Classical Music

Sasha Cooke, second from left, sings the title role and Christian Van Horn, far right, is Zoroastro in San Francisco Opera’s production of “Orlando.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

‘Orlando’ makes victorious return to War Memorial Opera House

Five principals shine in SF Opera production of Baroque gem

Sasha Cooke, second from left, sings the title role and Christian Van Horn, far right, is Zoroastro in San Francisco Opera’s production of “Orlando.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Kyle Ketelsen as Escamillo and J’Nai Bridges in the title role are excellent in San Francisco Opera’s production of Bizet’s “Carmen.” (Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Kyle Ketelsen as Escamillo and J’Nai Bridges in the title role are excellent in San Francisco Opera’s production of Bizet’s “Carmen.” (Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Michael Tilson Thomas won’t be conducting this summer so he can undergo treatment for his heart. (Courtesy Spencer Lowell)

MTT cancels summer duties to undergo medical treatment

SF Sympony music director slated for cardiac procedure in Cleveland

Michael Tilson Thomas won’t be conducting this summer so he can undergo treatment for his heart. (Courtesy Spencer Lowell)
J’Nai Bridges and Drogen the horse rehearse for San Francisco Opera’s “Carmen.” (Courtesy J’Nai Bridges)

Mezzo J’Nai Bridges prepares to score in ‘Carmen’

Singer uses basketball training to ready for role debut with S.F. Opera

J’Nai Bridges and Drogen the horse rehearse for San Francisco Opera’s “Carmen.” (Courtesy J’Nai Bridges)
Music Director Nicholas McGegan (at podium), soprano Yulia Van Doren, center, and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale perform Handel’s “Saul.” (Courtesy Frank Wing)

Philharmonia Baroque players thrill in ‘Saul’

Handel’s epic oratorio gets heroic treatment

Music Director Nicholas McGegan (at podium), soprano Yulia Van Doren, center, and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale perform Handel’s “Saul.” (Courtesy Frank Wing)
Michael Tilson Thomas will celebrates his final, 25th season at the head of San Francisco Symphony in 2019-20. (Courtesy Brandon Patoc)

New music and more in MTT’s final SF Symphony season

The San Francisco Symphony’s 2019-20 season, its final with music director Michael…

Michael Tilson Thomas will celebrates his final, 25th season at the head of San Francisco Symphony in 2019-20. (Courtesy Brandon Patoc)
Sara Duchovnay and Michael Dailey are excellent in the premiere of the chamber opera “Howards End, America.” (Courtesy Jasmine Van T)

Operatic ‘Howards End, America’ a refreshing stateside spin on classic story

The world premiere of “Howards End, America,” by Bay Area composer Allen…

Sara Duchovnay and Michael Dailey are excellent in the premiere of the chamber opera “Howards End, America.” (Courtesy Jasmine Van T)
San Jose Opera’s revival of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s 2010 “Moby Dick” is a winning epic. (Courtesy Pat Kirk)

San Jose Opera’s ‘Moby Dick’ a whale of a show

When “Moby-Dick” made its world premiere at Dallas Opera in 2010, followed…

San Jose Opera’s revival of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s 2010 “Moby Dick” is a winning epic. (Courtesy Pat Kirk)
Longtime San Francisco Chamber Orchestra conductor Benjamin Simon leads Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” this week. (Courtesy Dona Kopol Bonick)

SF Chamber Orchestra stages free ‘Night at the Opera’

As Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s triumphant revival of Mary Zimmermann’s “Metamorphoses” is being…

Longtime San Francisco Chamber Orchestra conductor Benjamin Simon leads Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” this week. (Courtesy Dona Kopol Bonick)
Daniel Hope solos in “Recomposed,” the New Century Chamber Orchestra’s concert series featuring innovative arrangements. (Courtesy Nate Rabiroff)

New NCCO director Daniel Hope leads with insight, virtuosity

New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Bay Area ensemble presenting classical music in…

Daniel Hope solos in “Recomposed,” the New Century Chamber Orchestra’s concert series featuring innovative arrangements. (Courtesy Nate Rabiroff)
Calefax, an innovative wind quintet from Amsterdam, opens Chamber Music San Francisco’s 2019 season. (Courtesy Marco Borggreve)

Winter 2019 Arts Preview: Classical

Chamber, symphony and choral music fills concert halls throughout region. Here are…

Calefax, an innovative wind quintet from Amsterdam, opens Chamber Music San Francisco’s 2019 season. (Courtesy Marco Borggreve)
Bryan Hymel and Nadine Sierra sing the leads in Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet,” opening San Francisco Opera’s 2019-20 season. (Courtesy Alain Hanel)

SF Opera’s 97th season spans centuries

San Francisco Opera is staging eight operas spanning from Baroque through Romantic…

Bryan Hymel and Nadine Sierra sing the leads in Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet,” opening San Francisco Opera’s 2019-20 season. (Courtesy Alain Hanel)
Esa-Pekka Salonen wowed the audience in his first appearance conducting the San Francisco Symphony since being named music director designate. (Courtesy Brandon Patoc/ San Francisco Symphony)

Salonen makes powerful SF Symphony debut

Esa-Pekka Salonen, slated to succeed Michael Tilson Thomas as the San Francisco…

Esa-Pekka Salonen wowed the audience in his first appearance conducting the San Francisco Symphony since being named music director designate. (Courtesy Brandon Patoc/ San Francisco Symphony)
Robert Greenberg, center, has worked with the Alexander String Quartet -- from left, Sandy Wilson, Zakarias Grafilo, Paul Yarbrough and Frederick Lifsitz -- since the 1980s.  (Courtesy San Francisco Performances)

Robert Greenberg, Alexander String Quartet cleverly bring classics to the 21st century

Things have changed since the last time Oakland musicologist-composer Robert Greenberg presented…

Robert Greenberg, center, has worked with the Alexander String Quartet -- from left, Sandy Wilson, Zakarias Grafilo, Paul Yarbrough and Frederick Lifsitz -- since the 1980s.  (Courtesy San Francisco Performances)
Esa-Pekka Salonen is coming back to California to head up the San Francisco Symphony. (Courtesy Andrew Eccles)

Esa-Pekka Salonen named San Francisco Symphony director

The San Francisco Symphony’s next music director, its 12th in 107 years,…

Esa-Pekka Salonen is coming back to California to head up the San Francisco Symphony. (Courtesy Andrew Eccles)
Gloria Cheng and Terry Riley play a new piece for four hands at Other Minds' concert Dec. 5 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. (Courtesy Nick Volpert)

Composer Riley, pianist Cheng open Other Minds’ 25th season

Minimalist music pioneer Terry Riley is pleased to be working with his…

Gloria Cheng and Terry Riley play a new piece for four hands at Other Minds' concert Dec. 5 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. (Courtesy Nick Volpert)
Ragazzi Continuo singers perform “An English Christmas” across the Bay Area. (Courtesy David Allen)

Holiday Classical 2018: A-caroling we go!

Bay Area classical and choral musicians offer holiday concerts galore, with classic…

Ragazzi Continuo singers perform “An English Christmas” across the Bay Area. (Courtesy David Allen)
San Francisco Opera’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” features Golda Schultz as Clara and William Burden as George Bailey (center), and, from left, Sarah Cambidge, Amitai Pati, Christian Pursell and Ashley Dixon as Angels First Class. (Courtesy Cory Weaver/ San Francisco Opera)

SF Opera sets holiday mood with gratifying ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

San Francisco Opera’s revised production of Jake Heggie’s opera “It’s a Wonderful…

San Francisco Opera’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” features Golda Schultz as Clara and William Burden as George Bailey (center), and, from left, Sarah Cambidge, Amitai Pati, Christian Pursell and Ashley Dixon as Angels First Class. (Courtesy Cory Weaver/ San Francisco Opera)
San Francisco Symphony’s Michael Tilson Thomas is among many Bay Area arts leaders stepping down in the not-too-distant future. (Courtesy Art Streiber)

Bay Area arts organizations see changes at the top

After years, sometimes decades, of steady leadership, major Bay Area arts organizations…

San Francisco Symphony’s Michael Tilson Thomas is among many Bay Area arts leaders stepping down in the not-too-distant future. (Courtesy Art Streiber)
From left, Kearstin Piper Brown, Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer sing “Auld Lang Syne” in a session to promote “It’s a Wonderful Life,” opening Nov. 17 at the War Memorial Opera House in The City. (Courtesy Matthew Washburn/San Francisco Opera)

It’s a sneak preview of S.F. Opera’s ‘Wonderful Life’

San Francisco Opera offered a sneak peek this week of its upcoming…

From left, Kearstin Piper Brown, Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer sing “Auld Lang Syne” in a session to promote “It’s a Wonderful Life,” opening Nov. 17 at the War Memorial Opera House in The City. (Courtesy Matthew Washburn/San Francisco Opera)