Classical Music

Pianist Adam Golka performs in the afternoon and evening on Oct. 9 in “A Portrait of Beethoven: 32 Sonatas for Piano” in The City. (Courtesy Jürgen Frank)

Beethoven celebrated in marathon sonata sessions

Pianist Adam Golka plays in a program showcasing 32 pieces chronologically

 

Flower Piano in the San Francisco Botanical Garden invites musicians from the public to play at one of 12 pianos stationed in the area; a community performer is pictured in 2019. (Courtesy photo)

Flower Piano to bloom again in Golden Gate Park

Music pros, community performers tinkle the ivories throughout botanical garden

  • Sep 8, 2021

 

Composer-conductor Matthew Aucoin, center, and cast and instrumentalists rehearse “The No One’s Rose,” which premieres Aug. 25 in Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall.<ins> (Courtesy Or Schraiber)</ins>

Delay makes ‘The No One’s Rose’ premiere all the more poignant

Matthew Aucoin’s multi-genre contemporary opera takes on new meaning in pandemic era

 

Ailyn Pérez as Tosca and Michael Fabiano as Cavaradossi are excellent in Puccini’s “Tosca,” the opening production of San Francisco Opera’s 99th season. (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

SF Opera returns to War Memorial with fittingly impassioned ‘Tosca’

Music director Eun Sun Kim debuts, lead singers emotional in first pandemic-era live production

Ailyn Pérez as Tosca and Michael Fabiano as Cavaradossi are excellent in Puccini’s “Tosca,” the opening production of San Francisco Opera’s 99th season. (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
The orchestra section of the War Memorial Opera House has a new seat configuration that offers better sightlines and improved comfort. (Courtesy Kristen Loken)

With remodel complete, War Memorial Opera House is ready for its close-up

Years-in-the-making seat upgrade project concludes in time for ‘Tosca’ opening

The orchestra section of the War Memorial Opera House has a new seat configuration that offers better sightlines and improved comfort. (Courtesy Kristen Loken)
Pianist Samantha Cho appears on Aug. 15 at Old First Concerts in The City in a program of works by Brahms, Gubaidulina, Mozart and Scarlatti. (Courtesy Samantha Cho)

Old First Concerts welcomes back pianist Samantha Cho

Virtuoso enjoys ‘heightened’ feelings of hybrid performances

Pianist Samantha Cho appears on Aug. 15 at Old First Concerts in The City in a program of works by Brahms, Gubaidulina, Mozart and Scarlatti. (Courtesy Samantha Cho)
San Francisco Symphony’s former music director Michael Tilson Thomas has withdrawn from scheduled concerts in October to recover from surgery. (Courtesy Brendan Patoc)
San Francisco Symphony’s former music director Michael Tilson Thomas has withdrawn from scheduled concerts in October to recover from surgery. (Courtesy Brendan Patoc)
Bassist-composer Sascha Jacobsen is at the helm of the tango nuevo band Los Tangueros del Oeste. (Courtesy photo)

S.F. tango nuevo band melds modern, classic sounds

Pandemic spurs virtual collaboration on ‘Alma Vieja’

  • Jul 25, 2021
Bassist-composer Sascha Jacobsen is at the helm of the tango nuevo band Los Tangueros del Oeste. (Courtesy photo)
Hadleigh Adams portrays Doug Hansen in the graphic novel opera “Everest.” (Courtesy Mark Simmons)

Opera gets animated on film in ‘Everest’

Opera Parallèle debuts ‘graphic novel opera’ about 1996 climbing tragedy

Hadleigh Adams portrays Doug Hansen in the graphic novel opera “Everest.” (Courtesy Mark Simmons)
The San Francisco Symphony played its annual Stern Grove Festival Independence Day concert, with conductor Edwin Outwater leading a repeat of the orchestra’s summer opening concert at Davies Hall on July 2. (Christopher Victorio/Special to The Examiner)

San Francisco Symphony in full bloom

Orchestra plays American-themed concert in full-capacity Davies Hall

  • Jul 4, 2021
The San Francisco Symphony played its annual Stern Grove Festival Independence Day concert, with conductor Edwin Outwater leading a repeat of the orchestra’s summer opening concert at Davies Hall on July 2. (Christopher Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Stern Grove Executive Director Bob Fiedler is pleased that the festival has been the among the first large-scale events to return to The City.<ins></ins>

Stern Grove’s director doles out free music

“For me, it’s borderline sacred. It’s a basic human necessity.”

  • Jul 2, 2021
Stern Grove Executive Director Bob Fiedler is pleased that the festival has been the among the first large-scale events to return to The City.<ins></ins>
In May 2022, soprano Julia Bullock appears in “History’s Persistent Voice,” which includes music by women commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony. (Courtesy Allison Michael Orenstein/21C Media Group Inc.)

SF Symphony’s post-pandemic season offers daring innovation

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s programming features new works, diverse guests

In May 2022, soprano Julia Bullock appears in “History’s Persistent Voice,” which includes music by women commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony. (Courtesy Allison Michael Orenstein/21C Media Group Inc.)
A new production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” directed by Matthew Ozawa and designed by Alexander V. Nichols will be onstage at the War Memorial Opera House in October. (Courtesy Alexander V. Nichols)

SF Opera announces transitional 99th season

Company returns to Opera House with downsized schedule, no fall ball

A new production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” directed by Matthew Ozawa and designed by Alexander V. Nichols will be onstage at the War Memorial Opera House in October. (Courtesy Alexander V. Nichols)
Antoine Hunter/Purple Fire Crow performs with New Century Chamber Orchestra musicians — from left, Nicole Sauder, Jenny Douglass and Michelle Djokic — in Episode 2 of the online “Resonance Series.” (Courtesy David Law)

Chamber musicians unite with sculptor, dancer on film

Clever collaborations in New Century Chamber Orchestra’s ‘Resonance Series’

Antoine Hunter/Purple Fire Crow performs with New Century Chamber Orchestra musicians — from left, Nicole Sauder, Jenny Douglass and Michelle Djokic — in Episode 2 of the online “Resonance Series.” (Courtesy David Law)
Jazz pianist and composer Jon Jang is an instructor at Community Music Center in the Mission District. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Jon Jang composes bittersweet symphonies

Musician-activist’s works are steeped in civil rights history

Jazz pianist and composer Jon Jang is an instructor at Community Music Center in the Mission District. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and members of the orchestra were thrilled to be back inside Davies Symphony Hall on May 6 in a program for first responders featuring string works by Jean Sibelius, George Walker, Carl Nielsen, Caroline Shaw and Edward Grieg. (Courtesy Stefan Cohen/San Francisco Symphony)

SF Symphony makes joyful return to Davies Hall

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts program for first responders and community leaders

San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and members of the orchestra were thrilled to be back inside Davies Symphony Hall on May 6 in a program for first responders featuring string works by Jean Sibelius, George Walker, Carl Nielsen, Caroline Shaw and Edward Grieg. (Courtesy Stefan Cohen/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

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)
Alexander V. Nichols’ magnificent set replicates the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco Opera’s presentation of “The Barber of Seville” at Marin Center in San Rafael. (Courtesy Stefan Cohen/San Francisco Opera)

San Francisco Opera’s clever ‘Barber’ lights up the drive-in

Company brings back live shows with satisfying, high-tech production

Alexander V. Nichols’ magnificent set replicates the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco Opera’s presentation of “The Barber of Seville” at Marin Center in San Rafael. (Courtesy Stefan Cohen/San Francisco Opera)
San Performances presents the fun Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in a virtual concert on April 1. (Courtesy Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain/San Francisco Performances)
San Performances presents the fun Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in a virtual concert on April 1. (Courtesy Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain/San Francisco Performances)
Cole Odin Berggren, community programs director and drum and DJ instructor at Blue Bear School of Music in The City, holds a JackTrip device, which he says has greatly improved students’ experience of making music online. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

COVID-era musicians beginning to make connections

Software eliminates pesky delay plaguing most systems

Cole Odin Berggren, community programs director and drum and DJ instructor at Blue Bear School of Music in The City, holds a JackTrip device, which he says has greatly improved students’ experience of making music online. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)