Sunday, July 8, 2018

Old First Concerts: August, 2018

Plans seem to have been finalized for next month’s offerings to be presented by Old First Concerts (O1C). As usual, this Web page will be updated in necessary; and notification will be provided through this site’s Facebook shadow page. All O1C events take place at the Old First Presbyterian Church, located at 1751 Sacramento Street on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue. If purchased in advance online from an O1C event page, general admission will be $23 with a discounted rate of $18 for seniors aged 65 or older. Hyperlinks to specific event pages will be attached to the date-and-time information given below. Tickets for full-time students showing valid identification will be $5; and children aged twelve and under will be admitted for free. There is also a discount available for those parking at the Old First Parking Garage at 1725 Sacramento Street, just up the street from the church. Here are the specifics for the month of August:

Sunday, August 12, 4 p.m.: Ensemble Draca is a quartet that showcases songs through the centuries and across the world. The vocalist is soprano Katina Mitchell. Featured instruments include the triple harp, which originated in sixteenth-century Italy and will be played by both Mitchell and Catherine Stiles, a variety of keyboard instruments played by Arthur Omura, and viols of different sizes, all played by Alexa Haynes-Pilon. There will be particular emphasis on the music of John Dowland, as well as works by Barbara Strozzi, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, and Tarquinio Merula. There will also be songs from the French baroque court, Scottish folk tradition, and American folk sources.

Friday, August 17, 8 p.m.: Seventeen-year-old Henry Plotnick is a Piano major at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts. He specializes in both playing and composing jazz. He is recruiting some of his friends to present an evening of jazz standards and original works.

Sunday, August 19, 4 p.m.: Will Chow, cellist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, will visit San Francisco to give a duo recital with Bay Area pianist Yi-Fang Wu. They will survey the standard repertoire with performances of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 69 (third) sonata in A major, Frédéric Chopin’s Opus 3 polonaise with an introduction, and “Le Grand Tango,” composed in the last century by Astor Piazzolla for Mstislav Rostropovich. Less familiar will be two selections by jazz-influenced Nikolai Kapustin, his Opus 97 burlesque and Opus 98, entitled “Nearly Waltz.” The program will begin with Orfeo Mandozzi’s arrangement of the aria “Schafe können sicher weiden” (sheep may safely graze) from Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 208 “hunting” cantata.

Friday, August 24, 8 p.m.: The last of the four Debussy Centennial Festival concerts will feature pianists from the New Piano Collective. The solo piano selections will include the first book of études and the suite En blanc et noir (in white and black). The program will also include the two duo sonatas that Claude Debussy composed. Liana Bérubé will be the soloist in the violin sonata, and the cello sonata will be played by Michelle Kwon.

Sunday, August 26, 4 p.m.: Soprano Vanessa Langer will return to the Bay Area to perform with the current incarnation of her Firesong Ensemble. The other performers will be pianist Vera Breheda and cellist JoAnne DeMars. The program will survey the diverse vocal repertoires of Gabriel Fauré, Debussy, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Arnold Schoenberg. In addition DeMars will play Fauré’s Opus 117 (second) cello sonata, and Breheda will play preludes by both Debussy and Rachmaninoff.

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