S.F. Conservatory: Smart music source

Just ahead, at the other end of the Labor Day weekend, The City’s huge classical-music establishment will go into high gear, and The Examiner will advise you well in time what the symphony, opera and dozens of chamber-music organizations are up to. But meanwhile, let’s look at an organization whose activities may well equal all the others combined.

Yes, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, a vigorous 90-year-old institution, has now happily settled in its new Civic Center home, and will contribute to our musical life like no other. There will be more than 400 concerts at 50 Oak St., most free to the public, providing an opportunity to hear the stars of tomorrow along with their teachers, who are among the leading masters of today.

Including outreach concerts, Conservatory students and faculty present some 1,600 public performances to more than 100,000 Bay Area residents and visitors annually.

But performances make up just a small portion of the Conservatory’s activities. Classroom work, coaching, practice, etc. are on the schedule for the school’s more than 400 college-level students, and almost 1,000 others in the Preparatory and Adult Extension divisions.

But for you, the audience, there is no need to worry about all that. Just enjoy the performances — if, that is, you manage to find parking in the ever-burgeoning Civic Center.

In the Faculty Artist Series, highlights include several baroque music recitals, jazz, string and piano chamber music, FAS debuts by cellist Jennifer Culp and mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook.

Chamber Music Masters recitalists include cellists Bonnie Hampton and Joel Krosnick, pianists Peter Frankl and Menahem Pressler, violinist Robert Mann. These artists will also give master classes, along with guitarist Manuel Barrueco, baritone Thomas Hampson, soprano Barbara Bonney, flutist Paula Robison.

The Conservatory Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Mogrelia, and guests Alasdair Neale and Nicholas McGegan, offers a wide range of repertory, including a weeklong residency by former faculty member John Adams.

The Conservatory Opera Theater, directed by Richard Harrell, adapts Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” for family audiences this December, and presents a full-length, baroque opera next spring, Pietro Francesco Cavalli’s “Egisto.”

September music on the schedule includes:

» Sept. 9, 2 p.m.: Elisabeth Reed, viola de gamba, Corey Jamason, harpsichord

» Sept. 17, 8 p.m.: Jodi Levitz, viola; Bettina Mussumeli, violin

» Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.: Master class, The Inventions Jazz Trio (free)

» Sept. 24, 8 p.m.: Ian Swensen, violin; Jean-Michel Fonteneau, cello

» Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, 8 p.m.: Conservatory Orchestra, Andrew Mogrelia, conductor

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Where: 50 Oak St., San Francisco

Contact: (415) 864-7326 or www.sfcm.edu

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