MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS AND THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY PERFORM THEIR FIRST CONCERT AT THE GREEN MUSIC CENTER AT SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 AT 8 PM

Yefim Bronfman performs Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto; program includes world premiere of Pandora,

new work by SFS Assistant Concertmaster Mark Volkert

The Orchestra’s annual four-concert series also includes performances January 31, March 7, and May 23, 2013

Michael Tilson Thomas(MTT) leads the San Francisco Symphony(SFS) in their first performances at Sonoma State University’s recently opened Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall at Green Music Centeron Thursday, December 6 at 8 pm.  On the program is the world premiere of a new work by SFS Assistant Concertmaster Mark Volkert, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, with pianist Yefim Bronfman, and R. Strauss’Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks.  The SFS’ annual series at the Green Music Center includes four Thursday concerts. In addition to the performance on December 6, they perform with violinist James Ehnes and conductor Charles Dutoit in a program of Ravel, Lalo and Elgar on January 31, 2013. They return March 7 with MTT and pianist Yuja Wang in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, and the Orchestra performs Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. On May 23 conductor David Robertson leads the Orchestra and pianist Marc-André Hamelin in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in D major for the Left Hand and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and Ravel’s La Valse.

Inspired by the acoustical perfection of Tanglewood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall, the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall opened in September with performances by pianist Lang Lang and bluegrass-folk artist Alison Krauss & Union Station. The new building completes Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. The San Francisco Symphony performs four concerts there in its inaugural season and the hall is the new home of the Santa Rosa Symphony. Weill Hall, Lawn, and Commons join a state-of-the-art music education building, faculty offices, and an elegant restaurant and executive retreat center. Designed by architect William Rawn, working closely with acoustician Lawrence Kirkegaard, the 1,400-seat hall was designed to replicate the intimacy and acoustics of Vienna’s Musikverein and Symphony Hall in Boston.

Assistant Concertmaster of the SFS violin section since 1972, Mark Volkert has previously had two works for orchestra and numerous chamber works performed by the SFS. Based on a chamber trio, Pandora was expanded for orchestra at the suggestion of SFS Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, who says of Volkert, “He writes with such understanding and brilliance, especially for strings, because he is such a master string player himself.”

A frequent collaborator with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, Yefim Bronfman also performs chamber music with SFS musicians on December 9 at Davies Symphony Hall.  This season sees a year-long orchestral and chamber residency with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, as well as performances with the Vienna Philharmonic and Michael Tilson Thomas in Vienna and London in April 2013. Click here to see a video of Bronfman and MTT .
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