Music and Words Festival


If you like new music—not necessarily meaning it was invented yesterday, but within, say, the last 50 years—UC Davis’ Music and Words Festival is for you. The event runs for five days, Jan. 27-31, and includes an eclectic mix of landmark works and new pieces by up-and-coming composers. A few highlights:

• Heavy-duty percussion (three concerts, in fact) from the group So Percussion

• Luciano Berio’s rarely performed “Sinfonia” for Eight Amplified Voices and Orchestra, deemed “the most perfect example of music and words” by Christian Baldini, music director and conductor of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra

• A trio of pieces by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Melinda Wagner, the festival’s composer-in-residence

For emerging composers, the festival also offers an opportunity to work with faculty, guest artists, ensembles and UC Davis students. But for regular folks who just love music, it offers a rare opportunity to hear works outside the standard repertoire—and to keep a pulse on what current-day composers are up to.

All but one of the concerts will be performed at the Mondavi Center. For more information, visit

What: Music and Words Festival
Where: Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis
When: Jan. 27-31
Cost: Concert admission ranges from free to $37