Ranky Tanky
Ranky Tanky performs music performed by the Gullah culture at the Mondavi Center on April 1, 2023 | Credit: Peter Frank Edwards

In the 2022–2023 season, the Mondavi Center will celebrate 20 years of hosting the finest in music, dance, speakers, and theater. Presented by the Nancy and Hank Fisher Family Fund, the season’s musical offerings include classical music concerts ranging from symphonies to soloists, jazz combos to bluegrass bands, as well as modern, folk, and ballet dance companies.As Mondavi Center Executive Director Don Roth describes building the upcoming programs:

We knew that our 20th Anniversary Season needed to be special … What we didn't know, when we first starting thinking about this anniversary season, is that we would be emerging from a time that has challenged everyone one of us, our staff, the artists we present, and the patrons we welcome. I feel so fortunate that I get to work with the great Mondavi Center team to provide the kinds of restorative experiences — through music, dance, theater, and lectures — that can lift us out of our daily life and concerns, and provide enrichment, entertainment and joy.”

The 2022–2023 season starts with a bang on Oct. 6 when the San Francisco Symphony takes the stage under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen with featured soprano Golda Schultz. That opening show marks almost 20 years to the day that the Symphony appeared at the Mondavi Center’s Opening Gala. Bookending the season is another orchestra concert on May 21, 2023, with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra featuring conductor Osmo Vänskä and Yefim Bronfman on piano. Look for the City of Birmingham Orchestra with cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason on Oct. 15.

Alexander String Quartet
The Alexander String Quartet holds forth in three concerts this coming season.

Chamber music highlights include American Bach Soloists in “A Baroque Christmas” (Dec 17), Michael Barenboim and West-Eastern Divan Ensemble (Mar. 10, 2023), and Recovered Voices (April 10–11, 2023). Mondavi’s “house band,” the venerable Alexander String Quartet (with musicologist Robert Greenberg) makes three appearances (Dec 4, Jan.15, April 2).

Some of the world’s great recitalists appear this coming season, too, starting with violinist Joshua Bell (Dec. 10), followed by violinist Itzhak Perlman with pianist Rohan de Silva (Jan. 14), power trio Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-Yo Ma (Jan. 24), and pianist Vladimir Feltsman (April 8).

Highlighting music based in the African American experience, Notes on Hope is a new creation mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges with percussionist Ulysses Owens Jr. (April 30), while Lara Downes with author/scholar John McWhorter will use music and spoken word to explore Scott Joplin and the Birth of American Music (May 5).

For terpsichorean thrills, check out Ballet Preljocaj in a modern take on Swan Lake (March 5, 2023), followed by the Dublin Irish Dance’s “Wings: A Celtic Celebration” (4/14), and the always-exciting Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in their first Mondavi appearance since 2013 (April 18–19).

Jazz fans can settle into the club-like surroundings of the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre for three three-night runs this season: pianists Connie Han (Oct. 20–22) and Emmet Cohen (Nov. 17–19) each lead their acclaimed trios, while Sammy Miller & The Congregation brings its infectious brand of jazz (Feb. 16–18, 2023). In Jackson Hall, look for the brilliant Cecile McLorin Salvant (Jan. 27) and Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez and percussionist Pedrito Martinez (Feb. 24).

Emmet Cohen Trop
The Emmet Cohen Trio tales over the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre for three nights starting Nov. 17.

American roots-music enthusiasts have plenty to enjoy this year. Bluegrass has been part of many Mondavi seasons, and they turn up the juice a bit with an all-star quartet featuring mandolinists Sam Bush and Mike Marshall alongside bassist Edgar Meyer and his son, violinist George Meyer (Jan. 20, 2023). North Carolina native Becca Stevens combines jazz, Appalachian folk music, indie rock, and pop (Feb. 9), and Ranky Tanky performs music inspired by the Gullah culture, joined by multi-instrumentalist Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops (April 1).

There are also genre-defying concerts featuring the likes of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (April 28, 2023), theatrical events including Why Not Theatre’s Prince Hamlet (Oct. 21–22), world-music treats such as the Yamato taiko drummers in “Hinotori: The Wings of Phoenix” (Feb. 26, 2023), and more.

And if all that wasn’t enough, “Weird Al” Yankovic appears in a just-added preseason concert (Sept. 24).

See the full roster at the Mondavi Center’s season announcement page.

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