Pianist Sarah Cahill (photograph by Marianne Larochelle, courtesy of Jensen Artists)
Flower Piano is an interactive music festival organized by Sunset Piano in partnership with the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Over a dozen grand pianos will be distributed across the 55 acres of the Botanical Garden, all available for anyone to play. This will be the fourth annual incarnation of the festival; and, to date, over 40,000 people have enjoyed music over the course of the past three festivals.
In addition to these “public access” settings, there will be specific dates and times for performances by local musicians. This year one of those local musicians will be pianist Sarah Cahill, who has prepared a program that will be given three performances. That program will feature compositions by Terry Riley and Meredith Monk. The Riley pieces will all be taken from Cahill’s 2017 four-CD album, Eighty Trips Around the Sun: Music by and for Terry Riley. She will play “Be Kind to One Another,” “Fandango on the Heaven Ladder,” and “Keyboard Studies.” These will be complemented by performances of Monk’s “St. Petersburg Waltz” and excerpts from Steppe Music.
Two of these performances will be free to San Francisco residents and will take place in two of the different areas of the Botanical Garden. The first will take place at noon on Saturday, July 7, in the Exhibition Garden; and the second will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 15, in the Zellerbach Garden. Non-residents will be admitted for $9. The remaining performance will be given as part of NightGarden, a ticketed event that will offer three evenings of performances (July 12–14) along with adult refreshments, snacks, and outrageous lighting. Cahill will present her Riley-Monk offerings at the first of these concerts (on Thursday, July 12), which will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets for each concert are $45 for general admission, and tickets for all three evenings are available through an Eventbrite event page. This event page also includes a list of all the pieces that will be played at each of the three concerts.