Check it out
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, May 17
Where: Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets: $25 general, $12.50 students; www.mondaviarts.org, 530-754-2787
The six musicians who make up the group yMusic — performing music that falls somewhere between classical and indie pop — will bring contemporary music for string trio, flute, clarinet and trumpet to the Mondavi Center on Saturday, May 17, at 8 p.m. The student-oriented concert is being promoted by the Aggie Arts Intern program.
The band — or should we call them a chamber group? — will be performing on the Jackson Hall stage, and the audience will be up on the stage as well, in bleacher-style seating for up to 310 people. The idea is to present the music in a more informal setting, along the lines of a warehouse theater in an urban community.
yMusic’s debut album “Beautiful Mechanical” came out in 2011; Time Out New York picked the album as its Classical Record of the Year, and dubbed the members of yMusic “six hip virtuosi.” The group expects to release a second album later this year.
The members of yMusic are:
* Rob Moose, violin and guitar. Moose is a member of the popular indie folk group Bon Iver, which performed at Freeborn Hall in 2012, which led to discussions about yMusic coming to the Mondavi Center for a concert. In addition to his work as performer and arranger with Bon Iver, Moose has been involved as a recording artist with pop groups like Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire, as well classical artists like Joshua Bell.
Moose plays a duet with mandolinist Chris Thile on the soon-to-be-released album “Red Hot + Bach” (due in June from Sony Music Masterworks). Earlier this spring, Thile gave a well-received concert featuring Bach transcriptions at the Mondavi Center.
* CJ Camerieri, trumpet, French horn, keyboard. Also a member of Bon Iver, Camerieri will be playing in Paul Simon’s touring band this year. Camerieri trained at Juilliard in classical trumpet, he and Moose were founders of yMusic in 2008.
* Clarice Jensen, cello. Jensen earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at Juilliard, and has performed with symphony orchestras and recorded with Hauschka (an innovative pianist who performed at the Mondavi Center a few years ago), as well as the pop band Arcade Fire and composer/performer Nico Muhly.
* Alex Sopp, flute. Another Juilliard grad (bachelor’s and master’s), Sopp has performed with the New York Philharmonic and also has performed at the BBC Proms and other festivals. She has commissioned, premiered and recorded works by figures as divers as Björk and Philip Glass.
* Hideaki Aomori, clarinet. Another Juilliard alum, Aomori has performed with artists ranging from Tito Puente to the Moscow Chamber Orchestra to Emmylou Harris and the late Lou Reed. Aomori also has toured with composer/songwriter Duncan Sheik, a creator of the musical “Spring Awakening.”
* Nadia Sirota, viola. Yet another Juilliard alum, Sirota has played with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and Alarm Will Sound; both ensembles have performed at the Mondavi Center in the past. Her 2009 debut album, “First Things First,” was well reviewed by the New York Times, and her second album, “Baroque,” came out in 2013.
Sara Phelps, a second-year student at UC Davis majoring in human development and Spanish, is one of the Aggie arts interns working on the concert. She said she’s impressed that each member of the yMusic collaborative manages to maintain an individual career as a composer/performer, in addition to their role in the group.
UCD student Andrea Hasson, a nutrition major who will graduate next month, said the Mondavi concert will include a bulletin board titled “Why Music?” Those in the audience will be invited to write a note expressing their response to this open-ended question, and post it.
Hasson and Phelps said they’re getting word about the concert to students through email, Facebook, paper fliers distributed around the campus, and even chalk messages written on sidewalks.
It’s no secret that one goal of the event is to get busy college students into the Mondavi Center, with the hope that they’ll hear something they like, and return.
“I came into this internship knowing nothing about classical music,” Hasson said. “And I went to one concert and fell in love — it was the Bahia Youth Orchestra (a Brazilian group that performed in Jackson Hall earlier this year). “Hopefully, we can encourage people to come out and experience yMusic.”
Tickets are $25 general, $12.50 for UC Davis students, available at www.mondaviarts.org or 530-754-2787.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8055.