San Francisco Performances drops digital for live ‘summer music sessions’

As the threat posed by COVID-19 continues to recede, several arts organizations are stepping in to explore options for safely returning to in-person presentations. It looks like San Francisco Performances is ready to take the plunge.

SFP President Melanie Smith announced on Wednesday that her organization, for the first time in its 41-year history, will launch a summer season of music concerts, which will take place live in her long-standing venue at the Herbst Theater, without any digital components. .

Called “Summer Music Sessions,” the guitar, piano and chamber concert series will begin on July 14 and run through July 24, bringing artists to the stage, including appearances previously scheduled in the Fall-Spring 2019 seasons. – The years 2020 and 2020-2021 have been postponed due to the pandemic. As an added incentive, three of the 11 programs will feature world-first works, one of which also includes the North American debut of “Prism – Six Songs by Sting” by Sting and Dusan Bogdanovic.

Steps will be taken to promote the safety of performers and members of the public. They include mandatory mask wear, reduced audience size and allocated seats, increased ventilation and air filtration, no food interruptions or service, and contactless ticketing.

The lineup of events is definitely eclectic, and Smith makes no apologies for it, releasing this statement: “While we don’t have a particular musical theme for these events, the idea of ​​getting together to share some real performances in live feels like the most important unifying event right now. “

Here is the full program of the “Summer Music Sessions”:


7:30 p.m. July 14: Israeli pianist David Greilsammer, who seems to have “innovative” and “adventurous” permanently attached to his name, makes his SFP debut with a century-old music program by Leos Janacek, CPE Bach, Mozart, Ofer Pelz and Jean-Fery Rebel. Greilsammer’s rendition of Rebel’s “The Chaos” on his 2020 album “Labyrinth” made the New York Times list of the top 25 classical music tracks for this year.

7:30 p.m. July 15: The formidable Garrick Ohlsson, resident of San Francisco and big favorite of the SFP, returns to complete the two-year investigation into all of Johannes Brahms’ solo works for piano that he started in 2019.

7:30 p.m. July 16: SFP’s resident ensemble, the Alexander String Quartet, with new violist David Samuel, team up with William Kanengiser of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet to perform a “British Invasion” themed recital that includes the world premiere of the guitar. quartet version of “Labyrinth” by Ian Krouse on a Led Zeppelin theme, works by Leo Brouwer and John Dowland, as well as the North American premiere of Sting-Bogdanovic’s “Prism”, which recreates these six songs by Sting: ” Every Breath You Take ”,“ Message in a Bottle ”,“ Shape of My Heart ”,“ Fields of Gold ”,“ Roxanne ”and“ Desert Rose ”.

7 pm July 18: Guitarist Kanengiser returns as soloist, performing the world premiere of Iranian composer Golfam Khayam’s “Lost Land”, one of seven new works that Kanengiser has commissioned as part of his “Diaspora Project”. He will also play music by Santiago de Murcia which he has arranged and works by Dionisio Aquado, Frank Wallace and Bryan Johanson.

7:30 p.m. July 19: Award-winning Russian-American pianist Natasha Paremski makes her second appearance for SFP, this time performing works by Frédéric Chopin, Sergei Prokofiev and Thomas Ades.

7:30 p.m. July 20: Canadian piano virtuoso and 11-time Grammy Award nominee Marc-Andre Hamelin, longtime SFP collaborator, returns to perform works by CPE Bach, Beethoven and the world premiere of his own piece, “Nowhere Going Fast”, for which he will be joined by the Alexander String Quartet.

7:30 p.m. July 21: For his SFP recital debut, talented jazz pianist Aaron Diehl offers a program designed to reveal the intersecting currents of jazz and classical traditions, performing music by William Grant Still, Duke Ellington, Roland Hanna, Nathaniel Dett and others.

7:30 p.m. July 23: Composer-pianist Timo Andres, who set up two of SFP’s “Front Row” virtual programs during the pandemic, returns in person to perform his own works and those of Ned Rorem, Duke Ellington, Robert Schumann , Ann Southam and Claude Debussy.

7:30 pm July 24: Andres returns on stage with violinist Jennifer Koh and cellist Jay Campbell of the JACK Quartet to close the “Summer Music Sessions” with his own music and works by Leos Janacek.

Individual tickets for each concert are $ 45, $ 55 and $ 65. They will go on sale June 14 at sfperformances.org and at (415) 677-0325.

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Copyright © 2021 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, rebroadcasting, or any other reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.


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