UC Davis Symphony Orchestra:
“New Frontiers”

Christian Baldini, director and conductor

The orchestra is on stage at the Mondavi Center, and a piano soloist plays the piano in the foreground. The orchestra is dressed in concert black and the hall has a warm wood tone.
Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center

A thunderclap which begins a piano concerto. A symphony anxiously written over 21 years. A first performance of a new work commissioned by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra (“in the valley of the shadow”) by an “interdisciplinary artist … not constrained to logic and reason.” These are the ‘new frontiers’ the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra will explore in this program.


Maya Miro Johnson: in the valley of the shadow (World Premiere)

On a commission from the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, Miro Johnson is writing a new work to be premiered on this concert. She approaches music composition from an interdisciplinary space, and in her words, “without restraint, and often concerning unanswerable questions about the human condition and its biological systems.”

Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major
with Roger Xia

Ravel used virtuosity as the main ingredient in his G-Major Piano Concerto, with—at times—flavors of jazz, and elements of Stravinsky and Saint-Saëns. 

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1

It took Johannes Brahms, living in the shadow of Beethoven, more than two decades to write his First Symphony. The result was a new symphonic form that arced towards the final movement rather than entirely rising from the first movement.

$12 Students and Children, $24 Adults (Reserved Seating)

About the Artists

Roger Xia began his piano studies at a young age in Davis and Sacramento with Linda Beaulieu and Natsuki Fukasawa, and also studied violin with Dong Ho and William Barbini. He is currently finishing his undergraduate studies at Stanford University. A 2018 National Young Arts Foundation Classical Music merit winner, Xia has appeared as a soloist with orchestras since age 8, made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 10, and won top prizes at the Mondavi Center Young Artist Competition and Bouchaine Young Artists Prizes (2015). He was featured on NPR’s From the Top show in 2016 and has been a soloist with several orchestras, including the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra (Picnic Day, 2016). He has also appeared with the Palo Alto Philharmonic, Camellia Symphony Orchestra, at the Bear Valley Music Festival, Junior Bach Festival, Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Summer Program, the Orfeo International Music Festival, as well as InterHarmony International Music Festival.

Mondavi Center, Davis, CA

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Cinema and Digital Media

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Performance Studies

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Melody Chiang


Melody Chiang

UC Davis Arts