I heard a very nice concert by the UC Davis Early Music Ensemble last year. “Very nice,” though, doesn’t begin to express what I heard this past Wednesday night at the Episcopal Church of St. Martin in Davis. Under the leadership of its new director, Matilda Hofman, the Early Music Ensemble has been transformed into something that demands notice.
The Davis Sinfonietta, a new ensemble under the direction of Jonathan Spatola-Knoll, will give its debut performance at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Episcopal Church of St. Martin, 640 Hawthorn Lane in Davis.
UC Davis Music Professor Carol A. Hess has been awarded the Robert M. Stevenson award for Representing the Good Neighbor: Music, Difference, and the Pan American Dream (Oxford University Press, 2013). The book investigates the reception of Latin American art music in the U.S. during the Pan American movement of the 1930s and 40s. Under the Good Neighbor Policy, crafted by the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to cement hemispheric solidarity amid fears of European fascism, Latin American art music flourished and U.S. critics applauded it as “universal.”
Musicologist and UC Davis Professor of Music Jessie Ann Owens received the 2015 Noah Greenberg Award for outstanding performance projects from the American Musicological Society. Along with the Blue Heron ensemble and its artistic director, Scott Metcalfe, Owens will produce the first recording of Cipriano de Rore’s I madrigali a cinque voce (1542).
The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra performs the first orchestral piece by French composer Olivier Messiaen, and the first orchestral piece by UC Davis faculty composer Sam Nichols, as well as the Third Symphony by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, during a performance at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, in the Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall. All three works have three movements, giving the program further symmetry.
The concert also will feature a return by cellist David Russell, who appeared with the orchestra in 2007 for the premiere of UC Davis faculty composer Laurie San Martin’s Cello Concerto. This time, Russell will be featured in the new cello concerto by Nichols (who is, incidentally, San Martin’s spouse).
…After returning to the U.S., he obtained a doctorate in 1960 at New York University. He joined the faculty of the University of California at Davis in 1963 and became a professor of music there in 1971…
Serena Yang (Ph.D. student in musicology) was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Taiwanese government to support her research and graduate studies. Her article, “Mode and Atonality in Japanese Music: Pitch Structure in Minoru Miki’s Jo no kyoku” was recently published in the Music Research Forum (University of Cincinnati).
The Empyrean Ensemble — the professional “new music” group at UC Davis — opens its season on Sunday (Nov. 8) at 7 p.m. with a concert featuring edgy new works in the Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Studio Theatre. There will also be a free concert featuring excerpts from the program at noon on Thursday (Nov. 5).
The concert is titled “Newly Written, Here and There,” and the concert will feature six recent works by composers living in different parts of the United States. On the program:
The UC Davis Early Music Ensemble will present its fall-quarter concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 640 Hawthorn Lane in Davis. A donation of $20 general or $10 for students is suggested at the door.
A well-known jazz musician and professor at the University of California at Davis visited American River College on Thursday to discuss how students could succeed in the music industry in his lecture during a jazz clinic.
Jacam Manricks said that being a successful musician is more than just playing music. Manricks urged the students to not only think about the artistic side of music, but the business aspects of the industry as well.
Two classic works of chamber music by Johannes Brahms — the Piano Trio in C Major, and the String Sextet in G Major — will be featured in a free noon concert on Thursday, Oct. 29, in Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center.
With 10 days to fill, Sacramento State’s Festival of New American Music (www.csus.edu/music/fenam) has a lineup Nov. 6-15 to please all music lovers with a variety of forms and artists, and even includes a couple of former members of the Grateful Dead.
FeNAM’s featured composer is Kurt Rohde, who will present a keynote address at noon, Friday, Nov. 13. A recipient of the Rome Prize, Berlin Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Rohde also is a founder of and performs with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble.
Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen will visit the Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Studio Theatre at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, for a free concert. It will feature a piece titled “Manzi,” with music by Davis composer Pablo Ortiz performed by Kartunnen on solo cello. A dance video with choreography by Diana Theocharidis — featuring dancers Romina Pedroli and Aníbal Jiménez, recorded by videographer Jean-Baptiste Barrière — will accompany the music.
The Camellia Symphony Orchestra, under conductor Christian Baldini, will perform in Sacramento at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24.
Returning by popular demand will be soprano Carrie Hennessey, singing arias from “Don Giovanni” and “Le nozze di Figaro” by Mozart and “Don Carlos” by Verdi. Opening the program will be “Midsommarvaka” (Swedish Rhapsody No. 1) by Swedish composer Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960). Concluding will be the moody Symphony No. 4 by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957).
The Chamber Music Society of Sacramento will highlight the double bass — an instrument that often plays a background role in classical music — as the group hosts bassist Thomas Derthick at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at Congregation Bet Haverim, 1715 Anderson Road in Davis.
Derthick is principal bass of the Sacramento Philharmonic, Sacramento Ballet and Sacramento Choral Society. He frequently performs with the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento and has recorded and toured with the Empyrean Ensemble of UC Davis.
On Friday, UC Davis offered a tour of the still-under-construction Ann E. Pitzer Center to donors and music lovers Grace Noda, third from right, Grant Noda, center back, Malcolm MacKenzie, far right, and Natalie MacKenzie, second from right, who were early supporters of the project. The 17,500-square-foot building will include a 399-seat recital hall, which will double as a lecture hall. There also will be a lobby for receptions, book or CD signings, etc., several much-needed practice rooms, storage space for instruments, office space and more.
Michael Accinno, Ph.D. candidate in musicology at UC Davis, is one of the contributors to The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies, a newly released collection of peer reviewed essays published by Oxford University Press. His essay “Disabled Union Veterans and the Performance of Martial Begging” documents the lives of disabled military veterans who performed as organ grinders in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War.