Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Anticipating the 2018–2019 SFP Season

This morning President Melanie Smith announced the 2018–2019 season of San Francisco Performances (SFP), which will be the organization’s 39th season. A new Web page has been created to serve as home page for the new season. Currently, it provides hyperlinks to two PDF files, one for the new Season Brochure and the other for the season calendar, summarized chronologically but without any hyperlinks for further information. As in the past, concert shave been organized into Series Themes; and subscriptions to individual Series will go on sale one week from today on Wednesday, April 18. Also as in the past, single tickets will be available at the beginning of August, sales commencing on Monday, August 6.

Past subscribers to full Series should be informed that three of those Series will be given new names:
  1. The Vocal Series will now be called The Art of Song. This will cast a broader net beyond the usual format of art song recitals. In the new season that breadth will include a jazz-inspired project by Luciana Souza called Book of Learning, which will highlight settings of texts by Leonard Cohen and Emily Dickinson.
  2. Because the Virtuosi Series tended to focus on solo performers, it will also cast a broader net with its new name of Great Artists and Ensembles.
  3. Finally, because the Young Masters Series has served as a platform for introducing new talent, its name will be changed to the Discovery Series.
The two Series organized around more adventurous approaches to programming, Here Now and Then and Pivot, will both be returning. Pivot will, once again, be a four-day festival. This time all of the offerings will be organized around the common theme Vox Populi. Due to a scheduled renovation of the Hotel Rex, plans for the Salon Series will be announced later in the year. The remaining Series will probably be familiar to most subscribers: Piano, Shenson Chamber, Dance and Guitar. The Family Matinees will return, as well as the lecture-demonstrations prepared by Robert Greenberg with performances by the Alexander String Quartet.

While details will be provided later in discussions of the individual Series, there are a few distinguishing events that deserve early recognition. There will be two major San Francisco debut performances given, respectively, by violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras. Pianist Leon Fleisher will celebrate his 90th birthday by giving a duo recital with Jonathan Biss.

Finally, the concert to be given as part of the 39th Season Gala will be decidedly unique. The Gala will be held on the date when Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat was performed for the first time 100 years earlier, on September 28, 1918. Jazz Artist-in Residence Sean Jones (trumpet) will join forces with jazz violinist Regina Carter to present a jazz-inflected performance of this piece, which will be coupled with an all-star set of jazz favorites.

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