For the 2014–2015 season each of the four concerts in the San Francisco Performances (SFP) Chamber Series will feature a string quartet returning to the Bay Area, one of which will be performing with a very special guest artist. The recitals will alternate between St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and the SFJAZZ Center. The specifics are as follows:
- Saturday, November 1, 7:30 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: This will be a rare return to the Bay Area of the Hagen Quartet. Three of the four siblings who formed this quartet and gave their name to it are still performing in it: Lukas on first violin, Veronika on viola, and Clemens on cello. Second violin is now being performed by Rainer Schmidt. They have prepared a “three centuries” program, beginning with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 387 in G major, followed by Dmitri Shostakovich’s Opus 110 quartet in C minor. The second half of the program will be devoted to Johannes Brahms’ Opus 67 in B-flat major, the last of the three quartets he composed.
- Sunday, March 15, 7 p.m., SFJAZZ Center: The Takás Quartet, consisting of violinists Edward Dusinberre and Károly Schranz, violist Geraldine Walther, and cellist András Fejér, will present a program consisting entirely of works by Franz Schubert. This will feature two of his major quartets, D. 804 (“Rosamunde”) in A minor and D. 810 (“Death and the Maiden”) in D minor. D. 804 will be preceded by the D. 703 single-movement “Quartettsatz” in C minor.
- Monday, March 30, 7:30 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: After having made its SFP debut with pianist Jonathan Biss in 2013, the Elias Quartet (violinists Sara Bitlloch and Donald Grant, violist Martin Saving, and cellist Marie Bitlloch) will return with a concert of quartets by Ludwig van Beethoven. The program will feature two of the “late” quartets, both of which were composed in 1826, Opus 135 in F major and Opus 131 in C-sharp minor. It will begin with the last of the “middle” quartets (composed in 1810), Opus 95 (“Serioso”) in F minor.
- Sunday, May 10, 7 p.m., SFJAZZ Center: Pianist and SFP Jazz Artist-in-Residence (not to mention 2013 MacArthur Fellow) Vijay Iyer will perform with the Brentano Quartet of violinists Mark Steinberg and Serena Canin, violist Misha Amory, and cellist Nina Lee. The quintet will present the Bay Area premiere of Iyer’s “Time, Place, Action.” Like his previous work for string quartet and piano, “Mutations” (released as an ECM recording this past March), this new composition explores the dialectical synthesis of notation and improvisation. Brentano has arranged to play the Iyer premiere between two equally exploratory quartets, Joseph Haydn’s Hoboken III/44 in B-flat major (the first of his six “Prussian” quartets, published as Opus 50) and Claude Debussy’s only string quartet.
Series tickets are now available for purchase, and the 2014–2015 season announcement can be found on the SFP home page. The Chamber Series has its own Web page from which subscriptions may be ordered. The Premium price is $245, and subscriptions are also selling for $220 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.