As was announced in June, the Featured Composer for the 2014–15 season of the New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO) will be Derek Bermel, who is also a skilled virtuoso on the clarinet. To prepare listeners for the premiere performance of the composition he is writing on an NCCO commission, the first concert of the season will feature performances of three of Bermel’s past works, two of which will also feature his playing clarinet. Bermel will be “officially” introduced to NCCO audiences with “A Short History of the Universe,” which he scored for string quartet and clarinet. Bermel claims that his title is derived from his study of gravitational physics and string theory, which should make for a fascinating (if not perplexing) “first contact” experience.
Bermel will also share the solo spotlight with NCCO Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg in the performance of a piece entitled “Silvioudades,” a composition recently recorded by Alarm Will Sound on their Canzonas Americanas (American songs) CD. The third Bermel piece to be included on the program will be “Oct Up,” scored for two string quartets (the “oct” part of the title) and percussion (the part that acts up?). Percussion will also be featured in a repeat performance of Rodion Shchedrin’s strikingly unconventional suite of music from Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen, scored only for strings and percussion. Finally, there will also be percussion in the version of Arvo Pärt’s “Fratres,” scored for solo violin, strings orchestra, and percussion.
The San Francisco performance of this concert will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 13, in the Concert Hall of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Single tickets range in price from $29 to $61 and are now on sale through a City Box Office event page. In addition, because it is the beginning of the season, subscriptions are still available. Prices for the full four-concert series range from $104 to $220, and these may also be purchased from a City Box Office event page. Further information is available by calling City Box Office 415-392-4400.
In addition there will be an open rehearsal of this program that will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 10. The venue is the Kanbar Performing Arts Center, located at 44 Page Street. All tickets for this event are $8; and they, too, may be purchased from their own City Box Office event page.