Exactly a week ago this site announced that the Fête Concert Series would begin its 2016–17 season with a celebration of the music composed by Amy Beach entitled Amy’s Music Beach Party. This is consistent with how Fête Concerts has arranged its programming for the last two seasons. The general trend has been to provide a fun and intimate portrait of an individual composer, which includes a new arrangement of “Happy Birthday” in the style of the program’s honoree. Seeking to put the “art” back into “party,” the event also includes a selection of local wine, cheese, and fresh baked goods, served both during the intermission and at the conclusion of the program, all to facilitate discussion of the music among not only the members of the audience but also the performers. The summary of all four recitals in the 2016–17 season and their respective honorees is as follows:
Sunday, September 11, 7:30 p.m.: This is the aforementioned birthday party for Amy Beach, which will be held at the Community Music Center Concert Hall at 544 Capp Street in the Mission between 20th Street and 21st Street and between Mission Street and South Van Ness Avenue.
Friday, November 18, 7:30 p.m.: The honoree will be Joaquín Rodrigo, whose 115th birthday will be on November 22. While Rodrigo is best known for this contributions to the guitar repertoire, he was also a virtuoso pianist. This program, however, will focus entirely on the songs he composed, which do not receive very much attention, The vocalists will be sopranos Anne Hepburn Smith and Chelsea Hollow. Accompaniment will be shared between guitarist Patrick Smith and pianist Paul Dab. The venue will be the Center for New Music at 55 Taylor Street, half a block north of where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street.
Sunday, March 5, 2 p.m.: March 2 will be the 116th birthday of Kurt Weill. The program will feature selections from Weill’s best-known collaborations with Bertolt Brecht as his librettist, The Threepenny Opera and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Weill’s move to the United States will be acknowledged with selections from the musical One Touch of Venus. Fête Concerts will return to the Community Center Concert Hall for this performance.
Friday, April 28: Location and starting time for the last concert have not yet been finalized. This will be a special concert to honor William Shakespeare, who was baptized on April 26, 1564. (That is the closest we have been able to get to the date of his birth.) Living composers have been invited to respond to Shakespeare’s works with both vocal and instrumental compositions.
Brown Paper Tickets has created a single event page for the sale of both subscriptions and single tickets. General admission for the full series will be $50, but there are also $100 subscriptions for reserved seats. Any single tickets purchased can be used at any of the four concerts. General admission is $15 with a $10 rate for seniors and students. As already observed, admission includes not only the music but also wine, cheese, and birthday cake. Party hats are also provided.