VIENNA PHILHARMONIC The three-day residency of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at Cal Performances this weekend focuses on the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, with three concerts, a symposium bringing together scholars from both Berkeley and Vienna, and pre- and post-concert talks. Friday night’s concert, conducted by Lorin Maazel, features Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and Mahler’s Fourth. Saturday night, conducted by Andris Nelsons, has Haydn’s 90th, Brahms’ Third and Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Haydn. Sunday afternoon, Franz Welser-Most conducts the orchestra in Mozart’s 28th and Bruckner’s 6th, as well as a new composition by Viennese composer Johannes Maria Staud. The symposium, The Vienna Philharmonic 100 years after the outbreak of World War I, examines the intermingling of arts and politics, and in particular the role an arts institution can play in the course of history. The symposium and other residency events (but not the concerts) are free: RSVP to reserve your place, seating is first come, first served. Tickets for the concerts at Zellerbach Hall are available from Cal Performances.
BEHIND THE SWINGS The YMCA Youth Institute will premiere its first feature film, Behind the Swings: A Closer Look at Our Parks, on Saturday, Mar. 8 at 10:30 a.m. at Rialto Cinema in the Elmwood. The film — directed, filmed and edited entirely by teenagers at the Youth Institute in Berkeley — is the product of four months exploration of the parks and their role in public life. From the trailer, it looks like a fascinating look into Berkeley parks. The screening is free. Rialto Cinemas, 2966 College Ave.
FROM BEARS TO BEASLEYS Oakland-based sculptor Bruce Beasley and community historian Steven Finacom co-lead an excursion through the UC Berkeley sculpture collection on Sunday, Mar. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The collection, assembled over the last 100 years, includes works by Alexander Calder, Douglas Tilden and Gutzon Borglum, among others. Beasley, a Cal alumnus, currently has five monumental works from his “Rondo” series displayed on campus. Beasley and Finacom will share the intricate history of outdoor art on the campus, from a larger-than-life bust of Abraham Lincoln to a bevy of golden bears, allegorical New Deal mosaics, and a set of silvery rings “floating” in a reflecting pool. Tickets, $25, are available from Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association. Ticket buyers will be informed of the starting point for the tour.
IF YOU BUILD IT A documentary about the innovative Studio H project, If You Build It, is showing Thursday, Mar. 6 only at the Shattuck Cinemas. The documentary looks at the work of Emily Pilloton and her work involving students in design and construction of real buildings. The film is based on the original Studio H in North Carolina, but Pilloton is now working at the Realm Charter School in Berkeley. As the documentary puts it: “Two Teachers, Ten Students, One Epic Homework Assignment.” The New York Daily News said If You Build It is “Honest and engrossing… shows how ingenuity and spark can restore excitement in education.” Shattuck Cinemas, 2230 Shattuck Ave., Thursday, Mar. 6 at 4:25 p.m., 7:05 p.m. and 9:35 p.m. (And read Berkeleyside’s story on Studio H when it was just getting started.)
ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT For the last weekend of Escanaba in Da Moonlight, Theatre First are offering tickets on a pay-what-you-can basis. Jeff Daniels’ play tells the story of the Soady Family Deer Camp and its kooky inhabitants in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: “At 43, Rueben is on the verge of becoming a disgrace to himself and his Soady heritage, and is known around town as ‘the Buckless Yooper’. He is committed to changing his luck, though, with a little help from his Native American wife.” Theatre First promises “a truly hilarious evening.” Performances are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, at Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave.
Don’t miss these other events recently featured on Berkeleyside: