UC Davis Mondavi Center Celebrates Its 23rd Season

Highlights This Season Include Orchestras, Jazz, Dance Performances, Family Events

Photo montage of performers coming to the Mondavi Center this season.
A diverse array of artists and performers visit the Mondavi Center for its 23rd season. Pictured are Benjamin Beilman, Ekep Nkwelle, Aida Cuevas, Sean Mason, and Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. Courtesy, Mondavi Center)

The Mondavi Center announces its 2024-25 season of performing arts with new executive director Jeremy Ganter. Among the diverse array of artists and performers visiting the Mondavi Center, some familiar favorites are making a return including Joshua Bell, San Francisco Symphony, Terence Blanchard, Pink Martini and Aida Cuevas. 

Tickets go on sale to the public May 20. 

The Mondavi Center presents a full range of performing arts to the region. 

“We are committed, more than ever, to introduce you to the next generation of stars and those exceptional artists that might fly below your radar.” — Executive Director Jeremy Ganter 

“I encourage you to explore my Director’s Choice selections, and to join us as we get to know pianists like Bruce Liu and Sean Mason, violinist Théotime Langlois de Swarte with Les Arts Florissants, the amazing Ekep Nkwelle with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan and a unique theatrical experience at Mrs. Krishnan’s Party.”


Randall Goosby, London Philharmonic Orchestra (Courtesy, Mondavi Center)
Randall Goosby, London Philharmonic Orchestra (Courtesy, Mondavi Center)

The London Philharmonic Orchestra makes its Mondavi Center debut with performances from acclaimed violinist Randall Goosby, whom the Los Angeles Times calls “an angel with nothing to prove. A cool, calm, collected angel.” That concert is Oct. 9 with principal conductor Edward Gardner.

Academy of St Martin in the Fields (Feb. 27) continues to push the boundaries of player-directed performance to new heights with fresh, brilliant interpretations of the world’s greatest orchestral music accompanied by Bruce Liu. 

In addition, the London Symphony Orchestra (Feb. 22) returns to the Mondavi Center with violinist Janine Jansen, and famed Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen makes his long-awaited Mondavi Center debut with the San Francisco Symphony for a performance of soaring Beethoven works on May 31.

String quartets

Celebrate 44 years of musicmaking with the Alexander String Quartet’s final Mondavi Center concert on Dec. 1. 

The Isidore String Quartet makes their Mondavi Center debut with a compelling program (Feb. 23) that includes Mozart’s most famous quartet, Grammy-winning composer Billy Child’s moving “Unrequited” and one of Beethoven’s last works. 

Curtis on Tour group photo
Erinys Quartet (Courtesy, Mondavi Center).

Michelle Cann, one of the most sought-after pianists of her generation, and the Erinys Quartet (May 4) perform as part of Curtis on Tour, the Nina von Maltzahn global touring initiative of the famed Curtis Institute of Music.

Classical music performances

Benjamin Beilman is one of the leading violinists of his generation, winning praise from The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Times. He’ll be joined by Steven Osborne — a Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist of the Year — for a riveting performance of some of the classical world’s most prized works on March 7.

For their Mondavi Center debut, Baroque superstars Les Arts Florissants are joined by fast-rising violinist Théotime Langlois de Swarte in “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at 300” on March 21, and the legendary music director of Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Joshua Bell, returns to the Mondavi Center joined by pianist Peter Dugan for a very special recital performance on April 4.

Holiday shows

Get ready for a pair of holiday performances that are sure to please. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (Dec. 3) brings holiday cheer — and a glimpse at the future of jazz — to Jackson Hall with help from rising star vocalists Ekep Nkwelle and Robbie Lee.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Pink Martini returns to the Mondavi Center on Dec. 4 with its festive holiday show featuring sublime lead singer China Forbes. Pink Martini is renowned for a repertoire featuring songs in 25 languages, so expect a multilingual musical journey as the much-loved “little orchestra” performs classic holiday songs like “White Christmas.”


Seven-time Grammy winner and two-time Oscar nominee Terence Blanchard returns to the Mondavi Center stage for an unforgettable night celebrating the 20th anniversary of his seminal album, FLOW, on April 11.

Julia Keefe Indigenous Big Band (Courtesy, Monvavi Center)
Julia Keefe Indigenous Big Band (Courtesy, Mondavi Center)


Continuing a little-known but rich history of big bands that formed on reservations during the early 20th century, the Julia Keefe Indigenous Big Band brings charisma, passion, and purpose to the Mondavi stage on May 8. 

Experience the innovation and remarkable breadth of style that has earned Sean Mason a spot among the rising stars in jazz from Oct. 10 to 12. Mason’s Mondavi Center debut is a chance to discover one of the most celebrated artists on the contemporary music scene live in concert.

Youn Sun Nah (Nov. 7-9) has been hailed for her style-blurring renditions of artists spanning from Tom Waits and Jimi Hendrix to Marvin Gaye and Metallica. Her newest album, Elles sees Youn Sun Nah bringing her remarkable voice and unique perspective to a range of songs.

Aaron Diehl (Courtesy, Mondavi Center)
Aaron Diehl (Courtesy, Mondavi Center)

Pianist Aaron Diehl has quietly redefined the lines between jazz and classical, building a global career around his nuanced, understated approach to music-making. Diehl brings his exceptional artistry to the Mondavi Center from Jan. 16 to 18 for a chance to experience this one-of-a-kind talent.

Heloísa Fernandes’ original compositions (Feb. 13-15) are profoundly influenced by literature, poetry, nature, classical music, jazz and Brazilian music. Her music blossoms with rhythmic vitality and melodic delicacy, a style that has garnered her worldwide attention.

Global roots

As the first and only female singer in the traditional mariachi genre to ever win a Grammy and a Latin Grammy, Aida Cuevas’ Mondavi Center performance on Oct. 5 features a 40th anniversary celebration of her iconic album Canta a Juan Gabriel.

Mariza (Oct. 18) is an artist who transcends her own name, regarded as one of the most applauded stars on the World Music circuit and a true ambassador of the melancholy, blues-like Portuguese fado, boldly taking it along new and daring paths, without ever losing sight of its soul.

In their Mondavi Center performance, Velocity (March 15) breaks away from the idea of what an Irish dance show should be and is an expressive, free, fast-paced and edgy experience, driven by passion and pride that’s like nothing you’ve seen before. 

The word performance can’t fully describe the experience that is Yamato. This Japanese taiko drumming group looms (and booms) large, with more than 40 taiko drums on stage representing different characters on March 16.

Ukrainian “ethno chaos” band DakhaBrakha (April 9) creates a world of unexpected new music. DakhaBrakha’s musical spectrum is at first intimate then riotous, plumbing the depths of contemporary roots and rhythms.

Movement and dance

Performers leaping in air.
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan (Courtesy, Mondavi Center).

Formed in Taiwan in 1973, Cloud Gate is known for transforming ancient aesthetics into a thrilling and modern celebration of motion. Their performance 13 Tongues (Nov. 7) is inspired by artistic director Cheng Tsung-lung’s childhood and has been lauded as “a sensationally big, indulgent, and visually arresting expression of cultural memory” (The Times). 

Bereishit is like nothing we’ve seen on the Mondavi Center stage. The company’s inspired program consists of Balance & Imbalance, a meditation on human relationships and Judo, a piece that explores violence and sports rules, or conflict and cooperation on Feb. 20.

Broken Seeds Still Grow dance project by Nava Dance Theater and Rupy C. Tut (March 14-15) sources poetry, eyewitness accounts and current events to understand the current political climate while reflecting on what it means to belong in the United States.

Opus by Circa
Opus by Circa (Courtesy, Mondavi Center)

Opus by Circa (April 6) explores the complex relationships between the individual and the group, between the march of history and what dictates the heart, and between the tragic and the comic. It’s a melding of music and bodies at the highest level producing a groundbreaking work of intense power, one The Guardian calls “extraordinarily moving.”


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. Today, Rising Stars of Opera (Feb. 2) features several singers from the acclaimed San Francisco Opera Center performing a wide range of great arias with full orchestral accompaniment from our own UC Davis Symphony Orchestra.

Humor, speakers

Baratunde Thurston, host of the PBS television series America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston, will speak Oct. 23 on the future of A.I. providing a helpful framework for deciding how and if to use A.I. tools. 

Dubbed “one of the country’s best sociopolitical comedians” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), W. Kamau Bell returns to his stand-up roots bringing his keen brand of comedy to Jackson Hall for an illuminating night of stand-up on Nov. 8. 

Family fun, film, music

Spider-Man TM: Across the Spider-Verse comes to spin a musical web over the Mondavi Center audience featuring an incredible and groundbreaking soundtrack that’s been heralded for its unique mix of orchestral-meets-electronic music and scratch DJ’ing on Oct. 19. 

Latin Grammy and Grammy winners for “Best Children’s Music Album,” 123 Andrés’ joy-filled bilingual performances (Nov. 17) are known for getting audiences out of their seats, dancing, singing and learning, and their Mondavi Center show is sure to charm guests of all ages.

For one night (Nov. 22), treat the Encanto lovers in your family to a sing-along unlike any other. Sing along with the Grammy-winning songs penned by living legend Lin-Manuel Miranda accompanied by a live band. 

Animated members of Encanto cast shown in bright village scape
(Courtesy photo, Mondavi Center)

Afrique en Cirque by Yamoussa Bangoura showcases the beauty, youth and artistry of African culture in a performance inspired by daily life in Guinea. Prepare yourself for a colorful show beyond its scenery, costumes and staging, paired with acrobats executing gravity-defying moves on Feb. 23.

Photo of two actors by kitchen
Mrs. Krishnan's Party (Courtesy, Mondavi Center. Photo Credit Ankita Singh.)

In this immersive theatrical production where no two nights are the same, watch actors juggle cooking, music and guests in Mrs. Krishnan’s Party by the Indian Ink Theatre Company April 2-6.

Additional details

Read the 2024-25 digital brochure here.

Subscribe to get great seats for less money. Tickets are on sale beginning May 20, and subscribers can select their own seats both online and over the phone. Build your subscription package at mondaviarts.org/subscribe

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