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Spektral Quartet — Clara Lyon (violin), Maeve Feinberg (violin), Doyle Armbrust (viola) and Russell Rolen (cello) — will be a featured ensemble at the Taproot New Music Festival. Courtesy photo

Arts

Taproot New Music Festival composes connections

The Taproot New Music Festival is a festival of fresh new sounds, but it is also about building connections among ensembles, composers and audiences. The seven-concert festival at UC Davis, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, features many university-affiliated artists, but has just as many coming from outside.

The UCD department of music has mounted a new music festival every other year for a decade. Going forward, Taproot will be the name and a mix of UCD and outside ensembles and composers will be the format.

365体育官网“The festival is rooted in this place and produces unique works,” said Sam Nichols, festival coordinator, composer and music department faculty member. “The different groups and people come together and meet one another and share. We didn’t just want groups parachuting in and performing what they might perform elsewhere and then leave.”

Vocal group Quince — comprised of Liz Pearse (soprano), Kayleigh Butcher (mezzo soprano), Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (soprano) and Carrie Henneman Shaw (soprano) — will be a featured ensemble at the Taproot New Music Festival.
365体育官网Courtesy photo

This year Taproot will include four-time Grammy award nominees Spektral Quartet, female vocal group Quince, UC Davis contemporary music group the Empyrean Ensemble, and the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra. Nine works will be premiered during the festival.

365体育官网The festival officially kicks off with a free noon concert on Thursday, Jan. 30, with Spektral Quartet, Quince and Empyrean Ensemble. It continues with concerts throughout the week. The festival will mark the second performance of composer Lisa R. Coons and director Mark DeChiazza’s “The Space Between,” which was premiered by Spektral at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago this month.

A free pre-festival concert of UC Davis percussion students performing selections by Steve Reich will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Davis’ Armadillo Music.

365体育官网Eight composers were selected to create pieces for the festival. They are from the U.S., Russia, Turkey, Singapore and Iran, and include UCD doctoral music composition students Daniel Godsil and Aida Shirazi. The orchestra concert will include a new piece by music director and faculty member Christian Baldini and a recent work by Jean Ahn, who was a participant in a UC Davis new music festival in 2018. Both pieces feature soloist Soo Yeon Lyuh, who performs on the haegeum, a Korean fiddle.

“Our goal was to bring together composers and performers and to share something unique with our audiences here in Northern California,” Nichols said. “Our matchmaking builds real relationships between people who wouldn’t have otherwise met. It offers our community something special — performances of new works written especially for the festival.”

365体育官网Taproot is a collaboration with the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

365体育官网“It’s no small thing that Taproot genuinely ticks the big three boxes of the UC mission — teaching, research and public service,” said Jeremy Ganter, associate executive director of the Mondavi Center. “The music department has built a festival that, all at once, develops new talent, adds new music to the repertoire and creates opportunities for fascinating and provocative live performance.”

For a complete schedule and ticket information, visit .

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