Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Sunset Music | Arts 2017 Chamber/Ensemble Series

Exactly one week after Sunset Music | Arts launches the Instrumental Series for its 2017 season (whose specifics were reported yesterday), the Chamber/Ensemble Series will get under way. This is the longest of the five series planned for 2017, and it will consist of six concerts. Like the Instrumental Series recitals, they will take place on Saturdays and Sundays; but this series will include at least one afternoon performance. Specifics are as follows:

Saturday, January 28, 7:30 p.m.: This will be a violin recital by Sarah Wood, acting Assistant Concertmaster of the California Symphony, acting Principal Second Violin of the Berkeley Symphony, and member of the Circadian String Quartet. Her accompanist will be pianist Miles Graber, an active figure in the Bay Area chamber music scene and faculty member at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The program will present the contrast between two twentieth-century Russian modernists. The opening selection will be Sergei Prokofiev’s Opus 35b, his rescoring for violin and piano of the Opus 35 set of five “songs without words” for female voice and piano. This will be followed by another rescoring, Igor Stravinsky’s rearrangement of six movements from his score for the ballet Pulcinella, which, in their version for violin and piano, he called Suite italienne. (Stravinsky made this arrangement with violinist Samuel Dushkin, having previously arranged the same movements for cello and piano in collaboration with cellist Gregor Piatigorsky.) The program will then conclude with the only piece written explicitly for violin and piano, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Opus 75 (first) violin sonata in D minor.

Saturday, March 25, 7:30 p.m.: Patrick Galvin will give a solo violin recital. He has not yet announced his program. However, he has an eclectic background that includes folk as well as classical.

Saturday, April 1, 7:30 p.m.: Similarly, the members of the San Francisco Guitar Quartet, Mark Simons, David Dueñas, Patrick O'Connell, and Jon Mendle, have not yet announced the details of their program. However, much of their repertoire is based on commissions; and they will be playing pieces written for the group by Christopher Gainey and Garry Eister. They are also planning to perform compositions by Paul Dresher and Phillip Houghton.

Sunday, May 7, 7 p.m.: The Volkert-Ellis Trio will return to Sunset Music | Arts. This is the husband-and-wife couple of Mark Volkert on violin and Jan Volkert on cello joined by Nancy Ellis on viola. The program has not yet been announced, but the trio will be joined by three guest artists. Most notable among them will be the Volkert’s baritone son Nick. The other two guests will be pianist Hye Yeong Min and bassist Charles Chandler. Those who know their chamber music instrumentation will probably conclude that the inclusion of Franz Schubert’s D. 667 (“Trout”) quintet on the program is highly likely.

Saturday, October 21, 4 p.m.: The San Francisco Munich Trio consists of the rather unconventional combination of bassoon (Friedrich Edelmann) with cello (Rebecca Rust) and piano (Dimitriy Cogan). Edelmann used to live in Munich as Principal Bassoonist with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under Sergiu Celibidache between 1979 and 1996. Both Rust and Cogan, on the other hand, are from the Bay Area. The program has not yet been announced. However, as can be seen from the YouTube videos embedded on the event page for this concert, the group performs in a variety of different combinations, the entire trio being only one of them.

A specific date has not yet been determined for the final concert in this series. However, it will be devoted to a performance by the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet, whose members are violinists Mikhail Bondarev and Ekaterina Belisova, violist Alexei Popov, and cellist Anton Andreev. While the program, like the specific date and time, has not yet been announced, this ensemble is distinguished for having performed in the very first Sunset Music | Arts season.

All performances will take place at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, located at 1750 29th Avenue, about halfway between Moraga Street and Noriega Street. Ticket prices are $20 for general admission with a $15 rate for students and seniors. Because the demand tends to be high, advance purchase is highly advised. Tickets may be purchased online through Eventbrite. Subscriptions are not being sold, but each of the hyperlinks on the above dates leads to the event page for single ticket purchases. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-564-2324.

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