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.
Mike Greensill & Friends
Swing that Music
Mike Greensill, piano; Wesla Whitfield, surprise guest vocalist; William Klingelhoffer, French horn
Mike Greensill's love of jazz and the American Songbook are combined in a concert of swinging jazz and soaring melody, this year featuring, along with the usual mystery guest vocalist Wesla Whitfield, the majestic and lyrical French horn playing of William Klingelhoffer. William was the leader of the Klingelhorns, a horn quartet featured on Wesla's CD Livin' on Love on HighNote Records. Click here for a sound example.
Melanie Keller, flute; Adrienne Malley, oboe; Ginger Kroft, clarinet; Daniel Wood, horn; Charles Moehnke, bassoon
Avenue Winds presents an international program delving into the intricate and passionate woodwind quintets of Danish composer, Carl Nielsen, as well as Romanian composer, György Ligeti. The ensemble will also perform Jean Francaix's Quatuor à vents as well as additional selections featuring local San Francisco Bay Area composers. Avenue Winds engages audiences of all ages with dynamic chamber music performances featuring new works by local San Francisco Bay Area composers as well as the classics of the woodwind quintet repertoire. Performing with artistry and virtuosity, this engaging woodwind quintet has performed in recital at numerous venues, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of San Francisco, Berkeley Chamber Performances, Manteca Kindred Arts, Del Valle Fine Arts, Trinity Chamber Series, Music on the Hill, and Old First Concerts. Avenue Winds maintains a special interest and enthusiasm for 20th and 21st century works and actively seeks out collaborations with contemporary composers as part of the LoCAL Living Music Project.
Thalea String Quartet
Christopher Whitley, violin; Kumiko Sakamoto, violin; Luis Bellorin, viola; Bridget Pasker, 'cello
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1
Anton Webern Langsamer Satz
Paul Hindemith String Quartet No. 4, Op. 22
The San Francisco Conservatory’s new quartet-in-residence, the Thalea String Quartet, presents a recital of works by European masters of the string quartet repertoire. The program begins with Beethoven’s String Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1, one of his earliest string quartet works. Written while the young composer was still very much under the influence of Joseph Haydn, the piece is unmistakably Beethoven, filled with the youthful impetuosity and the groundbreaking spirit that came to define his later work for string quartet. Following the Beethoven is another early work, this time by a giant of the Second Viennese School, Anton Webern. Written before Webern adopted the serial techniques of Schoenberg, Langsamer Satz is a dramatic and emotionally charged work, filled with lyricism and rich textures. The final work on the program is Paul Hindemith’s String Quartet No. 4, Op. 22 a piece that blends romanticism, modernism and jazz while taking the listener through a journey of emotional extremes.
Liana Bérubé with Jeffrey LaDeur
Liana Bérubé, violin; Jeffrey LaDeur, piano
Béla Bartók Second Rhapsody (Folk Dances) for violin and piano
Johannes Brahms Sonata No. 3 in D minor for violin and piano, Op. 108
Antonín Dvorák Romance for violin and piano, Op. 11
Joseph Joachim Romance for violin and piano
Maurice Ravel Tzigane
Familiar to Bay Area audiences from her performances with the Delphi Trio, violinist Liana Bérubé presents a rare recital program in collaboration with her husband and trio colleague, Jeffrey LaDeur. The program explores a wide variety of music from and inspired by Hungary and Bohemia, ranging from the hearty peasant dances of Bartók's Second Rhapsody to the intense lyricism of Brahms' Sonata in D minor, Op. 108; and from the intimate warmth of Romances by Dvorák and Joachim to Ravel's fiery and spirited Romani-inspired Tzigane. Performing regularly at venues all over the US and Canada, Liana and Jeff are delighted to come "home" to Old First Concerts to present an evening of energetic, openly emotional, and satisfying music.
The Troika Ensemble
Lawrence London, clarinet; Victor Romasevich, viola & violin; Arkadi Serper, piano
W. A. Mozart Trio, K. 498, ‘Kegelstatt’
Béla Bartók Contrasts
Iosif Andriasov Concertino, Op. 27
Max Bruch Eight Pieces for viola, clarinet, and piano, Op. 83 (selections)
Robert Schumann Märchenerzählungen, Op. 132
The Troika Ensemble presents a concert of Classical, Romantic and 20th Century masterpieces. The program includes Mozart's Trio, K. 498, ‘Kegelstatt’, for viola, clarinet and piano. It is the singular work in Mozart's catalog for this combination of instruments and is ranked among his highest achievements in chamber music. The other centerpiece of the program is Bartók's Contrasts, three movements of poetic, bravura virtuosity for clarinet, violin and piano, that was commissioned by jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman. It is the last work Bartók wrote before fleeing to the United States from German-occupied Hungary in 1938. Also on the program is Iosif Andriasov's Concertino, Op. 27 for clarinet and piano. A work of pure beauty and satirical commentary by one of the brightest stars of Soviet music in the post-World War II era. From the 19th century is four selections from Eight Pieces for viola, clarinet and piano, Op. 83 by Max Bruch: mellifluous, lyrical expressions of late Romanticism in the style of Schumann and Brahms. Accompanying this set of pieces is a movement from Robert Schumann's Märchenerzählungen, Op. 132, one of his last compositions, a work of great charm and profound expression. The Troika Ensemble consists of Victor Romasevich on violin, viola and piano, Arkadi Serper on piano, and Larry London on clarinet. Mr. Romasevich is a long-standing member of the San Francisco Symphony and a well-known soloist and chamber musician. Distinguished pianist, chamber musician, composer and teacher, Arkadi Serper is one of the most versatile and important of Bay Area musicians. He teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory and the Crowden School. Larry London, clarinetist, has played chamber music extensively in the Bay Area for 40 years. He is also a composer and teacher.
Yuri Liberzon, guitar
A diverse classical guitar program featuring baroque to contemporary composers including Fernando Sor, Domenico Scarlatti, J.S. Bach, Leo Brouwer, Sergei Rudnev, Keith Jarrett, and Astor Piazzolla.
Russian-born and Israeli-raised guitarist Yuri Liberzon ranks among today’s foremost classical guitarists in the United States and the world. His playing has been described as “transcendent technical prowess at the service of gracious musicality. He is a natural born guitarist”. His debut album Ascension was released to both domestic and international listeners in July 2015. It wasn’t long before the album received a stunning review from classical music critic Dan Cohen at The Muse’s Muse. He writes: “...he's all about melody, all about communication, all about heart. It's his Ascension, to be sure, but he wants to take us with him. My advice to you—drop everything and go!” Yuri’s success in the United States began with full scholarships to study with two of the world’s leading guitar figures: Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, and Benjamin Verdery at Yale University School of Music. Mr. Liberzon went on to successfully complete his Graduate Performance Diploma and Bachelor’s degree from Peabody and finally a Master’s degree from Yale. His skills have also earned special recognition by the USCIS; Mr. Liberzon was granted Alien of Extraordinary Ability United States Permanent Residency based on his achievements in the music field. In addition to arrangements and transcriptions, his expertise has also been called on to judge competitions in the United States, most notably the Beatty Music Competition for the Classical Guitar in Washington D.C. For more information please visit yuriguitar.com.
B3LLA Piano Trio
The Complete Beethoven Piano Trios-part three
Mimi Lee, piano; Fred Lifsitz, violin; Eric Gaenslen, cello
Ludwig van Beethoven Kakadu Variations, Op. 121a; Piano Trio No. 2 in G major, Op. 1, No. 2; and Piano Trio No. 6 in E-flat major, Op. 70, No. 2
The masterful Beethoven Piano Trios have entertained audiences worldwide for centuries. What makes these works so mesmerizing? B3LLA explores these trios with fresh eyes and impassioned personal interpretations and presents them to you. They put the works in context historically and find ways to make the works relevant to our lives today. The emotions evoked in these inspired works have clearly spoken to humanity – join B3LLA as they continue the tradition and breathe bits of their own hearts and souls into them. B3LLA was founded in 2010 when Mimi experienced the profoundly transformative power of music while battling breast cancer. As a physician, Mimi had embraced and championed wellness - the constant, conscious pursuit of living life mindfully and peacefully. B3LLA seeks to inspire others with that power, through high-quality, live chamber music performance, for anyone open to finding a place of centered peace and calm as an essential part of their mindful journey through life. For more information please visit bpt3.org.
Berkeley Choro Ensemble
with guest bassoonist Paul Hanson
Jane Lenoir, flute; Ricardo Peixoto, 7-string Brazilian guitar; Brian Rice, pandeiro/percussion; Special Guest Paul Hanson, bassoon & reeds
The Berkeley Choro Ensemble (pronounced "shoro"), is a group of world-class musicians from the San Francisco Bay Area that made its debut in 2010 at the Berkeley Public Library. The group celebrates the music, culture and history of Brazil, with a special emphasis on the Choro genre, a style of music which emerged in the 1800's in Brazil, fusing the music of Brazil's European immigrants and the native music of Brazil's indigenous and African-Brazilian population. In particular, the choro sound is somewhat akin to a combination of European classical music, ragtime, and blues. Historically, the choro style influenced Brazil's most famous classical composer, Heitor Villa Lobos, to compose some of the world's most hauntingly beautiful music, the Bachianas Brasileiras. This program will feature choro along with baiao and samba by composers including Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim, Ximbinho, Joventino Maciel, and ensemble members Ricardo Peixoto and Paul Hanson. For more information please visit berkeleychoroensemble.com.
Cascada de Flores: quintet
A Musical Altar for our Muertos
Arwen Lawrence, voice & dance; Jorge Liceaga, voice & lead guitars; Marco Diaz, piano & trumpet; Saúl Sierra-Alonso, bass; Kyla Danysh, violin
A musical altar inspired by the troubadours of Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and beyond, sung with strings, zapateado and heart.
Cascada de Flores celebrates love, life, and music, inspired by the troubadours of Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and beyond, with an evening of song, strings, zapateado and heart. A musical altar will be played, singing for loved ones and inspiring cultural icons that have passed: Sones from different regions of Mexico, danzones, waltzes, boleros, guarachas and a few compositions using these traditional forms. SING OUT! Magazine has called their performances "a dream from which you have no desire to return. You learn the roots while listening to experts play music they clearly love. The result is rich, delicate, and lovely." For more information please visit cascadadeflores.com.