Archive | Home Page

Post for the home page belong in this category

Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik Leads A Program Of Vivaldi, Bach And Mozart Featuring Sfs Musicians 
Catherine Payne And Jonathan Fischer 
January 23-26 At Davies Symphony Hall

Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik leads and performs with the San Francisco Symphony in a program of concertos and serenades January 23-26 at Davies Symphony Hall. SFS piccolo player Catherine Payne is featured as soloist in Vivaldi’s Piccolo Concerto, while oboist Jonathan Fischer joins Barantschik in Bach’s Concerto in D minor for Violin and Oboe. Barantschik performs as soloist and leader in Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor, and additionally leads Mozart’s Divertimento in D major for Strings and Serenade No. 6, Serenata notturna.

“When we start the rehearsals for a program like this, the process reminds me very much of preparing for a chamber concert,” Barantschik explains of preparing for a concert as both a leader and a performer. “We don’t have a conductor, so everyone takes a greater initiative. When we get all the details right, like the balance of sound, articulation and our bow technique, then things start to come together, and the real fun starts. We can be free with our interpretation and take risks, almost like improvisation. We are free to take time with certain sections, to make them more special in some ways, so that every performance is different. That is what makes performing with your colleagues so much fun.”

Alexander Barantschik joined the SFS in 2001 and performs on the famed 1742 Guarnerius del Gesù “David” violin, previously owned by Jascha Heifetz, on loan from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Legion of Honor.  A native of St. Petersburg, Barantschik previously served as concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra.  He joined the SFS as Concertmaster in 2001. He last performed as leader-soloist with the Orchestra in May 2012 in performances of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos.

Catherine Payne has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony since 1996. Previously, she was principal flutist of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston and associate principal flute and piccolo player with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with the Boston and Chicago Symphonies.  Payne was featured in last season’s world premiere of Meredith Monk’s Realm Variations, and last performed as soloist with the orchestra in 2005 performances of Vivaldi’s Piccolo Concerto in C major.


Jonathan Fischer joined the San Francisco Symphony as Associate Principal Oboe in 2003.
He has held positions with the Cleveland Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Savannah Symphony, and New World Symphony, where he frequently coaches. This summer, he will enjoy his third year as Principal Oboist with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. 

Continue Reading

Violin Virtuosos Christian Tatzlaff Performs on Tuesday, February 12, 8:00 PM at First Congregational Chuch

The “highly physical” (The Guardian) German violinist Christian Tetzlaff returns to Zellerbach Hall to perform a solo recital on Tuesday, February 12 at 8:00 p.m. at First Congregational Church. The program will feature violin works encompassing a broad swath of musical history, from Bach to Bartók to Kurtág. Though these composers span centuries, Tetzlaff is known for “his protean ability to take on the character of whatever work he is playing” (The Independent). In his most recent engagement with Cal Performances in 2010, the violinist performed the complete violin sonatas and partitas by Bach, a feat of musical endurance that lasted over two hours. This program, though shorter, will offer a much more in-depth look at Tetzlaff’s multitalented style. With dozens of solo and collaborative recordings and over 100 performances to his name, Tetzlaff is “a bold artist with an instinctive feeling for the wild side in music” (The New York Times).

Christian Tetzlaff started playing violin and piano at age six, but did not begin intensive study of the violin until age 14, when he made his concert debut playing Beethoven. He studied at the conservatory in Lübeck and in Berlin under Uwe-Martin Haiberg. In 1985, he came to United States to work with Walter Levine at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He also spent two summers at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont.

His extensive repertoire includes concertos, solo and chamber works. He has performed pieces by many composers, including Hadyn, Bartók, Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Beethoven. In North America, he has played with the orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Toronto. He has also performed with the major European orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Vienna Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.

Tetzlaff has also received several awards for his recordings for Virgin Classics and other labels, including the Diapason d’Or twice, the Edison Prize, the Midem Classical Award, the ECHO Klassik prize, and several Grammy Award nominations. In 2005, he was named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America in honor of his artistic achievements. In Spring 2013, he will release a recording of the Schumann violin sonatas. For more information, please go to http://www.christiantetzlaff.com/index_en.html.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Christian Tetzlaff on Tuesday, February 12 at 8:00 p.m. at First Congregational Church are $52.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; 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 http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

Continue Reading

Will Citizens United Repeal Begin in a Marin Carpool Lane?

From the Pacific Sun

A lone Marin driver’s naughty sneak into the carpool lane could spell the end of corporate personhood as we know it—or at least that’s San Rafael resident Jonathan Frieman’s plan, as he heads to Marin Superior Court next week to challenge a traffic violation and, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Frieman was heading south on Highway 101 through Novato on Oct. 2 when he was cited for violating California vehicle code 21655.5, which prohibits drivers from entering unauthorized vehicle lanes—in Frieman’s case, being a solo occupant in a lane requiring two or more persons. But Frieman plans to contest the $478 violation in court on Jan. 7, arguing that he had corporate incorporation papers in his car at the time and, he says, the state vehicle code views corporations as persons—therefore he and his corporation constituted a two-person carpool.

According to a press release from Kathleen Russell Consulting, the Mill Valley-based firm handling publicity for Frieman’s quest for justice, state vehicle code 470’s definition of a person includes “natural persons and corporations.”

If he loses in court on Monday, continues the press release, Frieman says he is prepared to appeal the ca se all the way to the Supreme Court “in an effort to expose the impracticality of corporate personhood.”

“Corporations are imaginary entities, and we’ve let them run wild,” says Frieman. “Their original intent 200 years ago at the dawn of our nation was to serve human beings. So I’m wresting back that power by making their personhood serve me.”

The concept of corporate personhood has been an ongoing controversy for years—but it hit the mainstream in 2010 following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which held that restricting political expenditures by corporations was a violation of their First Amendment rights to free speech. Implicit in such a ruling, some argue, is that the Constitution grants protections to corporations as if they were people.

Representing Frieman is attorney Ford Greene—he, too, says the state vehicle code treats a person and a corporation as equivalent.

“When a corporation is present in one’s car, it is sufficient to qualify as a two-person occupancy for commuter lane purposes,” says Greene, who’s also a San Anselmo city councilmember. “When the corporate presence in our electoral process is financially dominant, by parity it appears appropriate to recognize such presence in an automobile.”

Also unclear: If Frieman’s ticket is dismissed on the grounds that he and the corporation constitute a carpool–could the San Rafael activist then be fined for driving with an un-seat-belted passenger?

Frieman’s court appearance takes place Monday at 3pm at the Marin Superior Court, 3501 Civic Center Drive in San Rafael.

Continue Reading

St. Anthony’s Breaks Ground on Their New Dining Room on January 24 at 3 pm

After 60 years and almost 39 million free, hot meals, St. Anthony Foundation is partnering with Mercy Housing California to develop a new home for St. Antony’s dining room, crowned with 90 affordable apartments for seniors at 121 Golden Gate.

This partnership makes the most of the original Dining Room site by raising a new 10-story building that will bring St. Anthony’s Dining Room, Free Clothing Program, and social Work Center together under one roof and increase service and food storage space.

Above, Mercy Housing California will develop and operate 90 supportive studio and one-bedroom apartments for very low-income and formerly homeless seniors.  Residents will only have to take the elevator to get a nutritious meal or an emergenmcy grocery bag, a set of clothing. or advice from a social worker at St. Anthony’s.  Together, St. Anthony’s and Mercy Housing Califronia will enusre that seniors live in dignity in a safe, stable and accessible home.

Financing partners for the development include the CA Tax Credit allocation commitee, the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, the City and County of SF, Citibank Community Capital, National Equity Fund, Silicon Valley Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of SF, and the Kendeda Fund.

Continue Reading

CAL PERFORMANCES Presents The Bay Area Recital Debut Of Eric Owens On Sunday, February 10 
at 3:00 In Hertz Hall


Photo:  Paul Sirochman


“Eric Owens speaks to you even in his silences… and shakes you when he sings” (Chicago-Sun Times). Cal Performances presents the highly-regarded American bass-baritone, Eric Owens, in his Bay Area recital debut Sunday, February 10, at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall. Owens will perform a program of songs from the repertoire of Hugo Wolf, Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Richard Wagner.  In the last few years Owens has established an enviable opera, stage, recital and concert career, performing at the San Francisco Opera, the Met and Carnegie Hall, among many other prestigious stages.  He was thrust into the spotlight for his powerful portrayal as Alberich in Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen at the Metropolitan Opera. His recital program in Berkeley will highlight his expansive yet focused tone and his innate acting technique, conveying the audience through more than one hundred years of music.  Owens will perform with seasoned vocal accompanist pianist Warren Jones.

A native of Philadelphia, Eric Owens began his music training as a pianist at six, followed by formal oboe study at eleven. He later studied voice while an undergraduate at Temple University, then as a graduate student at the Curtis Institute of Music, and currently studies with Armen Boyajian.  He has performed with New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, among others, and worked with today’s leading conductors, including Wolfgang Sawallisch, Lorin Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Franz Welser-Möst, John Nelson and Robert Spano.  Among the many honors he has received are the 2003 Marian Anderson Award, first prize in the Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition.

“The single finest accompanist now working,” (San Francisco Chronicle) pianist Warren Jones was named “Collaborative Pianist of the Year” for 2010 by Musical America and has performed with many of today’s best-known artists including Stephanie Blythe, Denyce Graves, James Morris, John Relyea, and Richard “Yongjai” O’Neill, among others. Jones has often been a guest artist at Carnegie Hall and in Lincoln Center’s “Great Performer Series,” as well as festivals in Tanglewood, Ravinia and Caramoor. He has also been invited three times to the White House by American presidents to perform at concerts honoring the President of Russia and Prime Ministers of Italy and Canada.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Eric Owens, tenor, with Warren Jones, piano, on Sunday, February 10 at 3:00 p.m., in Hertz Hall are priced at $46.00, subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; 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 http://calperformances.org/buy/ discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

Continue Reading

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas Leads The San Francisco Symphony,
San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Soloists And Actors In An All-New Multi-Media Production Of Scandinavian Classic Peer Gynt

Performance features specially curated music for Peer Gynt
written by Grieg, Schnittke and Robin Holloway

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas MTT) leads the San Francisco Symphony  (SFS) and San Francisco Symphony Chorus in an all-new semi-staged production of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt January 17, 18 & 19 at 8:00 pm at Davies Symphony Hall. To achieve Tilson Thomas’ vision for accessing this epic drama, the production will utilize selections from music for Peer Gynt written by three composers, enhanced by original video projections, actors and theatrical elements. For these performances MTT has chosen a combination of musical excerpts written for Peer Gynt by composers of diverse eras and nationalities; Edvard Grieg, Alfred Schnittke and never-performed-before music by Robin Holloway. Combined, these selections will express Tilson Thomas’ unique imagining of this great work of Scandinavian literature and poetry. The performances will be sung and acted in English.

Of his choosing to perform Peer Gynt with the San Francisco Symphony this season MTT said, “Peer Gynt is a gigantic, sprawling play, probably best known through Grieg’s music. I don’t think that people have an idea of what a challenging and provocative play it is—filled with questions about life, and love, and all of those things. Both Alfred Schnittke and Robin Holloway produced huge scores for Peer Gynt. This program is a wonderful opportunity to connect Ibsen’s play with these three composers. Given the vast length of the [original] play—four hours!—we can offer a musical and dramatic snapshot of both music and text [in our abridged production.]” Semi-staged productions such as this one, Debussy’s Le martyre de Saint Sebastien and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle last season plus the upcoming performances of Beethoven’s Missa solemnis in June reflect Michael Tilson Thomas’s creative vision and passion for combining theater and classical repertoire in a fresh, contemporary way setting stories in a new context for the concert hall.

Peer Gynt was written by Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen in 1867 and tells the tale of a selfish young man’s adventures in wrongdoing and is based on Norwegian folktales expressing a dark view of human nature. Ibsen asked Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg to write a score for Peer Gynt and Grieg’s music premiered along with the play in 1876 in Oslo. MTT & the SFS’ production will feature excerpts from Grieg’s incidental music for Peer Gynt.  Following intermission, MTT and the Orchestra will perform selections from Peer Gynt written by Russian composer Alfred Schnittke in the 1980s for American choreographer John Neumeier’s adaptation of Ibsen’s play. Schnittke’s is a massive score for huge orchestra which the composer continued to work on even after his first major stroke in 1985. The ballet is reputed to offer the best single introduction to Schnittke’s musical and aesthetic philosophy.

The first performances of music for Peer Gynt written by English composer Robin Holloway acts as a finale to the semi-staged production. The composer offers, “I wrote music for the complete Peer Gynt in the late 80s and 90s, it was not commissioned, but my desire to write it was so great, that I would have burst if hadn’t. I am absolutely thrilled that MTT and the San Francisco Symphony will be performing my orchestral epitome of Ibsen’s act four, for the very first time in this multi-media production.”  The composer adds, “The music I wrote for Peer Gynt’s 40-year ocean voyage is a symphonic picture of his travels around the world in which he visits every continent, gaining and losing a fortune in each, and getting entangled and disentangled with a series of loves. It begins with America, moving westwards, crossing the Pacific, to encounter the Orient, then explore the dark heart of Africa, moves north to encounter the pyramids and the Sphynx of Egypt; this is his final encounter with the wider world before he is driven back home to Norway as an old man to face up to the guilt of his youthful past.”

Actor Ben Huber makes his SFS debut performing the role of Gynt. Huber’s New York credits include Daniel Sullivan’s Midsummer Night’s Dream in Central Park for the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, Perfect Harmony at the Clurman Theater, Sextet at New York Theater Workshop.  Regionally he’s been seen in Zoe Kazan’s Absalom at Actor’s Theater of Louisville/Humana Festival, Between Us Chickens at South Coast Repertory, The Importance of Being Earnest at Baltimore Centerstage, Eurydice at The Wilma in Philadelphia, Or, at The Magic Theater in San Francisco, and most recently, Glass Menagerie at Seattle Repertory Theater He holds an MFA from the Graduate Acting Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Soprano Joélle Harvey performs the role of Solveig, Peer’s untiring love interest. This season she was recently featured in performances of Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus December 13-16 . She performed previously with the SFS in Carmina burana in November 2010 and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe in 2009

Actor Jesse Merlin makes his San Francisco Symphony debut in this production as Solveig’s Father, the Troll King, the Captain, and the Lean One. Merlin is a former Resident Artist with Opera San José, and has performed forty-five roles with Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Las Vegas, Long Beach Opera, Opera A La Carte, and Théâtre du Rond-Point. He performed the role of Dr. Hill in Re-Animator: The Musical at the Edinburgh Fringe, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Hayworth Theatre, and the Steve Allen Theater for which he received an Ovation Award Nomination.

James Darrah  will direct these performances. Darrah designed new productions of Handel’s Teseo and Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Médée for Chicago Opera Theater in their 2011 and 2012 seasons. He made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut with Luciano Berio’s Recital for Cathy while working as an assistant to director Christopher Alden for the LA Phil Don Giovanni. Of the staging for the SFS production of Peer Gynt Darrah said, “to fully integrate the staged, musical, and visual components, the Symphony production’s design envelops the orchestra into its scope. The direction moves the action into a minimalist dreamscape, allowing an intimate connection with the text and characters. Production inspiration is drawn from experimental modern photography using mirrors, reflections, and shadow play. The costumes are a timeless re-imagining of modern dress in a myriad of silhouettes.”

For this production Adam Larsen will design abstract video projections, inspired by Norway’s topography, evoking the vague landscapes of a restless mind. Larsen last created video for MTT & the SFS’ performances of Debussy’s Le martyre de Saint Sébastien in January 2012. He holds a B.F.A. in cinematography from North Carolina School of the Arts and is currently self-producing a feature documentary on autism entitled Neurotypical. He has designed projections for Hal Prince’s LoveMusik (Broadway), The Gospel at Colonus (Herod Atticus, Athens), world premieres of The Women of Brewster Place (Alliance/Arena Stage) and Christmas Carol 1941 (Arena Stage) and recently The Wind Up Bird Chronicle (Ohio Theater) and Love Lies Bleeding, a ballet based on the life of Elton John (Alberta Ballet).

Lighting designer Cameron Jaye Mock’s work includes a multi-year long residency with the Latino Theater Company and Los Angeles Theater Center creating lighting and projections for Charity and Hope, as well as lights, sets, and projections for Faith, each a part of The Mexican Trilogy. Opera credits include designing scenery and lighting for Dialogues des Carmélites, lighting for productions of L’incoronazione di Poppea, the US West Coast premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Flight, Dido and Aeneas, and Cavalli’s Giasone with Opera UCLA and Berkeley Opera’s L’ Elisir D’ Amore. He earned his MFA from the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television.

The SFS last performed Peer Gynt in Norwegian under the baton of then Music Director Herbert Blomstedt in 1988 selections from which were released on recording in 1991.


SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY    

Thursday, January 17 at 8 pm

Friday, January 18 at 8 pm                                                                                    

Saturday, January 19 at 8 pm 


PRE-CONCERT TALK:        Laura Stanfield Prichard will give an “Inside Music” talk from the stage one hour prior to each concert.  Free to all concert ticket holders; doors open 15 minutes before.

Continue Reading

Radio Host Favorite Ira Glass Returns To 
Zellerbach Hall On Sunday, February 10 At 7:00 Pm


Photo:   Tom Campbell

Radio personality Ira Glass will return to Zellerbach Hall on Sunday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m.  A Bay Area audience favorite, Glass is known as the host and creator of public radio’s This American Life, a weekly program that focuses on everyday people’s stories built around a theme. The show is heard on more than 500 radio station each week by over 1.7 million listeners.  In addition, it is often the most frequently downloaded podcast from National Public Radio (NPR). Glass is known for his quick wit and is praised for filling the unique role of both journalist and storyteller. The New York Times applauded Glass for his “distinctive literary imagination, an eccentric intelligence and a sympathetic heart.” There will be a Q&A session with the audience following the talk, part of Cal Performances’ Strictly Speaking series.

Born in 1959, Ira Glass has been a force in public radio for over 30 years.  He attended Brown University where he majored in semiotics, the study of symbols. At the age of 19, he began working in public radio as an intern at the Washington, DC, headquarters of NPR and has filled many different roles, including desk assistant, newscast writer, reporter and editor.  Before This American Life, he was also a reporter for Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation. In 1990, Glass was invited to co-host The Wild Room, a local Chicago program that was freeform with an eclectic mix of music, reading and banter. At the same time, Glass continued news coverage through his account of his travels with the Clinton campaign in 1992 and then his report on the Chicago Public School System where he spent a year at Taft High School and then a second year at Washington Irving Elementary School. This American Life premiered in 1995 and quickly become successful.  The show was syndicated in 1996 and has been nation-wide hit ever since.

A television adaptation of This American Life ran on the Showtime network for two seasons, 2007-2008, winning three Emmy awards, including Outstanding Nonfiction Series. The show has put out its own comic book, three greatest hits compilations, DVDs of live programs and other events, a “radio decoder” toy, temporary tattoos and a paint-by-numbers set. In 2012, Glass produced and co-wrote, with Mike Birbiglia, a movie called Sleepwalk with Me which began as a story on the radio program.  Half a dozen stories are currently in development to become feature films.

In 2009, Glass was named the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award, the highest honor in Public Radio.  He has won many other prestigious awards including several Peabody Awards, the DuPont-Columbia Award and the Overseas Press Club Award.  A frequent guest of late night television, he has appeared on “The Late Show,” “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Ira Glass on Sunday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00 to $72.00 and are subject to change.  Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; 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 http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

Continue Reading

Drakes Bay Oyster Company Gets Backing From Virginia-Based Interest Group

The Virginia-based Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has agreed to administer a litigation fund to be used to help finance the Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s lawsuit against the United States National Park Service.

The oyster operation was ordered to close by the government after its long-term lease expired in November. Drakes Bay is fighting the issue in court. Drakes Bay will solicit support from its customers, supporters, restaurants and others from the Bay Area and Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties with the defense fund managing the money.

The money in the fund will be used to finance the company’s public interest litigation against the park service. Contributions to the fund are not tax deductible as charitable contributions.

 

From The Marin Independent Journal

 

Continue Reading

One Whale’s Silent Killer Inspires a Thought-Provoking Art Exhibit at The Marine Mammal Center

Guests visiting The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA, throughout 2013 can experience The Ghost Below, a thought-provoking, year-long art exhibition that explores the harmful effects of marine debris. Throughout the year different multi-sensory art installations will reveal the ocean’s beauty, connectivity and fragility, and in turn, inspire people to make the ocean a healthier place for all.

Marin County artists Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang were inspired to create their first sculptural installation for The Ghost Below exhibit after learning about the death of a sperm whale. In 2008, Dr. Frances Gulland, senior scientist at The Marine Mammal Center, and her team, was asked to conduct a post mortem on an adult sperm whale that had washed up on a beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore, CA. This creature had ingested approximately 450 pounds of ocean trash, mainly “ghost nets” – derelict fishing nets that are abandoned or lost by fishermen – and other plastic scraps. This resulted in an intestinal blockage and was the cause of the animal’s death.

In this exhibit, the ghost in the title also applies to the broader problem of ocean trash – discarded garbage that lurks beneath the surface and haunts the ocean and the marine life that call it home.

“Sometimes, environmental problems feel just too big — as big as a whale with a belly full of plastic netting,: explained artist Judith Lang. “ But when we join forces with other kindred spirits to address the problem, we are filled with hope!”

Shocked by the volume of netting consumed by this whale, the Langs created a 6-foot-wide by 9-foot-tall hulking “creature” from 162 lbs of net from the animal’s stomach. It is mounted on a frame made from repurposed scrap aluminum created by fabricator Alex Treu. The nets and rope at the base are from the “plastic soup” known as the North Pacific Gyre and was collected by members of Project Kaisei. The face is made of plastic trash from Kehoe Beach, CA. Standing guard in the Center’s courtyard, the Langs hope this “net monster” will awaken people’s senses and motivate everyone to take action to address the vast problem of trash in the ocean.

“Through this exhibit we hope to prompt people to change behavior, and it starts by educating and providing people with a sense of empowerment,” explained Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director at The Marine Mammal Center. “Every year we rescue seal and sea lion patients entangled in fishing line and other garbage like packing straps and balloon ribbons. Hawaiian monk seals, for example, are the most endangered seal in U.S. waters with only 1,100 left in existence and they are greatly impacted by marine debris; they are a direct example of how people’s trash has become a silent killer.”

The Marine Mammal Center plans to add different art installations to the exhibit as well as conduct an educational outreach and community awareness program about the harmful effects of ocean trash.

“The Langs will also produce a second sculpture for the exhibit themed after Indra’s Net – a story of a Buddhist, Indra, a Hindu God who cast a net with jewels that each reflected light from each other representing the interconnectedness of the world and its inhabitants,” said Anne Veh, curator for The Ghost Below.

The Ghost Below exhibit will run through the end of 2013.

Learn more at MarineMammalCenter.org/ghostbelow

Ocean Trash Facts:

According to the Ocean Conservancy, approximately 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million sea birds die from entanglement in or ingestion of ocean trash each yearIn 2004 the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy identified bycatch as the greatest global threat to cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises).

Marine experts estimate that more than 300,000 cetaceans are killed by fishing gear every year. Source: Randall Reeves, lead author of the WWF-U.S. report (2005), chairs the World Conservation Union’s Cetacean Specialist Group, based in Gland, Switzerland

According to 5 Gyres, an ocean conservation and research group, it’s estimated that there is 318 billion pounds of plastic trash floating within the world’s 5 gyres.

Plastic is forever: According to the Ocean Conservancy, it can take as long as 400 to 1,000 years for a plastic bottle to decompose into miniscule pieces, and it never truly goes away

About the Artists:

 

Since 1999, Richard and Judith Lang have been visiting a 1000 yard stretch of Kehoe Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore gathering plastic debris that washes out of the Pacific Ocean. After carefully collecting and sorting the bits of plastic, they fashion it into works of art that show the material as it is while telling an underlying story about our throw-away culture and our dependency on what they call “thermoplastic junk”. They’ve had over 40 exhibitions located in a range of places from local libraries to the SFMOMA and the US Embassy in the Republic of Georgia. Learn more at BeachPlastic.com .

About The Marine Mammal Center:

The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit animal hospital, research and education center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned marine mammals, and to the study of their health. Since 1975, the Center has been based in the Marin Headlands, Sausalito, CA within a Golden Gate National Park, and has rescued nearly 18,000 marine mammals along its 600 mile rescue range. Visitors to the Center have the unique opportunity to learn about marine mammals through viewing areas, educational exhibits and docent-led tours. FREE admission, open daily 10 A.M. – 5 P.M (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day) MarineMammalCenter.org.

###

Continue Reading

WORD FOR WORD Presents An Evening Of Performances Of Two Short Stories By Sioban Fallon From Her Debut Book

WORD FOR WORD, presents You Know When the Men Are Gone: two short stories “The Last Stand” and “Gold Star” a world premiere production of stories by Sioban Fallon from her debut book which opens with a press night on Saturday, February 2 at 8 PM at Z SPACE, 450 Florida Street in San Francisco (Previews Jan 31 and Feb 1) and runs through February 24. Siobhan Fallon’s stunning collection of interconnected stories was described by the LA Times as a “lovely and wrenching first book… gripping… compelling… extraordinary circumstances,” You Know When the Men Are Gone, provides an intimate look at life on an American military base through the eyes of the families of American soldiers deployed to Iraq.

These stories (”The Last Stand”, “Gold Star”), show another side of war – how those left behind must carry on in their daily lives in hope and fear, as well as what it’s like for the wounded soldiers “returning to normal.” In San Francisco, where most military bases have been closed, this play provides an opportunity to explore the struggles faced by veterans, and their relationships with their families and the non-veteran community, illuminating the commonalities we all share. The author has a first-hand knowledge of the military: Siobhan Fallon is the wife of a military officer who has served in the US Army, including a tour of duty in Iraq.

WORD FOR WORD’S production of “The Last Stand,” directed by Joel Mullennix and “Gold Star,” directed by Amy Kossow features actors Arwen Anderson*, Roselyn Hallett, Armando McClain, Marilet Martinez, Chad Deverman* and Ryan Tasker* (*member AEA). The production design team includes Drew Yerys (Lighting and Sound), Andrea Weber (Choreography), Delia MacDougall (Costumes and Props) and Jacquelyn Scott (Set Design) .

A post-show talk on Thursday February 7 will feature Norbie Lara with the organization Wounded Warrior who will speak regarding his US Army experience, injury, recovery and re- entry into civilian family life. (Bio. follows release)

On Saturday FEBRUARY 16, 8pm Word for Word presents “An Evening with Sioban Fallon ” with a performance of the company’s “The Last Stand” and “Gold Star”, followed by an onstage conversation and reception with Sioban Fallon. Sioban Fallon’s debut book You Know When the Men Are Gone will be available for purchase and she will be happy to sign them.Concurrently the Z Space Gallery will present an exhibition of new work by visual artists Drew Cameron and Julia Goodman. Each artist will create pieces using handmade paper that consider the experiences of soldiers, veterans, and their families.

Z SPACE

450 Florida Street, San Francisco. Performances; Wednesday-Thursday 7 pm, Friday-Saturday 8 pm, and Sunday 3 pm Tickets: Wednesday – Thursday $30; Friday – Sunday $40; Feb 16 author night $55, with a $5 student/senior discount & $20 previews. (Previews Jan 31 & Feb. 1). Photo editors: A selection of photographs is at www.zspace.org Tickets: at www.brownpapertickets.com or (800) 838-3006 (24-Hour Ticket Hotline) or visit www.zspace.org.

You Know When the Men Are Gone: two short stories “The Last Stand” and “Gold Star” offers a rare glimpse of the unique challenges faced by soldiers and military families. Veterans are returning to the United States in increasing numbers, and they and their families are marked by the experience. We hope that in producing these stories we give our audience a glimpse of a world unknown to many of us and thus expand and challenge our ideas around these subjects, sparking thought and conversation. In San Francisco, where most military bases have been closed, this play and provides a way to examine the struggles faced by veterans, and their relationships with their families and the non-veteran community, illuminating the commonalities we all share. The author has a first-hand knowledge of the military: Siobhan Fallon is the wife of a military officer and Drew Cameron served in the US Army, including a tour of duty in Iraq.

“While there are a lot of books about soldiers’ experiences on the battlefields, there are few about the home front. For every soldier deployed, there is a family waiting for his return, and those stories, those battles, those small and fragile moments, are extraordinary to me.” Sioban Fallon

Siobhan Fallon (author) is a military spouse and writer whose husband has deployed three times to the Middle East, including two tours to Iraq out of Fort Hood. She and her family have recently moved from Amman, Jordan, to Falls Church, Virginia, where her husband remains an active duty Army officer. Her stories and essays have appeared in Publishers’ Weekly, Women’s Day, Good Housekeeping, New Letters, Salamander, among others. Siobhan is currently working on a novel and writing a monthly fiction series for Military Spouse Magazine. She earned her MFA from the New School in New York City.

Amy Kossow (director) is a founding member of the Z Space Studio, and is a Charter Member of San Francisco’s renowned theatre company, Word for Word. With Word for Word, Amy has directed stories by Mavis Gallant, Nathan Englander, Kay Boyle and Lawrence Block. Favorite WFW acting roles include Ottaline, in The Bunchgrass Edge of the World, Rose, in Three Blooms, Abby Borden, in The Fall River Axe Murders, and Miss Van Vluck, in Xingu. More recently, Amy appeared as Sadie in the American premiere of Any Given Day and as Mary Prime Deity in the rolling world premiere of The Lily’s Revenge, both at the Magic Theatre. She also originated roles in Octavio Solis’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven, co-created with Word for Word at California Shakespeare Theater.

Joel Mullennix (director) most recently directed the highly successful productions of “Olive Kitteridge”, “More Stories by Tobias Wolff” and “Which is More Than I Can Say About Some People” for Word For Word, and “Family Alchemy” for A Traveling Jewish Theatre. He has also directed works by Chekhov, Shakespeare, Miller, Stephen Adly Guirgis and others. Joel is also an actor and has performed in many Bay Area Theatres as well as in New York and Europe.

WORD FOR WORD is the theatre company that transforms classic and contemporary fiction into performance works for the stage. Founded in 1993 by Susan Harloe and JoAnne Winter, the company is in its 19th year. Word for Word performs short stories in their entirety, preserving the author’s language and honoring his or her literary intent. Word for Word has staged works throughout the Bay Area, as well as in France. In 1997, Word for Word received a special Bay Area Critics Circle Award for its unique concept and in 1998, 2002, 2003, and 2005, the Bay Area Critics Circle awarded the company numerous honors for productions including “The Halfway Diner,” “Winesburg, Ohio,” Stories by Tobias Wolff,” and “Immortal Heart.” In 2008 Word for Word received the Best Ensemble Award for “Sonny’s Blues,” with composer Marcus Shelby receiving the best Original Score for the production. Playwright Octavio Solis, Cal Shakes Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone, and Word for Word co-Artistic Directors JoAnne Winter, and Susan Harloe, came together in 2006 to create an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven which premiered at Cal Shakes in 2010. Word for Word is a program of the Z Space.

 

Z SPACE was founded in 1993 to promote the artistic and professional advancement of Bay Area theatre. With our signature Word For Word and Youth Arts programs, along with our commissioning and careful development of new plays, we have become one of the nations leading laboratories for the development of new works and emerging playwrights. In August, 2009, we moved to our new home in Project Artaud, and commenced the upgrade and transformation of this iconic theatre venue where we will create a most welcoming hub of outstanding artistry from all disciplines including theatre, dance, music, multimedia and visual arts.

###

Continue Reading

A Celebration of Harold Pinter: A Theatrical Portrait of the Late Playwright

Directed by John Malkovich; Performed by Julian Sands

The late Harold Pinter’s writing career spanned more than fifty years. One of the most influential and controversial modern dramatists, Pinter wrote more than twenty-nine plays and some twenty-one screenplays. His plays include Betrayal, No Man’s Land, Old Times, The Caretaker, The Birthday Party, A Kind of Alaska, and the Tony Award-winning The Homecoming. Pinter was also a noted director, actor, poet, and political activist.

Julian Sands has worked in radio, television, theatre, and in over a hundred films —including The Killing Fields, Room With a View, Boxing Helena, Leaving Las Vegas, Arachnophobia, Oceans 13, and Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. Sands and John Malkovich first presented A Celebration of Harold Pinter at The Edinburgh Festival in 2011. He has since performed the original piece in London, Paris, Poznan, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Mexico City.

An Academy Award-nominated actor, John Malkovich directed Broadway revivals of The Caretaker and Arms and the Man, and won the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and OBIE awards for his direction of Balm in Gilead. He is a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. He has also appeared in the films The Killing Fields, Dangerous Liaisons, Of Mice and Men, Empire of the Sun, and Red. His New York stage credits includeBurn This, Death of a Salesman, and True West.

Continue Reading

Marga Gomez and Funny Ladies Seize New Year’s Eve

 

“Brava’s NYE Comedy Fiesta with Marga Gomez and Funny Lady Friends” rings in 2013 and benefits the 27th year of ‘Brava! For Women in the Arts’ with cocktails, food, dancing and laughs!Marga Gomez (voted 2012 Best Comedian by the SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly and Bay Area Reporter) headlines a bill featuring the Bay Areas best female and drag queen comics: Aundre the Wonderwoman, Pippi Lovestocking, Lydia Popovich and Eloisa Bravo. Decompress from 2012 with the sage, sarcastic and silly stars of BRAVA’s NYE Comedy Fiesta as they tackle the hottest topics of the year. The performance will be immediately followed by a countdown to midnight party with cocktails, DJ and dancing into the wee hours of 2013. Proceeds benefit Brava Theatre.

ABOUT BRAVA: Brava! For Women in the Arts celebrates the beginning of its 27th year producing, presenting and cultivating original work, especially by women, people of color and lesbian artists and its 17th year as owner and operator of the iconic Brava Theater Center on 24th Street in the Mission. Proceeds from Brava’s NYE Comedy Fiesta will further these goals in 2013.

ABOUT PERFORMERS

MARGA GOMEZ: The SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly and Bay Area Reporter named Marga Gomez “Best Comedian 2012”. New Year’s Eve is Marga’s favorite holiday because she likes to watch drunken people flirt. Marga was an original member of Culture Clash and currently produces “Comedy Bodega,” a Thursday night comedy showcase in the Mission. She performs comedy and theater all over the country and internationally. Her latest solo play “Not Getting Any Younger” received the SF Chronicle’s highest rating and ran at the SF Marsh for 8 months through 2012. Her comedy has been featured on HBO, LOGO, Comedy Central and PBS. For more about Marga visit www.margagomez.com

Aundre the Wonderwoman set her sights on political humor from the start. A clever and breathtaking satirist, she uses the stage as her bully pulpit, taking on everything from presidential politics to animal lovers. Andre works as an anti-death penalty lawyer by day. Aundre is a comedy voice not to be missed, especially during this historic political election season.

Pippi Lovestocking: Comedian and drag queen, Pippi Lovestocking is the underground treasure of Bay Area Comedy. She is six feet of comedy goodness struggling to stay on the high road. Pippi says, “It’s not a relapse it’s a comeback!”

Lydia Popovich hosts the monthly showcase “Ladies love The Layover” in Oakland. Her website, Hater Tuesday, gets thousands of weekly visits from around the world.

Eloisa Bravo: is a Venezuelan heavy hitter with a wild streak. Eloisa produces the popular once a month “Train Wreck Cabaret” in the Mission and would make a wonderful co-parent to any dysfunctional household.

Continue Reading

California Unemployment Under 10%

After a long twilight, business is booming again at Matt Construction as high-end orders come in for hotels and office complexes.

The Los Angeles-area company increased hiring by about 20 percent this year, adding 30 employees as more construction jobs – and bigger ones – piled up.

Such stories are a major reason California’s jobless rate dipped below 10 percent last month for the first time since the recession began. The 9.8 percent unemployment rate reported Friday by the Employment Development Department is down from 10.1 percent in October.

The last time the unemployment rate was in single digits was in January 2009, when the number was 9.7 percent.

The improvement, led by a surge in technology jobs that have spurred a wave of new construction, comes as something of a surprise. Leading economists had predicted that California’s unemployment rate would remain in double digits through 2013.

Al Matt, executive vice president of Matt Construction, said his Santa Fe Springs-based company has seen a strong recovery from the height of the recession in 2009, when revenues dropped by half.

“Overall, our revenues are up in 2012 by a substantial amount, as much as 30 percent,” he said. “It looks like next year will be a similar sort of increase.”

There are other positive signs. The number of unemployed Californians dropped to 1.8 million, also the lowest number in nearly four years. The state has added more than 564,000 nonfarm payroll jobs since the economic recovery began in 2010.

“The job gains have been fairly widespread,” said economist Jerry Nickelsburg, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We’re finally seeing an increase in construction, particularly single-family housing.”

He added that such signs are “continued evidence that California’s economy is growing and is recovering.”

Experts say growth in single-family housing and construction are good indicators of recovery because they signal increased wealth, relatively high-paying blue-collar jobs, and general optimism.

The danger of a downturn still lurks, however, most immediately in the form of the impending “fiscal cliff.” Business and government officials have warned that fallout from ongoing budget negotiations at the nation’s capital could halt California’s recovery.

Without a deal, automatic spending cuts will slash local government budgets and raise tax rates for workers as the nation struggles to get over the effects of the Great Recession. Also, unemployment benefits for 400,000 Californians would expire next month without an agreement from Congress and the president.

Also, despite the gains indicating one of the nation’s fastest growing economies, California still lagged behind the national unemployment rate of 7.7 percent.

About 14.4 million Californians were working last month, and the recovery varied significantly across the state. Imperial County had a whopping 26.6 percent unemployment rate, while rates in many inland counties remained in the double digits.

Expansion in high-paying technology jobs helped the San Francisco Bay Area remain the state’s growth leader, said Stephen Levy, a senior economist at the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.

The unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in Marin County, while San Francisco and San Mateo counties hovered above 6 percent.

The information sector, meanwhile, showed the biggest percentage gain in jobs over the last year, up nearly 6 percent.

Growth in San Diego County also has been strong, Levy said. Los Angeles County and others nearby also have joined the recovery, while the Central Valley is slowly regrouping.

The capitol region, where government is a large employer, still is lagging, Levy said in an email.

Government employment showed the biggest losses in Friday’s report, down 34,500 jobs in the last year, indicating an overall decline in spending.

The contraction has meant less money for public projects like road construction, said Skip Brown, owner of road contractor Delta Construction Co. in Sacramento.

Brown said he hasn’t taken a paycheck from his own company in five years, and his salaried employees have eaten pay cuts up to 40 percent.

Meanwhile, stricter air pollution standards mean most of his heavy diesel equipment will be illegal to use in California in coming years. Brown said if he can’t sell the 69-year-old firm started by his father, he’ll close the doors once he can no longer operate his paving and grading equipment.

For Brown, “There’s no rebound at all.”

FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST

Continue Reading

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Performs A Trifecta Of Works, Including A World, West Coast And Bay Area Premiere 
Friday And Saturday, February 1–2 In Zellerbach Hall



The world premiere is a collaboration with choreographer Alonzo King


New and exciting contemporary dance takes the stage when Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) comes to Cal Performances on Friday and Saturday, February 1 and 2 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall. Led by artistic director Glenn Edgerton, the company will bring three premiere works to Berkeley: a world premiere created by Alonzo King and performed by a supergroup of 28 dancers from both Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and King’s company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet; the West Coast debut of Alejandro Cerrudo’s Little mortal jump and the Bay Area bow of Sharon Eyal and Gaï Behar’s Too Beaucoup. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is celebrating its 35th year as one of the country’s most important contemporary dance companies. “This is the kind of dancing one always hopes to see,” raves the Los Angeles Times.

The centerpiece of the HSDC’s visit to Berkeley will be a yet-untitled new work from visionary San Francisco choreographer Alonzo King. King is creating a work that celebrates the merging of diverse aesthetics, rather than the inherent contrasts between the two companies. It is set to music from various sources, including original music by San Francisco composer Ben Juodvalkis.

Also on the program is Little mortal jump, created in 2012 for HSDC by its resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo. The work features diversely characterized couples, scenery that alternately serves as frames and obstructions for the dancers, and a score of wildly contrasting music by Beirut, Andrew Bird, Alexandre Desplat, Philip Glass, Hans Otte, and Max Richter. The third piece in the Berkeley program is Too Beaucoup, a full-company work commissioned in 2011 from Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal and her co-creator Gaï Behar, who also designed the costumes. With a whimsical title meaning “too too much,” the work suggests 3D video through precise, robotic movements, costumes and lighting. Israeli musician and DJ Ori Lichtik designed the soundtrack using music by Gang of Four, Vicious Pink, Depeche Mode, Ivan Pavlov (COH), Leonard Cohen, Cole Porter, Vice, Bobby Timmons and Oren Barzilay.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago grew out of the Lou Conte Dance Studio, where, in 1977, several aspiring young dancers asked Conte for instruction. Within a decade the company was attracting nationally known choreographers to create works for it. Conte led the group for 23 years, developing relationships with choreographers including Margo Sappington, Daniel Ezralow, Nacho Duato, Jirí Kylián and Twyla Tharp, who shaped the company’s repertoire. Jim Vincent succeeded Conte in 2000, and in 2009, Glenn Edgerton took the helm as Artistic Director. Today Hubbard consists of a main company of 17 dancers, a preparatory company called Hubbard Street 2 (HS2), the Lou Conte Dance Studio, and a variety of education and community programs. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago also cultivates collaborative partnerships with Chicago’s leading cultural and academic institutions, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Rush University Medical Center.

Glenn Edgerton became artistic director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2009, bringing a passion for new choreographic works and a deep desire for enhanced collaboration and communication with an international roster of musicians, choreographers, dancers, and artists. “Our eclecticism, our cultivation of new choreography is what makes Hubbard Street unique,” Edgerton recently told the Los Angeles Times. “We are poised to demonstrate what dance can be and where dance can go. We don’t even know where it is. Wherever it is, I want to be the catalyst.”

Choreographer Alonzo King has works in the repertories of the Swedish Royal Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Bejart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Hubbard Street until 1980. In 1982 he founded LINES Contemporary Ballet, which was later renamed Alonzo King LINES Ballet. He has worked extensively in opera, television and film. In 2005, he was named a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center and in October 2012, the San Francisco Museum & Historical Society named Alonzo King a “San Francisco Treasure” in recognition of the significant contributions he has made to the historic fabric of San Francisco over the last 30 years.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago on Friday and Saturday, February 1 and 2 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00–$68.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; 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 http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

#  

Continue Reading

The Award-Winning And Deeply Emotional 
Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca 
Return To Zellerbach Hall Friday, February 8


 

With “emotional singing, guitar playing and virtuoso dancing” (New York Post), Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca return to Cal Performances on Friday, February 8 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall. Recognized as the leader in the flamenco dance form, co-founder and artistic director Martín Santangelo and his celebrated star, Soledad Barrio, bring the program, La Noche Quebrada, part of the company’s 2013 Winter Tour. Literally meaning “the broken night,” La Noche Quebrada takes the audience on a bittersweet journey of love, loss, separation and unity. The husband-and-wife duo founded the ensemble in 1993, and it has quickly become one of the most sought-after dance companies in the world. Barrio’s dancing is “invariably charged with intense drama…[as] she goes straight for the expressive tension that seems to be at flamenco’s very heart” (The New York Times).  In addition to Barrio, the performance features guest artist Antonio Jiménez; guitarists Eugenio Iglesias and Salva de María; singers Manuel Gago and Jose Jímenez; and dancers Sol La Argentinita and Marina Elana.

Noche Flamenca was founded almost 20 years ago in Madrid and regularly tours the globe. In addition to its Cal Performances engagement, their Winter Tour includes stops in New York, Montreal, Toronto and others. The company has regular seasons in New York and Buenos Aires, and has traveled to Australia, Greece, Egypt, Brasil and North America, among others. The company’s multiple talents are interwoven and given equal weight, in an artistic vision developed by Santangelo and Barrio. Some of Spain’s most renowned artists, such as Belen Maya, Alejandro Granados, Antonio Vizarraga, Rafael “Falo” Jimenez and David Serva, have worked and continue to work with the company. Noche Flamenca won the 2003 Lucille Lortel award for Special Theatrical Experience and the 2006 National Dance Project award. They also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2007 and 2008.

Martín Santangelo, who was born and raised in New York’s Greenwich Village, was exposed to dance by his Argentine mother. As a young man, he studied acting at New York University and then moved to San Francisco, joining El Teatro Campesino. While with the theater company, he happened to fill in for an actor in a flamenco performance and became captivated by the dance form. He soon left the United States for Madrid to pursue flamenco studies. A student of Ciro, Paco Romero, El Guito, Manolete and Alejandro Granados, Santangelo has performed throughout Spain, Japan and North and South America, appearing with Maria Benitez’s Teatro Flamenco, the Lincoln Center Festival of the Arts, and Paco Romero’s Ballet Español. He also danced and choreographed a solo for Julie Taymor’s Juan Darien at Lincoln Center.

The co-founder of Noche Flamenco, Soledad Barrio, has been described by the former Artistic Director of New York’s Joseph Papp Public Theater as “a once-in-a-lifetime perfomer who combines overwhelming physicality and spirituality.”  She was born in Madrid and trained in flamenco and clásico español. Barrio has appeared as a soloist with the Ballet Español with Paco Romero, Manuela Vargas, Blanca del Rey, Luisillo, El Guito, Manolete, Cristobal Reyes and Toleo. In 2001, Barrio received a New York Dance & Performance Award (aka the “Bessie”) for Outstanding Creative Achievement. She and Santangelo have two daughters, Gabriela and Stella.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca on Friday, February 8 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $22.00 to $58.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; 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 http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

#  #  #

Continue Reading

Mayor Lee Proposes Citywide Ban On Extra-Lethal Hollow Point Ammunition & New Notifications


Hollow-Point Ammunition Designed for Law Enforcement, Already Illegal to Purchase in San Francisco, Would Be Illegal to Possess Under New Laws; Announces School Safety Training for SFPD Officers

Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee joined by Supervisor Malia Cohen and Police Chief Greg Suhr announced proposed new laws to make it illegal for civilians in San Francisco to possess certain types of particularly dangerous hollow point ammunition, bullets specifically designed for use by law enforcement, but commercially available for legal purchase. Mayor Lee also announced a proposed ordinance to require automatic notification to police when a person in San Francisco purchases 500 rounds or more of any type of ammunition in one transaction.

The proposed new San Francisco laws will complement anticipated State and Federal gun control legislative efforts. Mayor Lee strongly supports U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s efforts to restrict weapons of war on America’s streets and will support legislative proposals on gun control anticipated in 2013 at the state level.

“The tragic mass-murder in Connecticut broke the heart of the nation, and now is the moment to take aggressive action against the most egregious types of hollow-point ammunition,” said Mayor Lee. “These bullets do not belong in the hands of civilians, and we want to make possession of them illegal. We also need to create an early warning system to alert us when individuals make a massive purchase of ammunition, because we must do everything we possibly can to prevent another tragedy. I strongly support Federal and State efforts to enhance gun control laws, but in the meantime, we’re doing what we can locally to get the most offensive types of ammunition off of our streets.”

“All of us wept with the parents and families of Newtown Connecticut last week,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen. “But the legislation and police efforts we announced today are about much more than the tragic incident that occurred last week, it is also about the senseless violence that is occurring in our neighborhoods here in San Francisco. As a City we must use every legislative and executive power available to us to continue to address the causes and impacts of senseless gun violence occurring in our neighborhoods, and I believe that these two pieces of legislation are a strong step forward in this effort.”

The San Francisco Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Suhr, also announced plans to train all new Academy recruits in the tactics of school safety. Every current officer in the department will undergo retraining in similar tactical skills. Chief Suhr also announced another gun buyback event after the success of this weekend’s event.

“The reduction of violent crime in San Francisco remains our #1 priority,” said Police Chief Greg Suhr. “Obviously, our work with children demonstrates our commitment to keep San Francisco safe for them. We appreciate the efforts of our elected officials, particularly Senator Feinstein and Mayor Lee for their work in banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines that have no place in today’s civilized society.”

“At San Francisco General Hospital, the City’s only trauma center, we treated 381 gunshot victims in 2007 and 182 last year,” said Dr. Andre Campbell, a surgeon at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.  “While this is a significant drop, I would submit to you that one is too many.”

The City recently defeated the National Rifle Association’s motion for a preliminary injunction to stop San Francisco from enforcing its laws requiring safe storage of handguns in the home and prohibiting the sale of hollow-point ammunition.  The district court found that municipal safe-storage laws and bans against the purchase of “enhanced-lethality ammunition” did not violate the Second Amendment and therefore remained valid. These new proposed laws against possession hinge on the same legal concept that certain kinds of ammunition, manufactured and marketed for law enforcement, do not belong in the hands of the public.

Earlier this week, more than 750 mayors from across the country, led by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, sent a letter to the President and Congress calling for comprehensive gun control reform, including three specific strategies: requiring every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check, getting high capacity rifles and ammunition magazines off our streets, and making gun trafficking a federal crime. Mayor Lee was a signatory on that letter. 

Continue Reading

Kodo Drumming Ensemble Returns to Zellberbach Hall on February 3

Photo: Taro Nishita

Internationally acclaimed Japanese drumming ensemble, Kodo, returns to Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Hall on Sunday, February 3 at 7:00 p.m.  The athletic and energetic group performs in the taiko, or traditional Japanese percussion, style and includes traditional dancers, singers, musicians along with its percussionist. Kodo will bring along its landmark o-daiko drum, a 900-pound instrument carved from the trunk of a single tree and is played by two men. Kodo returns as part of its One Earth Tour: Legend, a program designed to spread the sound of the Japanese drum while underlying a need for respect between diverse cultures in an ever connected world.  The New York Times applauded Kodo as a “celebration of music, of physicality, of life.”

The name Kodo comes from two Japanese characters for child and play, conveying its desire to play with the “heart of a child.” Kodo is also a homonym for heartbeat, the most primal of all rhythms. The company, a group of over 70 people, is comprised of both performers and staff and is based off of Sado Island, off the northwest coast of Japan. Members not only practice but often live on 13.2 hectares of land, named Kodo Village, a community training ground that includes facilities such as Kodo Apprentice Centre and the Old Rehearsal Hall. Older members live in the surrounding villages.  Many enter this semi-isolated community as apprentices hoping, after a few years of training, to be selected to join the performing aspect. In addition to the musical lessons, physical conditioning is an important part of Kodo’s training as strength is needed not only to play the drums but also loads, unloads and sets up the instruments including the o-daiko drum that require eight people to lift and set into place.  Despite its physical isolation and tradition, Kodo has an open -minded mission on “living, learning and creating” and are often leaders in fusion music, especially with it recent increase in smaller small group performances.

Kodo has given more than 3,500 performances on all five continents, touring up to eight months a year and is recognized as the leading voice on the taiko style.  In 2011, Kodo released an album titled Akatsuki.  This 11-track disk was recorded at Kodo Village and includes new compositions as well as never-before-recorded stage pieces.  Kodo is also heavily involved with “Earth Celebration” an annual music festival produce with Sado City.  This festival, the longest in Japans history, has just celebrated its 25th anniversary, and has been hailed as “Japan’s leading music event” (New York Times). Kodo was last seen here at Cal Performances in 2011. For more information about Kodo, go to kodo.or.jp/news/index_en.html

TICKET INFORMATION

 Tickets for the Kodo on February 3rd at 7:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $22.00 – $58.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; 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 http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

Continue Reading

Joffrey Ballet Returns To Cal Performances 
With Two Recent Works And One 20th-Century Classic 
Saturday & Sunday, January 26 & 27 At Zellerbach Hall


Chicago’s renowned Joffrey Ballet brings two compelling recent works and an 80-year-old classic to Cal Performances, Saturday, January 26 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall. The Joffrey Ballet has a rich history of presenting both timeless dance classics and cutting-edge, socially relevant ballet, all while balancing technical excellence with emotional punch. Its 2013 visit marks the company’s first appearance at Cal Performances since Ashley Wheater became Artistic Director in 2007. “Anyone who has seen the Joffrey Ballet perform in recent seasons knows that it is dancing better than ever,” cheered the Chicago Sun-Times in October 2012.

A Sightlines pre-performance talk with dance specialist Kathryn Roszak and the artists will take place Saturday, January 26 from 7:00–7:30 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall. This event is free to all ticket holders.

The Joffrey Ballet’s appearance at Cal Performances features two 21st-century works and one compelling and controversial 20th-century classic. Age of Innocence, a 2008 Joffrey commission by Edwaard Liang, was inspired by Jane Austen novels. Set to a heartbeat of music by Philip Glass and Thomas Newman, Age of Innocence depicts sexual tension and the human desire for self-expression in a repressive culture. The second piece on the program, Christopher Wheeldon’s 2005 After the Rain, presents three bold, sensual duets on a spare yet emotion-packed score by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. After the Rain features a stunning pas de deux in “Spiegel im Spiegel” (“mirror in mirror”), its second movement. The final work on the Joffrey Ballet program, German dancer-choreographer Kurt Jooss’s pacifist masterpiece, The Green Table, was created in 1932 but not presented in the United States until 1967 when the Joffrey Ballet revived it. Set to music by F.A. Cohen, The Green Table dramatizes the human impulse for destruction and the omnipresence of death, even in the midst of peace negotiations. The Joffrey Ballet danced The Green Table on the PBS television series Dance in America in 1992 and revived its production in 2007 for the work’s 40th anniversary in the United States.

The Joffrey Ballet has been one of the best known and most respected independent dance organizations in the United States for more than 50 years. Founded in 1956 by Robert Joffrey (1930–1988) and Gerald Arpino (1923–2008) as an ensemble of American dancers, the company today embodies an inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its artists, audiences, and repertoire. The company’s body of work includes numerous commissions and premieres, major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces and contemporary works. Noted for its many “firsts,” the Joffrey Ballet was the first American ballet company to appear on television, to visit Russia, and the first and only dance company to appear on the cover of Time magazine. The troupe was also the subject of Robert Altman’s 2003 film, The Company. The Joffrey Ballet is based in Chicago where the company performs in the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, operates the Joffrey Academy of Dance and has inaugurated a close working relationship with the Chicago Philharmonic for its 2012–2013 home season. Its official website is joffrey.com.

Since 2007 the Joffrey Ballet has been led by artistic director Ashley Wheater. Only the third artistic director in company history (after Joffrey and Arpino), Wheater is known for inviting world-renowned choreographers and fresh young talent alike to create new works for the company while keeping classics, such as the annual audience favorite Nutcracker, vital and available. A native of Scotland, Wheater trained at the Royal Ballet School in England and has danced and choreographed in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States including stints as a Joffrey Ballet dancer and as ballet master and assistant to the artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for the Joffrey Ballet on Saturday, January 26 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00- $92.00  and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; 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 http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

#  #  #

Continue Reading

First Solo Museum Show In The United States Of The Late Artist Rudolf De Crignis Showcases The Artist’s Experiential Minimalist Works

I use the art of painting to represent color as the transparent appearance of light.—Rudolf de Crignis 

Though the Swiss-born Rudolf de Crignis (1948–2006) suffered an untimely death at the age of fifty-eight, the artist left behind a large and magnificent body of work, including a vast collection of the meditative paintings for which he is renowned. He began his career as a performance and video artist, but a series of trips to New York in the early 1980s forever changed the course of his pursuits. Exhilarated by the Minimalist abstract works of Ad Reinhardt, Brice Marden, Blinky Palermo, Robert Ryman, and Agnes Martin he saw there, de Crignis made New York his primary residence in 1985, and soon began producing a series of seemingly monochromatic paintings that explore relationships among color, light, space, and viewer.

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presentation of Rudolf de Crignis / MATRIX 245 is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. The show brings together fourteen of the artist’s signature blue-and-gray oil paintings, as well as eight graphite works on paper, produced between 1991 and 2006. At first viewing, de Crignis’s paintings appear to be deeply saturated monochromes, but then they reveal themselves to be the result of layers upon layers of thin oil washes (sometimes as many as forty) with resonant tints of other hues. His exquisitely blue-and-gray paintings—no two alike—actually comprise an array of pigments—including ultramarine, cobalt blue, royal blue, Scheveningen Warm Gray, and Persian red. Displayed in natural light, the works are exercises in slow looking, unfolding as one views them from different vantage points. In his studio, de Crignis would often move his paintings from one wall to the next to capture the shifting light.

While de Crignis’s oil paintings are the end result of a slow accumulation of materials, his delicate works on paper, which he called “paintings” are the culmination of a process of reduction. Using hard pencils, de Crignis covered the paper with horizontal and vertical lines, then erased them—a process that he repeated several times with each work. The partially erased graphite lines create a slight vibration, an optical pulse that can resemble the brushwork in his canvas works.

In 2005 de Crignis wrote about his paintings as works in progress, one decision leading to the next without a preordained plan. Above all, though, his goal was for his painting to be perceived as an experience. As Ken Johnson of the New York Times wrote, “At once formally severe and materially luxurious, Mr. de Crignis’s paintings bridge the gap between the perceptual and the transcendental.”

Continue Reading

ACID TEST: THE MANY INCARNATIONS OF RAM DASS, Extends Through Feburary 17

The Marsh Berkeley is delighted to extend Lynne Kaufman’s critically acclaimed new play, ACID TEST: The Many Incarnations Of Ram Dass, through February 17, 2013 on the TheaterStage at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way near Shattuck.

Through January 5, the show will continue to play on Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm and on Saturday at 5:00 pm. Then, starting on January 12 through February 17, the show will play on Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 5:00 pm. For Tickets, the public may visit or call 415-282-3055.

Performed by Warren David Keith and directed by Joel Mullennix, this is the true story of Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass, the famous Harvard psychology professor and spiritual seeker, who, along with Timothy Leary, started the psychedelic revolution and then, in the third of three life transformations, went on to become an international teacher on enlightenment. The production is travelling  to Hawaii this weekend  to perform the play for Ram Dass who has taken a keen interest in the play but is too frail to travel.

Lynne Kaufman’s twenty full-length plays have been produced all over the country, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Magic Theatre, Theatreworks, The Fountain Theatre and The Abingodon. Warren David Keith has appeared at theatres throughout the Bay Area, including the Aurora, Marin Theatre Company, Word For Word and the California Shakespeare Theater. Joel Mullennix most recently directed the highly successful productions of Olive Kitteridge, More Stories by Tobias Wolff and Which is More Than I Can Say About Some People for Word For Word.

 

Continue Reading

Pianst Nicholas Hodges Gives the West Coast Premiere of GIGUE MACHINE

HARRISON BIRTWISTLE’S GIGUE MACHINE WAS CO-COMISSIONED BY
CAL PERFORMANCES AND CARNEGIE HALL


“With an energy that sometimes defies belief,” (The Guardian) pianist Nicolas Hodges comes to Hertz Hall on Sunday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m. His program features the West Coast premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Gigue Machine (2011), which was written for Hodges. The concert will also include Claude Debussy’s cool and virtuosic Etudes, Books I and II (1915), Ferruccio Busoni’s Giga, Bolero e Variazione (Study after Mozart – Book 3 of An die Jugend) (1909), and Igor Stravinsky’s tour de force, Three Movements from Pétrouchka (1921).“Hodges is a refreshing artist: he plays the classics as if they were written yesterday, and what was written yesterday as if it were already a classic” (Tempo).

Pianist Nicolas Hodges was born in London in 1970. He studied piano at Cambridge University with Robert Bottone, and other teachers have included Susan Bradshaw and Sulamita Aronovsky. Hodges has developed into an adventurous recitalist; “Hodges played this difficult music…with uncanny confidence,” said the Los Angeles Times of a typically varied Hodges recital. Hodges’ discography is similarly broad and challenging. In addition to recital performance and recording, Hodges has performed with the Chicago Symphony, the BBC Symphony, the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Tokyo Philharmonic, and many more. He has performed under the baton of today’s leading conductors including Daniel Barenboim, James Levine, Leonard Slatkin and James Levine.

Contemporary composers including Elliott Carter, Beat Furrer, Wolfgang Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino and Birtwistle have written works for Hodges; he has also worked closely with composers including John Adams, Oliver Knussen, Olga Neuwirth and Stockhausen. Hodges is professor of piano at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart, Germany, where he educates young pianists on the relationship between performance of standard repertoire and contemporary works. One of his stated goals is to help young composers demystify the complexities of writing for the piano. For additional information, visit nicolashodges.com.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Nicolas Hodges, piano, on Sunday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are priced at $42.00, subject to change.  Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; 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 http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

#  #  #
Funded by the Koret Foundation, this performance is part of Cal Performances’ 2012/13 Koret Recital Series, which brings world-class artists to our

Continue Reading

San Francisco-Based Company Leases Entire New Construction Downtown Office Tower at 350 Mission; Space for Thousands of New Employees in Transbay District; Also Signs 100,000 Square Foot Expansion at 50 Fremont


Salesforce.com has leased approximately 450,000 square feet of office space in a new office tower to be built at 350 Mission Street. The largest San Francisco lease transaction of 2012 to date, the building will break ground in January 2013 with anticipated occupancy in 2015. Salesforce.com also announced a 100,000 square foot expansion at 50 Fremont Street. This comes less than a year after salesforce.com’s January 2012 announcement of a 400,000 square foot lease in the same building.

“Salesforce.com’s major expansion downtown proves once again that investor confidence is driving San Francisco’s economic recovery,” said Mayor Lee. “This will bring thousands of new jobs and anchor the City’s Transbay District as a leading destination for innovative companies. Salesforce.com started in San Francisco, and I want to thank Marc Benioff and salesforce.com for their commitment to grow and add jobs in the City.”

“I’d like to thank Mayor Lee and his team for their continued support of Salesforce.com’s expanding downtown San Francisco campus,” said salesforce.com COO George Hu. “We are proud to have our global headquarters in San Francisco and are committed to continuing to grow and add jobs in the City.”

Owned by Kilroy Realty, the 27-story office building at 350 Mission is set to break ground in January 2013 becoming the first new high-rise building built in San Francisco since 2008 and will be the first new LEED Platinum office tower in San Francisco.

“Eight weeks from purchase to full pre-lease is a new record for Kilroy Realty Corporation” said Kilroy Realty CEO John Kilroy. “It’s an incredible outcome that couldn’t have been achieved without a phenomenal tenant in salesforce.com and the support of the Mayor’s office. We are so thrilled to have salesforce.com occupy this iconic tower in the heart of the South Financial District.

50 Fremont Street is owned by TIAA-CREF.

Today’s announced leases total more than half a million square feet and will provide space for thousands of new employees in San Francisco.  This move expands salesforce.com’s “downtown campus” and is adjacent to the new Transbay Terminal under construction.   Salesforce.com will have 1.6 million square feet of office space in San Francisco by 2016, reinforcing their status as one of the City’s largest employers. 

Continue Reading

Cal Performances Presents Yo-Yo Ma And Kathryn Stott At Zellerbach Hall Thursday, January 24 At 7:00 P.M.


“There is hardly any virtuoso of any instrument who is as complete, profound, passionate, and humane a musician as Ma” (Boston Globe). Perhaps the only household name in classical music, cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform in recital with longtime collaborator, pianist Kathyrn Stott, at Zellerbach Hall on Thursday, Jan 24 at 7:00 p.m. Stott, “an excellent soul mate for Ma” (New York Times), has performed with him for decades, both in recital and on recordings. This program is a testament to their exploration of wp music, regardless of instrument or tradition. In true form with Ma’s previous appearances at Berkeley, this performance is sold-out.

The night starts off with Igor Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, which is based on several movements of his 1919 ballet, Pulcinella. They will next perform three pieces inspired by South America: Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Alma Brasileira (arr. Jorge Calandrelli), Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion (arr. by Kyoko Yamamoto) and Camargo Guarnieri’s Dansa Negra (arr. Calandrelli). The program’s repertoire moves back to Europe with the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s 7 Conciones Populares Españolas G. 40. Olivier Messiaen’s Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus, taken from the fifth movement of his Quatuor pour la fin du temps, follows. The concert will finish with Johannes Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108 for violin. Only the Stravinsky and Messiaen pieces were originally written for the cello, the rest of the works have either been adapted or arranged for Ma and Stott.

Stott first met Ma in 1978 when she “discovered a Chinese man in his underpants playing the cello” in her apartment after Ma had rented it without realizing it was shared. They have worked together ever since and have made several recordings, including the Grammy-winning Soul of Tango (Sony).

British pianist Kathryn Stott performs as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. She started playing the piano at the age of five and later studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and then the Royal College of Music with Kendall Taylor.  Stott first gained prominence by winning the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1978. She is known for her wide taste in music and has performed and recorded in English, French, contemporary and Latin genres. Stott has served as Artistic Director for several music festivals, including the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society (2008), and Guest Artistic Director of the chamber festival Incontri in Terra di Siena (2010, 2011). She received a prestigious Order of Arts and Letter by the French government for her successful direction of a music festival that celebrated the anniversary of Gabriel Fauré. In addition to Ma, Stott has long-term collaborations with Truls Mørk, Christian Poltera, Natalie Clein and Janine Jansen. More information can be found at kathrynstott.com.

Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris in 1955 to Chinese parents and began studying the cello with his father at 4. 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, including a recent performance presented by Cal Performances in 2011.

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), the Kennedy Center Honors (2011).  He also serves as a UN Messenger of Peace. Ma is an exclusive Sony Classical artist and 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 other music giants like Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Redman. His most recent album “The Goat Rodeo Session”, released in 2011, was made with Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile and Stuart Duncan. This is the second performance of the Ma/Stott duo at Cal Performances, the first of which was in 2007. Ma currently plays on two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello and a 1712 “Davidoff” Stradivarius. More information can be found at yo-yoma.com.

TICKET INFORMATION
This performance is sold out. Tickets for Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott in recital on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00—$175.00 and may become available due to last-minute returns.  Tickets may be available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; 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 http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

Continue Reading

Eco Ensemble, Dedicated To Contemporary Music
 And Led By David Milnes, Performs Theatrical Works,
Tech-Aided Music And Two World Premieres In Two Distinct Concerts 
On January 26 And February 23 In Hertz Hall


Cal Performances has added two distinct concerts of contemporary music by UC Berkeley’s in-residence Eco Ensemble to its calendar on Saturday, January 26 and Saturday, February 23, both at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall. The Eco Ensemble, “a dream team of local musicians who embody a new high point in the Bay Area’s vibrant contemporary music scene” (New York Times), is led by David Milnes, who also serves as music director of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra.  Eco Ensemble, which takes its name from the vibrant artistic ecology within which it works, is closely connected with the UC Berkeley Center for New Music & Audio Technologies (CNMAT), an interdisciplinary research center at the university focused on the creative interaction between music and technology.

The January 26 program highlights two works that share a theatrical angle. The concert will open with Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s (b. 1934) Secret Theatre, written in 1984 for 14-piece chamber ensemble. Called by its British composer a work of “instrumental role-playing,” Secret Theatre alternates between solo instruments presenting monologues and multiple instruments simultaneously playing conflicting voices. It will be followed by La Chute de la Maison Usher, written in 1995 by Italian composer Ivan Fedele (b. 1953) as a soundtrack to French filmmaker Jean Epstein’s landmark 1928 silent film of the same name. The Eco Ensemble will play the work live as Epstein’s film is shown, and Fedele will be in attendance. The composer will be on the UC Berkeley campus as a 2013 Regents’ Lecturer.

On February 23, Eco Ensemble will open a technology-infused concert with a world premiere of a new piano concerto by pianist and UC Berkeley composition professor Cindy Cox (b. 1961). Cox’s post-tonal musical language is derived from acoustics, technological innovations, harmonic resonance and poetic allusion. The concerto will feature Grammy-winning pianist, UCLA faculty member, and 2012 UC Berkeley Regents’ Lecturer Gloria Cheng. Next is a second world premiere, by UC Berkeley doctoral graduate and former CNMAT musical systems designer John MacCallum (b. 1976). MacCallum’s works rely on technology in both composition and performance; they often employ carefully constrained algorithms that evolve differently yet predictably. Staub – Assonance IIIb by Swiss composer Michael Jarrell (born 1958) follows; written for seven musicians and video (though the video will not be shown for this performance), the 2009 composition’s reliance on electronics will demonstrate the relationship between Eco Ensemble and CNMAT. The final work of the concert, Ikons 14’ by trombonist, composer and Columbia University professor George Lewis (born 1952), was created with Canadian artist Eric Metcalfe in 2009 for a sculptural-sonic installation and premiered at the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad. Lewis, who will be in attendance for the performance, is the Spring 2013 visiting Bloch Professor in the UC Berkeley Department of Music.

Eco Ensemble is a dynamic group of high-caliber professional and academic musicians. The group itself is built to expand and contract in size based on the works it performs. With a mission to bring exciting contemporary music both to experienced audiences and new listeners, the Eco Ensemble performs concerts, gives public lectures, and provides demonstrations and workshops. The ensemble’s work is informed and inspired by its relationships with CNMAT and the UC Berkeley Department of Music. David Milnes, conductor of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and professor in the department of music, serves as the Eco Ensemble’s conductor and is on its artistic advisory committee with composer Edmund Campion and Cal Performances Director Matías Tarnopolsky. More about the ensemble can be found at ecoensemble.org.



TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Eco Ensemble on Saturday, January 26 and Saturday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are priced at $30.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; 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 http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

Continue Reading

Michael Tilson Thomas Leads Renée Fleming And The San Francisco Symphony In World Premiere Of New Arrangement Of Debussy’s C’est L’extase (Settings Of Paul Verlaine) By Robin Holloway January 10, 12 And 13 At Davies Symphony Hall

Fleming also performs duo recital with Susan Graham on January 16

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas   (MTT) leads the San Francisco  (SFS) and soprano Renée Fleming  in the world premiere of Robin Holloway’s arrangement, commissioned by the SFS, of Debussy’s C’est l’extase.  Fleming also performs selections from Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne, and the Orchestra performs Debussy’s Jeux, La Plus que lente, and La Mer. Fleming returns to Davies Symphony Hall on January 16 to perform a duo recital of works by Chausson, Debussy, and Fauré with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and pianist Bradley Moore.

C’est l’extase is a new orchestration by Robin Holloway of Debussy’s settings of the poems of Paul Verlaine; the cycle includes the six Debussy titled Ariettes oubliées. An SFS commission, the work receives its world premiere in these performances. Previously, the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas have commissioned and premiered three works by composer Robin Holloway, including Clarissa Sequence (1998), the Fourth Concerto for Orchestra (2007), and 2004’s En blanc et noir, an orchestration of a Debussy work for two pianos that the Orchestra performed on tour in the US and Europe. Holloway taught music at Cambridge University for 32 years, and his students included Judith Weir and Thomas Adès.

Photo courtesty of Decca/Andrew Eccles

One of the foremost sopranos of her time, Renée Fleming has appeared in all of the major opera houses around the world. In 2012, she was named Singer of the Year by Germany’s Echo awards, and sang at the inaugural concert for President Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial. On December 5, she was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Classical Vocal Solo for her album Poèmes, released in March 2012.  Featuring music by Dutilleux, Ravel, and Messiaen, the album was recorded with Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France and Seiji Ozawa and the Orchestre National de France.

Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham is featured on SFS Media’s 2010 release Mahler Songs with Orchestra, singing selections from Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder.  In October 2012, Graham released her first solo album since 2008, a compilation on Onyx titled Virgins, Vixens & Viragos, featuring music by Purcell, Berlioz, and Poulenc, among others. This duo recital with Fleming, part of a month-long tour, is Graham’s only Bay Area performance in the 2012-2013 season.

 

Continue Reading