The six-concert 2014–15 San Francisco season of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO) gets under way next month. Music Director Nicholas McGegan will conduct two of the symphonies that Joseph Haydn composed during his tenure as Kapellmeister in the service of Prince Nikolaus I at Schloss Esterházy in Esterháza. These will be Hoboken I/57 in D minor, composed in 1774, and Hoboken I/67 in F major, composed between 1778 and 1779. The performances of both of these symphonies will be recorded for subsequent release in the Philharmonia Baroque Productions label.
These two symphonies will be complemented by two cello concertos. Steven Isserlis will return to PBO as guest soloist. To continue the recognition that this year is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Isserlis will perform the Wq 171 concerto in A major. The other concerto will be the seventh such composed by Luigi Boccherini in the key of G major. Both composers were Haydn’s contemporaries, and Boccherini was a great admirer of Haydn’s music.
The San Francisco performance of this concert will take place at the SFJAZZ Center (201 Franklin Street on the northwest corner of Fell Street) at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8. Ticket prices are $25, $45, $67, $87, and $100. There is an event page for this concert on the Philharmonia Baroque Web site, as well as a Web page for purchasing tickets from City Box Office. City Box Office may also be reached by telephone at 415-392-4400.
That same week PBO will also offer the next event in their SESSIONS series, launched this past February. These events have been designed as 90-minute concerts during which an introduction to informative and entertaining background information alternates with performances of the music. The title of next month’s event is The Nights of Madrid, and it will focus on the work of the Italian Boccherini during his service to the Spanish Habsburg court. The title explicitly refers to Boccherini’s composition “Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid” (night music on the streets of Madrid). Isserlis will also be on hand to introduce to the audience the virtuoso qualities of the Bach cello concerto he played at the full concert.
KDFC Classical’s Hoyt Smith will serve as host and narrator, with additional informative material provided by both Isserlis and McGegan. The venue will be the ODC Theater, located in the Mission at 3153 17th Street. All tickets are $25, but there is a limit of six tickets per order. PBO has set up its own Web page for online purchase, as well as an event page that provides further background information.