Next week’s ‘tour preview’ performance of Gustav Mahler’s third symphony, with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), mezzo Sasha Cooke, the SFS Chorus (Ragnar Bohlin, Director), and the San Francisco Girls Chorus (Valérie Sainte-Agathe, Music Director), will be followed, one week later, by a preview of two other compositions in the repertoire being taken on this eleven-concert European tour. For this second program violinist Julia Fischer will be joining the SFS tour to perform Sergei Prokofiev’s Opus 19 concerto in D major. This concerto was last performed by SFS in May of 2012, when Osmo Vänskä conducted soloist Hilary Hahn.
Opus 19 receives far less attention than Prokofiev’s more popular second concerto (Opus 63 in G minor). It was composed during the summer of 1917, the same time Prokofiev was working on his first (“Classical”) symphony; and it is far more representative of the young composer’s modernist adventurism. However, because of the October Revolution by the Bolsheviks, the concerto did not receive its first performance until October 18, 1923, when it was included in the Concerts Koussevitzky series in Paris. Appropriately enough, Fischer’s ‘tour preview’ performance will be followed by another composition that had a revolutionary impact on Paris, Hector Berlioz’ Opus 14 “Symphonie fantastique.”
There will be four performances of this concert in Davies Symphony Hall. These will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, and Sunday, March 9, and at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8. The Inside Music Talk will be given by Peter Grunberg one hour prior to each concert, free to all ticket holders. In addition a free podcast about the “Symphonie fantastique,” hosted by KDFC’s Rik Malone, will be available for download from the Podcast page shortly before the first performance. Ticket prices range from $15 to $161 and may be purchased through the event page for this concert on the SFS Web site. Tickets may also be purchased at the Davies Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street or by calling 415-864-6000.