It is with a certain amount of relief that I find myself ready to start presenting heads-up articles about activities in November. Checking my records, I see that I am doing so only a few days later than I did last month. As I did at that time, I shall begin by summarizing some of the key events taking place at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM). All of them will be free, but some will require reservations. The SFCM building is located at 50 Oak Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni Station. Readers are encouraged to consult the Performance Calendar Web page at the SFCM Web site for the most up-to-date information about any of these offerings. Here is a chronological listing of events likely to be of interest to serious and attentive listeners:
Wednesday, November 1, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall: This will be the first of three Faculty Artist Series recitals to be offered in the month of November. The soloist will be Dimitri Murrath, who is the new Co-Chair of the String and Piano Chamber Music program. He will be accompanied by pianist Hyeyeon Park. His one solo selection will be the passacaglia in G minor that concludes the Rosary Sonatas collection by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber. Both of the sonatas for viola and piano will come from that transitional period from the end of the nineteenth century into the beginning of the twentieth. Murrath will begin with the F minor sonata by Joannes Brahms, the first of his two Opus 120 sonatas, which were originally composed for clarinet and piano. He will then conclude with the sonata that Rebecca Clarke composed in 1919. Murrath prepared this program to celebrate his new album release, and a reception will follow the performance. Reservations will be required, which may be made online through a Google Forms Web page.
Saturday, November 4, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 5, 2 p.m., Concert Hall: Eric Dudley, Conductor of the Conservatory Orchestra, has prepared a program entitled New Music for Chamber Orchestra. However, the sense of “novelty” has multiple connotations and reaches back almost 100 years. The oldest work on the program is a set of four pieces that Ernest Bloch called “episodes;” and, completed in 1926. This set was one of his first compositions after he assumed the directorship of SFCM in 1925. Similarly “Common Tones in Simple Time” was composed by John Adams in 1979 during the time when he was teaching at SFCM. The remaining work on the program will be Julia Wolfe’s “The Vermeer Room,”, which was composed in 1989 and given its first performance by the San Francisco Symphony.
Tuesday, November 7, 7:30 p.m., Concert Hall: SFCM will host a Community Concert organized by the Kronos Quartet in collaboration with both SFCM students and the San Francisco Unified School District. The program will draw heavily upon the results of Kronos’ Under 30 Project, a major commissioning and residency program to provide a platform for composers under the age of 30. Performances will be not only by Kronos but also by the Lowell Quartet, the SOTA Chamber Orchestra, the Lowell Orchestra, and a full orchestra in which Kronos members will perform with both SFUSD students and SFCM students. Reservations will be required, which may be made online through a Google Forms Web page.
Saturday, November 11, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 12, 2 p.m., Concert Hall: Corey Jamason, Chair of Historical Keyboards and Co-Director of the Baroque Ensemble, will bring his Theatre Comique group, which he co-directs with Eric Davis, to SFCM, where they will perform with members of the SFCM Orchestra. Readers may recall that Theatre Comique will be presenting a program of music from the time of the California Gold Rush as part of the all-day symposium on October 28, organized by San Francisco Opera in preparation for the premiere of Adams’ latest opera, Girls of the Golden West. The SFCM program will present both orchestral and vocal music by Victor Herbert and Jerome Kern, including selections from Kern’s Very Good Eddie, which will be performed in its entirety the following weekend. Soprano Erica Schuller, mezzo Katherine Growdon, and tenor Brian Thorsett will join forces with SFCM voice students. Reservations will be required, and there are separate Google Forms Web pages for the Saturday and Sunday performances.
Saturday, November 18, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 19, 4 p.m., Recital Hall: Michael Mohammed, Director of the Musical Theatre Workshop, will present a staging of Very Good Eddie in its entirety, working with Music Director Lauren Mayer.
Sunday, November 19, 2 p.m., Recital Hall: The second Faculty Artist Series recital of the month will be performed by violist Jonathan Vinocour. Program details have not yet been announced. Reservations will be required and may be made through a Google Forms Web page.
Thursday, November 30, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall: The final Faculty Artist Series concert of the month will be presented by pianist Jon Nakamatsu. Clarinetist Jon Manasse will be Nakamatsu’s special guest. Program details have not yet been announced. Reservations will be required and may be made through a Google Forms Web page.