courtesy of the San Francisco Symphony
As part of next month’s seasonal programming, the Great Performers Series hosted by the San Francisco Symphony will present the Davies Symphony Hall debut of the Bach Collegium Japan led by internationally renowned conductor Masaaki Suzuki (pictured above). In December of 2012 Suzuki visited the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale to present a Christmas-themed concert. This time he will bring his own ensemble to present four of the six cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach collected as the BWV 248 Christmas Oratorio.
Bach wrote the cantatas to be performed at different services. It is unclear whether or not Bach ever intended them to be collected for a single performance. According to the composition’s Wikipedia page, such a performance was not given until December 17, 1857. Of the four cantatas that Suzuki has selected, he will begin with the first three of the set, written, respectively for Christmas Eve and the second and third days of Christmas, and conclude the last one, written for the Feast of Epiphany. Soloists will be soprano Sherezade Panthaki (who sang with Suzuki during his 2012 visit), alto Jay Carter, Tenor Zachary Wilder, and bass Dominik Wörner.
This concert will be given only one performance at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 9. Ticket prices range from $25 to $99. They may be purchased online through the event page for this program on the SFS Web site, by calling 415-864-6000, or by visiting the Box Office in Davies Symphony Hall, whose entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday.