Weekender: Concerts Include St. Olaf Choir; Rising Stars of Opera; Duo

Pink Martini Takes Inspiration From All Genres

Choir assembled on stage
The internationally acclaimed St. Olaf Choir, conducted by Dr. Anton Armstrong, performs Monday at the Mondavi Center as part of its tour. (Courtesy photo)

Quick Summary

  • Many events are free or low-cost
piano silhouetted in blue
The Bachetto/Sabey Duo performs Thursday. (Courtesy photo)

Bacchetto / Sabey Duo performs at noon concert

Thursday, Feb. 2, 12:05 – 1 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

The Bacchetto/Sabey Duo is a collaborative project of San Francisco-based composer-performers Nick Bacchetto and Ben Sabey. The duo creates new spatial audio works for piano and a custom modular analog synthesizer controlled by an MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) instrument.

The program includes Nick Bacchetto: Ratios, Olivier Messiaen: Feuillets inédits, and Benjamin Sabey: The Wine-Dark Sea

Ben Sabey is a composer of chamber, orchestral, and electronic music, lately specializing in expressive polyphonic control of analog synthesis and spatialization. Nick Bacchetto is a composer and pianist whose creative works derive from a tension between algorithmic and intuitive composition, and explore concepts such as fractal geometry and natural selection.

Rising Stars of Opera appear in group photo in concert attire.

Barbara K. Jackson Rising Stars of Opera

Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023 - 2 p.m., Jackson Hall, free

UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, Christian Baldini, music director and conductor | Singers from the San Francisco Opera Center

Since its inception in 2010, Rising Stars of Opera has featured vocal artistry, stirring arias and a glimpse at the opera stars of tomorrow; and every ticket has been free to the public thanks to Barbara K. Jackson. Rekindling an old tradition, the Mondavi Center relaunches Rising Stars of Opera with several singers from the acclaimed San Francisco Opera Center performing a wide range of great arias with full orchestral accompaniment from the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra. 

This is a free, ticketed event. Reserve tickets here

St. Olaf Choir Brings Music to Davis on Monday, Feb. 6

The internationally acclaimed St. Olaf Choir, conducted by Dr. Anton Armstrong, will perform at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis on Monday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. as part of its 2023 national tour. 

The tickets start at $25 for general admission and $10 for students.

The St. Olaf Choir has set a gold standard for choral singing, and the ensemble’s 75 singers and Armstrong will perform in 11 cities from Sunday, Jan. 29, through Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, presenting concerts in some of the nation’s finest churches and concert halls in a four-state tour of Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington.

“Hearing the St. Olaf Choir in concert is more than just a musical experience,” says Anton Armstrong. “Our singers, performing at the highest artistic level, convey a message of hope. Our music provides a bridge to what can unite us at a time when the world is so divided. We often hear from concertgoers who tell us they are not only struck by the sound and uniformity of the St. Olaf Choir, but also by the earnestness of what comes through the voices of our young singers. Our singers touch the hearts and souls of listeners, and our audiences leave transformed.”

Find more information and purchase tickets here.


Exagerrated, high-heeled shoes in black and white
Brunel-28 motion shoe by Chris Francis is part of the Design Museum's shoe spectacular ongoing through spring. (Courtesy photo)


Ongoing Exhibits at UC Davis

From Concept to Creation: Inspired Shoe Design by Chris Francis

Through April 23, UC Davis Design Museum

The UC Davis Design Museum takes a bold step with the exhibition “From Concept to Creation: Inspired Shoe Design by Chris Francis,” which showcases the colorful and imaginative footwear created by the Los Angeles-based shoe designer.

Co-curated by Professor Susan T. Avila and Cristina Gomez, graduate student in design, the installation spotlights creations by shoemaker and designer Francis. His work combines global shoemaking traditions and techniques, with references to the built environment such as industrial design and brutalist architecture as well as 20th-century art movements and punk rock. His narrative-based, unique hand-constructed shoes theatrically bridge contemporary art and wearable design.

Visit the Design Museum for map and parking information.

Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965–1985 at Manetti Shrem

Through June 25, Manetti Shrem Museum

UC Davis Professor Emeritus Mike Henderson’s first solo U.S. museum exhibition in 20 years brings to light the pioneering artist’s rarely seen contributions to the history of contemporary painting and filmmaking, radical Black politics, and to the story of California art. The exhibition integrates paintings and films by Henderson that offer new ideas about Black life in the visual languages of protest, Afro-futurism and surrealism. Challenging the protocols and propriety of art-making in the 20th century, these works depict scenes of anti-Black violence as well as utopian visions and questions of self-making. Curated by Sampada Aranke (Ph.D. ’13) and Dan Nadel.

Read more about Henderson and this exhibition here.

Pink Martini featuring China Forbes at Mondavi

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall

Drawing inspiration from music from all over the world — crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop —Thomas Lauderdale founded the “little orchestra” Pink Martini in his hometown of Portland, Oregon in 1994. One year later, Lauderdale called China Forbes, a Harvard classmate who was living in New York City, and asked her to join Pink Martini. They began to write songs together. Their first song “Sympathique (Je ne veux pas travailler)”became an overnight sensation in France, was nominated for “Song of the Year” at France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards, and to this day remains a mantra (“Je ne veux pas travailler” or “I don’t want to work”) for striking French workers. Says Lauderdale, “We’re very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad and therefore have the incredible diplomatic opportunity to represent a broader, more inclusive America... the America which remains the most heterogeneously populated country in the world... composed of people of every country, every language, every religion.

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

‘Shonna McDaniels: The Black Woman Experience’ Opens at Gallery 625

Feb. 3 – April 4, opening reception Friday, Feb. 3, 5:30-8 p.m, Woodland

YoloArts is pleased to present solo exhibition of paintings by Shonna McDaniels, visual artist, teacher, muralist, community activist, and Executive Director of Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum, Sacramento.

Find more information here

Coming Up

Becca Stevens at Mondavi

Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023 - 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall

Well-Being Ticket Deal: February

The deal: $10 for staff and faculty (tickets available through Feb. 8, limit two per person). Click on sub-headline above to buy tickets; the promo code is preloaded.

Becca Stevens stretches the boundaries of convention with songs that weave together her classical and Appalachian folk music upbringing and her love of the rich rhythms and harmonies of jazz and world music, enhanced by her skill on multiple string instruments. 

The North Carolina native and Brooklyn transplant straddles those two worlds, with music that moves in unpredictably fascinating directions. Smart lyrics and funky beats topped with her remarkable vocal gifts are hallmarks of her most recent album, Wonderbloom, a record that Jazz Magazine described as “sophisticated and sensual pop.” Find more information and purchase tickets for the Mondavi Center event here.

Trio Foss next week

Feb. 9, 12:05 – 1 p.m., a Shinkoskey Noon Concert, free, Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Trio Foss includes Hrabba Atladottir, violin; Nina Flyer, cello; and Miles Graber, piano.

The program includes György Kurtág: Varga Bálint Ligaturája, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Trio in E Major, K. 542, Johannes Brahms: Trio No. 2 in C Major, op. 87.

Icelandic violinist Hrabba Atladottir has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in several Northern California ensembles, including UC Davis’s Empyrean Ensemble, The New Century Chamber Orchestra, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, ECO, and the SF Contemporary Music Players. Before coming to California, she spent time in New York, where she played on a regular basis with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra among others. She studied violin with Professor Axel Gerhardt at Künste University, Berlin. After her studies in Germany she participated in a world tour with the Icelandic pop artist Björk and a tour with violinist Nigel Kennedy. She also freelanced in Germany, regularly playing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsche Oper, and Deutsche Symphonieorchester.

Find more information here.

The “Reckoning” in American Art History and Art Museums

Feb. 9, 4:30 – 6 p.m., Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

Art historians and curators Bridget Cooks and Nana Adusei-Poku discuss art, museums and demands for change in the age of Black Lives Matter with museum educator Stacey Shelnut-Hendrick. They consider the complexities of rethinking art history and museum practices through the lens of Blackness and explore how artists are imagining worlds of Black freedom.

Nana Adusei-Poku is an assistant professor in African Diasporic art history in the Department of History of Art at U.C. Berkeley. She is the editor of the forthcoming book Reshaping the Field: Art of the African Diasporas on Display and curated the seminal exhibition Black Melancholia at the CCS Bard Galleries, Bard College, New York.

Bridget Cooks is a professor at UC Irvine with a joint appointment in visual culture and African American studies. She is the author of the groundbreaking book Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum (2010). She curated the traveling exhibition The Black Index and Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective at the California African American Museum.

Stacey Shelnut-Hendrick, deputy director of public engagement and learning at the Chrysler Museum of Art, has held positions at the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Studio Museum, Harlem, N.Y.; and the James E. Lewis Museum, Baltimore. She is known for innovative community-based museum programs, such as ArtPower and Block by Block. More information here.

Media Resources

Media contact: Karen Nikos-Rose, Arts Blog Editor, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu; 530-219-5472

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