With the winding down of the 2016–2017 season, it is not too soon to be making plans for the 2017–2018 season. For the New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO), the coming season will be a landmark event, since it will be the first season in which violinist Daniel Hope will serve as Artistic Partner. While single tickets will not be available until August 1, subscriptions are currently on sale, both for the full four-concert season and for a selection of three of those concerts. Here is a summary of the dates and programming for those four concerts in San Francisco, all of which will take place on Saturday evenings beginning at 8 p.m.:
September 23: Hope will mark the beginning of his tenure with the world premiere performance of a violin concerto by Alan Fletcher. This was written on a commission that NCCO shared with the Zürich Chamber Orchestra, with whom Hope serves as Music Director. The program will also introduce “Orawa” by Polish film music composer Wojciech Kilar. The piece is named after both a region between Poland and Slovakia and the river that flows through that region. The more familiar selections will both be from the nineteenth century, Felix Mendelssohn’s Opus 20 octet in E-flat major, which he composed at the age of sixteen, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Opus 48 serenade in C major.
November 11: Violinist Benjamin Beilman will serve as both Guest Concertmaster and soloist. His concerto selection will be Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 1042 in E major. The remainder of the program will span the history of Western music from the seventeenth century of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber to the very recent past of Andrew Norman. In chronological order (which will not be the order of performance), the selections will be Biber’s music depiction of a battle, a popular form during both the renaissance and baroque periods, scored for solo violin, strings, and continuo, Gustav Mahler’s arrangement for string ensemble of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 95 (“Serioso”) string quartet in F minor, Igor Stravinsky’s “Basle” concerto in D, and Andrew Norman’s “Gran Turismo.”
January 27: Pianist Menahem Pressler will be guest soloist in a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 488 concerto in A major. This will be an all-Mozart program, and Hope will solo in the K. 216 violin concerto in G major. As Concertmaster, he will lead NCCO in performances of the K. 201 Symphony in A major and the K. 546 coupling of adagio and fugue movements.
May 19: Pianist Simone Dinnerstein will be the concerto soloist, and the Guest Concertmaster for the final concert of the season will be Zachary DePue. Dinnerstein will play two decidedly different concertos. She will present the West Coast premiere of Philip Glass’ third piano concerto; and her long-standing commitment to the music of Bach will be represented with a performance of the BWV 1058 keyboard concerto in G minor. The program will also include the last of Francesco Geminiani’s six Opus 3 concerti grossi, written in the key of E minor, Benjamin Britten’s arrangement of a G minor chaconne by Henry Purcell, and “Aheym,” which Bryce Dessner originally composed for the Kronos Quartet.
All San Francisco performances will take place in Herbst Theatre, whose entrance is on the ground floor of the War Memorial Veterans Building, located at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. Full subscriptions are being sold for $220 for premium seating, as well as $176 and $104. The prices for three-concert subscriptions are $165, $132, and $78, respectively. Subscriptions are being handled through a Web page on the NCCO Web site. Purchase requires following a hyperlink to a site for filling out all necessary information through Google Forms. Subscribers will also be entitled to 10% discounts on any subsequent single ticket purchases.
As in the past, each concert will be preceded by an Open Rehearsal beginning at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday morning. The dates for the four rehearsals will be September 20, November 8, January 24, and May 16. Admission will be $15. However, because these will be available only through single tickets, they will not go on sale until August 1, at which time they may be purchased through City Box Office event pages.