This season’s first visiting conductor to lead a series of subscription concerts by the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in Davies Symphony Hall will be Pablo Heras-Casado. He was last seen on the Davies podium this past April when, over the course of two weeks, he demonstrated that he was as comfortable working on a chamber orchestra scale as he was with the full resources of the ensemble (including the electronica of Mason Bates). For his return visit he will again demonstrate this dual nature of his capabilities. His concerto soloist, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, will also be making a return visit, having last performed with SFS in February of 2014 with Rafael Frübeck de Burgos on the podium.
The concerto selection will be Robert Schumann’s Opus 129 in A minor. Heras-Casado is experienced with conducting this concerto on a chamber orchestra scale, having recorded it with the Freiburger Barockorchester (Freiburg Baroque Orchestra) and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras as part of a “trilogy” project for harmonia mundi involving all three Schumann concertos. Precedent for reduced resources was also set here in 2012, when Steven Isserlis performed this concerto with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Heras-Casado’s performance of the Schumann concerto will be flanked by two symphonies. The opening selection will be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 201 in A major, which (at least these days) is almost always performed with reduced resources. However, full SFS resources are likely to be on hand for the concluding selection, Antonín Dvořák’s Opus 70 symphony in D minor (the seventh by the current counting system).
This concert will be given four performances, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19, Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22, and at 2 p.m. on Thursday, October 20. There will be an Inside Music talk given by Peter Susskind that will begin one hour prior to each concert on October 19–21. October 22 will present a special guest speaker from the Rubin Music Critics Institute, which will be taking place during the week at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Doors open for these talk fifteen minutes before they begin. Ticket prices range from $15 to $149. They may be purchased online through the event page for this program on the SFS Web site, by calling 415-864-6000, or by visiting the Box Office in Davies Symphony Hall, whose entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. Finally, the event page also includes a hyperlink for listening to a free podcast about the Dvořák symphony hosted by KDFC’s Rik Malone. There is also links for sound clips from both the Dvořák symphony and the Schumann concerto.