San Francisco Symphony

Susan Graham at SFS

Susan-Graham-by-Dario_Acosta* Notes *
Susan Graham (pictured left, photograph by Dario Acosta) is singing Berlioz's La Mort de Cléopâtre with San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas this weekend. The piece, a replacement for the previously announced Brahms's Alto Rhapsody, is quite suited to Ms. Graham. Her clear high notes and fully developed sound work well with its descriptive, declamatory nature.

The orchestra supported her in a characteristic glimmering way. The basses were particularly nice at the end. Graham sang "L'île inconnue" from Berlioz's Les nuits d'été song cycle as an encore.

The Berlioz was sandwiched by more 19th century music including Brahms' rather odd Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Schumann's Fourth Symphony. The cello and oboe were lovely in the Schumann, which was recorded for a future release.

* Tattling *
There was light talking during Brahms and even some whispering during Schumann, though we were asked emphatically not to make noise because of the recording.

SoundBox's Outré

IMG_0914* Notes *
SoundBox's latest program, titled Outré, featured French avant-garde music over seven centuries. Beautifully curated, the engaging music ranged from Pérotin's polyphonic Sederunt principes with a cappella male voices and portative organ to Messiaen's Couleurs de la cité celeste for solo piano and instrumental ensemble, including the many gongs seen in the photograph to the left.

Michael Tilson Thomas lead the musicians and amiably talked the audience through the pieces one by one. Selections from Jean-Féry Rebel's Les élémens was a cheerful place to start, and the sprightly French Baroque music was such fun. This certainly set the stage for the program to come.

It was lovely to hear the musicians of San Francisco Symphony in this more intimate venue. Principal oboist Eugene Izotov played Ravel's Pièce en forme de Habanera and Saint-Saëns' Molto allegro from Oboe Sonata in D major, while principal flutist Tim Day played Debussy's Syrinx. Principal percussionist Jacob Nissly especially impressed in Darius Milhaud's Concerto for Percussion and Small Orchestra, Opus 109. Ending with an excerpt of Milhaud's Scaramouche was a festive touch.

The French-inspired garden installation designed by Luke Kritzeck with a digital reflecting pool by video designer Adam Larsen was rather pretty. The videos during the music did not distract but did not look like screensavers either.

Tattling *
The youngish audience was mostly quiet. There seats are not guaranteed for these sold-out events and we were lucky enough to find a friend in line just before 8pm. Those who did not line up mostly milled about at the back of the venue, though a couple did stand directly in front of my date (we were seated by the west side of the first stage) for the second set.

SF Symphony's 2016-2017 Season

September 7 2016: MTT conducts Steve Reich, Rossini; Renée Fleming, soprano and Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano
September 8 2016: MTT conducts Copland, Vivaldi, Rossini; Susanna Phillips, soprano and Alexander Barantschik, violin
September 9-10 2016: MTT conducts Copland, Reich; Susanna Phillips, soprano and eighth blackbird, chamber ensemble
September 11 2016: MTT conducts Steve Reich 80th Birthday Celebration
September 14-17 2016: MTT conducts Haydn, Sibelius, Beethoven
September 18 2016: MTT conducts Beethoven Discovery Concert
September 22-24 2016: MTT conducts Marcello, Berio, Verdi; Michael Fabiano, tenor; Swingle Singers, vocal ensemble; Eugene Izotov, oboe
September 28- October 1 2016: MTT conducts Bright Sheng, Shostakovich, Stravinsky; Yuja Wang, piano; Mark Inouye, trumpet
October 9 2016: Vincent Dubois, organ
October 13-15 2016: Brad Lubman conducts 2001: A Space Odyssey
October 16 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS
October 19-22 2016: Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Mozart, Schumann, Dvořák; Alisa Weilerstein, cello
October 23 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS
October 27-30 2016: MTT conducts Allegri, Mozart, Brahms; Rudolph Buchbinder, piano; Pacific Boychoir
October 31- November 1 2016: Gustavo Dudamel conducts Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
November 2-4 2016: MTT conducts Chopin and Bruckner; Yuja Wang, piano
November 5 2016: Día de los Muertos Concert
November 6 2016: Jacek Kaspszyki conducts Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Yulianna Avdeevat, piano
November 9-22 2016: Asia Tour with Yuja Wang
November 20 2016: Christian Reif conducts SFS Youth Orchestra
November 22-23 2016: Simon Rattle conducts Berlin Philharmonic
December 3 2016: Edwin Outwater conducts Music for Families
December 4 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS
December 4 2016: Yu Long conducts China Philharmonic Orchestra; Julian Rachlin, violin
December 9-10 2016: SoundBox
December 11 2016: Christian Reif conducts SFS Youth Orchestra in Peter and the Wolf
December 11 2016: A Merri-achi Christmas
December 15-17 2016: Patrick Dupré Quigley conducts Messiah
January 7-8 2017: David Newman conducts On the Waterfront
January 13-15 2017: MTT conducts Mahler
January 16 2017: Itzak Perlman, violin & Rohan De Silva, piano
January 21-24 2016: James Gaffigan conducts Musssorgsky, Prokofiev, Mozart, and R. Strauss; Simone Lamsma, violin
January 20-21 2017: SoundBox
January 26-28 2017: Lionel Bringuier conducts Kodály, Ravel, Beethoven; Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
January 28 2017: Edwin Outwater conducts Music for Families
January 29 2017: Chamber Music with members of SFS
January 29 2017: Emmanuel Villaume conducts Prague Philharmonia; Gautier Capuçon, cello
February 1-3 2017: Herbert Blomstedi conducts Beethoven
February 4 2017: Chinese New Year Concert
February 5 2017: Chamber Music with members of SFS
February 7 2017: Lang Lang, piano
February 9-12 2017: Herbert Blomstedt conducts Beethoven and Brahms; Yefim Bronfman, piano
February 10-11 2017: SoundBox
February 16-18 2017: Joana Carneiro conducts John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary
February 19 2017: Chamber Music with members of SFS
February 22-25 2017: MTT conducts John Adams, Prokofiev; Leila Josefowicz, violin
February 26 2017: James O'Donnell, organ
March 1-4 2017: MTT conducts Gnesin, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky; Gautier Capuçon, cello
March 5 2017: Christian Reif conducts SFS Youth Orchestra
March 9-12 2017: Marek Janowski conducts Beethoven, Hindemith, Brahms; Arabella Steinbacher, violin
March 10-11 2017: SoundBox
March 13 2017: András Schiff, piano
March 16-18 2017: Juraj Valčuha conducts Schreker, Barber, Beethoven; Gil Shaham, violin
March 18 2017: Christian Reif conducts Music for Families
March 19 2017: Chamber Music with members of SFS
March 19-20 2017: Yuri Temirkanov conducts St. Petersburg Philharmonic
March 23-24 2017: MTT conducts Cage, Robin Holloway, Bartók; Jeffrey Anderson, tuba
March 25-26 2017: MTT conducts Cage, Bruch, Bartók; Nicola Benedetti, violin
March 26 2017: Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin and Lambert Orkis, piano
March 30- April 2 2017: MTT conducts Mahler
April 2-3 2017: Fabio Luisi conducts Danish National Orchestra
April 5-8 2017: US Tour
April 7 2017: Ragnar Bohlin conducts San Francisco Symphony Chorus
April 14-15 2017: SoundBox
April 14-15 2017: Emil de Cou conducts Raiders of the Lost Ark
April 19-22 2017: Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff; Denis Kozhukhin, piano
April 27-29 2017: Fabio Luisi conducts Schumann and R. Strauss; Igor Levit, piano
April 30 2017: Chamber Music with members of SFS
May 4-6 2017: Charles Dutoit conducts Berlioz's Requiem; Paul Groves, tenor
May 7 2017: Chamber Music with members of SFS
May 10-13 2017: Charles Dutoit conducts Sibelius, Mozart, Falla, Debussy; Emanuel Ax, piano
May 14 2017: Christian Reif conducts SFS Youth Orchestra
May 17-21 2017: Roberto Abbado conducts Schumann and Mendelssohn; Veronika Eberle, violin
May 25-27 2017: Manfred Honeck conducts Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky; Matthias Goerne, baritone
May 28 2017: Chamber Music with members of SFS
May 31- June 1 2017: Alexander Barantschik, violin leads Vivaldi, Mozart, J.S. Bach
June 2-3 2017: Sarah Hicks conducts Casablanca
June 3 2017: Christian Reif conducts Music for Families
June 4 2017: Wayne Marshall, organ
June 9-11 2017: Susanna Mälkki conducts Debussy, Beethoven, Stravinsky; Garrick Ohlsson, piano
June 15-18 2017: Vasily Petrenko conducts Glinka, Lalo, Rachmaninoff; Joshua Bell, violin
June 23-25 2017: MTT conducts Ives, MTT, Harrison, Antheil; Measha Brueggergosman, mezzo-soprano
June 28- July 1 2017: MTT conducts Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette; Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; and Luca Pisaroni, bass-baritone

SF Symphony Vertigo Preview

Vertigo_movie-screenSan Francisco Symphony presenting Hitchcock's Vertigo with the score being played live by the orchestra this Friday and Saturday. We spoke to SF Symphony's Associate Director of Artistic Planning Richard Lonsdorf, who programmed the film series.

There have often been silent films with the scores played live around Halloween for some years, but The San Francisco Symphony film series started in 2013-14, was it with the Hitchcock film week? How did this come about?
The film series came about for a few reasons, first and foremost out of a desire to find new audiences and bring some more multimedia elements to the symphony experience.  Around this time, many of the independent producers we work with were beginning to develop symphonic film projects, so it seemed possible to put a stake in the ground around films with orchestra as an "evergreen" project. There were a critical mass of Hitchcock titles back in 2013, so that was a great place to start. Hitchcock was also famous for making the music a central character in his narratives, which comes off beautifully in this context. The available titles have only grown since then, so it's an exciting project every year to whittle them down into the ones we select for our audiences.

What is the place of a film series like this in the larger scope of the San Francisco Symphony season? Is it meant to draw a different audience than the typical classical music concert goer?
We do hope to find new audiences with this series, and so far, it seems we have! The way I see it, for people who are unfamiliar with symphonic repertoire, connecting our wonderful orchestra to a beloved film with a great score is a perfect "first step" for someone to come and see us. We know they'll come away with a great experience and a familiarity with what a visit to the Symphony entails, which leads to less of a "threshold fear" about visiting us in the future.

Are there specific reasons you are revisiting Vertigo beyond the obvious fact that it is set in San Francisco?
Its San Francisco setting is the main reason it's coming back so soon! It's also one of the best film scores of all time and a great film overall, but much like we revisit favorite classical masterworks from time to time, I think it's appropriate to have a few local favorite films reappear. I'm certainly excited to see and hear it again!

Are there particular technical challenges with having the Symphony play with a film that isn't silent and usually isn't accompanied by a live orchestra?
There's a lot of technical wizardry involved in scrubbing the soundtrack from the film print so that we are just left with the dialogue and sound effects, and honestly, I'm far from the best person to articulate exactly how that is achieved!  But once you have a "clean" print, there are a series of visual signals the conductor follows on a special screen by the podium (you can watch for these during the performances), in addition to a "click track" (or metronome pulse) in the ears of all the players for certain projects. These technologies were all developed to help synchronize the orchestra with the film and are in fact very similar to how films scores are recorded in the studio as well.

It's delightful that Kim Novak is going to be at Davies for a pre-concert conversation with Steven Winn. How did you convince her to speak before the presentation?
She approached us, actually! She doesn't live too far from the Bay Area, and so she got in touch about attending the screenings (the second performance falls on her birthday). Our conversation evolved into sharing some of her experiences with our audiences, and Steven Winn is the perfect moderator for that conversation. We all think it will be great fun and an exciting opportunity to hear from a legendary actress about an iconic film.

Ted Hearne at SFS

Sfs-susanna-phillips-2015* Notes *
San Francisco Symphony is in the midst giving the West Coast premiere of Ted Hearne's Dispatches as part of its New Voices initiative. The opening performance on Wednesday night was engaging, Hearne's music is richly textured and highlights percussion and celli. The cello players in fact each had to place wine corks between the G and D strings for the middle movement.

The new music was paired with Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Soprano Susanna Phillips gave a crystalline account of the piece, her voice was never overwhelming, but has a brightness that cuts through the orchestra without being harsh. Her face is very expressive.

The concert concluded with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, known as Pathétique. Clarinetist Carey Bell played especially well, sounding lovely from top to bottom.

* Tattling *
The people around us on the left side of the orchestra level were fairly quiet. Among those seated nearby was composer John Adams.

Upcoming Ted Hearne West Coast Premiere at SFS

Ted-Hearne-(c)-Nathan-Lee-Bush4x6-colorTed Hearne's Dispatches is having a West Coast premiere at San Francisco Symphony next week starting Wednesday night as part of the New Voices project which fosters the careers of emerging composers. Hearne (pictured left, photograph by Nathan Lee Bush) is perhaps best known for setting U.S. Army private WikiLeaks leaker Chelsea Manning's words to music in a piece entitled The Source. Christian Reif conducts Dispatches, each of the five movements takes music that Hearne first heard in various settings and filters it through his musical language.

The program also features Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with soprano Susanna Phillips and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Pathétique. Both of these pieces will be conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

San Francisco Symphony

Fidelio at SFS

Nina-stemme* Notes *
Michael Tilson Thomas and San Francisco Symphony are concluding a three-week Beethoven Festival with a semi-staged Fidelio. The opening performance last night featured grand singing and an austere, but effective staging.

The opera boasts a stunning cast. Nina Stemme is a searing Leonore, her sound is luminous and clear. She pierces to the core but is not harsh. Brandon Jovanovich is a robust Florestan. His first notes in Act II had much vibrato but he seemed to settle in and his performance was strong. Alan Held is a gripping villain and he sang Don Pizarro with power.

Kevin Langan is a believable Rocco, he has a tendency to creak, but it works for this role. Nicolas Phan (Jaquino) has a warm sound and Joelle Harvey (Marzelline) is bright and pure. Luca Pisaroni sings Don Fernando with authority.

The orchestra played with enthusiasm as the production unfolded around them. The staging makes cunning use of upstage platforms, the terraces, and the small portion of the downstage area available. The chorus sounded together and did a wonderful job with the choreography, filing in with a great deal of intention and opening scores in a well-timed and deliberate fashion.

Dialogue from Tatjana Gürbaca was included, and thus begins with Nina Stemme's Leonore speaking rather than the duet between Jaquino and Marzelline. Stemme's speaking voice is resounding and rather deep. The spoken parts do help tell the story, given the lack of set or elaborate costuming. The supertitles also spelled out locations and other relevant information. The humanity of this opera came through in the simplicity of the production and the beauty of the singing.

* Tattling *
The person next to me in Row A Seat 112 was an avid and excited viewer, so much so he would occasionally lean over me to try to see what was going on upstage.

Beethoven Marathon at SFS

Karita_Mattila-Headshot-PhotoCredit-LauriEriksson* Notes *
Michael Tilson Thomas and San Francisco Symphony recently recreated a 1808 concert at the Theater an der Wien of Beethoven works. The engaging performance on Saturday night lasted four hours and forty minutes with three intermissions and required a chorus, two different versions of the orchestra, seven vocal soloists, and a pianist.

Undoubtedly a high point of the evening came when soprano Karita Mattila (pictured left, photograph by Lauri Eriksson) sang Ah! perfido, Opus 65, the second piece on the program. Her voice is gloriously resonant from top to bottom and her performance was riveting.

The other major soloist, Jonathan Biss, played Piano Concerto No. 4 with precision. He is not without passion, but channels the emotions of the piece with subtlety. Later, in place of where Beethoven improvised on the piano in the original concert, Biss took the stage for Piano Fantasy in G minor, which showed his virtuosity.

The concert began with one set of personnel making up the orchestra, playing the first half starting with Beethoven's Sixth. It was strange to hear this piece without William Bennett playing the oboe soli, though both clarinetist Carey Bell and bassoonist Stephen Paulson played beautifully. The horns were not clear. Somehow the phrasing of the music did not have a nice arc. The Fifth, which came after the second intermission, was significantly stronger.

The chorus sounded cohesive in the selections from the Mass in C major. Of the four soloists, tenor Nicolas Phan was a stand out, though they all sang well. Everyone did wonderfully in the Choral Fantasy that ended the concert, and the piece made sense as a finale for this epic performance, as it brought back our piano soloist, most of the principal singers, the chorus, and the orchestra.

* Tattling *
Someone behind a friend of mine in the Right Terrace kicked his chair and insisted he was being disrespectful for not applauding enough.

L'Heure espagnole at SFS

Charles-Dutoit-4x6* Notes *
Charles Dutoit (pictured left) conducted San Francisco Symphony in its first performance of Ravel's L'Heure espagnole last night. The orchestra sounded elegant and the cast had a wonderful sense of comic timing in this concert version of the piece.

Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (Concepcion) has a vivid, smoky voice. She was able to convey hysteria in the edges of her voice that is suited to the role. Baritone Jean-Luc Ballestra sounded healthy and strong as Ramiro. One got the sense he enjoyed singing with the other principals and with the orchestra. Tenor Jean-Paul Fouchécourt was a bright-toned Torquemada, while tenor John Mark Ainsley's Gonzalve was light and funny. Likewise, baritone David Wilson-Johnson was a diverting, pompous Don Iñigo Gomez. The dry wit of this opera came through.

The first half of the program began with Ravel's Alborado del gracioso. The short piece sparkled and shimmered. The bassoon sounded particularly beautiful. Pianist Javier Perianes was the soloist in Nights in the Gardens of Spain by Falla that followed. He often carefully watched Dutoit and did not play in an overly flamboyant manner. The piece often demands a strong percussive quality of the soloist and Perianes played these passages well.

* Tattling *
There was much giggling during L'Heure espagnole and even a few loud guffaws.

Upcoming L'Heure espagnole at SFS

LeonardIsabel 3c (Becca Fay)Charles Dutoit is conducting San Francisco Symphony in a concert version of Ravel's L'Heure espagnole from June 4 to 6, 2015. The cast includes mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (pictured left, photograph by Becca Fay) as Concepción, tenor Jean-Paul Fouchécourt as Torquemada, tenor John Mark Ainsley as Gonzalve, baritone Jean-Luc Ballestra as Ramiro, and baritone David Wilson-Johnson as Don Iñigo Gomez.

The program also features Ravel's Alborado del gracioso and Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain.

San Francisco Symphony

John Eliot Gardiner Conducts L'Orfeo

PBP_0527-Monteverdi-Choir,-EBS-at-Buckingham-Palace-(Credit-Paul-Burns)_1* Notes * 
John Eliot Gardiner, the English Baroque Soloists, and the Monteverdi Choir (pictured left, photograph by Paul Burns) performed a beautiful L'Orfeo, Favola in musica at San Francisco Symphony's Davies Hall last night. The playing was elegant, even the brass instruments sounded clean. The singing was even and lovely. The vigorous choristers sounded together.

Despite being billed as a concert version of the piece, there were clearly costumes and choreography. The orchestra was split in the middle, with Maestro Gardiner stage left center, and the choir upstage on risers. This left an aisle for the singers, and much dancing occurred here. The female chorus dressed in bright, short dresses for the acts in The Fields of Thrace and in black, long gowns for the acts in The Underworld. The choir had a lively stage presence.

Most of the principal voices were exceedingly pretty. Soprano Francesca Aspromonte (Music/Messenger) has a bird-like sound with some fire, while Mariana Flores was an ethereal Euridice and warbling Hope. Francesca Boncompagni's breathing was noticeable as Proserpina, but her voice is suitably plaintive. Tenor Krystian Adam was warm and genial as the First Shepherd. Tenor Nicolas Mulroy sang a subdued Apollo.

The bass voice of Gianluca Buratto (Caronte/Plutone) is well-supported and rich with impressive low notes. Tenor Andrew Tortise seamlessly sang the title role. He could have conveyed more mournfulness in Act IV, but his voice is bright and gorgeous.

* Tattling * 
The opera was performed without an intermission but those around me on the Orchestra Level were silent and attentive.

Upcoming L'Orfeo at SFS

Gardiner-col-portrait-Credit-Sheila-Rock@DeccaSir John Eliot Gardiner (pictured left, photograph by Sheila Rock) is touring the United States with the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir from April 19 to May 1, 2015. They are performing a concert version of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at Davies Hall in San Francisco on April 27, 2015. This concert and others are featured in San Francisco Symphony's Spring Sale, which started yesterday and runs until April 15, 2015.

US Tour Monteverdi | Spring Sale

SF Symphony's 2015-2016 Season

August 20 2015: MTT conducts Schoenberg and Beethoven; Yuja Wang, piano
August 21 2015: MTT conducts Schoenberg, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky; Yuja Wang, piano
August 22 2015: MTT conducts Ives, Bartók, Mahler; Yuja Wang, piano
August 27- September 14 2015: European Festival Tour
September 24 2015: Opening Gala: MTT conducts TBA
September 25-26 2015: MTT conducts Ravel, Chopin, Respighi; Daniil Trifonov, piano
September 30- October 32015: MTT conducts Ted Hearne, Barber, Tchaikovsky; Susanna Phillips, soprano
October 4 2015: András Schiff plays Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert
October 7-10 2015: András Schiff conducts Mozart, Haydn, Schubert
October 11 2015: Chamber Music with members of SFS
October 13 2015: Manuel López Gómez conducts TBA; Lang Lang, piano
October 18, 2015: Paul Jacobs, organ and Christine Brewer, soprano
October 22-24 2015: Susanna Mälkki conducts Jukka Tiensuu, Chopin, Sibelius
October 28-30 2015: Andrey Boreyko conducts Prokofiev, Bartók, Tchaikovsky; Gidon Kremer, violin
October 31 2015: Halloween Concert
November 1 2015: Donato Cabrera conducts SFS Youth Orchestra
November 1 2015: Chamber Music with members of SFS
November 4-6 2015: Yan Pascal Tortelier conducts Bizet, Ravel, Saint-Saëns; Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano
November 7 2015: Día de los Muertos Concert
November 8 2015: Zubin Mehta conducts Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
November 12-15 2015: MTT conducts Sibelius and Schumann
November 18 2015: Leif Ove Andsnes plays Sibelius, Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin
November 19-22 2015: MTT conducts R. Strauss and Schumann; Laura Claycomb, soprano
November 27-28 2015: The Nightmare Before Christmas
November 29 2015: Chamber Music with members of SFS
December 5 2015: Music for Families TBA
December 6 2015: Deck the Hall Concert
December 11-12 2015: It's a Wonderful Life
December 11-12 2015: SoundBox
December 13 2015: Donato Cabrera conducts SFS Youth Orchestra in Peter and the Wolf
December 31 2015: New Year's Eve Concert
January 9-10 2016: Itzhak Perlman conducts Beethoven and Mozart
January 14-16 2016: Krzysztof Urbańsk conducts Kilar, Beethoven, Dvořák
January 15-16 2016: SoundBox
January 18 2016: Itzak Perlman, violin & Emanuel Ax, piano
January 21-24 2016: Marek Janowski conducts Beethoven and Pfitzner
January 24 2016: Pinchas Zukerman conducts Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Jonathan Biss, piano
January 25 2016: Pinchas Zukerman conducts Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
January 28-31 2016: Edwin Outwater conducts Weber, Saint-Saëns, Busoni, Hindesmith; Stephen Hough, piano
February 5-6 2016: Masaaki Suzuki conducts Mendelssohn, Mozart, Stravinsky
February 6 2016: Music for Families
February 11-14 2016: Pinchas Zukerman conducts Elgar and Mozart
February 12-13 2016: Vertigo
February 13 2016: Chinese New Year Concert
February 18-20 2016: Stéphane Denève conducts Nielsen, Guillaume Connesson, Prokofiev
February 19-20 2016: SoundBox
February 21 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS
February 21-22 2016: Mikael Pletnev conducts Russian National Orchestra; Yuja Wang, piano
February 25-27 2016: Herbert Blomstedt conducts Beethoven and Bruckner; Maria-João Pires, piano
February 28 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS
March 2-5 2016: Herbert Blomstedt conducts Mozart; Alexander Barantschik, violin
March 5 2016: Music for Families
March 6 2016: David Titterington, organ
March 10-13 2016: Charles Dutoit conducts Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Fauré, Stravinsky; Nikolai Lugansky, piano
March 13 2016: Igudesman and Joo: And Now Mozart
March 17-19 2016: Charles Dutoit conducts Berlioz's Requiem; Paul Groves, tenor
March 20 2016: Donato Cabrera conducts SFS Youth Orchestra
March 20 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS
March 20 2016: Jeremy Denk, piano
March 23-26 2016: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
March 25-26 2016: SoundBox
March 30- April 8 2016: MTT conducts Copland and Schumann
April 3 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS
April 6-10 2016: MTT conducts Schubert and Mahler; Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano and Simon O'Neill, tenor
April 13-16 2016: US Tour
April 20-23 2016: Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Rameau, Haydn, Biber, Beethoven; Ingrid Fliter, piano
April 22-23 2016: SoundBox
April 24 2016: Thierry Eschaich, organ
April 26 2016: Hilary Hahn, violin
April 27-29 2016: Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Bartók, Mason Bates, Ravel, Shostakovich
April 30 2016: Music for Families
May 6-7 2016: Alan Gilbert conducts New York Philharmonic
May 12-14 2016: Juraj Valčuha conducts Prokofiev, R. Strauss, Webern
May 12 2016: Yo-Yo Ma, cello and Kathryn Stott, piano
May 15 2016: Donato Cabrera conducts SFS Youth Orchestra
May 15 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS
May 19-22 2016: MTT conducts Brahms and Schumann; Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano
May 25-29 2016: MTT conducts On the Town
June 2-4 2016: Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts Shostakovich and Elgar; Alexey Stadler, cello
June 5 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS
June 8-12 2016: James Conlon conducts Britten, Mozart, Dvořák; Jan Lisiecki, piano
June 16-19 2016: MTT conducts Stravinsky and John Adams; Thomas Hampson, baritone
June 23-25 2016: MTT conducts C.P.E. Bach, Jörg Widmann, Brahms; Yefim Bronfman, piano
June 26 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS
June 29- July 2 2016: MTT conducts Mahler's Symphony No. 2; Karina Gauvin, soprano and Kelley O'Connor, mezzo-soprano

Paul Goodwin Conducts SFS

NewGoodwin_MannyEspinoza* Notes * 
Conductor Paul Goodwin (pictured left, photograph by Manny Espinoza) is leading the San Francisco Symphony in a rather traditional program of Bach and Mozart this weekend. Goodwin, however, is anything but staid. He has a clear point of view and the orchestra sounds powerful under his direction. Last night's concert began with a stately rendition of J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3. The trumpets were particularly vital and in tune.

These performances mark the San Francisco Symphony debut of soprano Lydia Teuscher, who sang two Mozart arias and Bach's Wedding Cantata. Her voice is bright and pretty. The tenor clarinets were lovely in "Al desio, di chi t'adora." The oboist sounded quite happy in the Bach, and the string soloists also played well. The bass player seemed to be having a lot of fun.

The evening ended with Mozart, a rousing Symphony No. 31, Paris.

* Tattling * 
There was some whispering noted in the orchestra. Someone seated around Row N Seat 5 left in the middle of the Wedding Cantata, climbing over other patrons while quietly apologizing.

Lydia Teuscher's Upcoming SFS Debut

LydiaTeuscherSoprano Lydia Teuscher (pictured left) is having her San Francisco Symphony debut this Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 2pm with performances on the following two days at 8pm. She will be singing "Al desio, di chi t'adora" from Le nozze di Figaro, "Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben" from Zaide, and Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten (Wedding Cantata). Teuscher was a resident artist at the Semperoper in Dresden. She has also performed at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Glyndebourne Festival, and Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin.

Paul Goodwin will be conducting the performances, replacing Bernard Labadie, who is being treated for a lymphoma. The program also includes Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 and Mozart's Symphony No. 31 in D major, K.297(300a), Paris.

Lydia Teuscher | Paul Goodwin | San Francisco Symphony