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 Post subject: SFP announces 30th Anniversary, 2009-10 Season
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:50 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Media Contact: Karen Hershenson
(415) 677-0328 or

[EDITORS: For a copy of this release, a complete season calendar and
downloadable, high-resolution photos, go to and click
on the Press Room link.]

San Francisco, CA — President and Founder Ruth A. Felt today announced
details of San Francisco Performances’ 30th Anniversary, 2009-2010 season,
featuring the return of many outstanding artists along with presentations of
emerging talents at venues in San Francisco and Berkeley. The season runs
from September 30, 2009 to May 16, 2010. Subscription series are available
now, with single tickets on sale August 24.

“When I got the idea to start an independent presenting organization in
1979, there were many who said it wouldn’t succeed,” says Felt. “But here we
are 30 years later, continuing the mission we had from the start — to
present world-renowned and emerging artists in chamber music, recitals,
contemporary dance and jazz. During that time we have also developed our
highly regarded arts education programs.”

Leading baritone Thomas Hampson, an SFP regular, launches the season on
September 30 with “Song of America,” a survey of American repertoire from
the 1700s to the present. The entire Vocal Series reflects one of the things
that San Francisco Performances does best — presenting important singers who
have become close friends as well as introducing newcomers in recital.
Completing the series are mezzo-sopranos Joyce DiDonato and Alice Coote,
also baritone Nathan Gunn, who will perform Schubert’s profound "Die schöne
Müllerin." This will be the San Francisco recital debut for both Gunn and

Dance is especially thrilling this season, thanks in part to collaborations
with colleague organizations. Groundbreaking choreographer Christopher
Wheeldon brings his Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company in an engagement that is
in partnership between San Francisco Performances, Stanford Lively Arts and
the Robert and Magrit Mondavi Center for the Arts, UC Davis. SFP and Yerba
Buena Center for the Arts will co-present England’s DV8 Physical Theatre and
Akram Khan Company/National Ballet of China, both bringing powerful, topical
works. The return of Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza and the debut of
classical Indian dancer Shantala Shivalingappa complete this
not-to-be-missed series.

Another important aspect of San Francisco Performances’ mission is to
embrace contemporary music, personified this season by pioneering violinist
Midori, who brings “Music of Her Time,” a concert of 20th-century works
complemented by a full day of workshops and master classes.

Italian pianist Marino Formenti returns with “Aspects of the Divine,” a pair
of meditative concerts presented in sacred spaces. And a special offering is
the pairing of New Yorker music critic Alex Ross with jazz pianist Ethan
Iverson for “The Rest is Noise in Performance,” which spins off Ross’s
best-selling book of the same name.

In response to today’s economic challenges, San Francisco Performances has
kept ticket prices for the 2009-2010 season the same as last season, ranging
from $24 to $49. Always a great value, prices for the high-quality Family
Matinee Series have been lowered, to $8 for children and $15 for adults.



Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt opens the series with a program of Bach, her
specialty, and Schumann on Tuesday, December 1. Fellow Canadian, the
virtuoso Marc-André Hamelin, returns with a recital featuring Haydn, Mozart,
Liszt, Fauré and Alkan on Tuesday, December 15. Another legend, Richard
Goode, takes the stage on Friday, January 22, while British composer-pianist
Thomas Adès, whose 2006 San Francisco debut was a triumph, returns with a
program of Prokofiev, Beethoven, Janácek and Brahms on Tuesday, March 16.
Completing this high-impact series is the fiery young pianist Yuja Wang, who
brings works by Scarlatti, Schumann, Scriabin and Prokofiev on Thursday,
April 22. All concerts begin at 8 p.m. at the Herbst Theatre.

** SPECIAL ADD-ON: Italian pianist Marino Formenti offers “Aspects of the
Divine,” two monumental meditations of the spirit. He will perform
Messiaen’s "Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus" at 5 p.m. Saturday, December 5
at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley. This is followed by “Seven
Last Words,” which pairs Haydn with avant-garde Austrian composer Bernhard
Lang at 8 p.m. Friday, December 11 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San


The venerable Juilliard String Quartet returns to San Francisco Performances
for the 12th time with a new first violinist, 36-year-old Nick Eanet — most
recently a concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera — at 7 p.m. Sunday,
October 18 at the Herbst Theatre. The ensemble will perform works by
Mendelssohn, Mario Davidovsky and Schumann.

In honor of SFP’s 30th Anniversary, longtime Ensemble-in-Residence the
Alexander String Quartet performs the world premiere of a new piece by
Composer-in-Residence Jeeyoung Kim at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 3 at the
Herbst. Late masterworks by Mozart and Beethoven complete the program.

Rounding out the series are two young ensembles in their San Francisco
debuts. The German Kuss Quartet brings works by Haydn, Berg and Beethoven on
Thursday, April 15 and Latvian sisters Baiba and Lauma Skride join cellist
Jan Vogler as the Skride/Vogler Trio, with a program of Beethoven,
Shostakovich and Brahms on Tuesday, May 4. Both concerts are 8 p.m. at the
Herbst Theatre.


Since 1994, the Saturday Morning Series with the Alexander String Quartet
and Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg has been an SFP
centerpiece. These popular 10 a.m. concerts at the Herbst Theatre continue
with a focus on Dvorák that includes not only his mature string quartets,
but his Viola Quintet (with guest violist Andrew Duckles) and his
magnificent Piano Quintet (with guest pianist Roger Woodward). The concerts
are January 16 and 30, February 20 and March 27.

In Berkeley, the Alexander and Greenberg repeat their celebration of Felix
Mendelssohn in three 10 a.m. Saturday concerts at St. John’s Presbyterian
Church: December 5, 12 and 19. Among the featured works is Mendelssohn’s
breathtaking Octet, Opus 20.

** SPECIAL ADD-ON: New Yorker music critic Alex Ross and Ethan Iverson,
pianist for the jazz trio The Bad Plus, recreate a concept they developed
for a sold-out New York performance. Ross reads vivid portraits of
contemporary composers from his best-selling book "The Rest is Noise:
Listening to the Twentieth Century," while Iverson illustrates with musical
selections; 10 a.m. Saturday, April 24, Herbst Theatre.


Baritone Thomas Hampson launches the series on Wednesday, September 30 with
“Song of America,” a project with the Library of Congress that features
psalm settings, hymns, folksongs, African-American spirituals and other
works by our nation’s great composers. Next is mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato,
accompanied by John Churchwell on Monday, November 16. Baritone Nathan Gunn
has his San Francisco recital debut on Tuesday, January 12 performing
Schubert’s "Die schöne Müllerin," with his wife Julie Gunn at the piano.
Also in her San Francisco recital debut, mezzo-soprano Alice Coote will be
joined by frequent collaborator, pianist Julius Drake, on Friday, April 2.
All concerts are 8 p.m. at the Herbst Theatre. (The Vocal Series is
dedicated to San Francisco Performances’ Founding Trustee James H.
Schwabacher Jr.)


Renaissance man (he blogs, he writes children’s books), cellist Steven
Isserlis is joined by pianist Kirill Gerstein for a program of Britten,
Schumann and Rachmaninov at 7 p.m. Sunday, January 10. Violinist Jennifer
Koh and pianist Reiko Uchida perform intricate and evocative works by Ysaÿe,
Bach and Salonen at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 9. After dazzling audiences with
her recital last season, cellist Alisa Weilerstein returns with
composer-pianist Lera Auerbach on Tuesday, April 6 with an ingenious
program: Shostakovich’s "24 Preludes for Piano, Opus 34" (arranged for cello
and piano by Auerbach), paired with Auerbach’s "24 Preludes for Violoncello
and Piano, Opus 47."

** SPECIAL ADD-ON: Visionary violinist Midori offers “Music of Her Time,” a
showcase of 20th- and 21st-century composers — Huw Watkins, Krzysztof
Penderecki, Toshio Hosokawa, James MacMillan and John Adams — at 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 6 at the Herbst Theatre, accompanied by Charles

Preparation for the recital begins with “Day of Exploration with Midori”
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, January 31 at the San Francisco Conservatory
of Music. Midori invites peers, students and the community to learn more
about the composers and works on the February 6 program through master
classes, discussions and a lecture/demonstration by SFP Music
Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. A reception with Midori concludes
the event, which is co-presented by the Conservatory.


Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, known for stretching the boundaries of
ballet, brings Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company at 8 p.m. Saturday, January 23
and 7 p.m. Sunday, January 24. The engagement is a partnership between San
Francisco Performances, Stanford Lively Arts and the Mondavi Center for the
Arts, UC Davis.

Lloyd Newson, Artistic Director of DV8 Physical Theatre, brings the Bay Area
premiere of "To Be Straight With You," an unflinching exploration of
tolerance, religion and sexuality that includes not only dance, but text,
documentary, animation and film. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday,
November 12-14. Akram Khan Company/National Ballet of China will perform the
Tower of Babel-inspired piece "bahok" at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, February
18-20. Both of these are co-presentations with Yerba Buena Center for the

Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza returns in its last season under Artistic
Director Nacho Duato, who departs after 20 years of innovative dance-making,
for performances at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, April 29-May 1.

All the above dance events are at Novellus Theater at YBCA.

At Herbst Theatre, in her San Francisco debut, classical Indian dancer
Shantala Shivalingappa performs the traditional Kuchipudi solo work
"Gamaka," featuring guest musicians from India at 8 p.m. Thursday, February


Just in time for the holidays, on Thursday, December 3, the all-female
Anonymous 4 presents “The Cherry Tree: Medieval English Carols and American
Christmas Songs.” The all-male King’s Singers will perform selections from
their vast repertoire of Renaissance, Romantic, classical and commissioned
works on Wednesday, February 17. Both concerts are 8 p.m. at the Herbst


San Francisco Performances first presented Naumburg Competition winner
violist David Aaron Carpenter in 2007. He returns to perform works by York
Bowen, Rebecca Clarke, Krzysztof Penderecki, Prokofiev and Piazzolla on
Sunday, January 24. Exceptional young Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin offers
a program of Chopin, Liszt, Saint-Saëns and Ronald Stevenson on Sunday,
April 25. And to conclude the season on Sunday, May 16, baritone Eugene
Brancoveanu sings works by Mahler, Loewe and Vaughan Williams, accompanied
by Peter Grunberg. All recitals are 2 p.m. at the San Francisco Conservatory
of Music Concert Hall.


Along with vibraphonist (and former SFP Artist-in-Residence) Stefon Harris,
the swinging Imani Winds perform the local premiere of a new work by Harris,
co-commissioned by San Francisco Performances, at 7 p.m. Sunday, October 4.
A smash hit last season, singer Paula West returns with the George
Mesterhazy Quartet at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 10. Cerebral pianist Brad
Mehldau performs solo at 8 p.m. Saturday, January 23, while SFP Jazz
Artist-in Residence Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza brings the Luciana
Souza Trio (with guitarist Romero Lubambo and percussionist Cyro Baptista)
at 8 p.m. Saturday, January 30. All concerts are at the Herbst Theatre.


This series, once again co-presented with Omni Foundation for the Performing
Arts, features Chinese virtuoso Xuefei Yang on Friday, November 13; the
legendary Pepe Romero on Saturday, December 12; young Czech artist Pavel
Steidl on Friday, January 29; and former SFP Guitar Artist-in-Residence
Manuel Barrueco, who will perform with the Beijing Duo, on Thursday, April
29. All concerts are 8 p.m. at the Herbst Theatre.


San Francisco Performances’ Family Matinees last about an hour, with plenty
of opportunity to interact with the artists. Always reasonably priced,
ticket prices this season have been lowered even further, to $8 children and
$15 adults.

Here is the lineup: SFP Guitar Artists-in-Residence Peter and Zoltán Katona
with baritone Christòpheren Nomura at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 10; pianist
Marino Formenti, 2 p.m. Sunday, December 6; Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company,
2 p.m. Sunday, January 24; Quartet San Francisco, 11 a.m. Saturday, March
20; and Kronos Quartet, returning with “Around the World With Kronos!” at 11
a.m. Sunday, May 2. All concerts are at the Herbst Theatre with the
exception of Morphoses, which is at Novellus Theater at YBCA.

Subscription series for San Francisco Performances’ 2009-2010 season are on
sale now. Subscribers receive benefits, including savings on single-ticket
prices, priority seating, free ticket exchange privileges, e-mail concert
reminders, and invitations to two free concerts. To subscribe, call San
Francisco Performances at (415) 398-6449 or visit

Single-event tickets go on sale Monday, August 24 and can also be purchased
by calling or visiting the website. (Subscribers will have priority
seating.) Note: Make-Your-Own Series subscriptions and single tickets that
can be added to subscriptions at a discount are available by phone, mail
and/or fax order only, not online.

To request a brochure, call San Francisco Performances at (415) 398-6449, or

Founded in 1979 by Artistic Director Ruth Felt, San Francisco Performances
is the city’s pre-eminent presenter of world-renowned and emerging artists
in chamber music, vocal and instrumental recitals, jazz and contemporary
dance. Through innovative programming, SFP brings audiences and artists
together in unique ways, with more than 100 premieres and San Francisco
debuts to its credit, including pianist Thomas Adès, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and
violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter; and dance companies Batsheva from Israel and
Compáñia Nacional de Danza from Spain.

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