A grand old house for music

Architecture, historic preservation, chamber music and jazz combine in benefit concerts in and for the Haas-Lilienthal House, which, with its gables and circular tower, is one of San Francisco’s most distinctive structures.

The 1886 Queen Anne-style Victorian is the only private home of the period operating as a museum, complete with authentic furniture and artifacts.

Preservation is just one mission of San Francisco Architectural Heritage, a nonprofit organization located in the building.

“The idea,” says Constance Farrell, of Architectural Heritage, “is to bring local performers into this historic and intimate setting for a unique musical experience. The events have a feeling of music in your living room, presuming you live in a gorgeous old house.”

Tuesday’s concert features well-known classical musicians in an unusual evening of tangos and chamber music. Pianist Allison Lovejoy, violinist Karsten Windt and cellist Emil Miland will perform works by Bach, Joaquín Turina and Astor Piazzolla.

Miland, a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1988 and a nationally recognized advocate and performer of contemporary music, says of the Haas-Lilienthal: “This wonderful home gives people an opportunity for a more intimate experience with the performers.”

The concerts were created to raise awareness of the building, of the organization, and, in a modest way, to help with funding.

Unlike the high price of most benefit events, Haas-Lilienthal tickets for concerts and reception cost only $25 for Heritage members, $30 for the general public.

The 40-year-old organization has carried on a successful campaign against the demolition of historic buildings. Its Western Addition project made the relocation of a dozen buildings possible to save them from destruction. Architectural Heritage is also responsible for the creation of a historic property inventory for The City.

The next concert, on Nov. 16, will feature popular local acoustic bassist Marcus Shelby, leader of a jazz orchestra, septet and trio bearing his name.

Architectural Heritage also offers walking tours north and west of the Haas-Lilienthal House, covering a number of Victorians along Broadway (including the “Mrs. Doubtfire” house) and Classical Revival buildings, including two of “Silver King” James Flood’s former mansions.

IF YOU GO
Haas-Lilienthal House Concert Series

Where: 2007 Franklin St., San Francisco
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Nov. 16
Tickets: $25 to $30
Contact: (415) 441-3000, www.sfheritage.org
Note: Tours of the house run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays and noon to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tickets are $8 general, $5 for children under 12.

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