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Mummenschanz returns to Zellerbach Hall for the Thanksgiving weekend with three performances on Friday & Saturday, November 23 & 24, at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday November 25, at 3:00 p.m.  The universally loved theater troupe specializes in transforming inanimate objects like tubes, boxes and toilet paper into living characters in a whimsical show of lights, shadows, masks, and choreography. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Mummenschanz’s founding. The group will be touring internationally with a new program titled 40 Years, which features highlights from past creative endeavors.  The two hour show with intermission will feature over 30 sketches performed by Floriana Frasseto, Philipp Egli, Raffaella Mattioli, and Pietro Montandon.  “Mummenschanz transcends words and culture and cuts straight to the heart of what it is to be human” (Cape Times).

Formed in 1972, Mummenschanz was created by Bernie Schurch, Andress Bossard and current performer Frasseto to create a nonverbal theatrical language that would transcend the traditional barriers of nationality and culture.  The company was successful from its start at the 1972 Avignon Festival.  One of Sweden’s most popular cultural phenomenon, the group has toured the world, including Eastern Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.  The troupe spent three years on Broadway from 1977 – 1980 with a production that contained no words or music.  Their shows are known for the vast number of props in the shape of versatile faces, half-body and whole-body masks, and three-dimensional sculptural heads.  In 1998 the ensemble decided to set up the Mummenschanz Foundation following the death of founding member Bossard to promote originality in theatrical works. For more information, go to their website

Mummenschanz will give a SchoolTime performance for Bay Area students on Monday, November 26 at 11:00 a.m. at Zellerbach Hall.  Tickets are sold in advance only.

Tickets for Mummenschanz on Friday & Saturday, November 23 & 24, at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday November 25, at 3:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall start at $22.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; 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 or call (510) 642-9988.

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“Africa’s premier diva” (Time magazine), Angélique Kidjo, brings the party to Zellerbach Hall on Saturday, November 17 at 8:00 p.m., performing selections from her newest album Spirit Rising (2012) as well as other favorites. The album “has an amazing party atmosphere” (Groove Guide), and the audience should be prepared to dance in their seats. A “dynamic and unstoppable” (The New York Times) musician who has performed around the world, Kidjo is known for her unique blend of Afropop, jazz, gospel, Latin and tribal music. Accompanying her for the evening are musicians Dominic James (guitar), Daniel Freedman (drums), Magatte Sow (percussion) and Itaiguara Brandao (bass). In addition to her performing and songwriting, she uses her global renown to advocate for human rights as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and was named one of The Guardian’s Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World.

Growing up in the West African nation of Benin, Angélique Kidjo began performing in a band with her eight siblings at age six. She became lead vocalist in the Kidjo Brothers Band at age 11, and soon incorporated influences from many cultures, including rhythm-and-blues, soul and American rock ‘n’ roll into the group’s repertoire. Kidjo’s stage presence and spectacular singing propelled the band to local fame, and success spurred her to begin writing music in her mid-teens. While in school, Kidjo formed a group called Les Sphinx and recorded a solo album, Pretty, which made her a household name throughout West Africa.

The political situation in Benin prompted Kidjo to move to Paris in 1983; there, she studied jazz and began to mix Euro-pop, funk and electronica into her music. She also attended law school and considered a career as a human-rights lawyer. She married composer and bassist Jean Hebrail and moved to New York City in the late 1980s, and she has been based in the United States ever since.

Kidjo newest album Spirit Rising was recorded live in Boston in June 2011 and features collaborations with Dianne Reeves, Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride and Josh Groban, among others; it was released in February 2012. She has won five Grammy Awards in the category of Best Contemporary World Music. In 2010, she was granted an honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music and has recently been awarded the prestigious Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the France Ministry of Culture.

She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and a Live Earth Ambassador for the 2010 Run for Water, a series of 6 K runs that helped increase awareness of the global water crisis. Kidjo formed the Batonga Foundation in 2007 to support education for girls in Africa. The foundation’s website is For more information visit


Tickets for the Angélique Kidjo on November 17 at 8:00 p.m. and in Zellerbach Hall start at $22.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; 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 or call (510) 642-9988.

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Legendary Sailing Yacht Returns to SF Bay to Raise Funds in Fight to Cure Leukemia & Lymphoma  

October 21 Regatta pits Dorade’s All-Female Crew led by
JJ Fetter against Ted Turner on Santana

Dorade( In 1936 Dorade helped put the Saint Francis Yacht Club on the map, winning the prestigious and demanding TransPacific race to Honolulu.  This weekend she returns to San Francisco to sail under the St Francis burgee once again in the seventh annual Leukemia Cup Regattataking place on Sunday, October 21. JJ Fetter, a four-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, will lead an all-female, all-star crew aboard Dorade, sailing in the invitation-only classic yacht division against another historic racing yacht, Santana,helmed by Ted Turner.

“What a perfect way to bring Dorade home,” said Doradeowner Matt Brooks. “She is the only boat to have ever won, handily, every major ocean race; and even today, she’s still competing and winning in races from Newport to the Caribbean, and now here on San Francisco Bay.”

Dorade was designed by the legendary Olin Stephens, creatorof six out of seven successful America’s Cup defenders between 1958 and 1980. Olin and his brother Rod Stephens designed and built Dorade in 1929.  In 1931 – at the ages of 20 and 22 – they sailed Dorade in the TransAtlantic Race, winning against a fleet of much larger boats and more experienced crews.  That win was followed by an extraordinary series of victories in the Fastnet, Cowles, and Bermuda races.  In 1936 San Francisco’s Jim Flood purchased Dorade and brought her to San Francisco.  Since then, she has changed owners many times, sailing the west coast, Europe, and most recently in Newport, Rhode Island.

In 2010, Brooks and his wife Pam Rorke Levy went to Newport in search of a classic yacht, and were immediately entranced by Dorade’s history and pedigree.  Rather than keep her as a museum piece, however, the pair decided to do something that many thought was impossible: restore her to full ocean-racing capacity.

“We needed to toughen up Dorade herself, but we also needed to develop a stable of crew members with the right skills, chemistry and experience to race a classic boat in trans-oceanic races.” said Brooks. “Races like the Leukemia Cup help us prepare both the boat and our crew for the kind of long-range sailing she hasn’t seen in decades, keeping in mind that while she may be game, she is also an eighty-year-old lady.”

“Our goal is to repeat all of her early ocean races, including Newport-Bermuda which we completed this past this June, the TransPac and Newport-Bermuda next year, and in 2015 the TransAtlantic, Fastnet, and Cowes,” said Dorade owner Pam Rorke Levy. “In her early years, Dorade won all of these ocean races, a record that stands unbeaten today. We are pleased and honored that her return to the Bay begins with the Leukemia Cup Regatta.”

Along with Levy and Fetter, Dorade’s crew for the Leukemia Cup is an all-star team comprised of Liz Baylis, Paige Brooks, Melinda Erkelens, Melissa Purdy Feagin, Laurel Gaudet, Pam Healy, Genny Tulloch  and Sally Lindsay Honey – wife ofAmerica’s Cup technology director Stan Honey.

A native of San Leandro, California, Brooks learned to sail in Monterey Bay as a boy, and went on to race on San Francisco Bay on his first yacht Quarter Pounder, sailing under the St. Francis flag. Brooks is also a well-known mountain guide, and over the past forty years has racked up first ascents in the Sierra and the French alps, established a mountaineering equipment company, and has been honored with a Presidential Gold Medal and a lifetime achievement award from the American Mountain Guides Association. Since soloing as a pilot at age 13, Brooks has also set many world records in the air, including the record time for circumnavigating the globe (westward) and flying westward across the US, all in a specially equipped Citation business jet.  Levy is an Emmy-winning filmmaker and creative director, well known to Bay Area audiences and the arts community for creating and producing such shows as KQED’s arts program Spark.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS):
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.  Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

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Planning Commission OKs West Coast’s Largest Phallus


The glorious, metal and glass Transbay Tower received final approval from the San Francisco Planning Commission on Thursday, clearing one of the last major hurdles before crews can finally get to work erecting the 1,070-foot icon in the city’s skyline.

When last we heard from the Planning Commission, the architecture team from Pelli Clarke Pelli had presented designs to connect the tower at First and Mission Streets to the new rooftop park next door with an awesome funicular. At yesterday’s meeting, architect Fred Clarke showed off some of the actual metal and glass that will make up the building’s outer skin. The metalwork apparently is thinner at the top, but grows thicker and denser towards the base, which is not really helping all those phallic comparisons. According to Clarke, the metalwork also gives it a “light texture” and an ambient glow.

As if things couldn’t be more awesome now that San Francisco will have a downtown funicular, several of the planning commissioners requested that the developers look in to adding an observation deck on or near the building’s top floor, 61 stories above SoMa. (By comparison, One Rincon Hill has 60 stories, but those views are only accessible to the spendy penthouse owners.) A senior managing director for developer Hines was a little noncommittal, telling a reporter, “I think the request to investigate the observation deck is reasonable and we will certainly work with staff to fully investigate that topic.” As fans of viewing things from above the fog, we’re certainly rooting for it.
Next hurdle: Developer Hines has to buy the land from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, but those negotiations are already underway.


From SFist

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DLA Piper, Sen. Mitchell Tainted by PG&E San Bruno Case: Recusal is the Only Path to Integrity for Law Firm, California Public Utilities Commission

George Mitchell: Reputation at Stake


This week’s unilateral announcement by the California Public Utilities Commission to select DLA Piper—a global law firm that has represented the company headed by the current CPUC President Michael Peevy and worked to defend utility companies in major litigation—has sent shock waves throughout California’s legal community, elected leaders, the public and the media.

The fact that none of the parties at the negotiating table–with the exception of the ‘defendant’ in the case, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.–knew of or agreed to mediation nor was a party to the selection of the mediator, has raised ethical and legal questions that stun even the most passive observers in this monumental national public safety case.

The most fundamental basis of mediation is the agreement by all parties that it is necessary, closely followed by the mutual agreement of an unbiased and neutral mediator.  That very principal has been broken in every conceivable fashion by the California Public Utilities Commission and admitted as such to the Associated Press when CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio said in an interview he felt the move to inform PG&E first about the selection of DLA Piper had not been well thought out: “I think we handled this rather poorly. Announcing it before people were brought into it was not a good idea,” Florio said.

In our opinion, it’s beyond not being a ‘good idea,’ it breaks the very foundation of mediation and ruins the integrity of the CPUC process and DLA Piper’s participation.

If DLA Piper and Senator George Mitchell hope to retain any integrity and their reputations in the legal community, they must immediately resign this assignment now they have become aware of the unethical and potentially illegal manner in which they were selected.  We urge them to resign even before the CPUC leadership has the opportunity to rescind their appointment. It is not only the honorable thing to do, but it is the only thing that will preserve their reputation and demonstrate that they are not simply stooges for the utility industry and CPUC President Michael Peevy.

We commend San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera for standing up and demonstrating his leadership in joining the challenge to demand the CPUC decision to unilaterally appoint DLA Piper and Sen. George Mitchell as mediators when they have conflicts not only with their representation of utility companies, but directly with the interests of San Francisco itself.

As always, San Bruno must win praise for being a leader in its attempt to protect public safety and its citizens in opposing this dubious appointment.  And The Utility Reform Network and the California Division of Ratepayers Advocates should be justly proud that they stood up and truly represented the ratepayers in calling attention to this disgraceful appointment of the clearly conflicted DLA Piper and Sen. Mitchell.

We hope for the sake of Sen. George Mitchell and DLA Piper that they resign now that they know their appointment was tainted, their position conflicted, and their very reputation is at stake.

Their integrity is in their hands and their decision.


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Opinion: Is City Hall a place for Bike Racers?

Opinion: Will Kane, from the SF Chronicle

The 2012 Dew Tour Toyota City Champions are held at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco, CA Thursday October 18th, 2012. Photo: Michael Short, Special To The Chronicle / SF

  • The 2012 Dew Tour Toyota City Champions are held at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco, CA Thursday October 18th, 2012. Photo: Michael Short


 The dirt bikers launching off ramps into jaw-dropping flips in front of City Hall this week will bring crowds, money and excitement to town.

That much is clear. But in San Francisco, one person’s sporting event is another’s political hot potato – and it isn’t hard to find people for whom the four-day Dew Tour extreme sports festival also means a surplus of exhaust fumes, dust and nuisance.

“There is a very large mound of dirt right in front of City Hall,” said Supervisor John Avalos. “Is this really the best use of public lands?”

The skateboard, dirt bike and BMX bike competition, called the “America’s Cup of BMX biking” by one city official, started Thursday and will fill the Civic Center area until Sunday. Demolition will take a few more days.

Construction zone

Crews have spent the last week sculpting dirt jumps with small bulldozers and hammering together grandstands and skateboard half-pipes. The plaza, usually a popular hangout for tourists and tired drifters, has been cut off since construction began Oct 8.

“Our parks are places that have general access and general use,” said Avalos, a frequent critic of the city Recreation and Park Department. “If Rec and Park is going to shut down the park for two weeks so we can put on a weekend event, does that make a lot of sense?”

It makes total sense, said Sarah Ballard, a Rec and Park spokeswoman. Parks are supposed to be places that attract a variety of users, she said.

“In this case, we have actually undertaken a concerted effort to bring people to Civic Center,” Ballard said. “This is a continuation of the efforts to bring activity to Civic Center Plaza.”

Try it yourself

And every part of the Dew Tour, save a few ticketed grandstands, is entirely free to the public, she said. On Sunday, hometown amateur skaters will be able to skate the same course the pros do.

“We think it is an exciting opportunity for San Franciscans and it, frankly, allows us to reach a demographic that is hard to reach – the teenage demographic,” Ballard said.

Organizers of the tour, whose main sponsor is the Mountain Dew soda company, paid the lean parks department almost $311,000 to rent the plaza for 17 days, Ballard said. The sponsors of the event have also booked 2,300 combined nights in city hotels. Even more rooms are filled by friends, family and fans.

“I think it is chasing cheap dollars,” Avalos said. “I think a good portion of the public is going to feel that way.”

Soda subsidy

And on top of all that, Avalos asked, why is the city taking money from Mountain Dew owner PepsiCo anyway?

“Rec and Park has a mission to provide recreation; they had a whole campaign to get rid of soft drinks,” Avalos said. “This is an event that is promoting Mountain Dew. Are we really lowering our standards by putting on events like this?”

Phil Ginsburg, head of the parks department, said fans were smart enough to make their own decision.

“There are a lot of sponsors at this event. Every major event has corporate sponsors,” he said. “We don’t believe in kids drinking soda. This event promotes healthy activity.”

View from sidelines

Crowds packed the sun-drenched plaza Thursday afternoon as the skaters warmed up.Paul Wood, 49, a regular in Civic Center Plaza, glowered from the public library.

“Good idea, wrong location,” he said. “It is an infringement of people’s – what do you call them? – civil liberties to have this here, because we don’t have access. They should hold it in Cow Hollow, like the America’s Cup.”

But Gregg Wilson, 43, of San Francisco, said he was stoked to see the skaters.

“I’m here to see what the kids are doing, man,” Wilson said while sitting on his board on the plaza. “I’m 43 years old, I’m retired” – from skating.

“That’s San Francisco for you, someone is always going to complain,” he said when told of Avalos’ objections. “We got naked guys walking around in the Castro. That’s something they should worry about.”

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San Francisco City Attorney Blasts CPUC, PG&E Over DLA Piper Law Firm Selection in San Bruno Blast: Will DLA Piper Recuse Itself?

DLA Piper Law Firm Conflict in CPUC PG&E Case

More Bad News for DLA Piper: Conflict is raised by SF City Attorney. DLA Piper is adverse to S.F. in litigation, claims several utilities among its clients. CPUC Has Refused Comment on Conflict, Call for DLA to Recuse Firm

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today expressed serious concerns about the California Public Utilities Commission’s unilateral appointment of former U.S. Senator George Mitchell and DLA Piper to mediate a settlement of enforcement actions against Pacific Gas and Electric Company over the deadly September 2010 explosion of its natural gas pipeline in San Bruno, Calif.

Mitchell currently serves as chairman emeritus of DLA Piper LLC, an international law firm that represents multiple parties currently involved in separate litigation against the City and County of San Francisco. The firm’s utility sector clients include Southern California Edison and Exxon Mobil.

“I have the highest regard for U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, and I greatly admire him for a distinguished public service career that includes major diplomatic achievements in Northern Ireland and the Middle East,” said Herrera. “But the legitimacy of an enforcement action involving one of the deadliest gas pipeline catastrophes in California history must be beyond reproach. What’s at stake in these proceedings is the safety of millions of Californians, and they deserve a process untainted by the appearance of utility industry bias. I don’t doubt Sen. Mitchell’s integrity or good intentions.”

Herrera continued “But the fact is, he leads a law firm that is both adverse to San Francisco in litigation, and that represents major gas utilities involved in cases before the CPUC. Moreover, the commission’s decision to unilaterally appoint a mediator raises larger questions about why the CPUC elected to appoint an outside mediator in the first place. It’s possible that mediation could prove helpful. But it is far more important that CPUC live up to its obligations as an industry regulator that protects the public interest.”

Herrera has been sharply critical of the CPUC following revelations from an independent review panel’s 2011 investigation into the San Bruno tragedy, which concluded that the commission’s “culture serves as an impediment to effective regulation,” and which went on to fault state regulators who “did not have the resources to monitor PG&E’s performance in pipeline integrity management adequately or the organizational focus that would have elevated concerns about PG&E’s performance in a meaningful way.” In July 2011, Herrera initiated steps to sue the CPUC along with federal regulators for failing to reasonably enforce federal gas pipeline safety standards as required by the U.S. Pipeline Safety Act. Herrera later elected to omit CPUC as a defendant after the commission showed signs of progress.

DLA Piper LLC contacted Herrera’s office last Friday, before the CPUC announced its appointment of Mitchell to serve as mediator, to inform city lawyers about litigation and other matters in which DLA Piper is currently adverse to the City and County of San Francisco. Those cases include litigation involving hotel chains and airlines.

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San Bruno, Ratepayer Advocates Challenge California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E: Demand CPUC Rescind Appointment of Sen. George Mitchell in Blockbuster PG&E Announcement

A blistering attack by the City of San Bruno, ratepayer advocates and Assemblyman Jerry Hill called into question the California Public Utility’s appointment of Sen. George Mitchell and his law firm DLA Piper as mediators in the PG&E explosion and fire settlement.

Mayor Jim Ruane of San Bruno, Thomas J. Long, Legal Director of consumer advocacy group The Utility Reform Network (TURN), and Karen Paull, Acting Legal Counsel, The Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) all stood in front of the CPUC this morning and lambasted the “unholy and cozy alliance” between regulator CPUC and the regulated Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

The City of San Bruno and consumer advocates signed a letter demanding the CPUC rescind the appointment of Sen. Mitchell immediately because the CPUC  went behind their backs in appointing the mediator to oversee the talks and presented evidence that CPUC and PG&E had ex-parte contact in making the decision. The groups objected to the choice of mediator and said they should have been consulted before regulator CPUC appointed the mediator.

The California Public Utilities Commission had announced Monday that it had appointed former U.S. Senator George Mitchell to serve as mediator in the talks.

San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson and attorneys with San Francisco and the consumer groups said the CPUC had notified PG&E before it appointed Mr. Mitchell, but didn’t notify San Bruno, San Francisco, or ratepayer advocates and officials.

“The unilateral announcement by the CPUC Monday that it had selected a mediator without consulting any of the parties at the negotiating table is consistent with the cozy and unholy relationship between the CPUC and PG&E.  This action is symbolic of the broken, dysfunctional and dishonest relationship between PG&E and the CPUC, the agency that is supposed to be the watchdog and protector of the public’s interest,” said Mayor Ruane of San Bruno.

“San Bruno is rightly concerned that the DLA Piper law firm has previously represented utilities–and that the firm was selected unilaterally by the CPUC and PG&E without the participation of any other party, which goes against the fundamental principles of mediation,” said Mayor Ruane at the press conference today.

“It also is of deep concern to us that DLA Piper has a lengthy list of corporate clients, including Southern California Edison, which the current chairman of the CPUC, Michael Peevey, once headed, according to news media reports about the appointment.

“In order for any mediation to succeed, the mediator will have to assure all the parties to our satisfaction that they have no conflicts, that they can be an unbiased mediator, and that the process will be open, transparent and fair,” Mayor Ruane said.

He continued: “We find that there is too much of a coincidence that one week before the announcement of DLA Piper as mediator, we were told that “a mediator with gravitas” is necessary to settle the negotiations, and now, with the unilateral start of mediation, that PG&E shareholders are paying for the mediation. This leads us, we rightly believe, to the conclusion that the CPUC and PG&E have had improper ex-parte contact as part of this process.

“We state unequivocally for the record that no fine or settlement with PG&E will ever be legitimate or credible without the participation of the City of San Bruno.

“We call into question the integrity of the entire CPUC process that has occurred over the past two years since our community was ripped apart by the negligent and systematic safety failures of PG&E and the inability of the CPUC to independently protect and represent the interests of the residents of San Bruno and the people of California.

“The healing process has physical manifestations in the reconstruction of our Crestmoor neighborhood. However, the scars and horrors of the explosion and fire remain. The City committed to its citizens that it would be an active and relentless participant in all of the investigations that followed.

“We remain at the table to represent the interests of the citizens of San Bruno, the memory of those whose lives were taken by PG&E’s negligence, their families and friends, and equally important, every other city, town and community in the State of California so we can help others prevent what happened to us,” Mayor Ruane concluded.

Mayor Ruane and the consumer advocate attorneys said Sen. Mitchell’s previous work for Southern California Edison, a utility where CPUC Chairman Michael Peevey was formerly an executive, made them question whether he would be impartial.

PG&E and CPUC investigators said Friday that they had started fresh talks to settle the investigators’ allegations that the utility violated numerous state and federal safety rules prior to the fatal 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

The CPUC had been holding public hearings following three investigations investigators completed after a section of the utility’s gas pipeline in San Bruno ruptured on Sept. 9, 2010, igniting a giant fireball that killed eight people and injured 58. The fire destroyed 38 homes and damaged 70 others. The neighborhood where the blast occurred hasn’t been fully rebuilt, although some houses have been rebuilt.

Both federal and state investigators blamed PG&E for the blast and found that defects in the utility’s aging pipeline and inadequate pipeline safety management contributed to the pipe’s rupture.

A CPUC judge suspended those hearings last week, after state investigators, who are employed by the CPUC, asked to stop the hearings to allow time for a fresh round of talks with PG&E.

Members of the CPUC have said they plan to order fines and possibly other penalties against PG&E over the San Bruno disaster.

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Author and native New Yorker, Fran Lebowitz brings her sardonic wit to Zellerbach Hall for one night only, Thursday, November 15 at 8:00 p.m. as part of Cal Performances’ Strictly Speaking series. Lebowitz has developed a unique place for herself as the voice of the self-proclaimed “Me Generation.” She offers insights on contemporary issues such as gender, race, gay rights and media as well as her own pet peeves, ranging from celebrity culture to tourists and strollers. She will talk about her life experiences and then hold a Q&A with the audience. The Philadelphia City Paper called Lebowitz “the single inheritor to the smart-not-smarmy, sarcastic, cosmopolitan crown left by Dorothy Parker.”

Born in New Jersey, Lebowitz worked many odd jobs before being hired by Andy Warhol as a columnist for Interview.  Her first two book, Metropolitan Life and Social Studies are collections of essays that were later compiled and re-published as The Fran Lebowitz Reader. In 2010, Martin Scorsese directed a documentary about Lebowitz entitled Public Speaking. The film features clips from her speaking engagements and debuted on HBO.  In addition to her speaking tours, Lebowitz is also seen by the public in her reoccurring role as a judge on the popular detective show Law and Order.  She recently broke a ten year writer’s block (which she humorously referred to as “Writer’s Blockade”) and began working on a new novel Exterior Signs of Wealth, which is purportedly about rich people who want to be artists and artists who want to be rich.

Tickets for Fran Lebowitz on Thursday, November 15 at 8:00 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall start at $20.00 and are subject to change.  Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; 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 or call (510) 642-9988.

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October 31 through November 11, 2012


For Art for Human Rights, we have selected artworks from the collection that inspire thought about a range of human rights issues, both individual and collective, local and international. The exhibition includes work from Fernando Botero’s provocative Abu Ghraib series along with selections from from a 1968 photo essay on the Black Panthers in the Bay Area by Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones. Rounding out the exhibition is a porcelain cube sculpture by Ai Weiwei, whose works and actions increasingly accentuate the fragile situation of those who speak out against human rights abuses in his native China.

The exhibition is organized by Chief Curator and Director of Programs and Collections Lucinda Barnes and Assistant Curator Stephanie Cannizzo.


Related Public Programs

Sunday, November 11, 4:30 p.m.


Alison Klayman (U.S./China, 2012)

Introduction by art critic Jeff Kelley

PFA Theater

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is the first feature-length film about the internationally renowned Chinese artist and activist. Director Alison Klayman, an American freelance journalist who was based in Beijing between 2008 and 2010, gained unprecedented access to the artist, documenting his working method, political activism, personal life, and rise to stardom.


Thursday, November 15, 4 p.m.


BAM/PFA Museum Theater

Join Eric Stover, faculty director of the Human Rights Center at the UC Berkeley School of Law, and UC Berkeley Associate Professor of Rhetoric Michael Mascuch as they explore issues arising from the work on view in Art for Human Rights. Admission is free.

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The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents TRIMPIN: NANCARROW PERCUSSION ORCHESTRA / MATRIX 244 NOVEMBER 2—DECEMBER 23, 2012

The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents Trimpin: Nancarrow Percussion Orchestra / MATRIX 244, a new sculptural sound installation by the Seattle-based artist Trimpin. The work is created in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the avant-garde expatriate American composer Conlon Nancarrow (1912–97), best known for his rhythmically complex and intensely layered compositions for the player and prepared piano. Trimpin’s performative installation results from several years of study and investigation and incorporates percussive instruments originally designed by Nancarrow, which Trimpin recovered from the composer’s Mexico City home and has carefully restored.

A MacArthur Fellow (1997), Trimpin is recognized for his creative investigations of acoustic music in spatial contexts, often using salvaged and reconfigured instruments and technological equipment to extend the traditional boundaries of instruments and the sounds they produce. Nancarrow’s radical player-piano scores, which he composed from the late 1940s, existed only as unique, individually punched player piano rolls until Trimpin convinced Nancarrow, soon after they met in 1987, to allow him to convert the vulnerable rolls into MIDI files, creating an enduring format for these otherwise fugitive pieces.

For this new installation, commissioned by Other Minds in collaboration with BAM/PFA, Trimpin has drawn on his deep understanding of and admiration for Nancarrow’s music and creative approach. Nancarrow spent several years of his life on a large scale, vacuum-actuated percussion orchestra, capable of performing rhythmically complex compositions on an array of hand-built ceramic and orchestral drums, wood blocks, gongs, and other instruments. With less than desired results, Nancarrow eventually abandoned his dream orchestra. Over sixty years later, Trimpin has reimaged and rebuilt the orchestra using three salvaged upright pianos, which have been broken apart, reconfigured, mechanized as player pianos, and “prepared” to play a variety of Nancarrow’s scores, as well as Nancarrow’s drums, unveiled for the first time in this exhibition. The compositions are rearranged and fragmented across three pianos in short and varied pieces, and include some phrases from original Nancarrow rolls, seemingly punched for use by the percussion orchestra. The motion of visitors in the gallery triggers the acoustic environment, incorporating the audience and spatial environment into the character and performance of this work. The installation performs in real time over the course of the exhibition, with hundreds of feet of player-piano paper spilling out onto the gallery floor, expanding the piece into an evolving spatial performance of acoustic sound.

Nancarrow at 100: A Centennial Celebration
BAM/PFA, Other Minds, and Cal Performance salute Nancarrow with a spate of music, films, and discussions across the UC Berkeley campus from November 2 through November 4, 2012. Nancarrow at 100: A Centennial Celebration kicks off with a conversation between artist Trimpin and BAM/PFA Chief Curator and Director of Programs and Collection Lucinda Barnes about Trimpin’s MATRIX installation and Nancarrow’s legacy. BAM/PFA also hosts Don’t Shoot the Player Piano: The Music of Conlon Nancarrow at the PFA Theater, two evenings of rarely seen films, some biographical, others visual tributes to Nancarrow’s music, including the West Coast premiere of James R. Greeson’s Conlon Nancarrow: Virtuoso of the Player Piano. Cal Performances presents three concerts in Hertz Hall that will display Nancarrow’s diverse body of work, including performances by Trimpin and Rex Lawson, Calder Quartet, and Lawson with Chris Froh, Graeme Jennings, Helena Bugallo and Amy Williams. Lastly, there will be two public panel discussions at Hertz Hall: The Expanding Universe of Conlon Nancarrow and Eyeballs Out! How Performers Learned to “Play” Nancarrow. Guests at these discussions will include Yoko Sugiura-Nancarrow, widow of the composer, music archivist Felix Meyer, and music publisher Peter Garland, biographer Kyle Gann, as well as the festival’s numerous performers. See the schedule below for details for all the events.

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K*STAR*PRODUCTIONS home of the Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble (KKDE) Presents 15th Anniversary Celebration Concert “In The Meantime” as Tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month

K*STAR*PRODUCTIONS, home of the Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble (KKDE), presents its 15th Anniversary Celebration Concert, “In the Meantime” ( This original dance-drama probes the period of time during which a person awaits news that may significantly alter her life. “In the Meantime” combines dance and text to provide a glimpse into the hidden anxieties of anticipation, and an intimate insight into the meantime—when one hopes for the best but must prepare for the worst. “In the Meantime” was written in collaboration with Izzie-nominated Delina Patrice Brooks, a Bay Area-based songwriter, playwright, dancer, and choreographer, and features vocalist Tossie Long and accompanist Tasche.

“In the Meantime” will be performed on Friday and Saturday, October 26–27, 2012, at 8pm at Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon Street, Oakland (Lake Merrit BART accessible). Tickets ($8–$22) are available at; by calling 888.819.9106; or at the Box Office one hour prior to the concert. Further information is available at

On Friday, October 26 (8pm), the program opens with Dimensions Extensions Performance Ensemble performing repertory by Kendra Kimbrough Barnes and Latanya Tigner. A discussion follows the concert.

On Saturday, October 27 (8pm), K*STAR*PRODUCTIONS/KKDE says “Thank you” to the audience that has supported its work for the past 15 years by hosting a post-performance reception, featuring the mesmerizing sounds of Boon, who also will perform an opening set. All are welcome to enjoy this celebratory evening of live music, dance and reflection as K*STAR*PRODUCTIONS/KKDE mark this milestone as a viable and valuable organization in the community.

Director Kendra Kimbrough Barnes presents “In the Meantime” as a tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, remembering her mother’s battle that ended 21 years ago, and to the many families still affected by the disease. This dance-theater work probes the lives of women who cope with different aspects of breast cancer. KKDE explores what it’s like to face the possibility of death while managing the demands of life. Through movement and text, the dancer-actors articulate the gripping emotional commitment and vulnerability of those suffering from breast cancer, whether researching preventive measures, caring for a loved one who is ill, or personally facing the disease. In The Meantime also takes an honest look at breast cancer awareness campaigns.

“’In The Meantime’ is a spell-binding work that pays tribute to the strength and resilience of women,” says Kimbrough Barnes. “I’m honored to mark the company’s 15-year milestone with a performance intended to uplift those who have suffered or are suffering from this epidemic.”

Kendra Kimbrough Barnes established KKDE in 1996 after graduating from San Francisco State University’s Dance Department. She later received her MA in Arts Administration while on full scholarship at Golden Gate University. Kendra’s work displays true vision as she grows and establishes herself as an accomplished choreographer. KKDE has received funding from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, CA$H grant, the City of Oakland, and other sources. An accomplished dancer, Ms. Kimbrough has performed with Robert Henry Johnson, Robert Moses, and other renowned Bay Area choreographers. Currently she teaches children in Oakland through Dimensions Dance Theater’s Rites of Passage Program, and teaches Jazz, Modern, African-Haitian, Pilates, and Yoga at the College of San Mateo.

The Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble (KKDE) focuses on paying respect to the rhythmic cycles of life to create a holistic cyclone of expression. The group consists of well-versed dancers that strive to bridge cultures through performances and workshops that reach a diverse audience. KKDE is committed to representing a range of ages, body-types, and movement styles, and strives to inform audiences about various social issues. The ensemble teaches, creates and presents dance works that build on a wide array of dance forms, with choreography that integrates modern dance with movements inspired by African, Brazilian, and North Indian cultures.

Delina Patrice Brooks (Writer / Creative Collaborator) earned a 2009 Isadora Duncan “Izzie” Award nomination for “Beauty, The Beast: A Dance-Theater Production”, coined as her breathing self-portrait. She has studied and performed dance in the U.S., Western Europe, Southern Philippines and Guinea, West Africa. She has received funding from The Zellerbach Family Foundation, City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program, and The East Bay Community Foundation. Brooks has been presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Youth Speaks, The Black Choreographers Festival, The Crucible, and University of Wisconsin-Madison, among others. She has performed with The Living Word Project, ASE Dance Theatre Collective, City Circus, Willows Theater, African American Shakespeare Company, Cherrie Moraga/Cihuatl Productions, Rhesus Media Group, and other companies.


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Esa-Pekka Salonen is considered one of today’s most brilliant musicians, not only as the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and for his remarkable legacy as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic but for his work as a composer as well. Cal Performances will present a special evening featuring Salonen’s work on Thursday, November 8 at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall. The concert will be moderated by Cal Performances’ Director Matías Tarnopolsky and the composer who recently received the 2012 Grawenmeyer Award for Music Composition. Maestro Salonen will then lead the Philharmonia Orchestra, an ensemble of “blazing originality” (The Sunday Times) in three distinct concerts: Friday, November 9 at 8:00 p.m. features the music of Beethoven, Berlioz and Salonen; Saturday, November 10 at 7:00 p.m. is a concert version of Alban Berg’s masterpiece Wozzeck; and Sunday November 11 at 3:00 p.m. concludes the residency with Mahler’s triumphant Symphony No. 9. All orchestral concerts take place in Zellerbach Hall.

Under the leadership of Tarnopolsky, Cal Performances has established a program of great orchestras in residence on the UC Berkeley campus, designed to deepen the relationship between the world’s finest ensembles, the Northern California cultural community and the campus community through lectures, master classes and extended programs. Opportunities for the community to better know Maestro Salonen and the musicians of the Philharmonia include the Composer Portrait concert mentioned above, a special Composer Colloquium hosted by the UC Berkeley Department of Music, an open master class with the UC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Salonen, and other events to be announced.

Committed to providing unique opportunities for the University community to interact with the artists coming to Cal Performances, Tarnopolsky has arranged for the UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus and members of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra not only to perform with the Philharmonia but to tour with the ensemble as part of Wozzeck. The 25 members of the banda and 30 members of the chorus will travel to Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall for a performance, with the musicians in the banda continuing on with the Philharmonia to New York’s Avery Fisher Hall. “These kinds of experiences for our UC Berkeley students are life changing,” said Tarnopolsky.  “We are thrilled that one of our most important on-going goals—the integration of Cal Performances more fully into the University— has been manifested in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s merit as one of the leading composers of our generation will be displayed as the residency opens with a Composer Portrait concert of four of his compositions. The first of these works, Dichotomie, is for solo piano and will be performed by the adventurous new-music advocate Gloria Cheng who premiered the piece in 2000. The work contains two movements: the first, Mécanisme, mimics an active and imperfect machine that evolves into the second, Organime, which represents life. Hommonculus will be performed by the esteemed Calder Quartet. Written in 2007, Salonen wanted to create “a little piece that behaves like a big piece” and does so through a 15 minute composition that has all the thematic content of a longer work. The Calder Quartet, known for breaking the boundaries of what a string quartet does, includes Benjamin Jacobson and Andrew Bulbrook (violins), Jonathan Moerschel (viola) and Eric Byers (cello).  Mania, the third piece, was written in 2000 by Salonen for his childhood friend, cellist Anssi Karttuneo. It is about “movement that never stops,” explains Salonen. “The tempo fluctuates between extremes, gestures become other gestures.” The work will be performed by UC Berkeley’s Eco Ensemble, led by David Miles, and cellist  Kacy Clopton.  Clopton also performs in the fourth work, Knock, Breathe, Shine, written in 2011 and made up of three movements reflecting the title.

Salonen’s work will also be featured in the first concert with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Helix (2005)—an “exuberant showpiece” (Los Angeles Times)—is composed in the style of a classic overture but with tempo markings that steadily increase throughout the work. The concert continues with two favorites of the orchestral repertoire: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique.

Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, one of the essential works of the 20th century, will be performed on Saturday. This concert version includes Johan Reuter, baritone (Wozzeck), Angela Denoke, soprano (Marie), Peter Hoare, tenor (the Captain); Frode Olsen, bass-baritone (the Doctor), Hubert Francis, tenor (the Drum-Major) and Joshua Ellicott, tenor (Andres). The UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, directed by Marika Kuzma, and the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, directed by Robert Geary, will serve as choruses in the Tavern Scene; and members of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, directed by David Milnes, will perform as the Tavern and Military banda (see page 2).

The final concert will feature Mahler’s glorious Symphony No. 9, which was written at the end of his life, and is thought to be his farewell to the world; he died having never heard the work performed. The great conductor Herbert von Karajan has said that “it is music coming from another world, it is coming from eternity.” With this work Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra complete their residency.

The UC Berkeley Music Department will host a Composer Colloquium with Salonen on Friday, November 9; time and location, to be announced. Salonen will hold an open master class with the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, conducting Debussy’s La Mer, on Sunday November 11, 5:30–7:30 p.m. in Hertz Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.

Sightlines pre-performance talks will be given by music specialists before each concert on November 9,10 and 11 at 7:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. respectively, in Zellerbach Hall. Each Sightlines will focus on the repertoire to be performed at the corresponding concert. Sightlines is a continuing program of pre-performance discussions with artists and scholars, designed to enrich the concertgoer’s experience and are free to ticketholders. For more information about the speakers, visit

Esa-Pekka Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland, and studied french horn, composition and conducting at the Helsinki Conservatory.Though he considers himself primarily a composer, in 1973 he took a post as conductor at the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra to ensure his compositions would be performed. He has since worked with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestra as principal conductor. Salonen has worked throughout his career as a composer and has remained committed to pioneering the works of other living composers as well. He is a member of UNESCO’s International Rostrum of composers, in 2006 he was named Musical America’s Musician of the Year and in 2012 won the Grawenmeyer Award for Music Composition. More information can be found on his website at

The Philharmonia Orchestra has long been considered one of the United Kingdom’s foremost musical pioneers. Throughout its history, the ensemble has been committed to finding new ways of bringing its top quality live performance to audiences worldwide, and to using new technologies to achieve this. Since 1945, millions of people have enjoyed their first experience of classical music through a Philharmonia recording and today, audiences can engage with the orchestra through webcasts, podcasts, downloads, computer games and film scores. The orchestra has created original contents that include artist interviews and features on repertoires and projects that have been watched by more than a million people on YouTube. In May 2010, the orchestra’s digital “virtual Philharmonia Orcheatra” project, RE-RITE, devised with Salonen, secured the Philharmonia’s position as a digital innovator and has won both the PRS Audience Development and Creative Communication Awards. More information about the Philharmonia Orchestra can be found at

Tickets for the Composer Portrait: Esa-Pekka Salonen on Thursday November 8, at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall begin at $42.00 and are subject to change. Tickets for the Philharmonia Orchestra with Esa-Pekka Salonen, principal conductor, on Friday, November 9, at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, November 10, at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, November 11, at 3:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall begin at $30.00 and are subject to change. 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 or call (510) 642-9988.

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San Francisco Receives $600,000 for Two HOPE SF Public Housing Projects from

Nation’s Premiere Neighborhood Transformation Program

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today joined the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to announce two planning grants for the Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) for the City’s HOPE SF public housing transformation projects: $300,000 for Potrero Annex/Terrace in the Potrero community and $300,000 for Sunnydale in the Visitacion Valley community. The CNI planning grant funding will allow each team to build upon their existing community engagement and planning work to craft comprehensive, community-driven plans to transform these public housing developments into thriving mixed-income neighborhoods.

“San Francisco made a bold step by launching HOPE SF and I thank HUD for supporting us in this journey to transform our City’s most distressed public housing sites into thriving communities,” said Mayor Lee. “These grants will allow us to create the type of transformation plans for Sunnydale and Potrero that are good for residents and good for our City. The future is bright for the transformation of public housing in San Francisco, and we will continue to work with all of our partners to make sure these projects move forward.”

“While many of these grantees have already collaborated to get to this stage, this funding enables them to take their initial discussions further to plan out strategies to build stronger, more sustainable communities that will address distressed housing, failing schools, rampant crime, and all that plagues the nation’s poor neighborhoods,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative represents the next generation in a movement toward revitalizing entire neighborhoods to improve the lives of the residents who live there.”

HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming distressed areas of concentrated poverty into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods. Building on the successes of HUD’s HOPE VI Program, Choice Neighborhoods links housing improvements with necessary services for the people who live there – including schools, public transit and employment opportunities.

HOPE SF is the City’s innovative initiative to revitalize the City’s most distressed public housing sites into mixed-income communities without displacing existing residents and while providing residents with services that will allow them to thrive in the transformed communities. San Francisco in 2011 also received a $30.5 million CNI implementation grant for the Alice Griffith/Eastern Bayview HOPE SF redevelopment.

As a part of the City’s HOPE SF Initiative, over the last few years, both the Sunnydale and Potrero teams have been working with residents, community members, businesses, community-based organizations and other stakeholders to develop a neighborhood transformation plan that includes revitalized housing, quality services and a plan for improving the surrounding neighborhood. This award complements this process by delivering critical funding to craft a comprehensive community plan that will be well positioned well for federal funding that could complement the other public and private financial resources necessary to implement these projects.

The Sunnydale and Potrero HOPE SF transformation projects seek to transform 785 and 606 existing public housing units respectively, into thriving, mixed income communities. The Sunnydale transformation project is led by Mercy Housing and the Related Group.  Bridge Housing is leading the Potrero transformation project.

“Sunnydale and Potrero have unique challenges – that is why is it is particularly exciting to celebrate our commitment to putting our money where our mouths are,” said District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen. “I am committed to improvements for Sunnydale and Potrero – I will continue to work toward safer streets, more resources, stronger commercial corridors and opportunities for education and employment for the residents. Thank you HUD for believing in our City’s comprehensive approach to improve public housing, support our residents and invigorate our neighborhoods.”



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Funds from Federal New Starts Program to Finance Extension of Muni Metro T Third Line through

SoMa, Union Square & Chinatown Neighborhoods

Mayor Edwin M. Lee and several key officials today announced Federal approval of an agreement dedicating $942.2 million in federal funds to the Central Subway Project. The agreement finalizes the financing for extending Muni Metro’s T Third Line through South of Market, Union Square and Chinatown and is the latest in a series of rigorous Federal, State and local approvals.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Peter Rogoff, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and other Federal, State and local officials joined Mayor Lee at a ceremony held today at the future site of the Central Subway’s Union Square/Market Street Station to announce the approval of the New Starts funds.

“This historic investment in San Francisco’s modern public transportation system will not only connect our City’s diverse neighborhoods and create thousands of jobs today, but it will vastly improve our transit system for our City’s growing population and workforce,” said Mayor Lee. “We thank President Obama, Secretary LaHood, Democratic Leader Pelosi, Senators Feinstein and Boxer and all our Federal, State and local funding partners for their vision and support.”

“When the Central Subway is complete, our City will see a stronger economy, a larger workforce, decreased pollution, less congestion, and faster, safer commutes,” said Leader Pelosi. “Working with partners and leaders from government, business, and the community, this project will serve as an economic engine for our City, improve and enhance our infrastructure, and connect the diverse communities of San Francisco.”

“This federal grant will fund San Francisco’s first new downtown subway in decades, transforming the Third Street line into the busiest in the city and moving tens of thousands through the central business district every day,” said Senator Feinstein. “With bus traffic, rush-hour congestion and pollution on the rise, this quick, emission-free alternative will be a vital addition to our infrastructure. It’s a key investment to modernize San Francisco’s public transit system.”

“There was a time when the transcontinental railroad was finished and the nation was knit together,” said Congresswoman Speier. “The Central Subway Project is one of those moments—bringing San Francisco closer to the Peninsula and Santa Clara counties.  This is a great vision and a great day for all commuters.”

“By extending the T Third Line through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown, we will connect major job, retail and cultural centers to rapid transit and speed up transportation through two of the City’s most congested corridors,” said Board President Chiu. “The Central Subway is an essential addition to our local transit network. We look forward to realizing the decades-long vision of bringing fast, efficient transit to the 4th and Stockton corridors.”

The Central Subway’s Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA), the formal agreement of financial assistance through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts program, was approved by FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff on October 11th. The investment will help fund construction of the subway tunnels, subway stations, surface-level station, train tracks and operating systems that make up this critical transit extension. New light-rail vehicles, utility relocation and project design, planning and administration are also included in the total project cost, to be financed in large part by New Starts.

New Starts contributed $92.4 million to the Central Subway Project to date. The remaining $849.9 million will be distributed in annual allocations as the project progresses. The second phase of the two-phase Third Street Light Rail Project, the Central Subway is expected to cost about $1.6 billion, with the federal government contributing close to $1 billion and state and local funding sources providing the remaining amount. Combined, the SFMTA will receive 50 percent of the funding for Phases 1 and 2 of the Third Street Light Rail Project from federal sources.

The Central Subway will extend the T Third Line from the Caltrain Station at 4th and King streets to Chinatown, providing a direct, rapid transit link from the Bayshore and Mission Bay areas to SoMa and downtown. Traveling north from 4th and King streets, T Third Line trains will enter a subway tunnel on 4th Street between Bryant and Harrison streets, beneath the I-80 overpass. They will then continue north under 4th Street, stopping at the Yerba Buena/Moscone Station before passing beneath Market Street and the existing Muni and BART tunnels. Trains will then travel below Stockton Street, stopping at the Union Square/Market Street Station before continuing to the line’s terminus in Chinatown.

A major improvement over existing transit service along the congested 4th Street and Stockton Street corridors, the Central Subway will cut travel times by more than half. Peak-hour travel times along this 1.7-mile route now average more than 20 minutes on Muni buses. Travel times on the Central Subway will average less than eight minutes.

With the addition of the Central Subway, the T Third Line is projected to become the most heavily used line in the Muni Metro system by 2030. About 65,000 customers per day are projected to ride the T Third Line in 2030 – about 20 percent more than are projected to ride the most heavily used existing Muni Metro line, the N Judah Line.

Construction is currently underway at four sites along the Central Subway Project alignment. Tunneling contractor Barnard Impregilo Healy Joint Venture is constructing a major excavation known as a launch box at the site in SoMa where tunneling will begin next year. Also in SoMa, work has begun to build below-ground walls, called headwalls, at the future site of the Yerba Buena/Moscone Station on 4th Street between Folsom and Howard streets. At Union Square, two blocks of Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets are currently closed to vehicle traffic to allow for headwall construction at the site of the future Union Square/Market Street Station. In addition, crews are working to relocate utility lines in North Beach to prepare to construct a retrieval shaft – an excavation on Columbus Avenue where the project’s two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are planned to be removed in 2014.

The Central Subway Project is the second phase of the SFMTA’s Third Street Light Rail Project. So far, the Third Street Light Rail Project has received $256.8 million in federal funding, including $123.4 million for Phase One of the project. Phase One constructed the 5.2-mile segment of the T Third Line currently in service between the Sunnydale Station in Bayshore and SoMa’s 4th Street Caltrain Station.


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THE MARSH San Francisco EXTENDS Brian Copeland’s The Waiting Period Through December 8, 2012

The Marsh San Francisco is proud to extend Brian Copeland’s critically acclaimed solo show, THE WAITING PERIOD through December 8, 2012. The Marsh could not be more proud of this sold-out show’s continuing and significant contribution to local discussion and understanding of this often fatal disease.

The show plays on Friday at 8:00 pm and Saturday at 5:00 pm on The Marsh MainStage, 1062 Valencia Street in San Francisco. For tickets, the public may visit www.themarsh.orgor call 415-282-3055. Fridays are Educator Nights. Please note: teachers, students and those working in the mental health field get special discounts. For information call 415-282-3055.

Copeland, a multi-talented actor, playwright, author and talk show host, has basked in the glow of both public and critical acclaim for nearly a decade. And yet, along with such other well-known figures as Mike Wallace, Tipper Gore and Yves San Laurent, he suffers from debilitating bouts of depression. As William Styron, another well-known sufferer, put it: “Mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from normal experience…depression takes on the quality of physical pain…it is entirely natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion.”

This show is an unrelenting look at a ten-day period in Copeland’s life—the mandatory

ten-day waiting period before he could lay his hands on the newly purchased gun with which he planned to take his own life. Even in the midst of this tragedy, however, his wonderful sense of the comedy of life does not desert him (how much should he spend on the gun?), indeed serves him insidiously well as a buffer against the grim reality of his intention. Copeland hopes this very personal, and ultimately redemptive, story will reach people who struggle with depression—often called the last stigmatized disease—as well as their families and loved ones. Interspersed with interviews with other sufferers, the play, like so many Marsh stories, also offers outsiders an insider’s view, thereby expanding our understanding and, hopefully, our humanity. As critic Sam Hurwitt put it in The Idiolect: “It’s a play I’d strongly recommend to anyone who is now or has ever been depressed or who knows someone in that situation. But honestly, it’s such a strong piece that I’d recommend it just as heartily to anyone who’s ever been human.”

In 1995, San Francisco ABC radio affiliate KGOpremiered The Brian Copeland Showthat remains the most listened to program in its time slot. His previous hit show, Not A Genuine Black Man, ended a seven-year run at The Marsh Berkeley earlier this year.


WHERE: MainStage, The Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia Street, at 22nd St

Parking: New Mission Bartlett Garage, 21st St between Mission & Valencia

The nearest Bart Station is 24th & Mission

TICKETS: Thursdays: $20-35 sliding scale
Fridays: $25-$35 sliding scale
Saturdays: $30-$35 sliding scale
$50 Reserved Seating
For tickets, visit or call 415-282-3055

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Markegard Family Grass-Fed Offers Workshops for the Aspiring Urban Farmer

If you have an itch to drive out of the city learn more about the country life, then Markegard family of Half Moon Bay have a workshop series that might be for you. The Markegards run a large grass-fed farm and ranch in Half Moon bay and raise beef, lamb, eggs and pastured pork, all available via CSA or purchase at the ranch. And in addition to regular ranch tours, the Markegards feature detailed workshops for the aspiring, or simply curious, urban farmer.

The first workshop on November 4th is “Cheese Making 101″ with cheese maker Louella Hill of San Francisco Milk Maid. Using fresh milk from the farm, students will learn cheese-making basics like cultures, molds and rennet. Students will create butter, buttermilk, ricotta-style cheese and end with a wheel of Havarti cheese for on-site eating or aging. The workshop will take place at TOTO Ranch a scenic coastal farm along the San Mateo coast. The cost is $75 and space is limited.

For those who want a deeper understanding of the milk they drink, the Markegards also offer a “Principles of Raw Milk Farm Walk” and workshop on November 5th. Hosted by Tim Wightman, an expert on raw milk production, the workshop will cover all the basic and key principles of quality, safe raw milk production. Students will learn more about soil, forage and herd management and how to look for the best quality milk from local sources. The workshop and farm walk is also at TOTO Ranch and the cost is $45.

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Sightlines: A pre-concert talk with UC Berkeley

musicologist Rachanna Vajjhala on Tuesday November 13, at 7:00 p.m. will explore the concert’s repertoire

Cal Performances is delighted to welcome back “a rare and marvelous artist,” (The New York Times) the internationally renowned pianist Emanuel Ax. The concert, on Tuesday, November 13 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall, includes favorites of the piano repertoire: Beethoven’s Sonatas in A major, Op. 2 No. 2 and C minor, Op. 13 (Pathétique) and Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960. Since winning the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition nearly 40 years ago, Ax has gained “overwhelming authority as musician, technician, and probing intellect emerges quickly as he plays.” (Los Angeles Times)

A Sightlines pre-performance talk will be given Tuesday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall by UC Berkeley musicologist Rachana Vajjhala. These events are free to ticketholders. For more information about the speaker, visit

Emanuel Ax was born in Lvov, Poland and moved with his family to Winnipeg, Canada at a young age. He attended the pre-college division at Juilliard and studied French at Columbia University. He first entered the public spotlight in 1974 at age 25, when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv and has since won many international competitions and become one of the most prominent pianists in the world. Each season his distinguished career includes appearances with major symphony orchestras worldwide, recitals in the most celebrated concert halls and a variety of chamber music collaborations.

Devoted to chamber music literature, Emanuel Ax regularly works with such artists as Young Uck Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Serkin, Jaime Laredo and Isaac Stern.  Since 1987, he has worked exclusively for the Sony Classical record label and has produced an exhaustive library of solo and chamber piano repertoire.

Ax is dedicated to performing new music.  He gave the world premiere of John Adams’ Century Rolls with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1997, the European premiere with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1998 and the New York premiere with the Cleveland Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2000.  In recent years Ax has turned his attention toward the music of 20th-century composers, performing works by such diverse figures as Sir Michael Tippett, Hans Werner Henze, Paul Hindemith, Ezra Laderman, Peter Lieberson, Joseph Schwantner, William Bolcom, André Previn and Aaron Copland.  More information can be found at

Tickets for Emanuel Ax on Tuesday, November 13 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall start from $30.00, subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; 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 discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

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Cal Performances thanks Wells Fargo and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their major support of the Season.
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Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement after Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D., Gladstone Institutes Senior Investigator and UCSF Professor of Anatomy, was named to receive the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent:

“Today we honor Dr. Yamanaka’s award of the prestigious Nobel Prize and his celebrated discovery of transforming adult cells to develop into any cell in the human body with boundless potential for medical advancement.

It is a proud day for all San Franciscans as we come together to celebrate Dr. Yamanaka’s achievement and commend everyone at the Gladstone Institutes, UCSF and Kyoto University. I also want to congratulate Dr. John Gurdon of the University of Cambridge with whom Dr. Yamanaka shares the Nobel Prize with.

Today is another reminder why we often say that San Francisco is the ‘Innovation Capital of the World.’”

The Gladstone Institutes is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission Bay, one the nation’s premiere life sciences clusters. Designed from the ground-up as a premier center for science and innovation, Mission Bay is a 303-acre mixed-use, transit oriented, and sustainable redevelopment project area. Mission Bay is anchored by a number of leading research institutions including UCSF’s Mission Bay Campus and Medical Center, the Gladstone Institutes, the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Mission Bay is home to more than 40 life sciences companies with more than 110 life sciences companies citywide. Companies located in Mission Bay include FibroGen, Nektar, Celgene, and Pfizer. There are now four life sciences incubators located in Mission Bay. The first phase of the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay is under construction and will include a 289-bed complex featuring three separate hospitals specializing in serving children, women, and cancer patients.

At full build out, Mission Bay will accommodate over 6,000 units of housing (30 percent affordable), 4.4 million square feet of office and R&D space, a 43-acre UCSF research campus and 550-bed medical center, 500,000 square feet of retail, a 500 room hotel, 49 acres of new public open space, a new 500-student public school, a new public library, a new fire and police stations and other community facilities.

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Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory today agreed to a friendly mayoral wager on the outcome of the Giants-Reds National League Division Series matchup. Game One begins this Saturday, October 6th at 6:37pm at San Francisco AT&T Park.

The Fire Departments in San Francisco and Cincinnati are both known for their chilis. So Mayors Lee and Mallory have decided to go toe-to-toe in a friendly wager. The City’s team that loses in the playoffs will host a chili cook-off fundraiser at a local firehouse with the proceeds benefitting the winning City’s youth programs.

“San Francisco is lit up in Giants Orange again and the entire City stands behind our Giants as they make another exciting run for the title,” said Mayor Lee. “While I enjoy the chili dished up at our Fire Houses, I’ll instead be seeing the fine firefighters of Cincinnati serving it up to support our City’s youth and recreational programs!”

“The Reds have thrilled us all summer with a magical season, and now, Cincinnati is fired up for postseason baseball,” said Mayor Mallory. “I sure hope San Francisco chili is as good as Mayor Lee says it is, that way it raises lots of money for Cincinnati’s youth, after the Reds send the Giants packing in the first round.”

The Giants finished the regular season with a 94-68 record, capturing the National League West title over the Los Angeles Dodgers by two games. The first-round, best-of-five playoff series begins in San Francisco with games on October 6th and 7th. The series then moves to Cincinnati for Game Three on October 9th, and Games Four, and Five, if necessary. Those games would occur on October 10th and 11th.

Mayor Lee today raised the San Francisco Giants flag over City Hall to celebrate this weekend’s playoffs. City Hall, Coit Tower and other City landmarks and buildings will continue to be lit in Giants Orange. Mayor Lee is also urging Giants fans and local businesses to show their pride in the National League West Champion team by wearing the Orange & Black or displaying signs, flags or any form of support for the hometown team.

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 With over 900 artists it is the countrys oldest and largest open studio event 

Every weekend October 13 November 4, 2012, 11am 6pm

ArtLaunch Opening Event: Wednesday, October 10, 5:30pm 10pm

San Francisco comes alive with art starting next weekend as ArtSpan presents its 37th Annual SF Open Studios – the oldest and largest event of its kind in the country. From Dogpatch to Fort Mason, the Mission to Ocean Beach, each weekend features new neighborhoods to explore as more than 900 emerging and established artists open their studios to show and sell their work during the month-long event. It’s an unrivaled opportunity for art patrons, collectors, and admirers to connect one on one with artists, get a glimpse of the working artist’s life, and to find their next true art love.

SF Open Studios is free, self-guided tour which takes place every weekend October 13 November 4, 2012 from 11am to 6pm. Each weekend features artists in different neighborhoods (please see event schedule below). To assist in planning studio visits, the public is invited to learn about the participating artists at or by picking up the free SF Open Studios Guide, complete with thumbnail reproductions, contact information, and map locations, available at distribution points throughout San Francisco and at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street, during regular gallery hours. While at SOMArts, visitors can enjoy the SF Open Studios Exhibition, featuring select works by many participating artists, on view October 10 – November 4, 2012.

“SF Open Studios absolutely epitomizes the breadth, depth, and diversity of the city itself,” says ArtSpan Executive Director Heather Holt Villyard. “There’s no other event that illuminates the abundance and vibrancy of San Francisco’s arts and culture in the same way.”

SF Open Studios kicks off with ArtLaunch, a special exhibition preview event and fundraising party on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 from 5:30pm to 10pm. Tickets are $25-$60 and can be purchased by visiting NOTE: Members of the press are invited for free. Please RSVP to 


About ArtSpan

ArtSpan, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, builds a community by connecting the public to visual arts in San Francisco. Through SF Open Studios, youth and adult education, and art-centric events, ArtSpan creates a platform for artists to thrive, fostering a Bay Area that values the arts.


2012 SF Open Studios Weekend Dates:


Weekend 1: October 13 & 14, 11am – 6pm

Fort Mason, Marina, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, North Beach, Ocean Beach, Sunset, Richmond, Diamond Heights, Buena Vista, Twin Peaks, West Portal, Glen Park, Excelsior, Duboce, Hayes Valley, Haight, Upper Market

Weekend 2: October 20 & 21, 11am – 6pm

SOMA, Tenderloin, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Bayview


Weekend 3: October 27 & 28, 11am – 6pm

Mission, Noe Valley, Bernal Heights, Castro


Weekend 4: November 3 & 4, 11am – 6pm

Hunters Point Shipyard & Islais Creek Studios


SF Open Studios Exhibition

October 10, 2012 – November 4, 2012

Tuesday – Friday, 12pm – 7pm

Saturday, 11am – 5pm

Sunday, 11am – 3pm

SOMArts Cultural Center, Main Gallery, 934 Brannan St. San Francisco, CA




October 10, 2012, 5:30pm – 10pm

Tickets range $25-$60

Available at

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Latin jazz icon Chucho Valdés will bring his quintet to Cal Performances on Wednesday, November 7 at 8:00 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall. His band includes Yaroldy Robles, percussion; Dreisser Bombalé, data drum and vocals; Rodney Barreto, drums; and Angel Perellada, bass, will perform a smoking hot showing of Latin jazz that Valdés has influenced for the last five decades.  One of the foremost instrumentalists to emerge from Cuba, eight time Grammy-winning Valdés has been hailed by the New York Times as a “pianist of imperial command, possessed of a dazzling, deceptively casual virtuosity.” The program will be announced from the stage.

Born in 1941, Dionisio Jesus “Chucho” Valdés grew up in a musical environment with acclaimed pianist Bebo Valdes as his father.  He started taking piano lessons at the age of five and graduated from the Municipal Music Conservatory of Havana nine years later.  In addition to his skills as a jazz pianist, he has been praised as a composer, teacher and music director.  In 1973 Valdés formed the acclaimed band Ikare which became known for their explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classicism and traditional Cuban music.  His many collaborators include Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Wyton Marsalis and ensembles including Lincoln Centre Big Band and John Clayton Big Band.  Valdes became a Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation in 2006 and has performed annually for the cause. He has also chaired the Organization Committee of International Jazz Plaza in Cuba. Valdés has toured extensively in over 50 countries and has performed in many famed concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Hollywood Bowl and Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires.  His current group, Chucho Valdés Quintet, was formed recently with percussionists from his previous group Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messanger.  Valdez has recorded 87 albums.

Tickets for the Chucho Valdés Quintet on November 7 at 8:00 p.m. and in Zellerbach Hall start at $26.00, and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; 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 or call (510) 642-9988.

Wednesday, November 7, at 8:00 p.m.

Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Bancroft Way at Telegraph Ave., Berkeley

World Stage
Chucho Valdés Quintet
Yaroldy Robles, percussion
Dreisser Bombalé, data drum and vocals
Rodney Barreto, drums
Angel Perellada, bass

Program: The dean of Latin jazz and one of the world’s great virtuoso pianists, multi-Grammy Award winner Chucho Valdés comes to Cal Performances with his band, Chucho Valdés Quintet.

Tickets: Start at $26.00, subject to change, and are available through the Cal Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door.

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Special hour long events are created for children and their grown ups

The First Stage for Families series kicks off on Sunday, November 4 with the Dell’ Arte Company in Wheeler Auditorium with two performances at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. A company of seven actors combine theater, music and acrobatics in a new production titled The Fish in My Head directed and designed by Ronlin Foreman.  Featuring the untold stories that swirl about in our dreams, the ensemble will use a blend of mask, circus skills, stilt-walking, physical comedy and songs to transform the stage into a realm of imagination full of fantasy.  Originally founded in 1971 by Carlo Mazzone-Clementi and Jane Hill, Dell’ Arte was created to bring the European physical training tradition to the United States and, in particular, to Blue Lake, California, where the troupe is still located. The company has created award-wining original works that tour nationally and internationally. “The spirit and originality of this company is ultimately irresistible” (Variety).

Next up in the series are double-bill performances by ensembles led by Kaila Flexer: Oakland Folkharmonic and Teslim on Sunday, February 24. The Oakland Folkharmonic is a five-piece string band that includes fellow fiddler Shira Kammen. Flexer will also perform with long-time collaborator Gari Hegedus, a multi-instrumentalist and the other half of Flexer’s “exotic … spellbinding” (Billboard) duo, as Teslim. Known for her work in various folk traditions from around the world, including Jewish klezmer music and Turkish folk music, Flexer’s concerts will showcase her ensembles’ eclectic repertoire, ranging from traditional modal music of Greece, Turkey and the Middle East to medieval music to original compositions by Flexer, Kammen, Hegedus and Ross Daly.

The series concludes with two performances by four-time Grammy-nominated duo, Trout Fishing in America, on Sunday, April 14. “Embody[ing] a kind of goofball gestalt at odds with the sugary-sweet format of so much other music for the younger crowd” (The New York Times), bassist Keith Grimwood and guitarist Ezra Idlet create an broad mix of folk and rock music that is family-friendly.

First Stage for Families series features two Sunday one-hour performances by each company at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Wheeler Hall. Tickets are priced modestly at $10.00 for children and $20.00 for adults.  Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door.  For more information visit

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Cal Performances thanks Wells Fargo and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their major support of the season.
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Yuja Wang previews her Asian tour concerts with performances of

Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini October 27 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 October 31

Lang Lang performs Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 November 1 and 2

Acclaimed Chinese pianists Lang Langand Yuja Wangjoin Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony for a week of concerts featuring two performances each of signature Russian piano masterworks, beginning October 27. Yuja Wang, who will tour Asia with the Orchestra in November, performs Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini October 27 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 October 31 at Davies Symphony Hall. On November 1 and 2, Lang Lang will perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in place of the previously announced Bartók Piano Concerto No. 2. The Orchestra also previews repertoire it will perform on the Asian tour, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Lou Harrison’s “The Family of the Court” from Pacifika Rondo, and Henry Cowell’s Music 1957.

The Orchestra begins its seventh tour of Asia in Macau on November 7. With Tilson Thomas and Yuja Wang, they visit six cities and perform 10 concerts on this tour, including their first appearances in Beijing and Macau, and their first concerts in Taiwan and Japan in more than 15 years. The Orchestra also performs two concerts each in Shanghai and Hong Kong,

Born in Beijing in 1987, Yuja Wangbegan studying piano at age six, with her earliest public performances taking place in China, Australia and Germany. She studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing under Ling Yuan and Zhou Guangren. From 1999 to 2001 she participated in the Morningside Music summer program at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, an artistic and cultural exchange program between Canada and China, and began studying with Hung Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone at the Mount Royal College Conservatory. In 2002, when she was 15, she won Aspen Music Festival’s concerto competition. She then moved to the U.S. to study with Gary Graffman at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she graduated in 2008. In 2006 Yuja received the Gilmore Young Artist Award. In 2010 she was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.



Since her 2005 debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra led by Pinchas Zukerman, Yuja Wang has performed with many of the world’s prestigious orchestras. She made her debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 2006 at its annual Chinese New Year concert, and has returned to perform with the Orchestra each year since then, developing a close artistic connection with Michael Tilson Thomas. She performed in Japan and Korea with the New York Philharmonic on its 2006 tour. In 2008 she performed as a soloist with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra led by Tilson Thomas at Carnegie Hall.

Her acclaimed recordings include Transformation, for which she received an Echo Award 2011 as Young Artist of the Year. Wang next collaborated with Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra to record her first concerto album featuring Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, which was nominated for a Grammy® as Best Classical Instrumental Solo. Her most recent record, Fantasia, is a collection of encore pieces by Albéniz, Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saëns, Scriabin and others.

See a video of Yuja Wang discussing her musical relationship with MTT and the SF Symphony here. Watch her perform Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini here.

Heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet” by The New York Times and the “world’s ambassador of the keyboard” by The New Yorker, Lang Langhas played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world, and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by both the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics. He made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 2000, and was the special guest soloist at the SFS Centennial Gala concert in 2011, which was broadcast nationally on PBS’s Great Performances. In 2008, as part of a weeklong special residency with the SF Symphony, he visited San Francisco schools, led an educational event for music students at Davies Symphony Hall, and performed in recital, in concert with the Orchestra, and in a chamber music setting with SFS musicians. In September, he performed at the opening of the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.

In 2011, his Liszt 200th birthday concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Charles Dutoit was broadcast live in over 300 movie theaters in the United States and 200 cinemas in Europe. He recently released his new CD “Liszt, My Piano Hero” and DVD “Liszt, Now!” to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the composer. Lang Lang also recently recorded the movie soundtrack of the Japanese blockbuster film “Nodame Cantabile,” Chopin 24 Etudes for “Project Chopin” (the largest project in honor of Chopin’s bicentenary) and “Nuit De Mai” with Placido Domingo, and performed the opening sequence for the Gran Turismo video game. In October 2012, he will release a new album of Chopin solo piano music.

Lang Lang continues to give master classes at the invitation of the most prestigious music institutions, including the Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music and Hanover Conservatory, as well as all the top conservatories in China where he holds honorary professorships. He has held music residencies, which include master classes for students, in San Francisco as well as in Chicago, Toronto, London, Rome and Stockholm. For nearly a decade Lang Lang has been giving back to children around the world through volunteer activities as diverse as mentoring rising young talented pianists, convening 100 piano students in concert, performing for sick children in hospitals, delivering classical music recitals in underserved and remote communities, and donating his musical talents to raise awareness of other charitable causes. Lang Lang’s charitable efforts led to the recent launch of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, with the mission of inspiring the next generation of classical music lovers and performers by cultivating tomorrow’s top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences.


SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY                             Saturday, October 27 at 8 pm
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue

Michael Tilson Thomas conductor
Yuja Wang piano
San Francisco Symphony

Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Mahler Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor


SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY                             Wednesday, October 31 at 8 pm
Davies Symphony Hall

Michael Tilson Thomas conductor
Yuja Wang piano
San Francisco Symphony

Harrison “The Family of the Court” from Pacifika Rondo
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Opus 16
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Opus 27


SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY                             Thursday, November 1 at 8 pm
Davies Symphony Hall                                               Friday, November 2 at 8 pm

Michael Tilson Thomas conductor
Lang Lang piano
San Francisco Symphony

Cowell Music 1957
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Opus 26 [Note: this replaces Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2]
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Opus 27


TICKETS:                        $15-$156. Tickets are available at, by phone 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.

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The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) and Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera open the 2012-13 season on Sunday, November 4 at 2pm in Davies Symphony Hall. The season includes Davies Symphony Hall concerts in March and May 2013, the latter featuring the  West Coast premiere of Nathaniel Stookey’s Mahl/er/werk; a debut appearance at the San Francisco Symphony’s fifth annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Community Concert; holiday performances of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with guest narrator Olympia Dukakis; and an appearance at the annual Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival at the newly-opened Green Music Center. The busy concert schedule and broad range of repertoire—from Stookey and Ligeti to Copland, Mozart and Tchaikovsky—highlight both the SFSYO’s high-caliber musicianship and the SFS’s commitment to nurturing future generations of musicians and concert-goers.

Before opening its regular three-concert series, the SFSYO for the first time performs at the San Francisco Symphony’s fifth annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Community Concert on Saturday, November 3 at 2pm. The Symphony’s Día de los Muertos Community Concert is an annual cultural collaboration to celebrate Mexican heritage and community with music and festivities for all ages. The SFSYO performs Copland’s El Salon México and José Pablo Moncayo’s Huapango on the program, while other performers include the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, guest actors and dancers, and narrator Luis Valdez.

The Sunday, November 4 concert features Donato Cabrera leading the Youth Orchestra in a program of Copland’s El Salon México, Mozart’s Oboe Concerto featuring SFSYO 2012 Concerto Competition winner Liam Boisset, and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1.

This year, the annual holiday performances of Peter and the Wolf  feature special guest narrator Olympia Dukakis and take place on Saturday, December 8 at 1pm and 4pm in Davies Symphony Hall. The program also includes an array of favorite holiday music for the entire family to enjoy.

On Sunday, January 20 at 3pm, the SFSYO takes part in the annual Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival, this year hosted by the Santa Rosa Symphony at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. Every year, six of the Bay Area’s most talented young orchestral ensembles participate in this festival, which is hosted by the San Francisco Symphony on a biannual basis.  Proceeds from the concert benefit six organizations, one within each orchestra’s local community, that provide resources to underserved and homeless youth.

On Sunday, March 24 at 2pm, Donato Cabrera and the SFSYO will perform their second concert, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, Respighi’s Fountains of Rome, Richard Strauss’s Serenade for Winds, Op. 7, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 2.

The SFSYO and Cabrera conclude the season on Sunday, May 19 at 2pm with a concert that includes the West Coast premiere of Nathaniel Stookey’s Mahl/er/werk, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Ligeti’s Atmosphères, and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2. Nathaniel Stookey’s latest orchestral work, Mahl/er/werk, was commissioned by NDR-Sinfonie (Hamburg) for the final concert of their centennial Mahler cycle and was premiered under Christoph Eschenbach before an audience of 10,000. It received its United States premiere at the New England Conservatory in 2011 and will be recorded by NDR in 2013. The Schleswig-Holsteiner Zeitung describes Mahl/er/werk as a “crazy puzzle” and an “intelligent, musically appealing, even exhilarating homage to Gustav Mahler.”

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

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

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

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

About Donato Cabrera
Donato Cabrera is the Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and the Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO). He works closely with SFS Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and frequently conducts the San Francisco Symphony throughout the year, including the annual Día de los Muertos Community Concert, as well as the Concerts for Kids, Adventures in Music, and Music for Families concerts, which annually draw more than 60,000 young people and their families from throughout the Bay Area to Davies Symphony Hall. Cabrera made his San Francisco Symphony debut in April 2009 when he conducted the Orchestra with 24 hours’ notice in a program that included Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 and Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.    From 2005 to 2008, Cabrera was Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Opera, where he prepared the cast and conducted the first rehearsals for the world premiere of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic as well as conducting performances of Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, Tannhäuser, and The Magic Flute.  In December 2009, he made his debut with the San Francisco Ballet, conducting performances of The Nutcracker.

About Liam Boisset
2012-13 marks Liam Boisset’s second season in the SFSYO, where he participated in the ensemble’s July 2012 tour of Germany, Luxembourg, and Austria. He is currently a senior at San Francisco’s Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (SOTA). Boisset’s music studies began in a Yamaha music program for preschoolers at age four, where he studied keyboard and basic music theory. He began studying the oboe at age nine, and has been a member of the Contra Costa Youth Orchestra and Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared as a guest artist with the Oakland Youth Orchestra. Since 2009, he has studied oboe with San Francisco Symphony Principal Oboist William Bennett. In ninth grade, Boisset was admitted to the University Symphony Orchestra of the University of California at Berkeley. Summer festivals, camps and workshops include Cazadero Performing Arts Camp, Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop, San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Summer Music West program, and Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute.

About Olympia Dukakis
Olympia Dukakis is an actress, director, producer, teacher, activist, and author of the best-selling book Ask Me Again Tomorrow. She has won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a BAFTA Film Award, a Los Angeles Film Critics Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Moonstruck. On Broadway she has performed in Rose and Social Security, and in London she has also performed in Rose, as well as Credible Witness. She has performed in over 130 productions Off-Broadway and regionally at theatres including A.C.T., Shakespeare in the Park, Shakespeare & Co., and the Williamstown Summer Theatre Festival, where she also served as Associate Director. Dukakis is a founding member of the Whole Theatre in Montclair, NJ and she served as their Producing Artistic Director for 19 years. She is also a founding member of the Actor’s Company and the Charles Playhouse, both in Boston. Film credits include Cloudburst, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Steel Magnolias, Dad, Look Who’s Talking I, II & III, and Mighty Aphrodite, among others.

About Nathaniel Stookey
First commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony at age 17, Nathaniel Stookey has gone on to collaborate with many of the world’s great orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra, where he was composer-in-residence under Kent Nagano. Stookey’s concerto for two violins and strings, Double, was commissioned to represent the year 1999 in the millennial Festival of 999 Years of Music in Sheffield, England, and has since been released on Albany records. According to BBC commentator Norman Lebrecht, Stookey’s The Composer is Dead—which was commissioned, premiered, and recorded by the San Francisco Symphony—is one of the five most performed classical works of the 21st century, worldwide. In 2013, Stookey’s String Quartet No. 3 The Mezzanine, commissioned by Kronos Quartet, will receive it first performances in San Francisco. Read Nathaniel Stookey’s full biography here.


DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS COMMUNITY CONCERT                                  Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 2pm
Davies Symphony Hall

Donato Cabrera conductor
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra
San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Ragnar Bohlin, director
Circulo Cultural, actors
Los Lupeños de San José, dancers
Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán
Luis Valdez, narrator

Copland  El Salón México (performed by the SFSYO)
Moncayo Huapango (performed by the SFSYO)
Ramírez Selections from Misa Criolla
Songs including:  El son del Gavilan, El Son de La Negra, and El Pasajero

The entire family is welcome to this afternoon matinee as the San Francisco Symphony’s Chorus and Youth Orchestra celebrate Mexican music and culture in its fifth annual Day of the Dead Community Concert. Doors open at 1pm and concertgoers may enjoy pre-concert festivities, refreshments and colorful displays celebrating Día de los Muertos in the Davies Symphony Hall lobby. The concert will be 90 minutes in duration and includes one 20-minute intermission. Click here to watch a short video showing scenes of the San Francisco Symphony’s Día de los Muertos Community Concert.

Tickets: $15-$68.  Available at, by phone 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.

Half price for ages 17 and under. Recommended for ages 7 and older.


SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA                            Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 2pm
Davies Symphony Hall

Donato Cabrera conductor
Liam Boisset oboe
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

Copland El Salon México
Mozart Oboe Concerto
Sibelius Symphony No. 1

Tickets: $45 reserved seating, $12 general admission. Available at, 415-864-6000, or the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.


PETER AND THE WOLF                                                                       Saturday, December 10, 2012 at 1pm and 4pm
Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco

Donato Cabrera conductor
Olympia Dukakis narrator
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf
Additional holiday repertoire TBA

Tickets: Davies Symphony Hall concerts $15-$57; half price for ages 17 and under. Available at, 415-864-6000, or the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.
BAY AREA YOUTH ORCHESTRA FESTIVAL                                        Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 3pm
Green Music Center
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park, CA

Youth Orchestras, program, and ticket information TBA


SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA                            Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 2pm
Davies Symphony Hall

Donato Cabrera conductor
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings
Respighi Fountains of Rome
R. Strauss Serenade for Winds, Op. 7
Schumann Symphony No. 2

Tickets: $45 reserved seating, $12 general admission. Available at, 415-864-6000, or the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.


SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA                            Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 2pm
Davies Symphony Hall

Donato Cabrera conductor
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

Nathaniel Stookey Mahl/er/werk (West Coast premiere)
Beethoven Symphony No. 5
Ligeti Atmosphères
Ravel Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2


Tickets: $45 reserved seating, $12 general admission. Available at, 415-864-6000, or the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.

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