DOUBLE TROUBLE: UC Davis' Empyrean Ensemble announced a pair of concerts titled Double Trouble, a program featuring a double concerto for two violas. The concerts are set for 8 p.m. April 1 in the Studio Theatre of the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts and 8 p.m. April 27 at Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., San Francisco.
A preconcert talk is scheduled at 7 p.m. April 1 in the Studio Theatre, with Sam Nichols hosting the talk with fellow composers Kurt Rohde and Peter Josheff.
The ensemble is described as being "skilled at the performance of new music (and) dedicated to the showcasing of contemporary classical works, whether created by eminent composers or virtual unknowns."
Rohde, a violist and the ensemble's co-director, composed the program's title piece in 2002, and wrote it especially for the ensemble. Besides two violas, Double Trouble also calls for flute, clarinet, piano, violin and cello.
The program also lists Sheila Silver's G Whiz, for two violins and percussion; Harold Meltzer's Rumors, for solo flute; Lee Hyla's We Speak Etruscan, for bass clarinet and baritone saxophone; and the world premiere of Josheff's Viola and Mallets, featuring Ellen Ruth Rose on viola and Chris Froh on percussion. Josheff, a clarinetist, is one of the ensemble's seven core players.
Tickets for the Studio Theatre concert are available through the Mondavi Center box office, (530) 754-2787 or (866) 754-2787, or www.mondaviarts.org. Tickets for the Old First Church concert are available by telephone, (415) 474-1608, and online, www.oldfirstconcerts.orgA=
AT THE MONDAVI:
Gilberto Gil -- Singer, instrumentalist and composer with a long career in Brazilian pop music. 8 p.m. March 27, Jackson Hall.
Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau -- Jazz guitarist Metheny and pianist Mehldau share the stage with Mehldau's regular trio partners, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard. 8 p.m. March 29, Jackson Hall.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra -- Performing Igor Stravinsky's Suite from Pulcinella; Robert Schumann's romantic Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A Minor, op. 54, featuring 23-year-old Jonathan Biss as soloist; and Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 5 in E-Flat Major, op. 82. Andrew Davis, conductor. 8 p.m. March 31, Jackson Hall.
Delfeayo Marsalis -- The jazz trombonist brings both classical training and New Orleans funk to his music. Marsalis, set to appear here with his quintet, is the brother of trumpeter Wynton and saxophonist Branford. 8 p.m. April 3-7, Studio Theatre.
Soweto Gospel Choir -- This South African group blends tribal, traditional and popular African and Western gospel music and dance. 8 p.m. April 7, Jackson Hall.
CHOOSING OUR WORDS: Renny Pritikin, director of UC Davis' Nelson Gallery, has penned a poetry collection titled How We Talk, and a publication release event for the book is planned from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 28 at the Rena Bransten Gallery, 77 Geary St., San Francisco. The collection, according to the publisher, the Collective Foundation Pod Press, reflects Pritikin's interest "in how we choose our words and how they attempt to convey meeting."