Old First Concerts

Look below to find a list of our upcoming concerts. You can also learn more about the artists by clicking on their names and following the links to their bios and websites.

To respect our artists and patrons, we do not permit infants or toddlers to attend our performances.

 

SUNDAY, JULY 10, 2016 AT 4:00PM

Basically British XV
 
John Parr, piano; Peter Grunberg, piano
 
Peter Warlock Capriol Suite for Piano Duet
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Andante and Variations, Op. 83
Sir William Walton excerpts from Façade for Piano Duet
Music by Constant Lambert, Arnold Bax, and John Field

A recital of British music and music with British connections for two pianists on one piano by two former Heads of Music Staff at San Francisco Opera, including music from the early nineteenth century and moving on to the golden age of British Music. Before the invention of the gramophone, the piano duet provided a way of having orchestral music in the home for amateur as well as professional pianists and many arrangements were made both by composers themselves as well as others, in addition to original music for the medium. The Irish-composer pianist and composer John Field moved to London where he studied with Muzio Clementi – he was particularly well-known for his solo piano music and was highly respected by Chopin, Schumann and Liszt. The younger Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was also an important figure in the London musical scene at the beginning of the nineteenth century as composer, conductor and pianist. The composer and poet Philip Heseltine adopted the pseudonym Peter Warlock as a composer. Though mainly known for his songs, his delightful pastische of Elizabethan music, the Capriol Suite, exists both for piano duet as well as its better-know version for String Orchestra. William Walton's brilliant Façade for small instrumental ensemble and speaker spurned orchestral, piano duet and song arrangements of many of the numbers. Arnold Bax was married to the pianist Harriet Cohen, for whom he wrote all his piano music. Percy Grainger and Constant Lambert provide the remaining lighter-hearted music in the program.

 
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$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2016 AT 8:00PM

Erik Jekabson's Vista Nonet
 
Erik Jekabson, trumpet; Alan Hall, drums; Jeff Denson, bass; Jeffrey Burr, guitar; Dillon Vado, vibraphone; Matt Renzi, woodwinds; Alisa Rose, violin; Alexis Lane Jensen, vocals; Becca Burrington, vocals; Sheldon Brown, tenor saxophone & clarinet
 
Original compositions by trumpeter Erik Jekabson featuring his nonet of Becca Burrington and Alexis Lane Jensen on vocals, Alisa Rose on violin, Matt Renzi on woodwinds, Sheldon Brown on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Dillon Vado on vibes, Jeffrey Burr on guitar, Jeff Denson on bass and Alan Hall on drums. Jekabson is a freelance trumpet player, composer, arranger and educator who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is equally busy playing and composing for different bands, leading his own groups and teaching a wide variety of students. Vista Nonet will perform his jazz-influenced chamber music, including the poetry of Frank O'Hara and Elizabeth Bishop set to music.
 
TICKETS
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2016 AT 8:00PM

Charles Curtis
performs J. S. Bach and Tashi Wada
 
Charles Curtis, cello
 
J. S. Bach Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 (ca. 1720)
Tashi Wada untitled (2016) World Premiere
Luigi Dallapiccola Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio (1945)

This program centers around a new piece for solo cello by composer Tashi Wada, written expressly for Charles Curtis, which broadens their ongoing work together around harmony and tuning, while working outwards from the physical makeup, or body, of the cello. The cello suites of J. S. Bach offer not only an "absolute music" of pure tonal relations and implied harmony, but also a very conscious mapping of the instrumental resources of the cello. They can be seen as a manifesto declaring the arrival of what was at the time a relatively new instrument. Bach's intricate tailoring of thematic and contrapuntal material to the lay-out and native resonances of the instrument suggest a kind of "inside-out" process, even a kind of compositional empiricism. Dallapiccola's Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio does much the same thing, but in 1945, some 200 years after Bach. The tonal language is now that of Alban Berg, and the piece was composed in close collaboration with Dallapiccola's friend, the Catalan cellist Gaspar Cassado. Cellist Charles Curtis has created a new body of work for solo cello through his collaborations with composers La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, Alvin Lucier, Éliane Radigue, Christian Wolff, Alison Knowles and Tashi Wada, and filmmakers Raha Raissnia and Jeff Perkins. Rarely-heard works of Terry Jennings, Morton Feldman and Richard Maxfield have also been signposts in Curtis's performing life. Trained at Juilliard with Leonard Rose and Harvey Shapiro, Curtis received the Piatigorsky Prize of the New York Cello Society. Since 2000 Curtis has been Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego. He is a former member of King Missile. Tashi Wada grew up in New York and lives in Los Angeles. His compositions use apparently simple structures and carefully calibrated tuning systems to generate rich and unanticipated perceptual effects. Wada presents his music often in collaboration with other artists including Charles Curtis and Stephan Mathieu, in addition to performing regularly with his father Yoshi Wada.

 
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$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2016 AT 4:00PM

San Francisco Piano Trio
 
Axel Strauss, violin; Jean-Michel Fonteneau, cello; Jeffrey Sykes, piano
 
Franz Haydn Piano Trio in G major, Hob. XV:25, ‘Gypsy Rondo’
Franz Schubert Piano Trio in B-flat major, D. 898
Maurice Ravel Piano Trio

The San Francisco Piano Trio, featuring German violinist Axel Strauss, French cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and American pianist Jeffrey Sykes, has quickly established itself as a top-flight ensemble. The trio has been praised for its virtuosic ensemble playing throughout a wide repertoire ranging from the trios of Haydn and Beethoven to those of Leon Kirchner and Astor Piazzolla. Recently featured in concerts in California and Wisconsin, the Well-Tempered Ear noted that the trio “brought a closely attentive and particularly quiet audience to its feet for a prolonged standing ovation … That they played with terrific virtuosity and technical fluency was easy to perceive throughout the demanding program. But the careful listener, the discerning ear, was more impressed ... by their unerring musicianship; and by their ability to blend, to dialogue with each other.” For more information please visit sfpianotrio.com
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TICKETS
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2016 AT 8:00PM

New Piano Collective
Ghost Variations - New Piano Collective Inaugural Concert I
 
Jeffrey LaDeur, Founder & Artistic Director; Johnandrew Slominski, piano; Bobby Mitchell, piano; Owen Zhou, piano
 
Franz Schubert Fantasy in C, D. 760
George Tsontakis Ghost Variations
Robert Schumann Fantasy in C, Op. 17

Tonight marks the beginning of an exciting artistic alliance: Alumni of the Eastman School of Music, the artists of New Piano Collective represent the true essence of the 21st Century musician—artistry, collaboration, and innovation. Sought after as soloists, chamber musicians, and pedagogues, each pianist excels in the standard repertoire from Rameau to Rzewski, while embracing a unique area of interest that distinguishes him as an authority in the profession. Tonight's performers include American pianist Johnandrew Slominski, who enjoys a distinguished reputation as a performer and pedagogue. His elegant and sophisticated playing has earned praise from composers and critics alike. Slominski seamlessly navigates the landscape of a varied and thriving career as a soloist, chamber musician, music theorist, author, pedagogue, and speaker. He has recorded for Centuar Records and Oxford University Press, and broadcast for National Public Radio. Slominski is an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music. Owen Zhou is a pianist of eloquence, commitment, and power. Zhou’s repertoire includes contemporary masterpieces as well as beloved classics. Dr. Zhou’s New York City debut featured the Scriabin Piano Concerto with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta. A native of Canada, Owen is active as a freelance musician and teacher in the Denver metropolitan area as well as founder and CEO of Opus Zero Recording & Audio. Bobby Mitchell is a young American pianist whose interests are embedded in the here and now of music as performance art, as well as the more standard classical repertory of centuries past. A frequent performer of new and rarely heard works, his interests lie mainly with the contemporary music canon and combining these works with the standard repertoire in an illuminating fashion. He is active as a solo and collaborative concert pianist on modern and historical instruments (fortepiano and harpsichord).

 
TICKETS
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, AUGUST 14, 2016 AT 4:00PM

New Piano Collective
Black and White Magic - New Piano Collective Inaugural Concert II
 
Jeffrey LaDeur, Founder & Artistic Director; piano; Paul Sanchez, piano; Jiyang Chen, piano; Igor Lipinski, piano
 
Franz Liszt Ballade No. 2 in B minor
Frederico Mompou Cants Magics
Jean-Philippe Rameau Tristes Apprets from Castor et Pollux
Claude Debussy Images, Book I
Transcriptions of works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Mompou by Jiyang Chen
Igor Lipinski Piano Illusions

Tonight's concert introduces the remaining artists of New Piano Collective in a program full of magic. As the only American concert pianist to earn a Master of Spanish Music degree under the legendary Alicia de Larrocha, Dr. Paul Sánchez’ specialization in Spanish music has made him one of the foremost exponents in the field. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Dakota Sky International Piano Festival and Young Artists Program, and was recently appointed to the faculty at the College of Charleston where he will serve as Director of Keyboard Studies and Artistic Director of the International Piano Series. Concert pianist Jiyang Chen has entranced audiences throughout the country with his luminous pianism and virtuosity. He is sensitive to the spectrum of emotional depth that can be found within the performance of a piece of music, a way of painting with sound on the blank canvas of silence. Jiyang is also active as a professional photographer, and his singular vision as photographer captures the broad palette and nuanced brush strokes of his subjects’ stories and emotions. Founder and Director of the New Piano Collective, Jeffrey LaDeur has given acclaimed performances around the world and maintains a repertoire of over 40 concerti. A passionate chamber musician, LaDeur is a founding member of the renowned Delphi Trio. Next season, Jeffrey will draw on his love of and experience with French music to offer Reflections in the Water, the complete solo piano music of Claude Debussy in the context of the composer’s inspirations and influences. Always passionate about introducing classical music to new audiences, Igor Lipinski developed Piano Illusions, a unique concert program that synthesizes the classical piano recital with a stunning magic show. This new hybrid recital provides a balance between popular entertainment and teaching the public about classical music. Combining two art forms and juxtaposing their striking differences creates an immersive, memorable, and interactive concert experience while attracting new generation of audiences to classical music.

 
TICKETS
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2016 AT 4:00PM

Gaude
 
Caitlin Tabancay Austin, soprano; Elizabeth Kimble, soprano; Danielle Sampson, mezzo-soprano; Gabriela Estephanie Solis, alto; Samuel Faustine, tenor; Michael Desnoyers, tenor; Matthew Peterson, baritone; Clayton Moser, bass; Jace Wittig, Founder & Music Director
 
GAUDE is a professional, a cappella octet based in San Francisco. Directed by Jace Wittig (former Interim Director of the Grammy Award-winning ensemble, Chanticleer), Gaude presents an a cappella meditation on peace and salvation, featuring Renaissance masterpieces by Josquin Des Prez, Carlo Gesualdo, Guillaume Dufay, and Tomás Luis de Victoria paired with the dynamic, modern voices of Jaakko Mäntyjärvi and Arvo Pärt, among others. Gaude seeks to engage the concert-going public, new listeners, and student musicians alike through unique programming and joyfully artistic performances. The ensemble's roster includes many of the Bay Area's most sought-after professional vocalists. "Gaude” means “rejoice” in Latin—the most common language for Sacred Renaissance music, which forms the core of our repertoire. The ensemble's debut concerts (December 2015) in San Jose and San Francisco were greeted by glowing audience responses to a Christmas/Advent program spanning over one thousand years of music history. Gaude is a newly established non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. More information is available at gaudesf.com.
 
TICKETS
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, AUGUST 28, 2016 AT 4:00PM

Thomas Schultz
The Complete Music for Solo Piano by Schoenberg
 
Thomas Schultz, piano
 
Arnold Schoenberg Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11; Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19; Five Piano Pieces, Op. 23; Suite, Op. 25; Piano Pieces, Op. 33a/b
Johannes Brahms Three Intermezzi, Op. 117
Franz Liszt Nuages gris; Vergessene Romanze; and Les jeux d’eaux à le Villa d’Este

This concert is a rare opportunity to hear Schoenberg’s piano music in its entirety, along with late works by Liszt that foreshadow Schoenberg’s atonality and music by Brahms that Schoenberg often cited as antecedents for his own music. These five groups of pieces reflect the development of Schoenberg’s music from his early work in free atonality, through the development of the 12-tone system and on to his mature music.

 
TICKETS
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2016 AT 4:00PM

Mike Greensill & Friends, featuring Wesla Whitfield
But Beautiful
 
Mike Greensill, piano; Wesla Whitfield, vocals
 
Wesla and Mike have put together a new show based on the two iconic duet albums that Tony Bennet and Bill Evans recorded in the '70's. Drawing on the repertoire from those albums in the first half of the concert Wesla and Mike will explore the delicate art of the vocal and piano duet. The second half will feature Mike and his jazz friends playing Mike's originals as well as the best of the standard repertoire. The show features such gems from the songbook as Some Other Time, When In Rome, Young and Foolish, My Foolish Heart, The Days of Wine and Roses, and many others.
 
TICKETS
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2016 AT 8:00PM

Friction Quartet
 
Kevin Rogers, violin; Otis Harriel, violin; Taija Warbelow, viola; Doug Machiz, cello
 
Brian Baumbusch Three Elements San Francisco Premiere
Maurice Ravel String Quartet
Philip Glass String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”
Garth Knox Satellites

Friction Quartet, whose performances have been called “terribly beautiful” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “stunningly passionate” (Calgary Herald) and “chillingly effective” (San Francisco Examiner), exists to expand the string quartet repertoire and audience for adventurous contemporary music through commissioning composers and performing in underserved schools and communities. Recently they gave their Carnegie Hall debut as part of the Kronos Quartet Workshop. They will participate in the Shouse Institute at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival this June where they will give their Detroit debut and appear with Paul Watkins of the Emerson Quartet. Friction received a Chamber Music America grant to commission a piano quintet from Andy Akiho. John Adams shared Friction’s video of the second movement of his first string quartet on his homepage and called it “spectacular.” They are the first ensemble in residence at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. While Friction has garnered international attention as commissioners and interpreters of new music, they are also devoted to performing masterworks of the string quartet repertoire. They were quarter finalists in the 2015 Fischoff Competition, placed second at the 2015 Frances Walton Competition and received the 2012 Berkeley Piano Club Award. Friction has participated in the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, The St. Lawrence String Quartet Emerging Quartet program, the Banff Chamber Music Residency, and the Deer Valley Music Festival.

 
TICKETS
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2016 AT 4:00PM

Graham-Graber-Rose Trio
 
Michael Graham, cello; Miles Graber, piano; Tom Rose, clarinet
 
Johannes Brahms Sonata in F minor for clarinet and piano, Op. 120, No. 1; Sonata in F major for cello and piano, Op. 99; and Trio in A minor, Op. 114

The Graham-Graber-Rose Trio, or G-G-R Trio, formed in 2013 and gave its debut performance at Trinity Chamber Concerts. Since then the group has performed at Old First Concerts, Four Seasons Arts Cameo Concerts, NoonTime Concerts and other venues. Because works of major composers for this instrumentation are limited, G-G-R Trio also explores arrangements and lesser known works of various composers, including Mikhail Glinka, Marko Tajčević, Paul Juon, and Mendelssohn. Michael Graham, cellist, studied at the Eastman School of Music and Yale University. He performs regularly with many Bay Area orchestras and chamber ensembles. He is also active as a recording artist. Miles Graber received his musical training at the Juilliard School. He is a member of several chamber music groups, including Musica AEterna, the Sor Ensemble, the Alcyone Ensemble, and is a premiere accompanist for many soloists, in the Bay Area and across the nation. Tom Rose studied music at San Francisco State College and Mills College. Mr. Rose is Principal Clarinetist with Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra and is a member of Trio Brillante. In January 2016 he and Graber released their second CD of music for clarinet and piano.

 
TICKETS
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 AT 8:00PM

The Circadian String Quartet
The Sound and the Fury
 
Sarah Wood, violin; David Ryther, violin; Omid Assadi, viola; David Wishnia, cello
 
Claude Debussy String Quartet
Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring, Part 1 (transcribed for String Quartet and Percussion by David Ryther)
Russian Theme and Variations (various composers)

The Circadian String Quartet presents The Sound and the Fury: The Rite of Spring Re-imagined, the first concert in a series of three programs developed to explore the revolutionary sound world from Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring and its links to the explosive events of the decades from which it sprung. This iconic 20th century masterpiece, which infamously caused a riot at its 1913 premiere, struck a powerful nerve in a Europe wracked by political and social tension. Since then, the music has provoked unending fascination with its mix of French harmonies & deep, primal Russian roots. This concert features the Circadian's own version of The Rite for String Quartet and Percussion, which will be heard alongside Debussy's ground-breaking 1893 quartet and a collection of variations based on Russian folk themes. It is a San Francisco musical event not to be missed!

 
TICKETS
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2016 AT 4:00PM
Opera Academy of California
La voix humaine & L'heure espagnole
 
Yefim Maizel, Director; Sophie Delphis, mezzo-soprano; Cybele Gouverneur, mezzo-soprano; Bradley Kynard, baritone; Spencer Dodd, baritone; James McGoff, bass; Clifford Romig, bass
 
Francis Poulenc La voix humaine
Maurice Ravel L’heure espagnole

La voix humaine, an unusual work subtitled “Lyric Tragedy”, was created ten years after Dialogues of the Carmelites. Francis Poulenc composed this operatic monologue for Denise Duval, his favorite singer, who created the role under the direction of Georges Prêtre, with staging and scenery by Jean Cocteau, who also wrote the libretto. Putting to music his friend Cocteau’s monodrama, the composer creates an extraordinary tour de force. L’heure espagnole, a sex farce about a lusty Spanish woman juggling lovers while her husband is preoccupied with clockwork mechanisms, evokes a Spanish flavour through Ravel’s use of native dance forms including the jota, the habañera and the malagueña.

 
TICKETS
$23.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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