As was recently observed, the schedule for the Old First Concerts (O1C) series during the month of July is relatively sparse. Given that this promises to be a busy summer, particularly at the end of July and the beginning of August, there is likely to be value in providing an earlier-than-usual account of the larger number of performances that will be taking place in August. As always, these schedules are subject to update; and, also as always, accounts of further information will appear on the shadow page for this site on Facebook.
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 for online purchase through 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:
Friday, August 2, 8 p.m.: About a year ago, the young sitar virtuoso Arjun Verma presented an evening of North Indian Classical Music at Old First. He will return to explore more of that repertoire, joined this time by Nilan Chaudhuri on tabla. This time the concert will also include drone accompaniment on the tanpura, played by Rhiannon Ledwell.
Sunday, August 4, 4 p.m.: Duo AMA consists of the pianists Angela Passos and Mayer Goldenberg. Their programs, which they call “4/2” (four two) recitals, usually offer both solo and duo compositions. Their O1C performance will focus primarily on Brazilian classical music and the composers who influence them. However, the program will also include music by Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Alexander Siloti.
Friday, August 16, 8 p.m.: Friction Quartet will return to Old First. This will be the first concert in which violinists Kevin Rogers and Otis Harriel (sharing first chair position) and cellist Doug Machiz will be joined by the new violist Lucia Kobza. The program will include two world premiere performances, a new string quartet by Piers Hellawell and Max Stoffregen’s “The Gila: Mesa, River, and Mountain,” which was scored for string quartet and piano. The pianist will be Sarah Cahill. The program will conclude with Geoffrey Gordon’s string quartet entitled “ABACISCUS.”
Saturday, August 17, 10 p.m.: This will be the first concert in the San Francisco International Piano Festival that will be performed within the city limits of San Francisco. It will be a special candlelight performance of “Mysteria Incarnationis,” settings of Syriac texts from the fourth-century poet Ephram the Syrian’s Hymns on the Nativity. Pianist Paul Sánchez will alternate among two grand pianos, one of which is prepared, and an upright piano with unequal temperament tuning. He will also perform on percussion, wine glasses, and more. The vocalist will be Kayleen Sánchez, and the performance will also include violinist Eka Gogichashvili.
Friday, August 23, 8 p.m.: Cellist Robert Howard will return to Old First, joined this time by another cellist, Evan Kahn. Howard will perform the West Coast premiere of “The Heart Savors its Fragrance,” a solo composition by Akshaya Tucker. The program will also include recent works by Barry Guy and John Zorn, as well as Baroque selections by Luigi Boccherini and Jean-Baptiste Barrière.
Sunday, August 25, 4 p.m.: Pianist Daniel Glover will return to Old First to present the music he has prepared for his latest solo recital. The program will be devoted entirely to Polish composers, the earliest of whom will be (of course) Frédéric Chopin, represented by his Opus 28 collection of 24 preludes. The early twentieth century will be represented by Karol Szymanowski’s Opus 8 (first) piano sonata in C minor. The program will also provide another opportunity to appreciate the work of Grażyna Bacewicz with selections from her collection of ten études. The opening selection will be by Andrzej Dutkiewicz, currently 76 years old. Glover will begin his program with “Three Sketches in Retrospect.”