San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen is opening the orchestra’s first live concert series in more than a year on May 6-7 at Davies Symphony Hall. (Courtesy Andrew Eccles/San Francisco Symphony)

San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen is opening the orchestra’s first live concert series in more than a year on May 6-7 at Davies Symphony Hall. (Courtesy Andrew Eccles/San Francisco Symphony)

SF Symphony to resume concerts in Davies Hall starting May 6

Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen leading opening performances for front line workers

The San Francisco Symphony is bringing back live concerts to Davies Symphony Hall starting May 6.

On Monday, San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and CEO Mark C. Hanson announced that live performances will go on Thursdays and Fridays in May and June, with tickets for May 6-7 concerts reserved exclusively for people who have worked on the front lines during the pandemic.

“There is nothing that compares to experiencing music together in a physical space, and after 14 months without sharing these human connections with each other, we simply cannot wait to resume performing for our community on the stage of Davies Symphony Hall,” Hanson said in a press statement.

“I feel joy and relief. … We go into these concerts having worked as a unit to bring music into your homes in unique and meaningful ways this year. We now welcome audiences into our home — something we didn’t realize we had taken for granted. Let’s get started, together,” said Salonen, whose first scheduled concerts as music director, and outgoing live festivities for Michael Tilson Thomas, were canceled last year due to COVID-19.

The 2021 concert lineup opens with Salonen leading a program including Sibelius’ “Rakastava,” George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, Carl Nielsen’s “Little Suite” for Strings, Caroline Shaw’s “Entr’acte” and Edvard Grieg’s “From Holberg’s Time” Suite on May 6-7.

Pianist Jeremy Denk performs and directs music by Bach, Mozart, William Grant Still and Gerald Finzi on May 13-14; and James Gaffigan leads the U.S. premiere of Freya Waley-Cohen’s “Talisman” and works by Schoenberg and Barber on May 20-21.

Programs to be announced include Ken-David Masur conducting on May 27-28; Joseph Young conducing on June 3-4; Joshua Weilerstein on June 10-11, and Salonen again on June 17-18 and June 24-25.

The performances, which will begin at 7 p.m., will be about 75 minutes, with no intermission.

Instrumentation and orchestra size will be planned in accordance with city health guidelines and will vary, officials said, adding that there will significantly reduced concert hall capacity, contactless tickets and assigned seating maximizing physical distancing.

Tickets ($45-$95) for the general public for May 13-June 25 concerts go on sale at 10 a.m.May 6 at the box office at (415) 864-6000.

Classical Music

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