Sunday, October 16, 2016

San Francisco Conservatory of Music: November, 2016

As was the case with the current month, this seems like a good time to provide readers with a heads-up for some of the key activities planned for the following month at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM). All events will take place in the SFCM building at 50 Oak Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. As always readers are encouraged to consult the Events Calendar at the SFCM Web site for the most up-to-date information about any of these offerings. Also, as was the case for October, this preview article will begin with the Faculty Artist Series. Program details have not yet been released for any of these concerts. However, all of them will be free; and no reservations will be required. The four November concerts in this series are as follows:

Monday, November 7, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall: Indre Viskontas is a soprano with an SFCM Masters degree in opera (class of ’08); and she also holds a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California at Los Angeles. She is also a co-founder of Vocallective, a consortium of singers and instrumentalists dedicated to the art of vocal chamber music. Her presentation will be a lecture-demonstration entitled Tracking Time, which will deal with the question of how brains perceive and track time. The first half of the program will deal with the “processing” of one of the string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven. Viskontas will be assisted by a performance given by the members of the Telegraph Quartet (violinists Joseph Maile and Eric Chin, violist Pei-Ling Lin, and cellist Jeremiah Shaw). In the second half Viskontas will turn to the distinction between “clock time” and subjective awareness of the passing of time. Examples will be provided through compositions for voice (Viskontas), string quintet (Telegraph joined by Stephanie Payne on bass), and piano (Keisuke Nakagoshi). The composers will be Gabriel Fauré, Aaron Copland, and Ernest Chausson.

Monday, November 14, 7:30 p.m., Concert Hall: This will be a solo recital by pianist Sarah Cahill. She will be joined by violinist Kate Stenberg and percussionist William Winant. The three of them will perform Lou Harrison's "Varied Trio," which Winant previously recorded with violinist David Abel and pianist Julie Steinberg in the New Albion label. (This was the group that gave this composition its premiere performance.) Stenberg will also join Cahill in a performance of Henry Cowell's 1945 sonata for violin and piano, which they performed last month in the Sunset Music | Arts recital series. Cahill will also perform works for solo piano by Ruth Crawford Seeger, the sixth and ninth preludes (which she composed in 1927 and 1928, before she met Charles Seeger, whom she would later marry), Frederic Rzewski's “Peace Dances,” George Lewis’ “Endless Shout,” and Terry Riley's ragtime composition, “Be Kind to One Another.”

Sunday, November 20, 2 p.m., Concert Hall: This will be a solo recital by pianist William Wellborn.

Monday, November 28, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall: Guitar alumnus Giacomo Fiore (’09) will present a program entitled Sixty Years and Counting, in which he will review the repertoire of the electric guitar in the role of a “concert” (his scare quotes) instrument. This will be a lecture-performance that will include five performances. These will be Morton Feldman's “The Possibility of a New Work for Electric Guitar” (composed in 1966 and reconstructed in 2015), “Interpolaciones,” scored for electric guitar and multi-channel electronics by Cesar Bolaños, Tristan Murail's “Vampyr!,” Larry Polansky's “34 Chords (Christian Wolff in Hanover and Royalton),” and Eve Beglarian's “until it blazes.”

November will also see two concerts presented in conjunction with Artist Residencies, both of which involve the return of previous resident visitors to SFCM:

Thursday, November 3, 8 p.m., Concert Hall: The visiting artist will be Geoff Nuttall, first violinist and co-founder of the St. Lawrence String Quartet. During his past visits, he has performed in groups of different sizes based on the students he has been coaching during his one-week residence. This concert will be free, but reservations will be required. SFCM has created a Google Form Web page for processing reservations.

Thursday, November 10, 8 p.m., Recital Hall: The following week the visiting artists will be the husband-and-wife duo of violinist Donald Weilerstein and pianist Vivian Weilerstein. The program will included two duo performances, a suite by Henry Cowell and Charles Ives’ first sonata for violin and piano. The second half of the program will consist entirely of Antonín Dvořák’s Opus 87 (second) piano quartet in E-flat major. The original requirement for tickets has been waived. This concert will be free, and no tickets for reservations will be required.

There will also be two concerts by students in the Historical Performance Department, both of which will be free and will not require tickets:

Sunday, November 6, 2 p.m., Recital Hall: Corey Jamason will lead the Baroque Ensemble in a program of arias from the early operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Sunday, November 13, 2 p.m., Concert Hall: The Baroque Orchestra will present a program of two rarely performed instrumental suites by Georg Philipp Telemann, La bizarre and La changeante.

In addition the New Music Ensemble will present a politically-charged pre-election concert. The program will present two unique approaches to the setting of highly political texts. The first piece will be the cantata Katrina Ballads, composed by Ted Hearne, who prepared a libretto based on source texts created in conjunction with the disaster brought on by Hurricane Katrina. This will be followed by Frederick Rzewski’s “Coming Together,” which uses a text from an inmate of the Attica State Prison in New York, the site of riots in 1971 that disrupted “business as usual” in New York state politics. This text is narrated, and the narrator for this performance will be Angela Davis. The New Music Ensemble will be led by visiting conductor Alan Pierson, Artistic Director of both Alarm Will Sound in New York City and Crash Ensemble in Dublin. This concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 4. Admission will be free, and no tickets will be required.

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