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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.”
UC Davis alumnus Cesar Favila (B.A. music, ‘06)—now assistant
professor of musicology at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music—has
been given the Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellowship in
Music Studies from the American Council of Learned Societies
Professor of Music, emeritus, Christopher Reynolds has been
elected a member of the
Musicology and Art History section of the Academia
Europaea (Academy of Europe). The purpose of the
Academy of Europe—an academy of sciences and humanities—is for
the advancement and propagation of excellence in
scholarship ”for the public benefit and for the advancement
of the education of the public of all ages.”
The fellowship will support Díaz’s research of four
communities in Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria, which were formed
by the descendants of emancipated Africans who resettled from
Brazil to West Africa during the 19th century.
The annual “Arts & Humanities Graduate Exhibition” features 27
students from eight majors in the UC Davis College of Letters and
Science. Students Kelley O’Leary, art studio, Joseph Vasinda,
music composition, and Iris Xie, design, discuss their work.
Undergraduate music major (focusing on vocal performance)
Tiara Abraham has won second place in
the Sacramento Master Singers Youth Scholarship competition. For
it she sang one of only a few Vincenzo Bellini art
songs, ”Per pietà, bell’idol mio,” in the collegiate
category, age 20–22.
Lecturer in music and alum Christopher Castro (Ph.D., composition
and theory, ‘18) has accepted the position of assistant professor
of composition at Chapman University’s College of Performing
Conservatory of Music. He joins the faculty in August
2022 and will teach composition and theory.
In a continuance of the Bay Area’s West Edge Opera “Aperture”
series, frequent collaborators and UC Davis alums Ryan Suleiman
(Ph.D. music, ‘20) and Cristina Fríes (M.A. creative writing,
‘19) have once again received positive reviews for an excerpt of
their new opera project, The School for Girls Who Lost
Everything in the Fire.
The British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) has awarded a
commendation to Juan Diego Díaz in its 2022 “Early Career Prize”
for his 2020 article, “The Musical Experience of Diasporas: The
Return of a Ghanaian Tabom Master Drummer to
Bahia,” Latin American Music Review.
On Saturday, April 9, 2022, at 1:00 pm (Pacific Time), Professor
Christian Baldini will conduct the Porto Alegre Symphonic
Orchestra in Brazil. On the program is a double marimba concerto
(Fantasia Brasileira) by composer Rosauro Ney, as well
as Jean Sibelius’s Second Symphony.
Alumnus Gabriel José Bolaños (Ph.D., composition, ‘15) is
the recipient of the 2022 Suzanne and Lee Ettelson
Composer’s Award for his work nosotros hemos puesto los
muertos for bass flute, violin, cello, and double
The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra will premiere two works,
including one responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and a
much-loved symphony by Antonín Dvořák for its concert on March 5.
The concert takes place at 7 p.m. at the Robert and Margrit
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.
Pierpaolo Polzonetti, Jan and Beta Popper Professor of Music, has
been receiving media attention for his new book Feasting
and Fasting in Opera: From Renaissance Banquets to the
Callas Diet (University of Chicago Press, 2021). Recently he
discussed the book on BBC Radio’s “Music Matters: Art centres,
Giovanni Antonini, Opera and Food.”