This month San Francisco Choral Artists (SFCA), led by Artistic Director Magen Solomon, will launch its 2016–17 season. As in the past, this will consist of three characteristically diverse and artfully-constructed programs, each based on an overarching theme. Also as in the past, there will be particular attention to new and recent compositions. To that end, SFCA has announced both a Composer-in-Residence and a Composer-Not-in-Residence for the new season. The former will be local composer Elinor Armer, who founded the Composition Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1985. The latter will be Paul Chihara, who is currently teaching Film Scoring at New York University. However, Chihara is no stranger to San Francisco, having served as Composer-in-Residence for the San Francisco Ballet between 1973 and 1986. His achievements during that tenure included the score for Tempest, a full-length ballet based on William Shakespeare’s play, whose performance was broadcast as part of Public Television’s Great Performances series.
All SFCA performances in San Francisco will take place on Sunday afternoons at 4 p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. This is located at 1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street. Dates, times, and program content will be as follows:
December 18, Light in Winter: This will be the holiday-inspired program that celebrates the convergence of Hanukkah, Christmas, and the winter solstice. Newly commissioned works by both Armer and Chihara will be performed. Other composers included on the program will be Samuel Barber, Monica Houghton, Zoltán Kodály, Orlande de Lassus, Caroline Mallonée, Roger Nixon, Francis Poulenc, Robert Strassburg, and Sergei Taneyev.
March 26, Witches, Saints, and Mothers: This program will invoke the voices of women past and present through poetry, letters, lullabies, laments and proclamations. It will include the new work by the winner of the SFCA New Voices Project, a commissioning competition for composers under the age of 30. The remainder of the program will feature women composers from different periods in music history. These will include Hildegard of Bingen, Fanny Mendelssohn (many of whose compositions were illustrated by her husband, Wilhelm Hensel), Amy Beach, Pauline Oliveros (who died exactly a week ago today at the age of 84), Chen Yi, Meredith Monk, and Ysaye Maria Barnwell.
June 4, East Meets West: Percussionist and musical polymath Peter Maund will be guest artist for this program, which will be a survey of traditional and contemporary works from Asia, the Middle East, and both American continents.
Season subscriptions are priced at $75, with a discounted price of $67 for seniors aged 65 or older. Single tickets will be sold at the door for $33, $29 for seniors, and $15 for individuals aged 30 and under with valid identification. However, if single tickets are purchased in advance, the prices will be $28, $25, and $12.50, respectively. All online purchases are handled through Brown Paper Tickets. The hyperlinks on the above dates lead to the event pages for single ticket purchases for the respective concerts. However, all subscriptions are being handled through a single event page. After the purchase has been completed, SFCA will contact the subscriber to be given information about choice of venue.