The Board of Directors of the San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) has announced two appointments for a new leadership team.
The new Artistic Director will be Lisa Bielawa, an SFGC alumna, who has been a long-time member of the Philip Glass Ensemble. Indeed, her current activity is to serve as choirmaster for the current touring production of Glass’ pioneering opera Einstein on the Beach, developed in conjunction with Robert Wilson. In 1996, along with Glass and Eleonor Sandresky, she founded MATA as an organization to support commissioning and presenting works by young composers from around the world; and those presentations take place during a four-day festival held each spring in New York City. She served as MATA’s Artistic Director until 2006, after which she spent a three-year residency with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Her current project is Airfield Broadcasts, two 60-minute compositions for more than 600 musicians. “Tempelhof Broadcast” will receive its premiere in May on the tarmac of the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin. This will be followed in October by the premiere of “Crissy Broadcast” here in San Francisco at Crissy Field.
As SFGC Artistic Director Bielawa will oversee the artistic vision and programming. She will also forge compelling partnerships with other organizations and artists. Finally, she will hold primary responsibility for long-range artistic planning and programming for specific performances, collaborations, tours, and recordings for Chorissima, the premier SFGC performing ensemble.
Bielawa will work closely with the new SFGC Music Director Valerie Saint-Agathe. Saint-Agathe, a native of Martinique, will come to San Francisco from Montpellier in France, where she served as Musical Director for the Junior Opera and Young Singers program of the Montpellier National Symphony and Opera until 2011. She will now conduct the performances of Chorissima. She will also continue her work in the development of young talent, focusing on vocal technique, music theory, and history. She will work collaboratively with Bielawa in planning concerts, collaborations, tours, and recordings.