Director's Choice Series
As Executive Director of the Mondavi Center I have the privilege, along with my colleague and Associate Executive Director Jeremy Ganter, to select the artists that make up each season. The Director’s Choice series, then, offers me a place to narrow my focus to a selection of shows that are of particular interest.
This season’s selection of three performances is special, as each of them came to fruition due to one of the many relationships we have built over the first 10 years.
The Mondavi Center’s membership in Music Accord—a commissioning partnership among a number of leading music presenters—and a generous grant from The Mellon Foundation made the world premiere of a new song cycle by Mark Adamo possible. Thomas Hampson is a profound baritone, and the Jupiter String Quartet represents a new wave of string quartets that are moving this venerable chamber form forward. If you have not heard Adamo’s music, I think you will find it wonderfully lyrical—this should be a remarkable evening.
Many of you witnessed Christopher Taylor’s astounding performance—from memory!—of Olivier Messiaen’s Vingt Regards. Taylor returns with another blockbuster work, the Goldberg Variations, and the Steinway-Moór Concert Grand, the only surviving dual manual Steinway in existence. The two keyboards make some of the trickier passages in the Goldbergs more manageable, though certainly not easy!
We presented Mexican tenor David Lomelí during the first Rising Stars of Opera performance, when he was still a part of the San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellow program. The trajectory of his career has been appropriately stellar since then, with a stream of international engagements and the endorsement of the great tenor Placido Domingo. I advise you to catch him now!
As always, taking the series ride is half the fun. You save money, discover new artists and get access to great seats before they go on sale to the public. I personally invite you to take this journey with us.
Don Roth, Ph.D. Executive Director
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