Classical Music

Michael Wirgler, in white, is retiring from the Golden Gate Park Band after 43 years. (Courtesy photo)

Sundays-in-the-park band leader Michael Wirgler retires

Maestro Michael Wirgler’s fondest memories of making music in Golden Gate Park…

Michael Wirgler, in white, is retiring from the Golden Gate Park Band after 43 years. (Courtesy photo)
Tenor Atalla Ayan and soprano Aurelia Florian make impressive San Francisco Opera debuts in “La Traviata.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

Principal performances energize SF Opera ‘La Traviata’ revival

Although San Francisco Opera didn’t break new ground Saturday night opening its…

Tenor Atalla Ayan and soprano Aurelia Florian make impressive San Francisco Opera debuts in “La Traviata.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Leonard Bernstein, left, and Michael Tilson Thomas appear at the premiere of Bernstein’s “Arias and Barcarolles.” (Courtesy San Francisco Symphony)

SF Symphony celebrates Bernstein centennial

The San Francisco Symphony is observing the late Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday…

Leonard Bernstein, left, and Michael Tilson Thomas appear at the premiere of Bernstein’s “Arias and Barcarolles.” (Courtesy San Francisco Symphony)
Cello great Yo-Yo Ma, center, helped San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the orchestra open the 2017-18 season with a bang. (Courtesy Devlin Shand/Drew Altizer Photography)

Yo-Yo Ma joins MTT, SF Symphony at festive 2017 gala

On Thursday at Davies Symphony Hall at the gala opening of San…

Cello great Yo-Yo Ma, center, helped San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the orchestra open the 2017-18 season with a bang. (Courtesy Devlin Shand/Drew Altizer Photography)
Christine Goerke gives a powerful performance in the title role of San Francisco Opera’s “Elektra.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

‘Elektra’ makes triumphant return to Opera House

On Saturday, San Francisco Opera opened a striking new production of Strauss’…

Christine Goerke gives a powerful performance in the title role of San Francisco Opera’s “Elektra.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Martina Sarafin and Brian Jagde opened San Francisco Opera’s 2017-18 season as the leads in the lustrous “Turandot.”  (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

Vivid, commanding SF Opera ‘Turandot’

San Francisco Opera unfurled its 95th season Friday by reviving a David…

Martina Sarafin and Brian Jagde opened San Francisco Opera’s 2017-18 season as the leads in the lustrous “Turandot.”  (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Henrik Nánási is making his San Francisco Opera debut conducting Strauss. (Courtesy Gunnar Geller/GM Art & Music)

SF Opera stages Strauss’ shocking, irresistible ‘Elektra’

Even for longtime opera fans and experts, the first listen to Richard…

Henrik Nánási is making his San Francisco Opera debut conducting Strauss. (Courtesy Gunnar Geller/GM Art & Music)
San Francisco Performances opens its season with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard performing an All-Bernstein Centennial program on Oct. 1 at Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy  Becca Fay)

Fall 2017 Arts Preview: Classical

Virtuosity abounds – with chamber ensembles, orchestras, soloists and grand opera. Here…

San Francisco Performances opens its season with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard performing an All-Bernstein Centennial program on Oct. 1 at Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy  Becca Fay)
The 100-plus-member Asian Youth Orchestra includes musicians from 11 nations and territories. (Courtesy photo)

Asian Youth Orchestra tour hits Bay Area

Nearly 30 years ago, music educator Richard Pontzious wanted to do something…

The 100-plus-member Asian Youth Orchestra includes musicians from 11 nations and territories. (Courtesy photo)
From left, Jennifer Mitchell, Jordan Eldredge and Patricia Westley appear in Pocket Opera’s delightful “Die Fledermaus.” (Courtesy Nicolas Aliaga)

Donald Pippin, Pocket Opera staying strong at 40

As San Francisco’s Pocket Opera is about the conclude its 2016-17 season,…

From left, Jennifer Mitchell, Jordan Eldredge and Patricia Westley appear in Pocket Opera’s delightful “Die Fledermaus.” (Courtesy Nicolas Aliaga)
San Francisco Symphony closes its 2016-17 season with performances of Berlioz’s groundbreaking “Roméo et Juliette.”  (Courtesy Stefan Cohen)

SF Symphony’s Berlioz ‘Roméo et Juliette’ c’est magnifique

When Hector Berlioz set out to write “Roméo et Juliette,” he vowed…

San Francisco Symphony closes its 2016-17 season with performances of Berlioz’s groundbreaking “Roméo et Juliette.”  (Courtesy Stefan Cohen)
“Hershey Felder, Beethoven” is onstage in a TheatreWorks presentation in Mountain View. (Courtesy Christopher Ash)

Felder takes on diverse tasks portraying great composers

Hershey Felder, in Mountain View this month performing his one-man show about…

“Hershey Felder, Beethoven” is onstage in a TheatreWorks presentation in Mountain View. (Courtesy Christopher Ash)
Arturo Chacón-Cruz and Erika Grimaldi are the love birds in San Francisco Opera’s 2017 production of “La Bohème.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver)

Artistry and love flourish in SF Opera’s ‘La Bohème’

Paris in February can be a city as chilly as it is…

Arturo Chacón-Cruz and Erika Grimaldi are the love birds in San Francisco Opera’s 2017 production of “La Bohème.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver)
Erwin Schrott, left, and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo are excellent in San Francisco Opera’s “Don Giovanni.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

Dynamic duo rules SF Opera’s ‘Don Giovanni’

Mozart’s masterpiece “Don Giovanni” makes it quite clear it’s a man’s world.…

Erwin Schrott, left, and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo are excellent in San Francisco Opera’s “Don Giovanni.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Erwin Schrott is making his San Francisco Opera debut in “Don Giovanni.” (Courtesy Uli Webber)

Erwin Schrott happy to sing Leporello in The City

San Francisco Opera’s announcement that bass-baritone Erwin Schrott would replace the ailing…

Erwin Schrott is making his San Francisco Opera debut in “Don Giovanni.” (Courtesy Uli Webber)
Quinn Kelsey and Nino Machaidze are excellent in San Francisco Opera’s “Rigoletto.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

SF Opera’s ‘Rigoletto’ regally holds court

Early on in “Rigoletto,” a curse befalls the title character that will…

Quinn Kelsey and Nino Machaidze are excellent in San Francisco Opera’s “Rigoletto.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
SF Opera Lab presents the local premiere of “The Source,” an evocative multimedia oratorio. (Courtesy Stefan Cohen)

Manning’s Iraq war leaks come to life with modern music

When the news of Chelsea Manning and WikiLeaks first made headlines, the…

SF Opera Lab presents the local premiere of “The Source,” an evocative multimedia oratorio. (Courtesy Stefan Cohen)
Violin great Pinchas Zukerman appears in Chamber Music San Francisco performances in the Bay Area. (Courtesy Cheryl Mazak)

Zukerman calls for arts education, togetherness

Even when he’s not playing an instrument, Pinchas Zukerman is still performing.…

Violin great Pinchas Zukerman appears in Chamber Music San Francisco performances in the Bay Area. (Courtesy Cheryl Mazak)
Jake Heggie, left, and Gene Scheer have been commissioned to write a new piece for Merola Opera Program. (Courtesy Robert Hart Photography)

Merola commissions new work on 60th anniversary

San Francisco composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer are embarking on…

Jake Heggie, left, and Gene Scheer have been commissioned to write a new piece for Merola Opera Program. (Courtesy Robert Hart Photography)
The award-winning Telegraph Quartet appears in a San Francisco Performances concert at Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy photo)

2017 Winter Arts Preview: Classical Music

Berkeley Symphony: Christian Reif guest conducts cellist Joshua Roman in the local…

The award-winning Telegraph Quartet appears in a San Francisco Performances concert at Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy photo)