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The 2014–2015 San Francisco Performances Piano Series

Dubravka Tomšič Srebotnjak performing in her native Slovenia
Dubravka Tomšič Srebotnjak performing in her native Slovenia
by Jože Žnidaršič, from Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Once again the Shenson Piano Series presented by San Francisco Performances (SFP) will be made possible through the support of Fred M. Levin and Nancy Livingston of the Shenson Foundation. Also, the series will again feature four piano soloists, the first of whom will be making his SFP debut, although he has previously performed in San Francisco. Of the four recitals in the series, three will be at the SFJAZZ Center, while one will be in Davies Symphony Hall. The specifics are as follows:

  1. Tuesday, October 14, 7:30 p.m., SFJAZZ Center: This will be the SFP debut of Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, who has previously appeared under the auspices of Chamber Music San Francisco. As in the past he has prepared a program with a major focus on Frédéric Chopin: the second of the Opus 62 nocturnes (in E major), the three Opus 64 waltzes, the three Opus 56 mazurkas, and the Opus 44 polonaise in F-sharp minor. He will begin his recital with Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 971 “Italian” concerto, followed by Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 13 “Pathétique” sonata in C minor.
  2. Monday, December 1, 7:30 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall: Yuja Wang will return to the SFP Piano Series. She will be the one pianist in the Series who will not devote a major portion of her program to Chopin. Rather, the favored composer will be Alexander Scriabin with the performance of one impromptu (Opus 2, Number 3 in C major), three etudes (two from Opus 8 and one from Opus 42), and the “Black Mass” sonata (Opus 68). She will give the only performance of Franz Schubert in the Series, his final sonata, D. 960 in B-flat major. She will begin her program with three Spanish composers. Federico Mompou will be represented by the “Secreto” movement form his Impresiones intimas and the six of his Cançons i Danses collection. “El Fandango del Candil” from the Goyescas of Enrique Granados will be followed by “Málaga” from Isaac Albéniz' Iberia.
  3. Sunday, April 19, 7 p.m., SFJAZZ Center: Slovenian pianist Dubravka Tomšič Srebotnjak will return to SFP for the ninth time since her 1995 Bay Area debut. Her program will also offer a major focus on Chopin with the Opus 49 fantasia in F minor, the two nocturnes from Opus 27, and the Opus 22 “Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante.” She will also perform sonatas by Beethoven, the Opus 53 (“Waldstein”) in C major, and Joseph Haydn, Hoboken XVI/52 in E-flat major.
  4. Tuesday, May 12, 7:30 p.m., SFJAZZ Center: Stephen Hough will divide his program between Chopin and Claude Debussy. He will perform all for of Chopin’s ballades during the second half. The Debussy selections will be “La plus que lente,” the Estampes and Children’s Corner suites, and “L’isle joyeux.”

Series tickets are now available for purchase, and the 2014–2015 season announcement can be found on the SFP home page. The Piano Series has its own Web page from which subscriptions may be ordered. The Premium price is $270, and subscriptions are also selling for $205 and $140. The SFP home page also provides hyperlinks to PDF files of the Season Calendar and a “physical” subscription order form. Single tickets will go on sale August 4, at which time hyperlinks to the appropriate Web pages will be activated.

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