|University of California, Berkeley Chorus
Hometown: Berkeley, California
Web site: http://music.berkeley.edu/performance/ensemble/chorus.php
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Sponsored by the Department of Music, the University Chorus is a select ensemble of approximately eighty singers open to all passionate and skilled singer-musicians in the campus community. Founded in the 1930s by the celebrated American composer Randall Thompson, then a professor at UC Berkeley, the chorus provides our singers and our audiences with a stimulating, varied musical experience every semester. In any four-year cycle, singers can expect to perform repertoire—from a cappella to choral to choral-orchestral, in several languages and from various centuries. In recent years, it has performed Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn Elijah, Fauré Requiem, Brahms Alto Rhapsody, Mahler Symphony No. 3, Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms and other works. Along with concerts on campus, the chorus has been invited to perform with the Midsummer Mozart Festival under George Cleve, the Oakland-East Bay Symphony under Michael Morgan, and with the Berkeley Symphony under Kent Nagano. Later this Fall, on November 30th, the chorus will perform in Zellerbach Hall with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra from Venezuela under the direction of the renowned Gustavo Dudamel.
Conductor Marika Kuzma has gained recognition in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond as a choral director of unusual versatility and high standards. She has directed choirs across North America, including the St. Lawrence Choir, the Handel Society of Dartmouth College, the University of Virginia Singers, the Oakland Symphony Chorus, and her several choirs at the University of California, Berkeley. In the current 2012-13 season, she has been invited to prepare choirs for concerts with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London under Esa-Pekka Salonen and with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Caracas under Gustavo Dudamel. In the 2010-11 season, she conducted Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel with the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio and prepared the UC Chamber Chorus for a performance of James MacMillan Seven Last Words with the Berkeley Symphony under Joana Carneiro. In the 2007-08 season, she was the guest chef de choeur for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under Maestro Kent Nagano. Earlier seasons included numerous collaborations with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan and Jane Glover in productions with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Kuzma’s work with choirs and orchestras is informed by her study of voice and violin from an early age and her love of languages. Of Ukrainian descent, she grew up bilingual Ukrainian-English in an Italian-Irish neighborhood. She has also lived in Austria and French Canada. Kuzma has published articles on the music of Bortniansky, Brahms, and Stravinsky with a particular focus on the interplay of music an words.