Berkeley Symphony Opens Season With World Premiere Of Paul Dresher, 10/13

Music Director Joana Carneiro and Berkeley Symphony open their 2016-17 season, their eighth together, on Thursday, October 13 at 7 pm with the world premiere of a commission by the Orchestra of a new work by Paul Dresher, Crazy Eights & Fractured Symmetries; Stravinsky's Petrushka; and violinist Philippe Quint performing Erich Korngold's Violin Concerto at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley.

Well-established as a presenter of major contemporary orchestral works, Berkeley Symphony continues its steadfast commitment to presenting original and unique programs with new music commissioned by living composers, many of whom Berkeley Symphony has developed an ongoing creative and collaborative relationship. In addition to the Paul Dresher world premiere, Berkeley Symphony's 2016-17 season includes a performance of James MacMillan's Symphony No. 4, which is a new co-commissioned West Coast premiere, and the Bay Area premiere of Mason Bates' Cello Concerto, with Joshua Roman as soloist. The Orchestra will also perform Shostakovich's epic Symphony No. 13, "Babi Yar", with bass Denis Sedov and alumni of choruses including the UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, the Pacific Boychoir Academy, and members of the St. John of San Francisco Russian Orthodox Chorale, led by Marika Kuzma. Shai Wosner is soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, and the Orchestra performs Beethoven's Symphony No. 4. Since its 1979-80 season, Berkeley Symphony has performed 64 world premieres, 28 U.S. premieres, and 21 West Coast premieres. In recognition of its leadership in commissioning and creating new music, the Orchestra has received the prestigious ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award in 10 of the past 13 seasons.

Paul Dresher, a musical omnivore who incorporates global musical influences into his compositions, has been widely commissioned and has written experimental opera and music theater, chamber and orchestral compositions, and scores for theater, dance, and film. The composer, who earned his bachelor's degree in music at Cal, has had a long and fruitful relationship with Berkeley Symphony, including commissioned performances of his new works, mentoring in the Orchestra's educational programs, and speaking at preconcert talks. His 2012 Concerto for Quadrachord and Orchestra was given its world premiere by the Orchestra under Carneiro; he invented the quadrachord, among other instruments. Carneiro also led the Orchestra in Dresher's Cornucopia in 2010.

"When we set out to program music for our season, we start with new music - it starts from the music of our time. Paul Dresher is certainly the first composer who comes to mind - he has Berkeley ties and is an iconic figure in our time," said Carneiro.

Philippe Quint makes his debut with the Orchestra as soloist in Erich Korngold's Violin Concerto, his recording of which was nominated for a Grammy Award. Quint, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, has a special interest in reimagining traditional works, commissioning new music and rediscovering overlooked repertoire.

Tickets for the Berkeley Symphony concert October 13 are priced at $15 to $74 and are available or by phone at (510) 841-2800, ext. 1.


As Music Director, Joana Carneiro has captivated the public with her commanding stage presence and adventurous programming, which has highlighted the works of many prominent contemporary composers, including John Adams, Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Brett Dean, Paul Dresher, and Gabriela Lena Frank. Carneiro is regarded as one of the most exciting and outstanding young conductors working today. During the 2015-16 season, her seventh leading Berkeley Symphony, she led the Orchestra in two West Coast premieres, Kaija Saariaho's Laterna Magica and Mark Grey'sFrankenstein Symphony, as well the U.S. premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina's Fachwerk. This season, she will conduct the world premiere of Paul Dresher's newest Berkeley Symphony commission, and the West Coast premiere of James MacMillan's new Symphony No. 4, as well as the Bay Area premiere of Mason Bates' Cello Concerto. Carneiro's commitment to expanding the community base of Berkeley Symphony and upholding the Orchestra's artistic excellence was recognized by the League of American Orchestras, which honored her with the Helen M. Thompson Award in 2010. She was appointed Music Director of Berkeley Symphony in 2009, succeeding Kent Nagano as only the third Music Director in the 40-year history of the Orchestra.

Named Principal Conductor of the Portuguese National Symphony at the Teatro de Sao Carlos in January 2014, Carneiro remains the Official Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in in her native Lisbon. She is also increasingly in demand throughout the world for guest conducting engagements and contemporary programs, both for orchestras and opera companies. In spring 2016, Carneiro returned to London to conduct Van der Aa's Book of Disquiet with the London Sinfonietta, and she also led a production of La Passion de Simone at the Ojai Festival and Ojai at Berkeley. She makes her debut conducting the San Francisco Symphony in John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary in February 2017. Prior to her Berkeley Symphony appointment, she served as Assistant Conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 2005 to 2008, where she worked closely with Esa-Pekka Salonen and led performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

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