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MartÍn Benvenuto, Artistic Director

With guest artists

Margaret Halbig, Piano

Emil Miland, Cello

Fri, Apr 5 • 8pm
Old Mission Dolores, SF

Sat, Apr 6 • 4pm
Berkeley Hillside Club, Berkeley
Pre-concert panel • 3pm (more info)

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From the Artistic Director

Welcome to our program, Reclaiming Radical. The singers and I are thrilled you are here to reimagine with us the word at its roots: fundamental, foundational, indispensable.

The idea for this program stemmed from a desire to free “radical” from its pejorative, ideologically fortified shackles, and to recapture its positive and, well, radical connotations. John Stuart Mill in the 1830s famously stated: ”Every great movement must experience three stages: ridicule, discussion, adoption.” Why are we so inclined at first to see these movements as extreme? Why not be more open to discovering them as essentially foundational to our shared humanity?

21V experiences an indescribable honor tonight in weaving a tapestry of 21st-century music featuring change makers past and present: civil rights luminary Martin Luther King, labor leaders Dolores Huerta and César Chavez, women’s rights pioneer Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and transgender rights activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. We are also inspired by the radical change makers participating in our pre-concert panel discussion at the Berkeley performance. 

We are especially proud to present two world premieres in these concerts. Chris Castro’s Two Partsongs honors the sweeping legacies of Chavez and Huerta in a bilingual work pairing the nostalgic “De Otoño” by Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío with the powerful yearning of the Choir of Spirits in Goethe’s Faust. Stacy Garrop's poignant setting of the last letter written to Ruth Bader Ginsburg by her beloved husband, adapted specially for 21V, will touch your heart. And, in the spirit of the essential, we frame our program with the four traditionally indispensable elements of air, fire, water and earth.

“We Are the Storm,” by Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, offers a hopeful unifying perspective on peaceful solidarity:


“Storms will heal what divides,
Let us storm and turn the tides!
The earth cries out, ready for rain;
The fields of our future grow green again.”

May you leave our concerts radicalized, energized for work and love.

Yours in song,

Martín Benvenuto

Artistic Director




undanceable (2010) — David Lang

Margaret Halbig, piano

Emil Miland, cello


Elements (2013) — Katerina Gimon

I. Air

II. Fire

Asher Davison, speaker


Truth Tones (2009) — Trevor Weston

 Emil Miland, cello


Two Partsongs (2024) — Chris Castro

I. De Otoño

II. Choir of Spirits from Faust

World premiere, commissioned by 21V in honor of César Chavez and Dolores Huerta


My Dearest Ruth (2023) — Stacy Garrop

World premiere, treble choir edition commissioned by 21V

Kate Offer and Sara Couden; soloists


When the Dust Settles (2019) — Mari Esabel Valverde


We Are the Storm (2019) — Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate

Nancy Munn, Christine Abraham, Anne Hepburn Smith, Becky Lau, Peter Kenton, and Jessalynn Levine; soloists


Earth Song (2007) — Frank Ticheli

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