Carillon Marks Centennial in November; Looks Toward Future

On Friday, November 3 the carillon bells located in Sather Tower (the Campanile) will mark their 100th anniversary. Although originally cast in 1915 by the John Taylor Bell foundry of Loughborough, England, the bells were not installed in Sather Tower until 1917 due to delays caused by World War I. The bells were first played for three hours on November 3, 1917, joined by all the bells and whistles of Berkeley.

“The bells of Berkeley are so strongly integrated into the daily life of the campus community that they are the aural icons of Berkeley,” noted University Carillonist Jeff Davis.

To celebrate the 100-year mark of the carillon, Davis will be inviting a variety of carillonists and composers to collaborate on performances throughout the year. The festivities will culminate in the summer with the 2018 UC Berkeley Carillon Festival. These activities will also seek to raise awareness and funds for much needed repairs to the instrument.

Although the UC Berkeley Carillon enjoys fame well beyond the Bay Area, long overdue maintenance threatens to silence the bells.  Crucial improvements were made in 1983, but significant repairs are still needed. For example, the transmission mechanism on any carillon generally needs to be redone every twenty years, a length of time that we have long-since surpassed.  At Berkeley, routine upkeep is exacerbated by the location of the instrument directly across from the Golden Gate, a location that, while beautiful, is extraordinarily rough on the instrument.  The result is that rust and other mechanical problems caused by the uninterrupted action of salt air and wind, have made the instrument increasingly difficult to play.

We appeal to everyone in the Berkeley community, past and present, to help renovate and rejuvenate this true treasure of our shared life.

The UC Berkeley Carillon has enjoyed incremental progress over the decades. The original twelve bell chime did not have enough notes to play pieces such as the National Anthem. So in 1978, the Class of 1928, as a fiftieth anniversary gift to the University, decided to raise funds to add a few bells so more tunes could be played. The improvements to the instrument sparked interest throughout the world, and in 1983, thanks to a generation donation by Jerry and Evelyn Hemmings Chambers, the carillon expanded to 61 bells.

In the decades since, Berkeley’s carillon has only grown in international stature.  The acquisitions of the carillon library include rare recordings, manuscripts and books. The carillon instructional program has grown to the point where it is now one of the largest in the world.  The professional playing staff is one of the largest in North America, and the equal to any in the carillon centers of Europe.  The compositions and arrangements that have been created at Berkeley represent a great flowering of carillon music, and are played constantly on practically every carillon world-wide.

The centennial of Sather Tower was celebrated on February 3, 2015 and featured a special installation and performance including a unique composition of bells (both recorded and live) and lighting modulated in real time by data from the UC Berkeley seismometer adjacent to the Hayward Fault. The composition performed on the carillon was written by Music Chair and faculty member Edmund Campion.

The Berkeley Carillon at 100

campanile

Campanile and gingko tree

Sather Tower was completed in 1915, and so for the past year or so the university has been celebrating its hundredth birthday with a wide-variety of events. Celebrations began right after school began with a multi-media event with sound, light, and the participation of the earth in “Natural Frequencies,” a collaboration between several departments on campus. The department’s composer Edmund Campion created a musical composition involving two carillonists (University Carillonist Jeff Davis and Assistant Tiffany Ng), and the vibrations of the earth during the moment of performance, filtered through an electronic version of the Class of 1928 Carillon. The program was produced several times, and the audiences were in the thousands.

A contest, ‘Hack The Bells,’ invited anyone to produce a work of art involving the Campanile. Many of the submissions were various takes on music, and the winning work, Harmonize Place, was written by one of the department’s graduate students in composition, Rama Gottfried.

» read more »

The Berkeley Carillon Institute

The Berkeley Carillon Institute was established in 1982 by Ronald Barnes, Berkeley’s first University Carillonist. The purpose of the Institute is to secure materials related to the carillon and to encourage and publish compositions and arrangements for the instrument. The library of the Berkeley Carillon Institute, a part of the Music Library at the university, houses an extensive collection of published and unpublished works for the carillon, as well as rare books, documents, recordings, photographs, and programs. Special collections include the original UC chime books of Henry Safford King, the complete carillon book of Robert Kleinschmidt and many manuscripts of the important American carillon composers Roy Hamlin Johnson and Gary White.

The Berkeley Carillon Institute also publishes carillon music, available at no cost on the web. You can browse the thematic index of available compositions, then download scores that interest you using your web browser and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

 

Music for Carillon

The Berkeley Carillon Institute publishes carillon music, available at no cost on the web. You can browse the index of available compositions, then download scores that interest you using your web browser and Adobe Acrobat Reader. All works are provided free of charge for performance and scholarly purposes.

Manuel Blasco de Nebra

Sonata No. 3

Adagio
Sonata3Adagio

Allegro
Sonata3Allegro

Francois Couperin

Solos

Le Rossignol en Amor

LeRossignolenAmor

Le Rossignol Vainqeur
Le-Rossignol-vainqueur

Duets

Le Carillon De Cythere
Le-Carillon-De-Cythere

Les Petits Moulins a Vent

Les-Petits-Moulin-a-Vent

Jeff Davis

Rag Time

Rag-Time

Fantasy for Carillon

Fantasy for Carillon I Fantasy for Carillon I

John Dowland

Mr. Langton’s Galliard Mr-Langtons-Galliard

G. F. Handel

Music for Music Box

Solos and Duets. A complete critical edition for carillon of Handel’s SpielUhr with introductory material and a thematic index.

Scott Joplin

Solace
Solace

 

Anatoli Liadov

The Musical Box Duet
MusicalBox

Jean-Baptiste Lully

Chacone from Psyche Chacone

Fernando Sor

Exercise 5, Opus 35
Exercise5

Exercise 6, Opus 35
Exercise6

Exercise 12, Opus 35
Exercise12

Lesson 18, Opus 31
Lesson18

Study 7, Opus 6
Study7

Study 20, Opus 29
Study20

Study 22, Opus 29
Study22

Study 23, Opus 29 Study23

 

Enriquez de Valderrabano

Differencias Sobre Conde Claros
Differencias

Matthias Van den Gheyn

Preludio VI
for large carillon
PreludioVI

Carillon Study

carillonThere are three areas of carillon study at Berkeley: Beginning group lessons, Private lessons (beginning, intermediate and advanced), and through DeCal.

Regular carillon performance is limited to intermediate and advanced private students, although beginning group students have their lessons on the carillon, and the DeCal students give a final recital on the carillon each semester. In addition to the regularly scheduled performance times, carillon students also have access to practice time on the carillon each week.

Carillon students include undergraduate and graduate students from all fields of study. Although opportunities for employment and professional performance outside campus are severely limited, studying carillon at Berkeley provides the student with an intensive introduction to the instrument, the possibility of involvement with the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, and the chance to perform on other carillons world-wide.

Courses

  • Music 40 Group lessons for beginning students
  • Music 41A, B Private lessons for advanced beginning and intermediate students
  • Music 42 Private lessons for advanced students
  • Instructor: Jeff Davis, University Carillonist

Audition Information

Beginning students must audition on the instrument or voice of their choice before being accepted into the carillon program. The audition consists of a slow and a rapid work of your selection, both of which you are comfortable playing. The purpose of the audition is to appraise your musicality under the most favorable circumstances possible.

Carillon Performance Schedule

  • Monday through Friday
    7:50 AM – 8:00 AM
    12 PM – 12:10 PM
    6:00 PM – 6:10 PM
  • Saturday
    12 PM – 12:15 PM
    6:00 PM – 6:10 PM
  • Sunday
    2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
    Programs available at the tower entrance at 1:30

In addition to the above performance times the carillon is also used as a practice and teaching instrument

  • Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:10-7 PM
  • and Sunday evenings from 6 PM to 7 PM

Note: Outside of the Fall and Spring Semesters the carillon is played as staff are available.

Carillon Guild

The Berkeley Carillon Guild is a student organized and run guild of players of the Berkeley Carillon. The guild consists of present and former students, townspeople and the professional staff of the carillon.

The Guild is an organization within the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), which provides funding for guild activities.

The guild schedules carillon practice times on Friday and Saturday from 6:10-7:00

DeCal
The Berkeley Carillon Guild offers a Democratic Education at Cal course (Music 98 and Music 99, pass/fail)
Learn to Play the Sather Tower Carillon
, open to all university students.

The guild provides outreach to the campus community through a variety of other means, and has a brochure and a T-shirt available.

In October of 2008 members of the guild visited the Stanford Carillon, where Tim Zerlang, Stanford’s carillonneur, hosted us with a talk on the carillon, Hoover tower, and the automatic playing drum, as well as letting us play the newly enlarged and renovated instrument.

Sather Tower Carillon

carillon-darkskyThe carillon program at Berkeley has several constituent parts. The most prominent part is, of course, performance, with thrice daily performances on the carillon an integral part of campus life. There is also an extensive instructional program and, under the umbrella of the Berkeley Carillon Institute, a library of photographs, music, manuscripts, books and articles, and the publication of carillon music. Berkeley carillon students have also formed the Berkeley Carillon Guild, funded through the ASUC, which provides substantial campus outreach, including the DeCal class “Learning to Play the Sather Tower Carillon.”

Performance Schedule

  • Sunday
    2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
    (Programs available at the tower entrance at 1:30)
  • Monday through Friday
    7:50 AM – 8:00 AM
    12:00 PM – 12:10 PM
    6:00 PM – 6:10 PM
  • Saturday
    12:00 PM – 12:15 PM
    6:00 PM – 6:10 PM

In addition to the above performance times the carillon is also used as a practice and teaching instrument Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:10 PM – 7:00 PM and Sunday evenings from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The regular performance schedule takes place during Fall and Spring semesters. During intersessions the carillon is played as staff is available.

 

CD available: “All Hail, Blue and Gold ” Please contact the Berkeley Historical Society

eNews November 2017

Chair’s Note

Dear Friends of UC Berkeley Music,

Edmund Campion

It has been such a vibrant and wonderful semester of music making here at Hertz Hall!  Serving as Chair of the Department of Music this year has given me the great honor to interact with the many enthusiastic, diverse and talented musicians that make up our extended Berkeley community of musical artists and scholars.  I am particularly grateful for the thousands of patrons who come to enjoy our live performances and who join us as we foster a more peaceful and just community through musical performance and creation. It is a privilege to bring music to this campus and community and we thank you for being there!

Although the winter rains are on their way, thankfully there are a few more chances to come see our ensembles this semester! We will wrap up the 65th year of free noon concerts with our beloved Holiday Choral Concert on December 6th, featuring the Chamber Chorus, University Chorus, and P5 in a varied program of new seasonal music. Also at 8pm on the evening of December 6, Christine Brandes will direct the Baroque Ensemble in a concert featuring Italian masters including Vivaldi and Corelli. Lastly, the venerable Symphony Orchestra led by David Milnes will wrap up a notable year, which included a tour of Spain, with two performances on December 8th and 9th with works from Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Dutilleux.

This installment of Music’s newsletter contains some exciting stories of Professor Myra Medford’s performances with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Graduate Student Selim Göncü’s recently announced Composer Residency  at Ensemble Échappé in New York, and news round-up on some recent department happenings.

As we continue on our mission to provide a combination of academics and performance opportunities to our students, we are buoyed by your financial support. Contributions small and large are welcomed and truly appreciated.

Wishing you and your family a happy and safe holiday season,

Edmund Campion
Chair, UC Berkeley Department of Music

Melford’s Peformance on “Handful of Keys” Released

UC Berkeley Department of Music Professor Myra Melford’s acclaimed performances with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is now available to download. Entitled A Handful of Keys – A Century of Jazz Piano, the concerts chronicled the progression of jazz piano over the last century and featured works from the likes of Jelly Roll Morton, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck, and Marcus Roberts.

Melford performing at Lincoln Center

“The Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater is a home for jazz in the broadest sense,” noted Melford in the liner notes. “The performances have welcomed everything from ragtime and dixieland to swing and bebop, the blues and gospel traditions, and the experiments and innovations of the 1960s and beyond.”

Melford’s piece titled “The Strawberry” features renowned trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. A nine-time Grammy winner and National Medal of Arts recipient, Marsalis currently serves as director of the Juilliard Jazz studies program. Fellow pianists on this recording include Indonesian prodigy Joey Alexander (now 14) and American jazz pioneer Dick Hyman (now 90), who is currently serving as National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters fellow.

The diverse programming and talented pianists of A Handful of Keys were especially exciting for Melford. “Backstage during the performance, listening with and to the other pianists, I felt a palpable sense of not only enjoyment and appreciation for the gifts each had to offer, but inspiration—the possibility of trying something new or different heard in the others’ playing,” said Melford. “What struck me was the unique way in which each guest soloist revealed yet another facet of the rich legacy of jazz piano.”

A recording of A Handful of Keys was released by Blue Engine, a label started in 2015 by Jazz at Lincoln Center. “Handful of Keys” is a reference to jazz pianist Fats Waller’s 1929 seminal jazz piano composition. Jazz at Lincoln Center was established in 1986, and in 2004 they opened the Frederick P. Rose Hall, the first music venue in the world designed specifically for jazz performance.

Melford has been a mainstay as a Professor of Composition and Improvisational Practices since joining UC Berkeley in 2004. Her student ensemble, the Berkeley Nu Jazz Collective, is slated to perform two times during the spring 2018 semester: a noon concert on February 21 in Jazz x 2, sharing the bill with an advanced UC Jazz ensemble; and an evening performance on April 14, opening for a quartet with clarinetist Ben Goldberg, bassist Michael Formanek, drummer Hamir Atwal and Melford on piano.

Graduate student announced Composer-in-Residence at Ensemble Échappé

Selim Göncü

UC Berkeley Department of Music Graduate Student Selim Göncü has been announced Composer-in-Residence at Ensemble Échappé from 2018-2020. The announcement was made in November at Ensemble Échappé where his piece Widerklang made its US premiere.

Born in Istanbul (Turkey), Göncü began his musical career studying piano as a child. After a year of study with Zoltán Jeney in Liszt Academy of Music, he became Reinhard Febel’s student in the University Mozarteum of Salzburg where he also served as assistant to the department for composition. Currently studying for his Ph.D. in composition, Göncü has worked closely with Music faculty members Franck Bedrossian, Ken Ueno, and Austrian composer Clemens Gadenstätter of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.

“The support from faculty, combined with the excellent education we have at UC Berkeley results in many composition students getting prizes, performances and residencies,” said  Göncü “ None of this would be possible without this wonderful atmosphere the UC Berkeley Music Department created.”

Based in New York City and founded by Nina C. Young and Jocelin Pan, Ensemble Échappé’s stated mission is to create and perform new music undefined by genre or style. Featuring 17 core performing members and directed by Jeffrey Milarsky, Ensemble Échappé’ embraces the frontiers of new music. While Göncü’s projects include works for guitar, keyboard/synthesizer, and a variety of other instruments, perhaps the most exciting opportunity of his residency with the Ensemble Échappé is the chance to form collaborative relationships with the ensemble members over his two year residency.

“No art form should be isolated from other forms, neither should be any composer,” explained Göncü. “This residency doesn’t only mean that I will talk to performers, write for them and they will perform some works of mine. EÉ is an ensemble extremely open to suggestions, concepts and new ideas that are relevant to my music.”

Göncü is also working on a new ensemble piece with keyboard/synthesizer for the UC Berkeley Department of Music’s ECO Ensemble to be directed by David Milnes. He was quick to note the department’s New Music Program an essential tenet of his development as a composer. “We are so lucky to have ECO, our incredible ensemble in residence, that allows us to work with (the same musicians) throughout our doctoral studies,” noted Göncü.

In the News

Campion debuts piece for Korean National Gugak Center’s Creative Traditional Orchestra

Carillon marks 100th anniversary

Jimmy Lopez to Collaborate with playwright Nilo Cruz, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen,  and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London on “Dreamer”

Professor Emeritus Richard Taruskin awarded Kyoto Prize

Mason Bates Ph.D. ’08  named Musical America’s 2018 Composer of the Year; more on Mercury Soul 

September 2017 eNewsletter

From the Chair:

Hello from Morrison Hall and the UC Berkeley Department of Music. We have an exciting schedule planned for this semester. Join us as we celebrate the 65th year of the free Noon Concert Series in Hertz Hall, a Music Department project that has brought high-quality live music performances to hundreds of thousands of appreciative listeners from across the campus, the community and the larger Bay Area.  This fall, our Department of Music will offer a splendid array of musical styles ranging from Orchestra and Choirs, to Jazz, and Gamelan, to the newest composition creations.  We do it all, and we continue to thrive in the midst of tough financial times, thanks to the wonderful generosity of our many supporters.  

A quick look at the programming reveals the incredible University Symphony, just returned from a tour of Spain under conductor David Milnes, the choral programs with Nikolas Nackley and Magen Solomon directing, the Gospel Choir led by Dr. Mark Wilson, and Gamelan with famed Javanese Gamelan master Midiyanto.  It is all excellent music, with over 25 concerts this semester! Get to your seats early for the large ensemble concerts as these events will fill the hall.

At the core of everything we do is the dedication of our Hertz Hall staff and the hundreds of talented and devoted musicians who give their lives to the rich traditions of music making.  Nothing is really free, but together with the support and encouragement of our esteemed audiences, we make it happen.  Our key message will always be that live music, small and large, and from every point on the globe, indicates good social health and contributes to a richer and more peaceful community.  Help us if you can with any level of donation.  Or feel free to reach out to the Chair for more information and conversation.

Department Welcomes Delia Casadei

Delia Casadei, a musicologist specializing in 20th-century Italy has joined The UC Berkeley Department of Music as an Assistant Professor. A native of Italy, Casadei completed her undergraduate and Master’s degree at King’s College London. She earned her Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded a Hopkinson Graduate Research Fellowship, a Mellon Humanities Fellowship, and Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Casadei spent the last year at Jesus College in Cambridge where she completed a Junior Research Fellowship.

“I am honored to join the music department at Berkeley, a place I have long admired from afar” said Casadei. “Since arriving a couple of months ago I have had many exciting conversations with historians, ethnomusicologists, performers and composers, and most importantly students. This is a strange and sometimes frightening time to be in the U.S. and I feel privileged to share the campus with people who are passionate and ask difficult questions about the world that surrounds them.”

Casadei’s research focuses on the politics of the voice’s relationship to language, particularly in the Italian twentieth century. Her thesis examined this relationship by way of Milan in the 1950s-70s, and she is currently researching her first book, which will examine key political theories formulated in Italy between the 1950s and today and the manner in which these approaches are tied to the use of recording technology. Aside from her research on 20th century Italian musicology, Casadei also studies the historical relationship of music and laughter in the twentieth century.

Carillon Marks Centennial in November; Looks Toward Future

On Friday, November 3 the carillon bells located in Sather Tower (the Campanile) will mark their 100th anniversary. Although originally cast in 1915 by the John Taylor Bell foundry of Loughborough, England, the bells were not installed in Sather Tower until 1917 due to delays caused by World War I. The bells were first played for three hours on November 3, 1917, joined by all the bells and whistles of Berkeley.

“The bells of Berkeley are so strongly integrated into the daily life of the campus community that they are the aural icons of Berkeley,” noted University Carillonist Jeff Davis.

To celebrate the 100-year mark of the carillon, Davis will be inviting a variety of carillonists and composers to collaborate on performances throughout the year. The festivities will culminate in the summer with the 2018 UC Berkeley Carillon Festival. These activities will also seek to raise awareness and funds for much needed repairs to the instrument.

Although the UC Berkeley Carillon enjoys fame well beyond the Bay Area, long overdue maintenance threatens to silence the bells.  Crucial improvements were made in 1983, but significant repairs are still needed. For example, the transmission mechanism on any carillon generally needs to be redone every twenty years, a length of time that we have long-since surpassed.  At Berkeley, routine upkeep is exacerbated by the location of the instrument directly across from the Golden Gate, a location that, while beautiful, is extraordinarily rough on the instrument.  The result is that rust and other mechanical problems caused by the uninterrupted action of salt air and wind, have made the instrument increasingly difficult to play.

We appeal to everyone in the Berkeley community, past and present, to help renovate and rejuvenate this true treasure of our shared life.  

The UC Berkeley Carillon has enjoyed incremental progress over the decades. The original twelve bell chime did not have enough notes to play pieces such as the National Anthem. So in 1978, the Class of 1928, as a fiftieth anniversary gift to the University, decided to raise funds to add a few bells so more tunes could be played. The improvements to the instrument sparked interest throughout the world, and in 1983, thanks to a generation donation by Jerry and Evelyn Hemmings Chambers, the carillon expanded to 61 bells.

In the decades since, Berkeley’s carillon has only grown in international stature.  The acquisitions of the carillon library include rare recordings, manuscripts and books. The carillon instructional program has grown to the point where it is now one of the largest in the world.  The professional playing staff is one of the largest in North America, and the equal to any in the carillon centers of Europe.  The compositions and arrangements that have been created at Berkeley represent a great flowering of carillon music, and are played constantly on practically every carillon world-wide.

The centennial of Sather Tower was celebrated on February 3, 2015 and featured a special installation and performance including a unique composition of bells (both recorded and live) and lighting modulated in real time by data from the UC Berkeley seismometer adjacent to the Hayward Fault. The composition performed on the carillon was written by Music Chair and faculty member Edmund Campion.

5 Questions: Jimmy López Bellido

Jimmy López Bellido Ph.D. ‘12 is currently serving as Composer-in-Residence for the Houston Symphony Orchestra.

You studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Lima, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki prior to UC Berkeley. How were the conservatories different from your experience in Berkeley?

All those places are incredibly different from each other. In Lima I acquired a solid base, especially in regards to harmony, counterpoint, and music theory in general. All of this especially thanks to my mentor and -as I like to call him- my “personal Yoda”, Enrique Iturriaga, a 99-year-old composer who has made an indelible mark in Peruvian musical life. The Sibelius Academy reinforced that base but it provided me with great exposure to Finland’s (and by extension, Europe’s) rich contemporary music scene. It also gave me plenty of opportunities to explore my fascination for the symphony orchestra, not only because Finland, a country of 5.5 million, boasts 25 professional orchestras, but also because the Sibelius Academy itself has a very strong orchestral conducting department, a fact that allowed me to try a few of my compositions in rehearsal. What I took from Berkeley was creative freedom. Europe has strong traditions and it is hard for Europeans to let go of them sometimes. California, in turn, is fertile ground for innovation in many areas, the kind of innovation and openness that allowed the birth of Minimalism, for example. It is here, at Berkeley, where I was able to distill my language and find my personal voice.

Edmund Campion was your advisor at Cal. What was the most significant thing you took away from him?

Ed believed, and still believes, in me and my music. He had real faith in that, as competitive as it is, I could make it in the music industry. He guided me through my transition from the world of academia to the hard realities of being a freelance composer. He recognized my strength,s and weaknesses and helped me carve the path that I have carved for myself. Ed recognized my talent and had faith in me right from the start. I will be always grateful to him for that.

You’re debuting a concerto at the end of the month titled “Guardian of the Horizon.” Can you tell us about it?

The Sphinx Organization, which has done a fantastic job supporting black and Latino musicians, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and they commissioned me to create the Concerto Grosso for Violin, Cello & Strings to celebrate the occasion. They are taking the piece on tour throughout several cities in the US, including their annual Gala Concert at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium on October 13th. The work has been co-commissioned by the Sphinx Organization, with the support of Linda and Stuart Nelson, Carnegie Hall, and New World Symphony, and it is dedicated to my father’s memory, who passed away in December of last year. This work is also a part of Carnegie Hall’s “125 commissions” project, celebrating the famed institution’s 125th anniversary.

You’ll be composer-in-residence at the Houston Symphony for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. What are your goals/aspirations for your time in Texas?

During these two upcoming seasons I will be focusing on three major projects: a violin concerto, a symphony, and a mentorship program with young composers that will culminate on a concert consisting of new works by student composers from the Houston area. The violin concerto’s premiere has, sadly, had to be postponed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, but it will certainly take place during the 2018-19 season. The symphony will be premiered during the 2018-19 season and it will pay homage to Houston’s special contribution to space exploration. The mentorship program will be developed in conjunction with Professors from Rice University and University of Houston, and it will consist in the creation of new works, workshops with Houston Symphony musicians, interdisciplinary cooperation, and a final presentation at a special venue where the newly created works will be presented. In addition to all this, I will participate in talks, lectures, and chamber music concerts, plus other existing works of mine will be featured during the orchestra’s upcoming seasons.

In the Denver Post, Ray Mark Rinaldi says “Lopez doesn’t sound like the other composers currently at work. His influences are broad, but he has a distinct voice and it is adventurous and winning. He’s making opera that sounds like him, rather than trying to emulate others.” How did you find your voice in terms of composition?

During my time in Lima my eyes and ears were pointed toward Europe, so I didn’t pay much attention to my own country’s rich musical tradition. All of this changed when I moved to Finland because there I realized that in order to develop a distinct voice I could not continue ignoring my geographical origins. After coming to the US I continued to explore the Avant-garde scene, especially in Germany (Darmstadt and Donaueschingen), as I continued to delve into my geographical roots with works such as “Perú Negro”, which is entirely inspired by Afro-Peruvian music. These two parallel roads were not at odds with each other, but they were not necessarily interacting with each other, so in my mid thirties I made a conscious (and sometimes also unconscious) effort to integrate them into a single mode of expression. Nowadays I feel perfectly comfortable employing the tools I have learned from both of them and the result is a more unified and distinct personal voice that I think will continue to be shaped as I enter my forties.

 

Cal Day 2016

photo of concerto soloist

Performances by concerto audition winners are a popular tradition every Cal Day; good music, great audience, and comfortable seats in Hertz Hall. Come hear the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra!

The Music Department was pleased to display a wide range of musical activities for Cal Day visitors. Concert manager Quelani Penland programmed this annual open house for UC Berkeley with exciting events located both inside and outside Hertz Memorial Concert Hall and Morrison Hall, for all to enjoy. Inside events included the kid-friendly Music Connection instrument workshop, as well as sonatas and concerti performed by  talented Music students on piano, cello, voice, and even organ! Outside events include African Dance and Drumming, Celli@Berkeley student cello quartets—and this year a newly-composed concerto with carillon bells in the Campanile got in on the action, performing a carillon duet with an electronic component. The exciting Gospel Chorus closed out the afternoon. Watch out for Cal Day each year, usually scheduled in spring!

Bonnie Remembers Berkeley

Photograph of Bonnie Wade playing the koto on the UCLA campus on a pathway over a pond.

Ansel Adams made this photograph of Bonnie Wade playing the koto while at UCLA. It was later included a book of his work titled,”Fiat Lux”

My first acquaintance with Berkeley was the summer of 1967. I was a graduate student in ethnomusicology at UCLA and came up to spend part of the summer working on my Master’s thesis and also attending performances at the World Music Center funded by the Scripps family. I made a tour of the Department of Music. I also, with typical graduate student naiveté, asked at the office if there were any teaching possibilities. None.

DavidBoyden1971w

David Boyden

My next acquaintance with Berkeley was in the summer of 1969. I had finished my fieldwork for my dissertation and had begun writing. I was also looking toward the future and wrote to the chairman of the Department, at the time Larry Moe, to see if there might be any possibility in future of hiring an ethnomusicologist. He wrote back to say that they had no plans, at present, to do so. Interestingly, I had been aware that many years earlier, when Mantle Hood was in the process of setting up a program in ethnomusicology, UC Berkeley and UCLA were in the running. David Boyden later told me that Berkeley wanted Hood to come and establish a program. Mantle later told me that he chose UCLA because its then Chancellor, Franklin Murphy, would provide more resources, which it did, and UCLA became the premier place to study ethnomusicology. I finished my dissertation and began teaching at Brown University, which for me was ideal. It was less than an hour from my family in Connecticut, only an hour from Boston, a city I loved and where I had done my undergraduate work (at Boston University), and a comfortable ride down to New York. I immediately and happily settled in with no idea of ever leaving. That became reinforced when, during my first year at Brown, I was courted by and received an offer from Yale which I turned down, despite close proximity to family in Stonington, Connecticut, and a nibble from Columbia, which I chose not to pursue, despite its being in New York. Brown was my place.  » read more »

Cal Day Music 2016

201304_Calday_008ew1The Music Department is proud to offer a wide range of musical activities for Cal Day visitors on Saturday, April 16, from 10am to 4pm. Events take place in and around the music buildings, Hertz Memorial Concert Hall and Morrison Hall, for all to enjoy. Indoor events include the kid-friendly Music Connection Instrument Workshop, as well as sonatas and concerti performed by talented Music students—on piano, cello, voice, as well as on the Noack organ in Hertz Hall. Outdoor events include African drumming and dance, cello quartets (Celli@Berkeley), followed by the energetic Gospel Chorus. Check calday.berkeley.edu for a full roster of events.

The Big Bong

Tsar Bell

The Tsar Bell in Moscow, largest extant bell , has never been played.

Also do check out the premiere performance of “The Big Bong” for carillon duet and an electronic modeling broadcast of the Tsar Bell at noon, 2pm, and 4pm, recreating the sound of the 218-ton Tsar Bell in Moscow, Russia. The Tsar Bell, largest bell in the world, has never been played because it was too heavy to lift from the casting pit. A structure was put over the bell to protect it, but in 1737 during the Great Fire of Moscow the roof caught fire. Guards sprayed water on the bell which caused it to crack several times, and an eleven-ton piece cracked off. The Tsar Bell has rested on a massive plinth in the Kremlin outside the Ivan the Great bell-tower since 1836 when it was finally raised from the pit, nearly a century after it was cast.

» read more »