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Cal Performances 2011–12 Season to Include Dawn Upshaw, Kronos Quartet, Rokia Traoré, Sérgio & Odair Assad, Richard Goode

Cal Performances 2011–12 Season: Dawn Upshaw, Kronos Quartet, Rokia Traoré, Sérgio & Odair Assad, Richard Goode

Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, has announced its 2011–12 season, which will feature performances from a number of performers familiar to readers of the Nonesuch Journal: Dawn Upshaw, Rokia Traoré, Kronos Quartet, Sérgio and Odair Assad, and Richard Goode.


Dawn Upshaw will join her frequent collaborator, director Peter Sellars, for one of two Cal Performances events in which she will participate this season. On June 16 and 18, in the Zellerbach Playhouse, Sellars will direct her in George Crumb's Winds of Destiny—American Songbook IV, a cycle of American Civil War songs reinterpreted through the eyes of a female American veteran returning from the war in Afghanistan. Gilbert Kalish joins on piano and red fish blue fish with Steven Schick are on percussion. On June 14, Upshaw joins the Australian Chamber Orchestra at Zellerbach Hall for works by Webern, Crumb, and Maria Schneider. Both events are part of Ojai North!, the Berkeley offshoot of the 65th Ojai Music Festival, which will take place June 9–12, 2011. Upshaw, who will be making her fourth appearance at the festival, is its Music Director this year.


Rokia Traoré too joins forces with Peter Sellars and with Nobel Prize–winning novelist Toni Morrison to create a new theater piece titled the Desdemona project, which will receive its US premiere October 26–29 at the Zellerbach Playhouse.

Created in response to Sellars's 2009 Othello, the piece, featuring a script by Morrison and music by Traoré, imagines a conversation from beyond the grave between Shakespeare's Desdemona and Barbary, the woman Shakespeare identifies as the African nurse who raised her. After centuries of colonialism and racism, the two women share stories, songs, determination, and hope for a different future. Traoré sings the role of Barbary. Sellars directs.


Kronos Quartet, which performed on Traoré's 2004 Nonesuch debut album, Bowmboï, will give two performances at Berkeley's Hertz Hall this season. On October 9, the San Francisco-based group will give the Bay Area premiere of Steve Reich's WTC 9/11, just days after the composer's 75th birthday. It's part of an all-Reich program that also includes the two other quartets he has written for Kronos, Different Trains and Triple Quartet, as well as selections from The Cave. On February 5, 2012, Kronos returns to Hertz Hall joined by the Alim Qasimov Ensemble, which performs on the Quartet's latest Nonesuch release, Floodplain.

Later in the 2011–12 Cal Performances season, Brazilian-born brothers Sérgio and Odair Assad perform a duo guitar concert at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley on February 17, 2012. Richard Goode will give a solo piano recital of works by Mozart and Chopin at Zellerbach Hall on March 25, 2012.


For more information on these events and more, visit


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