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Ballet, the Symphony, POPera and jazz in the city this week

Sarah Van Patten and Carlos Quenedit in Symphony #9 from Ratmansky's 'Shostakovich Trilogy'
Sarah Van Patten and Carlos Quenedit in Symphony #9 from Ratmansky's 'Shostakovich Trilogy'
Photo: Erik Tomasson

Herbert Blomstedt, Conductor Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, returns to Davies Symphony Hall this week, to lead the Orchestra in a performance of the Mozart Piano Concerto No 21 - with Garrick Ohlsson as soloist - and Bruckner’s Symphony No 4, acknowledged as the composer's first masterpiece.

The Mozart piano concerto is probably the most famous of all those that he wrote, owing to its slow movement having been used on the soundtrack of a 1967 Swedish film, Elvira Madigan.

During his tenure as Music Director of the Symphony from 1985 to 1995, Maestro Blomstedt led the Orchestra at major concert venues and festivals across Europe, including Edinburgh, Salzburg and Munich. He continues to make regular appearances as a guest conductor, his most recent visit having been in April last year.

Although a New Yorker by birth, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has made San Francisco his home, and - having debuted with the Symphony in 1972 - is a welcome and frequent guest artist here. His current season includes appearances with the orchestras of Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Cleveland in the US, and abroad in Stockholm, São Paulo and Hong Kong. Mr Ohlsson will also appear in a Dvořák project with Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. His recital calendar will culminate in a performance at Carnegie Hall, in a program of works by Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Charles Tomlinson Griffes.

In addition to collaborating with the Cleveland, Emerson, Takács, and Tokyo string quartets, Garrick Ohlsson is a founding member of the FOG Trio, together with former SF Symphony Associate Concertmaster, Jorja Fleezanis, and SFS Principal Cellist, Michael Grebanier.

Herbert Blomstedt leads the San Francisco Symphony and Garrick Ohlsson at Davies Symphony Hall on April 9 and 11 at 8.00 pm. For tickets and further information, please visit the San Francisco Symphony website.

And right next door to Symphony Hall on Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco Ballet continues its highly acclaimed Shostakovich Trilogy - Alexei Ratmansky’s tribute to one of the most prominent cultural figures in Russia during the 20th century, and also the choreographer’s homage to his own Russian heritage.

This program of three works - described as “magnificent” by the San Francisco Chronicle - features Shostakovich’s Symphony No 9, his Chamber Symphony, and his Concerto No 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, with scenic design by George Tsypin, director of the spectacular opening ceremony for the recent Sochi Olympics.

There are two more performances of Shostakovich Trilogy at the War Memorial Opera House - on April 11 at 8.00 pm and April 13 at 2.00 pm. For tickets and further information, visit the San Francisco Ballet website.

Alternating with Shostakovich Trilogy is a Triple Bill of three works - Helgi Tomasson’s Caprice, Maelstrom - created for San Francisco Ballet in 1994 by Mark Morris - and the Company’s acclaimed production of Yuri Possokhov’s The Rite of Spring.

There are five more performances of this program - which the SF Chronicle describes as “fresh, engrossing and imaginative” - and further details, with information on tickets, can be found on the San Francisco Ballet website.

San Francisco Opera Guild presents an evening of POPera at the Fairmont Hotel this week. Hosted by American soprano, Deborah Voigt, this presentation - described as “a dazzling evening of cabaret and surprises” - celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Guild. It features Tony Award-winning star Laura Benanti, Tony Award nominee Jonathan Groff, and the popular tenor trio, Romanza.

The San Francisco Opera Guild’s 75th anniversary presenation takes place on April 10 at The Fairmont Hotel. For more information about San Francisco Opera Guild, the anniversary celebrations and its programs, visit

SFJAZZ enjoys another series of sold-out performances this week, with country music luminary, Rosanne Cash, appearing in the Miner Auditorium. Also known as America’s foremost musical woman of letters - having been published in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Oxford-American and New York Magazine - Ms Cash won the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, and also has 12 Grammy nominations behind her.

Rosanne Cash is at the SFJAZZ Center on April 10, 11, 12 and 13 - check with SFJAZZ on the day, for returns.

This month’s concert in the SFJAZZ Hotplate series features Adam Theis & Subharmonic in Charles Mingus’ Mingus Ah-Um at the Joe Henderson Lab. This performance, on April 10, is also sold out, but check for returns on the day at

Gilly also writes for Preview and Riviera Buzz - follow her on Twitter as well.

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