Thursday, October 27, 2016

The First 2016–17 “Sunday of Choices” will be Followed by the First “Weekend of Choices”

Having already provided a heads-up for how busy things will be on November 6, the first Sunday of next month, even more advance warning is shaping up for the following weekend. Not all of these events will overlap, but there is only so much performance that mind can take in on any single day. It is not too early to start making choices for how to spend Friday and Sunday and whether to add Saturday to the mix. Following “Bleeding Edge format,” the options will be placed in chronological order as follows:

Friday, November 11, 12:30 p.m., Cadillac Hotel: This will be the November installment in the (usually) monthly Concerts at the Cadillac series. This month’s offering will feature Tribu, a sextet that combines Latin, Afro-Carribean, and American approaches to jazz into a single show. The band is led by Steve McQuarry from the piano. (This will, of course, be the meticulously restored 1884 Steinway Model D concert grand that graces the Cadillac lobby.) The other members of the band are Ruben Salcido on saxophone and flute, percussionist Dave Casini, who includes the vibraphone among his instruments, Marcus Lopez on bass and vocals, percussionist Ramon Garcia, who specializes in congas and will also sing, and Vincent Heckard on a drum kit (which may be embellished with additional percussion) and also adding to the vocal work.

Like all Concerts at the Cadillac events, this show will last about an hour. The Cadillac Hotel is located at 380 Eddy Street, on the northeast corner of Leavenworth Street.  The purpose of the Concerts at the Cadillac series is to provide high-quality music to the residents of the hotel and the Tenderloin District; but all are invited to visit the venue that calls itself “The House of Welcome Since 1907.”

Friday, November 11, 7 p.m., San Francisco Bay: For “something completely different” The Living Earth Show (TELS) (the duo of Travis Andrews on guitar and Andy Meyerson on percussion) will set out to sea (or at least into San Francisco Bay) with composer Luciano Chessa, who will serve as vocalist for a program entitled Squeeze! Squeeze! Squeeze! This will be an evening-length production described as a “musical setting of perhaps the most homoerotic chapter in great American literature: the 94th chapter of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.” Chessa composed this piece for TELS and scored it for (quoting from the advance material) “microtonal electric guitar and vibraphone, an amplified red Solo cup, electric toothbrushes, voice, megaphone feedback, and a variety of audible theatrical gestures.” Chessa further specified that the only appropriate venue for performance is at sea, so it will be presented aboard a 91-foot-long yacht provided by Commodore Cruises. (Readers know that I tend to be meticulous about limiting the scope of my coverage to the San Francisco city limits, so I have already confirmed with Andrews that most of the performance will take place in San Francisco waters!) The yacht will be converted into a concert venue and art installation by Terry Berliner and will hold 100 audience members.

7 p.m. is the precise time when the yacht will set sail. It will depart from a pier at 2394 Mariner Square Drive in Alameda. All tickets are general admission. Those attending are asked to pay what they can afford, but the sliding scale to use as a point of reference is between $60 and $90. Further information can be found on the Web page created for this program on the TELS Web site.

Friday, November 11, 8 p.m., Old First Church: This will be the first concert presented by the Farallon Quintet in their capacity as Artists-in-Residence for Old First Concerts for the current season. This ensemble consists of the string quartet of violinists Dan Flanagan and Matthew Oshida, violist Elizabeth Prior, and cellist Jonah Kim along with clarinetist Natalie Parker. The main work on the program will be Durwynne Hsieh’s sextet, for which the Farallon players will be joined by pianist Christine McLeavy Payne. That full ensemble will also play Aaron Copland’s sextet and Serge Prokofiev’s Opus 34 “Overture on Hebrew Themes.” The quintet alone will perform Carl Maria von Weber’s Opus 34 clarinet quintet in B-flat major.

The Old First Church is located at 1751 Sacramento Street on the southeast corner of Van Ness Boulevard. General admission will be $20 with discounted rates of $17 for seniors and $5 or full-time students showing valid identification. Children aged twelve and under will still be admitted for free. In addition there is a $2 discount for tickets purchased online in advance from the event page for this concert on the Old First Concerts Web site. There is also a discount available for those parking at the Old First Parking Garage at 1725 Sacramento Street, just up the street for the church.

Saturday, November 12, 8 p.m., Herbst Theatre: As of this writing, the only option for Saturday will be the San Francisco performance of the second concert in the 2016–17 season of the New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO). Australian-Taiwanese violinist Ray Chen will make his debut as guest Concertmaster in a program entitled simply Ray Chen Leads. Chen will supplement his concertmaster duties by also performing as soloist in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 216 violin concerto in G major. There will also be a performance of Edward Elgar’s Opus 47 “Introduction and Allegro,” scored for both string quartet and string ensemble. The string quartet for this work is often composed of the four section leaders. The first half of the program will be devoted to Mozart’s K. 138 divertimento in F major and Benjamin Britten’s Opus 10 set of variations on a theme by his teacher, Frank Bridge. Herbst Theatre is located at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. Ticket prices will be $29, $49, and $61.

As is usually the case, there will be an Open Rehearsal held in the Kanbar Performing Arts Center at 44 Page Street, a short walk from the Muni Van Ness station. This will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9. All tickets are $15. City Box Office has set up a Web page for all other NCCO ticket purchases. These include the concert, the open rehearsal, and advance purchase of packages for the three-day Anniversary Festival that will be held between May 16 and May 20.

Sunday, November 13, 2 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall: This will be the first concert in the 2016–17 season of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO), It will also be the first performance led by the new Wattis Foundation Music Director Christian Reif. The program will feature violinist Jason Moon, 2016 winner of the SFSYO Concerto Competition. He will be soloist in Jean Sibelius’ Opus 47 concerto in D minor. The program will follow the usual overture-concerto-symphony format. The “overture” will actually be the final movement of a three-movement orchestral suite than Hans Werner Henze extracted from his opera The Bassarids (a version of Euripides’ The Bacchae based on a libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman), entitled “Maenads’ Dance.” The symphony will be Dmitri Shostakovich’s Opus 54 (sixth) in B minor.

Davies Symphony Hall is located at 201 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of Grove Street. The Box Office and main entrance are the south side of Grove Street, halfway between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. Tickets for this concert are $15 for general admission and $55 for reserved seating. Tickets may be purchased in advance online from the event page for this concert on the San Francisco Symphony Web site. Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office or by calling 415-864-6000.

SFSYO will give three more concerts as part of their 2016–17 season. Current plans can now be summarized. The hyperlink for the date and time for each of these is to the corresponding event page as follows:
  1. Sunday, December 11, 11 a.m.: This will be the annual Christmas performance of Serge Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” This year the narrator will be Linda Ronstadt. The program will also include holiday favorites and an audience sing-along. Ticket prices range from $15 to $69.
  2. Sunday, March 5, 2 p.m.: This program will present two symphonies, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 551 (“Jupiter”) in C major and Antonín Dvořák’s Opus 88 in G major, usually numbered as his eighth. The “overture” will be Samuel Barber’s Opus 17, the second piece he called an “essay” for orchestra. Tickets will be $15 for general admission and $55 for reserved seating.
  3. Sunday May 14, 2 p.m.: This will also be a program of two symphonies. It will conclude with Johannes Brahms’ Opus 98 (fourth) in E minor. The intermission will be preceded by the three-movement symphony that Paul Hindemith composed based on themes from his Mathis der Maler opera. The overture will be the second of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Leonore” overtures, Opus 72. Tickets will be $15 for general admission and $55 for reserved seating.
Sunday, November 13, 4 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: This will be the first program in the 2016–17 Concert Season presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society. It will feature Musica Pacifica, a local early music ensemble founded in 1990. The title of the program will be Chiesa and Camera: Virtuoso Vocal and Instrumental Chamber Music From Italy, 1650–1700. The performers will be Judith Linsenberg on recorders, violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock, cellist William Skeen, Charles Sherman on harpsichord and organ, John Lenti on theorbo, and countertenor Ryland Angel.

St. Mark’s is located at 1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street. General admission is $40 with a $36 rate for seniors and $34 for SFEMS members. A single Web page has been created for online purchased of single tickets for all six concerts in the season.

Because this is the first concert of the season, subscriptions are also still on sale. All San Francisco performances take place on Sunday afternoons at 4 p.m. The remaining dates an programs are as follows:
  • December 11: The Archetti string ensemble will present a Baroque Christmas program with the assistance of soprano Clara Rottsolk and trumpeter Kathryn Adduci.
  • January 22: Imaginary Theatre will be a program of instrumental gems from operas by Jean-Philippe Rameau and George Frideric Handel.
  • February 19: The vocal ARTEK ensemble will present a program based on Claudio Monteverdi’s seventh book of madrigals.
  • March 19: SFEMS will celebrate the tenth anniversary of Voices of Music by hosting their performance of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” setting on a program that will also include motets by Alessandro Scarlatti and Antonio Vivaldi; vocal soloists will be soprano Stefanie True and mezzo Meg Bragle.
  • April 9: Hallifax & Jeffrey is the performing name of the duo of Peter Hallifax and Julie Jeffrey, both playing gamba. They have prepared a program entitled Big, Beautiful and French: Music for Several Viols and Continuo. They will be joined by Marie Dalby Zuts and Josh Lee on gamba with Lenti returning to play theorbo.
There are a variety of options for subscriptions, all of which are summarized on a single Web page.

Sunday, November 13, 4 p.m., Noe Valley Ministry: The first concert of the SFEMS season will take place at the same time as the next Noe Valley Chamber Music offering. The Friction Quartet of violinists Kevin Rogers and Otis Harriel, violist Taija Warbelow, and cellist Doug Machiz will be joined by pianist Jenny Q Chai to present the San Francisco premiere of Andy Akiho’s piano quintet. They will also perform Robert Schumann’s Opus 44 piano quintet in E-flat major during the second half of the concert. The program will begin with another composition by Akiho “In/Exchange,” which he scored for steel pan and string quartet. Akiho will join Friction to take the steel pan part.

The Noe Valley Ministry is located at 1021 Sanchez Street, just south of 23rd Street. Tickets are $30 if paid at the door. However, if paid in advance, the charge is $25 for general admission and seniors and $15 for students. Children aged twelve and under are admitted at no charge. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Brown Paper Tickets event page.

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