Arts + Culture

UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music announces Fall 2017 season

Highlights include several world premieres of new work, symposia, and programs celebrating works by American and British composers

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Boris Allakhverdyan Whitney Crockett

Los Angeles Philharmonic principal clarinet, Boris Allakhverdyan, and L.A. Phil principal bassoon, Whitney Crockett.

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 “Louchitude, or Questionable Choices in Recent French Pop” on Oct. 12, an exploration of French popular music’s reputation, “UCLA Phil Meets LA Phil” on Oct. 26, with works by Dukas, Rachmaninoff and Strauss, the world premiere of “David’s Quilt” on Nov. 5 featuring pieces by 15 Los Angeles-based composers, “Inspired by Bach” on Nov. 6 featuring the world premiere of two new works by California-based composers, and “Of Love and War” on Nov. 30, an evening of choral music exploring the passion of love and duty, with guitar quartet.

Guest artists and scholars during the fall season include Plácido Domingo, soprano Dawn Upshaw, California-based composers Gabriela Lena Frank and Andrew McIntosh, Los Angeles Philharmonic principal clarinet Boris Allakhverdyan and principal bassoon Whitney Crockett, Ascendo3 Trio, Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, musicologist Joanna Demers, ethnomusicologist Mark Slobin, conductor Apo Hsu, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble at UCLA.

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 and composition

Oct. 25: Known for invigorating international collaborations with contemporary composers, the Ascendo3 Trio presents a concert and masterclass for saxophone performance majors and others. 

Oct. 26: UCLA Phil Meets LA Phil. Los Angeles Philharmonic principal clarinet Boris Allakhverdyan and principal bassoon Whitney Crockett join UCLA Philharmonia and UCLA Director of Orchestral Studies Neal Stulberg in a program featuring orchestral showpieces by Dukas and Rachmaninoff, and the seldom performed autumnal Duett-Concertino for clarinet and bassoon by Richard Strauss.

Nov. 5: “David’s Quilt,” a new work by 15 Los Angeles-based composers, among them UCLA faculty and students, explores the life of biblical King David. With performances by UCLA students and alumni, including the UCLA Chamber Singers, the concert at Stephen S. Wise Temple opens a two-day conference exploring American Culture and the Jewish Experience in Music.

Nov. 6: The UCLA Wind Ensemble presents “Mostly British,” featuring music by composers who have lived and worked in England during the past century. The program includes Kenneth Hesketh’s “Masque,” a colorful scherzo; Gustav Holst’s “Hammersmith Prelude and Scherzo,” and Philip Sparke’s virtuosic “Celebration.”

Nov. 7: The annual Atwater Kent String Concerto Competition, exclusively for school of music students, uses outside adjudicators to select a group of winners who will go on to perform as soloists with the UCLA Philharmonia.

Nov. 15, 16, 17, 18: Opera UCLA presents a new 90-minute version of Handel’s “Amadigi.” Directed by UCLA alumnus James Darrah, this adaptation revolves around a powerful woman who risks everything to manipulate those around her. With music direction by Grammy Award-winner Stephen Stubbs and room design by media artist Refik Anadol, a lecturer and visiting researcher in UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts.

Nov. 16: Critically acclaimed faculty pianists Gloria Cheng and David Kaplan perform as soloists on “American Classics: Adams and Copland” with the UCLA Philharmonia, under the baton of guest conductor Apo Hsu.

Nov. 21: UCLA virtuoso violinist Movses Pogossian’s recital, “Inspired By Bach,” features the world premieres of two newly written major works by renowned California-based composers Gabriela Lena Frank and Andrew McIntosh.

Nov. 30: Called “one of the major guitar ensembles in the world,” by Soundboard magazine, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet joins the UCLA Choral Studies program for Of Love and War, an evening of music exploring the passion of love and duty.

Dec. 6: Conductors Maxim Kuzin and Stephen Karr lead the UCLA Symphony in “Orchestral Showcase.” The program features the rarely performed overture to “Taras Bulba” by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko, Ravel’s Suite from “Ma Mère l’Oye” and Elgar’s “Enigma” variations. 

Dec. 7: UCLA Philharmonia performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E Flat, Op. 55 (“Eroica”), under the baton of Maxim Kuzin in his final doctoral recital, “Kuzin Conducts Beethoven.” Prior to the performance, Kuzin will present a lecture on period performance practice and Beethoven’s tempi. 

Dec. 10: The uclaFLUX ensemble presents a concert of contemporary chamber music, under the direction of Grammy Award-winning pianist Gloria Cheng.

Dec. 10: The UCLA Percussion Ensemble presents “Lost and Found: Music for Found Objects.” A style of music as old as the art itself, “Found Object” music in percussion employs non-traditional instruments or non-musical objects to create new and experimental sounds in performance.  With works by John Cage, Lou Harrison, Dan Moore and Christopher Dean.

Jazz and world music

Nov. 27: Student jazz combos with special guests, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble, perform well-known jazz standards, popular songs, and compositions composed and arranged by UCLA students.

Nov. 28: The “UCLA Big Band Concert,” with Latin Jazz Big Band, the Contemporary Jazz Ensemble and the UCLA Jazz Orchestra, perform well-known jazz standards as well as compositions written by UCLA faculty band directors and their students.

Masterclasses, lectures and symposia

Oct. 12: Musicologist Joanna Demers opens the fall season’s Distinguished Lecture Series with “Louchitude, or Questionable Choices in Recent French Pop,” an exploration of French popular music’s unsavory reputation.

Oct. 27: World-renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw presents an intimate masterclass in conjunction with her guest appearance at Royce Hall with Sō Percussion and long-time collaborator Gilbert Kalish.

Nov. 6–7: The American Culture and the Jewish Experience in Music conference explores the influence that Jewish customs, values and beliefs have had on American music and the growth of music for Jews in America. Symposia survey the enduring template that Jewish cultural expression, born of liturgical music, Yiddish theater and traditional klezmer music, has on compositions found in film, television and cartoons.

Nov. 12:  Plácido Domingo, the internationally renowned opera singer, conductor, and educator, will receive the UCLA Medal, the campus’ highest honor, during a masterclass at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Classical music concerts are made possible by the David and Irmgard Dobrow Fund. The school is proud to celebrate this program as part of the 2016-17 Dobrow Series.

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