SFSYO Music Director Christian Reif (photograph by Kristen Loken, courtesy of the San Francisco Symphony)
Next month will see the first performance in the 36th season of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO). Once again all concerts will be conducted by Wattis Foundation Music Director Christian Reif. With only one exception, all performances will take place at Davies Symphony Hall at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoons. One of them will be the Annual Youth Orchestra Holiday Concert, for which tickets cost between $25 and $90, with those aged seventeen and under admitted for half price. Ticket prices for all the other concerts are $55 for reserved seats in the Loge and Side Boxes and $20 for general admission. All tickets may be purchased online through an event page on the SFS Web site, by calling 415-864-6000, or by visiting the Box Office in Davies Symphony Hall, whose entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. Hyperlinks to the appropriate Web pages will be attached to the specific dates given below. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and two hours before the beginning of the concert on Sunday. Specific programming details are as follows:
November 11: Percussionist Jonas Koh, winner of the SFSYO 2018 Concerto Competition, will be the soloist in a performance of Emmanuel Séjourné’s concerto for marimba and strings. He will play the 2015 revision of the original version of the concerto, composed in 2005. The program will begin with John Adams’ “The Chairman Dances” and conclude with Antonín Dvořák’s Opus 70 (seventh) symphony in D minor.
December 9: The Holiday Concert will present the annual performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” This year the narrator will be Richard Dreyfuss. Details for the rest of the program have not yet been announced.
March 3: The program will begin with the overture to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 492 opera The Marriage of Figaro. This will be followed by a selection of arias and ensemble pieces performed by vocalists currently in the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship Program. The remainder of the program will consist of Claude Debussy’s Ibéria suite (the second piece in his Images pour orchestre collection) and the second suite that Georges Bizet extracted from the incidental music he provided for Alphonse Daudet’s play L’Arlésienne.
May 19: The overture for this program will be Felix Mendelssohn’s Opus 26 concert overture, “The Hebrides.” The remainder of the program will offer two perspectives on the music of Gustav Mahler. First will come “Mahlerwerk,” composed by SFSYO alumnus Nathaniel Stookey. This will be followed by “real Mahler” in the form of his first symphony in D major.
June 16: This will be a special concert held at 8 p.m., rather than 2 p.m. It will be a “Bon Voyage” performance preceding SFSYO’s eleventh international tour. The program will reprise the performance of Dvořák’s Opus 70 given at the beginning of the season. The concerto offering will be Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Opus 35 violin concerto in D major. The soloist has not yet been announced. The overture for the occasion will be the first of the three “American” preludes composed by Detlev Glanert. Note that, as of this writing, an event page for this concert has not yet been created for online ticket purchasing.