Kronos Quartet, known for commitment to innovation, plays three site-specific sets in the Exploratorium, part of a project called Noisy Machine. (Courtesy photo)

Kronos Quartet, known for commitment to innovation, plays three site-specific sets in the Exploratorium, part of a project called Noisy Machine. (Courtesy photo)

Jan. 13-15: Kronos Quartet at the Exploratorium, Cheesemonger Invitational, Music of Julius Eastman, Mark Padmore, Lucy Kaplansky, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Franck Marchis of SETI, Toro y Moi, Steven Pinker


Kronos Quartet at the Exploratorium: The San Francisco new music group appears in three unique acoustic performances, each in a different gallery, inspired by the location and “crafted to captivate listeners of all ages.” [11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2 p.m., Pier 15, Embarcadero at Green Street, S.F.]

Cheesemonger Invitational: Forty cheesemongers, half from California, compete in a spirited competition showcasing their expert skills with cheese, and share unlimited samples in the $65 per ticket, 21-and-older event. [3 p.m., Midway, 900 Marin St., S.F.]

Music of Julius Eastman: Pianists Luciano Chessa, Riley Nicholson, Regina Myers, Chris Brown and vocalists Kevin Baum and Richard Mix appear in the program of experimental music by Eastman, a provocative gay black composer, conductor, singer, pianist and choreographer who died in 1990. [4 p.m., Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., S.F.]

Mark Padmore: The tenor, accompanied by pianist Paul Lewis, performs music by Brahms, Mahler and Schumamm, presented by San Francisco Performances. [7 p.m., Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Lucy Kaplansky: The East Coast folk singer calls her new recording “Everyday Street,” which includes harmonies by Shawn Colvin and Richard Shindell, the “most acoustically based, intimate album” she’s ever made. [8 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley]

The Death of Superman, Reign of the Supermen: The DC Universe double bill — opening a two-day engagement — features Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn and Rainn Wilson as the voices of Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, respectively. [12:55 p.m., AMC Van Ness, 1000 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Peter Byrne: The science writer and investigative journalist covering terrorism lectures on “Inducing Chaos: The foundational design of the ‘forever war’ and what we can do to stop it.” [7 p.m., Unitarian Universalists, 300 E. Santa Inez Ave., San Mateo]

Ars Lyrica Houston Chamber Players: Harpsichordist Matthew Dirst, violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock and gambist Mary Springfels perform music by Italian and German composers of the 17th and early 18th centuries: Bertali, Rognoni, Biber, Buxtehude, Bach and more. [4 p.m., St. Mark’s Church, 1111 O’Farrell St., S.F.]

SF Sketchfest Presents Reductress: Taylor Garron and Eva Victor, editors of the feminist satirical website Reductress, share stories, on a bill with comedians Jena Friedman, Naomi Ekperigin and Sabrina Jalees. [7:30 p.m., Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

African Children’s Choir: African youngsters ages 7 to 10 sing a program of hymns, presented by Music for Life, an East Coast Christian nonprofit offering music education and mentoring to youths living in poverty or from dysfunctional families. [6 p.m., First Covenant Church, 4000 Redwood Road, Oakland]


Left Coast Chamber Ensemble: “The Sound of Nature” includes music celebrating the natural world: Evan Hause’s “Fields,” George Crumb’s “A Dog’s Life” and the premiere of Clarice Assad’s “The Lumerians,” a concerto for cellos, percussion and flute about water and climate change. [7:30 p.m., Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F.]

Another Pale Blue Dot-The SETI Institute’s Search for Exoplanets: In his lecture, Franck Marchis, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, tackles the question: Does another Earth-like planet exist somewhere in space? [7:30 p.m., Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Laws of Motion: Opening with a reception, the gallery show of assemblages and installations by conceptual artists Josh Kline, Jeff Koons, Cady Noland, Rosemarie Trockel, Jeff Wall and Anicka Yi is a “cross-generational exhibition probing the similarities between the logic of market production and formalism itself.” [5 to 7 p.m., Gagosian, 657 Howard St., S.F.]

Patti Smith-Wing: The free San Francisco Art Institute exhibition features photographs centered on the rock musician, writer and artist’s connection to fellow artists including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. [9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Diego Rivera Gallery, 800 Chestnut St., S.F.]


Toro y Moi: Opening a two-night gig, the act is the project of Chaz Bear (formerly Bundick), a former Berkeley resident who’s been called “one the most dynamic, genre-defying musicians to come out of the last decade”; Tanukichan opens. [8 p.m., Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.]

Incantatory Prophet-Raúl Zurita: Poets Norma Cole and Forrest Gander discuss and read from a “Inri,” a book by Zurita, a celebrated and controversial poet whose writing addressed atrocities and violence committed under Augusto Pinochet’s rule in Chile. [7 p.m., City Lights Books, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

Mae: The indie rock band from Virginia’s new self-titled album “Multisensory Aesthetic Experience” is inspired by synesthesia, a phenomenon in which when one sense is stimulated, it leads to an automatic, involuntary stimulation of a second sense. [8 p.m., Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.]

Steven Pinker: The cognitive psychologist and science writer is on tour with his new book “Enlightenment Now,” which documents how the world has improved as a result of Enlightenment values of reason, science and humanism, and how it will decline if those values are abandoned.[7 p.m., Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., S.F.]

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts: Parallel solo exhibitions by sculptors — Diamond Stingily’s “Doing The Best I Can,” which focuses on the experience of being an athlete, and Rosha Yaghmai’s “Miraclegrow,” a supersized replica of a bathroom floor, with a huge rusty pipe and a 17-foot “hair” — open with a reception. [6:30 to 8:30 p.m., 360 Kansas St., S.F

CalendarCheesmonger InvitationalFranck Marchis of SETIKronos Quartet at the ExploratoriumLeft Coast Chamber EnsembleLucy KaplanskyMark PadmoreMusic of Julius EastmanSteven Pinkertoro y moi

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