“Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, said Monday it was dedicating itself to a new mission: promoting artistic literacy and diversifying the audiences of the events it presents,” writes Michael Cooper in Monday’s (2/9) New York Times. Known as Berkeley Radical (“Research and Development Initiative in Creativity, Arts, Learning”), the initiative will “combine performances, artistic residencies, new commissions, academics partnerships, community outreach and digital distribution through iTunes. Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela will inaugurate the program in September when they take a Cal Performances residency that … will culminate in an outdoor performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the campus’s Hearst Greek Theater, featuring local choruses and youth choruses.” Matías Tarnopolsky, executive and artistic director of Cal Performances, said that “the new initiative would build on a program supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that creates full-credit courses at Berkeley based on or inspired by presentations at Cal Performances…. Future installments include, in 2016, a look at the intersection of art, culture and the environment through a multimedia presentation of Messiaen’s ‘From the Canyons to the Stars’ pegged to the centennial of the National Park Service, performed by the St. Louis Symphony and with visuals by Deborah O’Grady.”

Posted February 10, 2015