Friday, May 24, 2019

Strings Collaborative Coming to Conservatory

A past performance by Strings Collaborative in the SFCM Sol Joseph Recital Hall (from the Eventbrite event page)

Those with a bit of knowledge about local history may know that Symphony Parnassus grew out of an ensemble called the Doctors’ Symphony, which was formed in 1965. This group met regularly to prepare and present concerts at what was then called UC (University of California) Hospital. As UC names changed; so did that of the ensemble, which became the UCSF (University of California at San Francisco) Orchestra. In 1999 UCSF cut its budget for this enterprise; and it reorganized into what it is today, the nonprofit Symphony Parnassus, named after the neighborhood of its origin.

In 2015 the UCSF community decided again to form a group for performing music. This time the result was Strings Collaborative, whose members are mostly members of the medical community: UCSF students, residents, staff, and friends. This is a chamber ensemble that performs without a conductor. The performers rotate their positions within the group, including responsibility for leadership.

At the end of this month, Strings Collaborative will take its act to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM). They will present their spring concert, which will present early works by two of the leading composers of the twentieth century. They will begin with Arnold Schoenberg’s Opus 4, “Verklärte Nacht” (transfigured night) in the arrangement for string orchestra that the composer prepared in 1917. (The piece was originally composed as a string sextet in 1899.) This will be followed by Benjamin Britten’s Opus 10, the set of variations he composed on a theme written by his teacher, Frank Bridge.

This concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31. The venue will be the Sol Joseph Recital Hall at SFCM. The entrance to SFCM is at 50 Oak Street, halfway between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street and a short walk from the Muni Van Ness station. There will be no charge for admission, but free registration through an Eventbrite event page is highly recommended. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

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