Violinist Tessa Lark opens Cal Performances at Home in a concert from Merkin Hall in New York City. (Courtesy Ras Dia)

Cal Performances moves from stage to screen

Fall streaming series showcases classical, jazz, multimedia virtuosos

As the pandemic continues to keep live programs out of theaters and concert halls, Cal Performances is moving its 2020 fall season from the University of California, Berkeley campus to computer screens.

Announced today, Cal Performances at Home is a streaming series with 15 new, full-length performance video streams coming from stages, renowned venues, recording studios or homes where musicians and artists are sheltering in place. Running Oct. 1 through Jan. 14, 2021, it’s accompanied by watch parties and behind-the-scenes add-ons.

“In this moment when in-person performances are not yet safe, we have been reminded of the performing arts’ unsurpassed ability to express the power and potential of the human spirit,” said Jeremy Geffen, Cal Performances’ executive and artistic director. “As we approach fall 2020 and what would have been the beginning of our in-person season, Cal Performances’ most pressing goal has become finding a way to enable our audiences to continue to experience what they love about the performing arts.”

The lineup, with most events starting starting at 7 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, includes:

Oct 1: Violinist Tessa Lark and pianist Andrew Armstrong playing folk music from Northern and Eastern Europe and Schubert’s Fantasy in C major

Oct. 8: Tetzlaff Quartet with Beethoven’s late string quartets

Oct. 14: Composer, flutist, vocalist Nathalie Joachim and Spektral Quartet performing “Fanm d’ Ayiti” (“Women of Haiti”), original compositions celebrating female artists from Haiti

Oct. 21: Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society offering “Real Enemies,” a made-for-video adaptation of a multimedia work exploring America’s fascination with conspiracy theories, with music by Argue, text by Isaac Butler and film design by Peter Nigrini

Oct. 29: Manual Cinema’s “Frankenstein,” a piece based on Mary Shelley’s classic story in which hundreds of paper puppets appear in an animated film in real time, along with live actors and a live score performed by four musicians

Nov. 5: Matthew Whitaker, jazz piano and Hammond B-3 organ prodigy, playing originals and classics

Nov. 12: Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han performing a program of complete Beethoven sonatas for their instruments

Nov. 19: Jordi Savall and La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Le Concert des Nations appearing in the streaming premiere of selections from Monteverdi’s Eighth Book of Madrigals

Nov. 27: Cello great Yo-Yo Ma, with details to be announced

Dec. 3: Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes in recital, of music by Mozart, Beethoven, Janáček and Dvořák

Dec. 10: Dover Quartet playing Haydn’s “The Fifths” quartet; Ligeti’s first string quartet and Dvořák’s penultimate Quartet in G major premieres

Dec. 17-19: Manual Cinema returning in a co-commissioned production of “A Christmas Carol”

Dec. 31, 8 p.m.: New Year’s Eve Musical Celebration including soloists, recitalists, jazz artists, and chamber ensembles featured in the fall video series

Jan. 7: Bria Skonberg, trumpeter and vocalist, performs a set recorded at the Louis Armstrong House in Queens, N.Y, of jazz classics, vintage vocal tunes, original compositions and new takes on pop

Jan. 14: Soprano Julia Bullock performs a program to be announced

In addition to streaming shows, Cal Performances also is offering a Digital Classroom, with content for students of varied ages, parents and educators.

Cal Performances at Home tickets for most programs are $15 for a single viewer, $30 for two and $60 per household viewing, with $5 tickets available for UC Berkeley students. They are free for current 2020-21 subscribers as well as those who donate $225 or more. To purchase, visit calperformances.org or call (510) 642-9988.

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