Past Events and Visitors
Workshops on Italian Opera and Urban Culture overlapped with an international conference on the Italian Madrigal in November, while colloqiuia and conferences provided for a rich sharing of research and study.
Fall 2011 has been a busy time for department scholars. A workshop on Italian Opera and Urban Culture overlapped with an international conference on the Italian Madrigal celebrating emeritus Anthony Newcomb. Special events honored emeriti Richard Crocker and Daniel Heartz at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in San Francisco. The conferences included numerous papers by Berkeley professors, graduate students, and alumni. Our department was also well represented through presentations by faculty and students at the annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology in Philadelphia. Berkeley held receptions at both conferences.
In Fall, faculty also engaged with many visiting scholars as they presented papers on various topics:
- Michelle Kisliuk spoke on "Theorizing the Personal: Ethnographic Frontiers,"
- Keith Terry and group presented on "Body Music"
- Andrew Weintraub, an Indonesia specialist spoke on the theoretical aspects on the nature and ethics of repatriation
Old Time Music treats audience to a rousing performance
In September 2011, the Music Department hosted a panel of musicians from the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention. The event featured old time buckdancer Thomas Maupin and Daniel Rothwell (Maupin's grandson), who accompanies him on banjo. Also highlighted were singer Ginny Hawker and singer and instrumentalist Tracy Schwarz. Berkeley Old Time Music Festival (BOTMC) founder Suzy Thompson rounded out the panel and Tamara Roberts moderated. The overflowing audience was treated to several rousing performances as well as insights from the artists on their traditions and practices. Following the panel, several BOTMC artists led a jam session on Faculty Glade.
In Spring 2011 The Department of Music was pleased to present the Andrew Imbrie Festival
To mark the ninetieth anniversary of Andrew Imbrie's birth a series of concerts and a symposium took place around the Bay Area in March and April of 2011. A renowned composer, Imbrie (1921-2007) was a member of the Berkeley music faculty from 1947 to 1991. Admission was free to all the events.
The events of the Andrew Imbrie Festival coincided with the Hargrove Music Library's inauguration of a new special collection of books, scores, manuscripts, and archival material from Andrew Imbrie's personal collection, donated to the library by the Imbrie family. On display were Chicago Bells for violin and piano (1997), Duet for Two Friends for bass clarinet and cello (2002), the Fifth String Quartet (1987), the Piano Quartet (1998), Sextet for Six Friends (2006), Spring Fever for chamber ensemble (1997), and the Violin Concerto (1954). In addition, exhibited archival documents included letters from the composers Jacob Druckman and Roger Sessions, and photographs of Andrew Imbrie throughout his career, as well as group photos with members of the San Francisco Composers' Forum and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The exhibit was on view until Friday 4 November, 2011.
Auditions for Fall 2011 were held back in April, and UC Berkeley students, both from within the department and from all across campus competed for the chance to be featured in a Noon Concert or evening event
It's not everyday that a student has the chance to perform on a stage like Hertz Hall's. The desire to do so is especially great amongst UC pianists; more of them audition than can be chosen to perform. Caleb Holtzinger, a graduating UC music major, was awarded the department's Bernice Lyon prize to support a Noon Concert at which he impressed the audience with his demonstration of keyboard music across the centuries. Matching pieces from four different eras to instruments built in each of those time periods, Caleb discussed and demonstrated the differences of technique and interpretive approach appropriate to each. Caleb used the Department's prized 1854 Erard piano for the 19th century piece, Mendelssohn's without Words, Op.38 No.6 Andante con moto in A-flat major, ("Duetto") (1836).
Other student who had the opportunity to perform in a Fall Semester noon concert included:
- Joe Neeman, violin concerto
- Ernest Yen, violin concerto
- Felicia Chen, soprano
- Jason Yu, piano solo
- Andrea Wu, piano solo
- Tony Lin, piano solo
- Rio Vander Stahl, cello solo
- Alia McKena, violin
- Emma Lundberg, violin
- Daniel Pasternak, viola
- Mosa Tsay, cello
- Austin McGee, violin
- Nick Antipa, trumpet
- Nick Carnes, horn
- Scott Michel, trombone
- Francis Upton, tuba
- Caleb Holtzinger, keyboards
The Department of Music presents the free weekly Noon Concert Series each semester in Hertz Hall. Inaugurated in 1953, these concerts are very popular and well attended by those on campus and in the wider community. Traditionally on Wednesdays, now expanding into Fridays, each concert begins promptly at 12:15 and ends by 1pm. Visit our Events Calendar for a full listing of upcoming concerts.
I Wayan Wija, one of Bali's most innovative and dynamic dalang (shadow master) performed a Balinese Wayang Kulit (shadow play performance) in Hertz Hall
This September in Hertz Hall, one of Bali's most innovative and dynamic dalangs (shadow masters) performed to an appreciative audience. I Wayan Wija, one of Bali's most renowned dalangs, accompanied by gender wayang quartet Carla Fabrizio, Lisa Gold, Paul Miller, and Sarah Willner wove a story by combining amazing vocal techniques, storytelling, humor, and puppet manipulation. Wija's trip to the United States brought an added benefit to anyone who crossed the Bay: he made his puppets and miniatures available in the Asian Art Museum Store through his Asia Alive residency at that museum. Subsequent performances of Javanese and Balinese gamelan concerts featured student groups and professional dancers and musicians.
Musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Orchestra, both in residence with Cal Performances in 2011, graciously took time out to work with Music Department students
The Vienna Philharmonic was in residence with Cal Performances from February 25th to the 27th, 2011 and with a lot of coordination between Cal Performances and the Department of Music, orchestra musicians benefited greatly from exposure to musicians of the Philharmonic and conductor Valery Gergiev.
A strings section master-class was held for members of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra with Professor Rainer Honeck, Vienna Philharmonic Concertmaster, at Zellerbach Hall. Three coaching sessions were held for members of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, one each for the viola, cello and brass sections. The sessions were led by Heinrich Koll (solo viola), Tamas Varga (solo cello) and Dietmar Küblböck (first trombone) and were hosted by the UC Berkeley Department of Music.
A free chamber music concert with members of the Vienna Philharmonic was held at Hertz Hall on February 27, 2011. Attendance was by invitation-only for young musicians, including UC Berkeley music students, SMA members and youth orchestra members from around the Bay Area. This performance was not open to the public, but instead provided the musicians an opportunity to work closely with the visiting members of the Philharmonic.
In another special event this fall, student musicians had the opportunity to work with Mariinsky Orchestra conductor Valery Gergiev on the Zellerbach stage in a master class arranged by Cal Performances.
Eco Ensemble performs Boulez
One of the most influential composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, Pierre Boulez has spent "decades demonstrating that electronic music can be delicate, nuanced, precise and graceful on the ears" (The New York Times). In celebration of the legendary composer and conductor's 85th birthday, the Eco Ensemble and violinist Graeme Jennings performed two masterworks by this towering icon of modern music. Anthèmes 2 was performed by Australia-born violinist Graeme Jennings, accompanied by real time transformations of the pitch, tone, color, timing, and spatial location of the "real" violin by electronics designed by the Paris-based, Boulez-founded Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM). The seductive and hypnotic Dérive 2 (1988-2006) was written for 11 instruments over the course of 18 years and was performed by the Eco Ensemble, Berkeley's professional new music ensemble-in residence dedicated to exploring and sharing the work of adventurous composers. This event supported by Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc., the UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) and the Department of Music. Click here for program notes.
Three harpsichords, three temperaments: concertgoers enjoy early music on the Hertz Hall stage
On November 13th, 2011, Cal Performances presented Professor Davitt Moroney in another of his annual concerts devoted to a complete cycle of works by J. S. Bach. This time, the musical marathon comprised the six French Suites (BWV 812-17). It was a unique opportunity to hear all of this magnificent music in one sitting. Three different harpsichords made by Berkeley's John Phillips were used (a luxury available in very few places in the world). Each one was tuned in a different "well tempered" tuning designed to bring out many expressive nuances in Bach's harmonies.
Lerdahl, Fred (Faculty, Columbia University)
Ernest Bloch Professor Fred Lerdahl was is in residence this past fall in the Department of Music and delivered a lecture series titled Composition and Cognition, also working with our students in graduate seminars. In a career that spans composition and music theory, Prof. Lerdahl has written two landmark books and numerous major compositions. His Bloch lecture series, to be published by University of California Press, traced an arc from composition to theory and back. Lerdahl gave his audience insights into his own work - to the role his compositional interests had in forming his theoretical framework and how that in turn has informed his composition - while presenting a wide-ranging, coherent and thought-provoking approach to musical analysis. The buzz generated by his early lectures drew ever larger audiences as the semester progressed, with professors and graduate students from other departments joining our own composers, musicologists, and ethnomusicologists.Composer and music theorist, Lerdahl is the Fritz Reiner Professor of Music at Columbia University. His books are A Generative Theory of Tonal Music (with linguist Ray Jackendoff) and Tonal Pitch Space.
Loughridge, Deirdre (Faculty, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow)
Diedre Loughridge completed her PhD in music history at the University of Pennsylvania, with a thesis on late eighteenth-century audiovisual media and how they informed early Romantic music aesthetics and listening practices. She is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at UC Berkeley, preparing a book manuscript on the technological contexts for the birth of musical romanticism, and teaching courses on 18th- and 19th-century topics in the Department of Music. Loughridge's research focuses on music, listening, and aesthetics in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and especially their relationship to science and technology. In her dissertation, "Technologies of the Invisible: Optical Instruments and Musical Romanticism," she examined conjunctions of music and optical technology in opera, moving-picture entertainments and musical writings between 1770 and 1820, demonstrating that in this period music acquired metaphysical significance not only through developments in philosophy, but also in connection with new technologies for revealing or manufacturing other realms. Her current book project extends this research, aiming both to ground the romantic metaphysics of music in material conditions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and to redress the absence of music from histories of audiovisual media. By drawing on the history of science and media studies, she applies an interdisciplinary approach to music history, recovering the social and technological conditions that shaped and gave meaning to works by Haydn, Beethoven, and other eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century composers.
Oltman, Matthew (Visiting Lecturer, Choral Director)
Matthew Oltman, Music Director Emeritus of the Grammy award winning male vocal ensemble, Chanticleer, is thrilled to be joining the staff of UC Berkeley during Professor Marika Kuzma's sabbatical year. During his tenure as Music Director, Mr. Oltman led the ensemble through three critically acclaimed seasons which included over 300 concerts in more than a dozen countries. He helped launch the Chanticleer Live in Concert or "CLIC" recording label, which released some of the best of Chanticleer's vast trove of archival recordings to the public, and was the editor of the Chanticleer Choral Series, published by Hinshaw Music. He conducted over 450 high school choral and orchestral students from across the country in Chanticleer's first National Youth Choral Festival, The Singing Life, on the stage of Davies Symphony Hall and led numerous day-long Youth Choral Festivals in communities in several states. Mr. Oltman facilitated the commissioning of composers such as Stephen Paulus, Mason Bates, Steven Sametz, Jan Sandström, Peter Michaelides, Roxanna Panufnik and Ilyas Iliya as well as Vince Peterson who arranged the choral/indie pop sensation, Cells Planets. He was a featured clinician at the first Anúna International Choral Summer School (Ireland) and has led countless clinics and masterclasses with choirs from across the globe.
Mr. Oltman first joined Chanticleer in 1999 as a tenor and in 2004 was named Assistant Music Director under Joseph Jennings, a post which he held until his appointment to Music Director in 2009. During his decade singing with the ensemble, he appeared on twelve albums and toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Mr. Oltman earned a B.M. in Performance from Simpson College and an M.A. in Performance from the University of York in England with the aid of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. Before joining Chanticleer, Mr. Oltman sang with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale for four seasons and was on the faculty of Simpson College where he taught harmony, French diction, choral techniques and voice.
Perea, Jessica Bisset (faculty, President's Postdoctoral Fellow)
Jessica Bissett Perea completed her Ph.D. in Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles in June 2011 and is currently in residence at Berkeley's Department of Music as a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow. She specializes in North American music history from 1850 to present day, with a focus on traditional and contemporary Alaska Native and Circumpolar Inuit performing arts, modern jazz cultures, and the histories of traditional musics in the United States (including folk, popular, and classical). Reflecting these interests, her research is broadly concerned with issues of difference in musical life, e.g. racial and gendered difference, as well as relationships between music and politics. Her dissertation focuses on scenes from contemporary Inuit musical life in Alaska since statehood (1959 to the present), in which she contextualizes the lived experiences and movements of a diverse cadre of Alaska Native musicians engaged in traditional, folk, gospel, and popular music genres against the backdrop of an ongoing Alaska Native self-determination movement.
Her collaborative research approach and dedication to teaching and community outreach were recently recognized with a 2010 Alaska Native Visionary Award, presented by the Alaska Native Heritage Month committee and board of directors. In January 2010 Jessica was invited to join the faculty at San Francisco State University's Department of American Indian Studies, College of Ethnic Studies, where she has developed courses on Native American women studies, Alaska Native cultural history, and Inuit music studies. She has presented her research at several national conferences, including those hosted by the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Society for American Music, and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Music Education with high honors from Central Washington University, a Master of Arts in Music from the University of Nevada, Reno, and performs as a double bassist and vocalist in jazz, classical, and Native American music contexts. Her teaching experiences also include undergraduate courses on: Blues in American Music; A History of Jazz; Film and Music; Music, Media, and Consumer Society; and A History of Popular American Song. Perea was born in Anchorage, Alaska and raised forty miles north in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. She is an enrolled member of the Knik Tribe.
Since beginning her tenure at Berkeley this fall, Jessica completed an invited book chapter titled "Voices from the Jazz Wilderness: Locating Pacific Northwest Jazz Choir Culture" (for the edited volume Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and Its Boundaries, currently in press at the University of California Press) and contributed five invited essays for the forthcoming second edition of the Grove Dictionary of American Music, including entries on "Paul Tiulana" (Iñupiaq), "Vocal Jazz Ensembles," "Ella Fitzgerald," "Manhattan Transfer," "Carmen McRae," and "Jeanne Lee." She also submitted an invited essay for the American Indian Culture and Research Journal titled "Cultivating Alaska Native Presence in Academia: A Performance Studies Perspective," and presented materials from this article as part of the academic panel titled Indigenizing Education; Creating Space and Place for Alaska Native Students hosted by the First Alaskans Institute for the Alaska Federation of Natives Elders & Youth Conference in Anchorage, Alaska in October. Her primary ongoing project is the development of her dissertation into a book manuscript titled Alaska Native Musical Modernities and the Politics of Self-Determination.
Rollefson, J. Griffith (faculty, ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow)
J. Griffith Rollefson joined the Music Department this past fall as an American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow. He holds the Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a Research Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin where he conducted fieldwork for a dissertation examining postcolonial protest strategies in European hip hop entitled "Musical (African) Americanization in the New Europe." He is serving as Visiting Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley through the spring of 2013, preparing his book manuscript on European hip hop, and teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on global hip hop, jazz, and African American music.
His current book project Postcolonial Hip Hop: The Globalization of Black American Music and Politics demonstrates how minority youth in Paris, Berlin, and London are adopting the musical politics of hip hop and aligning themselves with African Americans in a struggle for equality through difference, not assimilation. He presented his research on Berlin's hip hop scene at the German Studies Association National Conference this fall and will present a new piece on Wynton Marsalis's suite Congo Square at the Society for American Music National Conference this spring. His chapter on Parisian hip hop was also published this fall as "Le Cauchemar de la France: Blackara's Postcolonial Hip-Hop Critique in the City of Light" in Native Tongues: An African Hip Hop Reader (Africa World Press, 2011).
Before coming to Berkeley, Rollefson taught in both the ethnomusicology and music history sequences at Chapman University in Southern California, leading courses ranging from "American Popular Music and Global Resonances," to "Musical Cultures of the Africa and the Middle East," and "Medieval and Renaissance Music History." He has also taught American popular music at the University of California, Riverside. At Berkeley, Griff Rollefson is teaching an undergraduate course titled "Planet Rap: Global Hip Hop and Postcolonial Perspectives" this fall and will teach "The Music of Black Americans on the World Stage" and a graduate seminar on his book project in the spring of 2012. A San Francisco native, he is thrilled to be back in the Bay Area and has already burned his ill-conceived, ill-gotten Dodgers cap.