Concerts in Context

Interdisciplinary multimedia concerts exploring the 
interrelationships of music, the sister arts, history and society

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The Symphony: 

Bach - Haydn - Webern - Prokofiev

Stravinsky, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes Unanswered Question:  Portrait of Charles Ives  The Romantic Generation
Impressionism, Symbolism and the Music of Claude Debussy Nostalgia and Revolution:  Early Twentieth Century Vienna What is Classical About Classical Music? (UC Irvine Arts Focus)
September 16, 2006 7:30        
Crowder Hall          Free admission               

Concerts in Context: 

The Symphony

Bach:  Sinfonia to Cantata No. 29

Haydn:  Symphony No 88 in G major

Webern:  Symphonie, op. 21

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1, "Classical"

"Sounding together"  is a basic definition of the word.  Explore what these works have in common and how they are very different.


October 22, 2005 at 7:30        
Crowder Hall          Free admission               

Concerts in Context:
Stravinsky, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes

In the years immediately preceding World War I Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev brought to Paris revolutionary and exotic productions of ballet and opera, including Igor Stravinsky's first three great scores:  The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913).  Stravinsky's genius was paired with dancers and choreographers  Vaslav Nizhinsky, Fokine and Massine.  Other Ballets Russes collaborators with Diaghilev included Ravel, Satie, Strauss, de Falla, Bakst,  and Picasso.

Conductor Thomas Cockrell joins with School of Dance professor James Clouser and frequent School of Art instructor Kevin Justus to explore this unique confluence of the arts and the birth of modernism.

Program to include

  • Rimsky-Korsakov: Procession of the Nobles from Mlada
  • Rimsky-Korsakov: excerpt from Scheherazade, choreography by Fokine (Clouser), featuring students from the UA School of Dance
  • Stravinsky:  excerpts from Petrushka and The Rite of Spring
  • Stravinsky:  Suite (1919) from The Firebird

Drawing of Stravinsky by Picasso

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Charles Edward Ives

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March 5, 2005 at 7:30 and March 6, 2005 at 3:00

Concerts in Context: 
Unanswered Question:  A Portrait of Charles Ives

The closing event of the first Arizona Cultural Forum: TRANSCENDENT THOUGHT: A celebration and inquiry into Henry David Thoreau and Charles Edward Ives, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ives' death and the 150th anniversary of Thoreau's Walden.  Guest presenters include Ives biographer Jan Swafford and composers Libby Larsen and Dan Asia.
Faculty artists Rex Woods and Charles Roe perform Ives songs.   Conductor Thomas Cockrell interacts with School of Theatre Arts Professor Harold Dixon who portrays the composer. Written by Forum producer Harry Clark. 

Program to include:

  • Variations on "America", arr. Schuman
  • Fugue from Symphony No. 4
  • Three Places in New England
  • Songs performed by Professors Charles Roe and Rex Woods
  • The Unanswered Question

May 1 and 2, 2004

Concerts in Context:
Impressionism, Symbolism and the Music of Claude Debussy 

Thomas Cockrell, Conductor, Marie-Pierre Le Hir, Associate Professor of French and Paul Ivey Associate Professor of Art History explore the visual, poetic and musical colors, aesthetics and sumptuous ambiguity in the world of Monet, Degas, Verlaine, Mallarmé and Debussy. 

  • Fêtes from Three Noctures 
  • Syrinx Nancy Andrew faculty flautist 
  • Prélude à L'après-midi d'un faune
  • Le Cathédrale Engloutie, Rex Woods, faculty pianist
  • La Mer


Claude Monet

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CONCERTS IN CONTEXT:  Nostalgia and Revolution:  Early 20th Century Vienna

The first in an innovative series of interdisciplinary concert events will focus on the music and visual art in Vienna before and after World War I.  

Conductor Thomas Cockrell and Robert Sherman of New York City's premiere classical radio station WQXR, will offer insight and commentary.   Associate Professor of Art History Paul Ivey will use projections to show the relationship of this music to the art of Klimt, Kandinsky, and others.  It is sure to be an informative and entertaining evening exploring the music, art, history and culture of Europe's musical capital.  

  • J. Strauss Jr.:  Emperor Waltzes

  • Brahms and Berg:  selections from their works for clarinet and piano (1894 and 1914)
       Faculty artists Jerry Kirkbride, clarinet
       Rex Woods, piano

  • Mahler:  Rückertlieder
       Faculty artist Wanda Brister, mezzo-soprano

  • R. Strauss:  Final Trio and Duet from Der Rosenkavalier

  • Schoenberg:  Five Pieces for Orchestra, op. 16

  • Schoenberg:  A Survivor from Warsaw
    Grayson Hirst, faculty narrator
       Men of the Arizona and Symphonic Choirs
           Bruce Chamberlain, director

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March 1 and 2, 2002

CONCERT IN CONTEXT:  The Romantic Generation  

Projections, commentary by Professor Jay Rosenblatt and Thomas Cockrell

  • Mendelssohn: The Hebrides Overture
       Adam Boyles, MM conductor
  • Liszt:  Piano Concerto No. 1
       Nicholas Zumbro, faculty soloist
  • Berlioz:  Romeo Alone - Sadness - Festivities at the Capulet's Palace from Roméo et Juliette
  • Wagner:  Prelude and Transfiguration from Tristan und Isolde

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Aubrey Beardsley

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UCI Arts Focus:

What is "Classic" about Classical Music?

Cockrell leads the UCI Symphony Orchestra in a musical demonstration showing how the classical values of balance and clarity are revealed in the music of Haydn and Mozart. Stephen Barker, professor of drama, will present a slide show and commentary on ancient Greece's influence on later art and architecture, and Christopher Dobrian, assistant professor of music, will give musical examples of how classicism is revealed in surprising ways in 20th-century music. Cockrell and the orchestra tie the evening together with a performance of one of the world's favorite classical masterworks, Haydn's Symphony 104, "London".

"UCI School of the Arts is a unique creative laboratory for our four disciplines--Dance, Drama, Music, and Studio Art--working individually and collaboratively. The Arts Focus series is designed to help our students and our audiences understand the interrelatedness of what we do as artists at UCI. I am confident that lovers of music dance, drama, art and architecture will find themselves challenged and entertained by the program."

  • Webern:  Symphonie, op. 21
  • Haydn:  Symphony No. 104