San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows
Mark Morash, piano
UC Davis Symphony Orchestra
Christian Baldini, music director and conductor
Since its inception in 2010, Rising Stars of Opera has featured vocal artistry, stirring arias and a glimpse at the opera stars of tomorrow; and every ticket has been free to the public thanks to Barbara K. Jackson. This year’s concert is being held on the Centennial of Barbara’s birth. Seven wonderful young singers, whom Barbara sponsored as Adler Fellows, are joining us to honor her life, her memory and her generosity. Barbara loved opera best of all music and these singers will perform a wide range of great arias in recital and with full orchestral accompaniment from our own UC Davis Symphony Orchestra.
A recent retiree of the City University of New York Graduate Center, Stephen Blum is an ethnomusicologist and musicologist with broad interests, which include sung poetry, the history of musical scholarship, and ethnomusicological analysis. His articles and encyclopedia entries deal with general topics (composition, improvisation, modern music history, cultural interaction) and with specific musical practices of Iran, Kurdistan, Central Asia, Europe, and North America.
Selections from the ZOFOMOMA Live Concert Experience, which unfolds as an aurally and visually stunning walking tour through a virtual museum of modern art. Against an ever-changing backdrop of contemporary paintings, 15 new ZOFO-commissioned duet compositions are revealed throughout continuous performance. And in a nod to Mussorgsky, this 21st-century Pictures at an Exhibition leads viewers from one gallery to the next accompanied by a new “Promenade” theme arranged by ZOFO’s Keisuke Nakagoshi, with music written by living composers, including UC Davis’s own Pablo Ortiz.
Sister instruments from two traditions, Korean fiddle and viola, come together in a number of splendid new works performed by virtuosic proponents of new music Soo-yeon Lyuh and Ellen Ruth Rose. Featuring pieces by Jean Ahn, Addie Camsuzou, Josiah Catalan, Lily Chen, Kyle Hovatter, and Fang-Wei Luo.
Soo-Yeon Lyuh is a master of the haegeum, a two-stringed Korean bowed instrument. She possesses not only flawless technique and a full command of the haegeum’s traditional repertoire, but is also widely recognized for promoting the creation of new pieces for haegeum.
Asher Tobin Chodos is a composer, pianist and musicologist. He has been named a fellow of the Dave Brubeck Institute, the Asian Cultural Council (for his research into China’s jazz scene), and the Ucross Foundation. He holds a degree in Classical languages from Columbia University and is a doctoral candidate in music at the University of California, San Diego. His dissertation is a quantitative critique of automated music recommendation.
In the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon lies refugee camp Majdal Anjar, where a small community of the country’s approximately 1.2 million Syrian refugees live. Award-winning director (Shape of the Moon; Position Among the Stars) Leonard Retel Helmrich spent a year-and-a-half following a handful of lively and resilient characters: a love-sick young man, eager to marry despite his elders’ sharp discouragement; a conflicted teacher, passionate about her work at the camp but under pressure to return to her husband and the dangers that await her in Syria; and a family torn apart when a husband marries a second wife. Using his renowned single shot technique, Helmrich’s incredibly intimate film The Long Season captures daily life for those whose futures are postponed by war.
The Force presents a deep look inside the long-troubled Oakland Police Department in California as it struggles to confront federal demands for reform amid layers of inefficiency, corruption, and civil unrest after the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. A young police chief, hailed as a reformer, is brought in to complete the turnaround at the very moment the #BlackLivesMatter movement emerges to demand police accountability and racial justice in Oakland and across the nation. Despite growing public distrust, the Oakland Police Department is garnering national attention as a model of police reform. But just as the department is on the verge of a breakthrough, the man charged with turning it around faces the greatest challenge of his career—one that not only threatens progress already made, but the very authority of the institution itself.
US Documentary Directing Award, Sundance Film Festival 2017