The New Century Chamber Orchestra – under Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg – opens its 2014-15 season with four performances in the Bay Area this week, with composer and clarinetist, Derek Bermel as guest artist.
The concert, Carmen Returns, takes its name from the first work on the program – Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite – his reworking for percussion and strings of parts of the score from Bizet’s opera. Written at the suggestion of Shchedrin’s wife – the former Bolshoi Theatre ballerina, Maya Plisetskaya – the Carmen Suite, a one-act ballet, was choreographed for Miss Plisetskaya in 1966 by Alberto Alonso of the Ballet Nacionale de Cuba.
The concerts also feature a work by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt – his set of variations entitled Fratres, which typifies his ‘tintinnabuli’ style of composition – reminiscent of the ringing of bells. This is followed by three works by Derek Bermel – A Short History of the Universe for String Quartet and Clarinet, Oct Up for Two String Quartets and Percussion, and Silvioudades, featuring Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin, and the composer himself on the clarinet.
The New Century Chamber Orchestra concerts take place from September 11 to 14, in Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Francisco and San Rafael. For more information, please visit http://ncco.org/.
An unusual video clip has just been received from the San Francisco Symphony, showing composer Mason Bates and SFS Principal Percussionist Jacob Nissly scouring a used car lot to find some unusual percussion instruments for Bates’ new work Alternative Energy which is being performed for the first time at this week’s concerts at Davies Symphony Hall. The video can be viewed on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJPgaxQCIfQ
Details on this week’s performances, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas – which include guest pianist Leif Ove Andsnes playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 1 – can be found on the San Francisco Symphony website.
Society Cabaret at Hotel Rex this weekend features two programs – A San Francisco Salute! on Friday, and jazz vocalist Pamela Joy on Saturday.
A San Francisco Salute! is billed as a fun show, featuring music which is all about our great city, and Pamela Joy is in cabaret with a show entitled No Mushy Love Songs. “Romantic love songs are nice,” she maintains, “but songs about love gone wrong are more fun!” Known for her velvety voice, natural style and skill in phrasing, Pamela presents an evening of well-known numbers about “love on the rocks” – songs such as Lover Come Back to Me, The Thrill is Gone, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man – and some on sweet revenge as well, such as Cry Me a River and Goody Goody.
Hotel Rex, the go-to place for those in the know, is off Union Square in downtown San Francisco. For tickets, and more information on the cabaret, visit www.societycabaret.com.
On Saturday afternoon, the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa celebrates Mexican Independence and Latino Heritage at the 5th Annual Fiesta de Independencia. This admission-free festival is great for a family day out, at which guests can enjoy a traditional fiesta, with authentic food, live music, performances of traditional dances, and fun-filled activities.
For more information, visit the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts website.