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At Burning Man, the Tech Elite One-Up One Another

“If you haven’t been, you just don’t get it,” said the entrepreneur Elon Musk of Burning Man. A wooden yacht art car rolled through in 2012. CreditAndy Barron/Reno Gazette-Journal, via Associated Press

There are two disciplines in which Silicon Valley entrepreneurs excel above almost everyone else. The first is making exorbitant amounts of money. The second is pretending they don’t care about that money.

To understand this, let’s enter into evidence Exhibit A: the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nev.

If you have never been to Burning Man, your perception is likely this: awhite-hot desert filled with 50,000 stoned, half-naked hippies doing sun salutations while techno music thumps through the air.

A few years ago, this assumption would have been mostly correct. But now things are a little different. Over the last two years, Burning Man, which this year runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 1, has been the annual getaway for anew crop of millionaire and billionaire technology moguls, many of whom are one-upping one another in a secret game of I-can-spend-more-money-than-you-can and, some say, ruining it for everyone else.

Some of the biggest names in technology have been making the pilgrimage to the desert for years, happily blending in unnoticed. These include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the Google founders, and Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon. But now a new set of younger rich techies are heading east, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, employees from Twitter, Zynga and Uber, and a slew of khaki-wearing venture capitalists.

Burning Man in 2013. CreditJim Urquhart/Reuters

Before I explain just how ridiculous the spending habits of these baby billionaires have become, let’s go over the rules of Burning Man: You bring your own place to sleep (often a tent), food to eat (often ramen noodles) and the strangest clothing possible for the week (often not much). There is no Internet or cell reception. While drugs are technically illegal, they are easier to find than candy on Halloween. And as for money, with the exception of coffee and ice, you cannot buy anything at the festival. Selling things to people is also a strict no-no. Instead, Burners (as they are called) simply give things away. What’s yours is mine. And that often means everything from a meal to saliva.

In recent years, the competition for who in the tech world could outdo who evolved from a need for more luxurious sleeping quarters. People went from spending the night in tents, to renting R.V.s, to building actual structures.

“We used to have R.V.s and precooked meals,” said a man who attends Burning Man with a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. (He asked not to be named so as not to jeopardize those relationships.) “Now, we have the craziest chefs in the world and people who build yurts for us that have beds and air-conditioning.” He added with a sense of amazement, “Yes, air-conditioning in the middle of the desert!”

His camp includes about 100 people from the Valley and Hollywood start-ups, as well as several venture capital firms. And while dues for most non-tech camps run about $300 a person, he said his camp’s fees this year were $25,000 a person. A few people, mostly female models flown in from New York, get to go free, but when all is told, the weekend accommodations will collectively cost the partygoers over $2 million.

This is drastically different from the way most people experience the event. When I attended Burning Man a few years ago, we slept in tents and a U-Haul moving van. We lived on cereal and beef jerky for a week. And while Burning Man was one of the best experiences of my life, using the public Porta-Potty toilets was certainly one of the most revolting experiences thus far. But that’s what makes Burning Man so great: at least you’re all experiencing those gross toilets together.

That is, until recently. Now the rich are spending thousands of dollars to get their own luxury restroom trailers, just like those used on movie sets.

“Anyone who has been going to Burning Man for the last five years is now seeing things on a level of expense or flash that didn’t exist before,” said Brian Doherty, author of the book “This Is Burning Man.” “It does have this feeling that, ‘Oh, look, the rich people have moved into my neighborhood.’ It’s gentrifying.”

For those with even more money to squander, there are camps that come with “Sherpas,” who are essentially paid help.

Tyler Hanson, who started going to Burning Man in 1995, decided a couple of years ago to try working as a paid Sherpa at one of these luxury camps. He described the experience this way: Lavish R.V.s are driven in and connected together to create a private forted area, ensuring that no outsiders can get in. The rich are flown in on private planes, then picked up at the Burning Man airport, driven to their camp and served like kings and queens for a week. (Their meals are prepared by teams of chefs, which can include sushi, lobster boils and steak tartare — yes, in the middle of 110-degree heat.)

“Your food, your drugs, your costumes are all handled for you, so all you have to do is show up,” Mr. Hanson said. “In the camp where I was working, there were about 30 Sherpas for 12 attendees.”

Mr. Hanson said he won’t be going back to Burning Man anytime soon. The Sherpas, the money, the blockaded camps and the tech elite were too much for him. “The tech start-ups now go to Burning Man and eat drugs in search of the next greatest app,” he said. “Burning Man is no longer a counterculture revolution. It’s now become a mirror of society.”

Strangely, the tech elite won’t disagree with Mr. Hanson about it being a reflection of society. This year at the premiere of the HBO show “Silicon Valley,” Elon Musk, an entrepreneur who was a founder of PayPal, complained that Mike Judge, the show’s creator, didn’t get the tech world because — wait for it — he had not attended the annual party in the desert.

“I really feel like Mike Judge has never been to Burning Man, which is Silicon Valley,” Mr. Musk said to a Re/Code reporter, while using a number of expletives to describe the festival. “If you haven’t been, you just don’t get it.”

Non-tech Burners who have been may “get it” but don’t like all this excess, and are starting to push back. This month, the Key Group, a Swiss luxury concierge service, announced that it would be offering a Burning Man Concierge Service that seemed more like a cruise liner vacation than a week in the dusty desert. (The company did not respond to a request for comment.)

Among the dozens of options offered by the Key, there is the “establishment of a camp with electricity, water and satellite Internet Wi-Fi connection,” “cooks and fresh buffets for every meal” and — not a small task by any means given the distance from the real world — the “possibility of ordering goods and products from outside Black Rock City every day.”

When the website Burners.me, which blogs about the festival, posted a link to the Key’s site, the Burning Man community seemed generally confused as to whether such extravagance was actually real or if someone was playing a joke. When it turned out to be quite real, people railed against the service, and the Key removed the Burning Man concierge option from its site.

Of course, you won’t likely see pictures on Instagram or Facebook of the $2 million camps, chef-cooked meals, the Sherpa helpers and concierge services, or private and pristine toilets. That would mean that the tech elite actually cared about money — which would just go against the entire Burning Man spirit.

By , NYT

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CENTER REPERTORY COMPANY in association with JONATHAN REINIS and ROGER BEAN PRESENTS Life Could Be A Dream

Written & Directed by Roger Bean
Music Direction by Brandon Adams
Choreography by Lee Martino

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SH-BOOM! Meet Denny and the Dreamers, a fledging doo-wop singing group preparing to enter the Big Whopper Radio contest with dreams of making it to the big time! Trouble comes in the form of Lois, who arrives to put some polish on the boys. Denny falls in love, Wally falls in line, Eugene falls apart, and then the trouble doubles when handsome heartthrob Skip enters, played by Derek Keeling, star of Broadway’s Grease and NBC’s “You’re the One That I Want!” to send things spinning. The ‘60s hits say it all: “Fools Fall in Love,” “Tears On My Pillow,” “Runaround Sue,” “Earth Angel,” “Stay,” “Unchained Melody,” “Lonely Teardrops,” and “The Glory of Love.”

WHERE:
Center REPertory Company 1601 Civic Drive in downtown Walnut Creek.
DATES / TIMES / TICKET INFO:
Performances begin Friday, August 29th at 8PM. Press opening is Tuesday, September 2nd at 7:30 PM. Closes Saturday, October 5th at 8:00PM.

TICKET PRICE RANGE: $37 – $66

TICKET INFORMATION:
For more information go to CenterREP.org or call 925.943.SHOW (7469).  You can also visit the LCA Ticket Office at 1601 Civic Drive or the Ticket Office Outlets at Barnes & Noble in Walnut Creek and the Downtown Walnut Creek Library.

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Ro Khanna Campaign Silent Following Homophobic Rant by Republican Supporter Ernie Konnyu: Editorial

 

Ro Khanna Campaign Silent

Ro Khanna Campaign Silent

Congressional candidate Ro Khanna should  immediately take action and publically denounce the support of homophobic former Congressman Ernie Konnyu, Khanna’s highest-profile Republican endorser.

Konnyu, a one-term Silicon Valley Congressman who was voted out of office following a sexual harassment scandal, made news last week for orchestrating Tea Party support for Khanna, who is hoping to unseat longtime U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose.

But this week Konnyu took his right-wing vitriol a step further, using Facebook to publically attack the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce PAC for supporting openly gay Campbell Mayor Evan Low in his State Assembly race against former Saratoga mayor Chuck Page.

Konnyu waged his attack last Friday on a Facebook comment by former Chamber CEO Jim Cunneen, calling it “sick” that the Chamber PAC would support “a liberal so left that he wants to change the law to allow blood donations by gays. This, even though the current law forbids it since such blood has a risk of transferring the deadly AIDS virus. Yes! Gay pride is worth more with Evan Low than our citizens’ lives.”

Despite Cunneen’s efforts to prevent Konnyu from doing more damage by “counting to 10 before posting on Facebook,” Konnyu instead redirected his attack on Cunneen. “I am wiser, more experienced, and a lot older than you,” he said.

The San Jose Inside blog broke the story Wednesday but so far we’ve heard nothing from the Khanna campaign. By contrast, following last week’s news about the Tea Party’s support, Khanna’s campaign immediately responded with a “with friends like these…” shake of the head.

Konnyu is becoming a tremendous liability for Khanna, and we’re shocked that Khanna hasn’t denounced Konnyu’s misguided statements and support.

Let’s face it; Khanna doesn’t have a shot at defeating Honda, a seven-term incumbent with a proven track record of fighting for civil rights and same-sex equality.  However, that’s no excuse not to stand up and speak out against this kind of discrimination and homophobia – in his district and on his endorsement list.

 

 

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Splunk Technology Co. To Occupy 270 Brannan St.–Groundbreaking Draws Mayor Lee, SKS Partners, Mitsui Fudosan America

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Mayor Ed Lee today joined SKS Partners, Mitsui Fudosan America and more than 50 dignitaries at a ceremony today to officially break ground on 270 Brannan St. – the new 213,000 gross sq. ft. office building located in the heart of San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood.  The space is already 100 percent leased to machine data player Splunk, which has another leased office building within the block of the new development.

“Our City’s South of Market neighborhood is going through an exciting renaissance, transforming an underutilized warehouse district into a growing, modern mixed-use area with office space, housing and small businesses,” said Mayor Lee. “I am thrilled to break ground on the 270 Brannan St. office building with SKS Partners and Mitsui Fudosan America who are committed to working with the community to ensure this neighborhood thrives economically yet maintains its historic presence.”

The building is being developed as a joint venture between San Francisco’s SKS Partners and Mitsui Fudosan America. The building was designed by prominent local architect, Peter Pfau, and Charles Pankow Builders is the general contractor.

Splunk, the big data technology company, will occupy the building when it opens in Dec. 2015.

“270 Brannan is the realization of the City’s 2008 Eastern Neighborhoods plan, creating a new office building for the growing economy that respects the historical context of the South Beach neighborhood,” said Dan Kingsley and Paul Stein, the Managing Partners at SKS.

City planners have praised the design of 270 Brannan St. for incorporating the character and history of the neighborhood while meeting the needs of its tenants.

The building will include a 5,000 sq. ft. internal atrium which will connect the building’s five-story front section and seven-story rear section. The building is targeting LEED Platinum Certification by the US Green Building Council and has many environmentally-friendly features such as roof-top solar panels.  It also includes spaces for 52 bikes along with adjacent showers and lockers in its basement. Automobile parking is limited to 12 spots in the building’s underground garage.

The building’s design will feature a pattern of alternating aluminum curtain wall windows and terracotta cladding on its Brannan Street façade, consistent with the surrounding South End Historic District. The rear façade, which fronts on DeBoom Street, will feature terracotta cladding on the lower floors with a floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall on the top two floors.

“This groundbreaking is happening during a truly important time for environmental responsibility, both locally and globally. We are making real and lasting investments to improve our city, while protecting our environment and creating new jobs,” said Yukio Yoshida, President of Mitsui Fudosan America. “This building is believed to be one of the first to feature more bike parking spaces than car parking stalls in the history of San Francisco real estate developments and that, in and of itself, is a huge indication that we are opening a new chapter in San Francisco’s history of progress.”

The new 270 Brannan St. is scheduled to open in December 2015.

For more information, visit www.270brannan.com

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The Gorilla Foundation Announces New Focus, Key Hires and Important Organizational Changes

KoKo gorilla

Koko gorilla

San Francisco–The Gorilla Foundation announced a series of important changes today, including anticipated new management positions, potential new Board members and a certain new focus, all designed to strengthen one of the world’s leading organizations for great ape understanding, care and conservation. “We have come to a crossroads in our Foundation’s history, and we have recognized the need to do more for the cause of the great apes through building global empathy for their preservation and care”

These improvements, made after an extensive internal review with the help of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, Governing Board and outside consultants, seek to balance the vital goals of caring for and protecting the gorillas (Koko and Ndume) while refocusing and reinvigorating the organization’s core mission of learning about gorillas through direct communication, and applying that knowledge to advance great ape conservation and prevent their extinction through education, compassionate care and empathy worldwide.

“We have come to a crossroads in our Foundation’s history, and we have recognized the need to do more for the cause of the great apes through building global empathy for their preservation and care,” said Dr. Penny Patterson, the lead researcher behind the Foundation’s groundbreaking “Project Koko,” which is to date the longest running interspecies communication project in history and the only one involving gorillas.

“Koko and her family have taught us so much over many decades and now, more than ever, we feel it is incumbent on this organization to share what we’ve learned with people across the globe, as a way to help put an end to poaching and build compassion for enhancing the care of gorillas and other great apes everywhere,” she said.

The Gorilla Foundation was founded in 1976 by Dr. Patterson, Ron Cohn and philanthropist Barbara Hiller to expand the groundbreaking and unique work of “Project Koko,” the first-ever project to study the linguistic capabilities of gorillas through sign language. Today, after decades of research and learning, Koko is able to use more than 1,000 signs, understands as many words of spoken English, and demonstrates the amazing ability to communicate her thoughts and express her feelings through sign language.

With the goal of protecting and honoring this legacy for generations to come, the Foundation’s leadership today announced, in addition to organizational changes, a series of goals and programs that are designed to make better use of what Koko and her family have taught us over the years. These include:

RESEARCH:

1. Gorilla Emotional Awareness Study (GEARS) will provide an analysis of Koko’s awareness of her emotions (introspection) and the emotions of others (empathy), in research made possible by her unique communication abilities.

2. Digital Data Archival of Project Koko for Future Crowd-Sourced Research will involve a partnership with a major university to digitize and preserve four decades of unique Gorilla Foundation data and archive it in a form that will facilitate analysis and collaboration.

EDUCATION:

3. Koko Signing App will allow the public to learn to sign with Koko and to understand her in videos designed to advance the public’s knowledge about gorillas and learn about their need for compassionate conservation.

4. Project Koko Interactive Database will be made available to scientific colleagues and great ape facilities so that they can make use of our direct experience and data, gained through years of communicating with gorillas.

CONSERVATION:

5. Publication of new book (with video), Michael’s Dream, about the remarkable life of Koko’s gorilla friend Michael, who, on several occasions, communicated (in sign language) his memory of witnessing his gorilla mother being killed by poachers in Africa. This was documented on video.

6. Wide Distribution of Koko’s Kitten & Michael’s Dream Books and Educational Curricula throughout Africa, to strengthen compassionate conservation values and support the preservation of endangered gorillas In their homelands. This builds on our successful distribution of Koko’s Kitten (and curriculum) to over 100,000 students in Cameroon.

CARE AND WELLNESS:

7. Enhancement of Koko & Ndume’s facilities to enrich their lives, expand their options for exploration and privacy, and create capacity for a larger gorilla family.

8. Gorilla Interspecies Communication Work/Play-Station will provide the gorillas with the use of interactive computer technology (including “tough tablets”) to allow them to have fun, express their preferences and have more control over their environment.

ORGANIZATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE:

9. Expanding the Foundation’s Board of Directors to include more experts in our highly specialized field, as well as strategically selected business, finance and fundraising experts.

10. Developing a new executive team for leadership, fundraising and building strategic alliances.

These changes are being made as part of a focused process with three primary goals: 1) to ensure the care and protection of Koko and Ndume now and into the future and 2) to better apply the lessons learned by the Foundation to protect and enhance the lives of gorillas and other great apes worldwide, and 3) to allow our enlightening dialogues with Koko, Ndume and other gorillas to continue.

The Foundation’s leadership is tremendously appreciative of the contributions of its Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and its many consultants and colleagues, who were integral to the development of this new vision.

For more information about the Gorilla Foundation, visit www.koko.org.

 

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Looking Intently: The James Cahill Legacy

The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents

Looking Intently: The James Cahill Legacy

July 23, 2014–December 21, 2014

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Dai Jin: Summer Trees Casting Shade, 15th century; ink and colors on silk

The late James Cahill, Professor Emeritus at UC Berkeley, was known as a brilliant scholar, exceptional teacher and writer, and extraordinary connoisseur and collector of Chinese and Japanese paintings. He began collecting in the mid-1950s as a Fulbright Scholar in Japan, where he encountered significantly undervalued Chinese paintings of the Ming and Qing periods. At the time few collectors were interested in these later paintings and fewer still understood their inherent value. But Cahill recognized their importance and so began a lifelong pursuit of fine paintings. His collection became known by his studio name, Ching Yuan Chai, given to him by his own teacher, Shimada Shujiro. As Cahill wrote, “It could be either Studio of Someone Looking into the Yuan (as I was for my dissertation) or, more prestigiously, Someone Gazing into the Abstruse.” Today paintings associated with that studio name are among the treasures that make up the core of the BAM/PFA Chinese painting collection. In fond memory of James Cahill (1926–2014), we present this selection from the collection in tribute to his tremendous generosity and commitment to Berkeley and to BAM/PFA.

Cahill, unlike some of his contemporaries as well as historic Chinese collectors, did not mark with a seal or inscription the paintings in his collection. Rather, he made his mark by donating—and encouraging others to donate—exceptionally fine paintings to BAM/PFA. This small exhibition presents just a handful of works, but they demonstrate the unparalleled range of Cahill’s collecting interests, fromSummer Trees Casting Shade, a large decorative painting by Dai Jin (1388–1462), to the quietly cerebral The Zhiping Temple by Wen Zhengming (1470–1559).

Cahill frequently used the collection for teaching, engaging students in dialogue about brushwork, connoisseurship, authenticity, and condition, and looking intently at real works of art, a tradition that continues today.

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Philip Wilder named new executive director of New Century Chamber Orchestra

Philip Wilder is the new executive director of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra, Board President Mark Salkind announced today. Wilder, who brings multifaceted experience in leadership, programming, and management of several nonprofit arts and music organizations to the role, is also a musician and performer with deep experience in music education. He begins in the position July 21. He replaces Parker Monroe, who served as executive director for New Century Chamber Orchestra for 18 years. Monroe announced his retirement in December.

Wilder is well known in music circles in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was the founding director of education with acclaimed vocal ensemble Chanticleer, where he served also as artistic administrator and assistant music director during a 13-year period while singing with the ensemble in more than 1,000 concerts around the world. He launched the annual Chanticleer Youth Choral Festival for San Francisco Bay Area high school students, and led its nationwide Singing in the Schools program. He was associate director of the capital campaign for the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C., and was awarded a fellowship at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ DeVos Institute for Arts Management. As vice president of 21C Media Group public relations firm in New York, he represented clients including Yefim Bronfman, Susan Graham, Joyce DiDonato, Steven Stucky, and Jeremy Denk. Wilder has also consulted for artists and arts organizations, including Dallas Opera, the Grand Teton Music Festival and the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. He was executive director of communications for the Eastman School of Music, and most recently was the founding artistic and executive director with Sing With Haiti, a not-for-profit organization supporting the Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

“Philip Wilder was the unanimous choice of our board and music director to take on the role of executive director,” said Salkind. “His breadth of experience, his many accomplishments as a leader and consultant to arts organizations, his fundraising and public relations experience, and his longtime Bay Area musical background with Chanticleer are all vital assets that will guide the vision of New Century Chamber Orchestra as we evolve and grow in the years ahead.”

“We owe a great debt and enormous thanks to Parker Monroe, our outgoing executive director, who is retiring after 18 years of creative and successful leadership of New Century Chamber Orchestra.”

“Philip’s background as a musician, his leadership experience with Chanticleer, and his professional guidance on behalf of so many classical music artists and organizations make him a perfect fit for New Century Chamber Orchestra,” said Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. “I’m excited to work together to create new opportunities for New Century Chamber Orchestra and to bring our music to more people, both here at home in the Bay Area and around the country.”

“It is a great honor to be chosen as New Century Chamber Orchestra’s next executive director, which brings me back to the city that gave me my start in music 24 years ago,” Wilder said. “After 11 years of appointments in Washington, D.C., and New York City, I return home with a wealth of experiences in the field of music to share with one of San Francisco’s most innovative arts organizations.

“I have been a fan of the New Century Chamber Orchestra since its early concerts in San Francisco in the 1990s. Since then, I have been a proud observer of the orchestra’s growing national and international reputation under the leadership of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. I look forward to joining with Nadja, the staff and board of New Century to lead the orchestra in the next chapter of its illustrious career.”

ABOUT PHILIP WILDER
Philip Wilder is a classical music industry specialist with 24 years of multifaceted experience as an artistic programmer, administrator, educator, fundraiser, marketer, PR consultant, recording producer, and musician in the not-for-profit and corporate classical music industry. He was appointed as executive director of New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco in July 2014. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy (major in piano and organ), the Eastman School of Music (Bachelor of Music in organ performance), and the DeVos Institute for Arts Management, Wilder began his professional career as a member of the San Francisco-based vocal ensemble Chanticleer, where he became artistic administrator, assistant music director and founding director of education.

During his 13-year association with Chanticleer, he performed as a countertenor in more than 1,000 concerts worldwide, and fostered collaborations with many composers and performers, including Sir John Tavener, Frederica von Stade and Dawn Upshaw. His 14 recordings for Warner Classics and Chanticleer Records garnered four Grammy nominations and two Grammy Awards. As Chanticleer’s founding director of education, he developed and implemented programs for music students in San Francisco and across America, including its Singing in the Schools program and the Chanticleer Youth Choral Festival, an annual event for San Francisco Bay Area high school students. Wilder also served as Chanticleer’s spokesperson, appearing on CBS, NBC, NPR, and other prominent national news outlets.

After leaving Chanticleer, Wilder took a position as associate director of the capital campaign for the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C., and was awarded a fellowship at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ DeVos Institute for Arts Management. While there, he managed the first American tour of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra for the United States Department of State, and collaborated with Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser on an instructional workbook for strategic planning for emerging arts organizations.

In 2005, Wilder joined 21C Media Group, the New York-based independent public relations, marketing, and consulting firm specializing in classical music and the performing arts. In 2012, he was named executive director of communications for the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.

During his seven years with 21C Media Group, Wilder developed an impressive roster of clients, including Grammy Award-winners Yefim Bronfman, Susan Graham, and Joyce DiDonato; Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky; and MacArthur “genius” Jeremy Denk. He also advised organizations, including the Dallas Opera, the Grand Teton Music Festival and the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, founding partner Albert Imperato named Wilder vice president of 21C Media Group.

Currently residing in San Francisco, Wilder continues to consult for artists and arts organizations, and is a producer of new media content for Music Makes a City, a PBS documentary film and arts advocacy project produced by Owsley Brown Presents. He also served as the founding artistic and executive director of Sing With Haiti, a not-for-profit organization supporting the ongoing operations and rebuilding of the Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

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BROADWAY AND TELEVISION STAR CHEYENNE JACKSON SINGS MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES WITH THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY JULY 24-25 IN DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL

Featuring special guest appearances by

Broadway Star Faith Prince and drag artist Courtney Act

After starring in sold-out concerts of West Side Story with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) last season, Broadway and television star Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock, Glee) returns to perform with the SFS in “Hello, Gorgeous!” July 24 and 25 in Davies Symphony Hall. The program features favorite movie and musical songs like “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, “A Little Less Conversation” from Live a Little, Love a Little, and “Luck Be A Lady” from Guys and Dolls, as well as songs from GoldfingerWest Side Story, Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!,and more. Jackson is joined by two special guest performers for these concerts: singer Faith Prince—known for her Tony Award-winning performance in the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls—and Australian drag queen, pop singer, and entertainer Courtney Act.

Jackson was last seen at Davies Symphony Hall in the role of Tony in MTT and the SFS’s complete concert performances of Bernstein’s West Side Story in 2013. The CD recording from those performances was released on the Orchestra’s own SFS Media label in June.

Prior to his San Francisco Symphony appearances, Cheyenne Jackson performs at the opening ceremonies for the San Francisco AIDS Walk on Sunday, July 20 in Golden Gate Park. Jackson is an ardent supporter of a variety of social issues, including LGBT rights, marriage equality, and HIV/AIDS research. He is a board- appointed international ambassador for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research), and he serves as the national ambassador for HMI (The Hetrick-Martin Institute). He was also a Grand Marshal of San Francisco’s 2013 Pride Parade.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

An actor, singer, and songwriter, Cheyenne Jackson released his latest album of original music, “I’m Blue, Skies” on SONY/ATV in 2013. Jackson’s television roles have included series regular Danny Baker on NBC’s 30 Rock, and as Dustin Goolsby, the coach of Vocal Adrenaline on the TV seriesGlee. He recently began filming a pilot entitled Open in February which will air on HBO. In 2012, he starred on Broadway opposite Henry Winkler, Ari Graynor, and Alicia Silverstone in David West Read’s play The Performers. He appeared in Steven Soderbergh’s Emmy award-winning film Behind the Candelabra, a Liberace biopic, with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. He works regularly in films, including the portrayal of Mark Bingham in the 2006 Academy Award-nominated United 93The Green opposite Julia Ormond and Ileana Douglas, Price Check with Parker Posey, and Lola Versus. Upcoming 2014 films include Mutual FriendsLucky StiffSix Dance Lessons in Six Weeks opposite Gena Rowlands, Opening NightThe Song with Christopher Lloyd and Kevin Pollak, and Day out of Days.

On and Off Broadway, Jackson has starred in 8Finian’s Rainbow (Drama Desk nomination), Damn YankeesXanadu (Drama League and Drama Desk nominations) The Agony & the AgonyAll Shook Up (Theater World Award, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nominations), the premiere cast of Altar BoyzAidaThoroughly Modern MillieOn the 20th Century, and The 24 Hour Plays. Other TV credits includeFamily Practice, Life on Mars, Ugly Betty, It Takes a Village, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Local Talent. In concert, he has sold out Carnegie Hall twice, in “The Power of Two” in 2010 with Michael Feinstein followed by his solo debut concert with the New York Pops in 2011 entitled “Music of the Mad Men Era.”

 

Faith Prince has been dazzling Broadway audiences since winning the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance as Ms. Adelaide in the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls. She most recently starred as Miss Hannigan in the Broadway revival of Annie. In 2008, she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for A Catered Affair.  Other Broadway credits include The Little Mermaid, Bells Are Ringing (Tony, DD, OCC nominations), Nick & Nora (OCC Award), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (Tony, DD nominations), Little MeThe Dead, andNoises Off.  She also starred in the world premiere of Terrence McNally’s Unusual Acts of Devotion and in the national tour of the Broadway hit Billy Elliott. Ms. Price just wrapped her five-season run as Brooke Elliott’s mother on Lifetime’s hit series Drop Dead Diva.  She was a series regular on Showtime’s Huff, and was a recurring character for five seasons on Spin City. Other television credits include Melissa & JoeyA Gifted Man, Happy Endings, Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, FaithHouse, Medium, Sweet Potato QueensMonk, Now and Again, Welcome To New York, and Law and Order.  Film credits include Our Very OwnPicture PerfectDave, and My Father the Hero. Faith Prince just wrapped an Australian concert tour with her Annie co-star Anthony Warlow, which included performances at the Sydney Opera House and the Adelaide Festival. She works often with the Boston Pops, Utah Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, and Philly Pops, and starred in the Orlando Philharmonic’s concert version of Sweeney Todd. Her most recent album, Total Faith, was recorded at the Royal Room in the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach and was released by Broadway Records.

Courtney Act recently finished in the top 3 of the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which premiered on Viacom’s Logo Network in February 2014. Bette Midler has described her as a “sensation” and Chita Rivera says of her, “Immense recognition is on the way.” Ms. Act first garnered attention in 2003, when a young gentleman from Sydney named Shane Jenek tried out for Australian Idol. Although he did not quite make the cut, he wasn’t discouraged. Shane bent the rules and his gender, returning the next day as Courtney Act, and made it through to the finals. Courtney’s explosive energetic performing style, coupled with her joyous personality, sent audiences wild and Australia had a new, albeit slightly unconventional, sweetheart. Her appearance on Australian Idol led to the phenomenally successful national arena tour and a record deal with Sony/BMG. Over the coming years, Courtney Act forged a name for herself in the Australian entertainment industry, garnering chart hits, television appearances, and national advertising campaigns. She was voted one FHM’s World’s Top 100 Sexiest Women (despite not actually being a woman), sang at Lady Gaga’s private birthday party, and opened for Gaga on her Australian club tour. Courtney Act has written for such publications as NWTV WeekDNA Magazine and has appeared as a social reporter for The Daily Telegraph. New York’s Out Magazine named her one of the World’s Most Influential People.

 

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Z Space and Joe Goode Performance Group present two signature works by Joe Goode Wonderboy and 29 Effeminate Gestures

Joe Goode Performance Group and Z Space are pleased to present encore performances of two of choreographer Joe Goode‘s signature works, Wonderboy and29 Effeminate Gestures, September 25 – October 4, 2014. These performances build on JGPG and Z Space’s successful partnership, which began with the co-production of When We Fall Apart in 2012 and followed with HUSH in 2013.

 

An unexpected and poignant tale of a puppet that overcomes his peculiarity and gift of sensitivity to become a superhero, Wonderboy first premiered in 2008 to critical acclaim. Wonderboy was created by Goode in collaboration with celebrated puppeteer Basil Twist, who is best known for his underwater puppet show, Symphonie Fantastique. Showcasing Goode’s fearless innovation, the integration of puppet with dancers provides audiences with a unique creative experience highlighting the great humanity and sensitivity embodied in Twist’s puppet work. The operation of the puppet becomes part of the dance, at times invisible and other times integrated.

 

Harking back to 1987, Joe Goode’s now legendary 29 Effeminate Gestures is a 12-minute solo set to music by Erik Ian Walker. Stereotypes of masculinity form the basis for what the San Francisco Chronicle at the time called, “a masterpiece of gender deconstruction.” Now a full 27 years after its debut, this seminal (and often comic) work of social relevance takes to the stage in much different times. With performer Melecio Estrella taking over for Goode, this is an opportunity for multiple

generations to sit down and savor how far we’ve come, and perhaps ponder how far we still have to go.

 

29 Effeminate Gestures was a watershed work for me,” says Goode. “I pushed myself to take a very personal topic (the fear of being perceived as effeminate) and to delve into it, to stand on the precipice of what is scary and see if I could peel away some of the fear. To revisit such a work, and to translate it to another body, another soul, was a huge challenge. I was curious to see if I could relinquish ownership of the piece and let it assume new meaning with a new proprietor. The process of ‘turning it over’ has been less painful than I assumed. I have enjoyed watching it transform and yet still retain some of its original intent.”

 

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Editorial: Good Riddance to George Lucas Vanity Museum: Chicago Be Careful What you Pray For

 

Alfred E. Neuman artwork is part of George Lucas 'art collection."

Alfred E. Neuman artwork is part of George Lucas “art collection.”

 

It was great to read the San Francisco Chronicle today and see two of its leading writers, Chuck Nevius and John King, both essentially say “Hasta la Vista, Baby!” to the vanity museum that Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas wanted to build in San Francisco’s Presidio.

The real story isn’t that Chicago “won” the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, but rather that San Francisco was victorious in rejecting a poorly-designed monstrosity that would have housed the personal collection of George Lucas’ kitschy art collection.  Chicago has “won” Lucas’ oversized ego, his childish behavior, his grumpy development team, and his collection of art that would be best exhibited in a suburban mall.

All we can say is: Thank goodness for the leadership of the Presidio Trust which turned down this monument to Lucas’ bad taste.

The Presidio park is a jewel and is enjoying nearly 20 years of success by doing the right thing and planning properly for this National Landmark and Bay Area treasure.  The cheap and cheesy museum proposed by Lucas didn’t belong on a bluff overlooking the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean.  We should all thank The Presidio Trust for acting in the best interest of the public and not in the interest of a vein Hollywood millionaire and rejecting what Chicago has all-too-quickly accepted.

Bravo Presidio Trust. Good luck Chicago.

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City Arts & Lectures presents Cornel West, Anita Hill, Alan Cumming and others as part of its Fall 2014 line-up

 City Arts & Lectures is pleased to announce the Fall 2014 Cultural Studies line-up.  Tickets for the 9 events (7 series events and 2 special events) go on sale to the public Thursday, June 28.

All events are 7:30pm at the recently re-furbished Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes Street. 

Tickets: $27 & $35. 

Tickets + info: CITYARTS.NET

Alec Baldwin
Film Clips + conversation with Steven Winn
Monday, July 28, 2014, 7:30pm
Tickets: $35
Series: Special Event (not a series event)

Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad  Gut Churn
Multimedia presentation
Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 7:30pm
Tickets: $35
Series: Special Event (not a series event)

Cornel West New Book: Black Prophetic Fire * Race Matters
In conversation with Astra Taylor
Friday, October 10, 2014, 7:30pm
Tickets: $27

Anita Hill  Anita: Speaking Truth To Power
Documentary Screening and discussion
Hosted by Roy Eisenhardt
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 7:30pm
Tickets: $27

Mark Bittman New Book: How To Cook Everything Fast 
In conversation with Jessica Battilana
Monday, October 20, 2014, 7:30pm
Tickets: $27

Jack Dorsey Co-creator, Twitter 
Paul Goldberger Why Architecture Matters 
In conversation with Steven Winn
Monday, October 27, 2014, 7:30pm
Tickets: $27
* Note: This event is a benefit for San Francisco Heritage and the Haas-Lilienthal House

Alan Cumming New Memoir: Not My Father’s Son 
In conversation with Armistead Maupin
Monday, November 3, 2014, 7:30pm
Tickets: $27

Jill Lepore, Historian 
In conversation with Roy Eisenhardt
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 7:30pm
Tickets: $27

Anne Lamott, Author
Jack Kornfield Buddhist Teacher , Co-founder, Spirit Rock Center
Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 7:30pm
Tickets: $27

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San Francisco Museum Nears $610 Million Fundraising Goal

The biggest museum fundraising campaign in San Francisco history is nearing its $610 million goal two years before the opening of a new wing that will more than double the space for artworks by Andy WarholMark Rothko and David Hockney.

About $570 million, or 94 percent, has been raised by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for its 235,000-square-foot (21,800-square-meter) expansion and to add $245 million to the museum’s endowment. The $305 million wing designed by the Snohetta architecture firm is rising behind SFMOMA’s current home, opened two decades ago in the technology-heavy South of Market area, or SOMA.

“In 1995, we were the pioneers when SOMA was pretty run-down, and the tech boom followed us,” Neal Benezra, the museum’s director, said June 20 in a presentation at Bloomberg LP’s San Francisco offices. “Our expansion will solidify the neighborhood as a cultural hub.”

The museum’s main entrance will shift to Howard Street from Third Street in a slender 10-story addition that features more glass and outdoor terraces, Benezra said. SFMOMA’s current holdings will be joined in the larger quarters by the 1,100-piece collection of Doris and Donald Fisher, founders of San Francisco-based Gap Inc., that include works by Richard SerraAlexander CalderRoy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning, Anselm Kiefer and Chuck Close, among others.

Scruffy Neighborhood

The San Francisco museum, among the oldest institutions devoted to modern and contemporary art, was founded in 1935 and originally housed in the upper floors of a multi-use building near City Hall. Moving to the scruffy SOMA district gave it a separate identity and set the stage for attendance growth and bequests from local donors, including Prentice and Paul Sack’s photographic collection and seven works by Frank Stella from Harry and Mary Anderson, Benezra said.

“We want this museum to mean much more to many more people, but we simply don’t have enough space,” Benezra said in the presentation. The expansion project is being completed at “one of those moments when the stars align and everything comes true,” he said.

In the two decades since the museum moved to SOMA, the neighborhood has been transformed by new luxury hotels and residences and an expanding Moscone Center convention hall. Demand from technology startups has cut office vacancy rates to the lowest in the city, with companies such as Twitter Inc. moving to nearby districts with available space.

The Fisher collection will be displayed along with SFMOMA’s current holdings in galleries that will be comparable in size to those at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The concentration of contemporary works in San Francisco may even surpass the museum’s East Coast counterpart, Benezra said.

“We think we’re going to be great from 1960 on,” he said.

 

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‘House Hunters’ Creators Talk Building The HGTV Hit With LGBT Community

Randy and Greg look for their dream home in DC on the June 24th episode. (HGTV)

A funny thing happened a few years ago when I was watching “House Hunters” on HGTV with my husband. We both noticed that gay and lesbian couples were regularly a part of the show that follows a couple look for a new house. But it wasn’t a very special episode, there was no overt statement about the show featuring a gay couple and we also realized that the show, which began in 1998, seemed to be reflecting a new norm in television – making a statement but not making a statement at all.

I decided I needed to know more and I ended up on the phone with “House Hunters” creators Tara Sandler and Jennifer Davidson, a lesbian couple who, shortly after this interview, were headed to Provincetown to get married.

I’ve been a fan of the show for a long time and I remember noticing that there were gay couples mixed in.

Jennifer: Actually it’s been like that since we first started doing the show in 1998.

Tara: This came out of our own personal experience. We were deciding whether to put an offer on a house and we were like ‘It’s nice but it’s really kind of a small house with a big pool. And it’s not perfect but we could do this and do that.’ We just looked at each other and said, ‘this is a really stressful thing to decide. This should be a TV show!’

Jennifer: So we put an offer in on the house, went back to the office and wrote up a treatment.

Was it always the plan to include gay couples since obviously you started the show at a time where things are different than they are now?

Jennifer: I will say that it’s the way we normally think and the network was entirely on board.

Tara: The network said, ‘Let’s not make a big deal out of it.’ They’ve always said that. ‘They’re a couple like anything else.’ We don’t point anything out and it’s been that way since 1998.

In general, how do you find the couples for the show?

Jennifer: It’s really two major ways. Because the show has been on the air for so long, we have a ton of people applying to be on the show. So that’s one way. They apply and then our staff calls them, does a video interview and we make sure there’s enough criteria there. What we are looking for are people who are truly passionate and opinionated about the kind of place they want to live in. And some people, their number one priority might be school district or vacation and that’s not quite as interesting to ‘House Hunters.’ So we’re looking for people who have very strong opinions about what their dream place looks like, what kind of features they want and what are the deal breakers.

Right now, because we’ve done so many episodes, we’re looking for more unique outlooks more than people who just want an open layout and granite countertops or kitchen appliances. We’re looking for people who are looking beyond that and maybe have a passion for vintage features like we had one woman in Michigan who wanted a laundry chute and one of those old fashioned mail slots in the front door. We had another guy who was an architect who refused to live in a house that had hallways because he thought they were such a waste of space. Right now, that’s what we’re looking for are those more unique stories, people who are passionate about their living style and space.

The other way we find people is we look for real estate agents and we call them. It’s as simple as that. So if we think we don’t have enough shows set in Hawaii we’ll start calling the real estate agencies in Hawaii and find people that way.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned the most from the show that you didn’t expect to?

Tara: That people are really strange in some of their opinions and the way that they live. I also think it’s fascinating the trends that happen. Right now, the biggest trend is that women seem to want an all-white kitchen. White flooring, white walls…and so many men seem to want to have a backyard that’s not seen by any neighbors so they can do ‘whatever they want.’ I don’t really know what that means but once we did have one guy who wanted to go out in his underwear, he wanted to be able to pee outside…

Jennifer: Because we’ve been producing the show for so long we do notice these trends.

Tara: I also think that people watch so much HGTV that they know what they want. People have learned the language about what they like and what they don’t like.

Tell me about one of the shows this month that features a gay couple, Brad and Christian. I believe it’s in San Francisco.

Jennifer: There’s an episode about a couple searching in San Francisco and in the Marin County area that is really fun to watch. So rich visually and the characters are good.

Tara: And we’re a little obsessed with San Francisco. In the show, he needed a place that had the right acoustics for his piano because he’s a piano player. They’re a really cute couple.

And there’s another episode coming up on June 24th with Randy and Greg in Washington DC.

Tara: The interesting thing about these city episodes is what your money buys you and what it doesn’t buy you.

Jennifer: And they’re architecturally diverse.

Tara: Yeah. And the cool thing about the DC episode is they look at a very wide range of house and that’s an eye opener, I have to say!

How has it been for the relationship working together all these years?

Jennifer: People ask us this all the time. Some couples just work really easily together and some couples don’t but we happen to work really easily together. We’re happy we’ve been working together because the first 16 years it was really, really intense at Pie Town and we wouldn’t have ever seen each other. It’s all worked for us.

Tara: We’ve been together for 24 years, we’ve had Pie Town for 19 and it’s just really great to work with your best friend.

House Hunters” airs weeknights at 10pm on HGTV. The episode featuring Randy and Greg in DC airs June 24th at 10pm.

 

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San Francisco Symphony Announces Summer & The Symphony Concert Lineup Pink Martini, Cheyenne Jackson, Melissa Etheridge, Pixar In Concert, Grease Sing-along, Arrival: The Music Of Abba, And Classical Concerts

Orchestra performs free concerts at Stern Grove Festival and in SF Civic Center Plaza.

Annual Fourth of July concert with fireworks at Shoreline Amphitheatre, and at Green Music Center, Sonoma State University

The San Francisco Symphony announces its annual Summer & the Symphony series with performances from July 2 to August 1 in Davies Symphony Hall, Green Music Center, and outdoors at various venues around the Bay Area, including San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, Stern Grove, and Shoreline Amphitheatre. This year’s Summer & the Symphony series features a wide range of events, from classical performances to pop concerts to film presentations. Highlights of the summer include two concerts with popular genre-defying group Pink Martini July 2-3, a two-night engagement with Broadway and television star Cheyenne Jackson performing famous songs from films and musicals with the Orchestra July 24-25, four Pixar In Concert film presentations accompanied by the SFS July 17-20, and two concerts with singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge July 30-31.

The first classical concert with Director of Summer Concerts Edwin Outwater on July 5 explores the fusion of jazz and orchestral music with music by Bernstein, Gershwin, and Ravel, featuring virtuoso Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone. On August 1, Outwater and the Orchestra perform an all-Beethoven concert featuring the Triple Concerto with the Gryphon.

Trio and a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Outwater will lead two free SFS concerts, one at the Stern Grove Festival on July 6, and the other in Civic Center Plaza with violinist Benjamin Beilman on July 27. On July 26 the San Francisco Symphony returns to the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University for an all-Tchaikovsky performance featuring pianist Simon Trpčeski, who last appeared with the SFS under Outwater’s baton in October 2013. On the Fourth of July in Mountain View Outwater leads the San Francisco Symphony in its annual Shoreline Amphitheatre Independence Day concert followed by a fireworks extravaganza.

On July 22, the SFS presents ARRIVAL: the music of ABBA, a tribute band from Sweden playing ABBA’s greatest hits. Rounding out the summer film presentations, a singalong screening of the popular musical film Grease will be presented July 20. The Orchestra will not perform in either of these concerts.

ARTIST BIOS:

Director of Summer Concerts Edwin Outwater is the Music Director of Ontario’s Kitchener- Waterloo Symphony (KWS) in Canada and regularly guest conducts the Chicago and New World Symphonies. In 2011, Outwater directed the KWS on its first commercial CD release in over a decade, From Here On Out, which features the music of Nico Muhly, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry (a KWS commission) on the Analekta label. In the United States, Outwater has also conducted the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, Detroit, Seattle, and many others. International appearances include the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, New Zealand Symphony, Adelaide Symphony, and Malmö Symphony. In 2009 he made his professional opera debut with the San Francisco Opera conducting Verdi’s La Traviata, and he has since conducted Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires with concert:nova Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Opera, as well as Menotti’s one-act opera Amahl and the Night Visitors at New York’s Lincoln Center. He participated as Associate

Conductor in both YouTube Symphony projects, at Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Outwater was Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony from 2001-2006. While here, he worked closely with Michael Tilson Thomas, accompanied the orchestra on tour and conducted numerous concerts each season. He made his subscription debut in 2002 with Kurt Masur conducting Britten’s War Requiem, and has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie, and many others. On two occasions, Outwater stepped in for Michael Tilson Thomas, conducting performances of Stravinsky’s complete Pulcinella, as well as works by Beethoven, Wagner, and Cherubini. In July 2006, Outwater conducted the world premiere performance and recording of The Composer is Dead by Nathaniel Stookey and Lemony Snicket, which was later released by HarperCollins. From 2001-05, Outwater was Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. During his tenure, he led the orchestra in all of their concerts as well as on tour through Europe in summer 2004, when the orchestra made its debut at Vienna’s Musikverein and Paris’s Théâtre des Champs- Élysées, and returned to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Before joining the San Francisco Symphony, Outwater served as Resident Conductor and Associate Guest Conductor of the Florida Philharmonic. He has held posts as Associate Conductor of the Festival-Institute at Round Top in Texas, Principal Conductor of the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in Molise, Italy, and Assistant Conductor of the Tulsa Philharmonic.

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Cheyenne Jackson returns to Davies Symphony Hall after playing the role of Tony in the MTT/SFS complete concert performances of Bernstein’s West Side Story in 2013. The CD recording from those performances will be released on the Orchestra’s own SFS Media label on June 10. An actor, singer, and songwriter, Jackson released his latest album of original music, “I’m Blue, Skies” on SONY/ATV in 2013. He recently began filming a pilot entitled Open in February which will air on HBO. In 2012, he starred on Broadway opposite Henry Winkler, Ari Graynor, and Alicia Silverstone in David West Read’s play The Performers. He appeared in Steven Soderbergh’s Emmy award-winning film Behind the Candelabra, a Liberace biopic, with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, as well as on the NBC TV pilot Mockingbird Lane. In 2012, Jackson appeared in the PBS concert special From Dust to Dreams. On and Off Broadway, Jackson has starred in 8, Finian’s Rainbow

(Drama Desk nomination), Damn Yankees, Xanadu (Drama League and Drama Desk nominations) The Agony & the Agony, All Shook Up (Theater World Award, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nominations), the premiere cast of Altar Boyz, Aida, Thoroughly Modern Millie, On the 20th Century, and The 24 Hour Plays. Jackson’s television roles have included series regular Danny Baker on NBC’s 30 Rock, and as Dustin Goolsby, the coach of Vocal Adrenaline on the TV series Glee. Other TV credits include Family Practice, Life on Mars, Ugly Betty, It Takes a Village, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Local Talent. In concert, he has sold out Carnegie Hall twice, in “The Power of Two” in 2010 with Michael Feinstein followed by his solo debut concert with the New York Pops in 2011 entitled “Music of the Mad Men Era.”

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Pink Martini released their newest album, Dream a Little Dream with the von Trapps on March 4. The Portland, Oregon-based “little orchestra” was created in 1994 by Harvard graduate and classically trained pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale to play at political fundraisers for progressive causes. The band plays an eclectic blend of 1930’s Cuban dance orchestra, classical chamber ensemble, Brazilian street band, and Japanese film noir. Its recordings, Hang On Little Tomato in 2004, Hey Eugene! in 2007, and Splendor In The Grass in 2009, have been popular worldwide. The group made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and in the years following went on to tour Europe, Asia, and the United States. Equally at home performing its eclectic repertoire on concert stages and in smoky bars, Pink Martini draws a wildly diverse crowd. The ensemble made its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra in 1999 and has since performed with other orchestras across the country including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, National Symphony, and BBC Concert Orchestra. Director of Summer Concerts Edwin Outwater conducts their July 2 and 3 performances with the San Francisco Symphony. Storm Large will perform lead vocals, and the von Trapps will make a guest appearance.

ARRIVAL_Pekbild_-Press

ABBA tribute band ARRIVAL: The Music of Abba returns to Davies Symphony Hall to perform hits like Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, Take a Chance on Me, Voluez Vous, Fernando, Waterloo, and many more of the pop songs that shot the original ABBA to international super stardom. As the only ABBA show band backed by the original group’s musicians, ARRIVAL works with ABBA’s designers to create exact replicas of the spectacular costumes worn by the original band, and recreates the staging from the group’s original performances.

etheridgeMelissa-PR_Photo2

Melissa Etheridge, a two-time Grammy Award winner, became one of the most popular recording artists of the ’90s due to her mixture of confessional lyrics, and pop-based folk-rock. Etheridge won an Academy Award for Best Song in 2007 for “I Need To Wake Up,” the song she penned for Al Gore’s documentary about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth. She is currently back in the recording studio writing and recording new music for a new solo album that she’s looking to release in winter 2014-15. A prominent figure and activist in the LGBT community, she recently released a digital single entitled “Uprising of Love,” the proceeds of which will benefit Russian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community activists. With the San Francisco Symphony Etheridge will perform all her hits like “Come to My Window” and

“I’m the Only One” as well as some new material and her current hit “Uprising of Love.”

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Recology Wins Resounding Victory Over False Claims by Disgruntled Ex-Employee

San Francisco, Calif. – A San Francisco jury today cleared Recology, San Francisco’s recycling and resource recovery provider, of all 154 allegations of filing false claims to the State of California in a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled former employee that claimed the company mischarged the State of California’s recycling redemption program.

The same jury returned a verdict against the recycling company on one of the five separate allegations of filing a false claim to the City and County of San Francisco. This verdict, if it stands, claims the company wrongly benefited in the amount of $1,366,933. Recology disagrees with this finding and will appeal.

“We are thankful for the jury’s determination that cleared Recology of 158 of the 159 allegations of false claims,” said Sam Singer, a spokesman for Recology. “This is a resounding victory for our company and its employee-owners.”

“Unfortunately, the complicated nature of this case has resulted in one finding against the company,” he added.  “We will be appealing the one verdict, as the facts simply do not support it.”

Recology is an industry leader in recycling and resource recovery programs and has helped San Francisco become the greenest city in North America, diverting 80 percent of its waste away from landfill. Recology programs have been replicated throughout the country and serve as a national model for resource recovery initiatives.

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9th Annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival presents FARRUQUITO

After an absence from the American stage of over ten years, 31-year old flamenco virtuoso Juan Manuel Fernandez Montoya, better known as “Farruquito,” is finally returning to the US with his latest project, “Improvisaó.”

The reigning patriarch of the legendary Los Farruco dynasty –the first family of Gypsy flamenco dance–, Farruquito has taken the unique dance style founded by his grandfather, El Farruco into the 21st century.

Improvisaó is a return to the essence of flamenco: the artists shed all artifice, relying on improvisation to create an intimate and visceral encounter with the audience. The electrifying chemistry between vocals, guitar and dance -fused with complete freedom- inspire the artists, creating a context for the miracle of the duende. 

“With the power and purity of his technique and the magic of his brooding presence, he is nothing less than sensational. The speed of his stamped rhythms is complex and phenomenal, no less so his spins and interpolations. He likes to jump headlong into the air like a charging bull.”  The New York Times, Anna Kisselgoff, 2001

“Through a single gesture or twist of his torso, he conveyed defiance, anguish or joy. Few can match his combination of superior technique and duende.”  The New York Times,Valerie Gladstone, 2003

One Night Only!
Thursday, June 19th 8pm
The Palace of Fine Arts Theater, San Francisco

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SF Symphony Concludes Season with Three Weeks of Concerts Celebrating Benjamin Britton’s Centenary

 First concert week includes Britten’s Prince of the Pagodas and a special appearance by the Balinese performing arts group Gamelan Sekar Jaya

Second week of concerts feature Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Toby Spence and SFS Principal Horn Robert Ward, along with works by Copland and Shostakovich


Season concludes with semi-staged production of Peter Grimes, the first SF Symphony performances of the complete opera, and Four Sea Interludes with an SFS co-commissioned video accompaniment by Tal Rosner
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LUSCIOUS Queer Music Festival brings LGBTQ Musicians Together for Three Days of Fabulousness and Music

LUSCIOUS Queer Music Festival, Northern California’s first LGBTQ music festival is slated for August 22-24 at Saratoga Springs in Upper Lake California.  promises to be a “queer Woodstock”, headliners range from Grammy performer Mary Lambert to Tony-award nominee Justin Bond, to nationally lauded Marga Gomez, to lesbian icon Cris Williamson.

“Saratoga Springs is a natural place to have the inaugural LUSCIOUS Queer  Music Festival,” according to Executive Producer Ruven Hannah.  “There have been so many LGBT retreats and events at the Saratoga retreat center.  This will be the crowning musical jewel for queer people from all over the US”

Saratoga can house 1000 festival participants who can enjoy long hot summer days and warm summer nights listening to an exceptional line­up of national headlining and local favorite LGBTQ musicians, DJ’s, and comedians. Musicians slated to appear include:

  • Mary Lambert, fresh off her 2014 Grammy performance
  • Mx. Justin Vivian Bond (alter ego of Broadway’s “Kiki and Herb” fame)
  • Cris Williamson
  • Jon Ginoli of Pansy Division
  • Marga Gomez
  • Skip the Needle featuring Vicki Randle
  • Matt Alber
  • Magic Mouth
  • Gina Breedlove
  • James Panther
  • Brian Kent
  • Melanie DeMore
  • Holcombe Waller

DJ’s include San Francisco’s Page Hodel, DJ Justime, DJ Lamont, and many more.  People will be camping, and fed by local food vendors, in a beautiful secluded valley nestled in the hills of Northern California, just two and a half hours north of San Francisco or two and a half hours west of west of Sacramento.

A portion of the proceeds of LUCIOUS Queer Music Festival will go to ORAM and JFCS/East Bay’s LGBTI Refugee and Asylee Program – to make an impact on LGBTQ immigration rights by raising desperately needed funds to help LGBTQ people being violently persecuted in Africa and Russia, successfully seek asylum in other countries where their lives will not be in danger.

Tickets available through www.eventbrite.com.  For further information, www.lusciousqueermusicfestival.org.

 

ww.lusciousqueermusicfestival.com.

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BRAHMAN/I: A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show

The Crowded Fire Theater (CFT)  2014 season leaps forward with the West Coast Premiere of “BRAHMAN/I: A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show” by Aditi Brennan Kapil. “BRAHMAN/I… ” opens with a press night on Monday June 9 (Previews June 5-7) running through June 28 at the Thick House in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill. Directed by Erin Merritt, “BRAHMAN/I… ” is an outrageous play masquerading as a stand-up comedy routine that hilariously takes on history, mythology, and high school through the lens of an intersex boy/girl tethered by neither gender nor culture. The production is a celebration by/about/for people who never fit in, and who no longer care…and the power that comes with that moment of self-creation. Featuring actor Imran Sheikh, “ Brahman/i…” is  funny, cynical, inventive and intensely charismatic. With more than a dozen unforgettable characters woven amidst a fascinating life story, BRAHMAN/I is a courageous affirmation of a life to be lived.

“In counterpoint to traditional theatre…” remarks CFT Artistic Director Marissa Wolf, “Aditi Brennan Kapil’s Brahman/i: A One-Hijra Stand-Up Comedy Show offers an incredible night of stand-up comedy that keeps you laughing and gasping, as she explores questions around sexuality and gender in utterly surprising ways, exploring gender-fluidity through a South Asian lens.”

 

June 5-28

Thick House

1695 18th St, San Francisco

 

 

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COMMUNITY IN THE ’80S ARE AMAZING

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Photographer Thomas Alleman moved to San Francisco from Michigan in 1985. A year later, he began working for the San Francisco Sentinel . During the early days of the AIDS epidemic, Alleman worked for multiple gay publications that decidedly focused their coverage on the community’s response to AIDS and aimed to paint a more full and realistic picture of what life in SF was like.

These photos originally debuted at the Jewett Gallery in San Francisco in December, 2012, under the title, “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws,” and Alleman has this to say about the collection: “I hope these photographs, from San Francisco’s gay community in the mid-eighties, remind viewers of that moment in our social history – so long ago, and so very recent – when the first wave of the AIDS epidemic crashed onto one of our country’s most vibrant neighborhoods. And, while that tribe convulsed with well-earned fear, heartbreak, and anger, some still found the courage and the will to celebrate the dream of life they’d come to San Francisco for, and they danced in the dragon’s jaws.”

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San Francisco Symphony Release Live Recording Of The First Ever Complete Concert Performances Of West Side Story

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) will release a new live recording of the first-ever concert performances of Leonard Bernstein’s complete score for the musical West Side Story featuring a stellar Broadway cast including Cheyenne Jackson and Alexandra Silber, and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, on June 10, 2014. This collector’s edition two-disc set available from the SFS Media label includes a 100-page booklet featuring a new interview with MTT, notes from Rita Moreno and Jamie Bernstein, as well as a West Side Story historical timeline, archival photographs, complete lyrics, and rehearsal and performance photos. Beginning May 20, West Side Story will be available for an exclusive early download from iTunes.com/SFSymphony where it is now available for pre-order. The iTunes release is Mastered for iTunes and offered as an interactive iTunes LP with bonus visuals and content provided when viewed in iTunes. The recording can also be pre-ordered on disc from the San Francisco Symphony’s online store for delivery by the release date of June 10. This audiophile SACD recording, playable on both standard CD and SACD devices.

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The performances were recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall in late June and early July 2013 after Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony became the first orchestra to receive permission from all four West Side Story rights-holders to perform and record the musical score in its entirety in a concert setting. Of the new recording, Michael Tilson Thomas said, “This is a new and rare opportunity to hear Bernstein’s complete score sung by a sensational young cast and a knock-your-socks-off orchestra.  The San Francisco Symphony totally understands and feels this music.  We show the Broadway roots of the piece and how its universal qualities translate into the way we think about it today.”

Making his San Francisco Symphony debut in West Side Story is Cheyenne Jackson (TV’s Glee, 30 Rock) singing the role of Tony. Of performing the role with MTT and the SFS Jackson says, “I think this is the best musical of all time. Period. I’m a Broadway Baby, and I’ve done many, many shows. And there are a couple that come close, but when it comes to book, music, lyrics, West Side Story is absolutely timeless. Everybody knows every word. This isn’t a polarizing musical or something people have lukewarm feelings about, you just love West Side Story. Even after knowing the score all these years, I’m still uncovering things about the score I never heard before. So, to have the opportunity to perform it, under the great Michael Tilson Thomas, and also with this Symphony, how could I not?! ” The cast includes a host of exciting Broadway voices all making their San Francisco Symphony debuts including Alexandra Silber in the role of Maria, Jessica Vosk as Anita, Kevin Vortmann as Riff and Julia Bullock as A Girl. The recording also features members of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus as Jets and Sharks.

Of the performances, Jamie Bernstein said, “Michael really understands my father’s music – how to conduct it and how to bring it to life. It was such a treat to hear the entire score of West Side Story performed by the San Francisco Symphony on a stage. It is the greatest way to hear this music.”

Tilson Thomas first met Leonard Bernstein several years after the West Side Story premiere in 1957 and has championed the iconic composer/conductor’s music throughout his career. Highlights with the SFS include semi-staged performances of On the Town in 1996 and, in 2008, Carnegie Hall’s opening night all-Bernstein gala concert which was recorded and is available on DVD from SFS Media.

 

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DES VOIX… FOUND IN TRANSLATION Biennial 2014 A Festival of New French Plays and Cinema

Playwrights Foundation (PF) Cutting Ball Theater and Tides Theatre announced the Des Voix…Found In Translation Biennial 2014, a Festival of New French Plays and Cinema in San Francisco May 1-25, 2014.  Des Voix…Found In Translation is an international exchange project that initiates the translation of vanguard French and American playwrights, supporting  the presentation of their work to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Des Voix…Found In Translation features new play readings-May 8-11 at Tides Theatre and also includes: A Festival of New French Cinema May 4, 11, 18 & 25 featuring some of the most dynamic French screenwriters in this generation, concurrently at Tides Theatre; A rare “Bal Littéraire” A New Play Nightclub  on Friday May 9 at 7 PM , Hosted with Nathalie Fillion of La Coopérative d’Ecriture (Cooperative Writing) at The French American International School. Go to www.desvioxfestival.com for the full schedule.

This San Francisco festival features new translations of provocative plays by four of the most innovative playwrights working in France today – Christophe Honoré, Leonore Confino and Riad Gahmi will be showcased with new play readings-May 8-11 at Tides Theatre. Samuel Gallet’s play COMMUNIQUÉ10 translated by Rob Melrose in the 2012 Des Voix Festival is receiving its American Premiere (May 1-25) as part of Cutting Ball Theater’s 15th Anniversary season for this Des Voix… festival. Three plays will be performed in English during the month-long Festival at Tides Theatre with COMMUNIQUÉ10 at Cutting Ball  in San Francisco.

The fabled “auteur” Christophe Honoré, (an heir apparent of the French New Wave)  Christophe Honoré‘s first play, ‘Les Débutantes,’ was performed at Avignon in 1998. Christophe, a filmmaker and screenwriter, has had many outings at Cannes, closing the fest in 2011 with ‘The Beloved,’ featuring  both Catherine Deneuve and daughter Chiara Mastroianni. He returned to Avignon with his play ‘Dionysos Impuissant’ (in 2005), with Joana Preiss and Louis Garrel playing the leads. .

Leonore Confino is known for her recently completed trilogy of plays about lifes obsessions, Her play ‘Building,’ was one of the highlights of the last Festival Off d’Avign. The second play ‘Ring’ is 17 rounds of boxing between couples, in which the actors play ten characters dealing with life as a couple. This past January, the third part of Léonore’s trilogy ‘Les Uns sur Les Autres,’ a play about a French suburban family, played at the Théâtre de la Madeleine in Paris, starring Agnès Jaoui as the exhausted mother.

Riad Gahmi is a passionate raconteur, who in a long-term collaboration with Philippe Vincent, co-writer of the spectacle/play ‘Un arabe dans mon miroir’ (An Arab in My Mirror), which is a spectacle of scenes combining theater, film, and music. The play was workshopped in Cairo and performed at various theaters in Germany, France, and New York In each country a local  actor and cast speaks in her native language, rebuilding  every time, becoming a simple witness of the war in Algeria in the Egyptian revolution through the September 11 attacks.

Samuel Gallet is an emerging writer who has made his mark as one of the most prominent young playwrights of his generation, with plays staged by top Parisian directors. His play ‘Encore Un Jour Sans’ was a finalist for the Grand Prix de Littérature Dramatique. Inspired by the 2005 Paris riots, his play ‘Communique N°10,’ was translated by Rob Melrose for the inaugural 2012 Des Voix Festival.

Playwrights Foundation’s Artistic Director Amy Mueller comments on the collaboration: “It takes a village to build a bridge across cultures, and we are thrilled to be working with two of San Francisco’s most globally minded Artistic Directors – Rob Melrose of Cutting Ball Theater and Jenifer Welch of Tides Theatre – and one of the foremost translators in the world, Laurent Muhleisen, to build this project that connects the Left Bank with the Left Coast.”  Collaborator Rob Melrose, an acclaimed translator and director observes that “These four works are simply extraordinary plays, theatrically brilliant and singular in the ways each story tackles the culture-quake of the 21st century – using a quintessentially French lens to express the universality of the current cultural zeitgeist in the West.”

The Plays

The Festival will feature Cutting Ball Theater’s American Premiere of Samuel Gallet’s ‘Communique No. 10.’ Exploring the tensions of the underclass in a city that is bursting at the seams, ‘Communique N°10′ was inspired by the 2005 Paris riots led by North African youth. Performances begin April 25 (Press Opening May 1), and the production will run through May 25. At the heart of the Festival in mid-May will be the Des Voix Festival itself, a non-stop weekend showcasing three brand new translations: Leonore Confino’s newest work ‘Les Uns Sur Les Autres,’ a fast talking, fast sleeping, fast eating, non-sensical family satire driven by an over abundance of electronic devices – the world of a proper family connected to everything but itself; Christophe Honoré’s ‘Un Jeune Se Tue,’ a disturbing and tragic nocturnal ghost story about love, death, and unearthly beings. Riad Gahmi’s darkly comedic work ‘Où Et Quand Nous Sommes Morts,’ which satirically confronts European xenophobia, anti-Arab racism and media’s sensationalist conjuring of empathy, which results in social division rather than social unity.

Film

A series of new French cinema will run concurrently every Sunday evening (May 4, 11, 18. 25) at Tides Theatre .  Featured films are ; (Partial List)  Antonin Pertjallo, La Fille du 14 Juillet (The girl of the 14 July);and  Mila Hanson , la Pere des Mes Enfants, Love (father of my children)*. Jennifer Welch of Tides, who curates the films remarks, “Expanding the scope of the Des Voix Festival, and deepening the cultural exchange.  We are curating a series of contemporary French films that speak to American audiences, bring these voices to a community eager for new and provocative foreign cinema.” At Tides Theatre, (*programing subject to change)

Bal Littéraire

The festival features a rare Bal Littéraire  (A New Play Nightclub) on Friday, May 9th at 7 PM. This tradition is wildly popular throughout France, typically created in 48 hours by multiple writers, and performed for one evening only, is a unique hybrid of flash performance, club dancing and play reading – and includes audience participation. The Bal will will tap the talents of six writers – three French and three American – in collaboration. Hosted with Nathalie Fillion member of La Coopérative d’Ecriture, the originators of “Bal Littéraire” in France.

Festival events are scheduled throughout the month of May at three venues between Union Square and the vibrant Market Street corridor, the hub of the city’s artistic and cultural action.

Go to www.desvioxfestival.com for the full schedule.

The goal of the  translation project is to exchange ideas and perspectives of today’s world, and to increase and deepen cultural exchanges between France and the U.S. that began began with Des Voix…Found In Translation 2012. This project is a collaboration between Playwrights Foundation, a legendary (for over 3 decades) new play development center in San Francisco, Cutting Ball Theater, named  SF’s “Best Experimental Theater Company” , and The Tides Theatre, an innovative new theater making its mark in SF Culture, and the Maison Antoine Vitez], an International Centre for Drama Translation in Paris.

The French playwrights will be in residence in San Francisco for the duration of the festival in May, and will participate in the rehearsal and performance process of their newly translated plays. Translators include Kimberley Jannarone and Erik Butler (Un Jeune Se Tue), Michelle Haner (Les Uns Sure Les Autres), and Rob Melrose (‘Communique N10′ & Où Et Quand Nous Sommes Morts), who also directs his translations. Each of the three new plays will be performed as staged readings during the festival by many of the Bay Area’s finest actors and directors. For the erudite scholarly theater-goer, the festival will also include a colloquium entitled “The Left Bank Meets The Left Coast: Transmigration of Theater and Culture”

The Paris festival is being produced by the Maison Antoine Vitez, and will be presented May 25, 2014 at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, founded by Peter Brook, and known worldwide as the place to see groundbreaking work. The Paris festival will feature translations of exceptionally gifted, early career American playwrights Rajiv Joseph, ‘Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo,’ Marcus Gardley, ‘Every Tongue Confess’ (as a radio play) and Liz Duffy Adams, ‘The Reckless Ruthless Brutal Charge Of It or The Train Play’ all performed in French. Commissioned to translate these three works are Dominique Hollier (Gardley), Laurent Muhleisen (Joseph) and Isabelle Famchon (Adams).

The producers are working closely with the Cultural Services of the French Consul General in San Francisco on the presentation of the American festival.

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Guest Conductor James Conlon Leads The SF Symphony In Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1

Guest conductor James Conlon returns to conduct three concerts with the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) April 24-26 at Davies Symphony Hall, with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the orchestra’s own Principal Trumpet Mark Inouye in Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1, along with works by Tchaikovsky and Schulhoff. Conlon, devoted to programming the music of composers whose careers were silenced by the Nazi regime, will conduct the Scherzo from Symphony No. 5 by the Czech-born composer Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942). These are the first SF Symphony performances of this work. Schulhoff’s music was blacklisted by the Nazi party in the 1930s due to his Jewish descent and radical politics, and he was eventually deported to the Wülzburg Concentration Camp where he died in 1942.

Another rarely performed work on the concert is Shostakovich’s officially titled Concerto in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra; the SF Symphony has performed it only twice in its history. Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is a frequent guest of the SFS, and Inouye has been featured several times with the orchestra this season; his recent performances in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 earned critical acclaim, and he will be a soloist in J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 51, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen in the coming SF Symphony’s Bach concerts under the direction of Ton Koopman, May 1-4. Tchaikovsky’s beloved Pathétique Symphony No. 6 concludes the concert.

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James Conlon, one of today’s most versatile and respected conductors, has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire. Through worldwide touring, an extensive discography and videography, numerous essays and commentaries, frequent television appearances, and guest speaking engagements, Conlon is one of classical music’s most recognized interpreters. Since his 1974 debut with the New York Philharmonic, he has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra. Colon made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 1978, and has since led them in both vocal and instrumental works; his most recent concert at Davies Symphony Hall was Verdi’s Requiem in 2011. He has been Music Director of Los Angeles Opera since 2006; Music Director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, since 2005; and Music Director of America’s oldest choral festival, the Cincinnati May Festival, since 1979, where he has provided the artistic leadership for more May Festivals than any other music director in the festival’s 140-year history. Conlon’s extensive discography and videography can be found on the EMI, Erato, Capriccio, Decca and Sony Classical labels. He has won two Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording for the LA Opera recording of Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, among many other honors.

 

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Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed with the San Francisco Symphony almost every season since his debut in 1994. He plays regularly throughout Europe, North America, Australia and the Far East, collaborating with virtually every major orchestra, and with conductors such as Alsop, Ashkenazy, Blomstedt, Chailly, Dutoit, Gergiev and Levine. Equally at home with chamber music, recitals, and the orchestral repertoire, he has appeared and recorded with artists including Cecilia Bartoli, Brigitte Fassbaender, Renée Fleming, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Angelika Kirchschlager, Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Truls Mørk and the Rossetti String Quartet. He appears in a variety of settings in the 2013-2014 season, with repertoire that runs from the early 19th century to the present day. Thibaudet began the season with orchestral concerts in China, Australia and Europe, and continues with a seven-city tour of the US. Known for his style and elegance on and off the traditional concert stage, Thibaudet has had an impact on the world of fashion, film and philanthropy.

 

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Mark Inouye is Principal Trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony and holder of the William G. Irwin Charity Foundation Chair. Both a classical and jazz musician, he has held principal trumpet positions with the Houston and Charleston Symphonies and has performed with the New York Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic. He made his San Francisco Symphony solo debut performing Copland’s Quiet City in 2010. Inouye has performed the Tartini Violin Concerto, arranged for trumpet, with the Houston Symphony and was a soloist with the Tanglewood Wind Ensemble under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. He toured the United States with Toccatas and Flourishes, the nationally acclaimed organ and trumpet duo, and was a member of the Empire Brass Quintet, which toured the United States, Europe, Asia, and Canada. Inouye is also an active composer and has released his debut jazz album, The Trumpet & The Bull.

 

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Dancers’ Group in association with Yerba Buena Gardens Festival presents a new site-specific work by Sara Shelton Mann

Dancers’ Group in association with Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is pleased to present The Eye of Horus, a series of site-specific solos by Sara Shelton Mann, presented free outdoors at Jessie Square in San Francisco, April 24-May 3.

Acclaimed choreographer and teacher Sara Shelton Mann is “an iconoclast who has performed to great acclaim and inspired others for decades” wrote San Francisco Bay Guardian critic Rita Felciano in a recent article awarding the artist a 2014 Goldie Lifetime Achievement Award. In The Eye or Horus Mann investigates archetypes through her five dancers: Christine Bonansea, Sherwood Chen, Jesse Hewit, Jorge de Hoyos and Sara Yassky.

Conceived as both a very intimate work and a large-scale spectacle, each solo incorporates DIY sound, media and light elements constructed by Production Designer David Szlasa to interact with the dancer, cityscape and audience.

Mann took her inspiration from Sacred Contracts, a book on archetypes by bestselling author Caroline Myss in creating this new series of solos. Of the work Mann said, “I’m interested in creating solos from the performers’ specific areas of interest and skill that will rub up against the social and political landscape of San Francisco. My goal is to have many archetypes and their aspects in a performance dialogue. Within each of the solos there is one of us. Imagine seeing many parts of our own internal lives as if looking into a mirror.”

“Dancers’ Group is thrilled to be supporting the work of a dance artist who has had such a deep impact on the Bay Area dance scene,” said Dancers’ Group Executive Director Wayne Hazzard. “The Eye of Horus provides us with an opportunity to bring together many generations of dance audiences and expose younger ones to Sara’s work and legacy.”

Located at 3rd and Mission Streets in front of the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Jessie Square is a highly visible public site, attracting both local business-people and tourists visiting the museum and the adjacent Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as well as shops and businesses. “Jessie Square makes for the perfect space where to present The Eye of Horus,” said Mann. “Its rich history, as a state at bay, as a landing pad that used to be a substation, as a place where buildings jut out and careen upward next to one another. If energy never dies, then that energy is still underground rising up through the stones of the once called historical lane. Somehow Jessie Square seems to hold at bay the past as well as the future.”

The Eye of Horus is presented as part of Dancers’ Group’s ONSITE Series. Through the ONSITE series, Dancers’ Group presents large-scale public projects that allow the organization to engage new audiences and to increase the visibility of local dance and dance artists. Previous ONSITE projects have included The Shifting Cornerstone by Joanna Haigood and Zaccho Dance Theater in August 2008; Spirit of Place at Stern Grove, by Anna Halprin in May 2009; Hit & Run Hula by Patrick Makuākane and company, Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu in August 2009; Love Everywhere by the Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project in February 2010; Intimate Visibility by LEVYdance in March 2010; We Don’t Belong Here by Katie Faulkner in 2011; Niagara Falling by Jo Kreiter in 2012; and He Moved Swiftly But Gently Down the Not Too Crowded Street: Ed Mock and Other True Tales in a City That Once Was… by Amara Tabor-Smith in June 2013.

Sara Shelton Mann is an educator, choreographer and writer who has created an interdisciplinary training and performance style dedicated to the enlightenment of the individual and the integrity of one’s relationship with the social and natural world. Early in her career, she danced in the companies of Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis, before serving as artistic director of the Halifax Dance Co-Op in Nova Scotia. In 1979 in San Francisco, she formed Contraband, a group of collaborative artists dedicated to the evolution of an interdisciplinary dance vision. Over the next decade, Contraband staged 7 full-evening productions at abandoned building sites, warehouses and public housing projects destroyed by arson fire, and Mann established a complex interdisciplinary performance style and movement vocabulary that significantly influenced the evolution of contemporary dance in the Bay Area.

From 1996 to 1999, Mann collaborated and toured internationally with Guillermo Gomez-Peña, and since 2000, she has created 11 major works in collaboration with John O’Keefe, Austin Forbord, David Szlasa, Rinde Eckert and others. Mann is a Master NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Practitioner, a certified Reconnection Healer(TM), a Dowser, and has years of study in various spiritual traditions, shamanic practices and healing trainings.

Mann has received 6 San Francisco Bay Area Isadora Duncan Awards, a 2000 Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography, two CHIME mentorship awards and an award from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation. Her work has been funded by the NEA, California Arts Council, American Dance Touring Initiative (Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund), and Dance/USA, among many others. She has held residencies at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as a Wattis Artist; Granada Artist at UC Davis; Potsdam International Festivalof Dance & Theater, Germany; Archstoyanie Festival, Russia; and the Djerassi Artist in Residence Program. She has created work extensively and toured nationally and internationally since 1985.

Dancers’ Group promotes the visibility and viability of dance and serves San Francisco Bay Area artists, the dance community and audiences through programs and services that are as collaborative and innovative as the creative process. As the primary dance service organization in the Bay Area, we support the second largest dance community in the nation by providing many programs and resources that help artists produce work, build audiences, and connect with their peers and community.

Recognized as a national model in the field of dance, Dancers’ Group has roots that are broad and deep within the Bay Area dance community. Begun in 1982 as a small collective of dance choreographers in need of studio space, Dancers’ Group has always been, first and foremost, an artist-centric organization closely connected to its constituents, with programs, services and advocacy work developed to address both the specific and broad needs of those involved in dance. Through a network of partnerships that have given it access to artists working across the broad spectrum of styles, forms, cultures and practices in the Bay Area, Dancers’ Group has built programs and services designed to fulfill the wide-ranging needs of the region’s diverse dance community. In 1983, it began to develop a menu of presenting programs, which now serve as a central part of its operations and reach an audience of more than 30,000 per year.

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Will Rogan / MATRIX 253

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Will Rogan: Scout’s ruler, 2013; gelatin silver print; 20 x 24 in. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents Will Rogan / MATRIX 253. For Rogan’s first solo exhibition in a museum, the artist has created a new body of work “where mystery, banality, finality, and beauty are all entangled in one another,” according to exhibition curator Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator at BAM/PFA. These new works, primarily taking the form of photography, sculpture, and video, explore various time scales—past, present, and future—as manifested in common objects.

Rogan received his M.F.A from UC Berkeley in 2006, and since then has exhibited widely both locally and internationally. Many of Rogan’s varied interests coalesce in MATRIX 253, which engages several motifs he has revisited in his work over the past decade. For Picture the Earth spinning in space (2014) Rogan rephotographed an image from an earlier work of a sewer cover that was painted over and over again. The new photograph, updated in black-and-white, obscures the paint colors that marked the passage of time in the earlier work, and instead becomes a signpost of time’s accrual in the artist’s own work.

In Negative (2014), Rogan appropriates a cheap plastic film camera that TIME Magazinesent out to its subscribers in the 1980s. Rogan has reversed the original design and shape, transforming the camera into a negative of itself, with the letters TIME rendered in reverse—another instance of time as a shifting, illegible construct. This sense of upended order, or of an understanding of time that looks both forward and backward, also informs Rogan’s photographs of a reversed one-foot ruler made by his daughter. The numerals on the ruler—one through twelve, running from right-to-left rather than left-to-right—call attention to our desire, or need, to quantify and regulate the world around. The backwards ruler, like the inverted camera, shows the glitch in the system, where a personal, subjective ordering threatens to undermine a prevailing structure.

The exhibition concludes with Rogan’s slow motion video of an old white hearse exploding. Rogan here transforms the destruction of a universal symbol of death into a transcendental imagistic effect, revealing the usually invisible minutiae of the event. “To show the death of this object in a beautiful way,” the artist says, “is to suggest that beauty and tragedy are muddled, that inside everything is a kind of pragmatic operating system, and magical incomprehensible beauty.”

Support
Will Rogan / MATRIX 253
 is organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator. The MATRIX Program is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees.

About the Artist
Will Rogan was born in 1975; he lives and works in Albany, CA. He received an M.F.A. from the University of California, Berkeley (2006), and a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute (1999), in addition to attending the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1998). Rogan’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Laurel Gitlen, New York; Altman Siegel, San Francisco; Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp; the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, Atlanta; Misako and Rosen, Tokyo; and Diverse Works Project Space, Houston. Selected group exhibitions include: Reactivation: The 9th Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai; When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes: A Restoration / A Remake / A Rejuvenation / A Rebellion, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco; Terrain Shift, The Lumber Room, Portland; Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (SFMOMA); Light in Darkness, Western Bridge, Seattle; Walking Forward-Running Past, Art in General, New York; and 2010 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach. He is the recipient of a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship (2004) and of SFMOMA’s SECA Art Award (2003).

About MATRIX
The MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art introduces the Bay Area community to exceptional work being made internationally, nationally, and locally, creating a rich connection to the current dialogues on contemporary art and demonstrating that the art of this moment is vital, dynamic, and often challenging. Confronting traditional practices of display and encouraging new, open modes of analysis, MATRIX provides an experimental framework for an active interchange between the artist, the museum, and the viewer. Since the program’s inception in 1978, MATRIX has featured artists such as John Baldessari, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, Shirin Neshat, Nancy Spero, and Andy Warhol. In recent years MATRIX has embraced a greater international scope, with the roster including Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Peter Doig, Omer Fast, Tobias Rehberger, Ernesto Neto, Rosalind Nashashibi, Tomás Saraceno, Mario Garcia Torres, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, representing countries as diverse as Finland, Germany, Iran, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, and many others.

About BAM/PFA
Founded in 1963, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is UC Berkeley’s primary visual arts venue and among the largest university art museums in terms of size and audience in the United States. Internationally recognized for its art and film programming, BAM/PFA is a platform for cultural experiences that transform individuals, engage communities, and advance the local, national, and global discourse on art and ideas. BAM/PFA’s mission is “to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.”

BAM/PFA presents approximately twenty art exhibitions and 380 film programs each year. The museum’s collection of over 19,000 works of art includes important holdings of Neolithic Chinese ceramics, Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese painting, Old Master works on paper, Italian Baroque painting, early American painting, Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, and video art. Its film archive contains over 16,000 films and videos, including the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan, Hollywood classics, and silent film, as well hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film, many of which are digitally scanned and accessible online.

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