Thursday, January 11, 2018

Choices for February 3–4, 2018

The first weekend in February will be another busy one. However, at least for now, only Saturday and Sunday will require making choices. Those choices will be among diverse offerings, but they are still likely to be difficult. Here is where things stand (bearing in mind that additions to these alternatives may appear subsequently):

[added 1/12, 11:50 a.m.:

Friday, February 2, 8 p.m., Saturday, February 3,  2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, February 4, 2 p.m., Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA): This will be the weekend of the next production of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta by Lamplighters Music Theatre. As indicated above, there will be a performance on Friday, as well as on the dates singled out in the headline above. The operetta will be The Gondoliers, whose plot involves not only the usual surprise relationships but also some very clever takes on the distinctions between a monarchy and a republic. The conductor will be Music Director Baker Peeples, and the production will be staged by Phil Lowery.

The theater is located at 700 Howard Street on the northwest corner of Third Street. Premium Orchestra tickets are $59, those in Center Terrace and the remainder of the Orchestra are $49, and those in the Side Terrace and Boxes are $44. Seniors (aged 62 or older) are entitled to a $5 discount in all sections; and a $10 discount per ticket is available for a Group Rate of ten or more tickets. $20 tickets are available in all sections for children (aged seventeen and under), students (aged 25 and under), and K-12 educators. Finally, student rush tickets are available one hour prior to each performance for only $15 with presentation of appropriate identification. The Box Office can be reached by telephone at 415-978-2787. A single Web page has been created with hyperlinks for purchasing tickets for each of the four performances. The Box Office is closed on Mondays and opens at 11 a.m. on all other days. It closes at 8 p.m. on Thursdays and closes at 6 p.m. on the remaining days. The Box Office also opens 90 minutes prior to each performance.]

Saturday, February 3, 7:30 p.m., Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church: The Chamber Music Society of San Francisco (CMSSF) will give its next San Francisco concert. Regular readers probably know by now that this is the name of the string quartet founded by violinists Natasha Makhijani and Jory Fankuchen, violist Clio Tilton, and cellist Samsun van Loon (all of whom are now also playing as members of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra). The title of the program will be Love and Loss, and it will feature Felix Mendelssohn’s Opus 80 quartet in F minor. This quartet was written after the death of the composer’s sister Fanny, and it is one of Mendelssohn’s most intense expressions of emotional anguish.

In addition, clarinetist Steve Sánchez will again return as guest artist. About a year ago Sánchez joined CMSSF for a performance of Johannes Brahms’ Opus 115 quintet in B minor. This time the selection will be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 581 quintet in A major. Like the Brahms quintet, K. 581 was written relatively late in the composer’s short life.

This concert is expected to last about two hours. Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church is located in the Mission at 455 Fair Oaks Street. Ticket prices at the door will be $25 with a $5 rate for those aged eighteen and under. Tickets may be purchased online in advance through an Eventbrite event page; and an “Early Bird” rate of only $20 for general admission will be available until the end of January 14.

Saturday, February 3, 7:30 p.m., Herbst Theatre: The next concert to be offered by the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts will be a solo performance by iconic American guitarist Leo Kottke. Kottke will be playing both six-string and twelve-string guitars. Program details have not yet been released, and the selections will probably be announced by Kottke from the stage.

The entrance to Herbst Theatre is 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. Ticket prices are $55 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the front and center of the Dress Circle, $45 for the Side Boxes, the center rear of the Dress Circle, and the remainder of the Orchestra, and $35 for the remainder of the Dress Circle and the Balcony. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a City Box Office event page.

Saturday, February 3, 7:30 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM): For the next performance to be given by the New Music Ensemble, Conductor Nicole Paiement has prepared an ingenious “call-and-response” program. The “call” will come from Arnold Schoenberg with a performance of his Opus 9 (first) chamber symphony in E major, which was completed in 1906. The “response” will come from the chamber symphony that John Adams composed in 1992, using exactly the same instrumentation that Schoenberg had required for his Opus 9. While Opus 9 is a single-movement composition, Schoenberg identified its five sections as “Sonata. Allegro,” “Scherzo,” “Development,” “Adagio,” and “Recapitulation and Finale.” Adams’ piece is in three movements entitled “Mongrel Airs,” “Aria with Walking Bass,” and “Roadrunner.” SFCM is located at 50 Oak Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. There will be no charge for admission, and reservations will not be required.

Sunday, February 4, 2 p.m., SFCM: Indre Viskontas will give her Faculty Artist Series recital. She is a soprano who also holds a doctoral degree in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California at Los Angeles. As in the past, her offering will involve a background lecture as well as performance. Again, there will be no charge for admission; and reservations will not be required.

Sunday, February 4, 4 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: As was announced this past summer, Ensemble for These Times (E4TT) will present the next installment in its 56 x 54 series of world premiere performances of works written in response to the 2015 Call for Scores. The featured work will be “Genesis I: Elementi,” a rarely performed string trio by Henryk Górecki. E4TT cellist Anne Lerner-Wright will be joined by violinist Ilana Blumberg Thomas and violist Julie Michael. The Call for Scores composers to be included on the program will be Weiwei Miao, Julianna Hall, Leah Kennedy, Mike McFerron, Dave Collins, and Joelle Wallach. The program will also include “Passion Revisited” by Aleksandra Vrebalov, one of the composers who contributed to the Kronos Quartet’s “Fifty-for-the-Future” commissioning effort.

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church is located at 1111 O’Farrell Street, which is just west of the intersection with Franklin Street. Tickets will be $30 with a $20 charge for students. They are currently available for sale online through an Eventbrite event page.

Sunday, February 4, 4 p.m., Church of the Advent of Christ the King: The title of the February concert to be presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS) will be Peace in our Time: Music of Love and Loss in the Shadow of the Thirty Years’ War. The performers will be the Agave Baroque instrumental ensemble, whose members are violinists Aaron Westman and Natalie Carducci, William Skeen on cello and gamba, Kevin Cooper on guitar and theorbo, and Henry Lebedinsky on harpsichord and organ. They will be joined by countertenor Reginald Mobley. The program will include two of the lesser-known members of the Bach family, Heinrich and Johann Christoph. Indeed, most of the selections will probably be new to most listeners with the exception of Johann Pachelbel’s D major coupling of a canon and a gigue (which will be given the “period” treatment that tends to be neglected more often than not).

The Church of the Advent of Christ the King is located at 261 Fell Street, between Franklin Street and Gough Street. The entry is diagonally across the street from the SFJAZZ Center. General admission will be $45 with discounted rates of $40.50 for seniors, $38.25 for SFEMS members, and $15 for students. A Web page has been created for online purchases of single tickets. In addition, because this is the first of three events remaining in the season, mini-subscriptions for three concerts are still available.

No comments: