As is the case every season, those who wish to subscribe to the 2018 season of Chamber Music San Francisco (CMSF) can enjoy a special discounted “Early Bird” rate. The San Francisco season will consist of ten concerts that will take place between February and May. All performances will take place in Herbst Theatre, located in the Veterans Building on the southwest corner of Van Ness Avenue and McAllister Street. Concerts will alternate between Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Specifics are as follows:
February 11, 3 p.m., James Ehnes: This highly talented violinist made his San Francisco recital debut with CMSF in April of 2012, having made his San Francisco debut with Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) conducting the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in June of 2010. Since that time he has returned to Davies Symphony Hall to perform with SFS under both MTT and Charles Dutoit. He has also accumulated an impressive number of recordings involving highly imaginative approaches to both familiar and unfamiliar repertoire. Program details have not yet been announced.
February 24, 8 p.m., Michael Schade: This will be a “special project” project that tenor Schade conceived in honor of legendary tenor John McCormack. He has prepared a project (whose details have not yet been announced) that will include arrangements that violinist Fritz Kreisler prepared for recitals he gave with McCormack. Schade’s “channeling” of McCormack will be complemented by Livia Sohn “covering for” Kreisler.
March 4, 3 p.m., Seong-Jin Cho: This award winning young South Korean pianist made his San Francisco debut as a CMSF recitalist at the end of this past February. The only composer he will revisit from last season’s recital will be Frédéric Chopin, this time playing the Opus 58 (third) sonata in B minor at the conclusion of his program. He will begin with two sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven, Opus 13 (“Pathétique”) in C minor and Opus 109 in E major. Between his Beethoven and Chopin sonatas, Cho will play selections from the two books of solo piano compositions that Claude Debussy entitled Images.
March 11, 3 p.m., Angela Hewitt: This pianist, who visits the Bay Area regularly, will give a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 988 set of 30 (“Goldberg”) variations on an aria theme.
March 17, 8 p.m., Israeli Chamber Project: This ensemble is based in both Israel and New York. It has previously performed in San Francisco under the auspices of the Morrison Artists Series. It amounts to a “string quartet++” group, where those plus signs will best be represented by a performance of Maurice Ravel’s coupling of Introduction and Allegro movements scored for flute, clarinet, harp, and strings. The group also includes a pianist, who will participate in a performance of Robert Schumann’s Opus 44 piano quintet in E-flat major. The program will also include solo piano music by Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Igor Stravinsky.
April 15, 3 p.m., Artemis Quartet: This Berlin-based string quartet will take a meat-and-potatoes approach to their program. They will conclude with the first (in A minor) of Schumann’s Opus 41 string quartets. Schumann will be approached in chronological order, beginning with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 590 quartet in F major, followed by the third (in D major) of Beethoven’s (“early”) Opus 18 quartets.
April 22, 3 p.m., Midori: Violinist Midori Gotō is a Bay Area favorite. She has an impressively wide interest in repertoire. In past visits she has given both solo performances and appeared with accompaniment. She has not yet announced the program she has prepared for CMSF.
May 5, 8 p.m., Yeol Eum Son: This medal-winning Korean pianist will be making her San Francisco debut. She has prepared a program that will definitely have the broadest scope of the CMSF season. At one end she will begin with Mozart’s K. 264 set of nine variations in C major on “Lison dormait,” an arietta from one of Nicolas Dezède’s comic operas. On the much more recent side she will play both Arvo Pärt’s “Variations for the Healing of Arinushka” and selections from Friedrich Gulda’s suite Play Piano Play, discussed on this site a little over a month ago.
May 13, 3 p.m., Brandenburg Concertos: This will be the annual Mother’s Day concert presented by the Archetti Baroque String Ensemble. This group presents historically-informed performances of music from the Baroque period with particular attention to Bach. Every year at least one of the six “Brandenburg” concertos is included on the program.
May 20, 3 p.m., Alexander Gavrylyuk: The season will conclude with the San Francisco debut of this medal-winning Ukrainian pianist. The scope of his program will range from the Hoboken XVI/32 sonata by Joseph Haydn in B minor to selections by Sergei Rachmaninoff. He will also play Ferruccio Busoni’s arrangement of Bach’s organ masterpiece, the BWV 565 toccata and fugue in D minor.
The Early Bird rate applies to both the full series of ten concerts and to the miniseries option of four or more concerts. The Early Bird price of the full series is $340, a savings of $206. A Web page has been created that provides for both options. In addition, Director Daniel Levenstein has offered an additional incentive. Those who can identify the two themes quoted in this passage will be entitled to a $25 credit on the order they place:
I have not been able to find a site on the Web on which one can provide the solution to this puzzle. However, once the order has been placed, it should be possible to phone in the solution to 415-759-1756. One may also purchase subscriptions through this number, rather than ordering online. The Early Bird offer will expire on September 1, and single tickets will not be available until January 1.