Saturday, July 20, 2019

Old First Concerts: September, 2019

Given how much will be happening during the month of September with the launch of a new season for many of the performing arts organizations, it seems appropriate to “keep up with the competition” by providing the schedule for the Old First Concerts (O1C) series during that month. Since these events have been included in a printed brochure, we may assume that plans are about as “cast in concrete” as they are likely to get. As always, however, any changes in those plans will be handled by posts to the shadow page for this site on Facebook.

All O1C events take place at the Old First Presbyterian Church, located at 1751 Sacramento Street on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue. If purchased in advance online from an O1C event page, general admission will be $23 with a discounted rate of $18 for seniors aged 65 or older. Hyperlinks for online purchase through specific event pages will be attached to the date-and-time information given below. Tickets for full-time students showing valid identification will be $5; and children aged twelve and under will be admitted for free. There is also a discount available for those parking at the Old First Parking Garage at 1725 Sacramento Street, just up the street from the church. Here are the specifics for the month of September:

Sunday, September 1, 4 p.m.: Jazz pianist Mike Greensill will resume his tradition of performing for Old First Concerts on Labor Day weekend. He will be joined by vocalist Denise Perrier, who has been called “The Voice with a Heart.” Selections will be taken from the American Songbook, with a special emphasis on compositions by Duke Ellington.

Sunday, September 8, 4 p.m.: Tangonero is an ensemble based in San Francisco, which is dedicated to preserving the tradition of Argentine Tango. Their book ranges from the folk stylings of Roberto Grela to Astor Piazzolla, who led his own combo but also made significant ventures into the classical genre, including a full-length opera. Two of the core members are from the United States, Yuri Kye, who plays both violin and viola, and Richard Duke on bass. The other two are Russia-born Alex Roitman on bandoneon and Malaysian pianist Celeste Chiam, who is also a trained ballet dancer. For this performance they will be joined by vocalist Claudio Ortega.

Friday, September 13, 8 p.m.: Pianist Omri Shimron has prepared a program entitled Metamorphosis, which will amount to a study of how original identity is retained over the course of transformation. Two of the composers on the program explicitly incorporate the noun “metamorphosis” in their respective titles, Philip Glass (in which the original identity is a simple chord progression) and Menachem Weisenberg, whose two compositions explore individual intervals, perfect fifth and octave, respectively. In addition Shimron will explore the changes to a basic theme that unfold in the first (in C minor) of Franz Schubert’s D. 899 four impromptus. The program will begin with Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 830 partita in E minor, which, Shimron claims, “can be perceived as a set of variations on a theme, bound together by one key.”

Sunday, September 15, 4 p.m.: The ZOFO Duet of pianists Keisuke Nakagoshi and Eva-Maria Zimmermann will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a program of its own arrangements and commissioned works. This will include the world premiere of its latest commission, composed by Erberk Eryilmaz and not yet assigned a title. The other commissioned composers will be Robert Greenberg (“Exercised”), Gabriella Smith (“From Máncora to Huaraz”), and Allen Shawn (“Fantasy”). The most interesting arrangement involves Maurice Ravel’s Ma mère l’Oye. This was originally composed as a suite for piano duet in 1910. However, a year later, Ravel expanded the score into an eleven-movement ballet with orchestral accompaniment, which was first performed in January of 1912. ZOFO will play their own arrangement of this ballet score, as well as Frank Martin’s 1924 overture.

Friday, September 20, 8 p.m.: In a program entitled Cello++, violist Aaron Rosengaus will celebrate the rich sounds of tenor strings by joining forces with the string players of the Delphi Trio and the Alden Trio. The selections will be Anton Arensky’s Opus 35 quartet in A minor for violin, viola, and two cellos and Schubert’s D. 956 quintet in C major, which adds a second violin to the resources for the Arensky quartet. The Delphi musicians will be violinist Liana Bérubé and cellist Michelle Kwon, and the Alden players will be violinist Yuri Kye and cellist Brady Anderson.

Sunday, September 22, 4 p.m.: This will be the second solo piano recital of the month, marking the return of Italian pianist Laura Magnani. Her program will be framed by two sonatas, beginning with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 13 (“Pathétique”) in C minor and concluding with Sergei Prokofiev’s Opus 28 (third) sonata in A minor. Between these two selections, she will play Schubert’s D. 946 set of three piano pieces, sometimes known as the third set of impromptus.