A UCLA orchestra concert featuring nine student soloists, a conference on the future of music in Los Angeles and a gala celebrating Armenia’s foremost living composer are just a few of the highlights of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s winter quarter.
Overall, the school 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 is the 15th Annual UCLA Philharmonia All-Star Concert in Royce Hall featuring nine outstanding student soloists on Jan. 26; Compose LA: Future of Music in Los Angeles, presented by the UCLA Center for Music Innovation at the Bootleg Theater on Feb. 6; Bible Women: The Concert, with lyrics and music created by Tony-nominated composer Elizabeth Swados on Feb. 10; a Masterclass and Music Business Leadership Workshop with Yellow Barn on Feb. 18; a symposium and gala concert celebrating the 80th Anniversary of Armenia’s foremost living composer, Tigran Mansurian, on March 6, and “The Little Match Girl Passion,” David Lang’s Pulitzer and Grammy-winning masterpiece with the UCLA Chamber Singers at St. Albans Episcopal Church on March 11.
Guest artists and scholars include soprano Angel Blue, who graduated from UCLA with a master of music performance in 2008, Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire, Grammy-nominated ARC Ensemble, Trio Voci, violinist Mari Tampere-Bezrodny, and musicologists Kate Van Orden and Hedy Law.
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. 26: Performing as a soloist with an orchestra is a peak musical experience. At the UCLA Philharmonia 15th Annual All-Star Concert, nine UCLA classical musicians will step into the spotlight with UCLA Philharmonia, the school’s flagship orchestra and one of Southern California’s premier training orchestras.
Feb. 6: The UCLA Wind Ensemble perform Percy Aldridge Grainger’s “Molly on the Shore” and “Lincolnshire Posy,” as well as Eric Whitacre’s “October.”
Feb. 21: The UCLA David L. Abell Piano Masters Series presents renowned Italian pianist Roberto Prosseda, one of the most innovative musicians in the world, in a mini-recital featuring music by Mozart, Schubert and Mendelssohn.
Feb. 25: Members of the UCLA Percussion Ensemble perform contemporary chamber music including “Triptych Boom” by Chad Floyd, “Symphony of Palms” by Gordon Hughes, “Sleepless” by Dan Moore and Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F arranged for Marimba Ensemble.
Feb. 26: Grammy-nominated, Miami-based vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire makes a stop at UCLA during its West Coast concert tour with the American Brass Quintet, which features some of the best players from the American orchestral scene. The ensemble specializes in music before 1750 and after 1950.
March 1: Conducted by Neal Stulberg, director of UCLA orchestral studies, the UCLA Philharmonia performs a concert in Schoenberg Hall featuring a solo performance by school of music oboist Eli Stefanacci, winner of the 2019 Atwater Kent String Concerto Competition. Stefanacci will play the Mozart Oboe Concerto in C, K. 314.
March 3: A second solo performance by oboist Eli Stefanacci, the winner of the 2019 Atwater Kent String Concerto Competition, with the UCLA Philharmonia will be presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Stefanacci will play the Mozart Oboe Concerto in C, K. 314; Neal Stulberg, director of orchestral studies, conducts.
March 6: Armenia’s foremost living composer, Tigran Mansurian, will be celebrated during an 80th Anniversary gala concert with performances of several of his masterworks, along with the works of his close friends Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke and Valentin Silvestrov. The concert will be preceded by a day-long symposium, “East and West: Search for Meeting Point.”
March 10: Soprano Angel Joy Blue, who graduated with her master’s from the music school in 2008, is the featured artist of the inaugural Judith L. Smith Voice Recital Series, celebrating talented vocalists and the distinguished tenure of UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Founding Dean Judith Smith. Blue made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in 2017, and returns to her alma mater for this special performance.
March 11: The UCLA Chamber Singers presents “The Little Match Girl Passion,” one of the most celebrated choral works of the last 20 years. Written by David Lang, this Pulitzer and Grammy-winning masterpiece reinvents the sounds of the choir while telling the tragic story of the nameless match girl.
March 12: The UCLA Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band perform Igor Stravinsky’s “Octet” and Vaclav Nelhybel’s “Trittico.”
March 13: Under the direction of doctoral orchestral conducting candidates Stephen Karr and Bruno Nascimento, the school of music’s outstanding all-campus UCLA Symphony performs a program of Verdi, Haydn, Tchaikovsky and Carlos Chávez. With cellist Jason Pegis, UCLA doctoral candidate.
March 15: The UCLA Chorale, the largest regularly meeting choir on campus, presents its winter concert, Songs of Childhood, an evening of choral music based on themes, ideas and experiences of children. Work by new composers will address issues of childhood experiences including loss, discovery, learning, imagining and frivolity.
World music and jazz
Jan. 31: The UCLA Brass program presents an evening featuring the Marine Corps Jazz Band as well as the young artists of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Ensemble at UCLA.
Feb. 3: Michel Klein, composer and UCLA doctoral candidate, curates Shir Chadash (New Song), a concert that will have the audience rethinking the concept of Jewish music. With performances by professional musicians and students from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, the program features work composed in the last few decades.
Feb. 10: With lyrics and music created by Tony-nominated composer Elizabeth Swados, Bible Women: The Concert gives new voice to the women of the Bible, telling classic stories through new lenses. Presented in collaboration with the Academy for Jewish Religion, the program features esteemed alumni from UCLA and the AJR–California.
Feb. 19: Vocalist and master improviser Dwight Trible will be featured in a concert with the group Cosmic Vibrations. Trible, a frequent organizer of concerts at the World Stage in Leimert Park, will also give a pre-concert talk that examines the role of the artist as a presenter in the community.
Feb 23: In this one-person musical, One-Cantor Show: On The Cantor’s Couch, Cantor Mendelson, a master storyteller, paints a picture of 1950’s Borough Park, Brooklyn, a decade when Jews would flock to the synagogue to hear the golden voices of cantors.
Feb 27: Nominated for its third Grammy in 2016, the ARC Ensemble, one of Canada’s most distinguished cultural ambassadors, presents From India to Indiana: Melding Music. The ensemble has appeared at major festivals and series including New York’s Lincoln Center Festival, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and London’s Wigmore Hall.
March 4: With special guests the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble at UCLA, the UCLA Jazz Combos Concert features student jazz combos performing standards and original works.
March 5: The UCLA Big Band Concert features student big bands, directed by world-class jazz artists, performing well-known jazz standards as well as compositions by the faculty directors and the students.
Lectures, symposia and masterclasses
Jan. 22: The Center for Musical Humanities presents “Audile Scarification: On Cultures of Loudness and the Normalization of Altered Hearing,” a lecture by Jonathan Sterne, the James McGill Chair in Culture and Technology at McGill University.
Jan. 22: The celebrated musicians of Trio Voci conduct a composers workshop, followed by three masterclasses: a harp and chamber music masterclass with harp virtuoso Sivan Magen, a flute masterclass with internationally acclaimed flutist Marina Piccinini, and a viola and chamber music masterclass with Grammy-winning violist Kim Kashkashian.
Jan. 24. The Department of Musicology Distinguished Lecture Series welcomes Harvard University musicologist Kate Van Orden. A distinguished scholar of music in Early Modern Europe, Van Orden will speak about aspects of globalism and migration as seen in the music of early 16th century Italy.
Jan. 29: UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music presents the inaugural Faculty and Graduate Student Publication Showcase, which celebrates a selection of book, individual chapter, and article publications. Presented in partnership with the UCLA Music Library.
Feb. 6: The UCLA Center for Music Innovation presents the symposium Future of Music in Los Angeles, the launch event for a 12-event series of programs in Los Angeles called “COMPOSE LA,” spearheaded by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Feb. 18: Seth Knopp, artistic director of Yellow Barn, and Catherine Stephan, executive director of Yellow Barn, conduct a masterclass and music business leadership workshop with school of music students. Vermont-based Yellow Barn is an international center for chamber music.
Feb. 27: Mari Tampere-Bezrodny, the renowned violinist and violin pedagogue at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and Sibelius Academy in Finland, conducts a violin masterclass.
March 7: Musicologist Hedy Law, an authority on the musical cultures of 18th century France, will discuss her work on music and pantomime in French music of the period at this lecture presented by the musicology department.
March 14: The annual Robert Stevenson Lecture Series features musicologist Geoffrey Baker, a specialist in music in Latin America, including colonial Peru as well as Latin American popular music. Baker’s recent research project on El Sistema, Venezuela’s famous orchestral music education program, culminated in the publication of El Sistema: Orchestrating Venezuela's Youth (2014).