Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Choices for April 20–22, 2018

April will continue being a busy month. As has already been reported, this coming weekend will require some difficult choices between Friday evening and Sunday evening. Things are shaping up to be even busier during the third weekend of the month. Once again, events have already been reported for the Red Poppy Art House, which will be active on all three days of the weekend, and the Center for New Music, which will have a special visit of a duo from New York on Saturday. Specifics for the other options are as follows:

Friday, April 20, 8 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: Following up on last month’s program of German choral music during the nineteenth century, the California Bach Society (Cal Bach) will conclude its 47th season with George Frideric Handel’s settings of three of the Psalms for a Vespers service held in 1707 at the Carmelite church of Santa Maria in Montesanto in Rome. These are the HWV 232 setting of Psalm 110 (Dixit Dominus), the HWV 238 setting of Psalm 127 (Nisi Dominus), and the HWV 236 setting of Psalm 113 (Laudate pueri dominum). The 30-voice Cal Bach chamber chorus, led by Artistic Director Paul Flight, will be joined by soloists Phoebe Rosquist and Caroline Jou Armitage (sopranos), James Hogan (tenor), and Jeffrey Fields (baritone). Flight himself will sing the countertenor solos. Instrumental accompaniment will be provided by early music specialists Rachel Hurwitz, Lisa Grodin, Noah Strick, Aaron Westman, Anna Washburn, and Addi Liu (violins), Marieke Furnee and Amy Haltom (violas), Amy Brodo (cello), Kristin Zoernig (bass), and Yuko Tanaka (organ).

The San Francisco performance of this program will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 20. The venue will be St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, located at 1111 O'Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street. Tickets are $35 with discounts for advance purchase, seniors, students, and those under the age of thirty. Tickets may be purchased online through a Web page on the California Bach Society Web site.

Friday, April 20, 8 p.m., Community Music Center (CMC): The next Jazz in the Neighborhood event to be hosted by CMC will feature the return of the Montclair Women’s Big Band. The founders, trumpeter Ellen Seeling and saxophonist Jean Fineberg are still active members of this extraordinary swing machine. General admission will be $20 with a $10 rate for students and seniors. Advance purchase online will be handled by an event page created by Jazz in the Neighborhood.

[added 4/17, 10:45 a.m.:

Friday, April 20, 8:30 p.m., Monument: Those who follow One Found Sound probably know that many of their concerts have been hosted by Monument, whose headquarters are located in SoMa. Monument has now expanded it commitment to the performing arts by hosting a series of groupmuse events. The next of these concerts will present an ensemble familiar to those who follow groupmuse, the Vinifera Trio of pianist Ian Scarfe, violinist Rachel Patrick, and clarinetist Matthew Boyles. For this particular event, they will be joined by cellist James Jaffe. The first half of the program will offer single-movement samples from three chamber music compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven: the first (in D major) of the Opus 70 piano trios, the Opus 11 clarinet trio in B-flat major, and the Opus 69 cello sonata in A major. The second half will feature all of the musicians playing Mason Bates’ “Red River,” followed by the arrangement made for Vinifera of George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.”

Admission will require a $10 minimum donation for the performers. Specifics are maintained on the groupmuse Web page through which reservations must be made. Those who attend will be invited to bring a bottle of wine or snacks to share with other guests.]

[added 4/9, 9:55 a.m.:

Friday, April 20, 10 p.m., The Lab: This will be a significant departure from the usual offerings. Composer William Basinski will return with a performance of his new album, On Time Out Of Time. This will be followed by a rare opportunity to listen to his The Disintegration Loops in its entirety. Much of Basinski’s work involve loops based on old analog tape technology. Because that physical medium is subject to decay, Basinski decided to turn that process into art. The result, The Disintegration Loops, was made from slowly degrading magnetic tapes; and, as might be guessed, that process unfolds over considerable time. As a result his particular performance will last until 6 a.m. the following morning. Audiences who wish to stay the entire night are encouraged to bring mats and pillows, and there is likely to be no shortage of floor space.

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. Due to the special nature of this event admission at the door for all will be $60. However, tickets will be sold in advance for $50, and a special Web page has been created for this purpose.]

Saturday, April 21, 7 p.m., Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin: The next installment in the Candlelight Concerts series will present the local early music ensemble MUSA. The program will be the fourth installment in a series called Art Inspiring Art, which involves new repertoire for harpsichord and string quartet. This season’s featured composition is The Color Festivals, completed last year by local composer Nicolas Lell Benavides, a suite inspired by children’s tales from the past century. The program will also include a 1934 concertino by Walter Leigh and a keyboard quintet by Antonio Soler. The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin is located in Cow Hollow at 2325 Union Street at the corner of Steiner Street. Admission will be free, and no reservations will be required.

Saturday, April 21, 7:30 p.m., Herbst Theatre: The Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts will present the last concert in its Dynamite Guitars season that is not shared with the San Francisco Performances 2017–2018 Guitar Series. This will be the second edition of a four-set smorgasbord of different approaches to guitar virtuosity. The opening set will be taken by Australian guitarist Joe Robinson, who also sings his own songs. He will be followed by the Brazilian Badi Assad, another singer as well as a guitarist and sister of the Duo Assad guitarists, Sérgio and Odair. The geography will then shift to Finland with a solo set taken by Olli Soikkeli. The evening will then conclude with a solo set by Cesar Garabini, born in Brazil and currently living in New York City.

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. Tickets are being sold for $35, $45, and $55. They may be purchased in advance online from a City Box Office event page.

Sunday, April, 22, 2 p.m., Legion of Honor: The next full-length opera to be produced by Pocket Opera will be Bedřich Smetana comic opera in three acts, The Bartered Bride. Founded in 1978 by Donald Pippin, Pocket Opera has specialized in English-language productions of major operas, whose translations have been prepared by Pippin himself. The ensemble has also served as a platform for rising vocal talent. This staging by Nicolas Aliaga Garcia will include a special guest appearance by the Łowiczanie Folk Dance Ensemble. Musical direction will be by Frank Johnson.

The Legion of Honor is located in Lincoln Park. It is approached by following 34th Street north of Clement Street (which is the southern boundary of the park). General admission is $50 with a discounted rate of $45 for seniors. Tickets will be sold at the door beginning at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are also available at the presale rate of $47 for general admission and $44 for seniors. Presale is being processed online through a Vendini event page, which allows for individual seat selection.

Sunday, April 22, 3 p.m., Herbst Theatre: Chamber Music San Francisco will present the return to San Francisco of violinist Midori. Accompanied by pianist Özgür Aydin, she will present a program of four duo sonatas. The first half of the program will couple Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 547 sonata in F major with César Franck’s sonata in A major. The second half will open with Franz Schubert’s D. 408 sonata in G minor followed by Ottorino Respighi’s sonata in B minor. Ticket prices are $65 (Orchestra and Boxes), $50 (Dress Circle), and $40 (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.

Sunday, April 22, 4 p.m., SOMArts: The Living Earth Show duo of guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson will present Living Earth Day, their annual fundraiser celebration carnival. This will include world premiere performances of compositions by Timo Andres, Sahba Aminikia, Dennis Aman, and COMMANDO. Fundraising will include a silent auction with items unlikely to be found at other fundraising auction events, such as a Sputnik Theremin. The carnival will include interactive musical exhibits and the usual offerings of food and drink.

There will be no age restriction on attending this event. Admission for all will be $35. SOMArts is located in SOMA (of course) at 934 Brannan Street. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Brown Paper Tickets event page.

Sunday, April 22, 4 p.m., Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA): The San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) will conclude its 2017–2018 season with a program entitled Strings Attached. The strings will be those of violinist Colin Jacobsen, whose composition “Vocalissimus” will be given its world premiere. This piece will be accompanied by a chamber ensemble consisting of a string quartet, percussion, and flute; and Jacobsen will be first violinist.

The program will also celebrate Lisa Bielawa’s final concert as SFGC Artistic Director with a musical amalgam of projects and partnerships created during her five seasons with the chorus. Selections from the ensemble’s newly released album Final Answer are featured, including the opening music, entitled “Forest” for Bielawa’s TV opera Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser, “Final Answer” by Theo Bleckmann, “Herring Run” by Carla Kihlstedt, and “Bubbles” by Aleksandra Vrebalov. The program will conclude with a septet by André Caplet. Artistic Director Designate Valérie Sainte-Agathe will conduct.

This program will be presented at the YBCA Forum, which is on the side of Yerba Buena Gardens that faces Third Street between Mission Street and Howard Street (across the street from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). General admission will be $25 with a $5 rate for students. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a City Box Office event page or by calling 415-392-4400.

[added 4/19, 10:55 a.m.:

Sunday, April 22, 4 p.m., Congregation Sha’ar Zahav: As had been announced back in January, this will be the second of the two concerts in the nineteenth season of the Music in the Mishkan chamber music series. Sharon Bernstein, Cantor of the synagogue where these concerts are performed, will return to sing another selection of Yiddish songs, accompanying herself at the piano. The program will begin with the Opus 100 violin sonata in A major by Johannes Brahjms. Bernstein’s segment will be followed by one of Dmitri Shostakovich’s most explicit (and poignant) ventures into Yiddishkeit, his Opus 67 piano trio in E minor.

Congregation Sha’ar Zahav is located at 290 Dolores Street at the northwest corner of 16th Street. Tickets for the general public are $25, but members of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav will be admitted for $20. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Constant Contact Web page, which processes payment through PayPal. A wine and cheese reception will follow the performance.]

Sunday, April 22, 7:30 p.m., Musicians Union Hall: Finally, while the Static Illusion Methodical Madness (SIMM) Series concerts offered by Outsound Presents are usually covered by Bleeding Edge columns, the amount of activity on this Sunday is so great that this installment deserved to be cited for those who now see the need to make plans further in advance. The program will follow the usual two-set format. The first set will be taken by the Ian Carey Ensemble, led by trumpeter and composer Carey. He will be joined by Steve Adams on saxophone with rhythm provided by Lisa Mezzacappa on bass, Jason Levis on drums, and Mark Clifford on vibraphone. The second set will be taken by the Unbound quartet with vocalists Lin Shi (also on keyboard) and Marc Schmitz (also on guitar). The other instrumentalists are Dave Mihaly on drums and Shuxin Meng on pipa. This group describes its style as “free-jazz world fusion music.” The Musicians Union Hall is located at 116 9th Street, near the corner of Mission Street. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $10 and $20.

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