Choreographer Mark Morris makes his Bay Area conducting debut. Illustration: Tom Bachtell

When concertgoers attend Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in the Zellerbach Hall tomorrow night, the opening performance of this year’s Cal Performances season, they’ll encounter famed choreographer Mark Morris in the novel role of conductor.

They’ll also catch the first sight of the whimsical caricatures by Tom Bachtell that will be gracing the Cal Performances programs this season.

Bachtell’s style is well known from his illustrations for The New Yorker‘s Talk of the Town, which he has been doing for the last 20 years. Bachtell trained as a pianist at the Cleveland Institute of Music and remains an active chamber player. He’s a self-taught artist.

In addition to the Morris illustration, Bachtell has drawn Russian composer Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, whose six symphonies will be performed by the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev October 14-16, and actor John Malkovich, who stars in The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer, October 21. Bachtell will be doing other illustrations throughout this year’s season.

Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky. Illustration: Tom Bachtell
John Malkovich. Illustration: Tom Bachtell

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...