April is the month the sales begin for subscriptions to Philharmonia Baroque. The 2014–15 season will be the group’s 34th. As usual, Music Director Nicholas McGegan has made arrangements for a stimulating series of six programs. Also as usual, the selections will be an engaging blend of the familiar with pieces likely to be unknown to even many well-informed listeners. Here are the dates and organizing themes for the six San Francisco performances;
- Wednesday, October 8: Cellist Steven Isserlis will return to perform concertos by both Luigi Boccherini and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.
- Friday, November 7: Countertenor Andreas Scholl will sing Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 170 cantata and arias from George Frideric Handel’s HWV 17 opera Giulio Cesare, all under the baton of Julian Wachner, visiting from his usual post at Trinity Wall Street.
- Friday, December 5: McGegan will lead a Christmas program of sacred music by Antonio Vivaldi and Jan Dismas Zelenka and featuring guest soloists Dominique Labelle, Christopher Ainslie, and Dashon Burton.
- Friday, February 6: McGegan will conduct a program of two of the lesser-known members of the Bach family, Johann Ludwig and Johann Bernhard, both cousins to Johann Sebastian.
- Friday, March 13: English violinist Rachel Podger will return to lead a program of virtuosic violin music by Vivaldi.
- Friday, April 17: McGegan will conduct one of Gioachino Rossini’s earliest operas, his one-act comic farce “La cambiale di matrimonio” (the marriage contract), featuring vocal soloists from the San Francisco Opera Center’s Adler Fellowship Program.
All San Francisco performances will begin at 8 p.m.; and the venue will alternate between the SFJAZZ Center and Calvary Presbyterian Church. Currently, only subscription renewals are being sold; but the general public will be able to start purchasing them on April 21. The prices for a full subscription range from $72 to $215. As of that date they may be purchased online through the Subscribe Web page on the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Web site. Further information is available by phone at 415-295-1900. Single tickets will not be available until August.