The San Francisco Performances (SFP) Guitar Series will get under way at the beginning of next month. As in the past, this set of five recitals will be presented in association with the Dynamite Guitars series of the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts. Three of those recitals will be given during the fall season. In addition the first concert in the Salons at the Rex Series will also be a guitar recital.
The first Guitar Series concert of the season will feature the return of Xuefei Yang, the first Chinese guitarist to launch an international career. This will be her fifth appearance in the Series. Her recital will be the first event in the SFP 2013–2014 season calendar, as well as the first SFP subscription performance to be held at the SFJAZZ Center. (Last April pianist Benjamin Grosvenor made his Bay Area debut at the SFJAZZ Center for the annual free concert for SFP subscribers and donors.)
As in the past, Yang has prepared a program of both original compositions for guitar and arrangements. In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten on November 22, she will perform his Opus 70 “Nocturnal After John Dowland,” with its unique approach to “variations before the theme.” In addition she will begin the program with her own arrangement of the courtly dances from the second act of his Opus 53 opera Gloriana. These two compositions will frame the first half of the program; and between them Yang will perform arrangements by Johann Kaspar Mertz of four songs by Franz Schubert: “Lob der Thränen” (D. 711), two songs from the D. 957 Schwanengesang (“Aufenthalt” and “Ständchen”), and “Die Post” from the D. 911 Winterreise.
The second half of the program will begin with Andrés Segovia’s arrangement of the final (Ciaccona) movement from Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 1004 partita for solo violin in D minor. This will be followed by the set of five bagatelles for solo guitar that William Walton wrote for Julian Bream between 1970 and 1971. The program will then conclude with the “Libra” sonatina for solo guitar by Roland Dyens.
Yang’s recital will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the SFJAZZ Center (201 Franklin Street on the northwest corner of Fell Street) on Saturday, October 5. Ticket prices are $45, $38, and $30. Tickets may be purchased through the event page on the SFP Web site. This page also includes a link for purchasing tickets for the entire Guitar Series. Both single tickets and subscriptions may also be purchased by calling 415-392-2545. Program details for the remaining two fall concerts have not yet been released. However, the concerts will again begin at 7:30 p.m. The performers, dates, and venues will be as follows:
- Katona Twins: Friday, November 1, 7:30 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
- Los Angeles Guitar Quartet: Saturday, December 7, 7:30 p.m., SFJAZZ Center
The Salons concerts, held in the intimate 75-seat room at the historic Hotel Rex, will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30, with a return performance by the Beijing Guitar Duo of Meng Su and Yameng Wang. This will be a one-hour program featuring new works, guitar classics, and familiar melodies. The Hotel Rex is located at 562 Sutter Street between Powell Street and Mason Street, just off Union Square. All tickets are $20 and may be purchased through the corresponding event page. This page will also provide a link for those wishing to subscribe to the entire season of eight recitals.