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A fall filled with art, music and dance

September 3, 2014

Person kneeling on floor, covered in white powder

The Akram Kahn Company will give the only U.S. performance of the dance/theatre work “ITMOi” exploring the creation of “The Rite of Spring” Oct. 24 at UC Davis. (Jean Louis Fernandez/photo)

As the academic year begins at the University of California, Davis, so does the music making, dancing, sculpting, writing, reading, painting and acting. Through its academic programs, galleries and the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis offers well-loved classical pieces performed by internationally acclaimed artists, cutting-edge theatre, dance and music, and exhibitions exploring many kinds of art.

Music department

The Department of Music has two dozen performances this fall including many free ones starting Oct. 2 with the Summer Symphony (students and community members) performing Haydn’s “London” symphony and a Schumann overture. Nearly every Thursday at noon, the department presents a free concert at the Mondavi Center featuring classical music ensembles as well as international music and jazz. The Mondavi Center offers free evening and afternoon performances at the outdoor Corin Courtyard, usually in conjunction with a main Mondavi performance.

The music department, UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and the Mondavi Center join forces for the free “Rising Stars of  Opera” concert with San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows Maria Valdes and Zanda Svede and 2012 Young Concert Artists winner Julia Bullock Oct. 10. The limit is four tickets, and they go fast.

The acclaimed Daedalus String Quartet from New York will give concerts Oct. 23 and 24 including a concert of new works by graduate student composers. The UC Davis contemporary music group the Empyrean Ensemble plays a full concert of new works by UC Davis composers with acclaimed soprano Tony Arnold Dec. 8. The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra performs Mozart, Mahler, Wagner and Richard Strauss with Blythe Gaissert, mezzo-soprano, Nov. 22.

(Unless noted otherwise music department performances are at the Mondavi Center.)

Mondavi Center

The Mondavi Center has a packed schedule with several events each week ranging from classical to comedy to dance. The season starts with Latin Grammy winner and Brazilian guitarist/singer Caetano Veloso Sept. 18 followed the next day by jazz patriarch pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr. and his trombonist son Delfeayo Marsalis.

The Akram Khan Company will give the only U.S. performance of the dance/theatre work “ITMOi” exploring the creation of “The Rite of Spring” Oct. 24. The San Francisco Symphony performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor with Christian Zacharias, conductor and soloist, along with works by Copland, Feldman and Haydn Oct. 25.

The center will host two MacArthur “genius” fellows — jazz violinist Regina Carter Nov. 1 followed by pianist Jeremy Denk Nov. 5. The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performs Nov. 8. Writer David Sedaris, who has done two sold-out shows at the center, will be back Nov. 16. Pianist Lara Downes, Mondavi Center artist in residence, and cellist Zuill Bailey explore the works of Leonard Bernstein, Lukas Foss, Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland in a concert titled “Some Other Time” Dec. 12-13.

The American Bach Soloists, led by artistic director and UC Davis professor Jeffrey Thomas perform Handel’s Messiah Dec. 14.

Exhibitions, theatre and other arts

Each year the Department of Theater and Dance brings in acclaimed directors to lead or create unusual pieces. English actress and writer Fidelis Morgan will direct "The Gambling Lady (The Bassett Table)" by Susanna Centlivre Nov. 13-23. Morgan rescued the early 18th century play from near oblivion in her book “The Female Wits.”

“MAKE: A New Museum for UC Davis” at the Nelson Gallery will give visitors insight into the Jan and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, scheduled to open in early 2017. The exhibition will include models, photos and student-designed fixture prototypes and asks visitors to weigh in on the plans. Also on display will be the “Lake Tahoe Sonification Project,” an installation by UC Davis music composition students that transforms atmospheric, temperature and water movement into sound. Both open Oct. 12.

The C.N. Gorman Museum is showing New Zealand landscape photography by Maori artist Natalie Robertson Sept. 30-Dec. 12.  

At the Design Museum, “If a Tree Fell: Sustainable Wood Design” can be seen Oct. 9-Dec. 19.

Several Department of English creative writing faculty members — Joshua Clover, Lucy Corin, Yiyun Li, Katie Peterson, Margaret Ronda and Joe Wenderoth — will give a reading at the UC Davis Arboretum Oct.  9.

The Department of Art and Art History lecture series starts Nov. 6 with Pittsburgh-based photographer Ed Panar. Darrin Martin, UC Davis associate professor of art, will give a talk titled "All Arms and Ears: Reframing Disability Aesthetics" Nov. 13. Both are at 4:30 p.m. in Art Annex Room 107.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

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