Thursday, April 19, will be one of those days where two events of interest will be beginning at the same time, 7:30 p.m.; and a third will start half an hour later. That third option will be when Yan Pascal Tortelier will present his program devoted to Maurice Ravel with the San Francisco Symphony in Davies Symphony Hall, as reported near the end of last month. The other two will appeal to decidedly different tastes, but the good news is that one of the options marks the beginning of a series with four more events to follow. Here are the specifics for the two alternatives at 7:30 p.m.:
Bird & Beckett Books and Records: Jazz bassist Lisa Mezzacappa will be enjoying a five-concert residency at this venue, which will last through the beginning of November. The public face of this residency will consist of four Work-in-Progress Salons followed by a Concert Finale. The objective behind these events will be the development of a new suite inspired by the twelve short stories that Italo Calvino collected in the book whose title in English was Cosmicomics. (This English edition was first published in 1968.) Mezzacappa will perform with her sextet, whose other members are Aaron Bennet (tenor saxophone), John Finkbeiner (guitar), Mark Clifford (vibraphone), Tim Perkis (electronics), and Jordan Glenn (drums).
The remaining three Salons will also take place on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on May 24, July 5, and September 13. There will be no charge for this event, but a donation of between $5 and $10 is suggested. The Concert Finale will then take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 3 with a suggested donation of $20. Bird & Beckett is located at 653 Chenery Street, a short walk from the Glen Park station for both Muni and BART. The collections of books and records are pretty impressive, so be prepared for the urge to buy something there!
Herbst Theatre: The 2017–2018 Piano Series presented by San Francisco Performances will conclude with its fourth recital. The soloist will be Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, whose program will offer repertoire decidedly different from that being performed at both Bird & Beckett and Davies. He will begin with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 310 sonata in A minor, preceded by the K. 511 rondo, also in A minor. This will be followed by Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 101 sonata in the key of A major. The path from Mozart to Beethoven will then continue on to Robert Schumann with a performance of that composer’s Opus 22 sonata in G minor. The program will then conclude with the four Opus 24 mazurkas by Frédéric Chopin followed by his Opus 53 (sixth) polonaise in A-flat major.
The entrance to Herbst 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. Tickets prices are $70 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the front and center of the Dress Circle, $55 for the Side Boxes, the center rear of the Dress Circle, and the remainder of the Orchestra, and $40 for the remainder of the Dress Circle and the Balcony. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a City Box Office event page.