Friday, January 19, 2018

Choices for February 24–25, 2018

The next busy weekend in February will be the last one. As of this writing, Sunday will be the busier of the two days; but any additions on the Saturday side will be seen as subsequent amendments to this text. Specifics are as follows:

[added 1/24, 4:15 p.m.:

Saturday, February 24, 2 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall: The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) will welcome the Year of the Dog with its annual Chinese New Year Concert & Imperial Dinner. This year the conductor will be Xian Zhang, making her SFS debut. Soloists will be pianist Zhang Zuo, violinist Yun Chu, and cellist Amos Yang, all of whom will play in a performance of Tan Dun's “The Triple Resurrection.” Zuo will also perform as soloist in Sergei Rachmaninoff's Opus 43 rhapsody based on the theme of the last of the 24 caprices that Niccolò Paganini composed for solo violin. Other Chinese composers on the program will be Huanzhi Li and Huang Ruo. There will also be traditional music, including the Dragon Dance, which will open the program.

The concert will begin one hour after the doors to the Davies lobbies open at 2 p.m. During that hour all of the lobbies will offer a wide diversity of family entertainments. These will include arts and crafts appropriate to the season, lion dancing, games, and, for those wishing to snack, food, desserts, and tea bars. As in the past, the concert will be followed by the annual Lunar New Year Imperial Dinner, catered by McCalls.

Davies is located at 201 Van Ness Avenue, and the main entrance is the Box Office lobby on Grove Street, about half a block to the west of Van Ness Avenue. Ticket prices in which seating is currently available range from $34 to $79. 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 Officet.

Tickets for the Lunar New Year Imperial Dinner are sold separately. Prices range from $400 for an individual ticket at the Gold Supporter level to $12,500 for a table of ten at the Jade Partner level. There is a separate Web page describing all the different levels, the benefits associated with each, and how much of the price is tax-deductible. This Web page also includes hyperlinks for online purchase at the different price levels.]

Saturday, February 24, 8 p.m., The Lab: The next concert offering at this venue will be a two-set program. The major offering will be “Atlas,” a “sonic experience” created by Leyya Mona Tawil and Mike Khoury. Performing as the duo Tawil & Khoury, this pair works with the interrelationships of the practices of dance and music-making. Their compositions involve narratives of identity in the context of the diaspora of Arab cultures. (Tawil describes her own background as Syrian, Palestinian, and American.)

The opening set for the evening will be taken by Dominic Cramp performing in his Lord Tang persona. Lord Tang wears a white tuxedo to go with his white painted face. He draws upon sounds dredged from the depths of Jamaican dub, from which he then creates his own kaleidoscope of surreal auditory experiences. Those sounds accompany dances of abstract narratives created by artist Kelly Porter.

The Lab is located in the Mission at 2948 16th Street. This is a short walk from the corner of Mission Street. This is particularly good for those using public transportation, since that corner provides bus stops for both north-south and east-west travel as well as a BART station.

Admission will be $15, and members of The Lab will be admitted for free. Advance registration is strongly advised. Separate Web pages have been created for members and the general public. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m., half an hour before the performance is scheduled to begin. Events at The Lab tend to attract a large turnout, so early arrival is almost always highly recommended.

Saturday, February 24, 8 p.m., St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church: Sanford Dole’s a cappella mixed choir, the North Star Vocal Artists, will present a program entitled Water. Dole will conduct a performance of his own composition, “Water: Making Everything New,” based on a text by Native American poet Paula Gunn. Specific to the ocean will be “The Sounding Sea” by Eric William Barnum, while there will be settings of verses about rain by Ivo Antognini and John Milne. On a more popular side, the program will include “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” from The Fantasticks (music by Harvey Schmidt setting lyrics by Tom Jones), possibly in the arrangement for the jazz quartet known as The Singers Unlimited. Other popular songs to be given an a cappella arrangement will be “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Shenandoah,” and “Snowfall.”

St. Gregory’s is located at 500 De Haro Street, at the foot of Potrero Hill. General admission tickets may be reserved in advance for $25 and will be sold at the door for $30. There will be a reduced rate of $10 for students. Tickets are no being sold online, but advance registrations may be made through electronic mail.

Saturday, February 24, 8 p.m., Herbst Theatre: Chamber Music San Francisco (CMSF) will present a trio recital bringing together tenor Michael Schade, violinist Livia Sohn, and pianist Kevin Murphy. Performing as a trio, these musicians will present a series of arrangements made by Fritz Kreisler for tenor, violin, and piano. Sohn will play violin solos based on operatic themes, and Schade will sing a variety of genres, including German lieder and arias from both operas and oratorios.

The entrance to Herbst Theatre is on the ground floor of the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. Ticket prices are $60 (Orchestra and Boxes), $51 (Dress Circle), and $42 (Balcony). Tickets may be purchased online through a City Box Office event page, which includes a floor plan that shows the number of seats available in the different sections. In addition, because the CMSF season has not yet begun, full subscriptions to all ten concerts are still on sale. These may be purchased for $350 through a PalPal Web page. It is also possible to save $4 on each ticket with the purchase of a mini-series of four or more concerts. The best way to do this will be to contact CMSF by phone at 415-392-4400, but there are also hyperlinks on the Subscription Packages Web page through which one can create a PayPal shopping cart of mini-series selections.

Sunday, February 25, 2 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall: The February installment of the chamber music recitals presented by members of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) will consist of three trios. Two of these will be conventional piano trios, the first (in D minor) by Anton Arensky and the third (Opus 65 in F minor) by Antonín Dvořák. The program will begin with a much more recent composition, a trio for flute, violin, and piano by Nino Rota, best known by the scores he created for the films of Federico Fellini.

Davies Symphony Hall is located at 201 Van Ness Avenue and fills an entire city block. The other boundaries are Grove Street (north), Hayes Street (south), and Franklin Street (west). The main entrance (which is also the entrance to the Box Office) is on Grove Street, roughly halfway down the block. All tickets are $40. Tickets may be purchased in advance online from an event page created on the SFS Web site. However, information about seat availability and seat selection requires that Flash be running. Tickets may also be purchased by visiting the Box Office or calling 415-864-6000.

Sunday, February 25, 3 p.m., Nourse Theater: The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) will present Sunday with the Divas, a Special Event that will bring together on one stage four world-renowned opera singers: Marilyn Horne, Patricia Racette, Deborah Voigt, and Frederica von Stade. This will not be a musical event as much as it will be an informal conversation serving up different perspectives on the nature of a career in the opera world, probably with a generous share of anecdotes added as spice. The Nourse Theater is located at 275 Hayes Street, across the street from Davies Symphony Hall, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. Ticket prices will be $50 in the balcony, $75 in the loge, and $100 in the orchestra section. Tickets may be purchased online in advance through a City Box Office event page.

Sunday, February 25, 3 p.m., Taube Atrium Theater: West Edge Opera will present its second installment of Snapshot, a “showcase” program that will present staged excerpts from new operas by both emerging and established West Coast composers. This season’s offerings will be as follows:
  1. The Last Tycoon, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald of the same name with a score by Cyril Deaconoff working with a libretto by David Yezzi
  2. Dynamo, scenes from the professional and family live of Thomas Edison composed by Larry London with a libretto by William Smock
  3. Death of a Playboy, a reflection on the funeral of Hugh Hefner with both music and libretto by Brian Rosen
  4. 452 Jamestown Place, an examination of multiple personality disorder by Katherine Saxon, who wrote both the music and the libretto
  5. She Who is Alive, a dysfunctional futurist vision with a score by Erling Wold working with librettist Robert Harris
All tickets are being sold for $40. They may be purchased in advance online from a Vendini event page. The Diane and Tad Taube Atrium Theater is located on the fourth floor of the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street.

Sunday, February 25, 4 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: The American Bach Soloists (ABS) subscription series will begin by revisiting Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 245 Passion setting based on the Gospel According to Saint John (the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters, but with two interpolations from the Gospel According to Saint Matthew). Tenor Aaron Sheehan will return to sing the Evangelist texts, having previously done so when BWV 245 was performed in the 2013 subscription series. The words of Christ will be sung by baritone Jesse Blumberg, who had been the aria soloist in 2013. This year’s aria soloists will be soprano Hélène Brunet, alto Robin Bier (making her ABS debut after previously making a deep impression as an ABS Academy student), tenor Steven Brennfleck, and baritone Bryan Jolly (another debut performance).

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church is located at 1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street. There are a variety of options for purchasing tickets, all of which are available online through a single Tickets Web page on the ABS Web site. Subscriptions to the three 2018 concerts are being sold for $227, $176, and $89. Single tickets are $89, $69, and $35.

[added 2/8, 2:15 p.m.:

Sunday, February 25, 4 p.m., Old First Presbyterian Church: Old First Concerts will host a Chopin Birthday Gala. The occasion will be marked by a solo piano recital by nineteen-year old pianist Eric Lu, First Prize Winner of the 2015 U.S. National Chopin Competition. Programming will be devoted entirely to the solo piano works of (who else?) Frédéric Chopin. The concert will begin at the usual time for a Sunday afternoon (as above); but cake and champagne will be served for the occasion when the doors open earlier than usual at 3 p.m.

The Old First Presbyterian Church is located at 1751 Sacramento Street on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue. If purchased in advance online from the O1C event page, general admission will be $23 with a discounted rate of $18 for seniors aged 65 or older. Tickets for full-time students showing valid identification will be $5; and children aged twelve and under will be admitted for free. There is also a discount available for those parking at the Old First Parking Garage at 1725 Sacramento Street, just up the street from the church.]

[added 2/7, 10:55 a.m.:

Sunday, February 25, 4 p.m., Noe Valley Ministry: The title of the next concert in the Noe Valley Chamber Music (NVCM) series will be entitled How Cold the Wind Doth Blow. Tenor Brian Thorsett will return to NVCM performing with both John Churchwell on piano and Kevin Rivard on horn. These are the resources required for Franz Schubert's D. 943 song, “Auf dem Strom.” The program will also include the West Coast premiere of Ian Venables Opus 22, his Venetian Songs collection, Shinji Eshima's "Bourne to Shelley," and works by Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and John McCabe.

The Noe Valley Ministry is located in Noe Valley at 1021 Sanchez Street. Tickets are $30 at the door with a $25 rate for seniors and a $15 rate for students aged thirteen or older. (Those over the age of eighteen will be required to show valid identification as confirmation of full-time status.) Children younger than thirteen will be admitted for free. If purchased in advance through a Brown Paper Tickets event page, general admission will be discounted to $25. Tickets may also be purchased in advance by calling NVCM at 415-648-5236.

Sunday, February 25, 7 p.m., Herbst Theatre: Tickets are now on sale for the annual Gift Concert, which is offered to San Francisco Performances subscribers and donors free of charge. Every year this concert presents an emerging talent, and this year that talent will be the young Polish strong quartet that calls itself Apollon Musagète, taking its name from a ballet score by Igor Stravinsky, which translates as “Apollo, Leader of the Muses.” The program will present string quartets by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (K. 465 in C major, known as the “Dissonant”) and Edvard Grieg (Opus 27 in G major). The opening selection will be Jean Sibelius' “Andante Festivo.”

The entrance to Herbst is the the main entrance to the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue, located on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. The venue is excellent for public transportation, since that corner has Muni bus stops for both north-south and east-west travel. All remaining tickets are being sold for $40. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a City Box Office event page.]

Sunday, February 25, 8 p.m., SFCM: The second Faculty Artist Series concert of the month will feature the music of composer Ryan Brown. The featured selection on the program will be “Mortal Lessons,” the work for which Brown was awarded the SFCM Hoefer Prize Commission. This concert will take place in the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall. Admission will be free, and reservations will not be required.

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