Once again we are coming into a time when those interested in serious listening will have to make some hard choices over the course of a weekend. The second weekend in October will be particularly difficult because the selections are so diverse. Therefore, it is only fair to lay out all of the options in one place (pending any last-minute notifications that I receive).
This particular weekend is distinguished for containing all of the week’s San Francisco Symphony (SFS) subscription concerts. The soloist for this occasion will be local pianist Garrick Ohlsson performing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Opus 30 concerto in D minor (the third). SFS will be led by guest conductor Juraj Valčuha. The program will also include the SFS premiere of Steven Stucky’s “Jeu de timbres” and a performance of the complete score for Béla Bartók’s ballet “The Miraculous Mandarin,” which will include participation by the SFS Chorus (Ragnar Bohlin, Director).
This program will be given three performances in Davies Symphony Hall, at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 10, and Saturday, October 11, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 12. (The Sunday concert will benefit the SFS pension fund.) As usual, there will be an Inside Music talk given one hour prior to each performance, free to all ticket holders. The speaker will be Laura Stanfield Prichard. In addition a free podcast about the Rachmaninoff concerto, hosted by KDFC’s Rik Malone, is available for real-time streaming from the event page for this concert on the SFS Web site. Ticket prices range from $15 to $158. Tickets may be purchased online through that same event page. They are also being sold at the Davies Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, which may be reached by calling 415-864-6000.
In addition there will be a Katharine Hanrahan Open Rehearsal. This will take place in Davies at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 10. Tickets are $40 for reserved seating and $30 for general admission. A separate event page is available for purchasing these tickets.
Friday evening will also see the first concert in the second season of One Found Sound. As I have previously written, this is a chamber orchestra that performs without a conductor and operates as a democratic and collaborative group. They have prepared a program of two markedly different symphonies. The first will be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s familiar K. 551 (“Jupiter”) in C major. The second will be Dmitri Shostakovich’s Opus 110a, which he called a “chamber symphony.” Opus 110 was his eighth string quartet in C minor, and Rudolf Barshai transcribed it for string orchestra with Shostakovich’s approval.
This concert will take place on Friday, October 10, at 8 p.m. at the Impact Hub. This is located at 901 Mission Street in what used to be the Advertising Department of the San Francisco Chronicle. The performance will be free, and all donations will be welcome at the door.
In one of those curious coincidences of “parallel” names, Old First Concerts will be hosting One Great City at exactly the same time that One Found Sound is performing. One Great City is the duo of guitarist Timothy Sherren and soprano Alexandra Iranfar, who also plays guitar. They have prepared a program of music based on Latin American sources entitled Mistério Do Rio Lento.
Old First Concerts events take place in the Old First Church at 1751 Sacramento Street (on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue). This recital will be held on Friday, October 10, at 8 p.m. General admission is $17 with a special $14 rate for seniors and $5 for full-time students. Children aged twelve and under are admitted at no charge. Tickets may be purchased in advance through the event page on the Old First Concerts Web site. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-474-1608.
The next day will see the return of A/B Duo, the bicoastal partnership of percussionist Christopher G. Jones from Rochester, New York, with local flutist Meerenai Shim, to the Center for New Music (C4NM). The group made their San Francisco debut almost exactly a year ago. Their new program will premiere two compositions for contrabass flute and percussion commissioned from Ned McGowan and Andrea La Rose, respectively. The program will also include recent works by Ian Dicke, Drew Baker, and Zack Browning.
This performance will take place at C4NM at 55 Taylor Street. It will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 11. Tickets are $15 with a $10 rate for members of the Center. Information about membership may be found on the Membership Web page of the Center’s Web site.
Later that evening the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) will host a special event in its Faculty Artist Series of performances. This will be a concert to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Guitar Department. Performers will include both current and former faculty, as well as students and alumni. Guitars from the Harris Guitar Collection will be liberated from their display cases to be played at this concert.
This special event will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 11. The performance will be given in the SFCM Concert Hall at 50 Oak Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. Admission is free, and no reservations are required.
The Sunday concert in the Old First Concerts series will feature the Aleron Trio of violinist Solenn Séguillon, cellist Anne Suda, and pianist Sophie Xuefei Zhang. Having already given three recitals at Old First, this will be their first performance as Artists-in-Residence. To provide a more intimate introduction to the musicians, the group will split up to perform two sonatas during the first half of the program. Zhang will first accompany Suda performing Claude Debussy’s sonata and then join Séguillon for a performance of Ravel’s sonata. During the second half of the program the entire group will play the “Bergerettes” trio by Bohuslav Martinů.
Again, Old First Concerts events take place in the Old First Church at 1751 Sacramento Street (on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue). This recital will be held on Sunday, October 12, at 4 p.m. General admission is $17 with a special $14 rate for seniors and $5 for full-time students. Children aged twelve and under are admitted at no charge. Tickets may be purchased in advance through the event page on the Old First Concerts Web site. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-474-1608.
Finally, the Great Performers series of concerts curated by SFS at Davies will begin later that evening with the first of two concerts by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski. The soloist will be pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet performing the third piano concerto of Sergei Prokofiev. The second half of the program will present Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” symphony; and the “overture” for the program will be Antonín Dvořák’s tone poem “The Noonday Witch.”
This program will be performed in Davies Symphony Hall, at 7 p.m. on Sunday, October 12. Ticket prices range from $70 to $155. Tickets may be purchased online through an event page on the SFS Web site. They are also being sold at the Davies Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, which may be reached by calling 415-864-6000.