Cal Performances has just announced its 2019/20 season, which includes a wide variety of dance and musical offerings, the kickoff of Beethoven’s 250 birthday year, solo and chamber recitals, and world and jazz programs. There’s a mix of returning artists, along with new and emerging talent, like 21-year-old British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who will play a program accompanied by his sister Isata. There’s also a focus on local talent, with UC Berkeley faculty and ensembles taking part in programs, and a world premiere string quartet by Berkeley native Samuel Adams.
There’s more information about the new season at the Cal Performances website.
The season starts with Mark Morris Dance Group’s Mozart Dances, for which they’ll be joined by piano soloist Inon Barnatan and Berkeley Symphony. But there are several dance performances that span all sorts of genres, from the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra performing La Bayadère, to Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal dancing Palermo Palermo. Joffrey Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater return, as do the all-male Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and Dorrance Dance bringing tap tradition to the mix.
Pinchas Zukerman brings the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to Zellerbach hall, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic (with its 30-year-old conductor Lahav Shani) will be joined by Nelson Freire for a concert of Beethoven and Bartok, two composers who get extra attention this year. Jonathan Biss will be playing all 32 of the Beethoven piano sonatas, spread over seven concerts, and the Takacs Quartet presents all of the Bartok string quartets in two concerts in December.
There are early music ensembles, like Fretwork (joined by countertenor Iestyn Davies), who will play music of Purcell, but also Michael Nyman; and such returning favorites as The Tallis Scholars, and Jordi Savall with La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Hespèrion XXI. New Music on the season includes Kronos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, and the UC Berkeley-based Eco Ensemble. There are jazz and world programs, including celebrations of Hula, Flamenco, and Bollywood, and a pairing of two jazz vocal ensembles: The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6.
The season will end with a new semi-staged production of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha, by the Volcano Theatre Company and the Moveable Beast Collective, from Toronto. It’s a collaboration with lead commissioner Stanford Live, and was made possible by the Hewlett 50 Arts Commission initiative.