New Millennium Series

The Series opens on Thursday, February 27 with pianist Peter Serkin and the Orion String Quartet. Recognized as an artist of passion and integrity, the distinguished Peter Serkin is one of the most thoughtful and individualistic musicians appearing before the public today. Throughout his career he has performed five centuries of repertoire, and his performances with symphony orchestras, recital appearances, chamber music collaborations and recordings are respected worldwide. An avid proponent of the music of many of the 20th and 21st century's most important composers, Mr. Serkin has been instrumental in bringing the music of Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, Stravinsky, Wolpe, Messiaen, Takemitsu, Henze, and Berio, among others, to audiences around the world.

The Orion String Quartet is one of the most sought-after ensembles in the United States. Since its inception, the Quartet has been consistently praised for the fresh perspective and individuality it brings to performances, offering diverse programs that juxtapose classic works of the standard quartet literature with masterworks by twentieth and twenty-first century composers. The quartet, whose members serve on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, Queens College, Rutgers University and the Bard College Conservatory of Music, celebrated its 25th anniversary in the 2012-2013 season.

The program will include Stravinsky's Concertino for String Quartet, Webern's String Quartet (Op. 28), Schoenberg's Kammersymphonie (Op. 9), and Schumann's Piano Quintet (Op. 44). Admission to this concert is $30 general, $20 senior, and $10 for students.

The Series continues on Monday, March 3 with viola da gambist Jordi Savall. For more than forty years, Jordi Savall, one of the most versatile musical personalities of his generation, has rescued musical gems from the obscurity of neglect and oblivion and given them back for all to enjoy. A tireless researcher into early music, he interprets and performs the repertory both as a violist and a conductor. His activities as a concert performer, teacher, researcher and creator of new musical and cultural projects have made him a leading figure in the reappraisal of historical music. After finishing his cello studies at the Barcelona Conservatoire in 1964, in 1965 he embarked on teaching himself the viola da gamba and performing early music with the group Ars Musicae. In 1968 he moved to Switzerland to further his music studies at the Schola Cantorum Basilensis, where he taught and gave master classes until 1993. He is currently visiting professor at the Juilliard School in New York. He has recorded and released over 200 albums covering the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical music repertories, with a special focus on the Hispanic and Mediterranean musical heritage, winning many awards and distinctions, including the Midem Classical Award, the International Classical Music Award and the Grammy. Admission to this concert is $30 general, $20 senior, and $10 for students.

The annual popular Faculty and Friends Gala will take place on Wednesday, April 16. Featuring Sacramento's beloved soprano Claudia Kitka, saxophone virtuoso Keith Bohm, and internationally acclaimed violinist Ian Swensen, the Gala will feature three centuries of classical music. Also on the performance will be the winning student ensemble of the annual A.J. and Susana Watson Chamber Music Competition. Admission to this concert is $15 general, $10 senior, and $5 for students.

The Series rounds out with the wind quintet Windscape on Thursday, May 15. Created in 1994 by five eminent woodwind soloists, Windscape has won a unique place for itself as a vibrant, ever-evolving group of musical individualists, which has delighted audiences throughout North America. Windscape's innovative programs and accompanying presentations are created to take listeners on a musical and historical world tour--evoking through music and engaging commentary vivid cultural landscapes of distant times and places. Tara Helen O’Connor, flute, Randall Ellis, oboe, Alan R. Kay, clarinet, Frank Morelli, bassoon, and David Jolley, horn, comprise the Windscape ensemble. As Artists-in-Residence at the Manhattan School of Music, the members of Windscape are master teachers, imparting not only the craft of instrumental virtuosity, but also presenting a distinctive concert series hailed for its creative energy and musical curiosity. Admission to this concert is $20 general, $10 senior, and $5 for students.