Sunday, April 22, 2018

Choices for May 12–13, 2018

Bearing in mind that things frequently change, the action for the second weekend on May seems to be focused primarily on Saturday and Sunday. Both evenings will be active at the Red Poppy Art House. There will also be a Saturday vocal recital at the Center for New Music, but that will be in the afternoon. So those interested in evening events will be able to cover two concerts on one day … if they are up for it. Saturday will also be the final day of San Francisco Symphony subscription concerts for that week. [added 5/11, 12:05 p.m.: There will also be a special Mother’s Day jazz gig at Bird & Beckett Books and Records.] Other offerings, in both the afternoon and evening, are as follows:

Saturday, May 12, 6:30 p.m., Four Seasons Hotel: The Community Music Center (CMC) will hold its annual Spring Gala. As usual, music will be part of the festivities. Indeed, one of the featured performers will be mezzo Joyce DiDonato, who will be flying to San Francisco after giving her final performance in the title role of Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon at the Metropolitan Opera. She will be performing here along with composer Jake Heggie at the piano. In addition another mezzo, Frederica von Stade, will be honored with CMC’s third annual Gertrude Field Community Impact Award in recognition of her energetic activities in support of arts education. There will also be performances by both students and faculty at CMC; and, because this is a gala occasion, there will be a banquet dinner preceded by wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Individual tickets are available for $350, and one can also sponsor a table for eight for $2800. VIP tickets are being sold for $500 and $4000 for an eight-person table. There is also a Premium Table Sponsorship rate of $10,000. Those with VIP status will invited to a special reception with von Stade, DiDonato, and Heggie, which will begin at 6 p.m. CMC has created a single Web page from which tickets at all levels may be ordered. The event will take place in the Veranda Ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel, which is located at 757 Market Street.

Saturday, May 12, 7 p.m., Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin: The next installment in the Candlelight Concerts series will present Tamalpais Brass. This is a quintet consisting of Alison Sawyer on horn, Graham Taylor and Richard Roper on trumpets, Andy Strain on tenor trombone, and Brendan Lai-Tong on bass trombone. The program has not yet been announced, but their repertoire reaches back to the Renaissance (if not earlier) and all the way up to the present of a New Orleans second line. The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin is located in Cow Hollow at 2325 Union Street at the corner of Steiner Street. Admission will be free, and no reservations will be required. However, as always, donations will be appreciated.

[added 4/23, 4:20 p.m.:

Saturday, May 12, 7:30 p.m., Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church: The May installment in the Seventh Avenue Performances recital series will again feature Meerenai Shim, virtuoso performer of all sizes on instruments in the flute family. At this concert she will be playing with flutist colleagues (also adept in all sizes of the instrument) Jill Heinke Moen and Kassey Plaha, the three of whom comprise the Areon Flutes trio. This will be a release concert for the trio's latest album on the Innova album, entitled No Era. They will play selections from the album by San Francisco composers Sahba Aminikia, Ryan Brown, and Danny Clay. Aminikia's piece, "Bade Saba." will be accompanied by a fifteen-minute excerpt from a documentary by Albert Lamorisse examining the Iranian landscape, people, and culture.

The Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church is located at 1329 Seventh Avenue, about half a block south of the stop for the Muni N trolley line. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for students and seniors and $5 for children aged twelve and under. Tickets are available in advance online through a Brown Paper Tickets event page.]

[added 5/11, 12:20 p.m.:

Saturday, May 12, 8 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: The Sacred & Profane chamber chorus will present its 40th anniversary concert. The program will feature “Curse Upon Iron,” a powerful piece about the use of iron in ancient and modern warfare composed by Veljo Tormis. This will contrast with “Da pacem Domine,” an antiphon for peace by Arvo Pärt. The program will also include “Sacred and Profane: Eight Medieval Lyrics,” Benjamin Britten’s last piece composed for a professional a cappella choir. The program will conclude with the world premiere of “Songs from the North,” written on a commission by Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist.

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church is located at 1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street. General admission will be $28 at the door with a $10 charge for students. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $25 from a Brown Paper Tickets event page. This Web page also provides tickets at the student rate, as well as a special rate of $20 per person for a group of ten or more.]

Sunday, May 13, 2 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall: The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra will conclude its 35th anniversary season with its third concert program. The title of this program, which will be conducted by Christian Reif, could be Three Faces of Modernism. The earliest composition will be the instrumental suite by Gabriel Fauré that he wrote for Maurice Maeterlinck’s play Pelléas and Mélisande. This music was composed to be played when the play was first performed in London (and in English) in 1898. Fauré became the first of four leading composers to write music based on the play. Jean Sibelius also wrote incidental music, Claude Debussy turned the play into an opera, and Arnold Schoenberg interpreted the narrative in the form of a symphonic poem.

The second half of the program will be devoted entirely to music that Igor Stravinsky wrote for the ballet “The Rite of Spring,” a composition that remains an icon of modernism, even though it is now over 100 years old. The most recent work on the program will be György Ligeti’s “Concert românesc” (Romanian concerto). This was composed in 1951 and might be described as having been written “before Ligeti started sounding like Ligeti.” On the other hand the composer used this piece to demonstrate that he could take the treatment of indigenous sources beyond the levels that Béla Bartók had previously achieved.

Ticket prices are $55 for reserved seats in the Loge and Side Boxes and $15 for general admission. They may be purchased online through the event page for this program on the San Francisco Symphony (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. (This is also the main entrance to the hall itself.) There is also a hyperlink for sound clips from the Stravinsky selection, which requires Flash for listening. Flash will also be required for seat selection during online purchase. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Sunday, May 13, 4 p.m, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: American Bach Soloists will conclude its season with a performance of all four of Johann Sebastian Bach’s orchestral suites: BWV 1066 in C major, BWV 1067 in B minor, BWV 1068 in D major, and BWV 1069 in D major. Each of these pieces has its own way of coloring the sounds of a string ensemble with that of wind and/or brass instruments. Featured soloists will be Debra Nagy on oboe, Dominic Teresi on bassoon, Sandra Miller on flute, and John Thiessen on trumpet. The prices of single tickets range from $25 to $89. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through the single Tickets Web page on the ABS Web site.

Sunday, May 13, 7:30 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall: Davies will also be active in the evening when conductor Ragnar Bohlin will lead the SFS Chorus and vocal soloists. The major work on the program will be Bach’s BWV 243 setting of the Magnificat canticle in D major, which will be the concluding selection. It will be preceded by shorter compositions by both Bach and Arvo Pärt. Ticket prices will range between $25 and $89. An event page has been created for online purchase.

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