The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will present more than a dozen performances this quarter by world-class student ensembles and special guest artists, as well as masterclasses and symposia featuring leading scholars in their fields.
Among the events are the world premiere of “Juana,” presented by Opera UCLA and selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the best concerts for classical music lovers this year; a Jazzical Celebration for Professor Emeritus Gary Gray; UCLA Philharmonia’s season-opening concert featuring Igor Stravinsky’s “Fireworks,” Opus 3; the annual UCLA Big Band Concert; a program honoring the life and works of Hermann Leopoldi, one of the pre-eminent composers of early jazz-influenced Viennese cabaret music, and the UCLA World Music Center’s celebration of the digitization of 60 of the Ethnomusicology Archive’s major field collections.
Scholarly topics and symposia include, You Imagine Me and I Exist, a dramatic prequel to the world premiere of “Juana,” Bake Restudy Continues: Muslims and Music in Malabar, Improvising Across Abilities: Pauline Oliveros and the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument, and Ecoperformativity in the Song, Music, and Dance Tradition of Malaysia, among others.
Guest artists and scholars on the fall season include acclaimed composer and jazz trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, a 2019 UC regents lecturer at UCLA; jazz vocalist and artist-in-residence Fay Victor; record collector Ian Nagoski; renowned ethnomusicologist Anthony Seeger; world-class soloist and saxophonist Chris Potter; Los Angeles-based percussionist Brian Kilgore; and Oslo-based musicologist Kyle Devine.
All programs are open to the public and most programs are free. For more details and a complete list of events, see the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music calendar.
Classical performance, composition and opera
Oct. 12: A Jazzical Celebration for Professor Gary Gray honors his 50-year tenure as head of clarinet and woodwind studies with a concert program presented in duos, trios and quartets from composers George Gershwin, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla, Maurice Ravel and Miguel del Águila.
Oct. 23: Join the United States Marine Band, America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization, for a performance in Royce Hall during the group’s annual national tour. Founded in 1798, the band has performed for every U.S. president since John Adams.
Nov. 2: UCLA Philharmonia’s season-opening concert offers a fiery evening of works including Igor Stravinsky’s “Fireworks,” Opus 3; the monumental Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz, and Johannes Brahms’ Double Concerto in A minor, Opus 102, with faculty soloists Varty Manouelian on violin and Antonio Lysy on cello.
Nov. 6: The UCLA Wind Ensemble presents an eclectic program of works presented by 50 highly-skilled and versatile musicians selected by competitive audition each year.
Nov. 17: His Life in Cabaret honors the life and works of Hermann Leopoldi, one of the pre-eminent composers of early jazz-influenced Viennese cabaret music. With performances by UCLA professor Vladimir Chernov (baritone) and UCLA vocal students.
Nov. 22 and 24: Opera UCLA presents the world premiere of “Juana,” the new opera based on the novel “Sor Juana’s Second Dream,” by UCLA professor Alicia Gaspar de Alba, which tells the story of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a 17th-century feminist genius whose life was marked by repeated conflict with men of the Inquisition. With music by Carla Lucero, recipient of a 2019 Opera America Discovery Grant from the Opera Grants for Female Composers program.
Nov. 25: UCLA Percussion Ensemble presents a performance of works by 20th and 21st century composers.
Dec. 2: The UCLA Chorale, a 110 voiced mixed-choir, performs a program featuring a variety of languages and in a full range of styles at St. Paul the Apostle in Westwood.
Dec. 4: UCLA Symphony presents two beloved symphonies: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Paris” and Antonín Dvorak’s 8th in G Major. The ensemble will also perform the evocative “Nights in the Gardens of Spain” for piano and orchestra by Manuel de Falla.
Dec. 5: Led by guest conductor Anthony Parnther, UCLA Philharmonia presents a concert featuring UCLA alumna Joan Huang’s “Tu-Jia Dance,” Symphony No. 102 in E flat by Joseph Haydn, and Symphony No. 1 in A flat (“Afro-American”) by pioneering African American composer William Grant Still.
Dec. 6: Led by Grammy-winning pianist and UCLA professor Gloria Cheng, uclaFLUX presents chamber music from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Dec. 6: The UCLA Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band present an eclectic program of works featuring 50 highly-skilled and versatile musicians selected by competitive audition each year.
Dec. 8: A dusty manuscript titled “Totally Crazy” is discovered in an attic in the Netherlands after 73 years. Now called “Max and Willy’s Last Laugh,” it is the story of Max Ehrlich and Willy Rosen, the manuscript’s writers who created the greatest cabaret in Europe while incarcerated in a transit camp in Holland.
Dec. 8: Enjoy a concert of chamber repertoire that celebrates the holiday season and highlights American Jewish composers at Chamber Music for the Holidays, featuring the American Youth Symphony in collaboration with the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music at UCLA.
Nov. 14–16: Called “artistically complete” by The New York Times, vocalist/composer/educator Fay Victor hones a unique vision for vocalists’ role in jazz and improvised music. At Fay Victor in Concert, the critically acclaimed vocalist culminates her artist-residency in a performance with school of music students on Nov. 16. The public is also welcome to join Victor for a lecture on Nov. 14 and a masterclass on Nov. 15.
Nov. 22: UCLA student jazz combos, directed by world-class jazz artists, explore composition and improvisation, with special guests the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble at UCLA.
Nov. 26: The UCLA Latin Jazz Big Band, Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, Charles Mingus Ensemble and UCLA Jazz Orchestra, directed by world-class jazz artists, perform jazz standards as well as compositions by faculty directors and students at this annual UCLA Big Band Concert.
Masterclasses, lectures and symposia
Oct. 1: Virtuoso artist David Taylor presents a masterclass on perfecting various musical genres for the trombone. Taylor performs with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Charles Mingus Big Band, Eos Orchestra, the NY Chamber Symphony, among others.
Oct. 4: A world-class soloist, accomplished composer and formidable bandleader, Grammy-nominated saxophonist Chris Potter presents a masterclass. The New Yorker has called him “a tenorist who can remind you of Joe Henderson at his craftiest.”
Oct. 15: Los Angeles-based percussionist Brian Kilgore‘s masterclass hones in on teaching students how to perform on Latin rhythm instruments, especially within the context of recording and orchestral situations. Kilgore has played on more than 500 albums, including rock n roll, Afro-Cuban salsa, straight-ahead jazz and rap recordings by legendary artists and entertainers.
Oct. 17: Musicologist Kyle Devine uncovers the hidden material histories of recorded music in “Decomposed: The Political Ecology of Music” (MIT Press, 2019). In this book talk, he shows that recorded music exploits both natural and human resources, and that its reliance on those resources is more problematic today than ever before.
Oct. 17: Scholar Sherrie Tucker, a member of multiple adaptive use musical instrument (AUMI) organizations, will discuss how an AUMI software interface enables people who have very limited controlled (voluntary) movement to independently engage in music making. Her talk “Improvising Across Abilities: Pauline Oliveros and the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI)” is part of the Robert M. Stevenson Lecture series.
Oct. 24 Lily Hirsch’s new book, “Anneliese Landau’s Life in Music: Nazi Germany to Émigré California,” explores the life of Landau, who broke boundaries and defied expectations. Discover how Landau pushed past bias to earn a doctorate in musicology in 1930 and then lectured on early German radio before settling in Los Angeles.
Oct. 29: Historic Recordings from the Ottoman Diaspora: Music & Migration features record collector Ian Nagoski, who will address immigrant musical performers from present-day Turkey and Syria who recorded in the United States during the 1910s through 1940s.
Nov. 1: Graduate students from the departments of ethnomusicology and musicology present their conference papers, which will be read at the Society for Ethnomusicology 2019 annual meeting, to be held in Bloomington, Indiana, Nov. 6–10.
Nov. 1: Join the UCLA World Music Center ;for an afternoon and evening of lectures, workshops and performances to celebrate Publishing Field Collections: The Ethnomusicology Archive/Adam Matthew Digital Project of 2019. This collaboration makes 60 of the archive’s major field collections publicly accessible online. With featured guest speaker Anthony Seeger, distinguished professor emeritus and renowned ethnomusicologist.
Nov. 4–13: Internationally acclaimed composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, whose work transcends the bounds of genre or idiom, presents a series of lectures, an open rehearsal and workshop centering around the art of his Ankhrasmation symbolic language. Joining him is UCLA musicologist Nina Eidsheim and students from the Global Jazz Studies program and the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA.
Nov. 15: In Bake Restudy Continues: Muslims and Music in Malabar, Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy, UCLA professor of ethnomusicology, delivers a multi-media presentation on local repatriation and restudy of Arnold Bake’s 1938 recordings and films from Kerala, India, especially those from the Mappila Muslims of Malabar.
Nov. 20: In a time of global warming, Clare Suet Ching Chan, associate professor at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia, presents Ecoperformativity in the Song, Music, and Dance Tradition of the Indigenous Mah Meri of Malaysia, a paper exploring the perspective of the Mah Meri’s symbiotic relationships with nature and how modern Malaysian economic development is impacting the natural biodiversity of their homeland.
Nov. 22–23: You Imagine Me and I Exist is a dramatic prequel to the world premiere of “Juana,” the opera based on the novel “Sor Juana’s Second Dream,” by UCLA professor Alicia Gaspar de Alba, and presented by Opera UCLA. The two-day symposium is an opportunity for audiences to learn about the life, history and culture of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648–1695), the 17th-century Mexican nun, scholar and renowned poet of colonial Mexico.