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The big news of this year’s Berkeley t-strap studded ballet flats Festival and Exhibition isn’t who’s coming, It’s who’s leaving, Robert Cole, who founded the biennial early music festival in 1990, has announced that this will be his final season as executive director, “It’s time,” Cole, a longtime Berkeley resident, said in a recent conversation, “I’ve been doing it for almost 30 years, and I just think it’s time for someone younger to take it over and move it forward.”, Cole has been essential in Bay Area musical life, A brilliant impresario, he was director of Cal Performances from 1986-2009, years that saw the UC Berkeley-based presenting organization bring such starry international acts as mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, choreographers Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham and the Mark Morris Dance Group to the Bay Area, He also played a pivotal role in launching the Green Music Center in Sonoma, which opened in 2012..
His work with the Berkeley Festival has been just as remarkable. During his tenure, he’s presented world-renowned acts such as Musica Antiqua Köln, Vox Luminis, Jordi Savall and Il Giardino Armonico, as well as the French equestrian ballet “Le Carrousel du Roi” and the unforgettable Mark Morris production of Rameau’s comic opera, “Platée.”. Cole’s going out in customary style. This year’s festival, running June 3-11 in venues on and around the UC Berkeley campus, features dozens of headline performances. Top acts include the festival debut of Sequentia, directed by Benjamin Bagby in a program of medieval music; two concerts by Vox Luminis; appearances by the Dark Horse Consort and the Cantata Collective with soprano Sherezade Panthaki. Rounding out the calendar are more than 70 “Fringe Festival” acts and the Festival “Exhibition and Marketplace,” featuring publishers, instrument makers, scholars, retail and performing organization reps.
Cole t-strap studded ballet flats has also programmed local early music specialists in intriguing combinations, The Berkeley-based Voices of Music will partner with the San Francisco Girls Chorus in a concert production of Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas.” Several events feature new music for old instruments, “It’s stretching early music beyond the Baroque,” Cole said, “based on the idea that everything is not about when the music was written, It’s about how it’s played.” Highlights include tenor Nicholas Phan with artists from the Valley of the Moon Festival, performing works by Schubert and Schumann; and an event focusing on Debussy piano music “played on an instrument like the one Debussy played at the start of the 20th century,” Cole said..
Speaking of playing, Cole isn’t exactly retiring. He still works behind the scenes on music projects with his wife, Susan Muscarella, who is president of the California Jazz Conservatory. He’s also enjoyed a long career as a conductor – local audiences will remember him on the Zellerbach Hall podium, leading Tchaikovsky’s complete “Nutcracker” score for performances of Mark Morris’ “The Hard Nut.”. These days, though, he’s focusing on playing music rather than presenting it. He’s returned to his first instrument, clarinet, and is also playing viola. “I’m playing string quartets, clarinet quintets,” Cole said. “I didn’t play for many years – during the time I was a conductor and a manager, I didn’t really have time to practice. Now I’m really into it and actually enjoying it more than I did when I was young.”.
Details: Berkeley Festival and Exhibition; June 3-11 at various Berkeley venues; 510-528-1725, www.berkeleyfestival.org, END OF THE CARNEIRO ERA: Joana Carneiro, Berkeley Symphony’s music director for the past nine seasons, announced last week that she will step down at the end of the 2017-18 season to become music director emerita, Throughout her tenure, Carneiro, who succeeded music director Kent Nagano in 2009, championed new music, commissioning 13 new works and conducting 14 world premieres, one U.S, premiere and 10 West Coast premieres, Among her other initiatives were a new chamber music series and partnerships with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) and the t-strap studded ballet flats San Francisco Conservatory of Music..
With the announcement, Carneiro said “I love this orchestra and the Berkeley community. I am so proud of what I have been able to accomplish together with this extraordinary organization over the past nine years.” Conductors Ming Luke, Jonathon Heyward, Christopher Rountree and Christian Reif will serve as podium guests in the 2018-19 season, while the Symphony seeks Carneiro’s successor. A LOSS FOR MUSIC: Last week brought the sad news that composer Matt Marks had died at age 38 of heart failure. Marks, a founding member of the contemporary chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound, was both an instrumentalist and an opera composer, and the Bay Area’s West Edge Opera had announced earlier this year that it was including his 2016 opera “Mata Hari” on its summer season.
After Marks’ death, I checked t-strap studded ballet flats in with West Edge general director Mark Streshinsky, “It’s incredibly sad,” he said, adding that Marks had planned to be here for “Mata Hari” rehearsals, “Instead, we will work hard to present it as he would have wanted.” West Edge Opera’s season, which also includes Debussy’s “Pélleas and Mélisande” and Luca Francesconi’s “Quartett,” runs August 4-18 at Richmond’s Craneway Conference Center; 510-841-1903, www.westedgeopera.org, Contact Georgia Rowe at firstname.lastname@example.org..