Sunday, June 21, 2020

SFP Announces Streamed Audio Series

This week San Francisco Performances (SFP) will launch a free series of four performances recorded specifically for audio streaming. The overall title is Sanctuary Series, and it will involve a diversity of genres presented by performers familiar to SFP audiences. These will be offered through the Front Row Web page, a platform for streaming primarily audio recordings taken from memorable concerts from the past but with a few video documents. The Sanctuary Series concerts will be added to this site on Thursdays, beginning this week. The summary of the performances to be released is as follows:

Alexander String Quartet members David Samuel, Zakarias Grafilo, Frederick Lifsitz, and Sandy Wilson (courtesy of SFP)

June 25: The Alexander String Quartet (ASQ), consisting of violinists Zakarias Grafilo and Frederick Lifsitz, violist David Samuel, and cellist Sandy Wilson, will present a program devoted entirely to Brahms, prepared in conjunction with a project to record that composer’s complete string quartets. They will play the two Opus 51 quartets, the first in C minor and the second in A minor. Grafilo has prepared an “encore” for this program with his transcription of the second of the Opus 118 short pieces for piano that Brahms composed late in his life in 1893. The recording was made on June 12 at St Stephen’s Church in Belvedere, since the quartet had already booked the space.

July 2: The Living Earth Show, the duo of percussionist Andy Meyerson and guitarist Travis Andrews, will perform a new work by Danny Clay, Music for Hard Times. The music has also been recorded on an album of the same title, which will be released on June 25. It is the product of the frustrations and opportunities arising from shelter-in-place conditions, and Clay has been up-front in saying that he created this music with the goal of making people feel better. SFP will co-present this program with Living Music with Nadia Sirota, which is streamed on Facebook Live. Following the performance Timo Andres will moderate a talk with the artists.

July 9: Like Clay, tenor Nicholas Phan has prepared a recital program to reflect on prevailing conditions. The title of his program is Time – Meditation for this Moment. The content covers a broad scope of music history with “Time Stands Still” by John Dowland in the distant past and a selection of songs by Jake Heggie in the immediate present. Heggie will accompany Phan at the piano for the entire recital. This performance will be recorded on June 25 at St Stephen’s.

July 16: Readers may recall that SFP launched the return of its Salon Series this past January 15. The series was curated by pianist Edward Simon, and he began with a solo recital entirely devoted to the music of Federico Mompou. Simon will be recording the entire content of that program at St Stephen’s, and that recording will serve as the final Sanctuary Series offering.

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