ZOFO (an imaginative abbreviation for 20-Finger Orchestra) is the delightfully engaging four-hands-on-one-keyboard duo of Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi:
courtesy of Old First Concerts
They have made regular visits to the Old First Concerts series at the Old First Presbyterian Church, and the next of those visits will take place in a little over a month’s time. The duo has blazed a bold new path for the four-hand repertoire by focusing on music from the present and preceding centuries, including regular commissions of new works.
The results of one of those commissions will be presented at next month’s recital. This will be the West Coast premiere of “Samudra Manthan,” named after an episode in Hindu mythology that translates as “the churning of the ocean milk.” That episode his to do with how the devas (gods) begin to lose their immortality as a result of a curse by the sage Durvasa. They summon their mortal enemies, the asuras (demons), to assist in churning the ocean to extract the amrit (nectar of immortality). This tale has been realized musically as a five-movement work by the Japanese composer Akira Nishimura. This “cosmic” theme will be complemented with a performance of Nakagoshi’s arrangement of Gustav Holst’s Opus 32 seven-movement suite The Planets, featured on the album ZOFORBIT: A Space Odyssey, which was released in May of 2014.
The Old First Presbyterian Church is located at 1751 Sacramento Street on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue. If purchased in advance online from an Old First Concerts event page, general admission will be $23 with a discounted rate of $18 for seniors aged 65 or older. Tickets for full-time students showing valid identification will be $5; and children aged twelve and under will still be admitted for free. There is also a discount available for those parking at the Old First Parking Garage at 1725 Sacramento Street, just up the street from the church.