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Center Rep Announces 2013-2014 Subscription Season

Center REP’s 2013-2014 mainstage season includes two musicals, a Pulitzer and Tony winner, one of the most brilliant bedroom farces of all time, the holiday favorite: A Christmas Carol, one of the world’s greatest British thrillers, and an Off Center World Premiere musical

 Center REPertory Companys Artistic Director Michael Butler today unveiled the company’s 47th subscription season. Running from September 6, 2013 to June 21, 2014, the season will be continuing Center REP’s programming to include seven productions to be performed in all three theatres of the Lesher Center for the Arts.  The diverse season moves from a Pulitzer and Tony Award winning comedy to the life story of the First Lady of Song; from one of the greatest British thrillers of all time to the spelling bee championship of a lifetime; from a brilliant bedroom farce to the World Premiere Off Center production and Center REP’s classic holiday tradition for the entire family.  A variety of subscription packages, ranging from $140 to $498, can be purchased by calling 925-943-SHOW.  The productions at Center REP are made possible by the gaenerous support of Chevron, Comcast, Contra Costa Times, The Diablo Regional Arts Association, The Lesher Foundation and Union Bank.

“This is a season of extraordinary plays that will feature bravura performances,” says Center REP Artistic Director Michael Butler. “From Broadway veteran Yvette Cason to the Bay Area’s own triple threat musical theatre Jedi, Molly Bell.  And each play and musical is a triumph of well crafted theatre.”

The season will kick off with Ella, The Musical (September 6 – October 12, 2013). Weaving myth, memory, and music, this vivacious new musical tells the inspirational story of Ella Fitzgerald, one of the greatest jazz vocalists of the 20th century. Featuring more than a dozen of her most famous hits, including They Can’t Take That Away From Me, How High the Moon and That Old Black Magic, this swinging celebration is a sensational musical event for anyone who wants to fall in love with the magic and soul of Ella Fitzgerald all over again.

Next comes Don’t Dress For Dinner (October 25 – November 23, 2013), the brilliant “sort of” sequel to REP’s 2011 hilarious and stylish sold-out hit, Boeing-Boeing. Ten years later, Robert and Bernard are at it again, and the mischievous antics continue in what many consider to be the most brilliant bedroom farce of all time. With crisscrossed affairs, a suspicious wife, and mistaken identities, everyone is guaranteed a good time at this hilarious romp through the French countryside.

Charles DickensA Christmas Carol (December 12 – 22, 2013) heralds the holiday season with colorful costumes and delightful music. Directed by Center REP Managing Director Scott Denison, the annual feast for the eyes and ears includes stunning special effects as the curmudgeonly Scrooge learns that it is better to give than to receive.

Written as a response to the famous play A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park (January 31 – March 1, 2014) tells a new story in a social commentary about race and real estate in America. This Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play focuses on a pair of connected events, 50 years apart, and two generations of a neighborhood in times of social upheaval and racial transition. Filled with jokes and hidden agendas, this rich and lightning-quick comedy is every bit as provocative as it is entertaining.

For decades, Sleuth (March 28 – April 26, 2014) has been wowing audiences with its breathtaking surprises and revelations, which has led it to be deemed one of the best stage thrillers of all time. Successful British mystery writer Andrew Wyck lures his wife’s lover to his mansion and suggests a proposal that sets off a chain of events that leaves the audience trying to decipher where Wyck’s imagination ends and reality begins.

Center REP closes the mainstage season with a hilarious tale of over-achievers’ angst. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is the story of six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves. A Tony Award-winning musical about adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime, learning that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. This riotous musical comedy is guaranteed to have you howling with laughter as you root for your favorites to win first place.

In addition to its six-show mainstage season, Center REP’s season also includes its popular Off Center selection. Designed to present new, challenging works to its audience, the Off Center series has been a hit with audiences for the past four years. “I’m thrilled that Off Center has grown to where we’re able to commission a new musical,” says Butler. “This is a tremendously exciting development, for us and for our audience.”

Off Center celebrates its fifth season with the World premiere of a NEW, REP-commissioned pop musical. Inspired by one of America’s favorite (and perhaps despised) reality series, The Real Housewives of Walnut Creek: The Musical (April 17 – May 4, 2014) channels all the craziness and cat-fights that – for better or worse – keep audiences tuning in for more. In a new musical from the star and co-author of Becoming Britney, Molly Bell exposes the world of reality television set to an original score. REP Artistic Director, Michael Butler says, “Molly Bell wowed us with Becoming Britney and showed she has a great comedic gift for cultural observation. And as a singer/dancer/actor, she always delivers a powerhouse performance. I can’t wait to see her take on this!”

For more information on the 2013-14 season and to purchase subscriptions, call 925-943-SHOW or go online to www.lesherartscenter.org.

ABOUT CENTER REP

Center REPertory Company, the resident professional theatre company of the Lesher Center for the Arts (LCA), will be celebrating its 47th Subscription Season of high-quality theatrical productions during 2013-2014. Center REPertory Company’s mission is to celebrate the power of the human imagination by producing emotionally engaging, intellectually involving, and visually astonishing live theatre and, through our outreach and education programs, to enrich and advance the cultural life of the communities we serve.

Director’s Matinee. Join Center REP’s Artistic Director, Michael Butler, for an engaging discussion at a selected matinee performance during the run of each show.  Michael often enlists the cast as well as some of the show’s designers to add their perspectives to this always-lively dialogue.

Teacher’s Day. Center REP hosts area teachers from elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges for a matinee at the theatre! This is a great way to honor teachers. By enjoying the performance and then participating in the Director’s Post-Show discussion, teachers are provided tools to broaden their students’ understanding of live theatre. Call 925-295-1420 and press 1 for more information or to take advantage of this discount.

 

 

 

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Grammy Award-Winners Paquito D’rivera And The Assad Brothers Perform Dances From The New World In Zellerbach Hall, Wednesday, April 10 At 8:00 Pm

Cuban-born clarinetist Paquito d’Rivera, widely considered one of the great jazz geniuses of our time, will be joined by virtuoso Brazilian guitarists Sérgio and Odair Assad at Cal Performances on Wednesday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall. Their performances together display the exuberant spirit and scorching musical technique that has earned them reputations as three of today’s most innovative, interesting musicians in the world of Latin music and beyond. The three first met while touring with Yo-Yo Ma’s Obrigado Brazil project; they improvised together backstage after a performance and the idea for Dances from the New World was born. The Berkeley concert will feature music from a selection of well known dances, like the merengue, bolero, paso doble, rumba, samba, salsa, and tango composed by a variety of classical and contemporary composers including the Assads. “Call it one of the most engaging musical presentations of the season. Better yet, call it a stunning display of the music of the Western Hemisphere, performed by three of that region’s (and the world’s) finest artists” (Los Angeles Times).

A pre-performance Artist Talk will take place before the concert on April 10 in Zellerbach Hall at 6:00 p.m. This event will be moderated by Chuy Varela, music director of KCSM jazz radio, and is free and open to the public,

Winner of four Grammy Awards, clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera is celebrated for his skills as a Latin jazz artist as well as his achievements as a classical composer. Born in Cuba, he was a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony at age 17. D’Rivera co-founded the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna; the group has since toured internationally and won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Ensemble. He has toured internationally with his other ensembles—the Paquito D’Rivera Big Band, the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, and the Chamber Jazz Ensemble. He has recorded over 30 solo albums. More information can be found at paquitodrivera.com.

The Assad brothers are known for their impeccable musical union and collaborations with artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Gidon Kremer. They have played a major role in reviving contemporary music for guitar duo and their virtuosity has inspired a wide range of composers such as Astor Piazzolla, Terry Riley, Marios Nobre, and Jorge Morel to write music for them. They have won two Latin Grammy awards their recordings and one American Grammy for Yo-Yo Ma’s Songs of Joy and Peace (Paquito D’Rivera was also on this album).  Now Sérgio Assad is composing music for their duo as well as for various musical partners, including symphonies and orchestras.

The brothers began studying guitar together as children and went on to study for seven years with Monina Tavora, a disciple of Andres Segovia. Their international career began in 1979 at the Young Artists Competition in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Since then, they have toured and recorded extensively.  In 2001 Sérgio and Odair Assad Play Piazzolla won a Latin Grammy Award. In the winter of 2008, the Assads curated a guitar festival at the 92nd St. Y in New York and then toured with some of those artists in a project called Brazilian Guitar Festival featuring Badi Assad, Romero Lubambo, and Celso Machado. In February 2011, Sérgio premiered a new concerto for two guitars with the Seattle Symphony. Odair is currently based in Brussels where he teaches at Ecole Supérieure des Arts and Sérgio resides in Paris and San Francisco, where he is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory. More information is available at assadbrothers.com.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for the Paquito D’Rivera and The Assad Brothers on April 10 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $22.00 – $48.00, 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.

 

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Alonzo King LINES Ballet Presents its 30th Anniversary Spring Season

Alonzo King LINES Ballet, the internationally celebrated contemporary ballet company, culminates its 30th Anniversary year this Spring with a world premiere collaboration between visionary choreographer Alonzo King and Grammy award winning double bassist and composer Edgar Meyer, April 19-28, 2013. The collaboration also features a set by Academy Award winning designer Jim Doyle, one of the world’s leading creators of water feature designs.

Celebrated by the New Yorker as “…the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument,” Meyer draws audiences from all music corners – his styles include classical, bluegrass, newgrass, and jazz. Meyer and his musicians will perform live alongside the LINES Ballet dancers for every performance – with Meyer on double bass and piano, and a cellist and violinist.

Of his aspiration to work with Meyer, King says, “When I first heard the second movement of Edgar Meyer’s Violin Concerto, I was knocked off my feet. Its profoundly mesmerizing beauty and wave like repetitions interrupted by rhythmic shifts was an ideal world to construct choreography. The music seemed to embody the ancient with the new, with a stillness that moved.”

Doyle is a specialist in the world of fog and water and a Director at WET Design, a water design firm best known for its 9-acre Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas. Along with lighting designer Axel Morgenthaler, Doyle will create an elemental environment of liquid and light to accompany King’s work.

LINES Ballet’s 30th Anniversary Gala will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2013 celebrating three decades of Alonzo King’s artistry, innovation, and collaboration.

Since its founding in 1982, Alonzo King LINES Ballet has been guided by the unique artistic vision of Alonzo King. King creates works that draw on a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, imbuing classical ballet with new expressive potential. He is celebrated for his collaboration with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists – his collaborators over the last three decades have included jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, tabla master Zakir Hussain, actor Danny Glover, Polish composer Pavel Syzmanski, Nubian oud master Hamza El Din, percussionist Mickey Hart, visual artist Jim Campbell, the BaAka from the Central African Republic, and the Shaolin monks of China, to name a few. The conceptual design, production, aesthetic and artistic direction of each project is shaped in collaboration with Creative Director and Designer Robert Rosenwasser.

In addition to the company’s home seasons, LINES Ballet tours globally and has been featured at venues such as the Venice Biennale, Monaco Dance Forum, Maison de la Dance, the Edinburgh Festival, Montpellier Danse, the Wolfsburg Festival, and the Holland Dance Festival. The Company continues its robust international touring schedule throughout 2013, with a fall touring schedule that includes performances in Israel and throughout Europe, including in Lyon, La Rochelle, Rouen, Marseilles and at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet’s company dancers are David Harvey, Ashley Jackson, Caroline Rocher, Meredith Webster, Keelan Whitmore, Ricardo Zayas, Michael Montgomery, Courtney Henry, Kara Wilkes, Zack Tang, Yujin Kim and Paul Knobloch

About Alonzo King

Alonzo King is a visionary choreographer who is altering the way we look at ballet. King calls his works ‘thought structures’ which are created by the manipulation of energies inherent in matter, through laws that govern the shapes and movement directions of everything that exists. 

King has works in the repertories of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Ballets de Monte Carlo, Béjart Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hong Kong Ballet, NCDT, and Washington Ballet. He has worked extensively in opera, television, and film. Known for collaborations, King’s seminal works include People of the Forest (2001), choreographed with BaAka artists from Central African Republic, and Long River High Sky (2007), with China’s Shaolin Monks. He has collaborated with actor Danny Glover, legendary jazz saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, Hamza al Din, Pawel Szymanski, jazz composer Jason Moran, and tabla master Zakir Hussain. Renowned for his skill as a teacher, King has been guest ballet master for dance companies around the globe.

In 1982, King founded Alonzo King LINES Ballet, which has developed into a world-renowned touring company. Seven years later, he inaugurated the Dance Center, which has grown into one of the largest dance facilities on the West Coast. In 2001, King started the LINES Ballet Training and Summer Programs to nurture and develop the talents of young dancers. Expanding the scope of his educational visions to the college level in 2006, King and LINES Ballet embarked on a partnership with the Dominican University of California, creating the West Coast’s first Joint BFA program in Dance. It is the only Joint BFA program in the country to be led by an active master choreographer.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presented the Mayor’s Art Award to Alonzo King in 2008, calling him a “San Francisco treasure.” That year Alonzo King was also honored with the Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award, in recognition of his contribution to “moving ballet in a very 21st-century direction.” In 2006, King received the US Artists award, just after being given New York’s Bessie Award for Choreographer/Creator in 2005. He is also the recipient of the NEA Choreographer’s Fellowship, Irvine Fellowship in Dance, National Dance Project and the National Dance Residency Program, and five Isadora Duncan Awards. Additional honors include the Hero Award from Union Bank, the Los Angeles Lehman Award, the Excellence Award from KGO, the San Francisco Foundation’s 2007 Community Leadership Award, the 2012 CORPS de Ballet Lifetime Achievement Award and the San Francisco Museum & Historical Society’s San Francisco Treasure Award.

In 2005, he was named a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center. He is a former commissioner for the city and county of San Francisco, and a writer and lecturer on the art of dance. He was awarded the Green Honors Chair Professorship from Texas Christian University, and holds honorary Doctorates from Dominican University of California and California Institute of the Arts.

 

More information about Alonzo King LINES Ballet and its 30th Anniversary is at www.linesballet.org

 

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Cal Performances Presents Two World Premieres From Choreographer Mark Morris

Cal Performances will present two world premieres by renowned choreographer Mark Morris within the span of less than one year featuring musical works by radically different composers both recognized as geniuses in their own time:  Stravinsky, one of the most influential composers of the 20th century and Händel, one of the most prolific and admired of all baroque composers.

This coming June, Cal Performances will present the world premiere of Mark Morris’s new choreography to Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring  June 12 and 13 at Hertz Hall. The two performances will open the third annual Ojai North!, a multi-year partnership with the esteemed Ojai Music Festival.  Rite of Spring will be performed by Mark Morris Dance Group and jazz trio The Bad Plus (“about as badass as highbrow can get” according to Rolling Stone Magazine), who has rescored the explosive masterpiece for piano, bass, and drums. The collaborative effort between the Ojai Festival and Cal Performances 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.

Cal Performances again partners with the legendary choreographer for the world premiere of a new, fully staged opera production of Mozart’s arrangement of Händel’s Acis and Galatea April 25-27, 2014. This new production features visual artist and scenic designer Adrianne Lobel, fashion and costume designer Isaac Mizrahi, and lighting designer Michael Chybowski. Four lead singers will perform the work in English: Thomas Cooley as Acis, Sherezade Panthaki as Galatea, Douglas Williams as Polyphemus, and Zach Finkelstein as Damon.  Nicholas McGegan leads the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for the three performances in Berkeley.  The popular Händel opera Acis and Galatea is based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses with the libretto written by John Gay in 1739. Mozart’s arrangement, written in 1788, broadens Händel’s original orchestration through the addition of bassoon, clarinet, and horn which allows an expanded range of sound color. The two-act opera—a tale of great tenderness, rivalry, and eternal love—focuses on a triangle tragically tested by unrequited love between Acis, an Arcadian shepherd, Galatea, a sea nymph, and the cyclops Polyphemus, who jealously slays Acis. Acis and Galatea is a Mark Morris Dance Group/Cal Performances/ Celebrity Series of Boston production, in association with the Harriman-Jewell Series, Kansas City; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York. After the premiere at Cal Performances, the production will tour the commissioning partners’ cities through 2015.

Morris, whom the New York Times called … “the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical”  has long considered Cal Performances his West Coast home, having partnered with the organization since 1987. In recognition of his significant long-term collaborative relationship with the institution, Cal Performances recently honored him with its Award of Distinction in the Performing Arts.

“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 fortunate to be able to bring Mark’s unique creative vision with two such remarkable works written hundreds of years apart to genius composers with radically different ideas.”

Cal Performances, located on the campus of the nation’s finest public university, is a beneficiary of UC Berkeley’s renowned intellectual and cultural environment. Under the leadership of Director Matías Tarnopolsky, Cal Performances offers one of the world’s finest performing arts seasons reaching nearly 200,000 people each year through its programming and community outreach.  Local, national and international collaborations and partnerships allow Cal Performances the opportunity to combine a significant local impact with global reach.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for Ojai North! on Wednesday-Saturday, June 12-15, at Hertz Hall range from $20.00-$110.00 and are subject to change. Tickets for Mark Morris’s Acis and Galatea April 25-27, 2014, will go on sale April 29, 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.

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San Francisco Symphony And Michael Tilson Thomas Announce 2013-14 Season Concert Programs, Events, And Recordings

The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) announced their 2013-14 season today, a slate of concerts, programs, and events that reflects their commitment to performing and recording core classical repertoire and new music by contemporary and emerging composers, presenting them side by side in in-depth explorations and creative settings. MTT continues his multi-year focus on performing and recording Beethoven, with three weeks of concerts pairing some of Beethoven’s infrequently performed works alongside three recent compositions by Bay Area composer and electronica artist Mason Bates.  In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten, MTT leads three weeks of concerts, including a new semi-staged production of Peter Grimes, and Four Sea Interludes with original co-commissioned video.  MTT also conducts the Orchestra in major works by Antheil, Bartók, Berlioz, Brahms, Debussy, Ives, Steven Mackey, Mahler, Mozart, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, and Schumann.  Other high points of the season include Pablo Heras-Casado leading a two-week festival pairing the music of Felix Mendelssohn and Thomas Adès, with common literary and musical inspirations as a theme, and a season-long focus on J.S. Bach with some of today’s foremost musical proponents of his music: Ton Koopman, András Schiff, and Christian Tetzlaff.  The Orchestra makes its first performances of works by Thomas Adès, Mason Bates, J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, Dvořák, Ligeti, Lully, Mendelssohn, and Schulhoff; debuts a new season-long film series including the first live performances of the complete score of Hitchcock’s Vertigo, accompanying the film; and launches a series of immersive and informal musical events featuring SFS musicians, Bay Area-based and visiting composers, and visual artists. Other highlights of the SF Symphony’s eleven-month season are the West Coast premiere of Zosha Di Castri’s New Voices project commission and composer Mason Bates and pianist Yuja Wang returning as Project San Francisco artists. The Orchestra returns to Europe for a three-week tour in March 2014, and tours the U.S. in November 2013.  On its SFS Media label, the Orchestra releases recordings of music by Beethoven, and will record performances of music by Bates and Beethoven for future release.

Subscription ticket packages start at $186 (a six-concert package in the 2nd Tier) for the San Francisco Symphony’s 2013-14 season and are on sale now to renewing subscribers and the general public.  Ticket information is available through the San Francisco Symphony Web site at www.sfsymphony.org/subscribe, through the SFS Patron Services Office at 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall box office, on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.  Tickets for individual 2013-14 San Francisco Symphony concerts will go on sale on July 22.

MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS’ 2013-14 HIGHLIGHTS

Michael Tilson Thomas marks his 19th season as Music Director with the SFS in 2013-14, and is currently the longest-tenured music director of any major American orchestra.  In 18 concert weeks this season, in Davies Symphony Hall and on tour in Europe and the U.S., MTT leads the Orchestra in a wide variety of programs and events that highlight his commitment to new and rarely performed music as well as providing audiences new context to core classical repertoire.

“One of the great rewards of a long partnership between a conductor and an orchestra is the opportunity to explore works old and new, by many composers,” said Michael Tilson Thomas.  “Just as we continue to examine the music of Beethoven and find new pathways into hearing his work, it is important to develop and support composers writing today, and treat new music in the way we treat music of the past—to revisit it over the years. This is part of developing creative partnerships with composers over the course of their careers, such as our continued explorations of the music of Bay Area composers John Adams and Mason Bates. Ongoing relationships with composers, present as well as past, are inseparable from our work together as musicians and open new dimensions in our music-making.”

SEASON OPENING GALA – ALL-AMERICAN PROGRAM WITH AUDRA McDONALD

The San Francisco Symphony’s 102nd season opens Tuesday, September 3, 2013, with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas leading the Orchestra in its annual Opening Gala concert and celebration at Davies Symphony Hall. Soprano Audra McDonald and the Orchestra offer a program of works by American composers including Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Antheil’s Jazz Symphony. The gala concert will be broadcast live on Classical KDFC 90.3/89.9/104.9 FM and kdfc.com. The Orchestra’s All-San Francisco concert for San Franciscans served by local community groups takes place September 5, with Gershwin’s An American in Paris, and violinist James Ehnes joining MTT and the Orchestra in Barber’s Violin Concerto. MTT also conducts as James Ehnes and the Orchestra perform Barber’s Violin Concerto September 6, alongside Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Antheil’s Jazz Symphony.

BENJAMIN BRITTEN CENTENARY

The first SF Symphony performances of Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes (1945) are the culminating events in a four-week celebration of the English composer’s work and music, marking the centenary of his 1913 birth. The celebration encompasses Britten’s works for opera, vocal music, a ballet score, and orchestral writing, and spans the prolific career of a composer, conductor and pianist who died in 1976 at the age of 63.   For the centenary, MTT will create a new semi-staged production of the complete Peter Grimes in June 2014, with tenor Stuart Skelton (Peter Grimes) and soprano Elza van den Heever (Ellen Orford) heading a cast of singers including baritone Alan Opie (Captain Balstrode), mezzo-sopranos Ann Murray (Auntie) and Nancy Maultsby (Mrs. Sedley), baritone Eugene Brancoveanu (Ned Keene), bass John Relyea (Mr. Swallow), and the SFS Chorus. Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes will be presented with original co-commissioned video by visual artist Tal Rosner (“Polaris”). In other programs, Britten’s works are paired with those of his colleague and close friend, Dmitri Shostakovich.  The Orchestra is joined by a gamelan ensemble in excerpts of music from Britten’s 1945 ballet The Prince of the Pagodas alongside Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto with Janine Jansen.  SFS Principal Horn Robert Ward is featured in Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (1943), with tenor Toby Spence in a program that includes Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15. During the composer’s 100th birthday week in November 2013, Semyon Bychkov leads soprano Christine Brewer, tenor James Gilchrist, baritone Roderick Williams, the SFS Chorus, the Pacific Boychoir, and the Orchestra in Britten’s War Requiem (1962). Concertmaster Alexander Barantshik leads the Orchestra in Britten’s Simple Symphony for string orchestra during a week of January concerts.

BEETHOVEN AND BATES FESTIVAL 

MTT and the Orchestra continue their multi-season exploration of Beethoven with three concert weeks that pair some of his early and lesser-heard works alongside recent music by Bay Area composer and electronica artist Mason Bates, a frequent SFS collaborator and this season’s Project San Francisco composer. Bates’ music will be recorded live during these concerts for later release on SFS Media. Since Bates attended the first American Mavericks Festival in 2000, he and MTT have worked together in multiple settings, including with the SFS at Davies Symphony Hall (the SFS commissioned Mass Transmission in 2011 for its centennial season, part of theAmerican Mavericks Festival,) on the American Mavericks Festival tour, and in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra project. In the Beethoven and Bates Festival’s first week, in January, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 is paired on a program with his Romances Nos. 1 and 2. Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik is featured as soloist in these infrequently performed works, and he performs Romance No. 1 for the first time with the Orchestra.  Mason Bates performs on electronica with the Orchestra in his Alternative Energy, performed in San Francisco by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the SFS centennial season.  In the second week, for the first time since 1998, the Orchestra and the SFS Chorus perform Beethoven’s complete Mass in C. Excerpts from Beethoven’s rarely performed music for King Stephen, including the Overture and selected choral movements, open the concerts, and Bates joins the Orchestra on electronica for performances of his Liquid Interface.

“I can always count on a trip to the SFS to shake up my musical reality. Whether it’s new music, old music, or some provocative combination of the two, I always leave with retuned hearing. Few institutions this large behave so adventurously. It’s been wonderful to create several new works for MTT and the musicians, and I am deeply honored that several pieces dear to me will be performed and recorded next season,” Bates said.

In the festival’s third week, in February, The B-Sides by Mason Bates opens the evening, again with Bates on electronica performing with the Orchestra. The SFS commissioned and premiered Bates’ The B-Sides in 2009. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, which the Orchestra recorded with MTT in 2010, also will be performed as part of the Beethoven and Bates Festival’s final week, and Gil Shaham is soloist in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2.

In addition to the Beethoven and Bates Festival weeks, in September, Emanuel Ax returns to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with MTT and the Orchestra; a recording of his live performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Orchestra was released on SFS Media in 2011. The Orchestra also performs Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, which it also recently recorded and issued on SFS Media, at Davies Symphony Hall and on tour in Carnegie Hall and in Champaign-Urbana, IL.

NEW VOICES COMPOSER – ZOSHA DI CASTRI

Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri was chosen last year as the first composer to have her work fostered, promoted and performed as part of New Voices, a new collaborative composer development initiative with the San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, and publisher Boosey & Hawkes. The SFS presents and performs Di Castri’s new orchestral work Lineage in its West Coast premiere in September, following its world premiere in Miami in April 2013.  Her work will be performed by the Orchestra in Davies Symphony Hall and also at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. The New Voices project supports composers in developing their work in chamber and orchestral settings, preparing them for public performances, and promoting their music, with performances in Miami and San Francisco.  Di Castri’s chamber music piece will be performed by SFS musicians in 2014.

TOURS

MTT leads the Orchestra on tours of Europe and the U.S. during the 2013-14 season, performing the music of contemporary and maverick American composers including John Adams, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, and Steven Mackey alongside core classical repertoire by Mahler, Beethoven, Berlioz, Prokofiev, and Mozart. In March 2014, MTT and the Orchestra perform two weeks of concerts in the musical capitals of Europe, visiting London, Paris, and Vienna for two concerts each, as well as Prague, Geneva, Luxembourg, Dortmund, and Birmingham.  Tour repertoire reflects the diverse array of works from its Grammy award-winning SFS Media catalogue, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7; Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastiqueThe Alcotts from Ives’ A Concord Symphony, orchestrated by Henry Brant; and the St. Lawrence String Quartet in John Adams’ Absolute Jest, a San Francisco Symphony co-commission.  Julia Fischer will join the Orchestra as soloist in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1. For Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 tour performances, the Orchestra is joined by local choruses including St. Paul’s Boys Choir and Women of the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus (London), Maîtresse de Radio France and Choeur des femmes de l’Orchestre de Paris (Paris and Geneva), Choeur symphonique de la Grande Région and Pueri cantores of the Luxembourg Conservatoire (Luxembourg), and Vienna Boys Choir and Women of the Wienersingakademie (Vienna).

In November 2013, the Orchestra performs four concerts on a U.S. tour to New York’s Carnegie Hall, Ann Arbor, MI, and Champaign-Urbana, IL. Repertoire includes Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with soprano Susan Graham (at Carnegie) and soprano Sasha Cooke (at Ann Arbor) and, at Carnegie and Champaign-Urbana, Steven Mackey’s Eating Greens, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 with Jeremy Denk, Copland’s Symphonic Ode, and Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, recently released on SFS Media.

RECORDINGS

The Orchestra’s recordings on its own Grammy award-winning SFS Media label continue to reflect the artistic identity of its programming, a commitment to the work of contemporary American composers alongside that of the core classical masterworks. In the 2013-14 season, MTT and the Orchestra record performances of the Beethoven and Bates Festival, including three works by Bay Area composer Mason Bates: Liquid Interface, Alternative Energy and the SFS-commissioned The B-Sides. On April 9, 2013 SFS Media will release a recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, captured live in the concluding concerts of the 2011-12 centennial season with MTT, the Orchestra, the Chorus, and soloists Erin Wall, Kendall Gladen, William Burden, and Nathan Berg. During MTT and the Orchestra’s May 2013 Beethoven Festival, SFS Media will record John Adams’ Absolute Jest with the St. Lawrence String Quartet for future release. Absolute Jest was inspired by and based on fragments of Beethoven’s scherzos for string quartets and was co-commissioned by the SFS and premiered as part of its American Mavericks Festival last season.  Release dates for all future recordings will be announced at a later date.

ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS WITH MTT

Among other highlights of MTT’s season are programs featuring visits by some of the most acclaimed and beloved soloists, returning to perform with the Orchestra:

 

  • Pianist Yefim Bronfman performs
  • The week of September 18, MTT leads the Orchestra and soprano Sasha Cooke with the women of the SF Symphony Chorus and SF Girls Chorus in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3.
  • Pianist Emanuel Ax joins MTT and the Orchestra the week of September 26 for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, in a program that includes Mahler’s Blumine and a selection of short pieces by Copland, Debussy, Delius, Grieg, and Rachmaninoff.
  • Cellist Yo-Yo Ma joins the Orchestra and MTT for one concert in February, performing Schumann’s Cello Concerto. MTT also leads Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 andThe Alcotts, from Ives’s A Concord Symphony, orchestrated by Henry Brant.
  • Christian Tetzlaff performs Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with MTT and the Orchestra the week of May 14. The program also includes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, and opens with Sibelius’ Lemminkäinen’s Return.
  • Pianist Yuja Wang joins the Orchestra the week of May 22 to perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with MTT. The Orchestra also performs Debussy’sImages and Tchaikovsky’s The Tempest, Opus 18.

 

THOMAS ADÈS AND MENDELSSOHN FESTIVAL WITH PABLO HERAS-CASADO

Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado leads a two-week festival in October pairing the music of English composer Thomas Adès with that of Felix Mendelssohn, performing music spanning four centuries. In a program inspired by William Shakespeare and Goethe, Heras-Casado conducts a cast of soloists including soprano Audrey Elizabeth Luna (Ariel), mezzo-soprano Charlotte Hellekant, and baritone Rodney Gilfrey in the Orchestra’s first performances of excerpts from Adès’ The Tempest. Luna sang the role at the Metropolitan Opera in 2012 under Adès’ direction. The program includes Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the first SFS performances of Die erste Walpurgisnacht.  The festival’s second program illuminates Mendelssohn and Adès’ mutual fascination with the Baroque, featuring the Orchestra’s first performances of Adès’ Three Studies from Couperin and Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Overture and Passacaille from Armide (1686). Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, Scottish, and Stravinsky’s neoclassical Violin Concerto, with soloist Leila Josefowicz, round out the program. Thomas Adès will participate in the festival. Heras-Casado will showcase the composers’ chamber works in a concert featuring SFS musicians and will also conduct the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra in rehearsal. Further details about the festival concerts and related activities will be announced at a later date.

SFS PREMIERES AND FIRST PERFORMANCES

MTT leads the Orchestra in a variety of commissions, premieres and first performances, including the first SFS performances of Mason Bates’ Liquid Interface andAlternative Energy; its first performances of Britten’s complete Peter Grimes, in a semi-staged presentation; and the West Coast premiere of New Voices composer Zosha Di Castri’s new work for orchestra, Lineage, an SFS co-commission.  Under Pablo Heras-Casado, the Orchestra makes its first performances of excerpts from Thomas Adès’ The Tempest and Three Studies from Couperin, as well as Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht and Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Overture and Passacaille from Armide. Ton Koopman leads the SFS in two first performances:  C.P.E. Bach’s Cello Concerto No. 3 and J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 207a, Auf, schmetternde Töne der muntern Trompeten. With Charles Dutoit on the podium, the Orchestra and SFS Chorus debut Poulenc’s Litanies à la vierge noire (Litanies of the Black Virgin), in a program that features the Chorus on all three works. Former SFS Resident Conductor Edwin Outwater, now music director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, leads the Orchestra in the SFS premieres of Ligeti’s Concert Românesc and three of Dvořák’s Legends for Orchestra, Nos. 2, 6 and 10.  James Conlon, music director of Los Angeles Opera, joins the Orchestra for debut SFS performances of Schulhoff’s Scherzo from his Symphony No. 5. The Orchestra performs the world premiere of Bernard Herrmann’s full score for Hitchcock’s film Vertigo with a screening of the film, and the first SFS performances of Herrmann’s scores for Hitchcock!, an evening of excerpts from the master’s films. Sarah Hicks leads the Orchestra in a performance of the complete score of Fantasia with the Disney movie on the big screen.

NEW SERIES OF INFORMAL, EXPERIMENTAL MUSICAL EVENINGS HIGHLIGHT SFS MUSICIANS, BAY AREA ARTISTS AND COMPOSERS

MTT and the SFS are launching a new series of intimate and experimental musical evenings in a newly-created alternative space at Davies Symphony Hall. The events will be curated by innovative and forward-thinking composers, artists and musicians and will highlight members of the SFS. As a platform for musical ideas and passions of the participating artists, the series of ten events will offer explorations in program, format, technology, audience interaction, and curatorial elements. All events will feature SFS musicians in live performance with such composers as electronica artist and DJ Mason Bates (DJ Masonic), performing in and curating his Mercury Soul club event. Other performers and composers participating include Samuel Carl Adams, a Brooklyn composer and Bay Area native whose music combines elements of jazz, electronica, and classical influences; Nathaniel Stookey, the San Francisco-based composer and SFSYO alumnus who wrote the modern kids’ guide to the orchestra, The Composer is Dead, and Mahlerwerk; and New Voices composer Zosha Di Castri, who is writing a work for percussion as part of the project.  Programming is currently under development and full details will be announced this summer.

PROJECT SAN FRANCISCO:  YUJA WANG AND MASON BATES

Pianist Yuja Wang and composer Mason Bates, two young artists championed by Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS, return as this season’s Project San Franciscoresident artists, collaborating with the Orchestra in concerts, chamber music, lectures and education and community events.  Three works by Mason Bates – The B-SidesAlternative Energy, and Liquid Interface – will be performed by MTT, Bates, and the Orchestra as part of a three-week festival pairing his music with Beethoven’s.  Bates’ works will be also recorded for release on SFS Media.  Since meeting at the original American Mavericks Festival in 2000, Bates and MTT have collaborated on a variety of projects, with the SFS, New World Symphony, and the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.  His The B-Sides was commissioned by the SFS and premiered in 2009. The SFS commissioned and played Bates’ work for chorus and electronica, Mass Transmission, on the 2012 American Mavericks Festival, performing with Bates on electronica both in SF and on its two-week all-American Mavericks national tour. Bates is also a collaborator with the SFS on its new, curated musical experiences in the newly-created alternative performance space at Davies Symphony Hall, and is a well-known DJ who hosts and curates Mercury Soul nightclub dates.

One of the world’s most dynamic artists, Yuja Wang first appeared with the SFS in 2006 as a soloist on its Chinese New Year concert and has returned to the SFS every year since her debut.  Most recently she joined MTT and the Orchestra on its acclaimed November 2012 tour of Asia. She also appears as soloist in its March 2013 concerts in Carnegie Hall and Newark.  She joins the Orchestra to perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with MTT, and also performs a solo recital of works by Albéniz, Granados, and Liszt. As part of the Great Performers Series, she joins the visiting Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Gustavo Dudamel in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

Additional details of Bates’ and Wang’s Project San Francisco residencies will be announced at a later date.

SEASON-LONG FOCUS ON J.S. BACH

The Orchestra continues its multi-year, in-depth exploration of the work and influence of J.S. Bach, featuring conductors and artists who bring a unique and historically informed perspective on the composer. Conductor Ton Koopman, one of the world’s preeminent Bach interpreters, begins a series of annual visits to the SFS to conduct the Orchestra in Bach and other Baroque repertoire. His May 2014 programs include works by father and son, J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 4 and Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51 and C.P.E. Bach’s Cello Concerto No. 3 and Symphony in G major. SFS Principal Trumpet Mark Inouye is soloist in Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, along with soprano Carolyn Sampson, and Associate Principal Cello Peter Wyrick solos in C.P.E. Bach’s Cello Concerto. In Koopman’s second week of concerts, the SF Symphony Chorus joins soloists soprano Teresa Wakim, mezzo-soprano Bogna Bartosz, tenor Tilman Lichdi, and bass Klaus Mertens with the Orchestra in J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 118, Cantata No. 207a, Auf, Schmetternde Tone der muntern Trompeten, and Missa Brevis (Kyrie and Gloria from Mass in B minor). Three renowned Bach interpreters are featured in solo recitals throughout the year. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff performs a program of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin.  András Schiff, in his second year of recital performances of works by Bach co-presented by the SFS and SF Performances, performs Bach’s Partitas Nos. 1-6, his celebrated 2009 recording of which is a milestone of the Bach discography. In Schiff’s final recital, audiences have the rare opportunity to hear two monumental works of the keyboard literature in one program: J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. Conductor and organist Martin Haselböck performs his Davies Symphony Hall solo organ recital debut, preceding Koopman’s concert weeks.

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY MUSICIANS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

San Francisco Symphony principal musicians are featured in variety of solo turns with the Orchestra this season. Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik, Principal Clarinet Carey Bell, Principal Trumpet Mark Inouye, Principal Horn Robert Ward and Associate Principal Cello Peter Wyrick all will be featured soloists during the year.  Inouye is soloist on two successive concert weeks in April and May, with James Conlon in Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (Concerto for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra) and then with Bach specialist Ton Koopman in J.S. Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen.  Associate Principal Cello Peter Wyrick is soloist in C.P.E. Bach’s Cello Concerto No. 3, also with Ton Koopman on the podium. Alexander Barantschik leads the SFS in a week of January concerts that include Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D minor and Mozart’s Divertimento for Strings.   Barantschik performs the Mendelssohn Concerto on the famed “David” Guarnerius violin. In April, Carey Bell appears with Herbert Blomstedt in Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto. Principal Horn Robert Ward is soloist with Michael Tilson Thomas leading the SFS in Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings in June during its Britten Centenary Festival.

The San Francisco Symphony Chorus, led by Chorus Director Ragnar Bohlin, celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2013-14 with a season of major works, first performances, and recordings. The Chorus is in the spotlight during many of the season’s artistic focal points, such as Britten’s Peter Grimes and Beethoven’s Mass in C and excerpts from King Stephen, with MTT on the podium; Bach’s Missa Brevis (Kyrie and Gloria) from Mass in B minor and the first SFS performances of both Bach’s Cantata No. 207a, Auf, schmetternde Töne der muntern Trompeten, with Ton Koopman; and Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht, with Pablo Heras-Casado. Semyon Bychkov leads the Orchestra and Chorus in Britten’s War Requiem the week of the 100th anniversary of his birth. With Charles Dutoit conducting, the Chorus is featured in the first SFS performances of Poulenc’s Litanies of the Black Virgin, as well as Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, and the first performances of Fauré’s Requiem since 2003. Also, with MTT on the podium, the women of the SFS Chorus perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. Chorus Director Ragnar Bohlin conducts the Chorus in December holiday performances of Handel’s Messiah.

GUEST ARTISTS AND CONDUCTORS

The San Francisco Symphony’s 2013-14 season features some of the world’s most distinguished guest conductors, instrumentalists, and singers and many young, emerging artists. Returning for two-week engagements are SFS Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Charles Dutoit, Pablo Heras-Casado, and Ton Koopman.   Returning to lead the Orchestra in a week of concerts each are James Conlon, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (conducting the orchestra for the first time since 1985), Marek Janowski, Edwin Outwater, and Osmo Vänskä. Sarah Hicks leads the Orchestra in two film nights: A Night at the Oscars and Fantasia in Concert, and Richard Kaufman conducts Chaplin’s music for his film City Lights as the movie is presented on the big screen.

Soloists familiar to Davies Symphony Hall audiences include violinists James Ehnes, Julia Fischer, Janine Jansen, Leila Josefowicz,  Gil Shaham, and Christian Tetzlaff; pianists Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Jeremy Denk, Kirill Gerstein, Hélène Grimaud, Garrick Ohlsson, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Simon Trpčeski, and Yuja Wang; and cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Alisa Weilerstein.  Mason Bates performs on electronica.

Returning singers include sopranos Christine Brewer, Audra McDonald, Carolyn Sampson, Elza van den Heever, and Katie van Kooten; mezzo-sopranos Sasha Cooke, Charlotte Hellekant, and Nancy Maultsby; tenors James Gilchrist, Stuart Skelton, and Toby Spence; baritones Eugene Brancoveanu, Joshua Hopkins, and Alan Opie; and bass John Relyea.

Making their conducting debuts on the SFS podium are Lionel Bringuier, resident conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and  Jaap van Zweden, music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.  Joshua Gersen, winner of the prestigious 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize, and conducting fellow at the New World Symphony, where he is assistant conductor to MTT, is on the podium as the Orchestra performs Bernard Herrmann’s film scores for Psycho andVertigo with the films, and also conducts the Orchestra in music to accompany Hitchcock! Greatest Hits.

Debut artists appearing this season with the SFS include pianists Till Fellner, Martin Helmchen, and Daniil Trifonov; violinist Simone Lamsma; sopranos Audrey Elizabeth Luna and Teresa Wakim, mezzo-sopranos Bogna Bartosz  and Ann Murray; contralto Claudia Huckle; tenors Tilman Lichdi and Sean Panikkar; baritones Rodney Gilfrey and Roderick Williams, and bass Klaus Mertens.

GREAT PERFORMERS SERIES and SPECIAL CONCERTS

András Schiff, the Symphony’s 2012-13 Project San Francisco resident artist and one of the world’s greatest interpreters of Bach, returns next season to continue his multi-year exploration of Bach keyboard works, with two October recitals. His solo programs of Bach’s Partitas 1-6 and Bach’s Goldberg Variations with Beethoven’sDiabelli Variations are co-presented by the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Performances.

Gustavo Dudamel leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in two concerts, one with pianist Yuja Wang performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The Orchestra performs a work by Anders Hillborg and John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1, in addition to Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Wang also performs a solo recital. Two other visiting orchestras perform in Davies Symphony Hall in 2013-14: the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, led by Yuri Temirkanov, and soloists pianist Denis Kozhukhin and violinist Vilde Frang, in programs of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Rimsky-Korsakov, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs an all-Beethoven program led by Pinchas Zukerman, who is soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Gidon Kremer is featured in his Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra in a program of Britten, Shostakovich, and Mieczyslaw Weinberg.

Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings Shostakovich and other Russian repertoire, violinist Christian Tetzlaff performs Bach, and pianists Murray Perahia and Evgeny Kissin perform solo recitals. Pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque appear in a special concert of all-American repertoire: Philip Glass, Gershwin, and excerpts from Bernstein’sWest Side Story with percussionists.

NEW FILM SERIES

This season the San Francisco Symphony introduces a new film series, with live orchestral performances accompanying great films, starting Halloween week.  Among the presentations are four Alfred Hitchcock film events, including the first performances by an orchestra of the full Bernard Herrmann score of Vertigo accompanying the film screening. The Orchestra will perform Hermann’s score live to the classic thriller Psycho (Oct. 30), and also performs a program featuring essential scenes from Hitchcock’s body of work, Hitchcock! Greatest Hits, on Nov. 2. Joshua Gersen conducts, in his debut with the Orchestra. Organist Todd Wilson performs the music for Hitchcock’s The Lodger, a silent early classic, on Davies Symphony Hall’s magnificent Ruffatti organ. On four Saturdays throughout the season, beginning withHitchcock! Greatest Hits, the Symphony performs live to accompany highlights from Oscar-winning movies in A Night at the Oscars; Chaplin’s score to City Lights (with music by Chaplin and Arthur Johnston), and Fantasia in Concert, with a soundtrack of Stravinsky, Bach, Dukas, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Ponchielli, and Schubert.

GREEN MUSIC CENTER SERIES AND COLLEGE CAMPUS CONCERTS

In the 2013-14 season, beginning in September, the San Francisco Symphony continues its four-concert, Thursday night series at Weill Hall in the new Donald and Maureen Green Music Center (GMC) on the campus of Sonoma State University. In the GMC season’s opening concert, MTT leads the Orchestra in Zosha Di Castri’s new co-commissioned work, Lineage; Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Yefim Bronfman, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 3. Later in the season, Semyon Bychkov leads the Orchestra in R. Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony; Alexander Barantschik performs Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and leads the Orchestra in Britten, Mozart and Piazzolla; and Charles Dutoit and Kirill Gerstein bring Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10. The Orchestra also performs two concerts at the Mondavi Center at the University of California at Davis.  At UC Davis, Marek Janowski leads pianist Martin Helmchen in Schumann’s Piano Concerto in October, and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, and Tilson Thomas conducts the Orchestra and Christian Tetzlaff in Sibelius, Bartók and Brahms in May.

FAMILY CONCERTS / YOUTH ORCHESTRA / ORGAN SERIES / CHAMBER MUSIC

Special events of the San Francisco Symphony’s 102nd season include a variety of family, heritage, and community concerts, including its annual Día de los MuertosCommunity Concert and the annual Lunar New Year Concert and Celebration.

The San Francisco Symphony performs a variety of free and low-cost family and community concerts throughout the year, offering the Bay Area the widest possible opportunity to hear and experience orchestral music. The Orchestra’s annual free summer concerts at Dolores Park and Stern Grove take place in July. The Orchestra also performs its annual low-priced All-San Francisco concert for San Francisco’s community groups, Community Deck the Hall Holiday Concert,  low-cost Concerts for Kids,and the Music for Families series.

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) performs three concerts under the direction of Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera, beginning in November. The SFSYO also performs at the Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival, held in January in Davies Symphony Hall, and its annual holiday performances of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

The Orchestra’s three organ recitals scheduled for 2013-14 include the Davies Hall recital debut of conductor/ organist Martin Haselböck (playing Bach), and the returns of Olivier Latry and Paul Jacobs. The musicians of the SF Symphony perform both classical and contemporary repertoire in more intimate groups in two annual chamber music series, with six concerts at Davies Symphony Hall beginning in October and four at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.

Complete programs and artists for holiday concerts, Youth Orchestra, chamber music, and summer 2014 concerts will be announced at a later date.

MUSIC EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY CONCERTS

In its second century, the SF Symphony continues its commitment to bringing orchestral music and access to music to people at every age and life stage. The Symphony’s pioneering music education programs in San Francisco public schools serve students throughout their elementary and secondary years—grades 1-12.  ItsAdventures in Music program in San Francisco’s public schools reaches every first through fifth grader with comprehensive music education experiences, making it possible for them to learn about music in the classroom. Launching in 2013 is a revitalized children’s music education website, www.sfskids.org, developed in conjunction with the UC Irvine Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds. For older students, the Instrument Training and Support program offers substantial support for every San Francisco public middle and high school with an instrumental music program. Through the SFS Youth Orchestra and performances on Bay Area college campuses, the SFS continues to offer connections to young adults.

For adults, the Symphony offers Community of Music Makers amateur music-making choral and instrumental workshops, giving people the opportunity to develop their musical skills onstage at Davies Symphony Hall with the support of the musicians, staff, and resources of the SF Symphony. For chamber musicians seeking rehearsal or performance partners, a convening website developed with San Francisco Classical Voice (http://comm.sfcv.org) launched in 2012.


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“ACID TEST: The Many Incarnations Of Ram Daas” Moves to The Marsh San Francisco for a Limited Engagement

After a successful four month run in Berkeley, The Marsh is delighted to announce that Lynne Kaufman’s critically acclaimed new play, ACID TEST: The Many Incarnations Of Ram Dass, is moving to The Marsh San Francisco from April 12 – May 18, 2013. The show will play on Friday at 8:00 pm and Saturday at 5:00 pm (except Saturday, May 11 at 8:00 pm.) For tickets, the public may visit www.themarsh.org or call 415-282-3055.

Performed by Warren David Keith and directed by Joel Mullennix, this is the true story of Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass, the famous Harvard psychology professor and spiritual seeker, who, along with Timothy Leary, started the psychedelic revolution and then, in the third of three life transformations, went on to become an international teacher on enlightenment. “Just when you find the answer, the question changes.”

In December, the production travelled to Hawaii to perform the play for Ram Dass who has taken a keen interest in the show but is too frail to travel. He loved the play (he said his ego soared, an occurrence he has battled against for a lifetime!)

Lynne Kaufman’s twenty full-length plays have been produced all over the country, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Magic Theatre, Theatreworks, The Fountain Theatre and The Abingodon. Warren David Keith has appeared at theaters throughout the Bay Area, including the Aurora, Marin Theatre Company, Word For Word and the California Shakespeare Theater. Joel Mullennix most recently directed the highly successful productions of Olive Kitteridge, More Stories by Tobias Wolff and Which is More Than I Can Say About Some People for Word For Word.

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Afropop Spectacular: A Double-Bill Concert Featuring Oliver Mtukudzi And Fatoumata Diawara Saturday, March 30 At Zellerbach Hall At 8:00 P.M.

Two stars of African music, one veteran and one newcomer, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi and Fatoumata Diawara respectively, come to Cal Performances for a double-bill concert in Zellerbach Hall on Saturday, March 30 at 8:00 p.m. With nearly 60 albums to his name, Mtukudzi is considered one of Zimbabwe’s—and Africa’s— greatest musical treasures. Inspired by the rhythms of the mbira (thumb piano), he incorporates South African mbaqanga, the energetic Zimbabwean pop style jit, and the traditional kateke drumming of his clan. Diawara, from West Africa’s Mali, is a break out artist on the world stage garnering global attention. “The most beguiling talent to hit the world music scene in some time” (Daily Telegraph, London). She has collaborated with John Paul Jones, Herbie Hancock, Oumou Sangaré and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Her debut album Fatou was released August 2012 in the United States. Her songs are laced with socially conscious lyrics because as Diawara has noted in her concerts, her country is being torn apart by a new civil war. Both artists will appear with their own band and programs will be announced from the stage.

Born in Zimbabwe in 1952, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi is one of the most prolific recording artists working in Africa today. Though primarily performing on acoustic guitar, Tuku’s sound has gone from modern electric to traditional African acoustic. After losing his brother Robert to AIDS-related illness, Tuku has committed himself to raising awareness of HIV/AIDS amongst the African youth. He is also the founder of the Pakare Paye Arts Centre, near Harare, Zimbabwe, a facility dedicated to the artistic education of children. He is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa, with a focus on Young People’s Development and HIV/AIDS Prevention.

Born to Malian parents in Côte d’Ivoire in 1982, Fatoumata Diawara began her artistic career as a dancer in her father’s dance troupe until the age of 12, when she was sent to live with her aunt in Bamako, Mali. Being an actress, Diawara’s aunt encouraged her to take up acting, and at age 18, Diawara travelled to Paris to play the title role in Antigone. After touring Europe with this production, she returned to Mali and starred in the film Sia, Dream of the Python (2001, Dani Kouyaté). Thanks to the film’s popularity throughout West Africa, Diawara became an overnight sensation. The following year, after being approached by Jean-Luc Courcoult, director of Royale de Luxe theater company in Nantes, Diawara ran away from home (as an unmarried woman, she was considered a minor) to pursue an acting career in France. While touring with the company, Courcoult overheard her singing backstage and asked her to sing for the audience on tour. This led to engagements in Parisian nightclubs, and world tours with Oumou Sangaré and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Afropop Spectacular on March 30 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $22.00 to $46.00, 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.

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San Francisco Filmmaker Teams Up With Local Band For A Live Show At The Historic Castro Theater

Local Filmmaker and Band Announce March 2nd show of Film Shot and Produced in Germany and USA

Following the award winning Sonnet Series: Suite 1, Lucky Dragon Productions brings three new short film adaptations of Shakespeare’s Sonnets 29, 36 and 113 to the screen, and will be shown at the Scary Cow Productions’ 19th Indie Film Co-Op Festival on Saturday, March 2nd at 5:30pm at the historic Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114). The score to all three sonnets will be performed live by local band LordRifa, under the leadership of music composer The Reverend LordRifa.

Sonnet Series: Suite 2 adapts three of Shakespeare’s timeless sonnets for a modern film audience.

Sonnet Series: Suite 2 opens with Sonnet 113, which explores feelings of lost love using a real young couple: Hamburg based actors Jonas Vietzke & Lena Kußman. Shot on location in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, the sonnet is performed in German using a classic (Schlegel-Tieck & Max J. Wolff) translation of Shakespeare’s original text. Continuing with the theme of lost love, Sonnet 36, which was shot in Yuba City, CA, offers a glimpse into the complicated desires of a housewife and her maid in a segregated Louisiana in the late 1950s. Rounding out Suite 2 is Sonnet 29: using a cast of deaf and hearing actors, this sonnet reveals the protective love between two friends as one saves the other from a heartbreaking fall. The film was performed entirely in American Sign Language and shot at deaf owned and operated restaurant Mozzeria, in the Mission, San Francisco, CA. The total running time is 16 minutes.

These Sonnets explore how the loss of love, painful and yet essential to our humanness, can lead to a better outlook, new experiences, and the possibility of more meaningful connections.

Writer/Director/Owner of Lucky Dragon Productions Rowan Brooks commented, “When I started to adapt these 400 year old love poems into short films for Suite 1, I was amazed at how much contemporary relevance I found. My goal in the series is to explore these timeless works in a new way and communicate their universal themes to a modern audience. I am excited that the score to these stories will be performed live at the Castro by local band Lordrifa.

Sonnet Series: Suite 2 will open the concluding phase of the 19th annual Scary Cow Productions Indie Co-Op Festival (www.scarycow.com) at the historic Castro Theatre on Saturday, March 2nd, at 5:30 PM. The festival features short films made by Bay Area filmmakers. Following the screening of Sonnet Series: Suite 2, the filmmakers will be available for a Q&A with audience members and will attend an after party at The Castro Theatre where they will be available for further questions and discussion.
For more information on the Scary Cow Indie Co-Op Festival, and to purchase tickets to see Sonnet Series: Suite 2, please visit: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/329534. For the full festival schedule at the Castro Theatre, please visit http://www.castrotheatre.com/p-list.html.

Producer/Director Rowan Brooks continues to dedicate the Sonnet Series to his late wife local actress Summer Serafin who died in 2011.

To learn more about Sonnet Series: Suite 2 please go to www.luckydragonproductions.com, \
For more on the band LordRifa, please visit http://lordrifa.com.

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The Exuberant Australian Chamber Orchestra Returns To Cal Performances For Two Stirring Concerts March 22 And 23 In Hertz Hall

Concerts feature a United States premiere and Cal Performances debut of Alice Sara Ott

The ambitious and acclaimed Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), led by its dynamic artistic director and lead violinist Richard Tognetti, returns to Cal Performances for two distinct concerts on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, both at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall. The ACO’s first Berkeley concert will feature German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott, who will join the ensemble for Shostakovich’s first Piano Concerto. On Saturday, Tognetti will play the electric violin for the United States premiere of Brett Dean’s Electric Preludes, concerto for electric violin, commissioned by ACO in 2012. The New York Times recently stated, “Intensity and virtuosity are hallmarks of this orchestra.”

The Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Friday, March 22 evening concert will be an all-Russian affair opening with Visions Fugitives by Sergey Prokofiev. Originally composed as a solo piano work in 20 short movements, the first 16 movements of Visions Fugitives were arranged for orchestra by Rudolf Barshai. Two works by Dmitri Shostakovich follow: the Piano Concerto No. 1, written for piano, trumpet, and string orchestra featuring Alice Sara Ott making her debut in Berkeley; and Prelude and Scherzo (also called Two Pieces for String Octet). Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s string sextet, Souvenir de Florence completes the program. On Saturday, March 23 the program spans from Franz Joseph Haydn’s vigorous Symphony No. 4, written c. 1760, through Brett Dean’s electronica-influenced Electric Preludes, written in 2012 for Richard Tognetti and the ACO and performed on a six-string electric violin. A second Haydn symphony (No. 49) and Antonín Dvo?ák’s charming Serenade for Strings round out the program.

Founded in 1975, the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) has earned an international reputation for performing classical masterworks and genre-defying modern compositions—often of their own commission—at the highest standards. Led since 1989 by Artistic Director and Lead Violin Richard Tognetti, the group has performed throughout Australia (where its concert series has some 10,000 subscribers) and worldwide on 50 international tours visiting 250 cities in the US, Asia, and Europe. The ACO is a flexible ensemble that expands or contracts to meet the needs of the music it performs; one constant is the traditional chamber-orchestra custom in which all players but the cellists perform standing. The group collaborates with artists from diverse genres, records widely, and has appeared on television and in film. Its education program mentors young players throughout Australia and operates ACO2, an elite training orchestra.

ACO Artistic Director and Lead Violin Richard Tognetti was born in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, and studied at the Sydney Conservatory in his home country and the Bern Conservatory in Switzerland. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout Australia, Europe, and the US, and recorded solo works of Bach, Dvo?ák, and Mozart. An Officer of the Order of Australia since 2010, Tognetti is also Artistic Director of the Maribor Festival in Slovenia.

Pianist Alice Sara Ott has performed at major concert halls worldwide since she was hailed as “Most Promising Artist” at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in 2002 at age 13. As a soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist, the German-born pianist (her mother is Japanese) has appeared at many international festivals and played with top orchestras including the Kiev Philharmonic, the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Australian Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, March 22 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 23 at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall are $52.00 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.

 

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Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt Leads The San Francisco Symphony In Two Weeks Of Concerts April 11-14 & 17-20

 Pianist Robin Sutherland celebrates 40 years with the Orchestra as soloist in Ingvar Lidholm’s Poesis 

Augustin Hadelich makes his SF Symphony debut performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto 

San Francisco Symphony Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt returns to the San Francisco Symphony to conduct two weeks of concerts April 11-20. The concerts April 11-14 at Davies Symphony Hall will feature performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica, Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde and in celebration of his 40th year as principal keyboardist for the Orchestra,  Robin Sutherland as soloist in Ingvar Lindholm’s Poesis. These mark the first SFS performances of music by this living Swedish composer. The concerts April 17, 19 and 20 at Davies Symphony Hall and Thursday, April 18 at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis will feature violinist German violinist Augustin Hadelich’s debut with the Orchestra in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Blomstedt leading the SFS in Nielsen’s Symphony No. 5. Hadelich replaces Julia Fischer who canceled for personal reasons late last year.

Herbert Blomstedt was the SFS’ tenth Music Director from 1985-1995 and is currently its Conductor Laureate.  Under his leadership, the Orchestra won its first Grammy award, for a recording of Orff’s Carmina burana, greatly expanded its international profile with numerous acclaimed performances on tour in Europe and at festivals including those of Edinburgh, Salzburg, Munich and Lucerne, and launched the Adventures in Music program.  He has held chief conductor positions with the Oslo Philharmonic, the Swedish and Danish Radio Orchestras, and the Dresden Staatskapelle. Until 2005, he was the Music Director of the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig.  He has been awarded the title of Honorary Conductor for the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan, the Danish National Symphony, the Swedish Radio Symphony and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.  With the SFS for the Decca label, he recorded Nielson’s Symphonies No. 1-6 from 1988-1991 as well as Nielson’s Aladdin Suite and Maskarade Overture with the SFS Chorus in 1991. He recorded Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 Eroica with the SFS for Decca in 1992. Blomstedt celebrated his 85th birthday in May 2012.

Augustin Hadelich, 28, is the winner of the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. He gave his first concert at 7. After receiving a diploma from the Istituto Mascagni conservatory in Livorno, Italy, Hadelich studied composition at the Hanns-Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin and graduated from Juilliard, where he studied with Joel Smirnoff. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Atlanta and Houston Symphony Orchestras, among others, and has given solo recitals at Carnegie Hall and Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center. He has recorded four solo CDs, including a highly acclaimed disk of masterworks for solo violin. Augustin Hadelich plays on the 1723 “Ex-Kiesewetter” Stradivari violin.

Robin Sutherland has played piano with the San Francisco Symphony since 1973. He studied with Rosina Lhevinne at the Juilliard School and with Paul Hersh at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. While still an undergraduate, he was appointed principal pianist of the SFS by then music director Seiji Ozawa. The recipient of numerous awards, Sutherland was selected at 17 to be sole participant from the USA at the International Bach Festival, held at Lincoln Center. He was a finalist in the International Bach Competition in Washington DC and has performed all of J.S. Bach’s keyboard works. An avid chamber musician, Robin Sutherland was for thirty seasons co-director of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival in Colorado. Many composers have dedicated works to him, and among the world premieres in which he has participated was that of John Adams’s Grand Pianola Music, with members of the San Francisco Symphony. A frequent soloist with the SFS, Robin Sutherland has been featured in Leonard Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting, in San Francisco and on tour, and Mr. Sutherland’s harpsichord playing was featured in the SFS’s performances of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major in May 2012. In 1996, his recording of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) was released on the d’Note label

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Playwrights Foundation 2013 Spring Rough Readings Series

The Playwrights Foundation 2013 Spring Rough Readings Series March 11 & 12 2013 at Stanford University and in San Francisco. The spring readings series features Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig The World of Extreme Happiness March 11 & 12, Monday March 11 in Roble Hall at Stanford University and Tuesday March 12 at NOH Space in San Francisco.

The Spring series features a playwright tackling issues of life and death zooming in on character, global perspectives, and forgiveness. Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s The World of Extreme Happiness deadlocks two kids from a rural Chinese village between familial duty and Americanized ambitions of consumer driven happiness.

The Rough Readings Series is like a professional playwriting gym.  Selected writers are assigned a stellar cast and director drawn from the ‘A’ list of local talent, and eight hours in our studio to work out with a new play in its early development,. The plays are then subject to two open rehearsal sessions in front of audiences who are eager to hear this rough work. The results are often extraordinary. Many of these plays and playwrights are first introduced to the Bay Area theaters through the series, or are presented in collaboration with theaters interested in producing the work.  Some illustrious examples from previous Rough Readings Series are Katori Hall (The Mountaintop) , Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) and Peter Nachtrieb
(Bob).

The Playwrights Foundation’s 2013 Spring Rough Readings Series
Monday March 11 in Roble Hall at Stanford University and Tuesday March
12 at NOH Space in San Francisco.

Readings are 100% FREE of charge. A $20 donation in advance comes with a reserved seat & a drink!   To RSVP email rsvp@playwrightsfoundation.org or call 415.626.2176.

Stanford University – Roble Hall, Stanford University

NOH Space – 2840 Mariposa Street, SF

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig The World of Extreme Happiness
Directed by Desdemona Chiang
Monday, March 11, 7:30pm at Roble Hall, Stanford University
Tuesday, March 12, 7pm. NOH Space – 2840 Mariposa Street, SF

About the Play
When Sunny is born in a rural vilage on the Yangtze River, her parents dump her in a slop bucket and leave her to die because she isn’t a boy. Sunny survives, and at 14 leaves home for a Shenzhen factory to fund her brother’s education. There she works grueling shifts cleaning toilets and dreams of promotion. Desperate to maximize her only capital–her youth–Sunny attends self-help classes and learns ways to improve her chances at securing a coveted office position. But when her
dogged attempts to pull herself out of poverty hurt a fellow worker, Sunny begins to question the design of a system she has spent her life trying to master, and starts to fight for an alternative.

About the 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 Trafalagar 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
Playwrights 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

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Renaissance Masters The Tallis Scholars Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary On Saturday, March 23 At First Congregational Church In Berkeley

CONCERT FEATURES A BAY AREA PREMIERE OF A NEW WORK BY ERIC WHITACRE

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, The Tallis Scholars, a Cal Performances favorite, returns to First Congregational Church on Saturday, March 23 at 8:00 p.m. The ten-member a cappella group, led by conductor and scholar Peter Phillips, will offer a program that includes comparisons of Renaissance classics and their 20th-century counterparts. First, a selection of religious works by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525-1594) (Magnificat for Double Choir, Nunc dimittis, Laudate pueri) is juxtaposed with modern re-settings by celebrated Estonian minimalist composer Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) (Magnificat, Nunc dimittis). In a bit of composer wordplay, works by John Taverner (c. 1490-1545) (Quemadmodum, Mater Christi) follow works by John Tavener (b. 1944) (The Lamb, As one who has slept). Setting the music of Palestrina against Pärt, Taverner against Tavener, exposes the common musical fabric of two ages, exploring the long shadow cast by the polyphonic masters and the values of clarity, expression and drama they share with today’s choral composers. Lastly, in honor of the ensemble’s historic milestone, the concert will also feature the Bay Area premiere of a newly commissioned piece by Eric Whitacre, one of the foremost choral composers of our era, titled Sainte-Chapelle. It was inspired by a trip Whitacre took to the 13th century chapel of the same name. The New York Times summed it up at a recent concert when it said, “Only a zombie would have been unmoved by the transcendent singing of The Tallis Scholars.”

A Sightlines pre-performance talk will be given by Peter Phillips beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 at First Congregational Church in Berkeley. Sightlines talks are free to ticket holders.

The Tallis Scholars, founded in 1973, is dedicated to preserving Renaissance music and launching the genre into mainstream Western music. The group is named after Thomas Tallis, a renowned early British composer. The ten-member group became leaders in Renaissance music through their acclaimed recordings and live concerts. The ensemble has produced over 50 records on its own label, Gimell Records, founded in 1980 by its director Peter Phillips and Steve Smith. These albums have garnered many awards including two Diapason d’Or de l’Année awards from the French magazine Diapason, People’s Choice Award, and also two Gramophone Awards including Gramophone Record of the Year in 1987, the first and only Renaissance recording to win this prestige. The group has been nominated for four Grammy Awards. Their most recent album, Renaissance Radio, a two-disc compendium of French, Spanish, Italian, English, and German Renaissance music, is to be released on March 12, 2013.

In addition to presenting Renaissance music, The Tallis Scholars has premiered and commissioned works by contemporary composers, including Robin Walker, Errollyn Wallen, and John Tavener, as in this Berkeley concert. The ensemble and director Peter Phillips annually present three weeklong summer schools—one each in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia—at which talented amateur musicians can learn from and sing with the group.

Director of The Tallis Scholars Peter Phillips has made a career out of researching and performing Renaissance polyphonic music. Phillips has made numerous television and radio broadcasts, and was featured in a 2002 documentary about the life of William Byrd, Queen Elizabeth’s favorite composer, as well has having been featured on BBC Music Weekly, NPR and many other international radio stations. His work was praised in 2005 when he was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettre, by the French Minister of Culture, for his contribution to the understanding of French culture in the world. Last year, Phillips was also made a Fellow for Life of Merton College, Oxford. As a scholar, he is a regular contributor in The Spectator, a weekly UK magazine, and is also the publisher and owner of The Musical Times, the oldest continuously published music journal in the world. He has also written a book based on his knowledge of classic English repertoire titled English Sacred Music, 1549–1649 as well as a second book, What We Really Do, which recounts touring with The Tallis Scholars.

TICKET INFORMATION
This performance is sold out. Tickets for The Tallis Scholars on Saturday, March 23 at 8:00 p.m. at First Congregational Church are $52.00, and are subject to change. Tickets may become 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.

 

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Z Space assumes 88-seat theater at Project Artaud

Effective immediately, Z Space will assume the lease for the 88-seat theater known as The Jewish Theater at Project Artaud. Formerly the theater space of The Jewish Theatre, which closed in the summer of 2012, the 2,100 square foot theater is located directly beneath Z Space’s existing 13,000 square foot theater space.

Z Space’s new theater, called Z Below, will allow the organization to expand its operations and provide for a much more intimate production experience than Z space can offer in its 229-seat main stage upstairs. Z Below is an ideal venue for the development of new work, and will allow the organization to provide more rehearsal and performance options for its companies in residence. Artistic Director Lisa Steindler plans on producing plays that would benefit from a smaller, more intimate space, and could complement the larger productions in Z Space’s main stage. The space will also be used for community rentals. Programming in the space will begin in the late spring.

“We are extremely excited about the possibilities in assuming this new theater,” said Steindler. “Between our current production schedule, the needs of our resident artists, and our community rental program, we are bursting at the seams. We also look forward to the variety of shows we will be able to produce at a smaller and more intimate black box theater.”

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. www.zspace.org.

 

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North American Same-Sex Ballroom Competition In Oakland

 April Follies is the Largest and Longest Running Dance Sport Classic in the US

 

April Follies returns to Just Dance Ballroom on April 27 to host the 2013 North American Same-Sex Dancesport Championships.  Now in its 11th year, the annual competition and show is the largest and longest running Same-Sex Dance competition in North America.

“We have a fast-growing community of same-sex dancers in the Bay Area,” according to Barbara Zoloth, April Follies Board Member.  “Many of our couples go on to international same-sex competitions like the Gay Games and the Out Games.”

All levels will compete during the day beginning at 10:00 am.  Dance Styles include International Standard and International Latin, American Smooth and American Rhythm.  This year, due to high demand, there will be expanded competition for Argentine Tango and Country Western dances.

An onsite community dinner will follow the daytime events.  The day-long competition culminates with a dance lesson for attendees and new dancers, followed by the A-level finals and dance performances by the top-rated couples in the evening.

The evening A-Level Finals are part of an extravaganza and show that includes performances by several of the country’s top same-sex couples and performance teams representing studios from all over North America.

Following the show and final competition, there will be an open social dance for all.

Tickets are $15 (daytime events only), $25 (evening event only), or $35 for the entire day.   A community dinner is also available for purchase.  Reduced pricing is available if purchased early.  For further information, please visit www.aprilfollies.com, or friend us on Facebook [April Follies 2013].

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cameron Carpenter To Perform US Premiere Of Music From His Original New Work Science Fiction Scenes (Visions Of The Organ From Space) In Organ Recital At Davies Symphony Hall Sunday, March 10 At 3:00 Pm

Organist Cameron Carpenter performs a recital on Sunday, March 10 at 3:00 pm at Davies Symphony Hall. Carpenter returns to the console of the Ruffatti organ at Davies Symphony Hall to perform the U.S. premiere of five movements from his new original work Science Fiction Scenes (Visions of the Organ from Space). Projected to be over two hours in length when completed, Science Fiction Scenes is an opera for solo organ.

Foremost among Carpenter’s influences in the new work are the graphic novels of Chris Ware, from whom many of the titles of individual movements are taken and used with the artist’s permission. Carpenter draws on the vast emotional array not only of science fiction itself, but also of the concept of large-scale epic music as essential to the cinematic science fiction experience. At Davies Symphony Hall, Carpenter will debut five selected movements - Kill Me, Atomic Girl; What Worlds Await; You Were Now (Love Song No. 2); The Minimum Maelstrom; and Of All The Skies That Weep. This is the second performance of Science Fiction Scenes which had its debut at Berlin Philharmonie in September 2012, viewable on the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall.

Cameron Carpenter studied composition and organ performance at the North Carolina School of the Arts and at Juilliard, where he received his Master of Music in 2006.  Currently based in Berlin, Carpenter was the first organist ever nominated for a Grammy® award for a solo record.  In 2012, Carpenter made his debut at the BBC Proms in a pair of Bach recitals, and was recently awarded the prestigious Leonard Bernstein Prize at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany. Last fall he performed his improvised score to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Camera Man’s Revenge (short) on the Davies Symphony Hall Ruffatti organ. He will return on July 28 to accompany the silent film Battleship Potemkin (1925) by Sergei Eisenstein. Harkening back to the early days of films, Carpenter will perform a mostly improvised musical accompaniment to Eisenstein’s film.

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15th Anniversary of Bay Area Dance Week in April

Hundreds of Free Dance Events in SF, East Bay, North Bay, South Bay

Dancers’ Group is pleased to announce the 15th anniversary of Bay Area Dance Week (BADW), April 26-May 5, 2013. As dance continues to enjoy increased popularity around the nation, BADW is anticipating another action-packed festival – with over 600 free events in San Francisco, the East Bay, North Bay and South Bay.

Each year hundreds of dance organizations throw open their doors and invite the community in to try something new. BADW draws thousands of people to its free events – individuals ranging from dance aficionados to those who have never taken a dance class or attended a dance performance. Last year over 24,000 people participated in free classes, performances, open rehearsals, lecture demonstrations, and a host of other dance activities throughout the Bay Area.

This year’s festival kicks off on Friday, April 26 at 12noon with One Dance led by the Rhythm & Motion Dance Workout Program, at Union Square. One Dance is a hit year after year and features dance groups, families, professional companies and students from public and private schools, from a wide array of dance styles – all coming together to perform moves from a short dance posted online at www.bayareadance.org. Downtown visitors, shoppers, office workers, dancers and non-dancers are invited to participate in the final dance. Also that day Dancers’ Group presents the annual Dancers Choice Award. Now in its sixth year, the Dancers Choice Award celebrates individuals and organizations that are finding effective and creative models that impact dance. Recipients are nominated by the community – previous award winners include Della Davidson and Ernesto Sopprani (2012), Antoine Hunter (2011), AXIS Dance Company (2010), Alleluia Panis (2009) and Jessica Robinson Love (2008).

In addition to the Dancers’ Choice Award this year BADW introduces the Della Davidson Prize, a new award created in honor of the life and work of choreographer and teacher Della Davidson, who passed away in 2012. An annual prize of at least $1,500 will be awarded to an innovative choreographer dance-maker producing work in the spirit of Della Davidson.

Throughout the 10-day festival the public can pick up a free event guide or visit www.bayareadance.org to learn about the hundreds of free dance events presented throughout the Bay Area. Once again this year all genres of dance will be represented – including Argentine tango, classical Indian, jazz, hip hop, ballet, traditional hula, fire dance, Samba, modern, Chinese classical, belly dance, capoeira, aerial dance, West African, and contact improvisation, among many others.

BADW culminates with Anna Halprin’s Planetary Dance on Sunday, May 5, at 2pm at Yerba Buena Gardens and presented in partnership with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Postmodern dance and performance pioneer Anna Halprin has been hosting this participatory dance for peace and healing on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County for more than 30 years. This is the second year Halprin brings this powerful work to be performed as part of BADW in the urban setting of downtown San Francisco.

The History of Bay Area Dance Week
National Dance Week was founded in 1981 to increase awareness of dance and its contributions to our culture. The first Bay Area Dance Week (BADW) festival grew out of a public dialogue in 1998, when dance artists, administrators, and organizations came together to explore how best to spotlight Bay Area dance during National Dance Week. The festival that emerged took a national initiative and imbued it with the innovative and inclusive spirit of the Bay Area. As the largest per capita center for dance in the US, the Bay Area’s festivities have been the most extensive and best attended celebrations in the country since BADW’s inception. Each year, over 200 dance organizations and artists present events during Bay Area Dance Week, involving more than 2,500 artists and 24,000 attendees. Dancers’ Group presents the annual event.

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. www.dancersgroup.org

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Crowded Fire Theater Launches The 2013 Season At Thick House In San Francisco, With A Wide Range Of Dynamic Voices And Premieres In The Work Of Thomas Bradshaw, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig And Lauren Gunderson


THE BEREAVED by Thomas Bradshaw- April 4-27  (Press Opening April 8)

410[GONE] by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, – June 6-29 (Press Opening June 10)

THE TAMING by Lauren Gunderson – October 3-26 (Press Opening October 7)

Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) kicked off the 2013 Season with the Matchbox Reading Series (MBRS) playing to capacity houses  January 28 – February 5, at CFT’s new home the Thick House, a theater in San Francisco. MBRS featured new works by three extraordinary local playwrights, Christopher Chen, Lauren Gunderson, and Geetha Reddy, and by the internationally acclaimed Australian playwright, Lachlan Philpott. Committed to diversifying the canon of contemporary plays, Crowded Fire champions playwrights whose work offers a vital contribution to the American theater landscape.

 “We believe art is always political,” states Crowded Fire Artistic Director Marissa Wolf, “ in order to move toward a more just society, theaters must offer a wider range of aesthetics and voices on our stages.”  The 2013 Season productions reflect the social, the personal, and the political. Crowded Fire Theater’s Mainstage season launches in April with the West Coast Premiere of THE BEREAVED a wickedly funny take on Sex, Drugs, and the American Dream by Thomas Bradshaw (April 4-27  Opening April 8) staged by Marissa Wolf. The summer begins with the world premiere of 410[GONE] a frenetic and richly poetic look at the bonds of love between siblings in a landscape ruled by the Goddess of Mercy and  Monkey King by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (June 6-29, Opening June 10) directed by Evren Odcikin. The season concludes in October with the The World Premiere of  Lauren Gunderson’s THE TAMING (October 3-26 Opening October 7) a Crowded Fire commission directed by Marissa Wolf, The Taming is a mashup of America’s cracked political rhetoric and the sexy power play of Shakespeare’s Shrew. “Southern Fried Politics.”

 

All three playwrights in this 2013 Season have participated in CFT’s Matchbox Readings Series, with these productions receiving development support through Crowded Fire. The Matchbox: Commissioning and Developing New Plays grew out of CFT’s commitment to the playwrights’ revision processes, to strengthen the scripts before rehearsals for the professional productions began. The Matchbox programming includes three different initiatives, including Commissions, in-house Workshops, and slots in the annual Matchbox Readings Series — public staged readings of plays in development.

Lauren Gunderson whose THE TAMING was commissioned and developed through The Matchbox, says of The Matchbox, “I have worked in many new play development settings across the country, but the support, standards, and deep commitment to using San Francisco as a launching pad for work that ignites the country’s new play sphere is real and it’s at Crowded Fire. They aren’t just doing readings to satisfy they are truly developing and committing to new plays, many by women and by local Bay Area writers. I don’t need to tell you how important this is, but I can tell you that when I travel and speak with theatre colleagues nationwide, everyone knows Crowded Fire.”

Programming in Crowded Fire’s 2013 Season is funded by generous support from The Dramatists Guild (THE BEREAVED), The National Endowment for the Arts (THE TAMING), the San Francisco Foundation (The Matchbox), The Tournesol Foundation (THE TAMING), and Venturous Theater Fund (THE BEREAVED). Crowded Fire gratefully acknowledges general operations funding from Grants for the Arts/SF Hotel Tax Fund and The Kenneth Rainin Foundation.

 

THE PLAYS:

THE BEREAVED by Thomas Bradshaw,

In this West Coast Premiere of Thomas Bradshaw’s THE BEREAVED the wife and breadwinner Carol realizes she is on borrowed time. Before she goes, you can be damn sure she will put her affairs in order. After all, what is more important than being certain her family maintain their upper-class-private-school Manhattan lifestyle? Ferocious, startling, and unsettling, THE BEREAVED is a dark, gleaming comedy exposing the blithe entitlement of upper-middle-class America alongside the feral appetites and violent prejudices roiling just beneath the surface.

410[GONE] by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig,

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig‘s  World Premiere of 410[GONE] is a journey into a frenetic landscape ruled by the Goddess of Mercy and the Monkey King, where time is suspended, and Dance Dance Revolution holds the key to Transmigration.  Filled with richly poetic language, 410[GONE] looks at the bonds of love between siblings when a sister searches for her lost brother in the Chinese Land of the Dead.

THE TAMING by Lauren Gunderson

Southern Fried Politics…The third installment in Gunderson’s “Revenge Comedies,” THE TAMING is a mashup of America’s cracked political rhetoric and the sexy power play of Shakespeare’s Shrew with the help of some choice pharmaceuticals and a sweet singing’ beauty queen. Hey, ya’ll can we talk? A Crowded Fire commission also featured in this year’s Matchbox Reading Series.

 

WHERE: Thick House, 1695 18th St, San Francisco.(between Carolina St.& Arkansas St. in Portrero Hill )

Box Office by phone (415) 655-3866

www.crowdedfire.org or (415) 655-3866

 

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Cal Performances Announces New, Fully Staged Opera Production Of Händel’s Acis And Galate Choreographed And Directed By Mark Morris

THE WORLD PREMIERE TAKES PLACE IN BERKELEY APRIL 25-27, 2014

Embargoed for release until February 18, 2013—Cal Performances announces the world premiere of a new, fully staged opera production of Mozart’s arrangement of Händel’s Acis and Galatea choreographed and directed by Mark Morris. Nicholas McGegan leads the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for three performances in Berkeley April 25-27, 2014.  Mark Morris is “the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical”  (The New York Times).

Morris, who considers Cal Performances his West Coast home, has partnered with the organization since 1987; numerous premieres have been given in Berkeley. This coming June, Cal Performances presents the world premiere of Morris’s new choreography to Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring as part of Cal Performances’ third annual Ojai North!  In recognition of his significant long-term collaborative relationship with the institution, Morris received the Cal Performances Award of Distinction in the Performing Arts in December 2012.

The popular Händel opera Acis and Galatea is based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses with the libretto written by John Gay in 1739. Mozart’s arrangement, written in 1788, broadens Händel’s original orchestration through the addition of bassoon, clarinet, and horn which allows an expanded range of sound color. The two-act opera—a tale of great tenderness, rivalry, and eternal love—focuses on a triangle tragically tested by unrequited love between Acis, an Arcadian shepherd, Galatea, a sea nymph, and the cyclops Polyphemus, who jealously slays Acis.

This new production of Händel’s Acis and Galatea features visual artist and scenic designer Adrianne Lobel, fashion and costume designer Isaac Mizrahi, and lighting designer Michael Chybowski. Four lead singers will perform the work in English: Thomas Cooley as Acis, Sherezade Panthaki as Galatea, Douglas Williams as Polyphemus, and Zach Finkelstein as Damon.

Acis and Galatea is a Mark Morris Dance Group/Cal Performances/Celebrity Series of Boston production, in association with the Harriman-Jewell Series, Kansas City; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York. After the premiere at Cal Performances, the production will tour the commissioning partners’ cities through 2015.

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 with 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 140 works for the company.  From 1988-1991, he was Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium.  Among the works created during this time 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, much in demand as a ballet choreographer, has created eight works for the San Francisco Ballet since 1994 and received commissions from many others.  Now music director for the 2013 Ojai Music Festival, Morris is  noted for his musicality and has been described as “undeviating in his devotion to music” (The New Yorker). He has conducted performances for the Mark Morris Dance Group 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, 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 the Cal Performances Award of Distinction in the Performing Arts (2012).

The Mark Morris Dance Group was formed in 1980 and gave its first concert that year in New York City.  The company’s touring schedule steadily expanded to include cities in the U.S. and around the world, and in 1986 it made its first national television program for the PBS series Dance in America.  In 1988, MMDG was invited to become the national dance company of Belgium, and spent three years in residence at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. The company returned to the United States in 1991 as one of the world’s leading dance companies, performing across the U.S. and at major international festivals. Based in Brooklyn, NY, the company maintains strong ties to several cities around the world, most notably its West Coast home, Cal Performances in Berkeley, CA, and its Midwest home, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. MMDG also appears regularly in New York City, Boston, MA; Fairfax, VA; and Seattle, WA.  MMDG made its debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival in 2002 and at the Tanglewood Music Festival in 2003 and has since been invited to both festivals annually. From the company’s many London seasons, it has garnered two Laurence Olivier Awards. MMDG is noted for its commitment to live music, a feature of every performance on its international touring schedule since 1996. MMDG collaborates with leading orchestras, opera companies, and musicians including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, percussionist and composer Zakir Hussain, jazz trioThe Bad Plus, pianists Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, and with the English National Opera, among others. In September of 2001, the Mark Morris Dance Center opened in Brooklyn, NY, to provide a home for the company, rehearsal space for the dance community, outreach programs for local children and seniors, and a school offering dance classes to students of all ages.  For more information, visit www.mmdg.org.

Cal Performances, located on the campus of the nation’s finest public university, is a beneficiary of UC Berkeley’s renowned intellectual and cultural environment. Under the leadership of Director Matías Tarnopolsky, Cal Performances offers one of the world’s finest performing arts seasons reaching nearly 200,000 people each year through its programming and community outreach.  Local, national and international collaborations and partnerships allow Cal Performances the opportunity to combine a significant local impact with global.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for Mark Morris’s Acis and Galatea April 25-27, 2014, will go on sale April 29, 2013. Ticket prices and other information will be available soon at calperformances.org or by calling the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall at (510) 642-9988. 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 go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

 

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SFMOMA Reveals Details of Expansion Plans


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) today announced further details of its approximately 235,000-square-foot building expansion. When the new museum opens in 2016, it will provide a greater art experience for visitors and support SFMOMA’s increasing role in city life and the international art community, with more free-to-the-public space, expanded education programs for schoolchildren, more flexible galleries to accommodate live performances and large-scale works of art, and field-leading contributions to global standards of energy efficiency for art museums.

“From the very start of this project, our goal has been to improve nearly every aspect of who we are as a museum and how we serve our many audiences,” says SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. “As we continue to develop the design, it’s clear that the programmatic and architectural steps we are taking will allow us to be a truly living space, providing the best art experiences possible to all of our visitors.”

Developed in collaboration with the architecture firm Snøhetta, SFMOMA’s new building will include seven levels dedicated to diverse art experiences and programming spaces, and three housing enhanced support space for the museum’s operations. It will also offer approximately 130,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor gallery space, as well as nearly 15,000 square feet of art-filled free-access public space, more than doubling SFMOMA’s current capacity for the presentation of art while maintaining a sense of intimacy and connection to the museum’s urban surroundings. The expansion will also include other new features, such as:

·         A large-scale vertical garden located in a new outdoor sculpture terrace on the third floor, which will be the biggest public living wall of native plants in San Francisco

·         A versatile, double-height “white box” space on the fourth floor equipped with cutting-edge lighting and sound systems that, in tandem with the museum’s upgraded Phyllis Wattis Theater, will open new doors for SFMOMA’s program of live art, and also improve services for school-group tours, film screenings, and special events

·         State-of-the-art conservation studios on the seventh and eighth floors that will further SFMOMA’s progressive work in the care and interpretation of its growing collections

·         An environmentally sensitive approach on track to achieve LEED Gold certification, with 15% energy-cost reduction, 30% water-use reduction, and 20% reduction in wastewater generation

·         A new outdoor terrace on the seventh floor with incredible city views, further integrating the urban indoor/outdoor experience that SFMOMA began in 2009 with the opening of its current rooftop sculpture garden on the fifth floor

At the same time, as previously announced, new public spaces and additional public entrances to the building (on Howard and Minna Streets) are designed to increase access and weave the museum more deeply into the neighborhood. A mid-block, street-level pedestrian promenade will open a new route of circulation in the area, enlivening the side streets and offering a pathway between SFMOMA and the Transbay Transit Center currently under construction two blocks east of the museum. Building on the popularity of the museum’s artist commissions in its admission-free atrium, an expansive free-to-access gallery on the ground floor with 25-foot-high glass walls facing Howard Street will now place art—such as Richard Serra’s enormous walk-in spiral sculpture Sequence (2006)—on view to passersby for the first time. This gallery will also feature stepped seating, offering a resting and gathering point for museum tour groups and neighborhood denizens alike.

“SFMOMA has had a tremendous impact on the economic and cultural vitality of the South of Market neighborhood and the city,” says San Francisco’s District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim. “Even though this area is one of the city’s oldest, in many ways it’s still the freshest, where much of the most dramatic change is happening. The museum’s expanded home in this cultural center will provide even greater public access and support to emerging and established artists as a hub of creativity and international art destination. I look forward to seeing the district grow and evolve even further as SFMOMA’s future takes shape.”

Threefold Expansion of Education Program

Art encounters for schoolchildren are at the core of SFMOMA’s educational commitment to the community, with the goal of spurring creativity and fostering a lifelong engagement with the arts. As part of SFMOMA’s expansion program, the museum will increase and enhance education spaces in order to grow the number of K-12 student visits from 18,000 to 55,000 annually with the reopening in 2016. This tripling of the number of schoolchildren who will have access to modern and contemporary art each year deepens SFMOMA’s dedication to students, especially those in the San Francisco Unified School District.

The modular “white box” space on the fourth floor will serve as a starting point for many school tours, allowing SFMOMA educators to welcome significantly greater numbers of both students and families to the museum. Encouraging more studio activity and hands-on art-making, the upgraded Koret Visitor Education Center located on the second floor will allow more family-oriented artist commissions and more opportunities for professional development for teachers. The Phyllis Wattis Theater—SFMOMA’s current film and performance venue—will feature improved support for theater performance, with a larger stage, a new green room, and new projection capabilities. With direct access from Minna Street, these three spaces—the “white box,” Koret Center, and Phyllis Wattis Theater—together represent an integrated institution-within-an-institution for education and public programs.

“The educational services offered at SFMOMA will enormously increase the opportunities for students in San Francisco to learn through and about art,” says Richard A. Carranza, superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District. “As a school district that understands the value of having inspiring encounters with art at a young age, we are very excited that today’s announcement means that even more K-12 students will have access to art education at SFMOMA.”

Flexible Venue Creates New Possibilities for Performance-Based Art

In addition to serving as a starting point for school tours, the “white box” space on the fourth floor, with a state-of-the-art lighting grid and acoustics, will create new possibilities for live performance, accommodating theater-in-the-round configurations, multiscreen projections, and special installations. This will be the first time SFMOMA has the full range of flexibility and infrastructure necessary for today’s increasingly performance-based work, allowing artists to explore movement and film in new ways, and providing better support for pieces not suited to the separation of a proscenium stage or to a gallery with acoustic bleed or containing art with conservation concerns. The space will foster works that call for continuous action over long periods of time or live pieces rooted in intimate audience-performer exchange and group dynamics. With its own direct entrance from Minna Street, the “white box” space will also accommodate after-hours special events and catering.

“With this versatile new space, SFMOMA could not be better set up to present the live art projects and performances that are so much part of the art of our time,” says Dominic Willsdon, Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs at SFMOMA, who has been leading the active growth of the museum’s Live Art initiative over the past few years.

Leadership in Art Conservation and Environmental Sustainability

The seventh and eighth floors will house SFMOMA’s expanded art conservation studio, benefiting from extraordinary northern light. More resources for the study and care of media arts in particular will join existing expertise in conservation of paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and photography. This strengthened commitment to contemporary art conservation will enable more specialized research to build on the museum’s renowned work with living artists as eyewitnesses to art-making right now. Close proximity to the galleries will better facilitate artist interviews and documentation of their materials, allowing the museum to reveal more of this behind-the-scenes work to the public and tell a more complete story of contemporary art practice. On the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors the museum’s administrative staff will be united for the first time in 15 years in light-filled spaces that, through strategic adjacencies, will allow greater opportunity for intellectual collaboration.

While art museums are by nature heavy consumers of energy due to the need to maintain specific environmental conditions for the objects in their care, SFMOMA’s expanded home will be a model for energy efficiency among art museums, advancing a broad rethink currently underway in the field. As an integral part of its expansion design process, the museum considered the nature of its collection, the building, and the local climate to arrive at an innovative plan that balances preservation of works on view, energy costs, and environmental impact in new ways—advocating more flexible industry guidelines for humidity and temperature allowances based on a given museum’s unique geography and weather conditions. SFMOMA’s conservation leadership then convened a symposium and consulted with colleagues worldwide to recommend new environmental conditions for the expanded museum in 2016 that will achieve significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased energy efficiency, and many other environmental gains while upholding a sustained commitment to caring for our cultural legacy.

As part of its progressive thinking in the field, SFMOMA will convert to energy-saving LED lighting systems in the galleries and employ other approaches to environmental sustainability, such as lighting control systems that respond to changing daylight availability, building materials designed to minimize the transfer of thermal energy, and recirculated water. In addition, the wood flooring in the current fifth-floor galleries will be repurposed for use in the new conservation studio, and other recycling of materials—for SFMOMA’s own building or to the construction market—will take place throughout the process. As a result of all these efforts, the museum is on track to achieve LEED Gold certification, with 15% energy-cost reduction, 30% water-use reduction, and 20% reduction in wastewater generation.

A vibrant, large-scale vertical garden located in a new outdoor sculpture terrace on the third floor, extending from Howard to Minna Streets, will use a combination of rain and waste-water to support low-upkeep native plants that range from ferns to fungi to small flowering shrubs. Created by Bay Area designers Habitat Horticulture and Hyphae Design Laboratory, the living wall will be the largest public vertical garden in San Francisco.

*              *              *

Since SFMOMA’s founding in 1935, the museum has drawn nearly 23 million visitors, 50% of them since moving to its current location on Third Street in 1995. Over the past 17 years, San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood has grown up around the museum: new hotels, retail, restaurants, and residential properties were built and continue to thrive, all contributing to the tax base and economic vitality of the city. In 2016, SFMOMA’s new home will again transform the neighborhood as a major tourist attraction and as an employer: upon completion of the expansion, SFMOMA anticipates an over 20% increase in employees as well as 20% growth in its audiences, which currently average 650,000 annually. The expansion will also create over 1,400 new jobs in construction and related areas, and SFMOMA will be an even greater economic stimulant when it expands its operations and purchases of goods and services from Bay Area businesses.

To date, SFMOMA has raised more than $437 million toward its capital campaign, or more than 80% of its goal of $555 million—a total that includes funds for both construction and endowment.

About Snøhetta

>For more than 25 years, Snøhetta has been involved with some of the world’s most notable public and cultural projects. The company was founded when a group of young architects won the competition to design the new library in Alexandria, Egypt. Since then, the practice has expanded while maintaining its integrated, trans‐disciplinary approach—including architectural, landscape, and interior design—toward all its projects. Established in Norway in 1989, Snøhetta has maintained offices in both Oslo and New York since 2004, when the firm was commissioned to design the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center site.

Snøhetta has partnered with Bay Area architects EHDD, who have brought invaluable understanding of San Francisco to the design process, alongside a team of world-renowned engineers, consultants, and contractors across the country.

 

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Baritone Nathan Gunn Comes To Cal Performances Saturday, March 9 At 8:00 P.M At First Congregational Church In Berkeley

After receiving rave reviews as Papageno in the San Francisco Opera’s recent production of The Magic Flute, Nathan Gunn fans have a chance to hear him perform in the intimate setting of First Congregational Church in Berkeley on Saturday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m. With his compelling stage presence and musical versatility, Gunn will give a program that blends classical and contemporary songs. The first half of the concert will consist of Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann lieder, while the second half will feature works by Samuel Barber, Charles Ives and William Bolcom. Gunn will be accompanied on piano by Julie Gunn, his collaborator and wife. “He brings all kinds of excellence to his work: musical intelligence, crisp rhythmic delivery and sensitivity to the text, impressive acting skills, and daring physicality” (The New York Times).

Nathan Gunn was born in 1970 in South Bend, Indiana. After graduating from the University of Illinois he participated in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Program and, at 24, won the Met’s National Council Audition. He has since won accolades and awards, including the 2006 Beverly Sills Career Grant and in 2008 was included in People magazine’s “The Sexiest Men Alive” list.

Known for his dramatic talents, Gunn recently played the titular role in Billy Budd, a recording of which won the 2010 Grammy for Best Opera Recording. This season, Gunn will return to the Metropolitan Opera as Raimbaud in Le Comte d’Ory before heading to the Dallas Opera to play the Lodger in Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers. In addition to his opera roles, Gunn maintains a busy recital and concert schedule. He has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Chicago, Boston and London symphony orchestras. Recital appearances have been given at Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall.

Julie Gunn, who sits on the faculty at University of Illinois, is a pianist and arranger of songs from the classical repertoire to Broadway show tunes. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall Pure Voice Series, Lincoln Center Great Performers, and Manhattan’s Carlyle Cafe. Abroad, she has performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, and Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. Her opera credits include Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program, Wolf Trap Opera, Saint Louis Opera Theatre, Opera North, Chicago Opera Theater, and Cincinnati Opera. Julie and Nathan Gunn live in Champaign, Illinois, with their five children.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Nathan Gunn on March 9 at 8:00 p.m. at First Congregational Church are $56.00, 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 students, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  For more information about discounts, call (510) 642-9988 or go to
http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php

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Cal Performances Presents 
Mohammad Reza Shajarian And The Pournazeri Brothers In Colors Of Transcendence 


Cal Performances presents a major event in Persian culture to celebrate Nowruz. Master of Persian classical music Mohammad Reza Shajarian charts new directions in Persian music in Zellerbach Hall on Sunday, March 24, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. Joining him are the Pournazeri Brothers, in their Cal Performances debut, and an ensemble of twelve musicians from North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Considered “Iran’s greatest living master of traditional Persian music” (Los Angeles Times), Ostad (Persian honorific meaning “master”) Shajarian is an internationally acclaimed vocalist and two-time Grammy Award nominee. Tahmoures and Sohrab Pournazeri are two of Iran’s most innovative young composers and principal members of the renowned Shamss Ensemble. The program centers on the Pournazeris’ new music, composed for and inspired by a family of string instruments designed and handmade by Ostad Shajarian. The Pournazeris’ new settings of works by Nezami, Rumi, and contemporary Iranian poets will allow the “audience to take away an experience where they are touched by…a new culture of Iran” (Sohrab Pournazeri to the Los Angeles Times).

Entitled Colors of Transcendence, the concert is in two parts. First, Ostad Shajarian and the Pournazeris will perform improvisations from the radif, the modal foundation upon which Persian classical music rests. Then the ensemble will join the three virtuosi, performing on instruments invented by Ostad Shajarian. The Pournazeris’ innovative compositions for these instruments introduce new harmonies and rhythms into Persian classical music, expanding the range of Persian musical composition and offering the audience an experience of music both fresh and new.

Born in 1940 in Mashhad, Iran, Mohammad Reza Shajarian is world renowned as a master of Persian classical music. He began studying singing at age five and began his career in 1959, singing for a local radio station. Since then, he has taught in the Department of Music at Tehran University and has worked for Iran’s National Radio and Television. When he is not singing or researching Persian music, he is a practitioner of Persian calligraphy. In addition to his two Grammy nominations, Ostad Shajarian is a recipient of UNESCO’s Mozart and Picasso Medals (2006 and 1999, respectively) for his contributions to world culture. He is the only person ever to win both awards.

Born in 1977 and 1982 respectively, Tahmoures and Sohrab Pournazeri are the sons and protégés of Kaykhosro Pournazeri, founder of the Shamss Ensemble. Tahmoures, a multi-instrumentalist who is equally well-versed on all the major Persian instruments, began studying music at a very young age and joined the Shamss Ensemble at age 12. His younger brother Sohrab, a vocalist and virtuoso of the tanbour and kamancheh, joined the ensemble at age 13, and since then has developed his own distinct, idiosyncratic style. Upon joining their father’s ensemble, the brothers began composing new music that fused Persian classicism with the music of other nations. This constant innovation has kept the Shamss Ensemble at the top of record-sales charts in Iran for over 30 years.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Mohammad Reza Shajarian and the Pournazeri Brothers on Sunday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $26.00 to $200.00, 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.

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Yan Pascal Tortelier Leads The San Francisco Symphony With Oboist William Bennett In Performances Of Debussy, Strauss And Mendelssohn February 21-23 At Davies Symphony Hall

French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelierleads the San Francisco Symphony(SFS) February 21-23 at Davies Symphony Hall, in a program featuring SFS Principal Oboe William Bennett in Strauss’s Oboe Concerto. The program also includes Debussy’s Petite Suite and the Orchestra’s first performances of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 1.

The San Francisco Symphony first performed Debussy’s Petite Suite in 1920 with Alfred Hertz conducting. This is the first time the SFS will perform the work on a regular concert in almost 50 years; the most recent performances were in 1965 under the direction of Paul Paray. Strauss’ Oboe Concerto was first performed by the SFS in 1982, with Heinz Holliger as the soloist and Dennis Russell Davies conducting. William Bennett was also the soloist for the most recent SFS performances of the Oboe Concerto in 1991.

Yan Pascal Tortelier began his musical career as a violinist and at fourteen won first prize for violin at the Paris Conservatoire and also made his debut as a soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Following general musical studies with Nadia Boulanger, Tortelier studied conducting with Franco Ferrara at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and was Associate Conductor of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.

He served as Principal Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2011, and is now that orchestra’s Guest Conductor of Honor. Following his work as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic between 1992-2003, which included annual appearances at the BBC Proms and a successful tour of the US to celebrate the orchestra’s 60th anniversary season, he was given the title of Conductor Emeritus. He continues to work with the orchestra regularly. He also holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

William Bennett joined the San Francisco Symphony as Associate Principal Oboe in 1979, and has served as Principal Oboe since 1987. A regular soloist with the SFS, Bennett performed the world premiere of John Harbison’s Oboe Concerto in 1992 with Herbert Blomstedt conducting. The music was commissioned for him by the SFS, and Bennett went on to perform it with the Orchestra on tour in Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe, including performances in Vienna and London. He recorded the concerto with the Orchestra for Decca. Bennett has appeared in solo recital, concerto, chamber, and orchestral engagements throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He has performed at the Marlboro Festival, the Festival de Inverno in São Paulo, the Aspen Festival, and at the Berkshire Music Center and Music@Menlo. A graduate of Yale University, Bennett studied oboe with Robert Bloom at Yale and at the Juilliard School of Music. He serves on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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SF Symphony Wins a Grammy

Recording of music by Bay Area composer John Adams wins for
Best Orchestral Performance

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony’s (SFS) live concert recording of works by Bay Area composer and longtime collaborator John Adams has won a 2013 Grammy® Award today in the category of Best Orchestral Performance. The recording of Harmonielehre and Short Ride in a Fast Machine was released in March 2012 in conjunction with the Orchestra’s month-long American Mavericks festival and tour. This award marks the 15th Grammy win for the San Francisco Symphony and the 8th award on its own SFS Media label. MTT and the Orchestra garnered seven Grammy awards for their recent recording cycle of works by Gustav Mahler.

The SFS commissioned, premiered, and recorded Harmonielehre in March 1985 during Adams’ tenure as SFS composer in residence. Hear Adams and MTT’s insights about the work at http://bit.ly/YTHarmonielehre.

Michael Tilson Thomas commissioned Short Ride in a Fast Machine from John Adams in 1986. A video excerpt of the Grammy winning performance from the Orchestra’s Centennial Season Opening Gala in September 2011 can be viewed at http://bit.ly/13fiNce. Adams and Tilson Thomas talk about the genesis of Short Ride in a Fast Machine in a short video found at http://bit.ly/YTShortRide.

MTT and the SFS’ releases on SFS Media reflect the artistic identity of the orchestra’s programming, including its commitment to performing the work of American maverick composers alongside that of the core classical masterworks. The recording is available as a hybrid SACD, playable in conventional CD players as well as in SACD stereo and SACD surround formats for audiophiles who want a greater range of premiere sound options, and as a studio master quality digital download. All SFS Media recordings are available from the Symphony Store in Davies Symphony Hall and online at sfsymphony.org/storeas well as other major retailers. The recordings can also be purchased as downloads from iTunesand other digital outlets. SFS Media recordings are distributed by harmonia mundi in the U.S., SRI Canada, IODA digitally and Avie internationally.

For more information about this and other Grammy awards visit www.grammy.com

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First Major Touring Exhibition Of Garry Winogrand’s Work In 25 Years Debuts At SFMOMA

MOST COMPLETE RETROSPECTIVE OF ARTIST’S CAREER REVEALS TROVE OF UNSEEN PRINTS, ONE THIRD NEVER PRINTED BEFORE

The first retrospective in 25 years of work by artist Garry Winogrand (1928–1984)—the renowned photographer of New York City and of American life from the 1950s through the early 1980s—will debut at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) from March 9 through June 2, 2013. Jointly organized by SFMOMA and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Garry Winogrand brings together the artist’s most iconic images with newly printed photographs from his largely unexamined archive of late work, offering a rigorous overview of Winogrand’s complete working life and revealing for the first time the full sweep of his career.

More than 300 photographs in the exhibition and more than 400 in the accompanying catalogue will create a vivid portrait of the artist—a chronicler of postwar America on a par with such figures as Norman Mailer and Robert Rauschenberg who unflinchingly captured America’s wrenching swings between optimism and upheaval in the decades following World War II.

The exhibition has been conceived and guest-curated by photographer and author Leo Rubinfien with Erin O’Toole, assistant curator of photography at SFMOMA, and Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Art.

While Winogrand is widely considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, his overall body of work and influence on the field remains incompletely explored. He was enormously prolific but largely postponed the editing and printing of his work. Dying suddenly at the age of 56, he left behind approximately 6,500 rolls of film (some 250,000 images) that he had never seen, as well as proof sheets from his earlier years that he had marked but never printed. Roughly half of the photographs in the exhibition have never been exhibited or published until now; over 100 have never before been printed.

“There exists in photography no other body of work of comparable size or quality that is so editorially unresolved,” says Rubinfien, who was among the youngest of Winogrand’s circle of friends in the 1970s. “This exhibition represents the first effort to comprehensively examine Winogrand’s unfinished work. It also aims to turn the presentation of his work away from topical editing and toward a freer organization that is faithful to his art’s essential spirit, thus enabling a new understanding of his oeuvre, even for those who think they know him.”

The exhibition is divided into three parts, each covering a broad variety of subjects found in Winogrand’s art. “Down from the Bronx” presents photographs taken for the most part in New York from his start in 1950 until 1971; “A Student of America” looks at work made in the same period during journeys outside New York; and “Boom and Bust” addresses Winogrand’s late period—from when he moved away from New York in 1971 until his death in 1984—with photographs from Texas and Southern California, as well as Chicago, Washington, Miami, and other locations. This third section also includes a small number of photographs Winogrand made on trips back to Manhattan, which express a sense of desolation unprecedented in his earlier work.

Winogrand was known as great talker with a flamboyant, forceful personality, and what he said accompanying his slide shows and lectures was often imaginative and very funny. A number of videos edited for presentation in the exhibition will allow visitors to experience the living Winogrand as audiences have rarely been able to do for 30-odd years. A short selection from Winogrand’s experimental 8mm footage taken in the late 1960s will also be on view.

After premiering at SFMOMA in spring 2013 Garry Winogrand will travel to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (March 2 through June 8, 2014); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (June 27 through September 21, 2014); the Jeu de Paume, Paris (October 14, 2014 through January 25, 2015); and the Fundacion MAPFRE, Madrid (March 3 through May 10, 2015).

An Epic Chronicler of Postwar America

Born in the Bronx, Winogrand did much of his best-known work in Manhattan during the 1960s, and in both the content of his photographs and his artistic style he became one of the principal voices of that eruptive decade—so much so that influential Museum of Modern Art curator John Szarkowski anointed him “the central photographer of his generation.”

Known primarily as a street photographer, Winogrand, who is often associated with famed contemporaries Diane Arbus and Lee Friedlander, photographed with dazzling energy and incessant appetite, exposing some 20,000 rolls of film in his short lifetime. He photographed business moguls, everyday women on the street, famous actors and athletes, hippies, rodeos, politicians, soldiers, animals in zoos, car culture, airports, and antiwar demonstrators and the construction workers who beat them bloody in view of the unmoved police. Daily life in postwar America—rich with new possibility and yet equally anxious, threatening to spin out of control—seemed to unfold for him in a continuous stream.

Yet if Winogrand was one of New York City’s prime photographers, he was also an avid traveler who roamed widely around the United States, bringing exquisite work out of locations that included Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ohio, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Colorado, and the open country of the Southwest. “You could say that I am a student of photography,” he said, “and I am; but really I’m a student of America.” Winogrand’s expansive visual catalogue of the nation’s evolving social scene has led to comparisons to Walt Whitman, who also unspooled the world in endless lists of people, places, and things.

Winogrand’s pictures often bulge with twenty or thirty figures, and are fascinating both for their dramatic foregrounds and the sub-events at their edges. Even when crowded with people or at their most lighthearted—he was fond of visual puns and was drawn to the absurd—his pictures can convey a feeling of human isolation, hinting at something darker beneath the veneer of the American dream. Early on, some critics considered his pictures formally “shapeless” and “random,” but admirers and critics later found a unique poetry in his tilted horizons and his love of the haphazard.

“Winogrand was an artistic descendant of Walker Evans and Robert Frank, but differed sharply from them,” says Rubinfien. “He admired Frank’s The Americans, but felt the work missed the main story of its time, which in his mind was the emergence of suburban prosperity and isolation. The hope and buoyancy of middle-class life in postwar America is half of the emotional heart of Winogrand’s work. The other half is a sense of undoing. The tension between these qualities gives his work its distinct character.”

After serving in the military as a weather forecaster, Winogrand first began working as a photographer while studying painting on the G.I. Bill at Columbia University (1948–51). During that time, he also studied briefly with Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research. While pursuing his personal work, he began supplying commercial photographs to a number of general-interest magazines such as Life, Look, Sports Illustrated, Collier’s, and Pageant, which were then at the height of their power and reach. His career was further shaped by the decline of those magazines and the rise of a new culture of photography centered in the art world.

“Winogrand worked at a moment when the boundaries between journalistic and artistic photography were less certain than they had ever been, yet it was also a time when the most advanced photographers were consciously abandoning journalistic values,” says Greenough. “The social landscape he photographed—the dislocation of urban life, the rise of the suburb with its growing alienation, the skepticism of youth, and the collusion of the press and the powerful—was of concern to many Americans. Yet Winogrand rarely pursued an obvious means to explicate these ideas, preferring poetic evocation over intelligible journalism.”

Winogrand went on to exhibit widely at prominent museums and achieved renown in his lifetime. Yet despite this recognition, he is perhaps the most inadequately understood of all his contemporaries.

“Unfinished” Late Work Thoroughly Investigated for the First Time

The act of taking pictures was far more fulfilling to Winogrand than making prints or editing for books and exhibitions—he often allowed others to perform these tasks for him. Near the end of his life, he spoke of reviewing and reediting all of his photographs, but never had a chance to oversee the shaping of his legacy, or even to review much of the output of his later years. Because of his working methods and his lack of interest in developing his film toward the end of his life, he left behind more than 2,500 rolls of exposed but undeveloped film, an additional 4,100 rolls that he had processed but never seen—an estimated total of 250,000 images that have remained virtually unknown.

Furthermore, Winogrand published just five modest books during his lifetime—The Animals (1969), Women Are Beautiful (1975), Garry Winogrand (1976), Public Relations (1977), and Stock Photographs (1980)—that represent only a fraction of his work and are mainly confined to narrow topical frames that don’t suggest the full scope of his importance.

“One reason that Winogrand is only now receiving the full retrospective treatment already devoted to peers of his era, including Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, and Robert Frank, is that any truly comprehensive consideration of his life’s work requires contending with the practical and ethical issues surrounding the vast archive he left behind,” says O’Toole. “In the absence of explicit instructions from him regarding how he wanted his work to be handled after he was gone, its posthumous treatment has been the subject of ongoing debate and raises provocative questions about the creative process and its relationship to issues specific to the medium.”

“Some argue that what was left behind should be left alone, and that no one should intrude upon the intentions of an artist,” adds Rubinfien. “But the quantity of Winogrand’s output, the incompleteness with which he reviewed it, and the suddenness of his death create a special case in which the true scope of an eminent photographer’s work cannot be known without the intervention of an editor.”

Now housed at the Center for Creative Photography of the University of Arizona, Tucson, Winogrand’s “unfinished” work was initially organized in the years just after his death by several colleagues and friends in preparation for the artist’s first major museum retrospective, held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) in 1988. Exhibition curator John Szarkowski felt the quality of Winogrand’s work had significantly deteriorated in the last 15 years of his life, and included only a small group of pictures from the mysterious late work in MoMA exhibition.

Nearly 30 years have elapsed since the last attempt to grapple with the complete arc of Winogrand’s career. Benefiting from new curatorial research undertaken for this project, the current exhibition will provide a long-awaited reevaluation of his accomplishments. As one of the first museums to recognize photography as a legitimate art form, SFMOMA has collaborated with the National Gallery of Art—who, like SFMOMA, is known for its photography scholarship— in a multi-year endeavor to spearhead the presentation of this important exhibition and publication.

An Art-Historical Contribution

The exhibition catalogue Garry Winogrand (448 pages; $85 hardcover; $50 softcover)—published by SFMOMA in association with Yale University Press—will serve as the most comprehensive volume on Winogrand to date and the only compendium of the artist’s work. Five new essays and nearly 400 plates trace the artist’s working methods, major themes, and create a collective portrait of Winogrand.

Leo Rubinfien provides an extensive overview of Winogrand’s life and career. Erin O’Toole, assistant curator of photography at SFMOMA, considers the Winogrand archive at the Center for Creative Photography and matters relating to the ethics of posthumous printing of the artist’s work; she also writes introductions to each of the three main plate sections. Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Art, considers the magazine culture that gave birth to Winogrand’s early work and the emergence of the museum context that fostered his ideas in the 1960s. Sandra S. Phillips, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA, writes about Winogrand’s relevance for contemporary photography. Tod Papageorge, professor of art at Yale University and Winogrand’s intimate friend, protégé, and sometime editor, writes of his early years in New York when he met Winogrand and became one of his closest friends. And Susan Kismaric, former curator in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, offers a selected bibliography, full chronology, and annotated checklist that enables the reader to tell who among Winogrand’s various editors has been responsible for the selection of any photograph, and when.

Garry Winogrand is co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Leadership support for the presentation at SFMOMA is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher. The international tour of the exhibition is sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Major support for the presentation at SFMOMA is provided by The Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Bernard Osher Foundation. Generous support is provided by Linda and Jon Gruber. Additional support is provided by The Black Dog Private Foundation, the George Frederick Jewett Foundation, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and Kate and Wes Mitchell.

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Trisha Brown Dance Company Brings its Namesake Choreographer’s Final Works to Cal Performances

The Cal Performances appearance by Trisha Brown Dance Company on Friday, March 15 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall marks the last opportunity Bay Area audiences will have to see new works by the celebrated and groundbreaking choreographer. Brown, who has revolutionized modern dance since 1961, has retired from creating new work.  Her final two pieces, Les Yeux et l’âme and I’m going to toss my arms—if you catch them, they’re yours, a Bay Area and California premiere respectively, will be danced in Berkeley, along with a restaged work from her muscular 1980s repertory, Newark (Niweweorce). “From her involvement in pioneering postmodern movements like Judson Dance Theater to her decades-long collaboration with the artist Robert Rauschenberg, which she calls ‘my best dance,’ Ms. Brown’s innovations and influence are hard to overestimate” (New York Times).

Les Yeux et l’âme (“the eyes and the soul”) was created by Brown in 2011 and will receive its Bay Area premiere. The 15-minute work consists of the dance sections of Brown’s evening-length one-act opera Pygmalion (2010), set to music by French Baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764). Les Yeux et l’âme is a showcase for Brown’s athletic yet graceful duets. The other new work on the company’s Berkeley program, I’m going to toss my arms—if you catch them, they’re yours, is a California premiere commissioned by Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, France in 2011. Set to a piano and electronic tape soundtrack created by former Mills College music professor Alvin Curran, the work inventively employs large industrial fans blowing at—and dismantling—the shimmering white costumes of the dancers.

The repertory work in the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s program, Newark (Niweweorce), was choreographed in 1987, set to sound designed by New York–based composer and trombonist Peter Zummo and sculptor Donald Judd (1928–1994). A 30-minute work for seven dancers, Newark is part of Brown’s Valiant Series, a late-1980s set of athletic works (which also includes 1989’s auto-themed Astral Convertible) that pushed dancers to their physical limits. Newark is noted for its shifting stage design created by Judd, and has been completely restaged for the company’s current tour.

Trisha Brown is among the most celebrated, prolific, and admired choreographers alive today. A native of Washington State and a 1958 graduate of Mills College, Brown moved to New York City shortly after college, immersed herself postmodern dance at Judson Dance Theater, and began a choreographic career that would spawn more than 100 original works. Brown formed her own dance company in 1970 and quickly garnered notice for choreographing works for alternative spaces, including walls and rooftops in her SoHo neighborhood. Over decades of inventive choreography, Brown’s collaborations with Laurie Anderson, Robert Rauschenberg, Alvin Curran, John Cage, Donald Judd, and other prominent and cutting-edge artists have expanded the definition and boundaries of modern dance and extended her presence onto the opera stage, where Brown has worked as a director. Brown, who also danced herself until 2008, has received countless awards and accolades. She was the first woman choreographer to win a MacArthur “genius” grant, and received the first-ever “Bessie” lifetime achievement award in 2011. Also in 2011 Brown won the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. Most recently, in January 2013 Brown received the Foundation for Contemporary Art’s inaugural Robert Rauschenberg Award, endowed by the estate of the artist with whom Brown enjoyed a decades-long friendship and creative collaboration. Brown is also an accomplished visual artist who has had her drawings shown in galleries and museums worldwide.

Brown founded the Trisha Brown Dance Company in 1970 upon leaving the experimental Judson Dance Theater. The company of eight dancers, which last appeared at Cal Performances in 2007, presents dozens of performances, classes, and other events annually, both in their hometown of New York City and internationally. The 2012–2013 season has the company performing and presenting classes in France, Italy, Brazil, and Canada, as well as California, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The company’s education program offers classes and workshops, and works to perpetuate Trisha Brown’s choreographic repertory through restaging and preservation projects with dance companies, universities, and arts organizations worldwide.

Brown has decided to withdraw from leading her company, citing a series of mini-strokes in the last few years. Barbara Dufty is now the executive director of the company while longtime collaborators Diane Madden and Carolyn Lucas serve as associate artistic directors.  The company will embark on a three year international farewell tour. The company’s official website is www.trishabrowncompany.org.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for Trisha Brown Dance Company on Friday, March 15 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00–$68.00 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.

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