,000 inurnment niches that memorialize everyday people as well as cultural figures, artists, and other notable San Franciscans. Faught’s installation is inspired by the visual language of these personalized tributes, and takes the form of two freestanding works of crocheted and woven yarn on wooden armatures and one large, suspended woven sculpture—his largest work to date—that engage with the space’s central rotunda, stairwell, and smaller rooms. His color palette is restricted to hues that artist and designer William Morris articulated in the early 20th-century Arts and Crafts movement—cochineal pink, indigo blue, walnut brown, and weld yellow. “Each of these natural dyes has a somewhat fugitive quality, which extends to some of the thematic narratives in the content of the work around transition and time,” explains Faught. The San Francisco–based artist’s first solo exhibition in the Bay Area also furthers his investigation of emotional support structures and various histories of craft, the queer community, and activism.

Faught (born 1979, St. Louis, Missouri) lives and work in San Francisco. He earned his BA at Oberlin College and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This summer Faught’s work is currently on view at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in Josh Faught: Snacks, Supports, and Something to Rally Around (July 10–August 11, 2013). Faught has had solo exhibitions at Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York; and the Seattle Art Museum, among others. In 2012 he won a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and he received the Betty Bowen Award from the Seattle Art Museum in 2009.

Location:; premiering September 14; trailer now viewable here.

Jonn Herschend investigates emotional truth, confusion, and absurdity in everyday life through video, film, installation, and performance. His work often humorously questions how we interpret the validity of information, utilizing the formats of corporate messaging tools such as PowerPoint and informational videos. A recurring theme in his work is the literary device of the unreliable narrator who turns what Herschend refers to as “site-specific fictions” into personal and confused dramas that reveal multiple interpretations of a given situation.

For his SECA presentation, Herschend has a created new film that that will premiere on SFMOMA’s website at Shot on location at SFMOMA this past spring, Stories from the Evacuation (2013) takes the museum’s temporary building closure as the point of departure for a behind-the-scenes look at its temporary art and administrative relocation during expansion construction, exploring narratives of risk and personal transition, as well as public and private roles. Herschend interviewed several museum staff members about their perspectives on this time of significant change. “With all stories there is a front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house,” the artist says. “There are stories we present to the world and there is the complicated and sometimes messy reality of how these things happen.” Herschend’s view of the tremendous collaborative effort and planning involved in the museum’s transition phase becomes increasingly focused on one interview subject’s personal backstory.

Herschend (born 1967, Branson, Missouri) lives and works in San Francisco. He received his BA from Boston University and his MFA from the University of California at Berkeley. Recent short films have been commissioned for exhibitions at SITE Santa Fe; Minneapolis Institute for the Arts; the Oakland Museum of California Art; and Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions and film screenings, including solo presentations at Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco; Invisible Venue, Oakland; and in the group triennial Bay Area Now 5 (2008) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Since 2007, he has co-edited the object-based publication THE THING Quarterly (which recently partnered with Levi’s Made and Crafted to launch Moment to Moment) with former SECA award recipient Will Rogan.

Locations: Around San Francisco; visitors can pick up maps at SFMOMA’s closed 151 Third Street building entrance; first map will be available starting Sept. 14.

Wilson’s works on paper and performance-based pieces have explored what he describes as “the many lost corners and in-between stretches of natural and developed space” in the Bay Area, including locations such as Angel Island, Bolinas Beach, and the Marin Headlands. He often announces his participatory gatherings and site-specific installations through invitations that include folded maps with directions and sketches meant to guide attendees to carefully composed situations.

Over the course of his SECA exhibition, Wilson will develop a series of self-guided journeys to six outdoor sites throughout San Francisco titled Arrivals (2013). Each journey begins at a central trailhead located at the main entrance of SFMOMA’s Third Street building where visitors can pick up hand-drawn maps with instructions for the experience. The first map will lead to a eucalyptus grove at the Presidio, where the artist has installed an elaborate, 16-foot-high ink drawing spread over twenty sheets of paper. “I was looking for a spot in San Francisco where there would be a sense of outdoor, natural architecture—a gallery in the forest—and see what happens when a drawing is placed in a living environment,” he says. The drawing depicts another natural landmark in Northern California—Frog Woman Rock, a distinctive rock formation in the Russian River Canyon recreational area that, for Wilson, evokes expectation and the excitement of arrival on his frequent trips to the area. Whether working in large groups or one-on-one exchanges, Wilson’s ephemeral projects often involve collaboration with a rich community of musicians, filmmakers, and other artists. His Arrivals series will continue this interest, featuring tape recordings of song, music, or sound-based performances previously made at each location by Wilson with guest collaborators such as Andy Cabic (of Vetiver), Danny Paul Grody (of Tarentel and The Drift), Colter Jacobsen (of Coconut), Holly Herndon, Sonny Smith (of Sonny & The Sunsets), and Sarah Simon and Kate Sweeney (of Magic Magic Roses).

Documentation of Wilson’s piece will be regularly updated on SFMOMA’s website throughout the exhibition. In addition to the six journey maps, he will use the timeframe of his SFMOMA exhibition as a residency to generate new drawings during his daily exploration of the city, and add them to the trailhead throughout the run of the show.

Oakland-based Wilson (born 1982, Framingham, Massachusetts) received his BA in visual art from Wesleyan University, Connecticut. He was included in the 2010 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art and has held solo exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum (David Wilson: Gatherings MATRIX 233) and Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, among others. Wilson organizes the interdisciplinary CLASS sessions (2012–ongoing), a project led with other artistic collaborators, and is currently co-curator with Lawrence Rinder of the upcoming group exhibition The Possible at the Berkeley Art Museum in winter of 2014.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Continue Reading

ODC/Dance presents its popular annual summer event SUMMER SAMPLER 2013

Featuring the world premiere of Two If By Sea by Kimi Okada; Triangulating Euclid, the critically acclaimed collaboration between Brenda Way, KT Nelson and Kate Weare; and The Light Has Not the Arms to Carry Us, a three-part work by Kate Weare

August 2-3, 2013, 8pm ODC Theater

3153 Seventeenth Street, San Francisco 

Tickets: $30-$45, 415.863.9834

ODC/Dance, San Francisco’s internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company, presents its popular annual summer event, Summer Sampler, August 2-3, 2013.   The three works on this summer’s program include Triangulating Euclid, the 2013 collaboration between Brenda Way, KT Nelson and New York-based choreographer Kate WeareTwo if By Sea, a world premiere duet by ODC Associate Choreographer Kimi Okada; and Weare’s celebrated work, The Light Has Not the Arms to Carry Us.

Summer Sampler also marks the retirement of ODC dancer Vanessa Thiessen, who joined ODC in 2008.

Thiessen is featured in the world premiere of Okada’s Two If By Sea, a duet with dancer Jeremy Smith, that explores the mystery of signs a couple uses to communicate, as intimates and as compatriots signaling to an outside world. Using code languages as diverse as base coaching, semaphore signals and aural transmissions, this rhythmic, physical work unveils the power of hidden or overt signals in our lives.

Triangulating Euclid, the 2013 work by Way, Nelson and Weare, was inspired by a rare original edition of Euclid’s Elements, one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics. This highly physical and emotive piece was celebrated as “beautifully enigmatic” (Huffington Post) and “an exuberant celebration of the way dancers inscribe themselves into space” (San Francisco Bay Guardian) and premiered to sold-out audiences at ODC/Dance Downtown earlier this year. The first-ever collaboration between Way, Nelson and Weare, and the beginning of bi-coastal collaboration between the three artists, Triangulating Euclid provided the choreographers an opportunity to disrupt their processes and explore new artistic territory.

ODC partners with Weare once again when the ODC dancers perform The Light Has Not the Arms to Carry Us. An abstract exploration into primitive states, The Light Has Not The Arms To Carry Us delves into abasement, wariness, sensuality and tenderness.

Summer Sampler is an intimate event designed to clear the summer fog and satisfy your appetite for art. Choreographers Way, Nelson and Okada will also be on hand after the performances to shed some light on the dancing in a talkback session with the audience.

About ODC/Dance

ODC is known throughout the world for its athleticism, passion and intellectual depth. Among the many awards ODC’s three resident choreographers–Brenda Way, KT Nelson and Kimi Okada–have received are a Guggenheim, six Isadora Duncan Dance Awards — including two lifetime achievement awards — a San Francisco Examiner Golden Slipper Award, and a Tony nomination. Brenda Way was selected as the first choreographer to serve as Resident of the Arts at the American Academy in Rome for 2009/10 and recently received a prestigious leadership award from the San Francisco Foundation. ODC has been hailed as “Best Dance Company” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2012 editions. In 2009 ODC was selected by BAM as one of three dance companies to tour internationally under the aegis of the U.S. State Department’s inaugural DanceMotion USA tour.

Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, ODC (Oberlin Dance Collective, named after its place of origin, Oberlin College in Ohio) loaded up a yellow school bus and relocated to San Francisco in 1976. Her goal was to ground the company in a dynamic, pluralistic setting. ODC was the first modern dance company in America to build its own home facility in 1979, from which it operates a school, a theater, a gallery, and a health clinic for dancers. In September 2005, under Way’s leadership, ODC opened a second performing arts facility, the ODC Dance Commons. And in the fall of 2010 ODC unveiled its newly renovated and expanded Theater. Through its dozens of programs ODC strives to inspire audiences, cultivate artists, engage community, and foster diversity and inclusion through dance performance, training, and mentorship.

Continue Reading


 Middle-school participants in the tuition-free six-week dance program demonstrate

their new skills in a free and open-to-the-public performance on the UC, Berkeley Campus


Celebrating its twelfth summer, the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances will culminate in a 50-camper strong finale performance titled Listen… on Thursday, August 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Zellerbach Playhouse. Complete with professional staging, lights, costumes and live music, the 2013 session of the nationally acclaimed program showcases the youths’ training in ballet, jazz, modern and African dance. The camp was conceived by Alvin Ailey, founder of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and is locally produced by Cal Performances under the direction of David McCauley. “AileyCamp is arts education at its very best,” says Cal Performances’ Director Matías Tarnopolsky. “It has a transformative effect on every single participant’s life. They take back to their families, their schools and to their communities the essential values they have learned.” Comprised of 10 boys and 40 girls this summer, campers participate in a curriculum that includes dance instruction in addition to personal development, creative communications classes and field trips. The tuition-free camp admits underserved middle-school students from the Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond and Albany Unified School districts. Subject to availability, tickets for the performance of Listen… are free and available to the public at the Zellerbach Playhouse ticket office.

David McCauley, who has served as Director of the camp since its beginning in the 2001-2002 season, has titled this year’s end-of-camp performance Listen…. “As AileyCampers begin to create art this summer, we want to hear the their voices, to listen to stories about life from their perspective.”  He continues, “I’m also thinking of all the ways we use the word listen. Parents admonishing their child, “You’ve got to listen to what I tell you!” Or the command, “Listen!” The warning, “Hey, Listen….” And the start of a story, “Listen to the tale I have to tell you.” So many ways to listen, and so many things to listen to.”

The Thursday, August 1 performance is free and open to the public.  Tickets may be obtained in person at Cal Performances’ Ticket Office at Zellerbach Playhouse on the UC Berkeley campus starting Tuesday, July 23; remaining tickets may be available at the door, depending on demand.


The first AileyCamp was founded in 1989 by Alvin Ailey and the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey; there are now ten camps throughout the country. Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances opened its doors in June 2002; it is the only AileyCamp on the West Coast and on a major university campus. The campers receive two meals each day, a camp uniform and dance clothes. They participate in a curriculum that includes daily technique classes in ballet, Horton-based modern dance, jazz and West African dance. Dance and creative communications classes deepen the students’ awareness of their potential for self-expression; personal development classes provide counseling in nutrition, conflict resolution, drug abuse prevention, personal hygiene, decision-making and goal-setting. “I will not use the word can’t to define my possibilities,” is just one of the affirmations repeated daily to reinforce their goals, build self-confidence, and guide them on a path to becoming a productive and motivated individual. AileyCamp is not a training ground for professional dancers but instead uses dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem and critical thinking skills in underserved 6th, 7th and 8thgrade students. An important aspect of the program’s success is providing positive adult and peer role models.  “When camp is finished, students will leave with valuable life skills and a sense of accomplishment that will help them navigate through the challenging years ahead,” McCauley says.

David W. McCauley began his dance training while a student, first at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and later at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and ethnic dancing. As a dancer based in New York City, McCauley spent 15 years with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as student, instructor and performer. He also performed with the Pearl Primus Dance Company and Omega Liturgical Dance Company. Since 1990, he has been a resident of San Francisco, and has performed with Wing It! Performance Ensemble and Omega West Dance Company. Recently, McCauley became an adjunct faculty member of the Center for Art, Religion, and Education, an affiliated center of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and was awarded the AileyCamp Award of Excellence from the AileyCamp Foundation in recognition of his exemplary leadership and commitment, 2002-2011. The AileyCamp Award of Excellence was the first award of its kind from the AileyCamp Foundation and McCauley was the first one to receive it. A full time staff member at Cal Performances who also serves as a teaching artist, he has directed Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances since its inauguration.

Rica Anderson is the Education and Programs Manager and a Teaching Artist for Cal Performances and the AileyCamp Administrator. Prior to Cal Performances, she worked for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theater programs; was School Liaison and a Teaching Artist at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts; created educator guides for KQED’s Spark program; and participated in Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom.

Kenny Wang, a UC Berkeley junior double majoring in Theater and Performance Studies and Media Studies joins AileyCamp as the Administrative Assistant.


The whole teaching staff from last Summer is returning: Naomi Johnson Diouf (African dance), West African dance and culture teacher at Berkeley High School and Artistic Director of Diamano Coura West African Dance Company in Oakland; Derrick Minter (modern dance), longtime AileyCamp teacher and dance professor at the University of Oklahoma; Priya Shah (ballet), a former faculty member of Ballet Pacifica Academy with a MFA in Dance and a BA in Psychology; Zari Le’on (jazz dance), dance instructor at Grand Canyon University, Middlebury College, Mills College and Scripps College and founder and creative director of Zari Le’on Dance Theater; Shawn Nealy (personal development), a percussionist with a Masters of Education from UCLA and a teacher with  multiple years in the classroom in the Los Angeles, Oakland and Fremont Unified School Districts and Erika Padilla-Morales (creative communications), MFAs in Screenwriting and Creative Writing, previously a Media Arts Coach with Streetside Stories supporting educators and young people through video. Bronwyn Wrobel (guidance counselor), is a new member to the team, earned her Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and has counseled children and their families for three years with a focus on art, play, and movement therapy. Returning musicians include pianist Frederick Harris and percussionists Madiou Sao Diouf and Darian LaFoucade.

Returning AileyCamp group leaders include LaKiesha Golden and former AileyCampers Tamara McCree (2002 alum) and Spencer Pulu (2005 alum). Newcomers Beth Ellis Dickson and Christine Velez join the AileyCamp team this year. Providing strong leadership, consistent support and guidance to each camper within their group, AileyCamp group leaders oversee AileyCampers throughout their camp day.

AileyCamp Diary, a webpage on Cal Performances’ website, will feature writings and images by staff and campers updated throughout the six-week camp. Go to

Continue Reading


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) may be on the go with off-site programming throughout the city while its building is closed for expansion, but the SFMOMA MuseumStore is staying in the same neighborhood, aiming to keep shoppers and a presence for the museum in the immediate area until SFMOMA’s new building opens in early 2016.

Today the museum announced further details about the store’s new temporary space in San Francisco’s South of Market district—a 2,500-square-foot leased property at 51 Yerba Buena Lane, located between Market and Mission Streets near Third Street, next to the Contemporary Jewish Museum—as well as the date of its grand reopening, set for Wednesday, August 7, 2013.

“We’re thrilled to continue serving both our loyal MuseumStore customers and the amazing local artists and designers we collaborate with to develop store products during this interim period,” says MuseumStore Director Jana Machin. “The store will also be a crucial platform for informing potential museum visitors about our expansion in close proximity to the actual construction site, with a portion of the store space dedicated to presenting the latest news about the project.”

The MuseumStore’s newly renovated, more-streamlined space is designed by Napa-based commercial interior design firm Shopworks, and features dramatic structural columns painted in grey-and-black stripes as a nod to the iconic striped-marble motif of SFMOMA’s existing Haas Atrium. The store fixtures, with various wood finishes and a sleek design, are composed of largely reused materials from the original store, along with new environmentally sustainable materials such as bamboo and cork.

The merchandise mix focuses primarily on contemporary design, highlighting the same carefully curated selection of items for the home, unique gifts for children, artisan jewelry, accessories, and the city’s best selection of art books—all of which has made the store so popular with both locals and out-of-towners since its establishment in 1995.

Other highlights of the new store include a continued emphasis on exclusive, limited-edition items developed by SFMOMA with artists, including Michael Murphy, Jason Munn, and Andrew Holder; print-on-demand reproductions of works from SFMOMA’s collection; and a special section devoted to products designed and manufactured in San Francisco, such as the introduction of a new line of homewares that reinvents old fire hoses retired from firehouses across the nation—including Firehouse Station 1, formerly located behind the museum at the current expansion site—and gives them a second life as smart and stylish floor mats, chairs, and accessories.

MuseumStore hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The store also has a location at the departure level at the SFO International Terminal. The airport space will continue normal operations during expansion construction, and shoppers may also visit to shop online. When SFMOMA’s new home reopens in 2016, the store will relocate once again to continue operation inside the expanded museum at 151 Third Street.

Proceeds from SFMOMA’s MuseumStore support the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.

Special Introduction: Oxgut Hose Co. 
As one of the first retailers to carry this line, the MuseumStore is pleased to introduce Oxgut Hose Co. products. Designed and made locally, Oxgut’s indoor and outdoor furniture and accessories are creatively handcrafted using retired fire hoses salvaged from U.S. fire departments, including many from SF Fire Department stations. Store shoppers can select from various Oxgut items, including floor mats, chairs, slippers, and tech accessories. The Fire Hose Mats ($235–$320) are uniquely pieced together from recycled hose colors and textures, adding a splash of character to any space. Great for the home and garden, and even the beach, the durable, weather-resistant floor mat is a favorite amongst surfers and campers who love to roll it up for the outdoors.

Jewelry and Accessories 
Featuring local and global designers, the MuseumStore offers an exceptional array of jewelry, including the beautifully geometric Iacoli + McAllister necklaces ($78–$320), made in Seattle. From Australia and exclusive to SFMOMA, the Rachel Wightman necklace ($58) is a little piece of wearable art, exuding a bold simplicity of color, shape, and texture. Locally designed, Susan Hoff bags ($180–$240) are inspired by the designer’s time spent at the sea and handcrafted from reclaimed sailcloth and leather. Also locally created in San Francisco’s Mission District, Vanessa Gade jewelry ($108–$278) makes a contemporary statement balanced with a timeless wearability and are inspired by local landmarks, including SFMOMA’s building.

Home Design 
The MuseumStore provides a wide selection of high-quality, thoughtfully designed pieces to add an artful touch to every home. From its Portland-based studio, the Ekko Workshop Desktop Mobile ($50) brightens the desk with its colorful, precision-crafted shapes. Stig Ahlström’s Leaf Tray ($55) makes a stunning setting for a still life with fruit or bread, while the Leitmotiv’s Orbit Table ($178) is the ideal minimal piece that is perfectly on-trend with color blocking of stylish white, grey, or orange against natural wood. Charley Harper wood and felt birds ($40–$65) and ceramic mugs and trays ($14; $42) illustrate the exquisite detail of Harper’s nature-inspired illustrations and make a graphically vibrant addition to any space.

For the Kids 
Equally modern and fun, the MuseumStore’s children’s section carries high-quality, durable products for kids of all ages. A mesmerizing alternative to the classic rocking horse, the Newmaker Rocking Zebra ($180) is a design award winner and super durable for the playroom. Lili Chen and Khrass Feng Handmade Sock Dolls ($20 each) provide handsomely crafted, adorable playmates. Clean in design and material, and made in Southern California, Manny and Simon Wooden Trucks ($40 each) take the classic fire, loader, and tow trucks and transform them into contemporary eco-friendly essentials for playtime.

San Francisco Made 
The MuseumStore highlights the best of San Francisco–made products, including the Wood Thumb bow tie ($35) crafted from reclaimed redwood for those who want to stand out in a classy way. Capital Eyewear Sunglasses ($180–$240) are inspired by iconic designs and updated by smooth lines and a wooden frame created with sustainably harvested cherry hardwood. Rickshaw Bagworks bags ($39–$99) channel the creative, active, and design-forward energy of the city, serving as the ideal travel and tech accessories. Michael Murphy’s Limited Edition Signed Prints and T-shirts ($150; $28) showcase San Francisco’s modernist architecture with bold colors and stylized graphics; his SFMOMA-inspired designs are exclusive to the MuseumStore.

Exhibition Products and Art Books 
In conjunction with SFMOMA’s current off-site exhibition Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field, the MuseumStore offers artist-related products, including Mark di Suvero: Dreambook ($58), a celebration of di Suvero’s long, distinguished career, featuring more than 200 images of his most important works. Art book lovers can select from a remarkable variety of interests, such as The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly ($150) that gathers the artist’s entire oeuvre of prints into a two-volume catalogue raisonné; William Christenberry ($65), the largest overview published surveying the contemporary American master photographer’s half-century-long career; and OVERS!ZE ($42), which profiles 40 artists known for their monumental sculptures and installations around the world.

For more information about products, the public may contact the MuseumStore at 415.357.4035 or visit, where many items are also available for purchase online.


Continue Reading

Prince William and Kate’s Royal Baby Boy is Third in Line to British Throne

Prince William’s wife Kate gave birth to a boy on Monday, the couple’s first child and the third in line to the British throne, heralding celebrations in London and messages of goodwill from across the world.

“We could not be happier,” Prince William said in a brief statement, after he witnessed the birth of his son at 4:24 p.m. (11:24 a.m. ET), an event that sparked an international media frenzy and the illumination of London landmarks in blue.

His office said Kate and the baby, weighing 8 lbs 6 oz (3.8 kg) and to be publicly named at a later date, were both doing well and would stay in hospital overnight.

Prince William phoned his grandmother the queen to give her the news, and also contacted his father Prince Charles and brother Prince Harry, all of whom were said to be delighted. The addition to the family is third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and William.

It might take some time for the name to emerge however. The announcement of William’s name took more than a week, but bookmakers make George the favorite, followed by James.

As the birth of the queen’s third great-grandchild was announced, a loud cheer went up from the well-wishers and media gathered outside St. Mary’s Hospital in west London, where William was also born to the late Princess Diana in 1982.

“It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy,” said Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.

Within minutes, messages of congratulations began flooding in, while crowds gathered outside the queen’s London residence Buckingham Palace where an official notice was placed on a gold-colored easel at the main gates.

U.S. President Barack Obama was one of the first world leaders to welcome the birth.

“Michelle and I are so pleased to congratulate The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the joyous occasion of the birth of their first child,” he said. “We wish them all the happiness and blessings parenthood brings.”

The royal couple, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, had arrived at the hospital shortly before 6 a.m. and entered through a back door to avoid massed ranks of British and international media camped outside the main entrance.

Kate and William, both aged 31, met when they were students at St. Andrews University and were married in April 2011 in a spectacular wedding broadcast around the world.


The royal birth has provoked a similar frenzy, with media keeping up a deluge of speculative reports for days beforehand and particularly throughout Monday.

“Right across the country and indeed right across the Commonwealth people will be celebrating and wishing the royal couple well,” Prime Minister David Cameron told waiting reporters in Downing Street.

“It is an important moment in the life of our nation but I suppose above all it’s a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple who got a brand new baby boy.”

Outside Buckingham Palace, there was a party atmosphere with well-wishers laying flowers and teddy bears, singing “God Save the Queen” and “Happy Birthday”, and children waving flags.

“The build up to the birth has been so big I’m just happy it’s finally come. I’m pleased it’s a boy, you always want a boy really,” said Alice Durrans, who rushed from a nearby restaurant after hearing the news.

Deborah Beeson, a banker from the United States, was ecstatic.

“It’s wonderful. I got chills. I cried,” she said. “You know America loves Kate. She’s just beautiful, she has dignity.”

There will be a 41-gun salute at London’s Hyde Park and 62 rounds fired at the Tower of London on Tuesday to herald news of the birth.

The baby arrives at a time when the royal family is riding a wave of popularity. An Ipsos Mori poll last week showed 77 percent of Britons were in favor of remaining a monarchy over a republic, close to its best-ever level of support.


The dark days for the House of Windsor after the death of William’s mother Princess Diana in 1997, which led to public anger at the royals, have been replaced with outpourings of support for William and Kate’s wedding and the Diamond Jubilee for the queen last summer.

“It’s been a remarkable few years for our royal family,” Cameron said.

The couple, who have been living in a cottage in north Wales where William is based as a Royal Air Force helicopter pilot, will eventually take up residence with their baby at Apartment 1A at London’s Kensington Palace when a 1 million pound refurbishment is completed later this year.

The palace was also William’s childhood home.

The young royal couple have become global stars after some 2 billion people tuned in to watch their glittering marriage ceremony in 2011, while Kate is seen as a fashion icon.

(Additional reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, Sarah Young, Limei Hoang and Mark Anderson; Editing by Angus MacSwan, Michael Roddy and Eric Beech)


Continue Reading