Another classy season ahead for S.F. Performances

San Francisco Performances today announced its 2008-09 season, which opens Sept. 6 and runs through May 9, 2009. As arts patrons have come to expect, this 29th season features a diverse,

58-performance lineup of chamber music, recitals, contemporary dance and jazz offerings boasting some of the world’s most virtuosic talents.

Ruth A. Felt, the organization’s founder and president, said the season underscores “the excitement and importance of experiencing live the vibrant work being made in our own time and performed by those who are creating it; our cultural legacy to future generations.”

Exemplifying that statement, double-bassist Edgar Meyer teams with 27-year-old mandolin player Chris Thile from the band Nickel Creek (and now the Punch Brothers) to perform original works as well as compositions by J.S. Bach on Oct. 2.

The Philip Glass Ensemble (in its original 1974 lineup) returns for the West Coast premiere of Glass’ “Music in Twelve Parts,” a four-hour piece to be presented at 5 p.m. Feb. 16 at Davies Symphony Hall.

On Dec. 6-7, American composer Eliott Carter’s 100th year is celebrated with a mini-festival of his works performed by the Pacific Chamber Quartet and pianist Ursula Oppens.

Composer-pianist André Previn and soprano Barbara Bonney perform a song cycle Previn recently composed for her, as well as works by Strauss, on Feb. 26.

On Nov. 8, composer-pianist Thomas Ades and violinist Anthony Marwood present a program focused on the great composer/violinist pairing of Igor Stravinsky and Samuel Dushkin.

Armenian-Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian (vocalist on the soundtrack for “The Lord of the Rings”) makes her S.F. Performances debut Oct. 4 with the Armenian Orchestra, conducted by Eduard Topchjan, performing works by Armenian composer Gomidas Vartabed, as well as Bach, Schubert and Bartók.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company returns for a weeklong engagement in April and May 2009, bringing three programs that include two West Coast premieres.

The Alexander String Quartet opens the season with a 10 a.m. performance and lecture by Robert Greenberg, on Sept. 6 at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley.

Varied subscription series are available: Special Events, Piano, Saturday Morning, Chamber, Virtuosi, Vocal, Young Masters, Dance, A Cappella, Jazz, Guitar and Family Matinees.

Most performances are at the Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard St.

Subscriptions are on sale now; single tickets go on sale Aug. 18. Call (415) 677-0325 or visit www.performances.org for complete season information.

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