Classical Music

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

 

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 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

 

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)
From left: Don Edwards, Amanda Scheliga, Jeff Cotton and Ron Graham are keeping Bronstein Music going in South San Francisco as it observes its 75th anniversary. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>

At 75, Bronstein Music plays on in South S.F.

Store prevails despite silence created by pandemic

From left: Don Edwards, Amanda Scheliga, Jeff Cotton and Ron Graham are keeping Bronstein Music going in South San Francisco as it observes its 75th anniversary. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges is among the singers featured in San Francisco Opera’s spring season “In Song” series. (Courtesy Ras Dia/San Francisco Opera)

San Francisco Opera sings live at the drive-in

New ‘Barber of Seville’ in Marin accompanies virtual ‘Ring’ reprise and intimate portraits

Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges is among the singers featured in San Francisco Opera’s spring season “In Song” series. (Courtesy Ras Dia/San Francisco Opera)
Tenor Pene Pati appears in San Francisco Opera’s stream of Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet” in January. (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

S.F. Opera, buffeted by pandemic, resolutely heads for brighter future

Challenging year spurs company to ‘look at new artistic horizons’

Tenor Pene Pati appears in San Francisco Opera’s stream of Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet” in January. (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Robert Greenberg, center, and the Alexander String Quartet — from left, Zakarias Grafilo, Frederick Lifsitz, David Samuel and Sandy Wilson — appear in San Francisco Performances’ virtual Beethoven festival. (Courtesy San Francisco Performances)

SF Performances brings Beethoven’s 250th fest online

Music-lecture marathon features Alexander String Quartet, Robert Greenberg

Robert Greenberg, center, and the Alexander String Quartet — from left, Zakarias Grafilo, Frederick Lifsitz, David Samuel and Sandy Wilson — appear in San Francisco Performances’ virtual Beethoven festival. (Courtesy San Francisco Performances)
Frederica von Stade’s lavish red silk dress from “The Merry Widow” is among the items offered in the virtual San Francisco Opera Costume Shop Sale, running Nov. 13-15. 
Courtesy Adam Traum/San Francisco Opera

One-of-kind SF Opera costumes for sale online

‘Merry Widow,’ ‘Die Fledermaus,’ ‘Tannhäuser’ items available

Frederica von Stade’s lavish red silk dress from “The Merry Widow” is among the items offered in the virtual San Francisco Opera Costume Shop Sale, running Nov. 13-15. 
Courtesy Adam Traum/San Francisco Opera
Davies Symphony Hall will remain unused for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. (Courtesy Craig Mole)

SF Symphony cancels all concerts through June 2021

Performances discontinued due to safety, ‘ongoing impacts’ of COVID-19

Davies Symphony Hall will remain unused for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. (Courtesy Craig Mole)
Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s Robert Burns Lowman and Chloé Watson perform while incorporating COVID safety protocols at Mori Point in Pacifica. (Courtesy Vin Eiamvuthikom)

Performing arts groups surviving pandemic’s challenges

Local organizations weathering storm with diligent budgeting, creative programming

Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s Robert Burns Lowman and Chloé Watson perform while incorporating COVID safety protocols at Mori Point in Pacifica. (Courtesy Vin Eiamvuthikom)
The Telegraph Quartet is pictured during its SF Music Day 2020 recording session at the striking, beautifully lit and almost empty Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy Marcus Phillips)

SF Music Day goes virtual with Herbst broadcast

Performers pre-record sets in empty, iconic theater

The Telegraph Quartet is pictured during its SF Music Day 2020 recording session at the striking, beautifully lit and almost empty Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy Marcus Phillips)
Night view of the War Memorial Opera House. (By Kit Leong/Shutterstock)

Why are the great opera companies silent?

By Patti Niemi Leading a major opera company like the Metropolitan Opera,…

Night view of the War Memorial Opera House. (By Kit Leong/Shutterstock)
Musicians of the San Francisco Symphony have reached a temporary agreement with management that allows music director Esa-Pekka Salonen to begin the 2020 fall season. (Courtesy Andrew Eccles)

San Francisco Symphony, Opera musicians settle contracts

Performers’ salaries modified due to inability to play live

Musicians of the San Francisco Symphony have reached a temporary agreement with management that allows music director Esa-Pekka Salonen to begin the 2020 fall season. (Courtesy Andrew Eccles)
Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s concert “Soft-Spoken” streaming live at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 features flutist Stacey Pelinka. (Courtesy Vivian Sachs)

Fall 2020 Arts Online: Classical

Music streams live, on recordings, in podcasts

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s concert “Soft-Spoken” streaming live at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 features flutist Stacey Pelinka. (Courtesy Vivian Sachs)
Violinist Tessa Lark opens Cal Performances at Home in a concert from Merkin Hall in New York City. (Courtesy Ras Dia)

Cal Performances moves from stage to screen

Fall streaming series showcases classical, jazz, multimedia virtuosos

Violinist Tessa Lark opens Cal Performances at Home in a concert from Merkin Hall in New York City. (Courtesy Ras Dia)
Nicholas McGegan and Houston Symphony musicians rehearse with social distancing. (Courtesy John Mangum)

Bay Area’s Nicholas McGegan conducts onstage concert from Texas

‘Live from Jones Hall’ showcases Houston Symphony musicians in streaming performances

Nicholas McGegan and Houston Symphony musicians rehearse with social distancing. (Courtesy John Mangum)
Tenor Russell Thomas, who was scheduled to sing the title role of “Ernani,” is among the artists appearing in San Francisco Opera’s online “Celebrating the Summer Season” from July 10-12.                                 Courtesy Fay Fox

Opera in The City rescued via online July programming

Singers scheduled for ‘Ernani,’ ‘Steve Jobs,’ ‘Partenope’ to appear

Tenor Russell Thomas, who was scheduled to sing the title role of “Ernani,” is among the artists appearing in San Francisco Opera’s online “Celebrating the Summer Season” from July 10-12.                                 Courtesy Fay Fox