The 25th anniversary season of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble will get under way in San Francisco this coming Monday. As had been announced in the 2017–2018 season preview article, the title of the first program will be A Garland for Weinberg, named in honor of the Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg. While Weinberg was born to a Jewish family in Warsaw, his graduation from the Warsaw Conservatory practically coincided with the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. Weinberg’s easiest escape was to the Soviet Union where he spent the rest of his life. One of his closest friends and advocates there was the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich.
Clarinetist Jerome Simas (courtesy of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble)
The program will begin with Weinberg’s Opus 28, a sonata for clarinet and piano, which will be performed by Jerome Simas (clarinet, shown above) and Eric Zivian (piano). In addition there will be world premieres of two compositions both composed as tributes to Weinberg. Stephen Blumberg took, as his point of departure, Weinberg’s Opus 42, a concertino for violin and string orchestra, which is one of the compositions that Gidon Kremer has featured in the Weinberg recordings he has made for ECM New Series. Blumberg also calls his piece a concertino; but he scored it for string quintet, giving the first violinist the role of a concerto soloist.
The other world premiere will be “Writing the Letter,” by Julie Herndon. This was conceived as an attempt to provide a biography in music. She thus draws upon a variety of stylistic influences to reflect some of the most important relationships that Weinberg formed over the course of his life.
The program will conclude with the music of another Polish composer, Krzysztof Penderecki, who was born in 1933 and has lived in Poland throughout his life, including the years under the influence of both the Nazis and the Soviet Union. “Leaves of an unwritten diary” was the title that Penderecki gave to his 2008 (third) string quartet. Recently, however, Penderecki reworked this quartet into a new version that includes a double bass part; and that is the version that will be played to conclude the program.
The San Francisco performance of this program will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 9. Tickets will be sold at the door for $35 for general admission and $18 for those under the age of 35. However, if the tickets are purchased in advance through a Vendini event page, the prices will be $30 for general admission and $15 for those under the age of 35. (The discount is applied after the number of tickets to be purchased is specified.) Those requiring further information may call 415-617-5223 (LCCE).
In addition, because this is the first concert of the season, subscriptions for the full season are still available for $125 for general admission and $105 for seniors. This amounts to a savings of up to $25 per ticket if tickets are purchased individually. There is open seating for all concerts. Subscriptions may be purchased online through a Vendini event page. Subscriptions are available for $50 for students and those under the age of 35. These apply to currently enrolled high school and college students. School representatives may contact Managing Director Nick Benavides for further details. Information is also available by sending electronic mail to the Box Office.