Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sunset Music and Arts Begins New Season on Saturday

Readers may recall that Sunset Music and Arts organizes its season around the calendar year, rather than the more conventional fall-spring-summer ordering. Now in its fourth season, programming has grown to accommodate six concert series, one of which is focused on young artists. This year’s season will begin with the Chamber/Ensemble Series, which will offer seven concerts, two of which will feature piano quartet performances, the somewhat less conventional gathering of violin, viola, cello, and piano; and there will be one program with the more familiar piano trio genre. Two of the recitals will present solo instruments (violin and flute) with piano accompaniment; and there will also be a duo recital for violin and cello. The remaining program will present the pre-Classical repertoire. Specifics are as follows:

Saturday, January 6, 4 p.m.: The season will begin with the Bridge Quartet, whose members are violinist Cynthia Baehr-Williams, violist Eleanor Angel, cellist Kristin Garbeff, and pianist Kumiko Uyeda. They have prepared a program with an impressive historical span. The opening selection will be Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 16 in E-flat major, which he composed for piano with oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn in 1796 and then arranged for piano quartet in 1810. This will be followed by “The Z Sonata,” which Clarice Assad composed on a commission from the Ocean Reef Music Festival. The program will conclude with Joaquín Turina’s Opus 67 piano quartet in A minor, which he composed in 1931.

Friday, February 16, 7 p.m.: The MUSA chamber ensemble will give its first concert for Sunset Music & Arts. From a point of view of repertoire, this is likely to be the most unique concert of the season. The title of the program will be Smorgasbord Baroque; and, like all of the programs they present, it will offer historically informed performances played on period instruments. For this event the performers will be Cynthia Black and Addi Liu, both alternating between violin and viola, Frédéric Rosselet on cello, and Derek Tam on keyboard. The title refers to the diversity of musical creations that emerged during the first wave of globalization, which took place between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Thus, the works of European composers will be juxtaposed with music from much more distant sources, such as the imperial Chinese court and the cathedrals in the Hispanic “new world” of North and South America. Specific selections will be announced at a later date.

Saturday, March 3, 7:30 p.m.: This will be a violin recital by Patrick Galvin accompanied at the piano by Jungeun Kim; program details will be coming soon.

Sunday, April 15, 7 p.m.: Trio 180 is the faculty piano trio-in-residence at the University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music. The members are violinist Ann Miller, cellist Vicky Wang, and pianist Sonia Leong. Program details will be coming soon.

Saturday, August 18, 7:30 p.m.: The second piano quartet of the season will consist of Jeremy Preston on violin, Deanne Badizadegan on viola, Angela Lee on cello, and Britton Day on piano. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart may not have invented the piano quartet, but he is definitely the earliest composer to establish it in the standard repertoire. His contribution will be acknowledged with a performance of his K. 493 quartet in E-flat major. The second half of the program will then be devoted to Johannes Brahms Opus 25 quartet in G minor. Brahms put a lot of effort into this piece, working on it between 1856 and 1861; and many view it as his first venture into the “symphonic” scale. (His first symphony would not be completed until 1876.)

Saturday, September 15, 7:30 p.m.: This recital will present the duo of violinist Jason Totzke and cellist Ben Snellings offering a program whose details will be coming soon.

Saturday, October 13, 7:30 p.m.: Kris Palmer will be the soloist performing on a wooden, rather than metallic, flute. She has prepared a program of music from three centuries. The earliest piece, which was probably written with a wooden flute in mind, will be George Frideric Handel’s HWV 363b sonata in G major, the fifth of the sonatas in his 1732 Opus 1 publication. The program will open with a sonatina by the twentieth-century composer Eldin Burton and conclude with a piece by the nineteenth-century flute virtuoso Franz Doppler, his Opus 26, which he called “Fantasie Pastorale Hongroise” (leaving it to the listener to decide which word modifies which). Palmer will be accompanied at the piano by Varvara Milinder.

All performances will take place in the Sunset district at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, located at 1750 29th Avenue, about halfway between Moraga Street and Noriega Street. Ticket prices are $20 for general admission with a $15 rate for students and seniors. Because the demand tends to be high, advance purchase is highly advised. Tickets may be purchased online through Eventbrite. Subscriptions are not being sold, but each of the hyperlinks on the above dates leads to the event page for single ticket purchases. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-564-2324.

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