The third weekend in November does not appear to be quite as busy as the two that preceded it. Nevertheless, San Francisco music lovers still deserve to know what their options are. Thus, I wish, again, to review those options that are not found on the usual beaten path.
On Friday, November 15, pianist Lara Downes will bring her Artist Sessions series to Salle Pianos. These are events in which she showcases guest performers while engaging them with on-stage conversation and encouraging questions from the audience. Her guests at Salle Pianos will be Amy X Neuburg and The Living Earth Show. Neuburg describes her work as “avant-cabaret;” and she serves as an electronically enhanced one-woman-band to accompany her singing. The Living Earth Show is the duo of Travis Andrews on electric guitar and Andy Meyerson on a plethora of percussion instruments, both graduates of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM). They will be performing music from their new CD High Art, scheduled for release on November 19 (and on my queue).
The doors will open at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 15, at Salle Pianos, located at 1632 C Market Street, just behind the Zuni Café. Performances will begin at 8 p.m. General admission is $20 with a $10 rate for students and starving artists. Tickets may be purchased online through an event page on Brown Paper Tickets.
That same Friday is also the date of the next San Francisco performance by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. The concert will be led by guest conductor Steven Fox, Artistic Director of the New York Clarion Society. He has prepared a program that will featured four early Russian composers whose music will be heard for the first time in the Bay Area. The 1790 concerto-symphony by Dmitri Bortniansky, scored for piano, harp, two violins, gamba, cello, and bassoon, now stands as a rich example of Russian Classicism and will be performed along with suites from two of his operas, Alcide (1778) and Le Fils-Rival ou La Moderne Stratonice (1787). He was preceded by Maksym Berezovsky, whose C major symphony (also on the program) is believed to have been composed between 1770 and 1772, making it the first symphony by a composer in the Russian Empire. Another eighteenth-century Russian composer is Yevstigney Fomin, whose Orpheus and Eurydice opera was first performed in St. Petersburg in 1792. Fox will conduct the “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” from this opera. Finally, cellist Tanya Tomkins will perform as soloist in a D minor cello concerto by Johann Heinrich Facius. The one familiar composer on the program is likely to be Mikhail Glinka. The English soprano Anna Dennis will make her Bay Area debut singing a selection of his arias in arrangements by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
This concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 15. The venue will be the SFJAZZ Center, located at the northwest corner of Franklin Street and Fell Street. Tickets are priced from $25 to $93. They may be purchased online through an event page on the City Box Office Web site. Tickets are also available by calling 415-392-4400.
The following evening the SFJAZZ Center will return to its usual jazz repertoire. However, the event will be the first concert in the San Francisco Performances (SFP) Jazz Series. It will be a solo performance by pianist Vijay Iyer, currently SFP Jazz Artist-in-Residence and recently named 2013 MacArthur Fellow. As in past performances, Iyer will announce his program from the stage.
This recital will take place on Saturday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the SFJAZZ Center. Ticket prices are $30, $40, and $55. As usual, they may be purchased online through the event page on the SFP Web site. In addition, since this is the first concert in the Jazz Series, full subscriptions may be purchased for $80, $115, and $160 through an event page on the City Box Office Web site. Further information, as well as assistance in purchasing tickets, may be obtained by calling 415-392-2545.
That same evening will be the second concert in the BluePrint season at SFCM. This concert will feature composer Lembit Beecher, currently composer-in-residence at the Opera Company of Philadelphia. The program will present his “documentary oratorio,” entitled “And Then I Remember.” It will also offer Francis Poulenc’s secular cantata La Bal Masqué (the masked ball), based on poems by Max Jacob.
This concert will begin at 8 p.m. in the SFCM Concert Hall at 50 Oak Street. Tickets for BluePrint concerts sell for $20 for general admission, with a $15 rate for students, seniors, and Friends of the Conservatory. These tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at 415-503-6275. (Box Office hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday.)
Another season will get under way the following day, that of the San Francisco Youth Orchestra (SFSYO), conducted by Donato Cabrera. The featured soloist will be Oliver Herbert, Principal Cellist of SFSYO and winner of the 2013 Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. He will perform Ernest Bloch’s “Schelomo” with SFSYO. The instrumental selections will be the four dance episodes from Aaron Copland’s score for the ballet “Rodeo” and Carl Nielsen’s Opus 49 symphony (“The Inextinguishable”).
This concert will begin at 2 p.m. in Davies Symphony Hall. Tickets for SFSYO concerts sell for $50 in the reserved sections and $12 rate for general admission. These tickets may be purchased online at the concerts event page of the San Francisco Symphony Web site or by calling the Box Office at 415-864-6000. The Box Office may also be visited in the lobby of Davies Symphony Hall, on the north side of Grove Street (across from the War Memorial Opera House) between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street.
That same afternoon the Morrison Artists Series of San Francisco State University (SFSU) will host their next free concert. Bay Area pianist Mack McCray will join the members of the St. Petersburg String Quartet for two quintet performances, Robert Schumann’s Opus 44 in E-flat major and César Franck’s 1864 quintet in F minor. The quartet will also perform Benjamin Britten’s set of three divertimenti, composed in 1933 and revised in 1936.
This concert will take place in the McKenna Theatre of the SFSU Creative Arts Building at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 29. The pre-concert talk will begin at 2 p.m. Admission is free, and further information may be obtained from 415-338-2467 or through the event page on the Creative State Web site. This Web page also has a hyperlink through which tickets may be reserved in advance.