Nearly 1,000 mourners filled every seat in Grace Cathedral on Wednesday afternoon at the Requiem Eucharist for John Edward Buchanan Jr., the 58-year-old director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco who died of cancer Dec. 30.Cathedral dean the Very Rev. Jane Shaw, who presided over the requiem, praised Buchanan’s “enthusiasm, leadership, risk-taking and advocacy of truth and beauty.” Read More
While the recession is not over in the world of the arts, San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley’s plan for the company’s 90th season, announced today, indicates that tough times may not last forever. Still carrying a deficit, a continuing concern, the company in 2012-13 is offering a felicitous mix of popular masterpieces with international stars, new productions and more risky commissioned works. Read More
A new exhibit of works by sculptor Stephen De Staebler at the de Young Museum is running smoothly even as the staff mourns the death of John Buchanan, the director of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco who died Dec. 30 at age 58. The main reason: Fine Arts Museums Board of Trustees President Dede Wilsey has taken charge. Wilsey, who had a close working relationship with Buchanan — “we were Barnum & Bailey,” she said Friday, the day the exhibit was previewed for the press — was one of only a few who knew about the gravity of Buchanan’s illness. Read More
At 16, cellist Faithlina Chan has a thoroughly adult perspective on music and life: “As a musician, playing music with others can be one of the most satisfying activities, and I also believe that musicians are somewhat like ambassadors — communicating in a universal language.”
Chan’s fellow cellist, Jessica Blixt-Logan, 16, makes it simple: “I love to play music. It takes over my world and I just love it. I am always playing music. It’s who I am.” Read More
If it’s time to end the New Year’s resolution to diet, do it with panache. Behold and sample from the acres of edibles offered at the 37th annual Winter Fancy Food Show at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, running Sunday through Jan. 17. Read More
Is Christmas behind you? Not so fast. The authentic end to the holiday period is the celebration of Twelfth Night (Jan. 5) and Epiphany (today).
To mark the event, San Francisco Renaissance Voices is producing the Boar’s Head Festival this weekend.
The concert-and-feast occasion features soprano Susan Gundunas, roast pork pie, Shakespeare, wassail (hot mulled cider) and merrymaking of all kinds. Read More
Acronyms for some organizations are easily identifiable. Most people know what IBM and KFC stand for — International Business Machines and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Yet SFMOMA — the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art — in some publicity material about two current exhibitions doesn’t mention that SECA means Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art.
Is it a simple oversight, or is it symptomatic of insularity and of the assumption that everybody should know? Read More
The year 2012 is making a great start, with classical and dance programs galore. Here are recommended events for aficionados of great music, both traditional and contemporary.
SF Ballet Program 3
San Francisco Ballet’s “Program 3” — featuring three pieces — opens with Bolshoi director Alexei Ratmansky’s “Carnival of the Animals,” last performed here in 2003. It is choreographed to 14 movements of Saint-Saëns’ famous score. Read More
He has Old World manners, exquisite and unaffected politeness, a brilliant mind and a wicked but benign sense of humor.
The slight man with a beret is Donald Pippin. Still going strong at 86, he’s been an idol of Bay Area opera lovers for six eventful decades.
Exactly 60 years ago, Pippin started bringing chamber music and opera to the hungry i and Opus One in North Beach, tickling the ivories at the original Spaghetti Factory. Read More
Museums are offering a plethora of art and culture. Here’s a short list of upcoming exhibitions and cultural events worth investigation.
Click the picture for a gallery of works. Read More
Director Zhang Yimou -- whose works range from the intimate “Happy Times” to the grand canvases of “Raise the Red Lantern,” “Hero” and the Beijing Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies -- takes on the tragedy of Nanking in “The Flowers of War.”
The tale of the Chinese city, whose occupation by Japanese forces in 1937 resulted in an estimated quarter million civilian casualties and 80,000 rapes, has been told in documentaries and feature films, but the epic scale of Zhang’s film is unprecedented. Read More
Here in The City, where the country’s fascination with the “Nutcracker” began at the 1892 Petipa-Ivanov ballet’s American premiere in 1944, the annual rite of passage has become a major economic and educational force.Popular as it is around the world, there is no match for the work’s ubiquity in the U.S. Some 800 productions occur annually in more than 120 cities. In San Francisco, the “Nutcracker” season consists of 31 performances, drawing an audience close to 100,000 and providing San Francisco Ballet with income in the millions. Read More
Marin Theatre Company’s brilliant presentation of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” is a win-win for all.
Audiences, whether new to the play or veteran fans of the 1944 work, should rejoice in director Jasson Minadakis’ “re-imagined” production.
It’s often a tricky business putting on an acclaimed classic for today’s viewers. Productions typically fail when the director’s self-regard gets ahead of the work’s inherent value. Read More
In a special Bay Area musical event, the hallowed 130-year-old Boston Symphony Orchestra is visiting its younger West Coast colleague, the 100-year-old San Francisco Symphony, this week.
For the first time in 15 years, the Boston Symphony performs in The City, the first stop on a West Coast tour that also includes Santa Barbara, Palm Desert and Los Angeles. Read More
While few are mentioning retirement, most music lovers know that this weekend’s gala for singing great Frederica von Stade, presented by major local organizations, is part of her farewell tour — following similar events in New York, Chicago and Houston. Read More