Music

News

Announcement

Professor Beth E. Levy to be Vice President of the Society for American Music

The Society for American Music has chosen UC Davis Associate Professor of Music Beth Levy as their Vice President. They have also elected members at large Mark Burford and Marian Wilson Kimber.

Her book Frontier Figures: American Music and the Mythology of the American West (UC Press) was published in 2012. Her other interests include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century aesthetics, reception history, and representations of music in literature.

Announcement

Alumna Joins Juilliard Staff

Alumna Angelica Cortez (B.A., music, ’13) recently joined the staff of The Juilliard School as Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Program Manager (EDIB)

Announcement

Josiah Catalan is SFCMP 2021 Awardee for “SF Search for Scores”
San Francisco Contemporary Music Players

UC Davis graduate student Josiah Tayaq Catalan has been awarded the 2021 commission for a new work, which will be composed for solo piano. The commission provides for a “private score reading and feedback session with the Contemporary Players and SF Search panelists, a premiere of the commissioned work on [their] at the CROSSROADS series concert held in San Francisco on April 10, 2021, plus an archival recording.”

Announcement

Mika Pelo’s “Broken” Premiered by Rolf Hind
Kings Place, London

“Broken,” a composition by Mika Pelo, associate professor of music, was given its premiere performance by celebrated pianist-composer Rolf Hind on October 7 at King’s Place in London. The concert, “Is it too soon to talk about all this?,” featured a series of short works. 

Upcoming Events

Event

Arcomusical
Works by Graduate Students

Arcomusical’s Studios in Chicago, IL

Gregory Beyer, director

Projeto Arcomusical, a world music sextet reimagining the Afro-Brazilian single-string instrument called the berimbau, will premiere pieces by five doctoral students in composition—.

Paul Engle: Air of a D String

Orkun Akyol: isto é muito natural

Joseph Peterson: Wretched

Sarah Wald: Double Toil, Double Coil

Jacob Lane: The Details of a Place

… plus a work by UC Davis Assistant Professor of Music Juan Diego Díaz—

Juan Diego Díaz: Berimbau Music: Homage to Steve Reich

About Arcomusical

Projeto Arcomusical is a musics of the world sextet reimagining the Afro-Brazilian berimbau through unique and powerful chamber music. The ensemble formed in 2013 specifically to interpret MeiaMeia, the composition cycle co-composed by ensemble co-founders Gregory Beyer and Alexis C. Lamb. Arcomusical released MeiaMeia as its first album in 2016 on Innova Recordings. That same year Arcomusical received a Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant that produced Roda, the kaleidoscopic, twenty-minute, four-movement work by Elliot Cole. Roda is featured on Arcomusical’s second album, Spinning in the Wheel now available on National Sawdust Tracks. MeiaMeia was under consideration for a 2018 Best World Music Album for the Grammy Awards. 

What is a musical bow (berimbau)?

Although the berimbau is a well-known instrument in Brazil, most people in the United States are not familiar with its elegant beauty and simplicity. And people remain largely unaware of the diverse family of instruments to which the berimbau belongs. Musical bows are the most popular and widespread traditional string instrument found throughout sub-saharan Africa, and the berimbau made its way to Brazil via the transatlantic slave trade. The berimbau’s closest relatives are found in southern Africa in the Portuguese speaking countries of Angola and Mozambique, as well as in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, and just about every other country in the region. In Brazil, the pain and suffering of the enslaved African in the new world is deeply connected to the soul of the berimbau. Specifically in the practice of the body game known as capoeira, the berimbau is celebrated and honored as an icon of resistance against oppression. Furthermore, in the hands of inspired musicians such as Naná Vasconcelos (1944–2016) and Ramiro Musotto (1963–2009), the berimbau became the central vehicle for the creative exploration of new musical frontiers.

Today, Arcomusical honors both the tradition and the innovation of the berimbau’s past in every activity that supports the mission to spread the instrument’s message of joy and hope well into the future.

Free, online only, to be premiered via YouTube
a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

Event

Valente Lecture: “Engaging Opera as Popular Culture and Social Justice” with Naomi André

Online Only

Register Online

In this talk I outline some of the larger frameworks from my book ​Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement​ (2018) and take them further to include a quick mention of Beyoncé’s ​Homecoming​ (2018), and three operas on Black topics that debuted the summer of 2019 (Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons, ​”Fire Shut Up in My Bones​,” Opera Theater of St. Louis; Anthony Davis and Richard Wesley, ​”The Central Park Five,​” Long Beach Opera; and Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson, ​”Blue,​” Glimmerglass Festival). I quickly place ​”Fire Shut Up in My Bones​” and ​”The Central Park Five​” and then spend the most time with ​”Blue​.” I have been fortunate to see all three operas and got to know Tesori and Thompson through several panels in the Breaking Glass series (run by Glimmerglass Opera Festival).

Naomi André is Professor in Women’s Studies, the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, and the Residential College Arts and Ideas in the Humanities program at the University of Michigan. She received her BA in music from Barnard College and MA and PhD in musicology from Harvard University. Her research focuses on opera and issues surrounding gender, voice, and race. Her publications include topics on Italian opera, Schoenberg, women composers, and teaching opera in prisons. Her books, Voicing Gender: Castrati, Travesti, and the Second Woman in Early Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera (2006) and Blackness in Opera (2012, edited collection), focus on opera from the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries and explore constructions of gender, race, and identity. She recently published Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement with University of Illinois Press, a monograph on staging race and history in opera today in the United States and South Africa. She has served on the Graduate Alumni Council for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Art and Sciences, the Executive Committee for the Criminal Justice Program at the American Friends Service Committee (Ann Arbor, MI), and has served as an evaluator for the Fulbright Senior Specialist Program.

Event

Brazilian Jazz

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Ricardo Peixoto, 7-string guitar
Marcos Silva, piano
Brian Rice, pandeiro and UC Davis lecturer in music

Free, online only via YouTube livestream
a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA
Event

Kyle Bruckmann, solo oboe

Kyle Bruckmann, solo oboe and UC Davis lecturer in music

Alejandra Odgers: Semelíami (1996)

Helen Grime: Arachne (2012)

Hannah A. BarnesDis/inte/gration (2019, rev. 2020)

Kyle Bruckmann: October 2020 (Fallen Leaf Lake) (2020)
Premiere Performance

Kyle Bruckmann: Sift (new no normal) (2021)
with Ellen Ruth Rose, viola and UC Davis lecturer in music
Premiere Performance

Orlando Jacinto García: Separación (2001)

Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA
Event

Stephanie Lamprea, solo soprano
Works by Graduate Students

Pre-recorded, available online only.

Stephanie Lamprea, solo soprano (artist-in-residence)

Program—

TBD

Event

Valente Lecture: Felipe Lara
Composer

Online Only

Register Online

Felipe Lara, a Brazilian-American composer praised by the New York Times and other critics for his brilliant modern music, rates collaboration with other musicians the most important aspect of his work.

Event

Valente Lecture: with Scott Linford
Ethnomusicologist

Online Only

Register Online

Scott Linford is an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has conducted musical fieldwork in West Africa, Central America, and the United States around themes of participation and musical experience, ethnicity, gender, agriculture and the environment, musical geographies, and colonial and post-colonial politics. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds an MA and PhD in Ethnomusicology from UCLA.

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