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Announcement

Laurie San Martin Receives Commission from Barlow Endowment for Music Composition

Professor Laurie San Martin, music department chair, has received a commission from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University. San Martin’s commission will be for Ensemble Ari, a group of Korean American musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Announcement

Jeremy Borum Orchestrates Rock Opera
Finding a Voice at UC Davis

Composer Stewart Copeland stands left with an outstretched arm towards the camera, with Jeremy Borum, right, both smiling.

Jeremy Borum (B.A. music ‘01) recently orchestrated a rock opera titled The Witches Seed by composer Stewart Copeland, which received its first performance in an abandoned rock quarry in Italy this summer. Copeland began his career as the drummer for the British rock band The Police, and now enjoys a career composing for concert, film, and the video game industry. Borum and Copeland have collaborated on many projects over the years.

Announcement

Alum Starts “Music and Nature” Podcast

Logo of the podcast Reflections on Music and Nature, evoking water and trees.

Ph.D. alumnus Ryan Suleiman (‘20), now an assistant professor of music at Berklee College of Music, Boston, has launched a podcast series, “Music and Nature,” which is affiliated with Landscape Music, a network of musical artists whose “mission is to deepen public appreciation of the natural world by providing a platform for contemporary composers and performers whose music engages with landscape, nature, and place.” Ryan’s own music compositions explore dreaming, the natural world, and the understated beauty of everyday life. The podcast builds off a couple of pilot episodes from 2020 and is available on your favorite podcast service.

Announcement

Special Commendation for Professor Díaz’s Book
British Forum for Ethnomusicology

British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) recognizes outstanding scholarship in ethnomusicology written in English. BFE has given a Special Commendation to Professor Juan Diego Díaz for his book Africanness in Action: Essentialism and Musical Imaginations of Africa in Brazil (Oxford UP, 2021) in its 2022 book prize competition. The book focuses on “tropes of Africanness” in self-identification and musical expression in the northeastern state of Bahia in Brazil. The judges praised Africanness in Action: “this is a beautifully written and profoundly impressive work which offers a critically reflexive and nuanced postcolonial representation of African music in the Black diaspora.”

Upcoming Events

Event

A Recital of American Music

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Dagenais Smiley, violin and UC Davis lecturer in music
with John Cozza, piano

Program

Amy Beach: Romance for Violin and Piano

Aaron Copland: Four Piano Blues​​​​​​​​

Samuel Barber: Canzone for Violin and Piano​​​​​​​​

George Gershwin: Summertime / A Woman Is a Sometime Thing

Copland: Sonata for Violin and Piano

Gershwin: It Ain’t Necessarily So

About the Program

This recital features 20th-century American music, with transcriptions by famed Russian-Lithuanian-American violinist Jascha Heifetz, from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, as well as Samuel Barber’s own transcription of the second movement of his Piano Concerto.

a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

Free

   »» Direct link to livestream.

Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA
Event

Sl(e)ight Ensemble: “Of California Ecology”

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Erika Oba, flute
Stephanie Neumann, saxophone
Jacob Lane, piano and UC Davis graduate student of music

Program

Stephanie M. Neumann: Creek/to\Ocean

Kian Ravaei: California Suite

Julie Herndon: Shadow Prism

About the Program

“Of California Ecology” features new works based on different facets of California’s natural world. The trio will perform compositions by ensemble members, Julie Herndon, and Sl(e)ight Ensemble’s 2020 call-for-scores winner Kian Ravaei. Drawing on the artists’ distinct backgrounds in jazz, band, and chamber music, the program is inspired by seismic activity, fungal biomes, waterways, and social ecology, among other natural phenomena. The result is a diverse set of works all created with the aim of bringing appreciation to California’s beautiful and delicate environment. 

This program was originally made possible with the support of InterMusicSF.

a Shinkoskey Noon Concert​

Free

Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA
Event

Valente Lecture: Yu-Hui Chang, composer

Room 266, Everson Hall
Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA
Event

Chris Froh: “Graduate Student Works for Percussion”

Ann E. Pitzer Center

Chris Froh, percussion and UC Davis lecturer in music

Program

Paul Engle: Cavities

Joseph Donald Peterson: Put the kettle on

Jacob Lane: Ritornello

Colin Minigan: Shaped Scattered

Bryndan Moondy: devant l’eau noir (Glint II)

Adam Strawbridge: counter_culture.exe

Free

Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA
Event

Empyrean Ensemble

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Sam Nichols, director

Preconcert Discussion from 1:15–1:45 pm with composer Yu-Hui Chang and Empyrean’s director Sam Nichols.

The music department’s professional contemporary music group the Empyrean Ensemble will premiere Weaving Sound by Maria Neiderberger, a 1981 graduate of UC Davis, a music department lecturer for nearly 15 years and professor emeritus at East Tennessee State University. The three-movement work interweaves clarinet, viola and piano into a tapestry of sound. Her music has been performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Asia and Europe.

Program

Harrison Birtwistle: Crowd
Jennifer Ellis, solo harp

This piece is an exploration of resonance, and in the essential nature of the earliest harps. Crowd (etymologically related to the Celtic words crwth, cruit, and crot) was the English term used for instruments of the lyre class, and ultimately for a frame harp from pre-Christian to medieval times.

Maria A. Niederberger: New Work PREMIERE

Yu-Hui Chang: Germinate WEST COAST PREMIERE

Commissioned by Boston Musica Viva (BMV), the oldest professional ensemble in the United States dedicated to contemporary music, Germinate was written for their 50th anniversary in 2019. Scored for flute, piccolo, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, Germinate is a tribute to BMV for its contribution to the music of our time. A former UC Davis faculty member, Chang now teaches at Brandeis University.

Jonathan Harvey: Still
Portia Njoku, tuba and UC Davis lecturer in music

In Still, written for solo tuba and electronics, the soloist improvises around a series of eight chords, gradually building up a sustained background of reverberations.

Lee Hyla: Polish Folk Songs

Another BMV commission, Hyla’s Polish Folk Songs notably uses the melodica and organ to evoke melodies the composer heard in Zakopane, Poland. Hyla noted, “In my composition I have taken a number of the songs commonly heard in the area and re-combined them, allowing them to bump heads as well as interact peacefully.”

Free

Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA
Event

Joseph Donald Peterson, solo viola

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Joseph Donald Peterson, viola and UC Davis graduate student in music

Program

J.S. Bach: Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012

Several period performers are convinced Bach’s Sixth Cello Suite was composed for the “Shoulder Cello” or the violoncello da spalla, which is much larger than a viola. This arrangement for viola is a testament to the versatility of Bach’s cello suites in particular.

Milton Babbitt: Play It Again Sam

Piggybacking off of the misquoted line in the film “Casablanca,” Play It Again Sam is a serialist composer’s humorous take premiered by violist Samuel Rhodes (a double meaning perhaps!).

Pablo Ortiz: Le vrai tango Argentin

Le vrai tango Argentin musically recalls Pablo Ortiz’s uncle—who was going through a difficult divorce—playing classic (pre-Piazzolla) tango records for Pablo as a young adult. Ortiz says of his tango: “Like a good storyteller who is not afraid to go on tangents, the performer conveys [this] narrative in a pensive, relaxed manner.”

a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

Free

Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA
Event

UC Davis Symphony Orchestra:
”Italian Journey”

Christian Baldini, director and conductor

Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center

Christian Baldini, director and conductor

Program

Hector Berlioz: Harold in Italy 

Harold in Italy was brought about by a commission by the famous 19th- century violinist Niccolò Paganini in 1834. Berlioz was commissioned by Paganini not for a violin concerto but for a work that would feature Paganini and his new Stradivarius viola. Paganini thought the viola solo was too simplistic when he saw the score and declined to give the premiere. But when he heard it performed (albeit four years later) he was so pleased he paid Berlioz 20,000 francs anyway. The title suggests a sort of tour of Italy, as well as the 19th-century poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage by Lord Bryon.

Featured Soloist

Wendy Richman has been celebrated internationally for her compelling sound and imaginative interpretations in a wide range of genres. Her debut solo album, vox/viola (New Focus Recordings, 2020), features nine commissioned works for singing violist by leading contemporary composers. She is a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble, with whom she performs regularly in New York City and around the world, and she has performed regularly with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the period instrument ensemble Tesserae. Richman is a faculty member at both UCLA and California State University-Northridge (CSUN), where she teaches a variety of academic music courses and applied viola, and she is a sought-after clinician at universities and conservatories across the country.

$12 Students and Children / $24 Adults (Reserved Seats)

Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Davis, CA
Event

TriMusica

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

TriMusica
Sandra McPherson, clarinet
Susan Lamb Cook, cello
John Cozza, piano

Program

Works by Miguel del Aguila, Jeffrey Hoover, Durwynne Hsieh, and others.

a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

Free

Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA

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