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Much to enjoy at Davies Symphony Hall this week

Conductor Jaap van Zweden
Conductor Jaap van Zweden
Photo: Bert Hulselmans

This week the San Francisco Symphony welcomes two guest artists from Holland, spends Saturday night at the movies, and there's an organ recital at Davies Symphony Hall on Sunday afternoon.

The two Dutch artists - conductor Jaap van Zweden and violinist Simone Lamsma - both make their debut performances with the San Francisco Symphony this week, in a program which features Mozart’s overture to his comic opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio, the Sibelius Violin Concerto, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 4.

Jaap van Zweden, Musical America’s 2012 Conductor of the Year, was appointed the youngest ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra when he was just 19 years of age. His conducting career began in 1995, and having served as chief conductor for all the major orchestras in the Netherlands, he has held the position of Music Director of the Dallas Symphony since 2008, and fulfilled the same role with the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra since September 2012.

Future engagements include appearances with the London Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, the Orchestre de Paris, the Rotterdam and London Philharmonics, the Verbier Festival and a tour of China with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Simone Lamsma studied the violin from the age of five, moving to the UK to attend the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, and continuing her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She graduated with first class honours, and in 2011, she became an associate of the Academy. Ms Lamsma has appeared with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and in her own country, with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.

She has been described as "sensational" by the Cincinnatti Enquirer, with the Jornal do Brasil writing of "her perfect pitch level, a beautiful sonority, heavenly high notes and a perfect technique", and will appear with Jaap van Zweden and the Hong Kong Philharmonic on its forthcoming tour of China.

Jaap van Zweden and Simon Lamsma appear with the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall on February 12 and 14. For more information and tickets, please visit the SF Symphony website.

Saturday night is movie night with the SF Symphony, and you’re invited to view a selection of exciting new 35mm prints of some of the best-loved film scenes of all time, to live accompaniment by the Orchestra. You’ll be greeted on the red carpet by the papparazzi - in true Hollywood style - have your photograph taken, and celebrate like a star.

The program includes music by Eric Korngold from The Adventures of Robin Hood, Max Steiner’s Gone with the Wind, Gershwin’s An American in Paris, and excerpts from Ben Hur and The Wizard of Oz.
A Night at the Oscars with the San Francisco Symphony takes place at Davies Symphony Hall on February 15 - visit the SF Symphony website for more details and information on tickets.

The organ recital at Davies Symphony Hall on Sunday afternoon is presented by Grammy-winning artist, Paul Jacobs - described by The New York Times as “a brilliant organist” and by The Chicago Tribune as "one of the most supremely gifted organists of his generation". Mr Jacobs comes to San Francisco from a recent appearance in Washington DC, where he played a solo recital on the Kennedy Center Concert Hall's new organ. He is a frequent guest of the SF Symphony, having performed and toured with Michael Tilson-Thomas and the Orchestra with a repertoire which includes Lou Harrison's Concerto for Organ with Percussion, and Aaron Copland's Organ Symphony, both of which were recorded on the SFS Media label.

The Paul Jacobs recital, which includes music by Bach, Mozart, Guilmant and Reger, takes place at Davies Symphony Hall on Sunday, February 16 at 3.00 pm. Visit the San Francisco Symphony website for more details and information on tickets.

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