NEW YEAR’S EVE MASQUERADE BALL – Violinist Nicola Benedetti with the San Francisco Symphony

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Come to Davies Symphony Hall, the most glamorous place in town, to welcome the New Year. The doors open at 8:00 pm and the entertainment begins in the lobby with the always effervescent dance band, The Martini Brothers. The concert begins at 9:00. Michael Francis conducts the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra beginning with the Overture to The Gypsy Baron by Johann Strauss Jr., followed by waltzes, polkas, and dances from Arnold, Strauss, Jr., Britten, Shostakovich, and Brahms. Guest violinist Nicola Benedetti will be featured in Fritz Kreisler’s popular composition, Liebeslied. And the always colorful period dancers, Dance Through Time, will take it away with Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz. After the concert enjoy complimentary desserts and sparkling champagne from La Marca Prosecco. Dance to “Tainted Love” on the First Tier, or to the Peter Mintun Orchestra on the stage of Davies Symphony hall. The revelry really heats up at midnight, when the New Year is on the brink, and anything is possible. The Symphony supplies the masks, you create the memories!

Click here to order tickets on-line: New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball

Also new this season is an elegant pre-concert dinner in the grand lobby of the War Memorial Opera House. For more information on special dinner packages, call Patron Services at (415) 864-6000.




Now considered to be one of the brightest young conducting talents of this time, Michael Francis was first recognized as such in 2006 when, in an emergency and while on tour, he stepped out of the bass section of the London Symphony Orchestra – where he had resided for three years – and into a rehearsal of Shostakovich Symphony No. 4. The future for his conducting talent was cemented by three successive emergencies: in 2007, with 12 hours notice to replace Valery Gergiev for the BBC’s Gubaidulina Festival at the Barbican; one month later and on two hours notice to replace John Adams in a performance of his own works with the LSO at the Philharmonie Luxembourg; and in January 2009, when he was asked to replace André Previn. The request to have two distinct programs ready in six days for four concerts in three cities, beginning on January 7th, with Anne-Sophie Mutter and Stuttgart Radio Symphony came in on New Year’s Eve. The programs included Gubaidulina, Violin Concerto In Tempus Praesens; Previn, Double Concerto for Violin and Double Bass with Roman Patkoló; and Hindemith, Mathis der Maler. As a result of his success and the great critical praise which followed, the SRSO immediately engaged Michael to conduct concerts in June 2009 and March 2010. In April 2010 Michael joined forces with Anne-Sophie Mutter, conducting a series of concerts in Tokyo and Taiwan, and in November 2010 he will make his debut with the New York Philharmonic for the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s newest piece for violin and orchestra, Lichtes Spiel, with Anne-Sophie Mutter.


Winner of the Classical BRIT Award for Young British Classic Performer in 2008, Nicola has previously released five CDs with Universal/Deutsche Grammophon, the most recent featuring Tchaikovsky and Bruch concerti with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Jakub Hrusa. Nicola’s debut album included Szymanowski, Saint-Saëns, Massenet and Brahms with the London Symphony Orchestra, followed by a second release featuring works by Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schubert and Macmillan with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Nicola’s third album was comprised of newly commissioned works by Tavener and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the fourth featured works by Sarasate, Fauré, Rachmaninov, Pärt and Ravel. Nicola plays the Earl Spencer Stradivarius (c. 1712), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.


Although Dance Masters through the centuries left us records of the dances from their times, very few people today have the knowledge and training to decipher these dance notations. Through years of researching original sources and deciphering multiple languages, Dance Through Time has created original musical performances that give audiences the unique opportunity to see the dances, the costumes and the traditions of western cultures from the past 500 years. The Company performs year-round in concerts, special events, master classes, lecture-demonstrations and residencies. Dance Through Time has received international recognition for its loving attention to authenticity, stringent artistic standards, and critically-acclaimed performances. Arts in Education programs, video archives and modern notation preserves the Company’s work for future generations. Dance Through Time’s recent milestones include its 12th national tour and a recent performance in San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade.


Bob Dalpe, co-founder of The Martini Brothers, band leader, vocalist and arranger. Bob began his Bay Area singing career in the early 90s and gained popularity with rave reviews for his outstanding interpretations of jazz standards. Bob’s repertoire consists of the classic songs written by song-writing giants including Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Rogers and Hart, and Lerner and Loewe, as well as some of Bob’s own original tunes. And if you’re a Sinatra fan, you’ll see why much of Bob’s claim to fame is from the incredible likeness of his voice to that of the great Sinatra.

Mr. Rick, co-founder, band leader, guitarist, singer and event producer. He brings a special background to the Martini Brothers Band. His guitar playing style is one of the rich acoustic and rhythmic-bluesy sound, reminiscent of Freddy Green of the Count Basie Orchestra and straight ahead swingin blues. He is also known for his role in Mr. Rick’s Martini Club event productions, (a kind of “floating” 30s – 40s style cocktail/dance/supper club), of San Francisco and Oakland. Also, considered and expert on all things Art Deco, he is the proprietor of two shops in the Bay Area (


The Sentinel’s own editor Sean Martinfield is interviewed by David Perry on Comcast. Catch the Action!
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