'April in Santa Cruz' music festival returns to UCSC, April 4-18

All performances are free and open to the public

poppy spring flower
Karlton Hester
Karlton Hester
Splinter Reeds
Splinter Reeds

The UCSC Music Department will present April in Santa Cruz, a two-week series of free performances on campus, April 4-18.

The concerts will include interpretations of landmark works by Luciano Berio, Gyorgi Ligeti, and Lou Harrison, complemented by the music of more than two dozen living composers--including UCSC’s newest doctoral students Pablo Rubio-Vargas, Sarang Kim, and David Kant; returning students Joshua Spitsbergen and David Hernandez, and doctoral candidates Ma'ayan Tsadka, Ittai Rosenbaum, and Andre Marquetti.

“Music from our composition faculty, including two works by Paul Nauert and a rediscovered 1988 work by Karlton Hester, frame a dense and intricate festival this year that culminates in professor Hester's large-scale trans-media collaboration,” noted associate music professor Ben Carson.

All performances take place at the Music Center Recital Hall (except the April 15 event which will be held in Music Studio 131).

The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Parking is $4.

The complete lineup is below:

Friday, April 4--Ensemble Nova & Special Guests

Nicole Paiement directs a diverse concert featuring music of UCSC Professor Karlton Hester and world premieres of works by Sarang Kim and Pablo Rubio-Vargas, with a new solo work by Andre Marquetti premiered by percussionist Daniel Steffey. Tod Brody, Larry Polansky, and Scot Siler present Lois Vierk’s Io. 

Sunday, April 6--San Andreas Quartet

The eclectic new quartet explores new and old music for piano, violin, clarinet, and trombone, with world premieres of music by Jason Federmeyer, Chuck Krenner, and UCSC Professor Paul Nauert. Also featuring the music of Luciano Berio, Caleb Burhans, David Evan Jones, and Vera Ivanova.

Friday, April 11--Lou Harrison’s “La Koro Sutro”

Grammy-nominated percussionist William Winant joins forces with the UCSC Concert Choir, directed by Nathaniel Berman, in Lou Harrison’s groundbreaking 1973 setting of the Heart Sutra. Also on the program: UCSC percussionists premiere music of Joshua Spitsbergen; and guest artists Ward Spangler and Michael Seth Orland perform the music of Hi Kyung Kim and premiere works by Spangler and Ma’ayan Tsadka.

Tuesday, April 15--Splinter Reeds

With clarinets, double reeds, and saxophone, this San Francisco group bends the 20th- and 21st-century “wind quintet” sound in unexpected directions—including new music from David Evan Jones, Ned McGowan, and Matthew Schlomowitz. (Note: This performance will be held in Music Studio 131, a classroom within the Music Center)

Wednesday, April 16--Jeffery LaDeur, piano

Acclaimed San Francisco pianist Jeffrey LaDeur interprets Cindy Cox’s evocative “Sylvan Pieces,” along with the piano music of Derek Bermel and William Bolcom, and Santa Cruz composers Paul Nauert, Larry Polansky, and Ittai Rosenbaum.

Friday, April 18--Hesterian Musicism

Collaborative trans-media work by UCSC Professor Karlton Hester, featuring new compositions by David Hernandez and David Kant.


April in Santa Cruz is presented by the UCSC Music Department with support from UCSC’s Porter College and the UCSC Arts Division. For more information, call the UCSC Arts Division at (831) 459-2787.