Mondavi’s 10th season is star studded

By August 09, 2012

DAVIS — The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, University of California, Davis announces a 10th anniversary season filled with the finest artists from around the world.

The center’s 2012–13 season runs from Sept. 18 to May 23. Subscriptions are on sale at the Mondavi Center ticket office, 866-754-2787 and online at

“At the Mondavi Center, from the beginning our goal has been to add to and enrich the arts on our campus, in our region and our nation,” said Mondavi Center Executive Director Don Roth. “During our first decade, we’ve presented leading and emerging artists, showcased the classic and the contemporary, found new ways to engage our audiences and focused on both American and global cultural heritages. I believe that the program for our 10th anniversary season shows how we plan to build on a decade of success while growing and moving forward.”

Season highlights include the new Studio Dance Series, four of the world’s finest symphony orchestras and a blockbuster Concert Series featuring artists like Joshua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma.

Another highlight is the National Theatre of Scotland’s “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart” presented Jan. 23 to 26 in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre remodeled as a rural pub where patrons can enjoy drinks during the performance.

The Mondavi Center will celebrate its first decade of great performances by opening the 10th anniversary season with three weeks of performances that pay tribute to the many ways the Mondavi Center has enriched the Sacramento region.

Festivities include Bonnie Raitt in her Mondavi Center debut, the San Francisco Symphony, a staple of many Mondavi Center seasons, the free Rising Stars of Opera on Saturday, Oct. 6, the ever popular Alexander String Quartet and the free Dancer Films Live Event on Sunday, Oct. 7 with Jules Feiffer, Andrea Weber and Jane Ira Bloom.


Series descriptions

The Director’s Choice Series is a selection of artists and programs that the Mondavi Center’s Executive Director Don Roth views worthy of wider attention.

This season, his choices include a wide range of classical music offerings. Baritone Thomas Hampson with Jupiter String Quartet opens the series on April 24, 2013 with the world premiere of a new song cycle by Mark Adamo.

The series continues with Christopher Taylor’s performance of the Goldberg Variations on the Steinway-Moór Concert Grand on May 3, 2013 and a recital by the young Mexican tenor David Lomelí on May 23, 2013.

The Western Health Advantage Orchestra Series opens on Thursday, Sept. 27 with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony in its first of three performances this season.

The Symphony returns on April 18, 2013 conducted by Herbert Blomstedt with violinist Julia Fischer. The series also includes Philharmonia Baroque with soloist Emanuel Ax on Nov. 7, the Russian National Orchestra on Feb. 17 and the St. Louis Symphony on March 17.

This year’s all-star Wells Fargo Concert Series opens on Monday, Oct. 1 with the Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

The series continues with violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Sam Haywood on Saturday, Nov. 10, cellist Yo-Yo Ma with pianist Kathryn Stott on Jan. 29 and violinist Sarah Chang on March 7. An add-on event to this series is the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble on May 12, 2013.

Mondavi Center’s Distinguished Speakers Series features a conversation with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak moderated by UC Davis college of engineering Dean Erique Lavernia on Monday, Oct. 29, actor and humanitarian Harry Belafonte on Jan. 17 and the popular host of NPR’s “This American Life,’ “Ira Glass” on May 18, 2013 moderated by Daniel Handler, best known for his work under the pen name Lemony Snicket.

Available as an add-on to this series is a lecture by Isabel Wilkerson, author of “The Warmth of Other Suns” on Feb. 12, the focus of the UC Davis Campus Community Book Project.

The Hallmark Inn, Davis Dance Series continues to present many of the world’s leading companies. This season includes the Akram Khan Company performing “Vertical Road” on Friday, Oct. 12, Dance Theatre of Harlem on Friday, Nov. 9 and the debut of the new L.A. Dance Project founded by Benjamin Millepied, choreographer of the Oscar winning film “Black Swan,” on Jan.26.

New this season is the Studio Dance Series offering patrons the opportunity to see some of the world’s leading dancers in an intimate setting.

The series includes Lucy Guerin’s improvisational pairing of theater and dance, “Untrained,” Dec. 6 to 8, and “Gamaka” presented by the Indian dancer Shantala Shivalingappa on April 11 to 13, 2013.

The Capital Public Radio Jackson Hall Jazz Series kicks off with “An Acoustic Evening” with Stanley Clarke and Hiromi on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

The series continues on Jan. 18 with the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Ambrose Akinmusire, Chris Potter, Benny Green and Lewis Nash, and the series concludes on March 19 with the return of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

For those who like to experience jazz in an intimate setting there is the Capital Public Radio Studio Jazz Series in the private night club.

This year the series includes the Christian McBride Trio Sept. 26 to 29, Ninety Miles featuring Stefon Harris, Christian Scott and David Sánchez Jan. 9 to 12 and the Julian Lage Group March 6 to 9.

The Chevron American Heritage Series explores the roots of American music with four programs demonstrating the breadth of the genre.

The series includes Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt with Mavis Staples as the opening act on Tuesday, Sept. 18, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires on Saturday, Dec. 1, Robert Randolph Presents the Slide Brothers on Feb. 22 and Bobby McFerrin’s Spirit, You All on April 5, 2013.

The Crossings Series focuses on music that reflects today’s global society by crossing stylistic and cultural boundaries.

The series includes the string quartet ETHEL with special guest Todd Rundgren performing “Tell Me Something Good” on Saturday, Nov. 3, the Indonesian hip hop crew Jogja Hip Hop Foundation on Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 and Medeski Martin and Wood with Joshua Light Show on April 20, 2013.

The Studio Classics: New Horizons Series features forward-thinking artists reshuffling the deck with inspiration from masterworks of the past.

This series includes the Calder Quartet Feb. 2 to 3, the Mondavi Center Artist-in-Residence Lara Downes performing In Landscapes with Build on March 23 and 24 and the Paul Dresher Ensemble performing Double Duo April 6 and 7, 2013.

Also, new this year, the Mondavi Center teams up with the Davis Humanities Institute, the UC Davis department of theater and dance and the department of music to present Worlds of Discovery and Loss: The Art of Migration.

This is a series of free and ticketed events that take place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3 and includes performances by the Calder Quartet, the Empyrean Ensemble, the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and the cabaret “Stranger, Beware …”

The World Stage Series, showcasing the best in music from around the globe, includes the legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar on Tuesday, Oct. 23, Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández on Sunday, Nov. 11 and the Japanese drummers of Kodo performing “One Earth Tour: Legend” on Feb. 7.

The With a Twist Series, combining high-level artistry with refreshing humor, includes the One Man Star Wars Trilogy with Charles Ross on Friday, Nov. 30, the return of the Improvised Shakespeare Company on March 12 and The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain presenting great music with humor and fun on April 12, 2013.

Family-oriented entertainment is a big part of the Mondavi Center season with two series deserving special mention. The Marvels Series with Cirque Mechanics presenting Birdhouse Factory on Feb. 10 and Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The Seven Fingers of the Hand), a Montreal-based circus, performing PSY on May 12, 2013.

The Children’s Stage Series offers its own brand of magic with the third appearance of the San Francisco Symphony presenting its Family Concert: The Snowman on Dec. 21, the Cashore Marionettes presenting “Simple Gifts” on March 15 to 17 and the Lara Downes Family Concert: Gertrude McFuzz and other selections featuring the Davis Senior High School Orchestra on May 19, 2013.

As a reminder, children can see all Mondavi Center performances for half price.

This year’s Debut Series features the next generation of compelling artists including Stephen Waarts on the violin Sunday, Nov. 4, Charlie Albright on piano Jan. 13 and Elena Urioste on the violin May 5, 2013.

Special Add-Ons to this series include a live presentation of NPR’s “From the Top” with host Christopher O’Riley on Thursday, Oct. 25 and the Young Artists Competition Winners Concert on March 3.

Mondavi Center mainstay, the Alexander String Quartet, will perform three Schubert focused concerts on Sunday, Oct. 7, Dec. 2 and Jan. 6.

The afternoon performances feature musicologist Robert Greenberg providing commentary throughout the concert.

A special add-on to this series is the 10th anniversary performance: Death and the Maiden and Black Angels on April 14, 2013 also featuring Robert Greenberg.

And finally, an eclectic group of Mondavi Center Special Events including three holiday-focused shows: Danú’s taste of traditional Irish Christmas music “An Nollaig in Éirinn” on Wednesday, Dec. 5, Cantus’ “All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914″ on Saturday, Dec. 8 and the American Bach Soloists’ new holiday show “GLORIA” on Sunday, Dec. 16 featuring the San Francisco Girls Chorus and soprano Mary Wilson.

Additional special events include violinist Itzhak Perlman with pianist Rohan de Silva on Feb. 16 and the return of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater April 29 and 30, 2013.

The popular Focus on Film featuring “The Fallen Idol” is on Monday, Dec. 3, “The 400 Blows” with Antoine and Colette on March 25 and “Days of Heaven” on May 6, 2013.

Another favorite is Focus on Opera featuring high-definition film screenings of the San Francisco Opera performing Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” on Monday, Nov. 5, Strauss’ “Salome” on Feb. 4 and Puccini’s “Il Trittico” on April 15, 2013.

Mondavi Center

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