Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Some Thoughts About Performers Making Their SFS Debuts Next Season

In writing yesterday about the conductors who will be making their debuts on the podium of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) next season, I neglected to mention that Daniel Harding’s concerto soloist, pianist Paul Lewis, will also be making his SFS debut. I did mention that I had only seen him through the good graces of San Francisco Performances (SFP). However, I had not realized that SFP was responsible for his only appearances in this city.

This is a case in which one thing led to another, because I realized that cellist Sol Gabetta made her debut in San Francisco thanks to SFP. This took place this past November, and it was quite an evening, particularly where her truly memorable account of Sergei Prokofiev’s Opus 119 sonata for cello and piano in C major was concerned. Her concerto debut with SFS will roll back to the nineteenth century when she will perform Antonín Dvořák’s Opus 104 cello concerto in B minor.

The other concerto soloist who will be making his SFS debut next season will be Ray Chen. Chen was also here this past November but in a rather different capacity. He served as Guest Concertmaster and soloist with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and his concerto selection was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 216 violin concerto in G major. If Gabetta leapt backwards one century for her SFS concerto selection, Chen leapt one century forward. The result, however, was that they both landed in the nineteenth century! For his concerto debut Chen will play Johannes Brahms’ Opus 77 violin concerto in D major.

So much emerging talent; so little time!

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