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Berkeley’s Crowden Music Center Presents Cello Phenom Jay Campbell on November 12

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Berkeley’s Crowden Music Center Presents
Cello Phenom Jay Campbell on November 12 

23 October 2023 – Berkeley, CA:   Crowden continues its 40th anniversary season on Sunday, November 12, presenting acclaimed cellist Jay Campbell—an Oakland native and an alum of the Crowden School—with Eric Zivian, pianoforte, in an all-Beethoven program.

A global phenomenon who is the only musician ever to receive two Avery Fisher Career Grants —as a soloist, and again as a member of the JACK Quartet—Crowden alum cellist Jay Campbell’s performances have been called “electrifying” (New York Times) and “gentle, poignant, and deeply moving” (Washington Post). He will be joined by local favorite Eric Zivian (Left Coast Ensemble, Valley of the Moon Festival) playing a historic pianoforte, performing three Beethoven sonatas and 7 Variations on “Bei Mannern, welche Liebe Fuhlen.”

General admission tickets are $35, with discounted rates for seniors and students, and a free “Meet-the-Artists” reception. Children 8 to 18 can attend free of charge.

Crowden Music Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary this 2023-24 season, presenting illustrious alumni like Jay Campbell from throughout its history. Established in 1983 and still the only school of its kind in the country, The Crowden School’s unique chamber music-inspired curriculum for grades 3–8 features intellectually engaging collaborative academics side by side with its esteemed music program. Crowden also serves more than 1,000 community music students of all ages and levels of experience. Flagship programs for the general community include its John Adams Young Composers Program and acclaimed chamber music workshops for youth and adults. Crowden reaches a combined audience of 8,000 with a rich array of workshops, events, and concerts each year.

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Jay Campbell, cello (Crowden School Class of 2003)

Crowden alum Jay Campbell (’03) is a cellist actively exploring a wide range of creative music. He has been recognized for approaching both old and new music with the same curiosity and commitment, and his performances have been called “electrifying” by the New York Times and “gentle, poignant, and deeply moving” by the Washington Post.

The only musician ever to receive two Avery Fisher Career Grants — in 2016 as a soloist, and again in 2019 as a member of the JACK Quartet — Jay made his concerto debut with the New York Philharmonic in 2013 and in 2016, he worked with Alan Gilbert as the artistic director for Ligeti Forward, part of the New York Philharmonic Biennale at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2017, he was Artist-in-Residence at the Lucerne Festival along with frequent collaborator violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, where he gave the premiere of Luca Francesconi’s cello concerto Das Ding Singt. In 2018 he appeared at the Berlin Philharmonie with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. He has recorded the concertos of George Perle and Marc-Andre Dalbavie with the Seattle Symphony, and in 2023/2024 will premiere a new concerto, Reverdecer, by Andreia Pinto-Correia with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Portugal, and in Brazil with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo. In 2022 he returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic as curator and cellist for his second Green Umbrella concert, premiering two concertos by Wadada Leo Smith and inti figgis-vizueta. 

Jay’s primary artistic interest is the collaboration with living creative musicians and has worked in this capacity with Catherine Lamb, John Luther Adams, Marcos Balter, Tyshawn Sorey, and many others. His close association with John Zorn resulted in two discs of new works for cello, Hen to Pan (2015) and Azoth (2020). Deeply committed as a chamber musician, he is the cellist of the JACK Quartet as well as the Junction Trio with violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Conrad Tao, and multidisciplinary collective AMOC.

Jay is a graduate of The Crowden School, Class of 2003.

Eric Zivian, pianoforte

Eric Zivian received music degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Yale School of Music. He studied piano with Gary Graffman and Peter Serkin and composition with Ned Rorem, Jacob Druckman, and Martin Bresnick.

Eric is equally at home on modern and period instruments. He is Music Director of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, a festival in Sonoma specializing in Classical and Romantic chamber music played on period instruments, and a longtime member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in San Francisco.

Eric recently performed the Mozart C minor Concerto with the Portland Baroque Orchestra and the Beethoven Choral Fantasy with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. At the height of the pandemic, Eric livestreamed all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas on period pianos.


Crowden 40th Anniversary 2023–2024 Season Calendar

November 12, 2023, 4:00pm
Sundays @ Four: Jay Campbell (’03)
Crowden Music Center (1475 Rose St., Berkeley)

The only musician ever to receive two Avery Fisher Career Grants —as a soloist, and again as a member of the JACK Quartet—Crowden alum cellist Jay Campbell’s performances have been called “electrifying” (New York Times) and “gentle, poignant, and deeply moving” (Washington Post).


March 3, 2024, 4:00pm
Sundays @ Four: Fry Street Quartet
Crowden Music Center (1475 Rose St., Berkeley)

Hailed as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by the New York Times, this globally acclaimed, Fischoff Grand Prize-winning quartet of sometimes Crowden summer faculty members perform Beethoven, Lena Frank, and Shostakovich.

Ludwig van Beethoven Quartet in F Major, Op.135
Gabriela Lena Frank: New commission, due Fall 2023 (will not be premiere
Dmitri Shostakovich Quartet No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 117


April 21, 2024, 4:00pm
Sundays @ Four: Catalyst Quartet
Crowden Music Center (1475 Rose St., Berkeley)

Grammy® Award-winning Catalyst Quartet, featuring alumna Karla Donehew Perez (’99), tours the world to acclaim for its “perfect ensemble unity” and “unequaled class of execution” (Lincoln Journal Star).

 “But just a minute”, Paquito D’Rivera
“Farewell mambo”, P. D’Rivera
“Wapango”, P. D’Rivera
Angel Suite, Astor Piazzolla (arr. Catalyst Quartet)
String Quartet, Germaine Tailleferre (Gershwin lullaby)
String Quartet in F Major, Maurice Ravel


May 25, 2024

Crowden 40th Anniversary Concert & Reception
Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley
An unforgettable showcase at of Crowden alumni, mentors, and friends at Hertz Hall, including Bonnie Hampton, Audrey Vardanega, the Catalyst Quartet, and more. This program features perennial Crowden favorites paired with special moments, including a work composed by our greatest benefactor, composer Gordon Getty, and the world premiere of a new work for two violins and string orchestra by Samuel Adams, commissioned for our 40th anniversary and premiered by two acclaimed Crowden violinists: Nora Chastain, a student of founder Anne Crowden, and alumnus David McCarroll (’99), Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, formerly a member of the famed Vienna Piano Trio.

* David McCarroll (’99) and Nora Chastain performing Samuel Adams premiere with an orchestra of Crowden faculty, alumni, and current students.
* Catalyst Quartet performing a movement of Mendelssohn Octet
* Bonnie Hampton-led cello ensemble
* Friction Quartet performing Carrot Revolution by Gabriella Smith
* Audrey Vardanega and violinist TBA performing works by Piazzolla
* Gordon Getty composition TBA
* Crowden faculty and alumni orchestra performing Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas
* Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams (an Anne Crowden favorite)
* Premiere of a John Adams Young Composers Program student composition, performed by The Crowden School Lower School Orchestra


May 26, 2024
Crowden 40th Anniversary Alumni Brunch
Crowden Music Center (1475 Rose St., Berkeley)
Crowden alumni from all programs, alum families from all eras, and current and former faculty from throughout Crowden’s history to join us for a joyous brunch honoring Crowden alums from the past 40 years.


June TBD
Cello Bash
Crowden Music Center (1475 Rose St., Berkeley)
How many celli fit into Hoefer Auditorium? Find out at our informal cello play-in!