Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Sampling of End-of-Term SFCM Recitals

For the next two weeks things are going to be very busy at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM). This is when many (most?) of the students are scrambling to give their end-of-term recitals. As a result the Performance Calendar Web page is about as crowded as it ever gets; and, at any given time on any given day, it is likely that several (if not all) of the performance spaces are occupied.

It therefore seems desirable to call attention to at least some of these events. My logic for making selections for this sampling is simple. Any announcement, either “officially” in the Performance Calendar or posted as a Facebook event, that provides at least some useful information about the music to be performed will be selected for the list of events given below.

For those who do not already know, the SFCM building is located at 50 Oak Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni Station. Readers are encouraged to consult the Performance Calendar Web page at the SFCM Web site for the most up-to-date information about any of these offerings, since all events are, as they say, “subject to change without notice.” All of the concerts will be free, and no reservations will be required. Here is a chronological listing of the samples that I have extracted:

Thursday, May 3, 8:30 p.m., Recital Hall: Soprano Yuchen Luo will give her Graduate Recital. Her full program has been posted on the Performance Calendar event page for this concert. She will be accompanied at the piano by Charles Calhoun. In addition they will be joined by clarinetist Yijin Wang for a performance of Franz Schubert’s D. 965 song “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen” (the shepherd on the rock), the last dated composition in Otto Erich Deutsch’s catalog, completed within weeks of the composer’s death. She will also sing two selections by Chinese composers, Jin Xiang and Chen DaoBin. The program will also include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 165 Exsultate, jubilate, three ariettas by Vincenzo Bellini, two of Gabriel Fauré’s Opus 58 songs, and two of the four songs in Samuel Barber’s Opus 13.

Saturday, May 5, 6 p.m., Recital Hall: Soprano Rachel Rothman will also include Barber on her program, singing his “Knoxville: Summer of 1915.” She will be accompanied at the piano by Steven Bailey. The other composers on her program will be Franz Liszt, Enrique Granados, and Richard Strauss.

Saturday, May 5, 7:30 p.m., Osher Salon: The Post Graduate Recital by cellist Mia Pixley will also celebrate the release of her EP, Inside an Underbelly. She has recruited a generous number of performers for this concert, including dancer Coral Martin and Omar Akrouche, who will be providing live electronics. She will begin the program with five of her own compositions, presumably those that will be on her EP recording. The other composers to be represented on her program will be Benjamin Britten, Manuel de Falla, Antonio Vivaldi, and Mark Summer.

Saturday, May 5, 8:30 p.m., Concert Hall: Soprano Esther Tonea will also be including songs by Liszt on her program. Her piano accompanist will be Alexander Katsman. She will also present selected songs by Claude Debussy and Sergei Rachmaninoff; and she will begin her recital with the aria “Da tempeste” (from storms) from George Frideric Handel’s HWV 17 opera Giulio Cesare. The titles of all of her art song selections have been listed on her Performance Calendar Web page.

[added 5/5, 11:10 a.m.:

Sunday, May 6, 5 p.m., Osher Salon: Composition student Raja Orr will present the first part of his Senior Recital. The program will consist of four pieces, each for different performing resources. It will begin with four short piano pieces played by Hillary Santoso. This will be followed by the self-describing “Marimba + String Trio.” The marimba part will be taken by Alex Chen, joined by Rachael Lindsey on violin, maclean Pachkowski on cello, and Mitso Floor on viola. This will be followed by "Romance," scored for violin (Leah Froyd) and piano (Seulki Hong). The program will then conclude with an a cappella choral composition, “Set me as a Seal.”]

Sunday, May 6, 7:30 p.m., Concert Hall: Percussionist Mika Nakamura will give his Master’s Recital. His program will include three works composed specifically for percussion, David Lang’s “The Anvil Chorus,” four of the movements from Robert Aldridge’s My Little Island, and Bob Becker’s percussion quintet “Mudra.” The other percussionists in that last selection will be Tim Padgett, Sam Rich, Divesh Karamchandani, and Elizabeth Butler. He will also perform his own arrangement of Edvard Grieg’s “Wedding Day at Troldhaugen” from the composer’s eighth book of Lyric Pieces (Opus 65), written for solo piano. For the performance of this arrangement, Nakamura will be joined by his teacher, Jack Van Geem. The program will begin with Karin Ervin’s arrangement of Debussy’s solo piano composition, “Reverie.”

Wednesday, May 9, 8:30 p.m., Recital Hall: Horn player Kyle Pompei will give his second Master’s Recital. He has prepared a program to demonstrate how his instrument’s repertoire progressed with the transition from natural horn to a valved instrument as capable at playing jazz as in accommodating the concert repertoire. The earliest piece on the program will be Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 17 sonata in F major, written in 1800 for Giovanni Punto, a virtuoso on the natural horn. The chronology will then advance to the early twentieth century with Paul Dukas’ “Villanelle,” which requires a valved instrument. Next comes the sonata by Bernhard Heiden, a student of Paul Hindemith. Finally, contemporary jazz will be represented by “Miradita,” composed by John Clark, who studied composition and improvisation with George Russell and played horn for such jazz greats as Ornette Coleman, Gil Evans, and Gerry Mulligan.

[added 5/6, 11:50 a.m.:

Sunday, May 13, 11 a.m. (yes, you read the early-morning time correctly!), Osher Salon: Soprano Sophia Emanuel will give a one-hour all-German recital. Richard Strauss will be represented by his three “Ophelia” songs, as well as “Mädchenblumen.” The program will also include six songs by Edvard Grieg, selections by Kurt Weill, and the vocal version of Johann Strauss’s “Frülungsstimmen” (voices of spring) waltz.]

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