University Symphony Orchestra
David Milnes, music director
William Wang, piano
Kyle Ko, french horn
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 2
GLIÈRE Horn Concerto,
STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegels Merry Pranks
free and open to the public
Since its inception in 1968, Cal Day has exhibited the diversity of the UC Berkeley experience to much acclaim. First held as a one-time event to celebrate the schools centennial, the event was received well enough for the campus to decide to hold a similar open house every five years and eventually, every year.
At Cal Day, visitors have been regaled with everything from tales of working with llamas in Peru to football scrimmages to Nobel Prize winners explaining the significance of their work. In 2014, they even got to see the campuss Big C in its traditional King Albert yellow, after Chancellor Nicholas Dirks repainted the landmark the week before.
Along with such spectacles, Cal Day has provided an opportunity for the public to engage with the implications of events that had or could have a direct impact on their lives, however sobering or optimistic.
Established in 1923, the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra is the oldest performing arts ensemble in the University of California system. Throughout its long history, the orchestra has provided students and other members of the campus community with the opportunity to expand their musical talents, while at the same time presenting outstanding musical programs to the campus and wider Bay Area communities. Past conductors have included Modeste Alloo, Albert Elkus, Joaquin Nin-Culmell, Michael Senturia, and Jung Ho-Pak. David Milnes, who is also Music Director for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, has served as the University Symphony Orchestras Music Director since 1996. Rehearsing and performing works of faculty and graduate student composers has long been a core mission for the orchestra; the Symphonys program regularly feature the world premiere of a major new work by a Berkeley composer. In addition, the orchestra has premiered several works of established composers. The University Symphony Orchestra now performs several evening and noon concerts each semester, supports a chamber orchestra, and continues during the summer months as the UC Berkeley Summer Symphony (link). An annual concerto competition (link) results in concerto performances by the orchestras leading soloists, and regular coaching for each section are given by a number of Bay Area professional musicians.