Celebrating its centennial season with a touch of nostalgia, the San Francisco Symphony is going back to Barbary Coast days with a special series of concerts honoring The City’s musical heritage.“Barbary Coast & Beyond: Music from the Gold Rush to the Panama-Pacific Exposition,” at Davies Symphony Hall from Thursday through Saturday, covers the Wild West period in the 1850s (before paved roads or indoor plumbing) through the 1915 fair, which announced to the world that San Francisco had recovered from the Great Quake of 1906.Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas created the co Read More
Classical music’s equivalent of a rock band, The City’s New Century Chamber Orchestra — an exuberant group of musician friends playing with explosive energy and having a ball — is celebrating a big birthday and basking in its growing fame.
“On Our Way,” a documentary released this month with footage of live performances and more, is an excellent guide to life in the group, which closes its 20th anniversary season this week around the Bay with a program featuring a world premiere by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Read More
A live horse onstage usually steals the show. So does a donkey. But San Francisco Ballet's “Don Quixote” is so entertaining from start to finish, concertgoers Saturday almost overlooked a joint appearance by the animals.
In Program 8, the last of the season, the War Memorial Opera House audience didn’t ooh and ahh the four-legged performers. Instead it was dazzled by amazing and amusing virtuoso dancing, beautiful classic ballet, commedia dell'arte, romance, gorgeous costumes by Martin Pakledinaz and a terrific large cast, including super-cute ballet school kids. Read More
There were a few mysteries in the War Memorial Opera House Thursday night: How and why did Mendelssohn's 1843 Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”) become George Balanchine's 1952 "Scotch Symphony"? – changing a nationality into what today means whiskey – and why did San Francisco Ballet wait almost a half a century to revive the work?
While those questions remain unanswered, and ballet program annotator Cheryl Ossola agrees – “It's unusual for Mr. Read More
With uncanny timing, just as Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi is in headlines everywhere, Luc Besson's 2011 feature film about her gets its release.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning opposition leader is played by Chinese movie and martial arts star Michelle Yeoh. The resemblance between the two women is remarkable, and Yeoh is outstanding in the difficult role. Read More
Nearly 200 movies by dozens of directors from across the world are lined up for the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival, opening next week and running through May 3. Here’s a brief look at just a few exceptional offerings: Will In England, soccer is more a religion than a sport. For Will, an 11-year-old in an orphanage, it provides a focus to deal with the multiple traumas of the reappearance of his father after a long absence and his dad’s subsequent sudden death. Read More
San Francisco Ballet's 2013 season, announced today, offers world premieres by Wayne McGregor, Yuri Possokhov and Alexei Ratmansky, a U.S. premiere by Christopher Wheeldon and the visiting Hamburg Ballet in the Northen California premiere of “Nijinsky.”
Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson said, “I’ve enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with John Neumeier that dates back to my career as a dancer. This season we are thrilled to present Neumeier’s highly acclaimed and dramatic ‘Nijinsky.’” Read More
A graduate music recital is a win-win. Students (and their families) bask in the spotlight and strut their stuff in individual and group graduation concerts. Meanwhile, music lovers enjoy excellent free performances and get the opportunity to discover stars of the future for themselves. Here are a few examples from among dozens of upcoming concerts at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Jonathan Szin, clarinet Read More
A strange and wondrous world is on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in “The Utopian Impulse: Buckminster Fuller and the Bay Area.” Besides being a utopian, the man many called Bucky also was a genius designer, dreamer, lecturer and seemingly endless producer of ideas. Perhaps best known for designing the geodesic dome, Fuller (1895-1983) also created the ultralight three-wheeled Dymaxion car, decades before the quest for small cars began. Read More
San Francisco’s Project Artaud arts complex is named after Antonin Artaud, a poet and theater visionary whose tragic life is the subject of Terry Allen’s “Ghost Ship Rodez,” onstage this weekend at Artaud’s Z Space.Allen, a musician, writer and visual artist, calls the piece “an intense dramatic and visual experience with live music” and “a staged poem.” Read More
The San Francisco Ballet’s Program 6 — with Yuri Possokhov’s 2011 “RAkU” and the world premiere of Ashley Page’s “Guide to Strange Places” — boasts high energy, drama, wide sweep and irresistible appeal.
As is typical these days, the dancing was superb opening night at the War Memorial Opera House. But the works also soar on wings of intense contemporary music. The company’s own Shinji Eshima (a bass player with the orchestra for more than three decades) wrote the score for “RAkU”; John Adams’ “Guide to Strange Places” accompanies Page’s dance. Read More
Director-actor Kenneth Branagh and two-time Academy Award-winning documentarian Barbara Koppel are among film industry stars being honored at the 55th annual San Francisco International Film Festival, running April 19 through May 3. Read More
San Francisco Ballet's Program 6 – with Yuri Possokhov's 2011 "'RAkU" and the world premiere of Ashley Page's "Guide to Strange Places" – boasts high energy, drama, wide sweep and irresistible appeal.As is typical these days, the dancing was superb on Friday's opening night at the War Memorial Opera House. But the works also soar on wings of intense contemporary music. The company's own Shinji Eshima (a bass player with the orchestra for more than three decades) wrote the score for "'RAkU"; John Adams' "Guide to Strange Places" accompanies Page's dance. Read More
While diverse, the three works in San Francisco Ballet's Program 5, which opened Wednesday at the War Memorial Opera House, share a characteristic: They are blends of neoclassical and modern dances solidly based on ballet conventions.They have a more contemporary feel than George Balanchine's neoclassical works (on Program 7, April 12-18), but each is balletic, featuring en-pointe dancing. Read More
Classical music, dance and theater are plentiful, even as opera’s summer season is yet to come. The San Francisco Symphony’s centennial season and the San Francisco Ballet’s 79th season have much to offer. Meanwhile, scores of other performing arts organizations are vying for patrons’ attention.Left Coast Chamber Ensemble Read More