Archive | Art

Michael Tilson Thomas Leads The SF Symphony And Chorus, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Gil Shaham, Lisa Vroman, And Special Guests In Tribute To SFS Immediate Past President John Goldman Monday, June 17 At 8 Pm At Davies Symphony Hall

Michael Tilson Thomas leads a star-studded program with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, violinist Gil Shaham, soprano Lisa Vroman, and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and Chorus in a tribute to immediate past SFS President John Goldman. The SFS Chorus opens the concert with Lux aeterna, Ligeti’s transcendent piece made famous by 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major is infused with cool jazzy sounds brought to life by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Gil Shaham performs the finale from Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. The fourth movement of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 and Lisa Vroman singing excerpts from South Pacific begin the second half of the program, followed by special surprise guests on stage to celebrate John Goldman’s eleven-year tenure as SFS President. The Martini Brothers will entertain guests in the lobby prior to the concert and at intermission.

John D. Goldman was elected President of the SF Symphony in December 2001 and has been a member of the SFS’s Board of Governors since 1996. He completed his tenure as President in December 2012, and continues to serve on the board. Goldman’s many accomplishments include the launch and completion of the Symphony’s Second Century campaign to support the Orchestra’s artistic, education, and community programs. The funds raised ensure the organization’s continued commitment to artistic and musical excellence, develop new audiences, fund artist and composer residencies and commissioned works, and support the organization’s financial stability. Goldman was at the helm during the planning and celebration of the Orchestra’s Centennial season in 2011-12, highlighted by the return of the groundbreaking American Mavericks Festival, the visits of six leading American orchestras for two-concert residencies, and the expansion of education and community programs.

Also during his tenure, the Orchestra launched and successfully completed the globally-acclaimed, decade-long Gustav Mahler recording project on SFS Media, which encompassed the recordings of all of the composer’s symphonies and works for voice, chorus, and orchestra, a cycle that won seven Grammy Awards. With Goldman as President, the SFS conceived and created the $25 million Keeping Score project, producing a national television and radio series, and websites designed to make classical music more widely accessible for all. The Symphony’s media and technology endeavors significantly expanded during Goldman’s leadership as President, further establishing the SFS as an innovator in reaching audiences far beyond the concert experience at Davies Symphony Hall.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s 2012-2013 season includes a tour of Europe with Kammerorchester Basel, engagements at Carnegie Hall, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and a tour of Spain with the German Symphony Orchestra. Thibaudet has released more than 40 albums with Decca, which have won the Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, a Gramophone Award, two Echo awards and the Edison Prize. He was the featured pianist on the Oscar and Golden Globe award-winning soundtrack to Atonement and the Oscar-nominated Pride and Prejudice, and recorded the soundtrack of the 2012 film, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, composed by Alexandre Desplat.

Violinist Gil Shaham has been a frequent guest of the San Francisco Symphony since his debut in 1990. He most recently performed at Davies Symphony Hall in recital in March, and will also perform Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto with MTT and the SFS June 19 and 20. This season, Shaham continues his long-term exploration of “Violin Concertos of the 1930s,” a project he started in 2010. Last fall he released a recording tied to the project on his label, Canary Classics, which included the Barber, Stravinsky and Berg Violin Concertos with three leading orchestras under the baton of David Robertson. Shaham plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius. He lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.

Lisa Vroman has performed with the SFS numerous times, including singing the roles of Johanna in the San Francisco Symphony’s Emmy award-winning Sweeney Todd in Concert in 2001 and Mary Turner in Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing/ Let ‘Em Eat Cake in concert with Michael Tilson Thomas, the SFS and the SFS Chorus. She starred for several years on Broadway as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, garnering Theatre Critic’s awards for the role in a record-breaking run in San Francisco, and did a return engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. In addition to roles in many stage and opera productions this season, Vroman made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops. She made her Broadway debut in 1990 in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love, and she is the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Miserables. She starred as Laurey in Oklahoma, which was filmed live in concert for the BBC’s PROMS festival at The Royal Albert Hall. Vroman sang at the Profiles in Courage Award dinner in Boston at the JFK Library as a guest of the Kennedy family, and has sung on separate occasions for Queen Elizabeth, former President Bill Clinton, and former Vice President Al Gore.

Continue Reading

Two Productions from Bay Area Playwrights Festival Receive Productions Nationally and in the UK

Playwrights Foundation is happy to announce that two productions that were part of the Foundation’s Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF) 2012 have received awards and multiple productions in the 2013-14 season. Christopher Chen received the Glickman Award for the The Hundred Flowers Project, a co-production of Crowded Fire Theater and the Playwrights Foundation. The Hundred Flowers Project will be mounted by Chicago‘s Silk Road Rising in the 2013-14 season.  George Brant’s Grounded will receive three productions through the The NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK (NNPN) Continued Life of New Plays Fund in the 2013/14 season, as well as productions in 5 other cities including two in the UK.* see list below

The process of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival gives writers a multi-faceted approach over three weeks – starting with an artists retreat without actors, followed by rehearsals, and two public readings separated by another week of rehearsals. This naturally leads to the exploration of new ideas — playwrights are at the center of the process

“The BAPF experience was truly magical and gave the script the final push it needed…this script has had many angels along the way, and you were certainly one of them.” playwright George Brant  (Grounded)

“What we do for the development of new plays during the Bay Area Playwrights Festival has proven over and over to be of tremendous value. George Brant is a hugely talented writer. And he still needed a lot of time to hone down on his script by hearing it in rehearsal — without the added focus on all the production elements. It’s amazing to watch a really exceptional actor, and playwright interacting in the room. And, then to note that the work, the audience interaction, the nights talking through each line was all worth it.” Amy Muller artistic director Playwrights Foundation.

 

Continue Reading

THE CREATIVE PROCESS: An IVF Living Art Piece

In A Second Public Performance At
PUSH Fitness Saturday, June 8th, 8pm
2162 Polk, SF  94109 (between Broadway & Vallejo).

On Saturday, June 8th, 8pm Marilee Talkington’s  THE CREATIVE PROCESS: An IVF Living Art Piece will be performed at at PUSH Fitness in a second public performance.  

This curated evening of performances celebrating “Femininity and ability to create” will also be live-streamed on USTREAM and will include aerial dancing, live music, beat poetry, martial arts, and Marilee performing a 10 character monologue about best practices to get pregnant. Performers featured are Keirsten Wingo (Aerial Chains), Ariel  Mihic (acroyoga), Ali Wahl (Trapeze/hoop), True Medusa (long form improv), Kevin Clarke (Drag), Marilee Talkington (performance art & multimedia)) and others This show is open to the public and Pay what you can. http://thecreativeprocess8.eventbrite.com/

Talkington will inject herself throughout the city; June 5th at Exploratorium 8/8:3; June 7th at deYoung 8/8:30.  She injected herself at the MOMA (6/1 6:30 pm). All of which will /have been be live-streamed.  “I’m injecting myself in these public places as part social statement, part community outreach.  But mostly because these places inspire me. I can’t predict if this IVF process will work and I’ll become pregnant.  But I can control what I’m doing while trying. These museums and public places are filled with exquisite art that move me to my core.  I want to express my own creative ability while steeping myself in the profound creations of others.”
For more locations please watch twitter account/web site calendar  www.marileetalkington.com   to check exact times and locations

Marilee Talkington, the award-winning interdisciplinary artist and performer,  latest work THE CREATIVE PROCESS: An IVF Living Art Piece began on May 30th at SOMArts in San Francisco. In this ongoing courageous real-time Performance Art work Marilee brings forward an empowering, and radical exploration into the issues of conceiving life. In publicly performing the still taboo, deeply personal and subrosa process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), THE CREATIVE PROCESS breaks ground in the realm of performance and social dialogue about IVF, and redefines the meaning of “Life as Art”.

Encouraging transparency and demystification through baring her body and fertility journey, Marilee will become LIVING ART by literally taking her IVF hormone injections to the streets. This piece will take place over a 14 day period where every IVF injection will be visually accessible to the public and Live Streamed across the country on USTREAM.  “There is so much isolation in this process.  Even after 35 years of IVF procedures, people still have no idea what it truly involves and the intense highs and lows that women and couples go through. It’s about time to break this silence and taking ownership over this process inherently filled with uncertainty.”

On May 30th, 8 pm Marilee performed her first public injection at SOMArts as part of one of two full evening performance art pieces. During this performance, she unveiled  her art installation inspired by a 1920’s broken down hospital room, which is open to viewers for the duration of the two weeks From May 30th-June 12th as the hormone injections begin to affect Marilee’s body, she will externalize her internal physical changes by transforming the old and distressed hospital installation into a vibrant and lush garden.

As part of this potentially paradigm shifting work, Marilee is extending a standing invitation to any other woman going through IVF injections to come meet her, either at the SOMArts installation,  out in public, or online to do choreographed injections together. All information about where Marilee will be at what times each day will be available on her website, www.marileetalkington.com  “I’m hoping to create an in person community of support and recognition for IVF patients. A community that feels fierce and fantastic!”

Curious what IVF involves? IVF requires women to do 10+ days of self-administered hormone injections 2-3 times per day. During these injections the eggs in the woman’s ovaries ripen very quickly, and after 10 or so days the eggs are then retrieved in an intensely delicate procedure, fertilized with sperm, and implanted back into the woman’s womb. With much luck, the woman will become pregnant.  As women grow older, the chances of conceiving, even through IVF, drop dramatically (13% chance of conceiving for women over 40).  So the tremendous emotional, physical and financial investment can result in either great joy or terrible sadness.

Continue Reading

Cynthia Lee Wong Selected as Second Annual New Voices Composer

Michael Tilson Thomas, Boosey & Hawkes, New World Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony Continue Initiative with Emerging Composers

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, Boosey & Hawkes, the New World Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony today announced that New York-based composer Cynthia Lee Wong has been selected as the second annual New Voices composer. A recipient of accolades including three ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and several prizes from The Juilliard School, City University of New York, and Columbia University, Ms. Wong has been recognized by numerous organizations for her artistic accomplishments and creative output. She has studied composition with David Del Tredici, Samuel Adler, Milton Babbitt, David Olan, and Larry Thomas Bell, as well as piano with Tatyana Dudochkin, Frank Levy, and Martin Canin. Ms. Wong is currently on the faculty at CUNY’s Baruch College.

Commenting on both New Voices composers selected since the initiative’s inauguration in 2012, Michael Tilson Thomas said, “I have been very pleased with the first commissions for the New Voices program. Zosha Di Castri’s piece is expressively powerful and wonderfully written for the orchestra. Having heard and seen some pieces by Cynthia Lee Wong, I am impressed with her original and expert approach to orchestra writing and look very much forward to the piece of hers we will be doing next year.”

New Voices, a partnership between Boosey & Hawkes, the New World Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony, aims to develop the professional careers of emerging composers in the Americas. Each year, one composer is chosen from a selection of invited applicants to participate in a multi-organizational residency that covers areas in career development including, but not limited to, working with a publisher, workshopping new compositions, and premiering their works on both coasts with the New World Symphony and San Francisco Symphony in orchestral and chamber settings. Ms. Wong was selected by a panel of judges consisting of conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and composers John Adams, Steven Mackey, and Mason Bates. Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri is the New Voices composer in the project’s inaugural year. Her new work for percussion quartet, Manif, premiered at the New World Symphony in March, and her new work for orchestra, Lineage, premiered at NWS in April. Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony will give the West Coast premieres of both works next season.

After receiving hands-on experience at the New York offices of Boosey & Hawkes, Ms. Wong will collaborate with the New World Symphony in the workshopping, rehearsal, and performance of two new works in the 2013–14 season—commissions that make up the performance-related aspect of New Voices. These New Voices commissions consist of one work for chamber ensemble and one work for orchestra, to be premiered by the New World Symphony in November 2013 and April 2014, respectively. The works will then receive their West Coast premieres by the San Francisco Symphony during the 2014–15 season.

“I am especially honored to be chosen as this year’s New Voices composer and to have the opportunity to work with such extraordinary musicians as Michael Tilson Thomas, the San Francisco Symphony, and the New World Symphony,” says Wong. “Compositionally, I look forward to exploring the dramatic potential and timbral variety of mixed chamber ensemble and full symphony orchestra. This is all very inspiring to me, and I hope to contribute meaningfully to the rich tradition of American classical music.”

Boosey & Hawkes, a leading international figure in music publishing, offers the selected composer first-hand experience in all aspects of publishing, from material preparation to promotion of the music through a comprehensive residency in New York. Boosey & Hawkes provides support and guidance towards best practices for high-quality score preparation, focusing on the preparation of materials for a premiere, which is paramount to the composer’s professional training and development. In addition, the New Voices composer learns about industry practices, including commission contract preparation, copyright registration and licensing procedures, and how to promote the music through publicity and marketing strategies.

At the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS) co-founded by Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT), the New Voices composer works extensively with MTT, NWS Fellows, guest coaches, and others to workshop the new compositions and prepare them for their world premieres at the Academy. MTT will conduct the premiere of Ms. Wong’s new work for orchestra in April 2014 at the New World Center.

At the San Francisco Symphony, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and members of the Orchestra work with the New Voices composer for two full weeks after the works have been workshopped and premiered in Miami. MTT will lead the Orchestra in the West Coast premiere of the newly commissioned orchestral work in a subscription concert at Davies Symphony Hall, and, in a second week with MTT and the SFS, the composer will work with members of the Orchestra who will perform the new chamber commission as part of their regular chamber music series. These two works will be performed in San Francisco during the 2014–15 season.

About Cynthia Lee Wong

Born in New York, Cynthia Lee Wong has attracted international acclaim for her “impressive energy and drive” (The Boston Globe), “extravagant variety of sound” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), and “unsettling…dark, eerie…highly individual sound universe” (The San Diego Union-Tribune). Her creative output encompasses a range of genres, including works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, dance, voice, narrator, musical theatre, and piano improvisation.

Past commissions include Memoriam (2011) for Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Three Portraits (2005) and On Baldness and Other Songs (2007) for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Piano Quartet (2010) for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and La Jolla Music Society, and String Quartet No. 1 (2009) for Tanglewood Music Center. She has also worked with the Tokyo String Quartet, the Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy, New Juilliard Ensemble, the Juilliard Orchestra, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory Orchestra.

Current commissions include compositions for the League of Composers / International Society of Contemporary Music and the New York State Music Teachers Association. She is also collaborating with librettist Richard Aellen on two musicals: Nemo, an adaptation based on Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and No Guarantees, a romantic comedy set in the future where a secret attempt to use an android as an understudy has unexpected consequences.

Continue Reading

The Marsh San Francisco Presents Don Reed’s “Can You Dig It? Back Down East 14th – the 60’s and Beyond”

The Marsh San Francisco is delighted to present the prequel of Don Reed’s autobiographical journey, CAN YOU DIG IT? Back Down East 14th—the 60’s and Beyond.

The show plays Saturday at 8:30 pm and Sunday at 7:00 pm from June 15 through August 25, 2013  on the MainStage at The Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia Street at 22nd Street. The public may visit www.themarsh.org or call 415-282-3055

The first installment in his hilarious coming-of-age story, East 14th, traced Reed’s irregular teen years through the 70’s (his stepfather forced him to be in that religion that rhymes with “Tehovah’s Sitnesses” and his real father was a pimp!). East 14th turned out to be one of the longest running Bay Area solo shows, and also ran Off-Broadway. The second installment, The Kipling Hotel, followed his collegiate years at UCLA through the 80’s, struggling to supplement his partial scholarship (partial scholarship means not enough money!) by working as a live-in waiter at an unforgettable retirement hotel.

This next installment CAN YOU DIG IT? Back Down East 14th rewinds to the 60’s—a prequel-plus—that goes back to young Reed’s formative “Stand By Me” years in Oakland grammar school when the family was “whole.” Before his father became a pimp—before his mother reluctantly became a Jehovah’s Witness—a lot of wild, wonderful, scary, amazing, unnecessary, cool, moving, unbelievably  true stories unfolded. From the Beatles to the Black Panthers, James Brown to the Jerk, MLK to JFK to the KKK – come and see the 60’s through the blinking eyes of an awkward kid who’s just trying to fit in.  Whether you love the characters from East 14th or are just meeting them for the first time—these stories, all new, stand alone and will not only take you back—but span forward through many misadventures leading up to the very present.

Don Reed, a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Nominee and NAACP Double Nominee for Best Actor & Best Playwright, has performed, written and directed for film, television and theater. His work on an HBO Partners and Crime Special of up-and-coming comedians years ago caught the attention of the right people and led to many recurring and guest starring roles on television. He has performed all over the country and opened for Tony Award winner Tommy Tune. You may have heard his voice on Spiderman, The Flintstones, ER, Frasier, Friends, Scrubs, Will & Grace, Law & Order or SNL. Reed has written promos for The Golden Globes, The Academy Awards and the Olympics. Additionally, he has written and developed screenplays for Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule and Maverick Filmworks. Reed is currently the opening act/warm-up comedian for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and is a board member of the thriving  51Oakland foundation keeping music and the arts alive in Oakland Public Schools.

 

 

Continue Reading

Dancers’ Group presents a new, site-specific performance by 
Amara Tabor-Smith  

Dancers’ Group is pleased to present He Moved Swiftly But Gently Down the Not Too Crowded Street: Ed Mock and Other True Tales in a City That Once Was…,a site-specific performance conceived by Amara Tabor-Smith that reflects the life and spirit of beloved dancer, teacher and choreographer Ed Mock.

Traveling through multiple locations in San Francisco, Tabor-Smith in collaboration with the performers creates a “moving séance” that conjures the spirit of Ed Mock: an African-American, gay artist who influenced a generation of future artists with his combination of tap, jazz, Afro-Haitian, Afro-Cuban, modern dance and mime-an artist who had a passion for performing and for teaching, and an artist whose untimely death from AIDS in 1986 left a lasting impression on Tabor-Smith and many of the region’s artists.

Together with a cast of over 30 local artists, Tabor-Smith tackles questions of legacy, lineage and collective memory. He Moved Swiftly…is conceived by Tabor-Smith in collaboration with Ellen Sebastian Chang (Co-Director), Dr. Anthony Brown (Music Director), Marvin K. White (Poet), and David Szlasa (Video Artist).

Tabor-Smith-who began her career in the Bay Area as a member of The Ed Mock Dance Company, and whose work tackles complex issues surrounding race, discrimination, culture and social change-writes, “Ed Mock is the reason why I dance and why I became a choreographer, and paying homage to him through my work is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Ed un-self-consciously owned the complexity of his identity. The question of how my choreographic work can express the complexity of my identity, especially my queer identity, remains unanswered.”

He Moved Swiftly… begins at 3:30pm in front of 32 Page Street, the original site of the Ed Mock Studio. The work will travel through the streets and through some of the quintessential San Francisco sites where Mock performed and frequented. Attendees will be guided from site to site on foot and may stay for the entire five hours or for a portion of the performance. All performances are free of charge.

Schedule:
Saturday, June 15, Friday – Sunday, June 21, 22 & 23

3:30pm
The Séance Begins
32 Page Street

4:00pm
Window Seat
Zuni Café (1658 Market Street @ Rose Alley)

4:15pm
A Room Full of Black Men
Salle Pianos (1632C Market Street)

4:55pm
Ghost dance
Sparrow Alley (off Valencia Street between 15th & 16th Streets)

5:20pm
When They Die We Eat Chicken
In front of Picaro Café (3120 16th Street @ Valencia)

5:40pm
Intermission: Parade of spirits
Valencia (btwn. 17th & 21st. sts.)

6:15pm
Tell My Story/Ride My Horse
The corner of 21st and Valencia Streets

6:50pm
in the Silent Space
Joanna’s Score (June 21, 22 only)
After You’ve Gone
Abadá-Capoeira (3221 22nd Street between Mission & Valencia formerly Footwork’s studio)

7:30pm
Second Line
(22nd and Mission to 17th and Shotwell)

7:50pm
Mighty Real: The Night Before the Epidemic
ODC Theater, 3153 17th Street (@ Shotwell)

8:25pm
He Walked Swiftly: Ed is Everywhere
Shotwell Street outside ODC Theater (between 17th and 18th Streets)

He Moved Swiftly…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; and Niagara Falling by Jo Kreiter in 2012.

About Amara Tabor-Smith
San Francisco born, Oakland based, Amara Tabor-Smith began her career in the Bay Area as a member of The Ed Mock Dance Company and has worked with other choreographers and companies such as Anne Bluethenthal, Priscilla Regalado, Pearl Ubungen, Jacinta Vlach/Liberation Dance Theater, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Ase Dance Theater Collective and Joanna Haigood/ Zaccho Dance Theater. Amara is the former Associate Artistic Director and dancer with The Urban Bush Women Dance Company of New York City (1996-2006). She is the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater and co artistic director of Headmistress along with movement artist Sherwood Chen. She is currently a Lecturer at UC Berkeley in the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies.

Dancers’ Group promotes the visibility and viability of dance. Founded in 1982, we serve 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.

Continue Reading

Cal Performances Presents OJAI NORTH! The World Premiere Of Mark Morris’s The Rite Of Spring Along With Eight Other Concerts, Including Two Free Outdoor Events, Film Screenings, And Pre-Concert Talks Are Offered.

WORKS BY LOU HARRISON, JOHN CAGE, HENRY COWELL, CHARLES IVES, AND

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS WITH THE BAD

PLUS, COLIN FOWLER, RED FISH BLUE FISH, AND THE AMERICAN STRING QUARTET

ON WEDNESDAY–SATURDAY, JUNE 12–15

Cal Performances’ third annual Ojai North!, a multi-year partnership with the esteemed Ojai Music Festival, opens with a double bill on Wednesday, June 12, at 6:00 p.m. John Luther Adams’s Strange and Sacred Noise with red fish blue fish will be performed at the Faculty Glade in a free and open to the public concert. The festival then moves indoors to Hertz Hall where the world premiere of new choreography to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring by the 2013 Ojai Music Director and choreographer Mark Morris will be given at 8:00 p.m. Set to The Bad Plus’s re-scoring of the explosive masterpiece for piano, bass, and drums, The Rite of Spring will be performed by the jazz trio and the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG). Highlighted by works that Morris champions, the festival programming also includes compositions by Lou Harrison, John Cage, Henry Cowell, and Charles Ives. In addition to The Bad Plus, recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as “about as badass as highbrow can get,” joining Morris will be his MMDG Music Ensemble, pianist/organist Colin Fowler, the American String Quartet, percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, and Gamelan Sari Raras from the University of California, Berkeley. All performances will be at Hertz Hall unless otherwise noted.

A series of Discover, Engage! education and community events to compliment Ojai North! Programming has been planned. Two free and open to the public concerts of works by John Luther Adams and performed by percussion ensemble red fish blue fish will be held at the Faculty Glade. In addition to Strange and Sacred Noise kicking off Ojai North!, Adams’s Songbirdsongs will be performed on Friday, June 14, at 10:00 p.m. Cultural critic Wendy Lesser leads a series of pre-concert conversations with Mark Morris and composer John Luther Adams. On Thursday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday, June 15, at 6:00 p.m., Lesser speaks with Morris; on Friday, June 14, at 6:30 p.m. she interviews Adams. Two films will be offered at Wheeler Auditorium. Salomé (1923; Director Charles Bryant), a silent film starring Russian actress Alla Nazimove, will be screened on Thursday, June 13, at 10:00 p.m. The film is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play and will be accompanied live by The Bad Plus. On Saturday, June 16, at 4:00 p.m., film director Eva Solte will introduce her 2012 documentary Lou Harrison: A World of Music.

Each summer the Ojai Music Festival (June 6-9, 2013), explores the musical interests of its Music Director, a position that is held for the first time this year by a choreographer. “The Bay Area understands the genius of Mark Morris and his talents as a dancer, choreographer and musician, perhaps better than anywhere else in the world,” said Cal Performances’ Director Matías Tarnopolsky. “We are proud to support Mark as Music Director of Ojai North! and introduce his fans here to this new endeavor.” Morris, who considers Cal Performances his West Coast home, has partnered with the institution since 1987, presenting numerous World, United States, and West Coast premieres.

The Ojai Music Festival continue in Berkeley at the end of every annual music festival in Ojai Valley. This collaborative effort makes possible annual reprises of Ojai concerts in Berkeley, as well as co-commissions and co-productions. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai North! represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations. The combined efforts of Ojai’s legacy of artistic innovation and Cal Performances’ tradition of groundbreaking productions create a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than would be possible by each organization separately.

THE PROGRAM

Ojai North! kicks off on Wednesday, June 12, at 6:00 p.m., with John Luther Adams’s Strange and Sacred Noise with red fish blue fish; this free and open-to-the-public event will be held on the Faculty Glade. At 8:00 p.m., the Festival moves to Hertz Hall for the world premiere of Mark Morris’s newest work choreographed to The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky’s masterwork, reinterpreted and performed by The Bad Plus and danced by MMDG. His company will also dance Mosaic and United set to Henry Cowell’s Quartets Nos. 3 and 4, performed by the American String Quartet. The work is choreographed for a quintet of dancers wearing sumptuous Chinese silk pajamas by Isaac Mizrahi; the world premiere in 1993 included cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

On Thursday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. Wendy Lesser will interview Mark Morris. At 8:00 p.m., there will be an encore performance of The Rite of Spring and Mosaic and United (see June 12). Closing out the day is a screening of Salomé, a silent film starring Alla Nazimova at 10:00 p.m. This is an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play of the same name and features The Bad Plus playing live with the film. This event is free and open-to-the-public.

Two concerts on Friday, June 14, at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. showcase Lou Harrison’s work and those inspired by the legendary American maverick composer. At 5:00 p.m., Gamelan Sari Raras from UC Berkeley performs Lou Harrison’s Music for Gamelan and solo instruments. That evening at 8:00 p.m. members of the MMDG Music Ensemble will perform Harrison’s Suite for Symphonic Strings under the baton of Joshua Gersen, conducting assistant to Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony. The American String Quartet along with pianists Colin Fowler and Yegor Shevtsov will counter with John Luther Adams’s haunting work For Lou Harrison. Between the concerts, Wendy Lesser will interview composer John Luther Adams at 6:30 p.m. Day two concludes at 10:00 p.m. with a second John Luther Adams work titled Songbirdsongs performed on the Faculty Glade by red fish blue fish; this concert is free and open-to-the-public.

Saturday, June 15, is a full day of adventurous repertoire starting at 12:00 p.m. with John Cage’s Four Walls performed by pianist Ethan Iverson and soprano Yulia Van Doren. At 2:00 p.m., the American String Quartet will offer Charles Ives’s String Quartet No. 2, followed by a selection of songs by Henry Cowell and Charles Ives with Doren, Jamie Van Eyck, mezzo-soprano, and Douglas Williams, baritone, performing. The audience joins in with the performers for the final work, Carl Ruggles’s great hymn, Exaltation, conducted by Mark Morris. The festivities continue at 4:00 p.m. in Wheeler Auditorium when filmmaker Eva Soltes introduces and screens her documentary film Lou Harrison: A World of Music; this event is free and open-to-the-public.

At 6:00 p.m., Wendy Lesser will have her final conversation with Mark Morris. At 7:30 p.m., Joshua Gersen conducts Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion with Colin Fowler and red fish blue fish. The program also includes Sowerby’s Pageant; Bolcom’s  La Cathedrale engloutie (Rock of Ages); Persichetti’s Sonatine; and Ives’s Variations on America.

The final concert of Ojai North! begins at 9:00 p.m. with a pair of works by Henry Cowell performed by MMDG Music Ensemble: Heroic Dance, written for Martha Graham, and his cantata Atlantis with vocalists Doren, Van Eyck, and Williams. The short Fugue for Percussion by Lou Harrison, one of his most fiendishly difficult pieces, and his Concerto for Piano and Gamelan with Colin Fowler and Gamelan Sari Raras round out the concert.

MARK MORRIS

Mark Morris was born on August 29, 1956, in Seattle, Washington, where he studied with Verla Flowers and Perry Brunson.  In the early years of his career, he performed with the Koleda Balkan Dance Ensemble and later the dance companies of Lar Lubovitch, Hannah Kahn, Laura Dean, and Eliot Feld.  He formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980 and has since created more than 130 works for the company. From 1988 to 1991, Morris was Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium. Among the works created during his time there were three evening-length dances: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Dido and Aeneas; and The Hard Nut. In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Morris is also a ballet choreographer and has created eight works for the San Francisco Ballet since 1994 and received commissions from many others.

Morris is noted for his musicality and has been described as “undeviating in his devotion to music.” He has conducted performances for the MMDG since 2006. He has worked extensively in opera, directing and choreographing productions for the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, English National Opera, and The Royal Opera and Covent Garden.  In 1991, he was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation.  He has received eleven honorary doctorates to date.  In 2006, Morris received the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture and a WQXR Gramophone Special Recognition Award “for being an American ambassador for classical music at home and abroad.”  He is the subject of a biography, Mark Morris, by Joan Acocella (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and Marlowe & Company published a volume of photographs and critical essays entitled Mark Morris’ L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato:A Celebration. Morris is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.  In recent years, he has received the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement (2007), the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society (2010), the Benjamin Franklin Laureate Prize for Creativity (2012), and Cal Performances Award of Distinction in the Performing Arts (2012).

For bios of other artists go to ojaifestival.org.

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Ojai Music Festival is an annual four-day immersion experience of concerts, symposia and auxiliary events set in the picturesque Ojai Valley, just north of Los Angeles.  Founded in 1947 by John Bauer, the Festival receives a constant stream of innovative programming and fresh ideas as the Music Director changes each year.  Now in his tenth year as Artistic Director, Thomas W. Morris has invited pianist Jeremy Denk to serve as the Festival’s 2014 Music Director. Acclaimed conductors, composers and artists who have led the Festival in the past include Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Ingolf Dahl, Pierre Boulez, Robert Craft, Michael Tilson Thomas, Dawn Upshaw, Calvin Simmons, Kent Nagano, and John Adams, among many others. For further information go to ojaifestival.org.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for Ojai North!, Wednesday-Saturday, June 12-15, at Zellerbach Playhouse range from $20.00-$110.00 and are subject to change; single tickets will go on sale February 1, 2013. Tickets are available through the Cal Performances’ Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for purchase by UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  Rush tickets are announced three hours prior to a performance on Cal Performances’ Facebook page and at 510-642-9988 and are available in person only at the Ticket Office beginning one hour before the performance; one ticket per person; all sales are cash only. For more information, call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988, or visit www.calperformances.org.

 

Continue Reading

Crowded Fire Theater Continues The 2013 Season With The World Premiere Of A Contemporary Chinese American Fairy Tale

Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) presents the World Premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s 410[GONE], opening Monday June 10 running through June 29. In 410[GONE] Cowhig creates a buoyant underworld landscape run by punk operatic Chinese gods and goddesses soaring with energy, humor, tricks, and avatars Winner of the Yale Drama Series Award, Cowhig has established herself as a fearless, fiercely intellectual writer. “Cowhig’s voice pulses with raw, heartbreaking honesty as she examines the loving and fractured relationship between a dead brother and a sister who reunite in the underworld.” states Artistic Director Marissa Wolf. In 410[GONE] a brother and sister are suspended in the interstitial spaces between their American culture and Chinese heritage as they wrestle within the lines of life and death.

Where do we go when we die? In Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s dark and dazzling play 410[Gone], that all depends on how you play the game - the stakes are high. Under Taishan, a sacred mountain in China, the powerful Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin, patiently awaits the arrival of the souls of the dead, freeing them from the pain of memory and releasing them into their next life. Told in richly poetic language, 410[GONE] looks at the bonds of love between siblings when a sister searches for her lost brother in the Land of the Dead. In this underworld brother and sister must face the ultimate question: if there is no love without pain, what does it mean to love?

Evren Odcikin directs this World Premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s 410[GONE], featuring Cindy Im as Twenty-One, Chris Cortez as Seventeen, Charisse Loriaux as the Goddess of Mercy, Alexander Lydon as the Monkey King, and Michael Uy Kelly as the Ox Headed God. Lead video designer, Wesley Cabral, creates the landscape of the underworld in 410[Gone], he has worked with CFT on The Hundred Flowers Project, Invasion, and Wreckage.

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Playwright
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s play Lidless received the Yale Drama Series Award, an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the Keene Prize for Literature, and the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize. In 2011 she was awarded the Wasserstein Prize by the Educational Foundation of America. She has been a finalist for the Blackburn Prize, received residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, Ragdale, and the Santa Fe Art Institute, and is under commission from South Coast Rep and Seattle Rep. Her plays have been produced by Trafalgar Studios 2 on the West End, Page 73 Productions in New York, Interact Theatre in Philadelphia, and the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in West Virginia. They have been developed at the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, Seattle Rep, PlayPenn, the Alley Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Ojai Conference, the Playwright’s Foundation and Yale Rep.  Frances received an MFA in Writing from the James A. Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin, a BA in Sociology from Brown University, and a certificate in Ensemble Created Physical Theatre from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Her work has been published by Glimmer Train, Methuen Drama, and Yale University Press. Frances was born in Philadelphia, and raised in Northern Virginia, Okinawa, Taipei and Beijing.

Evren Odcikin, Director
Evren Odcikin serves as the literary artistic associate with Golden Thread Productions. For the company, he directed the West Coast premiere of Yussef El Guindi’s Language Rooms in San Francisco and Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times Critic’s Pick) and produces the new plays reading series New Threads. His other Bay Area directing credits include The Oldest Profession (Two BATCC nominations including best ensemble) and Machinal (Three BATCC Award nominations including best director and best production) for Brava Theater; The Play About the Naked Guy for Impact Theatre (“2010 Honorable Mention” from Bay Area Reporter); and RHINO for Boxcar Theatre (“Most Inventive Staging of 2010″ from SF Weekly, “Best Play of 2010″ from SF Bay Times). He has directed readings and workshops for Magic Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theater, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Cutting Ball and PlayGround. Born and raised in Turkey and a graduate of Princeton University, Evren was selected as an Emerging Theatre Leader in 2012 by Theatre Communications Group.

Continue Reading

Conductor Roberto Abbado Leads The SF Symphony
 And Pianist Jonathan Biss In Works By Schumann, Ivan Fedele, And Schubert
 June 13-15 At Davies Symphony Hall



Concerts include the U.S. premiere of Fedele’s Scena

Conductor Roberto Abbado and pianist Jonathan Biss make return appearances with the SF Symphony in performances June 13-15 at Davies Symphony Hall. The program includes Schumann’s Overture to Genoveva and Piano Concerto in A minor (performed by Biss), the U.S. premiere of Ivan Fedele’s Scena, and Schubert’s Symphony No. 3 in D major.

Born in 1953, Italian composer Ivan Fedele has an expansive list of compositions for film, orchestra, chorus and chamber ensembles. Scena was commissioned by the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, founded in 1982 by Claudio Abbado, and premiered at the La Scala theater in 1998. As the title implies, Scena can be thought of as an operatic scene performed entirely by the musicians of the orchestra (without text, singing or stage movement), with references to Italian theater and La Scala in particular.

Jonathan Biss made his SFS debut at age 21 in 2002, performing Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor with Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt, and has returned five more times since, including most recently in 2011 performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major with conductor Peter Oundjian. His current season includes performances with the National Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Swedish Radio Symphony, the Prague Philharmonic, and the Danish National Symphony. Biss’s chamber music series entitled Schumann: Under the Influence, with tenor Mark Padmore, soprano Miah Persson, violist Kim Kashkashian, and the Elias Quartet, was performed in San Francisco at the Herbst Theater in March, and includes performances at Wigmore Hall in London and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Biss made his Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2011 and will present his second recital there in January 2014.

In 2012, Onyx Classics released the first CD in a nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of Biss performing Beethoven’s complete sonatas. He wrote about this project in Beethoven’s Shadow, an essay that was published electronically by Rosetta Books as a Kindle Single. He is also the author of the Kindle Single A Pianist Under the Influence. His previous recordings include an album of Schubert and Kurtág for the Wigmore Hall Live label, an all-Schumann recital album for EMI Classics which won a Diapason d’Or de l’année award, and a recital album of Beethoven piano sonatas for EMI Classics which received an Edison Award. Biss has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Schleswig-Holstein Festival’s Leonard Bernstein Award, Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the 2003 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, and the 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award. He was an artist-in-residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today and was the first American chosen to participate in the BBC’s New Generation Artist program.

Roberto Abbado made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1999, and appeared most recently in 2007 leading the Orchestra in Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 Organ with Jonathan Dimmock, and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with pianist Ingrid Fliter. He was Chief Conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra from 1991-1998, and is currently an Artistic Partner with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he appears regularly. In 2009, Abbado was honored with the Franco Abbiati Award of the National Association of Italian Music Critics as Conductor of the Year. In 2012-13, he leads Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Bari’s Teatro Petruzzelli, Ponchielli’s La Gioconda at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, and a celebration of the centenary of Verdi’s birth with a production of Macbeth at Teatro Comunale in Bologna. He also appears with the orchestras of Cincinnati and Atlanta and continues his collaboration with the Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI in Torino and the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

Abbado has made several recordings for BMG (RCA Red Seal) including award-winning recordings of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Rossini’s Tancredi, as well as discs of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Puccini’s Turandot, ballet music from Verdi operas, the two Liszt piano concertos with Gerhard Oppitz, a collection of arias with tenor Ben Heppner, and a CD of opera scenes with soprano Carol Vaness. For Decca, he has recorded aria albums with soprano Mirella Freni and tenor Juan Diego Flórez. His other recordings include Bel Canto with mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča on Deutsche Grammophon and the world premiere recordings of two works by Luca Francesconi for the Stradivarius Label. On DVD, Abbado can be seen leading Giordani’s Fedora for Deutsche Grammophon, Rossini’s Ermione for Dynamic, and on Hardy Classic Video, the 2008 New Year Concert from the Teatro La Fenice in Venice.

Schumann’s Overture to Genoveva saw its SFS debut in 1919 at the Curran Theater under Music Director Alfred Hertz, and Hertz also conducted the SFS premiere of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor in 1922 at the Columbia Theater (now the American Conservatory Theater); Conductor Kirill Karabits and pianist Hélène Grimaud performed the most recent SFS performances in 2011. The Orchestra last performed Schubert’s Symphony No. 3 in 2006 with Herbert Blomstedt conducting.

Continue Reading

Strike by Concession Workers at AT&T Park Will Not Impact Fans, Centerplate Says of Unite Here Local 2 One Day Strike at San Francisco Giants Game

San Francisco—AT&T Park concessionaire Centerplate said a strike at today’s baseball game by Local 2 Unite Here will not interrupt service to fans at the ballpark.

“Centerplate is prepared with senior managers and additional staff to ensure fans enjoy today’s baseball game and can get hotdogs, garlic fries, beer, soft drinks and other foods as they normally would,” said Centerplate spokesman Sam Singer.

Centerplate believes “this labor action by Local 2 is unnecessary, unfortunate and illegal.  The timing of the strike, coming as it does on Memorial Day Weekend, continues a disturbing pattern of disrespect for the military, veterans and servicemen and servicewomen by the UNITE HERE leaders.  Remember this is the same union whose President previously made derogatory remarks against veterans and veteran’s organizations during negotiations,” Singer said.

“Centerplate values our employees. That is why they are already the highest paid staff in the concession business, earning between $15 and $20 an hour, receiving full healthcare and other benefits for their part time work,” he added.

Centerplate has bargained in good faith and offered union members:

  • A 4.5 percent ratification bonus for those who worked more than 40 games in 2012
  • A 1.7 percent annual wage increase on top of the best compensation package in the industry
  • Increased contribution of 9.2 percent to the Unite Here benefit plans
  • Employer paid health care for employees and their families

Centerplate this week filed a lawsuit against Local 2 Unite Here for attempting to illegally mandate the signing of a “successor addendum” that would bind any future concessionaire at AT&T Park to the same terms Local 2 negotiates with Centerplate. This action is illegal under the federal labor laws, Centerplate officials said.

The lawsuit says Local 2 President Michael Casey seeks to end Centerplate’s relationship with nonprofit organizations, forcing out such groups as St. Teresa Music and Arts, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Athletes Committed to Academics, Berkeley Youth Alternatives, the United States Navy, and other nonprofits, from working at the stadium to raise money for their charitable works.

“Local 2’s President scoffed at the value of the (nonprofit) program, stating that the U.S. Navy did not need to work a stand at the ballpark to pay for prosthetic limbs for wounded Veterans,” the lawsuit states. “Casey also quipped about the Marines, “‘Why don’t you have them man a boat and they can sell hot dogs on the water,’” according the Centerplate lawsuit against Local 2.

The nonprofits make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through partnering with Centerplate at baseball games by staffing concession stands and earning commissions based upon sales for their charitable work. Local 2 is now demanding Centerplate pay a penalty of $200 for each volunteer used for charitable work, which would eliminate Centerplate’s ability to partner with nonprofits.

“Local 2 has overstepped the bounds of the law and of humanity,” said spokesman Singer. This past week, Local 2 union leaders walked out on contract negotiations with Centerplate and a Federal Mediator, refusing to accept or to even make an economic counter proposal and thereby denying, for the time being, Centerplate’s employees at AT&T Park the economic benefits that would flow from a new contract.

Centerplate, which manages concessions at 300 ballparks and arenas, said its current contract as well as its new offer keeps AT&T Park employees the highest paid in the concession business.

Local 2 Unite Here publically acknowledged that Centerplate’s employees are already the highest paid workers in the concession industry. In a YouTube video posted on May 12, the union spokesperson is quoted saying, “so what if they’re (the employees) the best paid…that doesn’t mean anything.”

Centerplate said it wanted to make clear that this strike is a dispute between Local 2 Unite Here and Centerplate and not the San Francisco Giants.

Continue Reading

Rufus Wainwright Performs Solo Concert, Sunday June 9, 8 pm

 

Acclaimed vocalist and songwriter Rufus Wainwright returns to Davies Symphony Hall Sunday, June 9 at 8 pm, accompanying himself on piano and guitar. Affectionately referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and praised by The New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Grammy nominee Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation. The son of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle and brother of Martha Wainwright, Wainwright has achieved his success by carving out his own singular sound in the worlds of rock, opera, theater, dance and film.

A frequent performer in Bay Area venues including Davies Symphony Hall throughout his career, Wainwright performed with the SF Symphony in 2010 under conductor Michael Francis, premiering Five Shakespeare Sonnets, his own large scale orchestrations of five of the eleven songs he composed for a theatrical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Sonnets with director Robert Wilson. Following several significant and dramatic events in his life—the birth of his daughter, Viva, the death of his mother, and his engagement to partner Jorn Weisbrodt—his seventh studio album, Out of the Game, was released in 2012 with the input of a new collaborator, celebrated producer Mark Ronson. The results are the loosest, most accessible music of Wainwright’s career, retaining his distinctive narrative sense and wry wit while adding classic pop pleasures.

“What I wanted was a warmth and a depth in terms of quality of sound, and a certain clarity that’s still easy on the ears,” Wainwright says. “I’ve done that whole ponderous, pseudo-genius thing, so it was fun to get in there and work really fast and do something that was more about the songs.”

Wainwright’s catalog includes eight albums and two DVDs, and he has appeared on numerous soundtracks and compilations, as well as collaborating with artists like Elton John, David Byrne, Rosanne Cash and Keane. His album All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu was released in 2010 with People Magazine noting, “[Wainwright] brings the album to a beautifully intimate level with just voice, piano and some deeply personal lyrics. Bravo.” Billboard Magazine said Wainwright’s “solo piano accompaniment highlights his extremely adaptable voice…a single piano is all that’s needed to show off his immense vocal talent.” Two live recordings (Milwaukee At Last!!! and Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall) were nominated for Grammy awards and released concurrently with a live DVD, Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!  The disc captured his celebrated Judy Garland tribute performance at the London Palladium in 2007. His album Release the Stars went gold in Canada and the U.K. A career-spanning box set, House of Rufus, was released in 2011. Wainwright received Juno Awards for Best Alternative Album in 1999 and 2002 for Rufus Wainwright and Poses, respectively, and nominations for his albums Want Two (2005) and Release the Stars (2008). He was nominated for the Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year in 2008 for Release the Stars.

Wainwright’s first opera, Prima Donna, premiered at the Manchester International Festival in 2009, made its London debut at Sadler’s Wells, and its North American debut in Toronto at the Luminato Festival in 2010. Excerpts have been performed with the Oregon Symphony for The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival and at the Royal Opera House in London. The work received a 2011 Dora Award for Outstanding New Musical/Opera and made its U.S. debut in 2012 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House.

In addition to Wainwright’s musical pursuits, he has also made his mark onscreen. He has acted in Academy Award-winning director Deny Arcand’s film, L’Age des Tenebres (2007), the Merchan-Ivory film Heights (2005), and the major blockbuster The Aviator (2004), directed by Martin Scorsese.

Continue Reading


Kirill Karabits Leads The San Francisco Symphony, Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik, And Principal Viola Jonathan Vinocour In Performances Of Britten, Sibelius And Honegger

JUNE 6-9 AT DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL

Ukranian conductor Kirill Karabits leads the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and soloists Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik and Principal Viola Jonathan Vinocour in performances of Benjamin Britten’s Double Concerto June 6-9 at Davies Symphony Hall. The Orchestra also performs Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in D major and Arthur Honegger’s Pacific 231.

Barantschik was the violinist for the SFS premiere of Britten’s Double Concerto in 2004 with then-Principal Viola Geraldine Walther and conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier. Concertmaster of the SFS since 2001, he is a frequently featured soloist. He led the Orchestra and was featured along with Catherine Payne and Jonathan Fischer in performances of Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart in January. He is the former concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and an active soloist and chamber musician in the United States and throughout Europe.

Kirill Karabits first performed with the SFS in 2011. He is in his fourth season as Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and this season they tour Germany with percussionist Martin Grubinger. He and the Bournemouth have numerous recordings, including Schchedrin and Khachaturian albums, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. In 2012, Karabits conducted the finale of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award at The Sage Gateshead, broadcast nationwide on BBC Television. This season he conducts the Münich Radio Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, The Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival and makes his Canadian debut with Ottawa’s NAC Orchestra. Next season, Karabits conducts Der fliegende Holländer at the Wagner Geneva Festival and returns to Den Norske Opera.

Jonathan Vinocour has been Principal Viola of the San Francisco Symphony since 2009, and has been a featured soloist numerous times, most prominently in a 2011 SFS premiere of Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel with MTT and the Orchestra. He previously served as Principal Viola of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and guest Principal Viola of the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan. While principal of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, he performed as soloist with conductors Nicholas McGegan and Hans Graf. Vinocour is also an active solo and chamber performer. He received first prize in the Holland America Music Society Competition, has been a regular participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and has toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro. Other festival credits include the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, the Aspen Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center where he was awarded the Henri Kohn Memorial Prize.

Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 saw its SFS premiere in 1939 at War Memorial Opera House under Music Director Pierre Monteux, and was last played by the Orchestra in 2011 under Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt. Vladimir Shavitch conducted the SFS premiere of Honegger’s Pacific 231 in 1927 at the Exposition Auditorium (now the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium). Performed several times on education concert programs, this is the first time the Orchestra will perform Pacific 231 in a regular season concert.

Continue Reading

Local 2 UNITE HERE Union Leader Mike Casey Denigrates Navy, Marines, Disabled Veterans: Sued by Centerplate For Violation of Federal Labor Law, Attempt to Eliminate Nonprofits In San Francisco AT&T Park Labor Dispute

 Local 2 UNITE HERE President Mike Casey: No Need for Military Veterans to Have Prosthetic Limbs

San Francisco– Centerplate, the concessionaire at AT&T Park today filed a dynamic lawsuit against Local 2 Unite Here union for violations of national labor laws and for attempting to block charity groups and nonprofits from raising money at the ballpark.

Centerplate said Local 2 is attempting to illegally force the San Francisco Giants into signing a “successor addendum” that would bind the baseball team, and any future concessionaire at AT&T Park, to the same terms Local 2 negotiates with Centerplate. This action is illegal under the federal labor laws, Centerplate officials said.

Normally, the legal charges as Centerplate made today are filed with the National Labor Relations Board, but Centerplate said immediate action is necessary by the legal system to protect the Giants, Centerplate and nonprofits from Local 2’s illegal activities, which could harm all the parties. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco and seeks damages and declaratory relief.

Furthermore, the lawsuit says Local 2 President Michael Casey seeks to end Centerplate’s relationship with nonprofit organizations, forcing out such groups as St. Teresa Music and Arts, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Athletes Committed to Academics, Berkeley Youth Alternatives, the United States Navy, and others nonprofits, from working at the stadium to raise money for their charitable works.

“Local 2’s President scoffed at the value of the (nonprofit) program at one point stating that the U.S. Navy did not need to work a stand at the ballpark to pay for prosthetic limbs for wounded Veterans,” the lawsuit states. “Casey also quipped about the Marines, “Why don’t you have them man a boat and they can sell hot dogs on the water,” according the lawsuit against Local 2.

The nonprofits make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through partnering with Centerplate at Giants games by staffing concession stands and earning commissions based upon sales for their charitable work. Local 2 is now demanding Centerplate pay a penalty of $200 for each volunteer used for charitable work, which would eliminate Centerplate’s ability to partner with nonprofits.

“Local 2 has overstepped the bounds of the law and of humanity,” said a spokesman for Centerplate.  “They are illegally attempting to force the Giants into a labor dispute between Centerplate and the union and wrongly trying to harm the many nonprofits that rely upon income from their charitable work at AT&T Park. We are going to fight to win this battle for Centerplate, our employees, our customers and the charitable causes which we support.”

This past week, Local 2 union leaders walked out on contract negotiations with Centerplate and a Federal Mediator, refusing to accept or to even make an economic counter proposal and thereby denying, for the time being, Centerplate’s employees at AT&T Park the economic benefits that would flow from a new contract.

Local 2 Unite Here publically acknowledged that Centerplate’s employees are already the highest paid workers in the concession industry. In a YouTube video posted on May 12, the union spokesperson is quoted saying “so what if they’re (the employees) the best paid…that doesn’t mean anything.”

As a seasonal, part-time labor force, Centerplate’s employees currently earn the highest wages in the nation, making an average of approximately $15 to $20 per hour. These part time employees also receive some of the best benefits, with fully paid healthcare individually and for their families. To ensure seamless exceptional service for fans, Centerplate has made an offer than includes:

  • A 4.5 percent ratification bonus for those who worked more than 40 games in 2012
  • A 1.7 percent annual wage increase on top of the best compensation package in the industry
  • Increased contribution of 9.2 percent to the Unite Here benefit plans
  • Employer paid health care for employees and their families

Since early this year, Centerplate has been in negotiations over a new contract. The previous one expired in 2010 but was continued from year to year when Unite Here failed to request new negotiations. Even after it sought to make changes to the existing agreement, Local 2 dragged its feet and delayed negotiations for months. Throughout this time, Centerplate has been encouraging Local 2 to move quickly to find a solution.

“Nothing is more important to Centerplate than our employee partners and the customer service experience we provide guests. Local 2’s threats are an attack against our guests and the community groups we partner with at AT&T Park. It is time for Local 2 to come back to the table and focus on a realistic agreement,” spokesman Sam Singer said.

Centerplate said in the unfortunate event of a strike by Local 2 that “protecting the guest experience at AT&T Park is paramount and it will not be disrupted as the company has contingency plans in place in the event of a labor action.”

Continue Reading

“FELA!” Three-Time Tony Award-Winning Musical Comes to the Bay Area

R&B Recording Star Michelle Williams Stars as “Sandra Isadore” and

Adesola Osakalumi Stars as “Fela Kuti”

June 4 – 9, 2013, Paramount Theatre

Following overwhelming success and critical acclaim from coast to coast, the smash Broadway hit and 3-Time Tony Award-Winning musical, Fela! returns to the Bay Area. The recent engagement in San Francisco at The Curran Theatre was celebrated by critics. Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle proclaimed Fela! the “embodiment of exhilaration” while Karen D’Souza of The Mercury News/Bay Area News Group raved “Fela! sets the mind and the pulse racing” and “prepare to surrender to the beat.” So, due to intense popular demand, producers Jay-Z, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Stephen & Ruth Hendel have announced the musical’s return to the Bay Area on June 4-9, 2013 for an Exclusive Engagement at The Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612.

The national touring production of the hit Award winning Broadway musical features Adesola Osakalumi in the starring role of “Fela Kuti” and International R&B superstar Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child fame will star in the role of “Sandra Isadore,” activist and love interest of Fela Kuti when it returns to the Bay Area.

Other principals featured are Duain Richmond, who also stars as “Fela Kuti” in select performances, Melanie Marshall as “Funmilayo,” Fela Kuti’s mother, Ismael Kouyate as “Ismael” and Gelan Lambert as “J.K. Braimah/Tap Dancer/Egungun”. Also included in the cast are Oneika Phillips, Shakira Marshall, Jill Marie Vallery, Daniel Soto, Kafi Pierre, Ade Chike Torbert, Justin Prescott, Jason Herbert, Maliayka Reid, Talu Green, Shawn Alynda Fisher, Lauren De Veaux, India McGee, Tricia Taitt and Uyoata Udi.

A multi-award winning international singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress, Michelle Williams is best known as a member of the record-breaking R&B and Pop sensation, Destiny’s Child, one of the world’s best-selling female groups of all time. Born and raised in the small Chicago suburb of Rockford, Illinois, Michelle always dreamed of a life on stage.

In between recordings and concert tours, Michelle conquered yet another challenging mountain as an actress. First, she took the reins of Broadway’s Aida in 2003 to critical acclaim and audience raves. Then, in 2006, she took to the television screen for a hotly touted, ground-breaking multi-episode run in the popular UPN sitcom “Half & Half,” where she played the role of Naomi, a record company executive that was HIV-positive. In 2007, Michelle took on her greatest acting challenge when she joined the cast of the Broadway smash, The Color Purple for its national tour. She dazzled in the role of Shug Avery. In 2009, Michelle joined the London West End production of Chicago where she made history as being the first African American woman to play the lead role ofRoxie Hart. She reprised her role in February 2010 on Broadway for a limited engagement. In 2011, Michelle starred in the acclaimed touring stage play What My Husband Doesn’t Know which is now showing on BET.

Michelle is currently in the recording studio working on new material for her pop inspirational album due in 2013. She is also spokesperson for TERI (Training Education & Research Institute) a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults with developmental and learning disabilities and works with the American Heart Association as an ambassador for the American Stroke Association. Most recently she became a spokesperson for NVEEE (National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment), an organization focused on preventing bullying, violence and suicide among young people.

A triumphant and inspirational tale of courage, passion and love, Fela! Is the true story of Kuti, who created a type of music, Afrobeat, and mixed these pounding eclectic rhythms (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies) with rousing lyrics that openly attacked the corrupt and oppressive military dictatorships that ruled Nigeria and much of Africa. Featuring many of Fela Kuti’s most captivating songs and Bill T. Jones’s visionary staging, the global phenomenon that is Fela! reveals Kuti’s controversial life as an artist and political activist, while at the same time celebrating his pioneering music and commitment to the cause of universal human dignity.

Fela! is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones, with a book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones. It was conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendel. Fela! received three 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Choreography.

Fela! had its world premiere Off-Broadway in the summer of 2008, and opened on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neil Theater to rapturous reviews a year later where it played 34 previews and 463 regular performances. Numerous celebrities and dignitaries caught the groundbreaking musical, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey and Hugh Jackman, among others. Prior to its closing on Broadway, London’s Royal National Theatre presented the production as part of its season in the fall of 2010, marking the first time ever that the National Theatre had presented a show that was simultaneously running on Broadway. There, too, the show received rave reviews and numerous awards and accolades. The show went on to tour internationally, selling out theaters in Nigeria, Amsterdam, a return stint in London then a successful tour across the United States, culminating in an acclaimed encore four-week engagement on Broadway during the summer of 2012.

Tickets range from $37.50 – $77.50, plus applicable taxes and fees. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-745-3000 and at The Paramount Theatre Box Office (Tues – Fri 11 AM – 5:30 PM and Sat 11 AM – 3 PM). Summer Hours (after May 20) -Wednesday 11 AM-5:30 PM and Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 AM-3 PM. Call (510) 465-6400 for the Ticket Office and call (510) 893-2300 for Administration.

Continue Reading

Marilee Talkington Becomes Living Art By Carrying Out Her In Vitro Fertilization Injections Publicly In Her World Premiere Performance Art Work

Marilee Talkington, the award-winning interdisciplinary artist and performer, launches her latest work THE CREATIVE PROCESS: An IVF Living Art Piece on May 30th 8 pm 2013 at SOMArts in San Francisco. In this courageous real-time Performance Art work Marilee brings forward an empowering, and radical exploration into the issues of conceiving life. In publicly performing the still taboo, deeply personal and subrosa process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), THE CREATIVE PROCESS breaks ground in the realm of performance and social dialogue about IVF, and redefines the meaning of “Life as Art”.

Encouraging transparency and demystification through baring her body and fertility journey, Marilee will become LIVING ART by literally taking her IVF hormone injections to the streets. This piece will take place over a 14 day period where every IVF injection will be visually accessible to the public and Live Streamed across the country on USTREAM.  “There is so much isolation in this process.  Even after 35 years of IVF procedures, people still have no idea what it truly involves and the intense highs and lows that women and couples go through. It’s about time to break this silence and taking ownership over this process inherently filled with uncertainty.”

On May 30th, 8 pm Marilee will do her first public injection at SOMArts as part of one of two full evening performance art pieces. During this performance, she will be unveiling her art installation inspired by a 1920’s broken down hospital room, which will be open to viewers for the duration of the two weeks. From May 30th-June 12th as the hormone injections begin to affect Marilee’s body, she will externalize her internal physical changes by transforming the old and distressed hospital installation into a vibrant and lush garden.

Curious what IVF involves? IVF requires women to do 10+ days of self-administered hormone injections 2-3 times per day. During these injections the eggs in the woman’s ovaries ripen very quickly, and after 10 or so days the eggs are then retrieved in an intensely delicate procedure, fertilized with sperm, and implanted back into the woman’s womb. With much luck, the woman will become pregnant.  As women grow older, the chances of conceiving, even through IVF, drop dramatically (13% chance of conceiving for women over 40).  So the tremendous emotional, physical and financial investment can result in either great joy or terrible sadness.

As part of this potentially paradigm shifting work, Marilee is extending a standing invitation to any other woman going through IVF injections to come meet her, either at the SOMArts installation,  out in public, or online to do choreographed injections together. All information about where Marilee will be at what times each day will be available on her website, www.marileetalkinton.com.  “I’m hoping to create an in person community of support and recognition for IVF patients. A community that feels fierce and fantastic!”

Talkington will also be injecting herself throughout the city.  She has scheduled herself to inject at the MOMA, deYOUNG, Exploratorium and other San Francisco treasures. All of which will be live-streamed.  “I’m injecting myself in these public places as part social statement, part community outreach.  But mostly because these places inspire me. I can’t predict if this IVF process will work and I’ll become pregnant.  But I can control what I’m doing while trying. These museums and public places are filled with exquisite art that move me to my core.  I want to express my own creative ability while steeping myself in the profound creations of others.”

On Saturday, June 8th, there will be a second public performance at PUSH Fitness.  This curated evening of performances celebrating “Femininity and ability to create” will also be live-streamed on USTREAM and will include aerial dancing, live music, beat poetry, martial arts, and Marilee performing a 10 character monologue about best practices to get pregnant. This show is free and open to the public.

 


Continue Reading

San Francisco Symphony Announces Summer & The Symphony Concert Lineup — Updated

 

Jessye Norman Performs The American Songbook July 31

SF Symphony And Warren Haynes Commemorate Jerry Garcia’s Birthday With Two Special Symphonic Celebration Concerts Aug. 1-2

Johnny Mathis, Rufus Wainwright, Bernadette Peters, Michael Feinstein, The Matrix Film, Disney In Concert With Video, Two Concerts Of Video Games Live!, Battleship Potemkin Film, And Classical Concerts Are Highlights Of Summer and The Symphony With San Francisco Symphony

Orchestra performs free concerts at Stern Grove Festival and in Dolores Park and presents annual Fourth of July concert with fireworks at Shoreline Amphitheatre; Orchestra to perform at America’s Cup Pavilion in SF and at Green Music Center, Sonoma State University

The San Francisco Symphony’s annual Summer & the Symphony concerts, announced today, include iconic soprano Jessye Norman singing standards from the American songbook July 31 and two concerts in celebration of Jerry Garcia’s birthday with vocalist and guitarist Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule) and the Orchestra performing Garcia’s music August 1 and 2. The Orchestra also presents and performs in a variety of film and video game music programs. On July 28, the Symphony performs a concert of music from classic Disney films, including Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast, with video and original storyboard art. The classic sci-fi film The Matrix is screened while the Orchestra plays live accompaniment July 27, and the SFS plays music from popular video games Halo, Final Fantasy, and others in this new incarnation of Video Games Live™, created especially for the San Francisco Symphony, in two concerts July 25 and 26. The classic Eisenstein film Battleship Potemkin will be screened, with Cameron Carpenter playing the Ruffatti organ, on July 28.

The Orchestra’s summer season includes three classical concerts conducted by SFS Youth Orchestra alumnus and Detroit Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Teddy Abrams, with music by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and American composers, and two free outdoor classical concerts. Soloists at Davies Symphony Hall include pianists Valentina Lisitsa and Benjamin Grosvenor. The Orchestra also performs an all-Tchaikovsky concert led by Abrams with violinist Nicola Benedetti at the new America’s Cup Pavilion on the San Francisco waterfront July 20. At the Stern Grove Festival, conductor Edwin Outwater leads soprano Measha Brueggergosman and the Orchestra in Ravel and Gershwin in a free concert July 7. The Orchestra also plays its annual free concert in Dolores Park July 21. Outwater leads a performance of Orff’s Carmina burana at Davies Symphony Hall July 30. On the Fourth of July, the Orchestra performs its annual Shoreline Amphitheatre Independence Day concert followed by a fireworks extravaganza. On August 4, in its final concert of the summer, the Orchestra performs a late afternoon concert of film music led by Sarah Hicks in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.

On August 1 and 2, the Orchestra celebrates the birthday of native son Jerry Garcia with a new symphonic project highlighting the American musical icon’s legacy. This ground-breaking orchestral adventure features Garcia’s storied original compositions as well as classic interpretations of timeless standards that were hallmarks of Garcia’s shows. Renowned vocalist/guitarist Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule) collaborates with the Symphony, lending his soul-soaked, introspective blend of rock, blues, R&B and jazz to Garcia’s masterworks. Sarah Hicks conducts.

Jessye Norman performs a rare recital of American Masters July 31, including compositions by Ellington, Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill, and Rodgers & Hammerstein. Johnny Mathis returns to Davies Symphony Hall July 5 and 6 to perform two concerts with the SFS of his classic hits and fan favorites, with John Scott Lavender and Edwin Outwater leading the Orchestra. Vocalist and pianist Michael Feinstein performs his The Gershwins and Me show with his big band on July 12, Broadway star vocalist Bernadette Peters performs July 23, and Rufus Wainwright performs solo June 9, accompanying himself on piano and guitar.

Tickets are on sale now for Summer & the Symphony concerts through www.sfsymphony.org/summer, SFS Patron Services at (415) 864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall box office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. Tickets are priced from $15-125, with tickets for concertgoers 17 and under half-price for selected concerts.

Tickets for the San Francisco Symphony Fourth of July Celebration at Shoreline Amphitheatre go on sale through LiveNation.com on May 3 at 10 am. Tickets for the SF Symphony concert at America’s Cup Pavilion go on sale through LiveNation.com on May 17.  Tickets for the SF Symphony concert at Green Music Center August 4 go on sale May 13 at 8 am at gmc.sonoma.edu, or over the phone with the Sonoma State University Box Office at 866-955-6040.

 

Continue Reading

Marga Gomez Brings Her Very Gay Stand-Up To The Marsh Berkeley Cabaret

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm 

One Night Only!

 

Marga Gomez (named “Best Comedian 2012” by The SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly and the Bay Area Reporter) returns to the intimate Marsh Cabaret in Berkeley with “Marga Gomez: Pride Baby” an adults only night of rip roaring, knee slapping, hilarious rants about gay people, straight people and everyone in between. To celebrate Pride Month Marga’s topics will include lesbian cruises versus Carnival Cruises, growing up as a gay baby, hypothetically dating Jodie Foster, rainbow fever and public nudity on Castro Street.

Marga tours nationally as one of the first openly gay comedians in America. She has appeared on LOGO’s “One Night Stand-Up,” HBO’s “Comic Relief,” Showtime’s “Latino Laugh Festival,” Comedy Central’s “Out There” and the PBS series “In the Life.” Marga is the winner of a GLAAD Media Award . For more Information visit  www.margagomez.com

Continue Reading

San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Releases New Recording: Live At The Berlin Philharmonie, Mahler Symphony No. 1 May 14 From The Symphony And Itunes, July 9 Worldwide


Recording released in conjunction with Youth Orchestra’s final concert of the season

Sunday, May 19 at 2:00pm

 

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) will release its new recording Live at the Berlin Philharmonie, Mahler Symphony No. 1, on SFS Media, the San Francisco Symphony’s in-house label, on May 14 from the San Francisco Symphony Store and the iTunes music store worldwide, and on July 9 on disc from other North American music retailers. The performance was captured live in concert on July 3, 2012 while the Youth Orchestra was on their most recent tour of Europe. The SFSYO Live at the Berlin Philharmonie Mahler Symphony No. 1 recording can be purchased from iTunes and on CD from the San Francisco Symphony Store in Davies Symphony Hall and online from sfsymphony.org/store. Proceeds from the sale of the album benefit the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra touring program. The SFSYO performs its final concert of the 2012-13 season on Sunday, May 19 at 2:00pm at Davies Symphony Hall.

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO), led by Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera, made its ninth international tour in summer 2012 with concerts in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg. The six-date tour included performances at Regensburg’s Auditorium Maximum, Munich’s Philharmonie am Gasteig, at Wiesbaden’s Rheingau Festival, Luxembourg’s Festival international d’Echternach, in the Berliner Philharmonie and Europa Hall in Salzburg. Tour repertoire included Bay Area composer John Adams’s Shaker Loops, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major and Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture. Pianist Lars Vogt also joined the SFSYO on tour performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor. The SFSYO won a 2011-12 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of American Music on foreign tours.

The SFSYO, composed of highly gifted young people ranging from age 12 to 21, is a hallmark of the San Francisco Symphony’s commitment to Bay Area youth and music education. The SFSYO tours internationally every three to four years. Touring is a vital part of musical development for musicians. Since the average tenure of a Youth Orchestra musician is three to four years, this allows most young musicians to experience the rigors of touring, ensemble building, and the once-in-a-lifetime experience of making music in some of the world’s most venerable concert halls.  A scholarship fund ensures that no student is left behind due to financial reasons.

The SFSYO toured Europe for the first time in 1986, and won the “City of Vienna” prize at the prestigious International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna. The orchestra made its first tour of Asia in 1989 and returned to Europe in 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2004. Their previous most recent European tour, in 2008, included performances at some of the Europe’s most prestigious music venues including debuts at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Munich Philharmonie am Gasteig and Prague’s Smetana Hall.

Read the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra’s full bio here.

Donato Cabrera

Donato Cabrera joined the San Francisco Symphony conducting staff in September 2009. As the Resident Conductor he works closely with SFS Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, and as Wattis Foundation Music Director leads the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. He conducts the San Francisco Symphony throughout the year, including the annual Día de los Muertos Community Concert, as well as the Concerts for Kids, Adventures in Music, and Music for Families concerts, which annually draw more than 60,000 young people and their families from throughout the Bay Area to Davies Symphony Hall. In March 2012, he conducted the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, with Paul Jacobs on organ, in the world premiere of Mason Bates’ Mass Transmission, subsequently conducting it with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City in Carnegie Hall for the American Mavericks Festival. In 2002, Cabrera was a Herbert von Karajan conducting fellow at the Salzburg Festival. He has also served as Assistant Conductor at the Ravinia, Spoleto, and Aspen Music Festivals, and as Resident Conductor at the Music Academy of the West. The 2011-2012 season marked his first year as Music Director of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Cabrera has been recognized as a Luminary by the Friends of Mexico Honorary Committee for his contributions to the Bay Area’s Mexican community.

Support for the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra’s 2012 European Tour provided by Bernard and Barbro Osher,with additional support from Bettye Ferguson, Jennifer MacCready, the Phyllis C. Wattis Youth Orchestra Fund, and many other generous donors.

All SFS Media recordings are available from the Symphony Store in Davies Symphony Hall and online at sfsymphony.org/store as well as other major retailers. The recordings can also be purchased as downloads from iTunes, Amazon and other digital outlets. SFS Media recordings are distributed by harmonia mundi in North America, Avie Records internationally, and by The Orchard to digital outlets.

 

Continue Reading

“When You’re In Love, The Whole World Is Jewish Launches A Three-City California At San Francisco’s Marines’ Memorial Theatre

Following a wildly successful sold-out run in Los Angeles, the hit musical comedy revue WHEN YOU’RE IN LOVE, THE WHOLE WORLD IS JEWISH will be on the road for a three-city California summer tour. The show will open at San Francisco’s Marines’ Memorial Theatre from May 24-26 (Memorial Day Weekend).\

 WHEN YOU’RE IN LOVE, THE WHOLE WORLD IS JEWISH had an SRO World Premiere last February in Los Angeles and went on to have 35 consecutive sold-out shows and extended its limited run. Based on several ground-breaking comedy albums, this material has never been seen live until this production. Producers Danny Gold and Billy Riback decided to mount the show for one simple reason: “We were both weaned on classic comedy,” said Riback, “and the albums ‘You Don’t Have To Be Jewish,’ and ‘When You’re In Love, The Whole World Is Jewish,’ were gut-bustingly funny way back then, and because of the timeless nature of the comedy, part character study, part self-effacing lampooning, but always sweet-natured and good-hearted, they remain just as hilarious today.” Directed by Tony® Award-winner Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), the production brings to life the comedy albums of Bob Booker & George Foster with additional segments written by Jason Alexander, Danny Gold and Billy Riback.

Tickets are now on sale for performances at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Theatre District at 609 Sutter Street. Tickets range from $45.00 – $66.00 and are currently available on the web at www.cityboxoffice.com, or by phone at (415)392-4400. The show will open in San Francisco on Friday, May 24th at 8:00pm, and will be followed by two performances on Saturday, May 25th — at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. The show will close with a 2:00 pm performance on Sunday, May 26th.

For this tour, producers Danny Gold and Billy Riback are excited to announce 12 more shows throughout the summer. “We wanted to share the laughter with the rest of California,” said Gold. “The audience in Los Angeles loved the show so much, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring it to larger audiences across the state.” Gold and Riback sought out Bob Booker, the creator of “When You’re In Love,” and enlisted the help of director Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) to revitalize the comedy albums that captivated the world in the 1960s. Gold and Riback are excited to be bringing back Alexander and the acclaimed original cast for each summer performance. The ensemble includes Broadway veterans Barry Gordon, Rena Strober and Jay Brian Winnick, and the supremely talented Michael Pasternak, Ellen Ratner and Robert Shampain.

THE BACKSTORY

In 1965, there was an innovative album that was capturing the public’s imagination, and it was called “You Don’t Have To Be Jewish” (Kapp Records), featuring the talented voices of Lou Jacobi, Betty Walker, Jack Gilford, and Frank Gallop. This collection of classic Jewish humor was written and produced by Bob Booker & George Foster, and within weeks of its release it was a Top 10 hit. It also received a Grammy nomination as “Comedy Album of the Year.” The next year a follow-up album was released entitled, “When You’re In Love, The Whole World Is Jewish” (Kapp Records), again featuring Lou Jacobi, Betty Walker, Frank Gallop, and introducing a young actress from New York named Valerie Harper. This album featured the Top 10 hit “The Ballad of Irving,” sung by Frank Gallop.

*Bob Booker and his first partner Earle Doud were the brains behind the largest and fastest selling album in the history of the record industry at the time, THE FIRST FAMILY, the 1962 satire on President Kennedy and his family featuring Vaughn Meader. THE FIRST FAMILY went on to win two Grammys: “Comedy Album” of the year, and “Album of the Year.”—–

 

For more information, visit the show’s official website at http://www.worldisjewishtheplay.com/

 

Continue Reading

SFMOMA Announces New Capital Campaign Goal To Make Art Even More Accessible For The People Of San Francisco And The Bay Area

SFMOMA Increases Campaign Goal by 11 Percent, with Focus on Education, Digital Engagement, and Public Art

Museum Also Announces $5 Million Challenge Grant from Anonymous Donor to Provide Free Admission for Visitors Ages 18 and Under

With 89 percent of the capital campaign goal raised three years ahead of the opening of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)’s expanded home, and with 100 percent of the museum’s Board of Trustees supporting the campaign, SFMOMA’s Board has raised the capital campaign goal to $610 million from $555 million, an increase of 11 percent.

The additional funds will enable SFMOMA to pursue three goals: to become a national leader in digital engagement; to pursue an expanded art commissioning program in the museum’s public spaces; and to increase accessibility to the museum, particularly for school-age children. As part of this new campaign goal, the museum also announced a $5 million challenge grant from an anonymous donor, with the aim of creating a $10 million endowed fund that would enable SFMOMA to offer free admission to all visitors ages 18 and under.

“We are deeply encouraged by and thankful for the tremendous support we’ve already received for our vision of a transformed SFMOMA—a forward-facing institution that will further enrich the cultural and educational ecologies of San Francisco and the region,” said SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. “We view this community enthusiasm as a testament to the fact that SFMOMA is committing to the potential of the city and region. The incredible response to the capital campaign among museum leadership and friends spurred us to increase the campaign goal so we can offer even better art experiences to even more people when we reopen in 2016.”

SFMOMA began its capital campaign in 2009, with the goal of increasing the museum’s space for the presentation and study of art, developing a more robust set of programs and community initiatives, and growing the museum’s endowment. In 2009 the museum also announced that the Fisher family would share its renowned collection of contemporary art with the public through a century-long agreement and presentation of the collection at SFMOMA. In 2010 SFMOMA announced the selection of architecture firm Snøhetta as its design partner and in 2011 released the conceptual design for its new building. The formal groundbreaking for the project will take place on May 29, 2013, and completion is projected in early 2016. In addition to increasing the museum’s space, art and educational programming, and accessibility to the public, SFMOMA’s capital campaign is also ensuring the museum’s future stability by more than tripling the size of its current $100 million endowment to a total of $320 million.

“One of the main goals of the museum leadership and the Board is to work with the community throughout the expansion period to make sure that the new museum is accessible to all,” noted Charles R. Schwab, chairman of the SFMOMA Board of Trustees. “The increase in the capital campaign goal is a reflection of our belief that we can develop even better access and education programs to share our passion for art with the San Francisco and Bay Area community for generations to come. We hope that people from across the community continue to join in our campaign and thus ensure that SFMOMA is open to everyone and remains a leader in collections and exhibitions, an innovator in arts education, and a pioneer in digital interpretation.”

Increasing Accessibility
Central to SFMOMA’s expansion program is growing opportunities for all audiences to visit the museum—and doing so in a manner that is financially sustainable over time. The creation of a $10 million endowed fund to offer free admission to all visitors ages 18 and under—spurred by a $5 million challenge grant from an anonymous donor—will expand the museum’s current policy of providing free admission to visitors ages 12 and under. This initiative will specifically help SFMOMA engage students from underserved public schools throughout the region.

Extending free admission to visitors ages 18 and under is the final component in the museum’s $50 million investment in education and access as part of its expansion. This initiative began in 2012 with a lead gift from Lisa and John Pritzker to enable SFMOMA to triple the volume of school visitors the museum currently serves, from 18,000 to 55,000 annually in 2016.

Other new components of SFMOMA’s commitment to education, young people, and families include:

  • As part of an expanded partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District, SFMOMA will create a Teacher Institute that will provide professional development and training for more than 2,000 elementary, middle, and high school teachers annually
  • The creation of the Deborah and Kenneth Novack Associate Curator of Education position
  • Continued commitment to family experiences, including offering four free days of admission annually to families
  • New and expanded facilities for educational programming, included the expanded Koret Visitor Education Center and the “white box,” a versatile space in the new building that will open new doors for school-group tours, film screenings, and special events.

“The city of San Francisco looks forward to welcoming a transformed SFMOMA that will serve as an even greater resource to all who live, work, and visit the San Francisco Bay Area region,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “We appreciate the tremendous generosity demonstrated so far, and are particularly excited by the plans for the next phase of the museum’s capital campaign, especially providing free admission to all young people and increasing free access to art for the whole community.”

The museum is currently exploring ways to further broaden accessibility for school-age visitors, such as providing free transportation to the museum from public schools and expanding after-school programming. Building upon a decade of industry leadership in the area of digital teaching resources, SFMOMA will also pioneer digital content strategies and resources with and for teachers.

Expanding Digital Engagement
As part of its commitment to improving the overall visitor experience, SFMOMA is also pursuing new digital initiatives that specifically aim to offer more personalized digital engagement and more interactive possibilities for exploring the museum’s permanent collection. In order to do this, the museum is currently exploring how to maximize the use of real-time location services and on-demand content delivery. SFMOMA is also striving to develop a digital engagement model that will enhance the museum experience while developing new technologies. Throughout the expansion period, SFMOMA will use its off-site programming as an opportunity to prototype various digital strategies for exploring and sharing art.

“Expanding digital engagement is an integral part of the museum’s mission of making the art of our time a vital and meaningful part of public life,” said Chad Coerver, chief content officer at SFMOMA. “Our aim is to provide digital tools and experiences that bring the museum’s collection to life in the eyes of visitors, and to create as many digital methods as possible for exploring the collection.”

Ongoing Art Commissioning Program 
SFMOMA today also announced that, as part of the new capital campaign goal, the museum is seeking to endow an expanded contemporary art commissioning program for the public spaces of the museum, including the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Atrium and the Howard Street Gallery. SFMOMA has commissioned artists such as Sol LeWitt and Bill Fontana to create artworks specifically for public spaces of the museum in the past, and in 2009 began regularly commissioning artworks for the Haas Atrium, starting with Kerry James Marshall, who worked with local painters to create two murals for the museum. Building on the success of these commissions, SFMOMA will expand the commissioning program to additional public spaces in the museum’s new building, providing more opportunities for the whole community to connect with art for free.

Collections Campaign
SFMOMA holds one of the world’s foremost collections of the art of our time, and the leading collection of modern and contemporary art on the West Coast. Concurrent with the capital campaign, the museum is also expanding its permanent collection, which forms the foundation of the museum’s exhibition programming. In February 2009 SFMOMA launched a multiyear campaign to further strengthen the collection, which has more than doubled in size to over 29,000 works since the museum moved to its current home in 1995. In February 2011 the museum announced that it had received 195 promised gifts of art from nine leading Bay Area collectors. These promised gifts encompass major works by artists including Diane Arbus, Joseph Beuys, Robert Gober, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Bruce Nauman, Jackson Pollock, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, and David Smith. And in November of 2012 SFMOMA announced pledged gifts to the campaign of 473 photographs, deepening the museum’s renowned holdings in 20th-century American and Japanese photography. These and other works promised or pledged to the collections campaign will be on view in the expanded museum.

Source: http://www.sfmoma.org/about/press/press_news/releases/962#ixzz2Sny66Ykc
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Continue Reading

THE MARSH San Francisco Presents Safiya Martinez’s So You Can Hear Me

The Marsh San Francisco is proud to present Safiya Martinez’s new solo show, SO YOU CAN HEAR ME, a love letter to New York and voices from its public schools. The show is based on her experience as a young twenty-three year old who, flashing hubris like a 9mm pistol, signed up to teach special education classes to middle and high school students in the South Bronx public schools after only three weeks of formal training. Her parents, who lived in the Lower East Side projects, were struggling artists. Her father was an African-American jazz musician and her mother, a modern dancer, was part Puerto-Rican, part Russian Jew. Martinez loved them dearly—as she puts it, “there was Tolstoy in the house” —but given the artistic nature of her family, when compared to the hard-boiled working class neighborhood in which they moved, surrounded by drug addicts and the homeless, she was sometimes a little unclear about her place in the jigsaw puzzle. At the same time, she felt rooted in what she calls “a lot of sweetness and community” (her mother was a third-generation Lower East Sider) and her family reveled in the diverse, counter-cultural, politically engaged and often radical atmosphere.

One thing was certain, however; she wanted to earn enough money to rent her own place and live better than her parents did. So, after graduating from school, when she saw a poster advertising a special-ed teaching opportunity, she jumped at it, seduced by the $40,000 salary…with benefits…combined with the chance to do some good in the world. She considered herself a super-smart tough girl, a born and bred New Yorker, who could take the best the City had to throw at her. Piece of cake she thought.

The show, a world premiere directed by David Ford, plays on Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm and Saturday at 5:00 pm from May 23 through July 20, 2013 on The Marsh MainStage, 1062 Valencia Street in San Francisco. For tickets, the public may visit www.themarsh.org or call 415-282-3055.

In the show, Martinez tells the stories of nine kids, first from her point of view, and then from theirs, in a series of inter-connected narratives. Her students were in special ed for a wide range of reasons, from rampant ADD to autism to multiple sclerosis to mild cases of dyslexia—meaning there was little rhyme or reason to the wildly disparate abilities and energies of the class. Her characters speak with urgency, swagger, vulnerability as Martinez struggles through a series of sometimes funny, sometimes scary, often moving interactions with them. Frequently, they gain the upper hand and leave her unable to impose even a semblance of order and discipline. This upsets her sense of her own abilities. Taken aback, she has to move beyond her tough-girl hubris, which clearly isn’t working, and dig for more effective solutions, both pedagogical and personal.

Safiya Martinez is a playwright, performer, poet and educator. She began her career as a dancer, and was a soloist in the Obie-nominated site-specific work entitled “Demeter’s Daughter” in New York City [1997]. She studied Vagonova Ballet technique from Madame Darvash at Broadway Dance Center, and Horton and Graham modern technique at Alvin Ailey School of Dance. Her poetry has been published in Generations Literary Magazine. She has a BA in Anthropology from the New School, has completed the New York City Teaching Fellows Program and received an M.S. in Urban Education from Mercy College in New York. She has also recently received an MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State. Currently she works as an Arts Integration Specialist for Community Works, Inc, an organization engaging youth and adults in arts, education and restorative justice programs aimed at interrupting the far-reaching impact of incarceration and violence. She has conducted acting workshops at the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center.

 

Martinez developed SO YOU CAN HEAR ME at Tell it on Tuesdays and Monday Night Marsh and has performed it as part of Stanford University’s Live Shorts storytelling program. Her Marsh Rising performance earlier this year was greeted with amazement and stunned emotion. Many of the audience were in tears, not because the show is sad (it’s not—it’s actually more funny than sad) but because of its overall impact—it packs a punch. Stephanie Weisman, Artistic Director, was so thrilled she booked the show that very evening and is proud and excited to present Martinez’s work on The Marsh stage.

Continue Reading

Z Space presents Josh Kornbluth’s hit stage show, Love & Taxes, for a two-night exclusive engagement benefiting Z Space

Z Space is pleased to announce that author, performer and actor Josh Kornbluth returns to Z Space for an exclusive two-night engagement of his critically-acclaimed show Love & Taxes. Initially directed Z Space founder David Dower, Love & Taxes is a hilarious yet harrowing tale of a man who must get out of a really, really bad tax situation before his baby is born. Proceeds from the performances benefit Z Space and its 20th Anniversary year.

Z Space and Kornbluth have a long history together – over the years Z Space has been involved in the production of many of his hit shows, including: Mathematics of Change, Citizen Josh, Haiku Tunnel, Red Diaper Baby and Love & Taxes. It is only fitting that Kornbluth return to Z Space along with its founder Dower, to present one of his most popular shows. Love & Taxes is also currently being adapted into a new feature film by the Kornbluth Brothers.

The first-ever pro-tax romantic comedy, Love & Taxes tells the story of Josh, a legal secretary who has gone seven uneventful years without filing his tax returns. But when his boss, a prominent tax attorney, demands that he get back into “The System,” Josh rapidly falls down a rabbit hole of ever-deepening tax miseries. His instinct, honed over a lifetime of being a slacker, would be to simply drop out of “The System” again-but he’s fallen in love with Sara, a neurotically shy but charmingly impulsive public school teacher. Sara gets pregnant with Josh’s child and she demands that they get married by the time the baby is born and that Josh solve his increasingly terrible tax problem before they get married. Faced with this ultimatum, Josh must confront the source of his antipathy towards “The Man” – a countercultural childhood in which his parents seemed to teach him that the responsibilities of citizenship (like paying taxes) were an impediment to love and intimacy. Now, however, he begins to realize that in order to be a loving husband, father and citizen, he must embrace those communal responsibilities-that, for him, love and taxes are inextricably bound together.

Wednesday-Thursday, May 22 2013 – May 23 2013, 8pm
Z Space, 450 Florida Street, San Francisco
Tickets: $25-$70, www.zspace.org or 866.811.4111

About Z Space

Founded in 1993, Z Space is a hub for artists and audiences to revel in the creation, development, and production of outstanding new work. Z Space commissions, develops, and produces a full season of new works from a variety of disciplines including theater, dance, music, performance art, and new media. Z Space fosters opportunities around the nation for these works and for their Bay Area artists. The organization engages diverse audiences through direct interactions with the process, the projects, and the artists. Since 2009 Z Space has managed and operated a 13,000 sq/ft, 229-seat performing arts venue and gallery: home to more than 40 weeks of public multidisciplinary arts programming annually. In March 2013 Z Space opened Z Below, a 2,100 sq/ft 88-seat second stage ideal for the development of new work that will allow the organization to provide more rehearsal and performance options for its companies in residence.www.zspace.org.

 

 

Continue Reading

Conductor David Robertson Leads The SF Symphony And Pianist Marc-André Hamelin In Performances Of Carter, Ravel And Gershwin May 22-25 At Davies Symphony Hall And Sonoma State University’s Weill Hall

Acclaimed American conductor David Robertson leads the San Francisco Symphony in performances of Ravel’s La Valse and Elliott Carter’s Variations for Orchestra, and renowned pianist Marc-André Hamelin is featured in performances of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in D major for the Left Hand and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue May 22, 24-25 at Davies Symphony Hall and May 23 at Weill Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center.

Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue has been frequently performed by the Orchestra, perhaps most famously with Gershwin himself and Music Director Pierre Monteux at UC Berkeley in 1937. In 1921, Music Director Alfred Hertz conducted the U.S. premiere of Ravel’s La Valse at the Columbia Theater (now the American Conservatory Theater), and Ravel himself led the SFS in La Valse and other impressionist works at the Curran Theater in 1928. Commissioned by Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm during World War I, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in D major for the Left Hand was first performed by the SFS in 1946 with Wittgenstein at the piano and Monteux conducting. Composer Elliott Carter, who died at age 103 in November 2012, had his Variations for Orchestra first performed by the SFS in 1963 under conductor Enrique Jordá.

David Robertson is completing his eighth season as Music Director of the 133-year-old St. Louis Symphony. In January 2014, Robertson will assume the post of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony in Australia.

In March, Robertson and his orchestra toured California, including an intensive three-day residency at the University of California-Davis and a performance at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts with violinist James Ehnes. Robertson led the St. Louis Symphony and violinist Christian Tetzlaff on a European tour in 2012 which included appearances at London’s BBC Proms, at the Berlin and Lucerne Festivals, and culminated at Salle Pleyel in Paris.

French-Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin made his SFS debut in 2006 with the world premiere (and MTT/SFS commission) of Kevin Volans’ Piano Concerto No. 2, Atlantic Crossing, and appeared here most recently in 2010 performing works by Chopin and Mendelssohn. This season, Hamelin performs Haydn’s piano concertos with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie in a performance that will be recorded for release on Hyperion Records. He also performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Hamelin will also perform Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet with the Takacs String Quartet on tour throughout North America. Also a composer, he will appear in recital at the 92nd Street Y for the New York premiere of his Variations on a Theme by Paganini. His most recent releases include Reger’s and Strauss’s piano concertos with the Berlin Radio Symphony, and a disc of solo piano works by Liszt that was selected for Gramophone’s 2011 Critic’s Choice feature. An album of his own compositions, Hamelin: Études, received a 2010 Grammy nomination (his ninth) and a first prize from the German Record Critic’s Association.

Wednesday, May 22 at 8 pm
Thursday, May 23 at 8 pm (Sonoma State University Green Music Center – Weill Hall)
Friday, May 24 at 6:30 pm
Saturday, May 25 at 8 pm

Continue Reading

Conductor Nicola Luisotti Returns With The Sanfrancisco Opera Orchestra On Friday, May 17

Nicola Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra step out of the pit and into the bright lights of center stage at Zellerbach Hall on Friday, May 17 at 8:00 p.m. The concert begins with Giacomo Puccini’s Capriccio sinfonico. Written during his time as a student at the Milan Conservatory, this was the last orchestral piece that Puccini ever wrote and expresses a musical style like that of the preambles of his famous operas. Next comes a more modern piece, Nino Rota’s Piano Concerto in C major (1959-1962). Rota was a contemporary Italian composer most famous for writing film scores for The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, the latter of which received an Academy Award. Johannes Brahms’ passionate and lyrical Symphony No. 3 in F major completes the program. San Francisco Chronicle praised the orchestra’s last appearance at Cal Performances in 2011 for its “robust and finely colored ensemble sound, [and] powerful sense of dramatic momentum.”

Mastro Nicola Luisotti has led the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 2009. Luisotti has conducted with nearly every major opera company in the world, including La Scala, Paris Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, and the Vienna State Opera. He has also worked with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonik, London Philharmonia, NHK Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony. He was also previously the principal guest conductor of the Tokyo Symphony for three years. In 2012, Luisotti was named the music director of Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy. In this position, he has led a performance of Verdi’s rarely performed Masnadieri and a concert of Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. This season, he also produced a new production of Nabucco at Milan’s La Scala and Covent Garden. Praised by Opera Magazine for being “both an original thinker and a great respecter of tradition,” he is currently a finalist of their prestigious Conductor Award. To learn more about Luisotti, visit his official page at http://nicolaluisotti.com.

The San Francisco Opera Orchestra was founded in 1923. Today, the orchestra has nearly 70 professional musicians and plays a full season of opera and concert performances. In addition to performing with the opera orchestra, the orchestra’s members play in numerous Bay Area ensembles including the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Artists also teach at local institutions, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University and St. Mary’s College. Members also maintain active studio recording careers, are featured in music festivals and run private teaching studios. To learn more about the orchestra, visit their official page at http://sfopera.com/About/People/Orchestra.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for the San Francisco Opera Orchestra on May 17 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $20.00-$80.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

Continue Reading

San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Concludes 2012-13 Season In Davies Symphony Hall May 19, 2013



  Program includes West Coast premiere of SFSYO Alumnus Nathaniel Stookey’s Mahlerwerk 

SFSYO’s recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 from the Berlin Philharmonie

to be released on CD by SFS Media May 14

 The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) and Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera conclude their 2012-13 season with a concert that includes the West Coast premiere of Nathaniel Stookey’s Mahlerwerk, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Ligeti’s Atmosphères, and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe at Davies Symphony Hall on Sunday, May 19 at 2 pm. Additionally, SFS Media, the San Francisco Symphony’s in-house label, releases a recording on May 14 of the SFSYO performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 live at the Berlin Philharmonie. This is the SFSYO’s first recording since 2001, and its first on the SFS Media label. Proceeds from the sale of the album benefit the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra touring program.

Mahlerwerk, Stookey’s latest orchestral work, was commissioned by NDR-Sinfonie (Hamburg) for the final concert of its centennial Mahler cycle and was premiered under Christoph Eschenbach before an audience of 10,000. It received its United States premiere at the New England Conservatory in 2011 and will be recorded by NDR in 2013. The Schleswig-Holsteiner Zeitung describes Mahlerwerk as a “crazy puzzle” and an “intelligent, musically appealing, even exhilarating homage to Gustav Mahler.”

Nathaniel Stookey has a particularly special connection to the San Francisco Symphony and its Youth Orchestra: in addition to being an alumnus of the SFSYO, Stookey received his first commission from the SFS at the age of 17, for the Orchestra’s New and Unusual Music series. In 2006, the San Francisco Symphony commissioned, premiered, and recorded Stookey’s The Composer Is Dead, a sinister guide to the orchestra with narration by Lemony Snicket. The work has since been performed by over 100 orchestras on four continents and is one of the five most performed classical works of the 21st century, worldwide. In 2007, members of the SFSYO performed in the world premiere of Stookey’s Junkestra, a work for an orchestra of objects scavenged at the San Francisco Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center. Junkestra subsequently drew thousands of listeners to warehouses, public squares, and YouTube before being taken up by the San Francisco Symphony and other classical presenters.

In advance of the May 19 concert, the SFSYO will release its new recording, Live at the Berlin Philharmonie, Mahler Symphony No. 1, on SFS Media, the San Francisco Symphony’s in-house label, on May 14 from the San Francisco Symphony Store and the iTunes music store, and on July 9 from all other music retailers. The performance was captured live in concert on July 3, 2012 during the Youth Orchestra’s most recent on tour of Europe. The SFSYO’s recording can be purchased from iTunes at itunes.com and on CD from the San Francisco Symphony Store in Davies Symphony Hall and online from sfsymphony.org/store. Proceeds will benefit the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra touring program.

About the SFSYO


The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) is recognized internationally as one of the finest youth orchestras in the world. Founded by the San Francisco Symphony in 1981, the SFSYO’s musicians are chosen from more than 300 applicants in annual auditions.  The SFSYO’s purpose is to provide an orchestral experience of pre-professional caliber, tuition-free, to talented young musicians from the greater Bay Area.  The more than 100 diverse musicians, ranging in age from 12 to 21, represent communities from throughout the Bay Area.  The SFSYO rehearses and performs in Davies Symphony Hall under the direction of Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera.  Jahja Ling served as the SFSYO’s first Music Director, followed by David Milnes, Leif Bjaland, Alasdair Neale, Edwin Outwater, and Benjamin Shwartz.

As part of the SFSYO’s innovative training program, musicians from the San Francisco Symphony coach the young players each Saturday afternoon in sectional rehearsals, followed by full orchestra rehearsals with Cabrera. SFSYO members also have the opportunity to work with many of the world-renowned artists who perform with the SFS each week.  SFS Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, SFS Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Simon Rattle, Kurt Masur, Valery Gergiev, Leonard Slatkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Midori, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Sarah Chang, and many others have worked with the SFSYO.  Of equal importance, the students are able to talk with these prominent musicians, asking questions about their lives, their professional and personal experiences, and about music.

In June 2012, Donato Cabrera led the SFSYO on its eighth European tour.  For its series of six performances—including appearances at the Berlin Philharmonie, Munich Philharmonie, the International Festival d’Echternach in Luxembourg, the Rheingau Festival in Wiesbaden, Regensburg and Salzburg—the SFSYO won a 2011-12 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of American music on foreign tours.

Continue Reading