Every year the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra (SFCO) and its Music Director Benjamin Simon schedule one of the four Main Stage Concerts to take place on the threshold between the old and the new year. This time around, as was observed when the full Main Stage schedule was announced, that concert will be dedicated to the memory of SFCO Founder Edgar Braun and will consist entirely of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. However, Simon has gone to some lengths to make sure that at least one work on the program will not be familiar to most (if not all) of the audience.
The most innovative programming for this event will be the K. 612 concert aria “Per questa bella mano” (this beautiful hand). The aria will be sung by bass Brad Walker. Furthermore, to highlight the lily with a bit of paint, so to speak, Mozart’s instrumentation for this work included solo work for the double bass, which will be played by Michel Taddei, meaning that the performance will entail a partnership of bass and bassist. The other soloist to be featured on the program will be pianist Robert Schwartz, who will join SFCO in a performance of the K. 466 concerto in D minor, one of the most familiar (and most dramatic) of the Mozart piano concertos. The instrumental selections for the program will be the overture to the K. 492 opera The Marriage of Figaro and the K. 540 (“Prague”) symphony in D major.
The San Francisco performance of this program will be the first of three and will take place on the 2016 side of the threshold. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 30. The venue will be Herbst Theatre, which is located at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the northwest corner of McAllister Street. As is always the case, there is no admission charge for all SFCO Main Stage Concerts. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for general admission on a first-come-first-served basis.