Arts + Culture

UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music announces winter 2018 season

Calendar features world-class performances, provocative lectures and masterclasses

Terry Riley and Gloria Cheng
UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Terry Riley, virtuoso composer/pianist, and Grammy Award-winning UCLA pianist Gloria Cheng will engage in conversation and performance exploring Riley’s life and work.

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will present more than two dozen performances in the winter quarter by world-class student ensembles and special guest artists, as well as a series of masterclasses and symposia featuring leading scholars in their fields.

Among the events are “Duo Pianos: A Jazz Piano Studio Recital” on Jan. 31; a lecture by postdoctoral scholar Shannon Garland, “We Demand Love: Musical Affects and Political Transformation in São Paulo, Brazil” on Feb. 2; the 14th Annual All Star Concert with the UCLA Philharmonia at Royce Hall on Feb. 8; “Terry Riley in Conversation” on Mar. 5; an evening of Baroque masterpieces including Handel’s Coronation Anthems with UCLA Choral Studies on Mar. 10; and on Mar. 17, “MESTO Orchestra: Arab and Latino Music at UCLA,” conducted by Nabil Azzam.

Guest artists and scholars include pianist Gilbert Kalish, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, punk artist Alice Bag, Iranian scholar and musician Hossein Omoumi, viol da gambist Niccolo Seligmann, and interdisciplinary scholar Robynn Stilwell.

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

Jan. 24: The UCLA Guitar Ensemble performs as part of the Fowler Out Loud series. The Latin American-themed program includes a haunting guitar quartet by eminent Cuban composer Leo Brouwer as well as several of his solo études. Romantic virtuoso music of Paraguayan composer Agustin Barrios and modernist works by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos are also featured.

Jan. 27: Join the school of music for a memorial event, Celebration of Mitchell Peters, honoring the life and work of Peters, a principal percussionist and timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 37 years. A beloved teacher at UCLA and other Los Angeles institutions, the program includes reminiscences, performances and the opportunity to give to a new scholarship fund for future generations of UCLA percussionists. 

Jan. 30: The UCLA Chamber Music Society, in collaboration with the UCLA Department of Slavic Languages, presents “Hope Against Hope.” The concert program includes traditional chamber music repertoire as well as a literary presentation highlighting the premiere of a new work by alumnus composer Joshua Rodriguez. With violinist Myroslava Khomik, cellist Charles Tyler and guests. 

Feb. 8: Eight of the school’s finest classical musicians will have the rare opportunity to perform as soloists with the UCLA Philharmonia, the school’s flagship orchestra and one of Southern California’s premier training orchestras, during the 14th Annual All-Star Concert at Royce Hall.

Feb. 13: The annual woodwind faculty concert features the premiere of a newly commissioned Octet for Woodwind Quintet and Jazz Trio by UCLA alumnus composer Byron “Rocky” Davis, a work by Francis Poulenc, and others.

Feb. 16: UCLA strings faculty Movses Pogossian, violin, Antonio Lysy, cello, and friends return to the Powell Library with their freshmen strings student soloists for this annual Camarades Vivaldi Concert celebration featuring Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” along with other Baroque works. 

Feb. 26: The Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, which focuses on promoting 20th and 21st century music, presents a reading of UCLA student compositions.

Feb. 26: UCLA Percussion Ensemble presents a program of contemporary works by Michael Hennagin, Tobias Brostrom, Kevin Bobo, Mark Ford, David Childs and Rüdiger Pawassar. Reception follows the concert.

March 1–4: Opera UCLA presents workshop readings of two new one-act operas: “Akeidah” by Michel Klein and “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Nicky Sohn and Amanda Hollander. The composers are current UCLA doctoral candidates in composition.

March 4: Enjoy a concert of new work by UCLA composition faculty and students, and by international composers, performed by the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Russia’s foremost contemporary chamber ensemble. Q&A and reception follows the concert.

March 5: Terry Riley in Conversation welcomes Riley, one of America’s most brilliant and innovative virtuoso composer/pianists, and Grammy Award-winning UCLA pianist Gloria Cheng for a conversation and performance exploring Riley’s life and work.

March 5: Saxophone studio recital features chamber music for saxophone, with students from the studio of Douglas Masek.

March 9: Camarades Marathon Concert includes works by Brahms, Shostakovitch, Beethoven, Ravel and others, with outstanding performances by UCLA Strings students, along with their piano, clarinet and horn colleagues in this chamber music showcase.

March 10: Brilliance of the Baroque, an evening of Baroque masterpieces including Handel’s Coronation Anthems and Bach’s timeless “Dona Nobis Pacem,” is presented by UCLA Choral Studies, featuring the University Chorale, Chamber Singers and the premiere of the Seraphic Fire/UCLA Young Artist Ensemble.

March 14: UCLA Symphony winter concert opens with Brahms’ rollicking “Academic Festival Overture,” followed by one of the great romantic-era violin concertos, the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Max Bruch, with soloist Ji Eun Hwang. Closing the program, Georgi Sviridov’s 1975 suite from Pushkin’s novella, “Snow Storm,” narrated by UCLA professor of voice, Vladimir Chernov.

March 15: UCLA Philharmonia performs Gustav Mahler’s monumental Fifth Symphony under the direction of the orchestra’s music director, Neal Stulberg.

Mar. 16: The uclaFLUX ensemble presents a concert of contemporary chamber music, under the direction of Grammy Award-winning pianist Gloria Cheng. A reception immediately follows the performance.

Jazz, punk and world music

Jan. 26: Instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome at an open jam session with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA Ensemble, following the ensemble’s 45-minute set featuring original music.

Jan. 31: Duo Pianos: A Jazz Piano Studio Recital features UCLA jazz piano students, directed by award-winning jazz pianist Tamir Hendelman. The recital features a two-piano program as well as piano and bass duets and solo performances.

Feb. 5: Audiences will be immersed in the history and beauty of classical Persian music at “Classical Persian Music: Hossein Omoumi, from Isfahan to Irvine.” The program, presented by Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, features a screening of “From Isfahan to Irvine,” a documentary focusing on the life and work of Iranian scholar and musician Hossein Omoumi, followed by a concert with Omoumi and his students.

Feb. 9: Curating Resistance: Punk as Archival Method — Concert features punk feminist and master troublemaker Alice Bag with Mike Watt, Sister Mantos and Layla Bina. Presented by the UCLA Center for Musical Humanities.

March 5: UCLA Jazz Combos concert, with combos ranging from three to 10 players, features a concert program of well-known jazz standards, popular songs and compositions composed and arranged by the performers. With special guests, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA Ensemble.

March 6: The UCLA Chinese Music Ensemble, directed by Chi Li, performs its annual winter concert featuring traditional and contemporary music, including Chinese opera aria, zheng unison, qin unison, folk dance and silk-and-bamboo music.

March 6: The UCLA Big Band Concert, with the Latin Jazz Big Band, the Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, and the UCLA Jazz Orchestra, features a concert program of well-known jazz standards as well as compositions written by the faculty directors and the students.

March 14: Jazz improvisation students perform music of Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Henry Mancini and more — in a tribute to the great American songbook. Directed by Tamir Hendelman.

March 17: MESTO Orchestra: Arab and Latino Music at UCLA, a concert presented by the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Center for Latino Arts and featuring the MESTO Orchestra, showcases two works with text/lyrics by poet José Montoya, including the world premiere of an expanded orchestral work of Canciones del Barrio, originally written for voice and string quartet. The concert also features orchestral arrangements of popular, traditional and classical Arab music.

Lectures, workshops and masterclasses

Jan. 24: Esteemed soloist and concert mistress of the world-renowned Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, violinist Margaret Batjer presents a masterclass.

Jan. 25: From American mythologies to Grace Jones, “Music, Canon and Identity: Pedagogical Perspectives” addresses the growing concerns surrounding intersectionality in academic discourse and critically examines Western culture and values — all through a musical lens. With UCLA professors Robert Fink, Jessica Holmes and Uri McMillan and others.

Jan. 26: The UCLA Early Music Ensemble will host an open viol coaching session featuring viol da gambist Niccolo Seligmann, who will workshop the ensemble’s viol consort on north German repertoire.

Feb 2: Exploring the formulation of political subjectivities through musically-mediated effects, Shannon Garland, postdoctoral scholar in Ethnomusicology presents a lecture, “We Demand Love: Musical Affects and Political Transformation in São Paulo, Brazil.

Feb. 5: Called “one of the brightest and most accomplished young performer/scholars in today’s contemporary saxophone world” by the legendary saxophonist Frederick Hemke, saxophonist Jessica Maxfield presents a concert and masterclass.

Feb. 8: Sasha Starcevich, the renowned pianist and teacher, performs a mini-recital, and teaches UCLA piano students in an intimate masterclass setting as part of the David Abell Piano Masters Series.

Feb. 12: Gilbert Kalish presents a masterclass with selected piano students in the intimate setting of the recording studio in the Ostin Music Center. His discography encompasses more than 100 recordings, including classical repertory, 20th-century masterworks and new compositions.

Feb. 13: “Perspectives on the Bolero” features a lecture by María del Rosario Hernández, currently dean of the school of music and a professor in the department of musicology at the Instituto Superior de las Artes in Havana.

Feb. 15: The early television work of American comedian, actor and writer Ernie Kovacs is the subject of this lecture with interdisciplinary scholar Robynn Stilwell. Among those influenced by Kovacs’ work are Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Chevy Chase.

March 6: In this book talk by Anna Stirr, the author discusses “Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimate Politics in Nepal,” her ethnographic study of music, performance, migration and circulation. Stirr examines how forms of love and intimacy are linked to changing conceptions of political solidarity and forms of belonging, through the lens of Nepali dohori song.

March 8: Renowned pianist Ning An presents a mini recital and a masterclass with UCLA piano students. Presented as part of the David Abell Piano Masters Series.

March 12: Body as Instrument: Movement Rites is an organically interwoven, interdisciplinary, audience interactive movement-based performance piece and a ritual offering presented in a ceremonial style community “witness wheel.”

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