September 3, 2001
Arts & Lectures lineup set for 2001-02
By John Newman
Okay, okay, never mind. Your suffering (and mine) is nearly over. Finally, UCSC Arts & Lectures has released its 2001-02 calendar (just in time). So, limber up your phone-button punching finger and stand by. Here's the list (asterisks indicate a post-performance discussion with the artist or artists):
Takács Quartet *
Called "four of the best string alchemists on the planet," by the Chicago
Tribune, the Takács Quartet has appeared regularly in every major music
capital and prestigious festival since its formation 26 years ago at Budapest's Liszt
Academy. Their Santa Cruz performance will include Beethoven's String Quartet No.
10, Op. 74; Britten's String Quartet No. 3; and Brahms's String Quartet Op. 51, No.
Among the new generation of concert pianists, Awadagin Pratt's musical insight
and intensely involving performances have won him tremendous audience support. Named
one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow by Ebony magazine, he is the winner of the
Naumburg International Piano Competition and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Pratt's
Santa Cruz performance will include virtuoso works by Bach, Beethoven, and Lizst.
"Politics is great entertainment" says Molly Ivins, one of the nation's wittiest and best-known political pundits. Ivins, a widely syndicated political columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of the best-selling Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She, a collection of essays on politics and journalism. Her most recent book, Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush, was released in 2000. From the psychology of the entertainment industry to her experience as a young woman in the days when journalism was dominated by "good old boys," and women were relegated to covering "food, fluff and fashion," Ivins's point of view is fearless, humorous, and informative.
Grammy Award-winning frame drummer, composer, scholar, and teacher, Glen Velez
has created his own musical style inspired by both Western percussion and frame drum
styles from around the world. Called "one of the planet's most versatile percussionists"
and "a captivating composer" by the Los Angeles Reader, Velez has
brought a new genre of drumming into the Western music world by creating his own
compositional style inspired by years of exploration into the drumming of various
On a foggy evening in 1938, America went to war with Mars! At least that's what
tens of thousands of radio listeners were convinced of when they tuned in late to
a broadcast of H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds. For many listeners, normal
programming appeared to have been interrupted with the startling news that "a
huge flaming object" had fallen to Earth. Now, 64 years after its original broadcast,
the awesome force of radio's single most famous broadcast is still burned on the
collective mind of America. This classic radio play, performed as though on-air by
the SITI Company, has maintained its ability to inspire in its audience a palpable
sense of dread and expectant tension.
Performing with technical brilliance, an impressive command of style, and a remarkable
blend of passion and delicacy, the Arden Trio has become one of the most important
piano trios on the concert stage today. The trio's New York debut prompted Edward
Rothstein of the New York Times to claim that the Arden seems to be "not
a piano trio at all, but a single musical instrument, played with eminent virtuosity
and sensitivity." For their Arts & Lectures performance, the trio will perform
a new work written by Evan Ziporyn titled "Typical Music."
The dynamic modern dance troupe Urban Bush Women weaves contemporary idioms with
the folklore and spiritual traditions of African Americans to celebrate the struggle,
transformation, and survival of the human spirit. Their evening-length work, "Hair
Stories," explores the concept of hair in relation to images of beauty, social
position, heritage, and self-esteem.
The soulful sound of a clarinet connects the villages of 19th-century East European
Jewry with the vital rhythms of contemporary klezmer. While honoring the traditional
roots of klezmer music, David Krakauer and his quintet integrate elements of jazz,
rock, and funk to make Klezmer Madness! one of the foremost ensembles of a booming
klezmer revival. Known for his mastery of myriad styles including classical, Eastern
European klezmer music, the avant-garde, rock, and jazz, internationally acclaimed
clarinetist David Krakauer plays with tireless spirit, humor, and generosity.
Soprano Julianne Baird has been hailed as one of the most extraordinary voices
in the service of early music that this generation has produced. She possesses a
natural musicianship which engenders singing of supreme expressive beauty. With nearly
100 recordings to her credit on Decca, Deutsche Gramophone, Newport Classics, and
Dorian, Baird is considered one of America's most recorded women. Her newest program
features songs of Shakespeare's time with Edward Mauger reading from Shakespeare's
Non-subscription tickets: general $25; senior/student $20; UCSC student $14.
Known for his sexy, modern style and innovative common-man approach to the revered
art of ballet, Smuin Ballets/SF founder and director Michael Smuin has attracted
a loyal following. He has called his own lean and muscular innovations "guerrilla
ballet," distinctive for his use of recorded music and borrowing from modern
dance and jazz styles. The winner of seven Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, Smuin directed
the San Francisco Ballet for 12 years and danced in and directed the American Ballet
Theater before starting Smuin Ballets/SF in 1994.
Non-subscription tickets: general $23; senior/student $19; UCSC student $13.
The spirit of jazz, from the past, present, and future, comes alive with Marcus
Roberts. This acclaimed jazz pianist made his name as a key member of Wynton Marsalis's
groups in the late '80s and early '90s. Since then, he has established himself as
one of the ultimate musical traditionalists for his remarkable keyboard style and
thorough perception of jazz as a dynamic influence in the evolution of American music.
Laurie Anderson's legendary shows have earned her an international reputation
as a high-tech magician of multimedia performance art. Once the enfant terrible
of New York's avante-garde, Anderson, a self-described storyteller, has evolved into
a kind of electronic folk artist daring to discuss thoughts and feelings that many
rarely verbalize. A departure from her recent signature fusions of technology and
art, Anderson's new solo work features stories and simple, mainly acoustic instruments.
This performance, which will be one of the first presentations of her new work in
the United States, examines contemporary culture through the filters of synthetic
language, love songs, animal communication, and techno burnout.
"Charlie, Victor, Romeo" is an award-winning dramatic work for the stage
derived entirely from the "black box" cockpit voice recorder transcripts
of six major airline emergencies. As audience members become privy to the tension-filled
cockpit of real in-flight emergencies, this performance offers an eye-opening glimpse
into decision-making and human interaction under what may be the most intense pressure
imaginable. Called "a remarkable performance" by Flying Magazine
and presented by request to groups ranging from health care and flying professionals
to West Point students and the U.S. Air Force, "Charlie, Victor, Romeo"
reveals remarkable portraits of courage, human frailty, and grace under fire.
After hearing the extraordinary multiphonic chanting of the Gyuto Monks in 1987,
Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart resolved to bring the monks to America and
make them known to a wider audience. In addition to their own two recordings produced
by Mickey Hart, the music of the Gyuto monks can be heard on the film soundtracks
of Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet. The Tantric texts of Gyuto strive
to cut away veils of illusion and transcend the everyday world of human folly, creating
through prayer and spiritual dedication an ideal world of enlightenment and bliss.
Don't miss this rare opportunity to see and hear this group on their special 2002
West Coast tour.
"God's Donkey: A Play on Moses" re-visions the story of Moses and questions
the "conventional wisdom" that has, from this ensemble's perspective, encumbered
the material for centuries. Looking at the story of Moses and the liberation of the
Israelites from Egyptian bondage as a major turning point in human consciousness,
the company examines the most basic assumptions of the "modern" word view--the
existence of "history," national identity, individual choice, and the uniqueness
of individual experience. Finding connections where others see division, this unique,
artist-led ensemble digs into a variety of biblical translations and commentaries
and presents for the audience a wealth of surprising and revelatory images.
Transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary with amazing dexterity and delightful
creativity, Teatro Hugo and Ines combines mime, dance, and puppetry to create a host
of characters composed of knees, feet, hands and elbows. The Chicago Sun-Times
sums up the genius of this wildly popular international duo from Peru--"It's
simple enough to make audiences giggle. It takes art to make them believe."
These wizards of hand trickery are a must-see for adults and children alike. "Not
since Marcel Marceau in his heyday have I been so entranced by an evening of wordless
This festival brings together a variety of jazz and traditional music from regions within Africa and the U.S.
This new work of Doug Varone is set to the music of George Antheil's "Ballet
Mécanique." In a dramatic rush of cinematic intensity, Varone lets loose
a hailstorm of pyrotechnic choreography which defies gravity, punctuates every gesture
of his superb ensemble of dancers, and turns this eternally contemporary music into
an evening of trailblazing dance, shifting backdrops, frenetic rhythms, scenic projections,
and impassioned physicality. "Doug Varone has produced some of modern dance's
most engrossing works," and "he has a company of daredevils, profoundly
human superhumans who dance on a dime--wheeling, darting, and slicing the air at
lethal-looking speeds." --New York Times
Four of Korea's most valued and celebrated performers come together with four outstanding Western musicians to present an evening which travels from the honored traditions of Korean music to a dynamic contemporary performance drawing from the ritual ceremonies of Shamanism, Buddhism, and Christianity.
The concert introduces works from the Korean tradition, including dance and percussion performed by Eun-Ha Park, the first woman in Korean history to earn the respected title of Master Performer in her field. Park will perform with Korean National Treasure and Buddhist monk In-Muk, sharing his tradition of Korean Buddhist chanting; Korean National Treasure Chan-Sup Kim playing the piri (bamboo oboe); and virtuoso Eun-A Kwak playing her kayakeum (Korean zither).
Joining the four Korean musicians for the second half of the concert, a ceremony
for lost friends, are William Winant, described by Mark Swed of the New York Times
and Wall Street Journal as "one of the best avant-garde percussionists
working today"; William Barbini, violinist and Concert Master of the Monterey
Symphony; Jean-Michel Fonteneau, cellist and professor at the San Francisco Conservatory
of Music; and John Sackett, clarinetist and lecturer in the music department at UC
Santa Cruz. The combined ensemble will perform the premiere of "Rituel II,"
composed by UCSC professor of music Hi Kyung Kim. This new piece is a follow up to
Kim's highly acclaimed "Rituel," which the San Francisco Examiner hailed
as "a mesmerizing, thoroughly modern work whose trans-cultural timelessness
deserves the widest possible audience."
Non-subscription tickets: general $25; senior/student $20; UCSC student $14.
Chanticleer has developed a remarkable reputation for its interpretation of vocal
literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to venturesome new music. With
its seamless blend of 12 male voices, ranging from countertenor to bass, Chanticleer
has earned international renown since its founding in 1978 as "an orchestra
of voices." The San Francisco-based ensemble's 22 recordings include its Grammy-winning
Colors of Love. Its most recent release, Magnificat, a disc of early
music devoted to the Virgin Mary, climbed to the top 5 on the Billboard classical