The coming season of the 40-voice San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) will be the first to be curated by Artistic Director Lisa Bielawa. The season will consist of five programs, all of which will be performed in San Francisco. (Three will also be performed in Berkeley, one in conjunction with the subscription series of the New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO), which also performs in Palo Alto and San Rafael.) All concerts will be conducted by Music Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe. Specific dates, times, and venues are as follows:
Saturday, October 4, 8 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: The title of this concert is The Romantic Imagination. SFGC will perform a series of arrangements of art songs from the nineteenth century composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, and Amy Beach. Pianist Jon Nakamatsu will appear as guest artist, playing two arrangements of Schumann songs by Franz Liszt. He will also perform “Wait,” composed by Bielawa for piano and drone.
Monday, December 8, 8 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall: This is the annual celebration of the season held at Davies. SFGC resources will be augmented with current students in the SFGC School to constitute a full complement of more than 300 voices. The title of this year’s concert is Northern Lights. It will feature winter and holiday-themed music from Nordic countries in anticipation of the tour SFGC has planned for June. There will also be carols and an audience sing-along.
Saturday, December 20, 8 p.m., Nourse Auditorium: This will be the NCCO holiday season concert at which SFGC will be the featured guest artists. This will be their first collaboration with NCCO. They will perform a cappella selections by Ralph Vaughan Williams and César Cui. With NCCO they will sing an arrangement of the chorus “For unto us a child is born” from George Frideric Handel’s HWV 56 oratorio Messiah prepared by Clarice Assad, as well as Christmas anthems by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and John Rutter.
Friday, April 17, 8 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: The title of this program is Children’s Crusade, the English translation of the title of the anti-war cantata Kinderkreuzzug by Ralf Yusuf Gawlick. This performance will be the West Coast premiere of the piece whose world premiere took place in Boston in April of 2010. Scored for children’s choir, chamber ensemble, and organ with text by Bertolt Brecht, the cantata was written for the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War with support from the German Consulate General in Boston, the Newton Cultural Council, the Jesuit Institute, Boston College, and the Goethe Institutes based in both Boston and Munich. The program will also include Lili Boulanger’s setting of the “Pie Jesu” couplet from the Latin Requiem text, as well as Philip Glass’ “Father Death Blues.”
Friday, June 5, 8 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music: The title of the final concert will be American Vanguard. It will feature modern and contemporary American masterworks that SFGC will perform at the stops on the tour of Nordic countries that will begin shortly after this performance. One of the composers will be Carla Kihlstedt, who will also appear as guest artist performing violin. Additional composers to be included on the program will be Meredith Monk, John Cage, Lou Harrison, and others.
Both subscription packages and single tickets will go on sale in August. Single tickets for nonsubscribers will range from $18 to $65, while subscribers will receive a 10% discount over single ticket prices. As of this writing, subscription information has not yet been posted on the SFGC Web site; but those wishing further information may call 415-863-1752, extension 304. Single tickets will be available through City Box Office and may be purchased through their Web site, by calling 415-392-4400, or in person at 180 Redwood Street, Suite 100. City Box Office business hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.