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.
Bernal Hill Players
SF/DF-Music of Two Cities
Martha Rodríguez-Salazar, flute; Rachel Condry, clarinet; Jill Brindel, cello; Jennifer Peringer, piano
Gabriela Ortiz Tepito (2015)
Erik Pearson Inner Postcards from San Francisco (2010)
Katrina Wreede Episodes at China Basin (2011)
Eduardo Gamboa Mixcoac (2012)
Carlos Santana & Alberto Gianquinto Incident at Neshabur (1970)
The Bernal Hill Players invite you to celebrate the release of their new CD Neighborhoods of Mexico City. This marks the culmination of their sister city project of newly commissioned works by Bay Area and Mexico City composers. The music in this program encompasses a gleefully diverse collection of styles, ranging from classical contemporary to folk and rock inspired genres, with works by Gabriela Ortiz, Erik Pearson, Katrina Wreede, Eduardo Gamboa and Carlos Santana. For more information about the ensemble visit bernalhillplayers.com.
Tickets for this performance can be purchased at the door.
Doors open 30 minutes prior to concert time.
$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.
Steven Bailey, piano
Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in D major, K. 118; Sonata in B minor, K. 87; Sonata in A major, K. 39
Richard Wagner Overture to Tannhäuser (Paris version)
Sergei Rachmaninoff selections from Preludes, Op. 23
Frédéric Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 1 and Nocturne in D-flat major, Op. 27, No. 2
Johann Strauss, Jr., arr. Adolf Schulz-Evler Concert Arabesques on the Blue Danube Waltzes
Steven Bailey is proud to present his first ever solo piano performance at Old First Concerts. Featuring sonatas of Scarlatti, nocturnes of Chopin, and preludes of Rachmaninoff, the program also includes Adolf Schulz-Evler’s famed Strauss Blue Danube Waltzes virtuoso paraphrase, plus a new hybrid arrangement of the overture to Wagner’s Tannhäuser—"co-written" by Franz Liszt, Moritz Moszkowski and Steven Bailey himself. This epic operatic transcription encompasses the revised overture Wagner presented at the 1861 Paris premiere, infused with the Tristan- and Ring-inspired harmonies of the Venusberg Scene.
The Annual Chopin Birthday Concert
Pre-concert Birthday Party at 3 pm - cake provided by the Polish Arts and Culture Foundation
Eric Zuber, piano
Franz Schubert Sonata in A Major, D. 664
Franz Schubert / Franz Liszt Du bist die Ruh & Auf dem Wasser zu singen
Franz Liszt excerpts from Années de pèlerinage, Première année: Suisse & Mephisto Waltz No. 1
Frédéric Chopin Nocturne, Op. 62 No. 1 in B major; Waltz, Op. 34 No. 1 in A-flat major; Ballade No. 1, Op. 23 in G minor; Ballade No. 2, Op. 38 in F major; Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise, Op. 22 in E-flat major
Pre-concert birthday party at 3 pm with cake provided by the Polish Arts & Culture Foundation.
Every year, the San Francisco Chapter of the Chopin Foundation presents a concert celebrating the life and music of Chopin featuring world class pianists. Old First Concerts is honored to host this annual event. Hailed as an "irresistibly fluid" and "illuminating" pianist by The New York Times and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Eric Zuber has established himself as one of the leaders of a new generation of American pianism. Mr. Zuber rose to international acclaim in 2007 after winning the Gold Medal in the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, with many more prizes following shortly thereafter. Mr. Zuber has made solo appearances at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Severance Hall and for the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York City. After making his orchestral debut at the age of twelve with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, he has gone on to perform with many of the major orchestras in the United States and abroad including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Minnesota Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, the Phoenix Symphony, the Korean Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, and Ireland's RTE National Symphony Orchestra among many others. He has also collaborated with many internationally acclaimed artists including Lewis Kaplan, Amir Eldan, Charlie Neidich, Joseph Silverstein, Gerard Schwartz, Johannes Moser, and Amanda Roocroft among others. Eric holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (B.M., A.D.), the Curtis Institute of Music (Diploma), and the Juilliard School (M.M). His major teachers have been Boris Slutsky, Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank, and Robert McDonald. He is currently pursuing his doctoral degree at Peabody.
Jupiter Chamber Players
Victor Romasevich, violin; Michael Jones, violin; Stephen Levintow, viola; Paul Rhodes, cello; Special Guest Sergey Rakitchenkov, viola; Special Guest Olga Rakitchenkov, harp
Evgeny Golubev Quintet for Harp and String Quartet in C minor, Op. 39
Anton Bruckner Quintet for 2 violins, 2 violas, and cello in F major
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.
Junior Bach Festival
Talented young artists from the Junior Bach Festival
An all-J. S. Bach concert showcasing some of the most talented young musicians in Northern California.
Come hear J. S. Bach’s music played with great skill and youthful exuberance! In celebration of its 64th year, the Junior Bach Festival proudly presents a new generation of talented young soloists and ensembles. Selected through professionally adjudicated auditions, the Festival showcases performers under age 21 who are both technically virtuosic and capable of communicating the genius of Bach’s compositional language. The Junior Bach Festival is a well-respected Bay Area institution. (In 1965, the California State Assembly issued an official proclamation in the Festival’s honor!) The Festival presents annually a concert series around the time of Bach’s birthday on March 21 in venues throughout the Bay Area. The Festival also promotes the appreciation and study of Bach’s music by offering an annual public Workshop; with the audience, Bach experts examine topics such as baroque style, ornamentation, or ensemble playing. In recent years, the Festival has collaborated with local music organizations to offer students an opportunity during the Workshop to try out a period keyboard, stringed instrument, or wind instrument like those from Bach’s time. Other public Festival offerings include our performer’s participation in the international Bach in the Subway event on March 21 and access to past Festival performances on a special YouTube channel. Throughout the years, many Junior Bach alumni have pursued musical careers both internationally and locally as soloists, chamber musicians, orchestral performers, opera or chorus singers, respected teachers, musicologists, music librarians, and arts managers. Additional information about the Junior Bach Festival may be found on the Organization’s website, juniorbach.org.
Doug Machiz, cello; Otis Harriel, violin; Taija Warbelow, viola; Kevin Rogers, violin; Special Guest Jodi Levitz, viola; Special Guest Jennifer Culp, cello
Johannes Brahms String Quartet in B-flat major, No. 3, Op. 76
John Halle Spheres (2001, revised 2007)
Arnold Schoenberg Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4
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. Joshua Kosman (San Francisco Chronicle) declared that Friction Quartet is “an artist who should be discovered” and described their performance as “high-octane music making … a fine blend of rhythmic ferocity and tonal flair.” Friction is the second place winner of the 2016 Schoenfeld International String Competition Chamber Division in Harbin, China. They recently gave their Carnegie Hall debut as part of the Kronos Quartet Workshop. They also opened for Kronos Quartet at Z Space as part of Kronos’s “Under 30″ series. Last summer, they were Quartet in Residence at the New Music for Strings Festival in Aarhus, Denmark. Friction will return to the Shouse Institute at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival this June. Since forming in 2011, Friction has given 70 world premiere performances and commissioned 32 works for string quartet. Friction received a Chamber Music America grant to commission a piano quintet from Andy Akiho which they debuted in November 2016 with Jenny Q Chai. They have also been awarded grants from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music and Zellerbach Family Foundation.
Justin Ouellet & Hillary Nordwell
Justin Ouellet, violin; Hillary Nordwell, piano
Georges Enescu Konzertstück for violin and piano
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata in F-sharp major, Op. 78
Paul Hindemith Viola Sonata, Op. 11, No. 4
Arvo Pärt Fratres
Having collaborated with some of the world’s leading players including Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, members of the Seoul Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Ballet and Opera Orchestras, as well as members of the Alexander and Hausmann Quartets, Justin Ouellet is quickly garnering a reputation as a top performer of chamber, orchestral and contemporary repertoire. Justin currently serves on the faculty of the Oakland School for the Arts as Co-Director of chamber music and orchestral studies. He is a core member of the new music repertory group CMASH which is committed to establishing and nurturing long-term collaborative relationships between composers and performers. Current collaborations include the commission of new works for viola and piano from Boston-based composer Vartan Aghababian, New York-based composer Nicky Sohn and Houston-based composer John Grimmett. An active chamber musician, Hillary Nordwell is a founding member of the Eusebius Duo and One Art Ensemble, and continues her role as a core collaborator with CMASH. Her solo engagements have included concerto appearances with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, PortAngeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Port Townsend Orchestra. Hillary is regularly featured on many Bay Area concert series including Noontime Concerts, Old First Concerts, 405 Shrader, and the Bing Concert Series at Stanford University Hospital.
Matt Renzi's 'Arm Sized-Legging'
Matt Renzi, saxophone, oboe, English horn; Helen Newby, cello; John Wiitala, drums; Hamir Atwal, drums
Arm Sized Legging is project consisting of woodwinds (saxophone, oboe, english horn), violin, cello, bass and drums, playing a repertoire of all original compositions. The music explores textures and colors as well as the various sonorities of the strings, woodwinds and drums combined together in a unique way. Although many parts are written out, there is also plenty of room for improvisation and the group makes use of free-form as well as traditional song forms to use as the basis of collective soloing. The addition of the violin and cello to the standard Jazz saxophone trio adds a contemporary classical flavor to the mix. “In 48 minutes of music, Matt Renzi says more than most sax players will say in a lifetime” (Blaine Fallis, All About Jazz).
Anne Rainwater, piano
J. S. Bach Goldberg Variations
Oakland-based pianist Anne Rainwater is a dexterous musician known for her vibrant interpretations of works from J.S. Bach to John Zorn. Recognized for her “boldly assertive rhetoric” (San Francisco Examiner) and “bright golden honeycomb for a brain” (Roy Doughty, poet), she appears as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. Anne has collaborated with and premiered works by Ken Thomson, Stuart Saunders Smith, Nils Vigeland, Brett Dietz, Jude Traxler, and Danny Clay, with whom she works with regularly. She also performs with the contemporary piano ensemble New Keys.
Music Teachers' Association of California, San Francisco
Festival of Russian Music
The San Francisco Branch of the Music Teachers' Association of California presents its students in a gala concert of Russian music. The performers for this event will be chosen by audition in the weeks before the concert, so you will hear some of the most gifted and accomplished music students in the Bay Area. A portion of ticket sales will go toward MTAC-SF Branch programs for students. Please come and witness our musical future while benefiting local music education.
Sheldon Brown, Eb, Bb, bass clarinets; Beth Custer, Bb, A, alto, bass clarinets; Ben Goldberg, Bb, contralto clarinets; Harvey Wainapel, Bb, bass clarinets
Founded in 1989 by Custer, Clarinet Thing has delighted audiences for decades with their original compositions and arrangements of unusual and standard jazz works, all performed on the clarinet family. They've two recordings out on Custer's BC Records label and are presently working on a third. One of Custer's compositions for CT was featured on the William Farley documentary film Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish. Don't miss this rare appearance of this virtuoso ensemble in a stellar setting.
Roy Malan, violin; Roberta Freier, violin; Susan Freier, viola; Stephen Harrison, cello; Elizabeth Schumann, piano; Susanne Mentzer, mezzo-soprano
Ottorino Respighi Il Tramonto
Johannes Brahms Songs for voice, viola, and piano, Op. 91
Johannes Brahms Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60
The Ives Collective presents powerful live music experiences through fresh and informed interpretations of established masterworks and underappreciated gems. With core members and Artistic Co-Directors Susan Freier and Stephen Harrison, the Collective wants to share their joy in bringing together old friends and new in a variety of combinations to perform the widest possible spectrum of chamber music.
Tangonero and Claudio Ortega: a concert of tango music
Michèle Walther, violin; Amy Zanrosso, piano; Richard Duke, bass; Alex Roitman, bandoneon; Claudio Ortega, vocals
With members from Russia, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States, Tangonero is a San Francisco based ensemble dedicated to preserving the tradition of Argentine Tango. From the folk styling of Roberto Grela to the jazz infused grandeur of Astor Piazzolla, their arrangements cover the broad scope of tango history. Overflowing with intense passion, desire and sorrow, their performance captures the fire of the dance and the essence of a culture.