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.
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 »
Maestro David Robertson, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, January 30th
Orchestra master class with Maestro David Robertson, music director of the St. Louis Symphony.
The UCBSO rehearsed Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 as part of the master class. Maestro Robertson was in town with the St. Louis Symphony that weekend to perform with Cal Performances at Zellerbach Hall.
Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, L.A.Philharmonic, February 20th
Conducting Master class with Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the LA Philharmonic. The students were Jane Kim, Nicholas Koo, and Melissa Panlasigui, conducting excerpts from Brahms Symphony No. 1. All three are graduates of UC Berkeley and conducting students of David Milnes, and are associated with UCBSO: Jane Kim is associate conductor, Melissa Panlasigui is resident conductor, and Nick Koo is production manager. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that when Gustavo Dudamel took a break, the Cal Band showed up and played their signature song, Maestro Dudamel conducted.
The American Musicological Society has awarded Carla Shapreau, and co-authors Lawrence M. Earp of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Domenic Leo of Duquesne University, the 2015 Claude V. Palisca Award for their work on The Ferrell-Vogüé Machaut Manuscript, published by the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music, University of Oxford. This award “honors each year a scholarly edition or translation in the field of musicology published during the previous year… deemed by a committee of scholars to best exemplify the highest qualities of originality, interpretation, logic and clarity of thought, and communication.” The authors provide new insights into the history of this long illusive medieval codex by Guillaume de Machaut (c. 1300—77), who many consider to be France’s greatest composer and poet of the 14th century.
The 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
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.
In addition to serving as department chair in the Music Department, Professor Cindy Cox has also had a busy year with performances of her works across the world. In April, there was a portrait concert in Shanghai, China at the Oriental Arts Center of “La cigüeña” and “Mallets,” Playing a round, Hishuk ish ts’walk, and Patagón. As part of the centennial celebration of the carillon, her Mysterium Coniunctionis was performed across the globe on April 1 in a series of coordinated performances. Hishuk ish ts’walk was performed by the department’s Eco Ensemble at the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, and Wave was performed in Havana by the ensemble Third Sound, in a special delegation to Cuba with the American Composers Forum. This past summer, Cox was invited to participate in the International Gugak Workshop in Seoul, South Korea, as well as the Institute Français, “FOCUS Musique Contemporaine” by the Ministry of Culture in Paris. Her monograph CD, Patagón, by the Alexander String Quartet was released in October on Naxos, and named the “best new music disc this year” by Audiophile Audition magazine in a recent review.
Stefano Flavoni (BA, 2015), conducting student of David Milnes and Marika Kuzma and 2015 recipient of the Eisner Prize, has recently begun tenure as conductor of the China National Welfare Institute Children’s Choir, centered in Shanghai.
Though he began his work there in early September, his appointment came this past June after conducting the South Carolina Philharmonic and working with esteemed conducting pedagogues Donald Portnoy and Paul Vermel.
Next month, Stefano will be guest conducting the Berlin Sinfonietta Orchestra in Germany as well as the Guangzhou Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Upcoming engagements include a concert of Brahms’ Volkskinderlieder & Copland’s Old American Songs (Dec. 23rd & 24th) and a new production of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat (Feb. 2016).
Carla Shapreau is the new curator of the Salz Collection of Stringed Instruments. She brings to this position a background of violin making, restoration, and service as a Board member and advisor to the non-profit American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and the Violin Society of America.
Co-author of Violin Fraud — Deception, Forgery, Theft and Lawsuits in England and America, Oxford University Press, Carla Shapreau has written and lectured broadly on topics pertaining to instruments of the violin family and other music-related issues, most recently: “The Plunder and Restitution of Vg: the Nazi Era and its Aftermath, 1940–9,” The Ferrell-Vogüé Machaut Manuscript, Oxford: DIAMM Publications, 2014; “The Austrian Copyright Society and Blacklisting During the Nazi Era,” the OREL Foundation, 2014; “Mastery of the Past,” Symposium: The Vienna Philharmonic 100 Years After the Outbreak of the First World War, Cal Performances, University of California, Berkeley, 2014; “The Loss of French Musical Property During World War II, Post-War Repatriations, Restitutions, and 21st Century Ramifications,” France Berkeley Fund Report, 2013; “The Theft of Culture, Persecution, and the Identity of Wanda Landowska,” The Musical Worlds of Polish Jews, 1920–1960, Identity, Politics, and Culture, Arizona State University, 2013; “A Nazi Violin Still Keeps Its Secrets,” New York Times, September 23, 2012.
In addition, Carla Shapreau is a Lecturer in the School of Law, where she teaches a course on art and cultural property law, including topics pertaining to collection management. She is also a Senior Fellow in the Institute of European Studies, where she is conducting cultural property research in the field of music.
On Sunday, October 25th, the Department of Music hosted a full day of piano recitals, lectures, masterclasses, lessons, and discussion featuring a noon concert recital on period instruments by exciting up-and-coming fortepianist David Hyun-su Kim, Turkish-born Schumann-and-Brahms specialist, Sezi Seskir of Bucknell University, and Andrew Willis of UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance, an eminent historian of the piano and leading authority of historical performance. Their joint noon concert on Sunday included Schumann’s piano cycle Carnaval, Chopin’s C-sharp-minor Prelude, op. 45, Brahms’s op. 116 Fantasien, op. 116 (1892), and Beethoven’s Fantasia, op. 77.
The visit of such artists represents a unique educational opportunity for the talented undergraduates of the music department’s piano program. More and more, we see that gifted young pianists choose to become double majors at Berkeley. This is the fourth year that the Piano Institute has taken place in Hertz and Morrison Halls. Faculty pianists Nicholas Mathew and James Davies organized the popular event. » read more »
After nearly three years of advance planning, world-renowned composer Kaija Saariaho took up residence in Berkeley as the 2015 Bloch Professor in Music. Everybody pitched in including the Department of Music, The Townsend Center for the Humanities, the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT), The Berkeley Symphony, The University Symphony, The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the ECO Ensemble, the Left Coast Ensemble and many others. I was able to coordinate Saariaho’s residency with a number of ancillary visits from her equally famous collaborators. Her husband, composer and audiovisual artist, Jean-Baptiste Barrière, accepted an invitation to be the first recipient of the David Wessel Residency in Music and Science; Cellist and Regent’s Lecturer Anssi Karttunen agreed to be the soloist in the Cal Performances Saariaho portrait concert with David MIlnes and the ECO Ensemble; Camilla Hoitenga, Jennifer Koh, and Susanna Malkki all agreed to appear on the stage with Ms. Saariaho for lectures and live performances. Cal Performances’ Matias Tarnolpolsky moderated the lecture series with Department of Music faculty Mary Ann Smart and others. It was miraculous that everyone showed up, and it all added up to a marvelous Bay Area festival surrounding the work of Kaija Saariaho. We are looking forward to welcoming Ms. Saariaho back at Berkeley this summer as a guest of Cal Performances OJAI North Festival.
Professor of Music
Director, Center for New Music and Audio Technologies
In addition to master classes and private lessons with student composers, Ms. Saariaho participated in a number of appearances, including five public Bloch lectures featuring conversations with several of her distinguished collaborators and a colloquium featuring violinist Jennifer Koh. Ms. Saariaho also appeared at other Bay Area venues in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Mill Valley, with many performances by the Berkeley Symphony, Cal Performances Eco Ensemble, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and Left Coast Ensemble. Her residency was sponsored by the UC Berkeley Department of Music, the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies, Cal Performances, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.
In a Center for New Music online review, Adam Fong writes that the Saariaho residency is a “reassertion of the SF Bay Area as an international new music hub…the Bay Area’s community of enthusiasts for new, experimental, creative music has long been supercharged by a steady influx of artists from across the musical spectrum,” (including composer-performer-educator George Lewis two years ago), centered around the UC Berkeley Department of Music and CNMAT.
Berkeley RADICAL, a new Cal Performances initiative to “uncover new means of revealing our shared human potential” included two significant events with significant contributions by the Music Department.
Associate Professor of Music Nicholas Mathew organized the symposium, “Beyond the Valley of the Ninth‚ The Afterlives of Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony” held in Hertz Hall on Friday, September 25th. The symposium included Andrea Bohlman (UNC Chapel Hill), Stephen Hinton (Stanford University), Alexander Rehding (Harvard University), Christopher Reynolds (UC Davis), Anicia Timberlake (Williams College), and Mina Yang.
This was followed by the evening performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela, conducted by world-renowned Gustavo Dudamel, at the Greek Theater. Singers from Music Department’s Chamber Chorus and from the Alumni Chorus joined in.
Carol Vernallis’s areas of specialization are music video and recent film; her research deals more broadly with questions of sound and image in moving media. Her first book, Experiencing Music Video (Columbia University Press), attempts to theorize the genre.
Her second, Unruly Media: Youtube, Music Video, and the New Digital Cinema (Oxford University Press), takes account of a new mediascape driven by intensified audiovisual relations. The book considers techniques and strategies that are shared between the three forms of digital media it focuses on. She’s now working more closely with directors and other practitioners who create innovative audiovisual work across platforms and media – her book-in-progress is entitled Transmedia Directors – and she is asking about the viewer/listener’s experience of audiovisuality in today’s media-saturated, multi-platform swirl. She is also co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics and The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media. Her Music Studies Colloquium, “Beyoncé’s Overwhelming Opus; or, the Past and Future of Music Video,” is on Friday, October 9, in 128 Morrison Hall.
Assistant Teaching Professor
Matthew Hough is excited to join the Music Department as an Assistant Teaching Professor after spending the last sixteen years in New York City. In addition to his work as a composer and guitarist, Hough enjoys writing about a diverse range of music subjects including musicianship, music theory and composition pedagogy. Hough’s current and upcoming projects include: Late June, a concert work commissioned by New York percussionist Ian Antonio (2016); When Summer Ends, a set of songs with original lyrics (2016); and a presentation on musicianship pedagogy at the University of Michigan’s “Ann Arbor Symposium IV: Teaching and Learning Popular Music” Conference (November 2015). For more information, visit his faculty page.