13 May 2019

Museum Monday 2019/19

detail of Water Lilies (1914 - 1915) by Claude Monet; normally found at the Portland Art Museum in Oregon but seen at the de Young Museum in San Francisco as part of the exhibit Monet: The Late Years

06 May 2019

Museum Monday 2019/18

a detail of Two Children by Paul Gauguin, painted around 1889 in Paris or Brittany; seen at the de Young Museum in San Francisco as part of the exhibit Paul Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey but usually found at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen

This child looks seriously uneasy. The second time I went to this exhibit a man next to me said, "That child is on a bad acid trip."

29 April 2019

Museum Monday 2019/17

detail of Saint Jerome in the Wilderness by Agostino Carracci, seen in the exhibit Old Masters in a New Light at the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive

24 April 2019

fun stuff I may or may not get to: May 2019

The Silk Road Ensemble returns to Zellerbach Hall on 3 May with Heroes Take Their Stands; created by Ahmad Sadri, with music directors Colin Jacobsen and Kayhan Kalhor, this Cal Performances co-commission is an exploration through music, movement, video, and animation of five heroic figures from different times and cultures.

Michael Morgan leads the Oakland Symphony in Bernstein's West Side Story on 10 May at the Paramount Theater.

Custom Made Theater presents Aaron Posner's Life Sucks, described as "sort of adapted" from Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, directed by Brian Katz, from 2 May to 1 June.

Polish troupe Song of the Goat Theatre comes to Cal Performances on 11 - 12 May performing Songs of Lear, an adaptation of King Lear directed by Grzegorz Bral with music by Jean-Claude Acquaviva and Maciej Rychly in Zellerbach Playhouse. Be forewarned that the photos on the website suggest the performers are all amplified.

Shotgun Players presents Kings, written by Sarah Burgess and directed by Joanie McBrien, from 16 May to 16 June.

Ubuntu Theater Project presents Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, directed by Susannah Martin, from 17 May to 9 June; performances will be at the FLAX Building at 1501 Martin Luther King Jr Way in Oakland (walking distance to both the 12th and 19th Street BART stations).

Ray of Light Theater presents American Psycho (music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik, book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, directed by Jason Hoover with music director Ben Prince and choreographer Leslie Waggoner), from 17 May to 8 June at the Victoria Theater.

Cal Shakes in Orinda opens its season with Shakespeare's beloved A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Tyne Rafaeli; in case you're wondering, Midsummer Night is 24 June, the feast of St John the Baptist, so sadly you will not be able to attend the show on the actual day. as the play runs from 22 May to 16 June.

ACT presents Ionesco's Rhinoceros, translated by Derek Prouse and directed by Frank Galati, from 29 May to 23 June.

There are some operatic events scheduled this month at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music: on 2 and 3 May you can see Later the Same Evening, inspired by five Edward Hopper paintings, with music by John Musto, libretto by Mark Campbell, conducted by Curt Pajer and directed by Heather Mathews (performances are free but reservations are recommended); and on 23 May Music of Remembrance presents their new commissioned piece, The Parting, with music by Tom Cipullo and libretto by David Mason, centered on the last evening the Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti and his wife Fanni spend before the Nazis send them to the camps. The evening also includes music by three Hungarian composers who were killed by the Nazis: Laszlo Weinger, Sandor Vandor, and Sandor Kuti.

The Wagner Society of Northern California holds its annual celebration of The Master's birthday at St Mark's Lutheran on 25 May (the actual date is 22 May) with a concert by Steven Bailey and Mai-Linh Pham of music by Wagner adapted for piano; a reception will follow.

San Francisco Performances presents soprano Deborah Voigt and pianist Steven Bailey performing Lerner & Loewe, Zemlinsky, Grieg, Mahler, and Cole Porter on 2 May at Herbst Theater.

Lila Downs will be at the SF Jazz Center from 16 to 19 May.

The San Francisco Early Music Society presents countertenor Iestyn Davies and lutenist Thomas Dunford, playing works by Dowland, Purcell, and Handel, on 19 May at First Congregational in Berkeley.

Festival Opera presents baritone (and Festival Artistic Director) Zachary Gordin and pianist (and Festival Principal Conductor) Bryan Nies in a recital of songs by Schumann, Reynaldo Hahn, Vaughan Williams, and Jake Heggie, on 28 May at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek (this theater is BART-accessible).

Cappella Romana presents Venice in the East, an exploration of the music of Renaissance-era Crete, on 11 May at St Ignatius in San Francisco.

Clerestory sings American popular songs (back from when they were good) and folk songs on 11 May at Holy Innocents Episcopal in San Francisco and on 12 May at the David Brower Center in Berkeley.

Sacred & Profane celebrates contemporary women composers, including Alice Parker, Libby Larsen, Gabriela Lena Frank, Ysäye Barnwell, Carol Barnett, Tina Andersson, Alissa Firsova, Caroline Mallonée, and Karin Rehnqvist, on 18 May at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco and on 19 May at St Mark's Episcopal in Berkeley.

Chora Nova, led by Paul Flight, sings Poulenc's Gloria and the Saint-Saëns Requiem on 25 May at First Congregational in Berkeley.

Early / Baroque Music
Jeffrey Thomas leads the American Bach Soloists in Brandenburgs 2, 4, 5, and 6 on 3 May at St Stephen's in Belvedere, 4 May at First Congregational in Berkeley, 5 May at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, and 6 May at Davis Community Church in Davis.

The San Francisco Early Music Society presents Antic Faces, a new group recreating the Elizabethan mixed consort, performing works by Dowland, Byrd, Morley, Phillips, Allison and Coperario, on 10 May at First Presbyterian in Palo Alto, 11 May at St Mark's Episcopal in Berkeley, and 12 May at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco.

Chamber Music SF presents the Archetti Baroque String Ensemble at Herbst Theater on 12 May, when they will play works by Bach, Purcell, Telemann, and Hellendaal.

Cal Performances presents Orlando di Lasso's Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of Saint Peter), conducted by Grant Gershon and performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale in a staging by Peter Sellars, on 17 May in Zellerbach Hall.

Modern / Contemporary Music
The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players do their part in the on-going Julius Eastman revival with two different programs at the SF Jazz Center, featuring music by Eastman and music inspired by him: on 10 May you can hear Eastman's Stay on It along with a west coast premiere by LJ White and world premieres by Sidney Corbett and Fernanda Aoki Navarro; on 11 May you can hear Eastman's Gay Guerrilla along with world premieres from Adam Strawbridge, Wyatt Cannon, and Myra Melford.

On 20 May at Herbst Theater Earplay performs a new work (and Earplay commission) by Kyle Hovatter, along with the west coast premiere of Xinyan Li's The Dunhuang Lovers, Tristan Murail's Treize Couleurs du soleil couchant, and Olly Wilson's Piano Trio.

On 31 May Wild Rumpus along with puppeteer Niki Ulehla, will perform scenes from the Russian folktale Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga, with music composed by David Coll, Christopher Pratorius, and Yunxiang Gao, at a location yet to be announced.

Wind octet Nomad Session ends its season at the Noe Valley Ministry on 31 May with a program that includes the premiere of Figure Eight by Mario Godoy.

Here's the monthly reminder to check the calendar of the Center for New Music, as it is frequently updated. Some things listed so far that jump out at me: Tongue Depressor & the Matsumoto/Sonnet Duo on 2 May; the showcase for Innova Recordings on 5 May featuring, among others, Volti, the Friction Quartet, and Pamela Z; Icelandic-American cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir performing pieces by four contemporary Icelandic composers on 17 May; Beth Custer's Drawdown on 18 May; and the Black Cedar Trio premiering three commissioned pieces by Javier Contreras, Andre Gueziec, and Victoria Malawey on 30 May.

The Afro-Cuban All-Stars with Juan de Marco visit the SF Jazz Center from 2 to 5 May.

On 10 May Old First Concerts presents pianist and composer Jon Jang and the Jon Jangtet with guest artist poet Genny Lim performing the world premiere of A Chinaman's Chance, A Choy's Chance! (celebrating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad and honoring the Chinese immigrants who helped build it) along with his Yank Sing Work Song and The Butterfly Lover's Song.

The Marcus Shelby Orchestra will be at the SF Jazz Center from 23 to 26 May.

On 2 May in Zellerbach Hall, Guest Conductor Christian Reif leads the Berkeley Symphony in Bizet's Carmen Suite #1, Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier Suite, Dances from Powder Her Face by Thomas Adès, and This Midnight Hour by Anna Clyne (the latter two with the ODC dance company, choreographed by KT Nelson).

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán plays Davies Hall on 5 May.

Guest artists the Marcus Roberts Trio join Concertmaster Daniel Hope and the New Century Chamber Orchestra in an all-American program featuring works by Bernstein, along with Barber's Adagio for Strings, Copland's Old American Folk Songs, and Gershwin's Song Suite for Violin and Orchestra (the latter two arranged by Paul Bateman). You can hear the program on 9 May at First Congregational in Berkeley, 10 May at First United Methodist in Palo Alto, 11 May at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and 12 May at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center in San Rafael.

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, led by Christian Reif, plays the Mahler 1 on 19 May at Davies Hall.

There are concerts of interest at Davies Hall, as the San Francisco Symphony starts the slide into the home stretch: Marek Janowski conducts Mendelssohn's Ruy Blas Overture, the Bruch Violin Concerto 1 with soloist James Ehnes, and Wagner's Overture and Venusberg Music from Tannhäuser plus the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde on 2 to 4 May; Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Ligeti's Piano Concerto with soloist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, along with Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Fawn, Nocturnes, and La Mer, on 9 to 11 May; MTT returns the next week, 16 to 18 May, to lead the Mahler 7; then the highly praised Krzysztof Urbański arrives from 23 to 25 May to conduct the Elgar Violin Concerto with soloist Vilde Frang, along with an Overture by Grażyna Bacewicz and the Mendelssohn 4, the Italian; then Juraj Valčuha leads us into June with the Shostakovich 8 and the Bach Violin Concerto 2 with Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik as soloist.

Chamber Music
The Mellon International Chamber Players (violinist Stephanie Zyzak, cellist Eunghee Cho, and pianist Roger Xia) perform works by Pēteris Vasks, Brhams, and Dvořák on 3 May at Old First Concerts.

Chamber Music SF presents cellist Mischa Maisky and pianist Lily Maisky at Herbst Theater on 4 May, when they will play works by Marcello, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich.

Old First Concerts presents the Ives Collective performing string sextets by Frank Bridge and Brahms on 5 May.

Chamber Music SF presents the San Francisco debut of the New York Philharmonic String Quartet at Herbst Theater on 9 May, when they will play works by Haydn, Shostakovich, and Brahms.

San Francisco Symphony players Alexander Barantschik (violin), Peter Wyrick (cello), and Anton Nel (piano) play works by Hummel, Ravel, and Schumann on 12 May at Gunn Theater (in the Legion of Honor).

The Bell-Isserlis-Denk Trio (Joshua Bell on violin, Steven Isserlis on cello, and Jeremy Denk on piano) perform works by Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel in Davies Hall on 12 May.

Keyboards & Strings
Cal Performances presents violinist Michael Barenboim playing works by Tartini, Sciarrino, Paganini, and Berio on 5 May in Zellerbach Hall.

Pianists Sarah Cahill and Regina Myers come to Old First Concerts on 17 May with a music on the theme of social justice, including works by Elinor Armer, Ruby Fulton, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, and a premiere by Sharmi Basu.

Old First Concerts presents pianist Jason Stoll on 19 May, performing works by Mompou, Chopin, Earl Wild, Richard Rodgers via Andy Villemez (Fantasy on Themes from the Sound of Music), Nikolai Kapustin and Gershwin.

Chamber Music SF presents the San Francisco debut of violinist Alexandra Soumm on 19 May, when she will join with pianist Xiayin Wang at Herbst Theater to play music by Stravinsky, Grieg, Saint-Saëns, Bartók, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, and Ravel.

San Francisco Performances presents the San Francisco debut of pianist Francesco Piemontesi on 21 May at Herbst Theater, where he will play works by Bach, Debussy, and Rachmaninoff.

Pianist Audrey Vardanega plays Beethoven and Brahms for Old First Concerts on 31 May.

San Francisco Performances and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts co-present Dorrance Dance in ETM: Double Down from 9 to 11 May at the YBCA Theater.

Cal Performances presents the US premiere of Eifman Ballet's The Pygmalion Effect, with choreography by Boris Eifman to music by Johann Strauss Jr, from 31 May to 2 June at Zellerbach Hall.

The San Francisco Ballet closes its seasons with a revival of Shostakovich Trilogy (music by, no surprise, Shostakovich and choreography by Alexander Ratmansky) from 7 to 12 May.

ODC Dance hosts the 2019 Walking Distance Dance Festival from 12 to 19 May.

Visual Arts
Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again opens 19 May at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and runs until 2 September.

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival runs from 1 to 5 May at the lovely period-appropriate Castro Theater, and I assume that it will as usual be a highlight of the year. And they seem to an unusually large number of rarities (meaning ones I've never seen) this year. See you in balcony – just kidding, I sit up close in the movie theater as well.

22 April 2019

Museum Monday 2019/16

detail of Two Scenes from the Passion of Christ: The Flagellation and the Crowning of Thorns by the Master of Cappenberg in the Legion of Honor, San Francisco

01 April 2019

Whan That Aprille Day 2019

A lyric for the annual celebration of ancient, archaic, and "dead" languages (the Middle English is in roman type and my "translation" is interleaved in italics):

I have a young suster
I have a young sister
Fer beyonden the see;
Far beyond the sea;
Many be the drowries
Many are the love-tokens
That she sente me.
That she sent me.

She sente me the cherye
She sent me a cherry
Withouten ony ston,
Without any stone (pit),
And so she ded the dove
And so she did the dove
Withouten ony bon.
Without any bone.

Sche sente me the brer
She sent me a briar
Withouten ony rinde;
Without any bark;
Sche bad me love my lemman
She bade me love my sweetheart
Withoute longing.
Without longing.

How shuld ony cherye
How could any cherry
Be withoute ston?
Be without a stone (pit)?
And how shuld ony dove
How could any dove
Ben withoute bon?
Be without bones?

How shuld ony brer
How could any briar
Ben withoute rinde?
Be without bark?
How shuld I love min lemman
How could I love my sweetheart
Without longing?
Without longing?

Whan the cherye was a flour,
When the cherry was a flower,
Than hadde it non ston;
Then had it no stone (pit);
Whan the dove was an ey,
When the dove was an egg,
Than hadde it non bon.
Then had it no bones.

Whan the brer was onbred,
When the briar was a sprout,
Than hadde it non rind;
Then had it no bark;
Whan the maiden hath that she loveth,
When the maiden has what she loves,
She is without longing.
She is without longing.

I was taught a version of this riddle song back when schoolchildren had music lessons; it's interesting to see how long it's been around in a very similar form – our fruit was also a cherry (still referred to as one of the stone fruits, that is, fruit with a pit or kernel in the center), but I think the boneless bird in our version was a chicken (I'm sure some clever or misguided child would these days offer "chicken tenders" as an answer). In the song I learned, it was the lover who was asking us the riddles; here it is, perhaps oddly, the lover's sister, who is for some reason far beyond the sea – is she at home, or is he? Is he a soldier, a pilgrim, a knight? Is she a pilgrim? I think we can rule out "nun in a convent" though . . . maybe not; after all, as Chaucer's Prioress tells us, Amor Vincit Omnia, or Love Conquers All. The mysterious love-tokens are explained, but not why this young woman is sending them to her brother; perhaps the clue is in the final lines: When the maiden hath that she loveth, / She is without longing: in other words, your sweetheart also wants you, so go ahead and . . . you know. In the springtime tradition of carpe diem poems, grab the cherry blossom before it falls, the dove (the traditional symbol of faithful love) before it hatches and flies away, the briar before it gets large and thorny, and the lover while he or she is willing.

I'm pretty pleased that I also worked two Latin tags into this! I took this lyric from the Norton Critical Edition of Middle English Lyrics, edited by Richard L Hoffman and Maxwell S Luria. The translation they give for rind is unborn, but this version offers bark, which I think makes more sense.

Museum Monday 2019/13

inadvertent self-portrait with a detail of Dance in a Madhouse, a 1917 lithograph by George Bellows, as part of the Get Dancin' exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive

25 March 2019

fun stuff I may or may not get to: April 2019

It's time for one of my occasional warnings about BART, our on-going slow-motion disaster of a transit system. Starting in February, BART, which has apparently neglected basic repairs for decades, changed its schedule to accommodate retrofitting on the transbay tube. This change involved starting their weekday schedule an hour later than usual (and still ending shortly after midnight); what they did not announce, or played down, was that they are now running shorter trains during commute hours, with even longer waits between trains at night, and (at least on some lines) a radical curtailment of direct service on Sunday between the east bay and San Francisco. Most of these changes seem to hit mainly the Warm Springs - Richmond line (the one you'd take to get to downtown Oakland or Berkeley); it's long been obvious that this line, which services mostly the historically lower-income, mostly black or Latino neighborhoods of Fruitvale, Oakland, and Richmond, receives poorer service than the lines going to wealthier and whiter suburbs like Orinda or Moraga. I have no idea why shorter trains are necessary for retrofitting; it's been obvious for decades that BART needs to run full-length trains and run them more often, and instead, inexplicably, they run shorter trains with longer wait times. Commute hour trains have become dangerously crowded. Given how overheated the cars are at the best of times, I'm sure people are going to start getting sick and/or violent on them. We already have frequent delays for "medical emergencies" and though I assume this is a euphemism for "dealing with a crazy drug-addicted homeless person" the trend will no doubt spread to the rest of the population. Speaking of the homeless, it's become popular to blame them for the current state of BART, and BART does nothing to discourage this feeling, but if all the homeless disappeared tomorrow we'd still have to deal with BART's long-neglected infrastructure, its failure to make obvious improvements, or any improvements at all, its outmoded station design, its bone-headed management . . . . Even the problems the homeless are frequently blamed for – fare evasion, noisy and disruptive behavior, trashing the trains and stations – can easily be seen in many other riders, of all demographics. Amidst this latest fiasco, BART is preparing to request yet another fare hike (on top of the one scheduled anyway for next January), even though service has steadily declined for years despite all the money they've already been given. If you contact them to complain they send you some boilerplate PR nonsense about "checking 'Know Before You Go'" but checking their website is useless if all it's telling you is that there will be a series of too-short trains too far apart when you need to get to work or back home. I am stunned once again by the incompetence, stupidity, callousness, and cynicism displayed by BART management. So how does all this affect our possible aesthetic adventures below? Basically, if it's a burden to get to a venue, things on the "that might be interesting to check out" list drop to the "too much of an ordeal" list. (And to make a point that should be more obvious than it apparently is: driving or taking Uber are not really good alternatives, as the already horrible Bay Area traffic gets even worse when people avoid public transit.) Decent public transit is vital to our survival, not only in a world poisoned by environmental degradation but in a society where people need to learn to live together respectfully. Too bad our local transit offers such a dire reflection of our actual social state.

The Berkeley Playhouse presents the Steven Schwartz musical Pippin from 5 April to 5 May.

The Exit Theater offers Nigga-Roo, an examination of racism, blackface, and American life by Dazié Grego-Sykes, from 5 to 27 April.

The New Conservatory Theater Center presents The Gentleman Caller, imagining a night shared by Tennessee Williams and William Inge, by Philip Dawkins and directed by Arturo Catricala, from 5 April to 5 May.

Aurora Theater presents Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Josh Costello, from 12 April to 12 May.

42nd Street Moon revives 110 in the Shade, with music by Harvey Schmidt, lyrics by Tom Jones (not the singer; this is the duo that wrote The Fantasticks), and book by N Richard Nash, directed by Josh Marx, from 24 April to 12 May at the Gateway Theater in San Francisco.

Speaking of The Fantasticks, you can see it at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (directed by Michael Mohammed, with music director Michael Horsley) on 12 and 13 April; the performances are free but reservations are recommended.

Shotgun Players and TheatreFirst present Far, Far Better Things, a modern-day twist on A Tale of Two Cities (as the title might tell you, if you remember the second-most famous line in the novel), written by Geetha Reddy and directed by Katja Rivera, from 26 April to 19 May at the Live Oak Theater in Berkeley.

SHN/Best of Broadway presents David Payne in An Evening with CS Lewis from 25 to 28 April at the Marines' Memorial Theater in San Francisco.

Cal Performances presents the Théâtre National de Bretagne in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, directed by Arthur Nauzyciel, at Zellerbach Hall from 26 to 28 April; despite the French provenance of the troupe, the performance is apparently in English.

Shotgun Players presents the first in this season's Champagne Staged Reading Series, Charles Francis Chan Jr's Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, written by Lloyd Suh and directed by Michelle Talgarow, on 29 - 30 April.

The Ubuntu Theater Project, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, and Marin Theatre combine to present August Wilson's autobiographical one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned, directed by Margo Hall and starring Steven Anthony Jones, from 30 April to 5 May at the Rothwell Center Theater at Mills College in Oakland.

Barbara Heroux directs the Lamplighters in Gilbert & Sullivan's Trial by Jury, along with the Lamplighter's spoof sequel, Trial by Jury Duty, on 21 March at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 29 March at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek, and 6 - 7 April (both performances are matinees) at Herbst Theater in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music presents Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by Curt Pajer and directed by Jose Maria Condemi, on 5 and 7 (matinee) April.

The Wagner Society of Northern California has Jeff McMillan speaking on Parsifalmania: The early history of Wagner's final opera in America on 6 April at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco. As part of the presentation we may get to hear excerpts from Marston's forthcoming release of the 1938 Met Parsifal broadcast, featuring Melchior and Flagstad.

Pocket Opera presents Puccini's La Rondine on 28 April at the Hillside Club in Berkeley and 5 May at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Opera's Schwabacher Recital Series ends its season with two recitals this month in the Taube Atrium Theater: on 3 April soprano Mary Evelyn Hangley, tenor Christopher Oglesby, and pianist Mark Morash perform works by Schubert, Britten, Richard Strauss, Dvořák, Ives, Fauré, and unspecified Italians who wrote duets; and on 24 April soprano Hangley, mezzo-soprano Ashley Dixon, tenor Zhengyi Bai, and bass-baritone Christian Pursell join pianist Martin Katz to perform works by Hugo Wolf, Barber, and Brahms.

Lieder Alive! also hosts two recitals this month, both at the Noe Valley Ministry: on 7 April you can hear bass Kirk Eichelberger and pianist Simona Snitkovskaya performing Veronika Krausas's Kandinsky Lieder as well as Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death; and on 28 April you can hear mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur performing Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte and Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben and his Fantasie Opus 17.

Mariza, the "Queen of Fado", plays the SF Jazz Center from 12 to 14 April. At some point I should actually go hear some fado, but honestly I feel I've spent enough of my life listening to the lamentations of the Portuguese.

The San Francisco Early Music Society presents the Choir of New College Oxford on 8 April at Grace Cathedral in a program of works by Palestrina, Victoria, Josquin des Prez, Francisco Guerrero, Walter Lamb, Nicholas Ludford, John Taverner, John Sheppard, and Thomas Tallis.

Lynne Morrow leads the Oakland Symphony Chorus's spring concert on 13 April at the First Congregational Church of Oakland; the program features African-American spirituals and a newly commissioned Mass for Freedom by Michael T Roberts inspired by them.

Bob Geary leads the San Francisco Choral Society in Rossini's Petite Messe Solonnelle at Calvary Presbyterian on 27 and 28 April.

Early / Baroque Music
Philharmonia Baroque gives us the gift of Handel's Saul: Nicolas McGegan leads the orchestra and the Philharmonia Chorale (Bruce Lamott, director), along with soloists soprano Sherezade Panthaki, soprano Yulia Van Doren, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, tenor Aaron Sheehan, tenor Jonathan Smucker, baritone Daniel Okulitch, and bass-baritone Christian Pursell, and this is clearly not to be missed. You can hear it 6 - 7 April at First Congregational in Berkeley, 12 April at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and 13 April at First United Methodist in Palo Alto. And while we're talking about Philharmonia Baroque, I have to say they have a pretty spectacular season lined up for McGegan's farewell year.

The San Francisco Early Music Society presents Ensemble Caprice performing music by Bach, Falconiero, Schmelzer, and Vivaldi under the rubric Lovestories: Great Composers and Their Loved Ones on 12 April at First Presbyterian in Palo Alto, 13 April at St Mark's Episcopal in Berkeley, and 14 April at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco. (Lovestories is spelled thus on the website.)

Paul Flight leads the California Bach Society in works by two seventeenth-century Italians who worked in Vienna; you can hear madrigals by Giovanni Valentini, a student of Gabrieli, and the US premiere of Antonio Bertali's Missa Redemptoris; and that's 26 April at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, 27 April at All Saints' Episcopal in Palo Alto, and 28 April at St Mark's Episcopal in Berkeley.

The Cantata Collective concludes its season with BWVs 62 and 72 with soprano Christine Brandes, alto William Sauerland, tenor Kyle Stegall, and bass Nikolas Nackley on 28 April at St Mary Magdalen in Berkeley.

Modern / Contemporary Music
San Francisco Performances presents Third Coast Percussion, playing new works by Philip Glass, Devonté Hines, and the ensemble itself, at Herbst Theater on 3 April.

Cal Performances brings Sō Percussion to Hertz Hall on 7 April, when they will perform west coast premieres of music by Vijay Iyer, Jason Treuting, Dan Trueman, and Donnacha Dennehy, as well as works by Caroline Shaw and a new work by Suzanne Farrin.

Ensemble for These Times brings The Film Noir Project to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on 6 April, where they will perform commissioned world premieres by David Garner, Lennie Moore, Aleksandra Vrebalov, and Polina Nazaykinskaya, along with new works by Stacy Garrop, Justin Merritt, and David Garner.

Earplay has its second concert of the season on 8 April at the Taube Atrium Theater, where you can hear world premieres by Yu-Hsin Chang and Claire Jordan, a US premiere by Carola Bauckholt, a US and also a west coast premiere by Tristan Murail, and the 2018 Earplay Aird prize winner by A J McCaffrey.

As always, keep an eye on the Center for New Music's calendar, as it is frequently updated; and as always, here is a list of some things this month that catch my eye: horn player Nicolee Kuester and cellist Eric Moore are joined by pianist Jenny Hunt in new music by Dongryul Lee, Serio Cote, Morton Feldman, and Alvin Lucier (the first two commissioned by Kuester and Moore) on 4 April; a new music sampler from the 113 collective on 8 April; a lecture-recital from Amr Selim on 11 April demonstrating traditional Arabic music on the French horn; a salon-style evening of music by Patricia Wallinga on 12 April; Summits, a song cycle by Daniel Corral based on texts from "summit registers" (notebooks found at the tops of many mountain trails in which hikers can write their thoughts) on 13 April; the Amaranth Quartet on 14 April; contemporary piano music performed by Sakurako Kanemitsu on 20 April; Meredith Maloney using the inside as well as outside of the piano on 23 April (presented by Arab.Amp); the Galax Quartet playing music from 1607 to 2007 on 26 April; and Elinor Frey performing new music for baroque cello on 28 April.

At the San Francisco Symphony you can hear Andrey Boreyko conduct Zemlinsky's Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid) along with the Brahms Piano Concerto 2 with soloist Emanuel Ax on 11 - 12 and 14 April; Simone Young conduct Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade along with Ravel's Pavane pour une infant défunte (Pavane for a dead princess) and his Piano Concerto with soloist Louis Lortie on 18 - 20 April; and James Gaffigan conduct Wagner's Good Friday music from Parsifal, the Beethoven Piano Concerto 4 with soloist Hélène Grimaud, the Mozart 31, Paris, and the Barber 1, and that's on 25 - 27 April.

Christian Reif leads the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra in the Tchaikovsky 4, Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestration of Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, and the Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No 5 in F Major Op 103, The Egyptian, with soloist Jinzhao Xu on 23 April.

Goran Bregović and his Wedding and Funeral Orchestra play their Balkan music at the SF Jazz Center from 25 to 28 April.

Chamber Music
San Francisco Performances presents the Elias Quartet playing works by Sally Beamish, Benjamin Britten, and Robert Schumann at Herbst Theater on 1 April.

Old First Concerts hosts pianist Audrey Vardanega along with violinist Hannah Tarley and cellist Monica Scott in works by Beethoven, Schumann, and Janáček on 12 April.

Old First Concerts presents its tenth Annual Birthday Tribute to Maestro Ali Akbar Khan with two concerts (an afternoon and an evening session; you may buy tickets to either or both) on 13 April celebrating the late master of traditional Indian music.

San Francisco Performances presents the Tetzlaff-Tetzlaff-Vogt Trio playing works by Mozart, Shostakovich, and Dvořák on 27 April at Herbst Theater.

The San Francisco Symphony chamber ensemble will play works by Spohr, Brahms, and Fauré in Davies Hall on 28 April.

Old First Concerts presents the Meráki Quartet on 26 April, playing pieces inspired by folk music from composers Debussy, Bartók, and Preben Antonsen.

Keyboards & Strings
Old First Concerts presents violinist Patrick Galvin (along with pianist Jungeun Kim and other unnamed guests) on 5 April in a program featuring Schubert, Bach, and the world premiere of Axel Herrera's The Road of the Pilgrim.

The San Francisco Symphony hosts a recital by violinist Midori and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet on 7 April at Davies Hall.

Pianists Bobby Mitchell and Jeffrey LaDeur play mostly Schumann for Old First Concerts on 7 April.

San Francisco Performances presents Piotr Anderszewski performing Beethoven (the Diabelli Variations) and Bach at Herbst Theater on 13 April. UPDATE: Anderszewski has cancelled his American tour due to complications from the flu; instead, SFP will present the San Francisco recital debut of Alexandre Tharaud; he will play Bach's Goldberg Variations, still in Herbst Theater, but the performance date is now 23 April.

Old First Concerts presents pianist Hadley McCarroll on 14 April in works by Bach, Helmut Lachenmann, Elliott Carter, and Debussy, along with world premieres by Monica Scott and Matt Ingalls.

Chamber Music San Francisco presents pianist Nelson Goerner playing Brahms, Beethoven, Schumann, and Chopin at Herbst Theater on 14 April.

Cal Performances presents violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Akira Eguchi at Zellerbach Hall, playing Kreisler, Scott Wheeler, Avner Dorman, Bach, and Franck, on 29 April.

Cal Performances presents the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour at Zellerbach Hall on 3 April, with music director Christian Sands and singer Cécile McLorin Salvant.

The Havana Cuba All-Stars return to the Paramount Theater in Oakland on 13 April under the auspices of Cal Performances.

The Sasha Berliner Quartet comes to the SF Jazz Center on 26 April.

On 28 April Freight & Salvage in Berkeley presents Mary Lou's Apartment, an all-women big band inspired by the lives and legacies of Mary Lou Williams and Melba Liston.

San Francisco Performances presents Rosie Kay Dance at the Atrium Theater on 11 - 13 April, performing 5 Soldiers, which examines the body in wartime.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has its annual residency at Cal Performances from 9 to 14 April, when they will be performing four different programs in Zellerbach Hall.

The Alonzo King Lines Ballet presents a world premiere collaboration with Vietnamese musician Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, along with a revival of 2016's Art Songs, from 12 to 21 April at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Ballet revives The Little Mermaid (score by Lera Auerbach and choreography by John Neumeier) from 9 to 28 April; I gather the show is controversial but I really loved it when I saw it a few years ago. It is a complex and adult take on Andersen's famous story and his life – in other words, don't go in expect a live romp through the Disney film (which I also enjoy, but it's a very different thing).

Visual Arts
The Legion of Honor justifies my membership renewal by hosting Early Rubens, opening 6 April and running until 8 September. I am very excited about this one.

The Oakland Museum of California presents Queer California: Untold Stories from 13 April to 11 August.

Museum Monday 2019/12

detail of a bell set replica; the original was found in Tomb 1, Dayun Mountain, Xuyi, Jiangsu; it was part of the exhibit Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China's Han Dynasty at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

11 March 2019

25 February 2019

Museum Monday 2019/8

detail of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Miniato by Bicci di Lorenzo at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco

I love that the Baptist has covered his austere hair-shirt with a gold-trimmed pink robe. Miniato was an early Florentine martyr.

22 February 2019

fun stuff I may or may not get to: March 2019

Custom Made Theater presents the Bay Area premiere of Bess Wohl's American Hero, directed by Allie Moss, from 7 March to 6 April. I saw Wohl's Small Mouth Sounds at the Strand Theater last year and enjoyed it very much.

Cutting Ball Theater stages Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde in the Eric Bentley translation, directed by Ariel Craft, from 14 March to 14 April. Two actors are performing all the parts, so add that layer to the drama's roundelay.

The African-American Shakespeare Company presents Leslie Lee's Black Eagles, about the famous Tuskegee Airmen, directed by L Peter Callender, from 16 to 31 March at the Marines' Memorial Theater.

At the SHN Golden Gate Theatre from 19 March to 14 April you can see the Lincoln Center Theater production of Falsettos, the musical by William Finn and James Lapine.

The Curran Theater presents The Jungle by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, from 26 March to 19 May; it's an immersive play about a refugee camp in Calais.

Helen, an adaptation of Euripides by Ellen McLaughlin directed by Shannon R Davis, plays at Theater of Yugen from 28 March to 27 April.

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music presents a concert version of Handel's Tamerlano on 9 and 10 March; the performances are free but reservations are recommended.

Paul Flight leads Chora Nova in A Gilbert & Sullivan Evening on 16 March at First Congregational in Berkeley.

The Wagner Society of Northern California presents a special showing of Birgit Nilsson: A League of Her Own, a documentary on the late great Wagnerian by Thomas Voigt and Wolfgang Wunderlich, on 23 March at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco.

Smetana's The Two Widows gets the Pocket Opera treatment on 24 March at the Hillside Club in Berkeley and 31 March at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

Opera Parallèle stages the world premiere of Today It Rains, a new chamber opera about Georgia O'Keeffe with music by Laura Kaminsky and libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed; Brian Staufenbiel directs and Nicole Paiement conducts. You can experience the results from 28 to 31 March at Z Space.


The San Francisco Conservatory of Music will present soprano Deborah Voigt and pianist Steven Bailey in recital on 11 March, though the program has not been listed. The concert is free but reservations are recommended.

SF Jazz presents singer-guitarist Jeremiah Lockwood and vocalist Jewlia Eisenberg as Book of J, their duo project, on 17 March.

Arlo Guthrie and his daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie visit Freight & Salvage in Berkeley from 22 to 24 March.

Lieder Alive! presents baritone Eugene Villanueva and pianist Peter Grünberg performing Brahms, Strauss, and Tosti on 24 March at the Noe Valley Ministry.

Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe and the San Francisco Girls Chorus have two programs this month: Modern Masters on 3 March at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, when they will perform works by David Lang, John Zorn, Steve Reich, Fred Frith (a Chorus commission and world premiere), Kaija Saariaho, Lisa Bielawa, and Vaughan Williams (the latter two pieces also feature contralto Kirsten Sollek); and a joint concert with the Copenhagen Girls Chorus on 22 March at Herbst Theater, for which the program has not yet been announced.

Sacred & Profane performs American Landscapes, a concert of traditional American music from Amish folk songs and African-American spirituals to excerpts from Paul Chihara's Folksong Mass, on 8 March at St Francis Lutheran in San Francisco, 9 March at St Mark's Episcopal in Berkeley, and 10 March at First Presbyterian in Alameda.

The San Francisco Choral Artists perform outdoorsy nature songs by Britten, Schumann, Delius, Ligeti, and others on 9 March at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, 10 March at St Mark's Episcopal in Palo Alto, and 17 March at St Paul's Episcopal in Oakland.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo visits Freight & Salvage in Berkeley for three performances on 9 - 10 March.

Paul Flight leads the California Bach Society in The All-Night Vigil by Rachmaninoff on 1 March at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, 2 March at All Saints' Episcopal in Palo Alto, and 3 March at St Mark's Episcopal in Berkeley.

Chanticleer presents Spacious Skies, a celebration of American music; 16 and 21 March are the San Francisco performance dates.

Christian Reif leads the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and some of the Adler Fellows in music from Le Nozze di Figaro, Debussy's Ibéria, and Bizet's L'Arlésienne Suite No 2 on 3 March (matinee) at Davies Hall.

Mikhail Pletnev leads the Russian National Orchestra, presented by the San Francisco Symphony on 3 March at Davies Hall, in an all-Rachmaninoff program, featuring Vocalise, Symphonic Dances, and the Piano Concerto 2 with soloist George Li.

Urs Leonhardt Steiner leads the Golden Gate Symphony in the Tchaikovsky 5 and the Schumann Cello Concerto (with soloist Angeline Kiang) on 10 March at Herbst Theater.

SF Jazz presents Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester, re-creating Weimar Berlin in Davies Hall on 12 March.

Cal Performances hosts Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London at Zellerbach Hall for three different programs: on 15 March you can hear Sibelius's The Oceanides, Salonen's own Cello Concerto with soloist Truls Mørk, and Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra; on 16 March you can hear Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) and the Bruckner 7; and on 17 March (matinee) you can hear Stravinsky's Firebird (complete) along with the world premiere of Dreamers, a Cal Performances co-commission, with music by Jimmy López, libretto by Nilo Cruz, soprano soloist Ana María Martínez and local chamber chorus Volti,

Dawn Harms leads the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony in David Conte's A Copland Portrait, Copland's Our Town, Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto (with soloist Alec Holcomb), and Florence Price's Symphony No 1 in E minor in the Taube Atrium Auditorium on 16 March. There's been a recent resurgence of interest in Price and this is a good chance to hear one of her works live.

François-Xavier Roth leads the San Francisco Symphony in Schumann's Manfred Overture, Liszt's Piano Concerto No 1 (with soloist Cédric Tiberghien), and the Brahms 2 on 7 - 9 March.

Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin, the Mozart Violin Concert No 3 (with soloist Christian Tetzlaff) and the Sibelius 2 on 14 - 17 March.

Michael Morgan leads the Oakland Symphony on 22 March at the Paramount Theater in I Raise Up My Voice, featuring Banner, Jessie Montgomery's variation of and comment on the Star-Spangled Banner, Louise Farrenc's Symphony No 3 from 1847, and Bernstein's Songfest, featuring some of the Adler Fellows. I think Bernstein is now the most exhaustingly overprogrammed composer around, which is too bad as the rest of this program looks so enticing.

The Berkeley Symphony, led by Guest Conductor Christopher Rountree, plays the Dvořák 9, From the New World, Duke Ellington's Black, Brown, and Beige (with the Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble), and Gubaidulina's Concerto for Two Orchestras, on 24 March in Zellerbach Hall.

New Century Chamber Orchestra, led by Concertmaster Daniel Hope, plays music written under repressive regimes, featuring works by Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Krasa, and Schulhoff (his Double Concerto for Violin, Piano, and Orchestra, featuring Hope and pianist Vanessa Perez) on 21 March at First Congregational in Berkeley, 22 March at the Oshman Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, 23 March at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and 24 March at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center in San Rafael.

SF Jazz presents Red Baraat and Vidya Vox celebrating Holi, the Hindu festival of spring (famous for its liberal use of colored powders thrown on celebrants, though I have no idea if that will happen at this performance), on 30 March.

Chamber Music
The Telegraph Quartet performs works by Weinberg and Beethoven at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on 2 March; the concert is free but reservations are recommended.

Cal Performances presents the Takács Quartet at Hertz Hall on 3 March, playing works by Haydn, Bartók, and Mendelssohn.

The San Francisco Symphony chamber musicians have two performances this month, both of them matinees on 10 March: there will be piano trios by Mozart, Schubert, and Smetana at the Legion of Honor and works by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, and Timothy Higgins at Davies Hall.

Chamber Music San Francisco presents two programs at Herbst Theater with the Pacifica Quartet: a talk on Shostakovich on 15 March, featuring String Quartets 1, 2, and 8, as well as excerpts from other works; and a concert on 16 March featuring works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Shulamit Ran.

Early / Baroque Music
I'm not sure whether to put this here or under Modern / Contemporary Music, but mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and countertenor Daniel Moody are visiting Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque to sing Handel, Purcell, Carolyn Shaw, and Arvo Pärt on 6 March at Bing Concert Hall at Stanford, 8 March at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and 9 - 10 March at First Congregational in Berkeley.

The Cantata Collective performs BWV 125 and BWV 78 with alto Robin Bier and tenor Michael Jankosky and the Pacific Boychoir, led by Andrew Brown, on 17 March at St Mary Magdalene in Berkeley.

Jeffrey Thomas leads the American Bach Soloists in the St Matthew Passion (with soloists Guy Cutting, William Sharp, Hélène Brunet, Katelyn Aungst, Agnes Vojtko, Nicholas Burns, Steven Brennfleck, Matthew Hill, and Jesse Blumberg) on 22 March at St Stephen's in Belvedere, 23 March at First Congregational in Berkeley, 24 March at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, and 25 March at Davis Community Church in Davis.

You can hear Bach's other passion setting, the St John, on 30 March at the San Francisco Symphony, when Ragnar Bohlin leads soloists Ross Hauck (tenor), Michele Kennedy (soprano), Silvie Jensen (alto), Michael Jankosky (tenor), Clayton Moser (baritone), Matthew Peterson (baritone), and Mitchelle Jones (baritone), the Symphony Chorus, and baroque ensemble Voices of Music.

Speaking of Voices of Music, this month they are also presenting As Steals the Morn, a program of instrumental and vocal music by Bach and Handel, featuring singers Amanda Forsythe and Thomas Cooley along with Emi Ferguson on baroque flute and Marc Schachman on baroque oboe; you can hear the results 28 March at All Saints Episcopal in Palo Alto, 29 March at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, and 31 March at St Mary Magdalen in Berkeley.

Modern / Contemporary Music
The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble plays works by Rebecca Clarke, Tina Tallon, Elainie Lillios, Peter van Zandt, and David Conte; the Clarke is from 1919 but the Tallon, Lillios, and van Zandt pieces are world premieres. The concerts are 3 March at the Berkeley Hillside Club and 4 March at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

The Eco Ensemble returns to Hertz Hall under the auspices of Cal Performances on 2 March to play a program of mostly US or world premieres by Sivan Eldar, Carmine Cella, Amadeus Reguceraraw, and Matthew Schumaker.

Cal Performances presents pianist Nicolas Hodges, violinist Jennifer Koh, and cellist Anssi Karttunen playing works by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Betsy Jolas, Kaija Saariaho, and Magnus Lindberg at Hertz Hall on 10 March.

Nomad Session offers the premiere of Ocho Bendiciones, a new piece by Nicolas Benavides (his second piece for them, after last year's beautiful Cool Grey City) on 15 March at the Noe Valley Ministry.

The Tenth Annual Hot Air Music Festival is scheduled for 17 March at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; as usual it will be a full day of free concerts but I have no other information as of this posting.

This year's Other Minds Festival explores the microtonal work of Ivan Wyschnegradsky; the first concert will take place 23 March at the Taube Atrium Theater and will feature the Arditti Quartet playing works by Wyschenegradsky and Georg Friedrich Haas. (The other Festival concerts will take place in June.)

Old First Concerts presents the Mobius Trio on 29 March; the classical guitar trio will perform three world premieres, by Ryan Brown, Ian Dicke, and the Trio themselves.

Bard Music West offers Games and Revolutions, a program featuring music by Danny Clay and Gabriella Smith, on 28 March at the Center for New Music in San Francisco, 29 March at the Fireside Room of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, and 30 March at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

As always, check  the calendar at the Center for New Music, which is updated frequently; some things that jump out at me from the current listings for March are: Kurt Rohde's Farewell Tour Part 2, featuring many new works for viola and electronics, on 1 March; Latitudes, by Ashley Bellouin and Gabriel Mindel Saloman on 8 March; the Looney / Mezzacapa / Nordeson Trio on 9 March; piano duo Zwischenspiel (Rachel Breen and Kelsey Walsh) playing Philip Glass and David Lang and pairing them with photography and video, on 10 March; guitarist David Tanenbaum's seven world premieres on 15 March; pianist Clare Longendyke playing music by Vivian Fung, Brent Miller, Mason Bates, Elinor Armer, and Michael Gilbertson on 24 March; and the Friction Quartet playing Abaciscus by Geoffrey Gordon and the premieres of two quartet commissions, Two Hearts by Sarang Kim and El Correcaminos (The Roadrunner) by Nick Benavides, on 29 March.

Keyboards & Strings
Old First Concerts offers its annual Chopin birthday concert on 3 March; Kenneth Kenner will play mostly Chopin, of course, as well as a few pieces by Paderewski.

Chamber Music San Francisco presents cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Connie Shih at Herbst Theater on 3 March, playing works by Clara and Robert Schumann, Vítězslava Kaprálová and Bohuslav Martinů, and Augusta Holmès and César Franck (the program's theme is love relationships between composers). Isserlist will also be giving a master class at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on 4 March.

San Francisco Performances presents cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist/composer Vijay Iyer playing works by Iyer, Zakir Hussein, John McLaughlin, JS Bach, Ravi Shankar, Billy Strayhorn, and others at Herbst Theater on 9 March.

The San Francisco Symphony presents violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter with pianist Lambert Orkis in recital at Davies Hall on 10 March, when they will play works by Mozart, Debussy, Ravel, and Poulenc.

San Francisco Performances presents pianist Benjamin Grosvenor at Herbst Theater on 13 March, playing works by Schumann, Janáček. Prokofiev, and Bellini (via Liszt).

On 28 March at Herbst Theater, Garrick Ohlsson continues his multi-concert exploration of the complete piano works of Johannes Brahms for San Francisco Performances.

The San Francisco Symphony presents pianist Marc-André Hamelin in recital at Davies Hall on 31 March, when he will play music by Bach, Schumann, Weissenberg, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Chopin.

Chamber Music San Francisco presents pianist Nikolay Khozyainov at Herbst Theater on 31 March, performing pieces by Debussy, Stravinsky, and Chopin.

British/Bangladeshi dancer Akram Khan comes to Cal Performances on 2 - 3 March to perform his solo work Xenos, which combines the myth of Prometheus with the story of an Indian soldier fighting in the British Army in the First World War. Khan is planning to retire as a performer after Xenos. Be advised that this solo dance work is taking place in cavernous Zellerbach Hall.

The San Francisco Ballet has three programs in March: Sleeping Beauty (music by Tchaikovsky, choreography by Helgi Tomasson after Marius Petipa) returns from 9 to 17 March; Program 5, Lyric Voices, runs from 27 March to 7 April and consists of Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem (music by Chris Garneau, choreography by Trey McIntyre), Bound To (music by Keaton Henson, choreography by Christopher Wheeldon), and the world premiere of ". . . two united in a single soul . . ." (music by Handel and Daria Novo with countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen and choreography by Yuri Possokhov); and Program 6, Space Between, runs from 29 March to 9 April and consists of Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes (music by Aaron Copland, choreography by Justin Peck), a world premiere from choreographer Liam Scarlett (no other details available at this time), and Björk Ballet (music by, perhaps obviously, Björk Gudmundsdottir, as well as Alejandro Ghersi, and Sjón, with choreography by Arthur Pita).

There's a cinematic cornucopia starting up this month at the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive: Afterimage: Ulrike Ottinger runs from 1 March to 7 April; Painters Painting runs from 1 March to 28 April; the African Film Festival runs from 2 March to 10 May; Delphine Seyrig: Resistant Muse runs from 8 March to 27 April; In Focus: Hirokazu Kore-eda runs from 13 March to 24 April; Remembering Nelson Pereira dos Santos runs from 15 March to 8 May; and the GLAS Animation Festival runs 23 - 24 March. (It's probably something obvious, but I have no idea what GLAS stands for and I didn't see it spelled out during my admittedly cursory look at their website; the festival looks interesting though.)

Friday Photo 2019/8

along the Embarcadero, San Francisco, August 2018

18 February 2019

11 February 2019

Museum Monday 2019/6

Nell Gwynn in the Guise of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, by Sir Peter Lely and Workshop, from the Berkeley Art Museum's recent exhibit Old Masters in a New Light: Rediscovering the European Collection. Catherine of Alexandra, shown here with her traditional attributes, the wheel on which she was tortured to death and a martyr's palm, was one of the most popular virgin saints of the early Church. Nell Gwynn was a Restoration actress and the long-time mistress of King Charles II.