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.
San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra
Since their first concert in March 2002, the SFCCO has premiered more new and vital works than any other orchestra in the Bay Area. The orchestra is a diverse group of composer-performers who seek to embody the sound of new music in San Francisco through the performance of their own music. The result is an incredibly diverse offering of new music. In any one concert, the audience may hear styles ranging from the Neo-Romantic, Serial, Neo-Classical, Guided Improvisation, and Minimalist … just to name a few. So come for an evening of orchestral music that is full of surprises, including excerpts from the opera The Lariat by Lisa Scola Prosek, Front Line by Michael Kimbell, Railway Suite by Stardust, Raven and Panther by Loren Jones, plus others. For more information please visit sfcco.org.
One Great City
Mistérios Do Rio Lento
Alexandra Iranfar, guitar & soprano; Timothy Sherren, guitar
Program to include works by Villa-Lobos, Bogdanovic, Hahn, Garoto, and Machado.
Praised by renowned artist Sérgio Assad as a "unique guitar duo... beautiful blending of voice, guitars, and creative repertoire," One Great City crystallized in 2011, and immediately began building a repertoire unique to them, combining Alexandra's abilities both as a guitarist and a soprano with their love and dedication to chamber music. One Great City reaches beyond the standard guitar duo repertoire and into the realm of song and poetry. They are an honest fusion of their musical passions and talents, a fusion that imbues their performances with charisma and magnetism. The San Francisco Examiner acclaimed One Great City as an "innovative new duo... One Great City brings a journey of discovery to every recital they prepare." One Great City was a finalist of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's 2012-2013 Concerto Competition, and has been named Artist in Residence of the Chamber Music in Marin Concert Series. Alexandra Iranfar recently gave the world premiere of two-time Grammy-winning artist Christopher Tin's new song written for her in the fall of 2013. This season's highlights include a return to Old First Concerts, and appearances at the Center for New Music, OmPower Yoga, Chamber Music in Marin, and the Peninsula Guitar Series. In 2013, Timothy and Alexandra completed their Master of Music degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying privately and as a duo with scholarship under Grammy Award winning artist Sérgio Assad. In May 2014, Timothy and Alexandra were awarded Professional Studies Diplomas from the San Francisco Conservatory, where they were Teaching Assistants to the guitar department. Timothy and Alexandra enjoy teaching, cooking, and performing in great cities. They are enthusiastic yoga newbies. For more information please visit onegreatcityduo.com.
Solenn Séguillon, violin; Anne Suda, 'cello; Sophie Xuefei Zhang, piano
Claude Debussy ‘Cello Sonata
Maurice Ravel Violin Sonata
Bohuslav Martinů Bergerettes Trio
Praised for their “dexterity and breathtaking perfection” by French critics and for their “emotionally compelling and masterful execution” by the San Francisco Examiner.com, San Francisco-based Aleron Trio draws audiences with their unique energy and commitment to performing. Representing three continents—Europe, North America and Asia—the international ensemble is committed to exploring each of its member’s cultural backgrounds and musical heritages during their Old First Concerts Residency, beginning in this program with works by French composers Ravel and Debussy, along with a trio by Martinů based on French folk songs. Aleron Trio is a fiscally sponsored affiliate of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. For more information please visit alerontrio.com.
Evolution through Transcription
Danielle Reutter-Harrah, mezzo-soprano; Adam Cockerham, guitar & lute
Program includes works by Domenico Maria Megli, Giulio Caccino, Robert Dowland, Benjamin Britten, Ottorino Respighi, Jayme Ovalle, Paurillo Barroso, Lyset Compère, Jean Richafort, Claudin de Sermisy, Silvestre Revueltas, Francis Poulenc, and Henri Duparc
From five-voice madrigals to 20th century art songs, Jarring Sounds presents the evolution of music through transcriptions and intabulations for voice and plucked strings. The goal is for the duo to form a deeper connection with composers through co-creation, regardless of whether the composer was born in the 15th or 20th century. The program will include pieces by Respighi, Britten, Robert Dowland and more. For more information about Jarring Sounds, please visit their website at www.jarringsounds.com
Joel Fan, piano
Known as an "impressive pianist" with a "probing intellect and vivid imagination" (The New York Times), Joel Fan has "made a career on a willingness to juxtapose traditional and unexpected repertory" (Washington Post). Minnesota Public Radio states that Mr. Fan “takes you inside the music offering a deeper, more rewarding experience.” In this performance, Joel Fan reimagines the music of Richard Wagner—rarely heard on the solo piano—with his own version of Gould's transcription of the overture to Die Meistersinger. He contrasts this with compositions of Chopin, Brahms and Liszt, each of whom realized their understanding of Romanticism in uniquely different ways, including their characterizations of dance forms. Audiences are invited to celebrate these composers, whose inner spirit and personal vision transformed music. For more information please visit joelfanmusic.com.
Bella Piano Trio
Inspired Mindfulness and Transformations
Nathanael Bartley, violin; Eric Gaenslen, 'cello; Mimi Lee, piano
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Piano Trio in G major, K. 564
Arvo Pärt Mozart Adagio; Spiegel im Spiegel; and Fratres
Oliver Caplan You Are Not Alone World Premiere
Camille Saint-Saëns Trio No. 1 in F major, Op. 18
Join BELLA in honoring those who have experienced breast cancer themselves or through a loved one with the world premiere of You Are Not Alone, a commissioned work by award-winning composer Oliver Caplan. The program will include a welcome with a Mozart trio, followed by a trio of meditative and introspective works by Estonion composer Arvo Pärt. To conclude the program, BELLA will present Saint-Saëns’ youthful and jubilant first piano trio. BELLA was founded in 2010 when Mimi experienced the profoundly transformative power of music while battling breast cancer herself. As a physician, Mimi embraced and championed wellness—the constant, conscious pursuit of living life mindfully and peacefully. As members of BELLA, Mimi, Nate and Eric inspire others with that power, through high-quality, live chamber music performance, for anyone actively seeking a centered peace and calm as an essential part of their mindful journey through life. For more information please visit bpt3.org.
Jupiter Chamber Players
Victor Romasevich, violin; Michael Jones, violin; Stephen Levintow, viola; Paul Rhodes, 'cello
In 1997, two veteran freelancers, violinist Michael Jones and Juilliard-trained violist Steve Levintow, recruited BBC Orchestra violinist Andrew Davies and 'cellist Paul Hale of the Oakland Symphony to found the Jupiter Quartet which later became the Jupiter Chamber Players. The quartet had the good fortune to connect with Marvin Sanders, director of Live Oak Concerts at the Berkeley Art Center, just as the Center's previous ensemble-in-residence, the Cypress Quartet, left to launch their international career. The Art Center remained the Quartet's "home" venue for 10 years. Paul Rhodes replaced Hale in 2000, bringing his years of experience in numerous orchestras and as soloist with the Carmel Bach Festival. Two years later, Davies left to pursue other projects, and San Francisco Symphony member Victor Romasevich took over as first violinist. Romasevich brought deep fascination with Russian chamber music, including masterworks by such composers as Sergei Taneyev, Georgy Catoire, and Iosif Andriasov (with whom Romasevich studied violin and viola)—all links in a tradition going back to Tchaikovsky through Moscow Conservatory. The Jupiter Chamber Players take pleasure in introducing wider audiences to the work of these composers, while continuing to present more familiar Russian and European repertoire.
Melody of China
Yangqin Zhao, yangqin; Gangqin Zhao, guzheng; Shenshen Zhang, pipa; Xian Lu, dizi; Wanpeng Guo, sheng; Strauss Shi, violin; Yuanlin Chen, electronics/percussion; Special Guest Hannah Addario-Berry, 'cello; Special Guest Peter Josheff, clarinet
Yuanlin Chen Coexistent Beauty World Premiere
Join Melody of China for an evening of merging aesthetics. The Chinese ensemble welcomes guest artists Hannah Addario-berry and Peter Josheff. The concert will feature the world premiere of a newly commissioned work for Chinese yangqin, guzheng, pipa, sheng and dizi with violin, ‘cello, clarinet, electronics and percussion. New York composer Yuanlin Chen began the first electronic music studio in China and has composed for numerous ensembles including the BBC Scottish Orchestra. Dr. Chen has created music software for several films including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He premieres his third Melody of China commission. The program will also include selections from the Chinese classical repertoire. For more information please visit melodyofchina.org.
Livia Sohn, Robert Howard, & Keisuke Nakagoshi
Livia Sohn, violin; Robert Howard, 'cello; Keisuke Nakagoshi, piano
Jonathan Berger Memory Slips and an arrangement from his opera Visitations
Toru Takemitsu Orion
‘Cellist Robert Howard, pianist Keisuke Nakagoshi, and violinist Livia Sohn come together to perform an evening of contemporary works, including two by Jonathan Berger, and Toru Takemitsu’s Orion. Sohn and Nakagoshi will perform a new arrangement of sections from John Berger’s opera Visitations, which was premiered last year. Howard will join them in a performance of Berger’s piano trio Memory Slips. Jonathan Berger’s “dissonant but supple” (The New York Times) compositions integrate science and human experience, and have been called “lush and inviting” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Violinist Livia Sohn has been praised by Strad Magazine for her “remarkably lithe and transparent tone of exceptional purity”, and has performed extensively throughout the US and abroad. Robert Howard has performed in the Festival Internacional de Musica in Costa Rica, the Festival de Guadarama in Spain, and on the Mostly Mozart series in Lincoln Center. Locally, he has performed with American Bach Soloists, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, and the San Francisco Symphony. Keisuke Nakagoshi has performed to acclaim on prestigious concert stages across the United States, including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Benaroya Hall and Davies Symphony Hall, and is a member of the acclaimed Bay Area piano four hands ZOFO duet. For more information please visit liviasohn.com, rhowardcello.com, and zofoduet.com/keisuke.
New World Music
Bettina Mussumeli, violin; Susan Freier, violin; Jodi Levitz, viola; Stephen Harrison, 'cello; Jenny Douglass, 'cello
William Bolcom Three Rags (Poltergeist; Graceful Ghost; Incineratorag)
Quincy Porter String Quartet No. 9
Antonín Dvorák String Quintet No. 3, Op. 97
The Ives Quartet has established a reputation for passion, precision, and provocative programming, winning accolades for playing that shows both super-refinement and visceral, rock-and-roll intensity. Inspired by the passionate, artistic commitment and unique temperament of American composer Charles Ives (1874–1954), the quartet has attracted critical enthusiasm for its “practice of reveling in the unfamiliar,” championing an eclectic repertoire that combines established masterworks with underappreciated gems, neglected scores of early-twentieth-century America, and specially commissioned new pieces. Brought to America to try and found a distinctly American music, Dvorák wrote his “American” String Quintet in five weeks in 1893. This program illustrates the diverse paths native composers have taken on their own search for an American voice. For more information please visit ivesquartet.org.
Gila Goldstein, piano
Bach / Busoni Chaconne for violin solo
Johannes Brahms 8 Klavierstücke, Op. 76
Frédéric Chopin Nocturne, Op. 62, No. 1 and Barcarolle, Op. 60
Ronn Yedidia Waltz No. 21 World Premiere
Lior Navok excerpts from 12 Periscopes US Premiere
Francis Poulenc Improvisation No. 15 and Novelette No. 3 (on a theme by de Falla)
Federico Mompou Canción y Danza, No. 6
Manuel de Falla Spanish Dance No. 1
Acclaimed pianist Gila Goldstein celebrates the 10th anniversary of her San Francisco debut. Goldstein, whose versatile career has taken her to perform throughout the USA, Europe, Israel, Canada, Mexico, China and the Philippines in recitals, festivals, with orchestras and in chamber concerts, was praised by critics as a "charismatic performer who plays with great flair and delicious nuances", a pianist "whose control of pianissimo and evocative tone color are masterful" as well as one who plays with "tremendous lyricism, exquisite clarity and bravura". For this recital she will perform a wide range of styles from Bach to modern composers, to include romantic composers Brahms and Chopin, as well as the exotic French and Spanish flavors of Poulenc and de Falla. Goldstein will premiere works by two Israeli composers, Ronn Yedidia, who resides in New York (born 1960), and Lior Navok (born 1971), who resides in Tel Aviv and Berlin. Gila Goldstein serves on the piano faculty at Boston University and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. She is a board member of the American Liszt Society and the founder-president of the Society’s New York Chapter since 1992. She has recorded the complete piano and chamber works of the late Israeli leading composer Paul Ben-Haim on the Centaur label. For more information please visit gilagoldstein.com.
martha & monica
O1C Artists-in-residence present: Turns of Centuries, program II
Hadley McCarroll, piano; Monica Scott, 'cello
Please note this concert begins at 3:30 pm
Matthew Goodheart (*martha & monica commission) new work 2014
Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 102/2 1815
Sergei Rachmaninoff Sonata 1901
In this second of three programs as Old First Concerts’ 2014 Artists-in-Residence, acclaimed duo martha & monica performs music for ‘cello and piano from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. A guest moderator will join the duo to discuss the music through the lens of art, literature, and politics. At the beginning of each new century, are we glancing back or looking forward? What influences composers from century to century? martha & monica is a fiscally sponsored affiliate of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. For more information please visit marthaandmonica.com.
Discounts available on orders of tickets for two or more performances in martha & monica’s Turns of Centuries series. General: $20 for one, $35 for two; Seniors: $17 for one, $30 for two. For more information please call (415) 474-1608
Holiday Guitar Ensemble Concert
Lawrence Ferrara, guitar; Joan Nagano, piano
Come and hear Lawrence Ferrara, soloist and ensemble director for the annual Holiday Guitar Ensemble Concert. The program will bring cheer and delight to the holiday season and New Year. In addition to the ensemble performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite arranged for 4 guitars, Mr. Ferrara will perform with pianist Joan Nagano. Together they will play Bach's Trio Sonata No. 1, BWV 525 and Vivaldi’s Guitar Concerto. You will also hear lively works by Astor Piazzolla and Joaquin Rodrigo. For more information please visit lawrenceferrara.com.
Music from the Carpathian Bow
Cookie Segelstein, violin & scordatura violin; Joshua Horowitz, chromatic button accordion & tsimbl (cimbalom); Stuart Brotman, basy (bass 'cello)
Veretski Pass, founded in 2002 by Cookie Segelstein, takes it’s name from this mountain pass in the Carpathians, through which the emigrating Jews settled in Transcarpathia, first reaching the town of Mukachevo, or Munkacs. It was also the inital point of entry of the Magyar tribes into Europe in 896 A.D. led by Prince Árpád. Cookie's father was born in Nizhniye Veretski at the base of this pass, her mother in Munkacs, and much of the music for tonight’s program comes from this region. With traditional instruments of this area, violin, bayan (button accordion), tilinca (Carpathian overtone flute), and basy (‘cello), Veretski Pass plays a mix of Jewish instrumental music of pre-WWII Eastern Europe, or klezmer music, along with traditional melodies from Ukraine, Carpathian-Ruthenia, Bessarabia and Rumania. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia, Jewish melodies from Poland and Rumania, Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian-Ruthenia, and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated into original compositions. Much of this rare music has been gleaned from field recordings gathered by the musicians in numerous trips throughout Europe, as well as from family members. For more information about Veretski Pass, please visit veretskipass.com.
Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir
With Joyful Ring—A Candlelight Concert
Robert Geary, Artistic Director
Experience ethereal world melodies, premieres of new choral masterpieces, and festive holiday songs sung by the Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir's most experienced performing groups. This concert is perfect for families and choral newcomers looking for an uplifting holiday musical experience. For more information please visit piedmontchoirs.org.
Holiday Celebration in Song
Level IV of the Chorus School–San Francisco Girls Chorus
Elizabeth Avakian, conductor
A program of carols and music celebrating the season, including sing-alongs! For 36 years, the thrilling sounds of the extraordinarily gifted young women of the San Francisco Girls Chorus have captured the attention and fired the imaginations of audiences worldwide. Following a phenomenal 30th anniversary season that included featured performances at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, a New York debut at Lincoln Center and unprecedented ticket sales, the San Francisco Girls Chorus has furthered its status as an internationally celebrated professional choral ensemble. Founded in 1978, the San Francisco Girls Chorus has become a regional center for choral music education and performance for girls and young women ages 5‐18. With rehearsals in San Francisco and Berkeley, 400 singers from all nine Bay Area counties participate in this internationally recognized program, deemed “a model in the country for training girls’ voices” by the California Arts Council. The organization consists of a professional level performance, recording and touring ensemble, the four‐level Chorus School training program, and a Preparatory Chorus for 5‐7 year olds. Chorus School Level IV is comprised of 52 singers, ages 11-15, and is the most advanced ensemble in the Girls Chorus’ four-level Chorus School. The group performs frequently at holiday tree-lighting ceremonies, conventions, civic celebrations, and fundraisers. Highlights include performances with the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Opera, as well as at the Super Bowl, the World Cup, mayors’ inaugurations, and for Senator Dianne Feinstein. For more information please visit sfgirlschorus.org.
Ragazzi Boys Chorus
Joyce Keil, Artistic Director; Kent Jue, Avanti Chorus Director; Jesse Buddington, Young Men's Ensemble Associate Director; Dr. Ihang Lin, accompanist; Othello Jefferson, accompanist
Ragazzi Boys Chorus is delighted to present Wintersong. Take some time out of your busy Holiday schedule to explore the beauty of music written for our coldest season. Spanning the range from sparkling and clear, to rich and complex, the vocal beauty and artistry of Ragazzi’s singers will warm your heart. Classics of choral literature will be featured, including pieces by John Rutter and Harold Darke. Ragazzi’s treble voices will perform Edward Elgar’s The Snow, accompanied by string continuo. Patrons will be invited to sing along with favorite carols, and will be treated to Allegri’s Misereri for double choir. Ragazzi will also present the Norwegian Eatnemen Vuelie, heard in the popular movie Frozen. For more information please visit ragazzi.org.
Christmas in a Celtic Land
Margie Butler, vocals, Celtic harp, penny-whistle, recorder; Paul Espinoza, vocals, guitar, accordion, octave-mandolin; Kathy Sierra, vocals, violin, viola, recorder
Christmas has long been celebrated as a time for family and friends to gather and share in the joy of the season. Golden Bough’s special Celtic Yuletide Concert at Old First Concerts is the perfect setting to join together in song and celebration and to drive the cold winter away. Old World Carols from England, Ireland and Scotland, along with Celtic songs of Christmas and Winter, provide a festive atmosphere in which the listener is transported to another place and time. Celebrating the music of co-founder Margie Butler's father, Golden Bough will present songs from their new CD along with Irish favorites and more. The new CD, Songs My Father Sang, is a collection of songs Margie learned at her father's knee. Bill Butler was a successful and accomplished Irish tenor. His career spanned 5 decades and he had a big influence on Margie. She got her love of Irish music and culture from him. No newcomers to the current Celtic trend, Golden Bough has been bringing their Winter Concerts to family audiences far and wide since 1980. These modern-day minstrels have traveled the world over performing their own brand of Celtic music, drawn from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, The Isle of Man, French Brittany and even Galicia (in Spain). An Old World carol states, “Good fortune attend each merry man's friend to do the best that he may, forgetting all wrongs in carol and song to drive the cold winter away.” With that in mind, Golden Bough created a special Yuletide season program for the whole family. With lively instrumental pieces, haunting ballads and humorous sing-alongs, you’ll be hard put to sit still once the fire of Celtic music is flamed by these fine musicians. A splendid time is guaranteed for all! You can find out more about Golden Bough, their recordings, concert schedule and history by visiting their web-site at www.goldenboughmusic.com
Wintersongs is Kitka's critically-acclaimed and wildly popular winter holiday program showcasing seasonal music from a wide variety of Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions. For countless centuries, people around the world have utilized the power or community singing to infuse warmth, cheer, spirituality, wishes for peace, health, and good fortune into the long, dark, cold and difficult winter season. Eastern Europe's geographic position as a crossroads between Europe and the Orient has produced an astonishingly rich and varied array of seasonal musical rituals. Kitka's 2013 Wintersongs program will feature songs ranging from rousing Slavic folk carols; to lush meditative Eastern Orthodox sacred choral works; to Baltic pagan incantations for the return of the Sun Goddess, to Caucasus Georgian Alilos (hallelujahs); to Yiddish, Sephardic, and Hebrew songs for Chanukah; to Bosnian-Muslim ilahijas (devotional hymns); to rhythmic Balkan Romany ("Gypsy") tunes for the winter festivals of Vasilica and Kurban Bajram. Traditional pieces will be woven together with new folk song arrangements and original compositions by Kitka members and contemporary American and Eastern European composers, all inspired by the customs, beauty, and mystery of wintertime. For more information please visit kitka.org.
Please note special ticket prices for this concert: General admission $20 advance / $25 at the door; Seniors & full-time students $15 advance / $20 at the door