The Year of the Rooster is about to begin on the calendar for the celebration of the Asian Lunar New Year. As has been the case for many years, the occasion will be recognized with a concert and other seasonal activities presented by the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in Davies Symphony Hall. The conductor for this occasion will be Mei-Ann Chen; and this will be the fourth such Lunar New Year concert that she has led. SFS Assistant Principal Cello Amos Yang will be one of the guest artists, joined by Tang Jun Qiao playing the dizi, the Chinese version of the transverse flute made of bamboo. The Loong Mah Sing See Wai dance ensemble will also participate.
As in the past, the selections for the program will follow an East-meets-West format. The program will begin and end with traditional works, opening with a Chinese Dragon Dance and concluding the the “Happy New Year” song “Gong Xi Gong Xi.” The other traditional selection to be played by SFS will “Beo Dai May Troi” (floating water lily and wandering cloud), performed along with the “Spring Festival” overture by Li Huanzhi. The dizi selections will be “Raise the Red Lantern” and “Plum Blossom Variations.” On the Western side SFS will play instrumental selections from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Golden Cockerel, and Yang will play selected variations from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Opus 33 “Rococo” variations for cello and orchestra.
Also as in the past, the doors to the Davies lobbies will open one hour before the concert begins. During that hour all of the lobbies will offer a wide diversity of family entertainments. These will include arts and crafts appropriate to the season, lion dancing, games, and, for those wishing to snack, food, desserts, and tea bars. Finally, the concert will be followed by the annual Lunar New Year Imperial Dinner, catered by McCalls.
This year’s concert will be given at 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 4. That means that the doors to the Davies lobbies will open at 3 p.m. Ticket prices in which seating is currently available range from $15 to $64. They may be purchased online through the event page for this program on the SFS Web site, by calling 415-864-6000, or by visiting the Box Office in Davies Symphony Hall, whose entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street.
Tickets for the Lunar New Year Imperial Dinner are sold separately. Prices range from $395 for an individual ticket at the Gold Supporter level to $12,500 for a table of ten at the Jade Partner level. There is a separate Web page describing all the different levels, the benefits associated with each, and how much of the price is tax-deductible. These tickets may not be purchased on line, but they can be ordered over the telephone by calling the Volunteer Council at 415-503-5500.