FIFTY FOR THE FUTURE The Kronos Quartet has a well-deserved reputation for championing new music, with a record of world premieres at its Cal Performances concerts. It also has a deep commitment to encouraging young musicians. On Friday night at Zellerbach Hall, Kronos will be joined by student ensembles from Berkeley High School, the Oakland School of the Arts, and Crowden School in the Fifty for the Future concert. The concert features world premiers by composer Misato Mochizuki, whose works are frequently inspired by science and philosophy, and Colombian musician Mario Galeano Toro, who has focused over the past 15 years on researching Colombian tropical music and its diaspora throughout South America. The Berkeley High School Quartet will perform Wu Man’s Four Chinese Paintings. Friday, Jan. 25, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.
CAL CUP WATER POLO If you’re a water polo fan, you’ll be tramping over to Cal’s Spieker Aquatics Complex this weekend for the Cal Cup. The fourth-ranked Golden Bears host seven teams, all of which are in the national top 25, including #2 Stanford and #3 UCLA. The tournament is the season opener for Cal, which lost four All-Americans from last year’s senior class. But fear not: the team is led by three returning All-Americans, including junior Emma Wright, who led the team in scoring last season with 47 goals. Matches start at 8:30 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, but Cal’s first match on Saturday is against Fresno State at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 26-27, Spieker Aquatics Complex.
OPIUO If music and New Zealand conjures up images of Flight of the Conchords (no bad thing!), Friday night at Cornerstone brings something different. Opiuo (left) is Oscar Davey-Wraight, who was born in rural New Zealand (although he built his career in Antipodean rival Australia). Opiuo has become a leading light of electronic dance music. Here’s what Cornerstone has to say: “His highly sought after remix works span artists far and wide, from Gwen Stefani to Kimbra, Griz to Pretty Lights, Koan Sound to Infected Mushroom, earning him respect as a truly versatile artist, with no specific genre box to restrict his musical endeavors.” Friday, Jan. 25, 8:30 p.m., Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave.
ELIYAHU SILLS & AMIR ETEMADZADEH The Back Room has become a go-to venue for intimate blues, jazz, R&B and funk musicians. This Sunday it will become a platform for world music: Turkish, Persian, Jewish and Arabic music presented on traditional Middle Eastern instruments, including three types of Ney (ancient flutes of Iran, Turkey and Arabic-speaking regions), Oud (Middle Eastern lute), and Persian drums (Tombak & Daf). The Back Room promises “an intimate evening of live music, weaving together contemplative songs and improvisations from Iranian, North Indian, Arabic, Turkish, Jewish and Sufi traditions.” Sunday, Jan. 27, 5 p.m., The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave.
NATHAN X MOODY BENEFIT On Saturday night, five bands will play at 924 Gilman in a benefit for Nathan X Moody, who is undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Come hear Andy Human and the Reptoids, Everyone is Dirty, The Helltones, Wolf City Radio, and Angry Johnny, and donate to a good cause (although ask yourself why we’re the only wealthy country where people have to have benefits to pay essential medical expenses). Saturday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m., 924 Gilman St.
Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:
Masako Miki’s colorful sculpture, inspired by Japanese folklore, is at BAMPFA
Swinging Left with Rob Reich; celebrating Django at the Freight
Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Heartlock’