SF SYMPHONY OPENING NIGHT – Fabulous Start to 2009/10 Season

Guest Pianist Lang Lang delivers
florid rendition of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3

Season continues Wednesday, September 16th with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham with Five Songs on Poems by Friedrich Rückert

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

The San Francisco Symphony celebrated the opening of its 2009-10 season with an elegant Opening Gala this past Wednesday night.  Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas lead the SFS and internationally-acclaimed pianist Lang Lang who performed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major.  The program also included a diverse trio of waltzes, Franz Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1, Maurice Ravel’s La Valse, and Richard Rodgers’ Carousel Waltz.  All proceeds from the Opening Gala benefit the Orchestra’s many education and community programs, which provide music education to more than 75,000 Bay Area children each year and a comprehensive music education program to every single 1st – 5th grade student in the San Francisco Unified School District. Learn more about: Adventures In Music.

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Opening Night at the San Francisco Symphony. Photo, Seán Martinfield

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Pianist Lang Lang. Chilled champagne ready for the guests at pre-concert
promenade at Davies Symphony Hall. Photo, Bill Wilson

Before the Gala concert all guests were invited to the Promenade to walk the red carpet (this evening, a silvery plush), mingle, and enjoy champagne cocktails which began at 7:30 p.m. in Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall.  Following the concert all guests were invited to attend the after-party at City Hall which lasted through midnight with complimentary cocktails, savories, and live entertainment by Tainted Love.

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Jessa Wu, Gala chair and John Goldman,
President of the Symphony Board of Governors. Photo, Bill Wilson

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John and Marcia Goldman greet George and Charlotte Shultz. Photo, Bill Wilson

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City Attorney Dennis Herrera and wife Anne. Photo, Bill Wilson

In an effort to reduce the concert’s impact on the environment, the San Francisco Symphony used a biodiesel generator to power the Patrons’ Dinner tent pavilion. Re-purposed materials were used to create and decorate the tent pavilion and City Hall, and all food leftovers were composted from the three dinners and the after-party.

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Dinner inside the Symphony tent. Photo, Bill Wilson

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Marcia Goldman, James Hormel and Michael Nguyen. Photo, Bill Wilson

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DEDE WILSEY. Photo, Bill Wilson

The Season continues Wednesday, September 16th with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D and acclaimed mezzo-soprano Susan Graham with five of Mahler’s songs drawn from the poems of Friedrich Rückert. Three performances follow on Thursday 9/17, Saturday 9/19, and Sunday afternoon 9/20 at 2:00 PM. Mahler’s First Symphony incorporates melodic ideas from the composer’s own songs and from folk tunes: a hymn to nature and youth. Ms. Grahams songs will include:
Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder (Don’t Look Into My Songs)
Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft (I Breathed A Gentle Fragrance)
Um Mitternacht (At Midnight)
Liebst du um Schönheit (If You Love Because Of Beauty)
Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (I Am Lost To The World)

susan-graham-mezzo-soprano SUSAN GRAHAM, Mezzo-Soprano

Meet Susan Graham – Thursday, September 17th at an exclusive CD signing immediately following the concert at the Symphony Store in the lobby. Inside Music, an informative talk free to ticketholders by Laura Stanfield Prichard, begins one hour prior to concerts.
For more information: Mahler’s Symphony No. 1

Add this recording by the SF Symphony and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas to your Classical Library: Mahler: Symphony No. 1

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JENNIFER SIEBEL – A Conversation with Seán Martinfield
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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

See Related: ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and Bay Area media. Bill embraced photography at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past five years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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