Review: Evening of Music

Courtesy of Cal Performances

Courtesy of Cal Performances

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Experiencing Cal Performances At Home

One of the greatest things about going to a university is undoubtedly the exposure to new experiences. College isn’t just for learning, it’s for broadening our horizons. UC Berkeley’s reputation as an artistic hub makes it a perfect place to experience new music, theater, art, and dance.

Feeling connected to the arts is much harder now in the midst of the pandemic, when we can’t attend concerts or plays. But, as we pass the one year anniversary of remote learning, we can thank Cal Performances at Home for delivering artistic experiences to students through an array of virtual performances.

The At Home series includes twelve music and dance performances each semester which are filmed and streamed exclusively for the Performances website. You can view individual performances for $15 each or purchase the Spring Season pass to get access to the entire semester catalogue for $144. Be sure to check out the Cal Performances website or sign up for email updates.

Quartet At-Home…with Hot Chocolate

Missing Berkeley’s vibrant community and eager to make the long days of quarantine go by faster, I decided to spend a cozy evening watching a Cal Performance in the comfort of my own home. It was hard to narrow down the variety of performances available over the holidays, but eventually I settled on the recorded Dover Quartet recital which streamed live on December 10. I hooked up my bluetooth speaker, and settled in for a serenade armed with some hot chocolate and the warmest blanket I could find.

And it was heavenly. The quartet performed three stunning pieces in a ninety-minute performance of symphonic bliss: Haydn’s Quartet in D Minor, Op. 76, No. 2 The Fifths; Ligeti’s Quartet No. 1, Metamorphoses Nocturnes; and ending on a high note with Dvorak’s Quartet in G major, Op. 106.

I highly recommend connecting your laptop to a TV or external speaker to enhance the experience if you have the means, but it was delightful enough watching the quartet on a laptop screen. The music was so transfixing that it wasn’t long before I forgot I was watching the violinists and cellist through a screen and not in person. After the music ended, I hopped over to the Cal Performance site to watch a pre-recital conversation recorded with the quartet members. It was the perfect way to round out the experience by getting to know the talented musicians behind the music.

Overall, Cal Performances at Home delivered a beautiful performance and helped me feel connected to both the arts and the Berkeley community from hundreds of miles away.


Lillian Marsh is a third-year UC Berkeley student from Los Angeles. She is majoring in English and minoring in education. Featured photo courtesy of the Cal Performances blog.