Cal Performances' Berkeley RADICAL Begins Tonight with SBSOV

Cal Performances' Berkeley RADICAL Begins Tonight with SBSOV

Cal Performances at UC Berkeley recently announced the public programs, academic endeavors, and University collaborations of the inaugural project of Berkeley RADICAL. The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem 2015 Orchestra Residency features Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV), tonight, September 22, through September 26, 2015.

Cal Performances' Berkeley RADICAL initiative, announced in February 2015, is a framework to cultivate public artistic literacy and create cultural access for diverse current and future audiences in the context of the digital age and transitional generations. Collaboration and interaction with the research and academic resources of the University of California, Berkeley, is key to the Berkeley RADICAL concept.

This residency will explore the music of Beethoven, with performances of the Seventh and Eighth symphonies at Zellerbach Hall, and an outdoor performance of the composer's monumental Ninth Symphony, to be streamed live from the Hearst Greek Theatre. In addition to these featured performances, the dense, four-day residency will include an academic symposium, a Berkeley Talks event, master teaching, a film screening, lecture-demonstrations, rehearsals open to the public, area classroom visits by SBSOV members, and the multimedia dissemination of harvested knowledge on digital platforms, including iTunes.

Berkeley RADICAL (Research and Development Initiative in Creativity, Arts and Learning), seeks to explore both known works and the creation of major new works. Following this inaugural endeavor, Cal Performances' 2015-2016 season will weave three further artistic strands into Berkeley RADICAL, including art and the environment (The Natural World), new ideas of performance practice (ReVisions), and the overarching influence of the music of Bach (ZellerBACH).

Musical training in his youth put Gustavo Dudamel on his life path, and therefore the conductor brings to music and the larger cultural landscape a deep understanding of the necessity of the arts. He commented: "Being able to combine music, learning, and ideas, is at the heart of the new Berkeley RADICAL, and the Simo?n Boli?var Symphony Orchestra and I are very happy to be returning to Cal Performances as part of this innovative idea. We are proud to be Cal Performances' first Berkeley RADICAL artists. I know from my own childhood in Venezuela that the arts can be the force and inspiration to imagine a better future. They transformed my life and have given generations of young people purpose and vision and hope."

Matias Tarnopolsky, Executive and Artistic Director of Cal Performances, added, "We chose to kick off Berkeley RADICAL with the provocative confluence of classical music's emblematic composer and one of the most forward-looking conductors of our day, Gustavo Dudamel. Mr. Dudamel and his extraordinary Simo?n Boli?var Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela are not only about stellar performances, but also about learning, exploring, probing and evolving, and I can't think of a more appropriate group of artists to delve deeply into Beethoven's music to launch Berkeley RADICAL. To invite them into the arena of the nation's leading public research university, UC Berkeley, and to create collaborative events with University voices of national stature, such as Beethoven scholar Nicholas Mathew, makes this residency a rare, unique, only-at- Berkeley happening. The fresh perspectives of the artists and participants, in conjunction with the broad participation of the world-class academic practitioners of the UC Berkeley community and Bay Area public, will-I have no doubt-be surprising, unpredictable, and absolutely thrilling."

UC Berkeley Associate Professor of Music Nicholas Mathew, author, most recently, of Political Beethoven (Cambridge University Press) will host a full-day symposium bringing the musical focus of the Berkeley RADICAL Residency to the wider Berkeley community. Beyond the Valley of the Ninth: The Afterlives of Beethoven's 'Choral' Symphony will bring together exceptional academic voices from across the country, including Andrea Bohlman (UNC Chapel Hill), Stephen Hinton (Stanford University), Alexander Rehding (Harvard University, author of Music and Monumentality), Christopher Reynolds (UC Davis, author of Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven's Ninth), Anicia Timberlake (Williams College), and Mina Yang (author of Planet Beethoven).

Professor Mathew, who holds degrees in music and piano performance from Oxford University and London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and a doctorate from Cornell University, commented: "Berkeley is a place where great music and great ideas are made-and frequently at the same time. This exciting collaborative project with Cal Performances, coinciding with the inaugural residency of the Berkeley RADICAL program with Gustavo Dudamel and the SBSOV, seeks to approach even the most famous musical works not as museum pieces behind glass, but as sounds that have lived vibrantly among us, and that can be probed and questioned. Beethoven's Ninth, to be performed in the grand communal space of the Greek Theatre, is surely among the most variously interpreted and widely traveled of compositions; the group of leading music scholars gathering in Berkeley will explore the various meanings this piece has accrued in its long history."

Building on Cal Performances' long and productive relationship with the Berkeley Unified School District, small ensembles from the SBSOV will present a series of concerts in Berkeley middle schools-Longfellow, Willard, and Martin Luther King-on two consecutive mornings. Cal Performances has worked with the Berkeley schools for more than 15 years, offering professional development workshops for K-12 teachers, sending teaching artists into classrooms with innovative and engaging arts curricula, and inviting school groups to Zellerbach Hall for SchoolTime performances, special one-hour presentations of main-stage events geared to young audiences.

In the context of the first Berkeley RADICAL residency, Cal Performances will host the first-ever Seminario on the UC Berkeley campus, an immersive musical sharing that invites young musicians from a half-dozen local El Sistema music programs to rehearse and perform alongside members of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and the Simo?n Boli?var Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. In the tradition of El Sistema, a Seminario is an opportunity to gather several orchestras in a region for joint musical activity, regardless of age or level of experience. Young musicians will convene in the morning for rehearsals, attend an SBSOV matinee performance, interact with UC Berkeley musicians in hands-on coaching sessions, and spend the afternoon playing side by side as peers with the two orchestras, onstage in Zellerbach Hall.

A screening of Crescendo: The Power of Music (2014), a film about the rise of El Sistema in the United States, directed by musical evangelist Jamie Bernstein, and Elizabeth Kling, will include a discussion with the filmmakers, moderated by Cal Performances' Associate Director, Rob Bailis. Crescendo is an in-depth, verite?- based look at three schoolchildren-two in West Philadelphia and one in Harlem, New York-as they participate in a pair of Sistema-inspired youth orchestra programs. As they struggle to master their instruments, confront their fears, and interact with their talented, dedicated teachers, the film tracks the influence of musical learning on the evolution of their lives. Since its inception in 1976, El Sistema, Venezuela's groundbreaking youth music program, has brought social transformation to several million disadvantaged children there. In addition to producing world-class musicians like conductor Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema is a rapidly expanding global movement, changing countless young lives worldwide. Additionally, a highlight on the final day of this Berkeley RADICAL encounter will be an open rehearsal and master-class for the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra led by Gustavo Dudamel.

Exclusive video and audio content harvested from residency activities will be released on a variety of digital platforms, including Cal Performances' iTunes boutique. Content will include a short documentary on the multiple pathways traveled by K-12 and UC Berkeley students and faculty to understanding of and engagement with Beethoven; an exploration of cultural access points (lifelong learning, social media, pop-up concerts, film) that create engagement for people unfamiliar with Beethoven and his works; and a podcast of the music in performance. Content will be made available within a month of the residency.

Additional aspects of the residency will include:

- WhimsiCAL pop-up happenings by SBSOV ensembles on campus and around Berkeley, to be announced via Cal Performances' social media
- SBSOV Family Concert
- Live stream and radio broadcast of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony performance at the Hearst Greek Theatre (details to be announced)

On the idea of Berkeley RADICAL, and its home at the University, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks commented: "The University of California, Berkeley, and the greater Bay Area communities, provides a uniquely suitable environment for Berkeley RADICAL. All that we do in the realm of the arts is based on our belief that Berkeley, as the nation's leading public university, has a unique and vital role to play when it comes to the advancement of culture. This goes well beyond putting performances on stage. Matias Tarnopolsky's exciting vision for Cal Performances is right in line with this idea, given the design of Berkeley RADICAL to integrate Cal Performances' world-class work into the University's research and educational endeavors."

Berkeley RADICAL, September 22-26, 2015
The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem 2015 Cal Performances Orchestra Residency


Tuesday, September 22

Gustavo Dudamel and the Simo?n Boli?var Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela arrive in Berkeley

Wednesday, September 23 10:00am-1:00pm
Classroom visits by SBSOV ensembles


Open Orchestra Rehearsal, Zellerbach Hall
Advance registration encouraged. RSVP list opens September 8.


Open Orchestra Rehearsal with Chorus, Zellerbach Hall Advance registration encouraged. RSVP list opens September 8.

Thursday, September 24 10:00am-1:00pm
Classroom visits by SBSOV ensembles


Open Orchestra Rehearsal, Zellerbach Hall
Advance registration encouraged. RSVP list opens September 8.


Concert, Zellerbach Hall
Tickets start at $45.00 and are on sale at

Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

Beethoven: Overture, Egmont Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 ---
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

Friday, September 25, 2015
Symposium, Hertz Hall
Beyond the Valley of the Ninth: The Afterlives of Beethoven's 'Choral' Symphony
Hosted by Nicholas Mathew, UC Berkeley Associate Professor of Music
With Andrea Bohlman (UNC Chapel Hill), Stephen Hinton (Stanford University), Alexander Rehding (Harvard University), Christopher Reynolds (UC Davis), Anicia Timberlake (Williams College), and Mina Yang


Gala at the Greek: Sunset Cocktail Reception, University Club, Memorial Stadium


Concert, Hearst Greek Theatre
Tickets start at $50.00 and are on sale at

Simo?n Boli?var Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

Mariana Ortiz, soprano
J'nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano Joshua Guerrero, tenor Soloman Howard, bass

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9


Gala at the Greek: Celebration Gala dinner, backstage, Hearst Greek Theatre

Saturday, September 26
Family Concert Simo?n Boli?var Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Zellerbach Hall
Conductor, tba
Program, tba
Tickets are $16.00 for adults, $8.00 for ages 16 and under; prices subject to change. Tickets go on sale to the public August 11.


Master Class: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, Zellerbach Hall
Gustavo Dudamel, UC Berkeley Symphony
Free and open to the public. Advance registration encouraged. RSVP list opens September 8.


Seminario sessions with SBSOV musicians, venue tba


Berkeley TALKS, Wheeler Auditorium
Gustavo Dudamel in conversation with Cal Performances' Director Mati?as Tarnopolsky


Film Screening, Wheeler Auditorium

Crescendo: The Power of Music

A film by Jamie Bernstein and Elizabeth Kling


Panel Discussion, Wheeler Auditorium
With Jamie Bernstein and Elizabeth Kling, moderated by Rob Bailis, Associate Director, Cal Performances


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