The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) was founded in 1917. That means that the coming season will mark the centennial of the oldest institution of its kind on the West Coast of the United States. Several concerts and events have been planned specifically to mark this landmark occasion. Here are the key centennial-specific events currently planned:
A series of four performances will mark the beginning of the season with a Centennial Celebration Weekend. In order of presentation, these will be as follows:
- Saturday, September 16, 5:30 p.m., Recital Hall: Things will begin with a recital by the Pre-College students. This event is still in the planning stage, so program details have not yet been announced. Tickets will be free, but reservations will be required. Reservations may be requested by filling out a Google Forms Web page.
- Saturday, September 16, 7:30 p.m., Concert Hall: The major kick-off event will be the first concert of the season by the Conservatory Orchestra, conducted by Director Eric Dudley. He has selected two compositions, both of which were performed shortly after SFCM’s founding. One of these, Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome,” will serve as the grand finale, replete with unabashed spectacle. The other will be Igor Stravinsky’s far more austere “Symphonies of Wind Instruments.” The program will begin with “Icarian Rhapsody,” composed by faculty member Mason Bates. General admission for this concert will be $20 with a $15 rate for students. Tickets may be purchased through a Click4tix Web page, which includes a chart showing seat availability.
- Sunday, September 17, 2 p.m., Concert Hall: This will be a recital of both chamber music and solo piano music. Performers will include faculty, students, and Class of 2017 graduate, pianist Joanna Rozewska. The chamber music will feature the first movement of the first string quartet by Ernest Bloch, who served as SFCM Director between 1925 and 1930. The other chamber selections will be the second movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 493 piano quartet in E-flat major and the final movement of Gabriel Fauré’s Opus 15 (first) piano quartet in C minor. The piano works will include two pieces by Frédéric Chopin, the second (in A-flat major) of the Opus 50 mazurkas and the Opus 23 (first) ballade in G minor. The program will also feature Adolf Schulz-Evler’s Opus 12, his piano transcription of “The Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II, which he called a set of “Arabesques.” Tickets will again be free with reservations required through a Google Forms Web page.
- Sunday, September 17, 7:30 p.m., Osher Salon: The final event will be a showcase of the works of students in the Technology and Applied Composition Department under the guidance of Executive Director MaryClare Brzytwa; no reservations will be required for this free concert.
Several other events specific to the Centennial Season have been planned. For the most part the details have not yet been announced, but it will probably be worth while to make note of the dates. Specifics are as follows:
- There will be a series of three Faculty Centennial Concerts that will feature both performances and compositions by faculty members; the dates for these recitals have been set for October 16, January 28, and April 9.
- There will be a special all-day event on January 21 that will offer a series of concerts all programmed in honor of SFCM’s Chamber Music Legacy.
- On January 31 the inaugural class of students in Roots, Jazz, and American Music will give a side-by-side performance with the members of the SFJAZZ Collective.
- Finally, there will be one special event that will be held in the Nourse Theater, rather than in any of the SFCM spaces, during the afternoon of February 25. Sunday with the Sopranos will be an afternoon of music and discussion. The performers will include Patricia Racette, Frederica von Stade, and faculty member Deborah Voigt. They will be joined by other guests, all with strong ties to SFCM.
For those who have not yet visited, SFCM is located at 50 Oak Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni Station. Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office, which is in the building’s entrance lobby. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday in the morning between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and in the afternoon between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. It is also open one hour prior to all performances for which tickets are required. The Box Office telephone number is 415-503-6275.