The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1959, and has since established itself as a major campus and community arts offering. The UC Davis Symphony has toured California, Canada, and Australia and French Polynesia.In June 2003 the orchestra traveled to France to participate in the Berlioz bicentenary over the course of a series of five concerts.It regularly serves as the pit orchestra for UCD Mainstage productions and appears at major campus events and ceremonies, including Fall Convocation and Commencements.The UC Davis Symphony is a principal resident ensemble at the
Henry Spiller — a member of the music department faculty at UC Davis for 10 years — has a new book out, detailing “American love affairs with Javanese music and dance” through the stories of four North American artists.
The Golden West Winds is part of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West from Travis Air Force Base, California. Comprised of flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, and bassoon, this ensemble supports a wide variety of musical events ranging from military ceremonies and patriotic shows to educational programs and recitals of original works for woodwind quintet. To support these events the Golden West Winds plays music of all styles including marches, jazz and classical music.
This Poem of Ecstasy was often referred to as his Fourth Symphony, by Alexander Scriabin himself. However, it was written as a one-movement work, and one that could be considered to have autobiographical elements. Complete with solos for the violin and trumpet, the score is marked with expressions such as “very perfumed” and “with a sensual pleasure, ever more ecstatic.” Although Scriabin’s orchestral work has been received with mixed criticisms, the Poem of Ecstasy ends in a universally glorious manner.
Beethoven: Violin Concerto, with Alina Kobialka, violin
The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra last performed this—Beethoven’s only—violin concerto with faculty-affiliate Michael Sand in Freeborn Hall. Alina Kobialka last performed with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, performing the Waxman Carmen Fantasy. Beethoven’s violin concerto was hurriedly finished—so much so that the violinist, Franz Clement, had to sight-read the solo at the premiere performance in 1806. Perhaps the most easily-recalled melody is in the final rondo, perhaps evocative of Mozart or the hunt. Although Fritz Kreisler’s cadenzas are the most frequently performed, there are more than 50 others, including one by Joseph Joachim, who is credited with reviving the concerto into popularity in 1844.
A difficult work for the musicians and conductor to boot, Edgar Varèse’s Amériques requires at least 14 percussionists, wielding instruments that vary from sirens to ratchets to timpani. Varèse left France after World War I, moved to the United States, and began building his identity as a composer. (His contemporary composers in Europe were Debussy, Busoni, and Satie.) Varèse’s first performance in the U.S. was not his Amériques, which went unperformed until 1926. In fact it was Berlioz’s monumental Requiem, which may explain Varèse’s curiosity with grand orchestration. Like the Scriabin, it too is a one-movement work, but Amériques focuses on the expression of sounds. The sirens presumably help illustrate the noise of a bustling New York City. If one listens carefully, one might imagine buildings being built, and at the same time, feel the energy of discovery and adventure—perhaps an expression of the idea of the word “America.”