Saturday, March 3, 2018

MTT to Return to SFS with Music Less Than 100 Years Old

Visiting pianist Behzod Abduraimov (courtesy of the San Francisco Symphony)

The next series of subscription concerts by the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) to be conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) will take place on March 15–17. The highlight of this occasion will be the world premiere of “Sudden Changes,” composed by Charles Wuorinen. This piece was written on an SFS commission in celebration of the composer’s 80th birthday and his long-standing friendship with MTT. Wuorinen’s many honors include both a Pulitzer Prize in Music and the 1986 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

The program will also present the SFS debut of Uzbek pianist Behzod Abduraimov. His concerto selection will be Sergei Prokofiev’s Opus 26 (third) concerto in C major. Completed in 1921, this will be the oldest of the three works on the program. With “Sudden Changes” as the “overture,” the program will complete the usual overture-concerto-symphony format with a performance of Aaron Copland’s third symphony. Completed in 1946, this is probably the best known of the pieces that Copland called symphonies (not all of which were numbered). Familiarity comes primarily from his having appropriated his “Fanfare for the Common Man” (composed in 1942) as the introduction to the last of the four movements.

This concert will be given three performances in Davies Symphony Hall, all at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17. Ticket prices range from $15 to $155. They may be purchased online through the event page for this program on the SFS Web site, by calling 415-864-6000, or by visiting the Davies Box Office, whose entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. In addition, a free podcast about the Prokofiev concert, hosted by KDFC’s Rik Malone, will be uploaded to the Program Note Podcasts Web page. The event page includes a hyperlink for sound clips from previous SFS performances of this concerto. Flash must be enabled to listen to both the podcast and the sound clips. Finally, the Inside Music talk will be given by Peter Grunberg, beginning half an hour before the performance. Doors will open fifteen minutes before the talk begins.

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