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.

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2015 AT 8:00PM

Aleron Trio
O1C Artists-in-residence with special guests One Found Sound
 
Solenn Séguillon, violin; Anne Suda, 'cello; Ian Scarfe, piano
 
Leoš Janáček Mládi
Ludwig van Beethoven Concerto for violin, 'cello, and piano in C major, Op. 56

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. For this second concert in their O1C Artist-in-residence series, the trio will be joined by the unconducted chamber ensemble One Found Sound in a performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto. Aleron Trio is a fiscally sponsored affiliate of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. For more information please visit alerontrio.com.

 

Tickets for this performance can be purchased at the door.
Doors open 30 minutes prior to concert time.

Ticket Prices:
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
Children 12 and under are free.

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FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015 AT 8:00PM

Scriabin Festival
Program One
 
Daniel Glover, piano; Jeffrey LaDeur, piano; Dmitry Rachmanov, piano; William Wellborn, piano; Owen Zhou, piano
 
Alexander Scriabin Prelude and Nocturne for the left hand alone, Op. 9; Preludes, Op. 16; Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 6; Sonata No. 2 in G-sharp minor, Op. 19; Sonata No. 3 in F-sharp minor, Op. 23, and more.

An outstanding group of local and international pianists presents four concerts in tribute to one of the most intriguing and original of all composers of piano music, Alexander Scriabin. These concerts commemorate the 100th anniversary of Scriabin's death and present his entire sonata cycle by date of composition in order to show the extraordinary development of Scriabin's compositional style. Program one presents the first three sonatas, as well as Prelude and Nocturne for the left hand alone, Op. 9; Preludes, Op. 16 and other short works which often display Scriabin's reverence for the music of his idol Chopin.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, APRIL 12, 2015 AT 4:00PM

Wooden Fish Ensemble
Celebrating the Music of Boudewijn Buckinx
 
Thomas Schultz, piano & percussion; Shoko Hikage, koto & bass koto
 
Boudewijn Buckinx L’invisibilite (1986, US Premiere); and The Floating World (2004)
Hyo-shin Na Koto, Piano (2014); Piano Study 1 (1997); Piano Study 3 (2001); Dirge (1997); After Walking (2014, US Premiere); and The Sky Was Beyond Description (2014, World Premiere)

The Wooden Fish Ensemble will program the music of the distinguished Belgian composer Boudewijn Buckinx on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Buckinx, who studied with Stockhausen and wrote his PhD dissertation on the music of Cage, has produced a large body of work over five decades and is considered to be one of Europe's most iconoclastic composers. In the U.S. his music has been the focus of the June in Buffalo festival at The University at Buffalo and has been championed by the pianists Thomas Schultz and Daan Vandewalle. In 2004, Buckinx composed his large scale work for solo piano The Floating World for Thomas Schultz. Schultz, who is a founding member of the Wooden Fish Ensemble, will play this landmark work at the April concert. Also programmed are pieces by Buckinx for koto and percussion, and koto and violin. Also for this concert, Hyo-shin Na will compose two new works: After Walking for piano solo (in honor of Boudewijn Buckinx) and The Sky Was Beyond Description for koto and bass koto, with both instruments played by one instrumentalist. Na has composed numerous pieces for koto and bass koto separately; the April Wooden Fish concert features this major new work for the two instruments together.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2015 AT 8:00PM

The Eusebius Duo
 
Monika Gruber, violin; Hillary Nordwell, piano
 
Johannes Brahms Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 100
Charles Ives Second Sonata for Violin and Piano
Aaron Copland Nocturne and Ukelele Serenade
Allan Crossman Florébius World Premiere

Praised for their “musical zeal” and “sensitive and ingenious” interpretations, Monika Gruber and Hillary Nordwell present a program with ties to both of their homelands in this German-American mix. As the Eusebius Duo, they took first prize in the 2006 CMFONE International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition, resulting in a performance at Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall, New York). They perform regularly at San Francisco’s Noontime Concerts, Old First Concerts, and 405 Shrader, among many other Bay Area venues. Concert tours have brought them to Washington State, where they were featured on KONP Radio’s ‘Art Beat,' as well as Germany, where a reviewer commented on their "quick-tempered displays of strength [which] paired themselves with irresistibly melting tone.” The duo’s mutual love for the life and music of Robert Schumann brought them together under the name “Eusebius,” one of the two pseudonyms Schumann used in his writings for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. This love for Schumann and his contemporaries also inspired their most recent collaboration with composer Allan Crossman, in bringing his Florébius (the title a combination of Schumann’s pen names, Florestan and Eusebius) to its World Premiere alongside one of the best-known pieces of German Romantic literature, the Brahms Sonata in A major. Paired with Crossman and Brahms will be two pillars of American composition, Aaron Copland and Charles Ives. Copland's alluring yet peaceful Nocturne and rousing Ukulele Serenade were first performed in 1926 Paris at a concert organized by Nadia Boulanger, intended to introduce the music of several young American composers to the European musical community. The Ives Sonata is a grand work with juxtaposed moments of reverence and winsome playfulness, incorporating quotes from hymns, folk songs, and his own Ragtime Dances—everything from Turkey in the Straw to Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. For more information, please visit eusebiusduo.org.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2015 AT 4:00PM

The Bernal Hill Players
Musical Chairs: Trios and Quartets from Europe, North and South America
 
Martha Rodríguez-Salazar, flute; Julia Sarah Bonomo, clarinet; Jennifer Peringer, piano; Special Guest Laura Gaynon, 'cello
 
Franz Danzi Sinfonia Concertante, Op. 41
Louise Farrenc Trio for Piano, Flute, and ‘Cello, Op. 45
Nino Rota Trio for Clarinet, ‘Cello, and Piano
Russell Peterson Sonata No. 1
Miguel del Águila Seducción
Eduardo Gamboa Compón Cortito

A diverse selection of pieces for different instrumental combinations, including an elegant German Classical Sinfonia by Franz Danzi, a magnificent French Romantic flute trio by Louise Farrenc, a Fellini-esque Italian clarinet trio by Nino Rota, an Indian and jazz-influenced woodwind duo by Russell Peterson, and dynamically rhythmic Latin American compositions by Eduardo Gamboa and Miguel del Águila. The Bernal Hill Players is an eclectic chamber music group from San Francisco whose three core members play clarinet, flute, voice and piano, with frequent guest artists on cello. Their fascinatingly diverse repertoire includes European classics, Latin American discoveries, and newly commissioned pieces from both North and South America. For their 2014-15 season they are performing two programs of duos, trios and quartets at venues throughout the Bay Area. This will be followed by an exciting 2015-16 season of new commissions by San Francisco composer Beth Custer and Mexico City composer Gabriela Ortiz. The Bernal Hill Players have been playing concerts since 2008 throughout the Bay Area and Mexico City, have commissioned several pieces by Bay Area and Mexican composers, and have produced a CD entitled Neighborhoods of San Francisco. Their mission is to play a wide and rich repertoire, to commission new works, to explore connections between classical and folk genres, and to use chamber music as a way of both celebrating local community and creating cross-cultural musical connections. bernalhillplayers.com

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2015 AT 8:00PM

Friction Quartet
John Adams’ String Quartet and Two World Premieres
 
Kevin Rogers, violin; Otis Harriel, violin; Taija Warbelow, viola; Doug Machiz, 'cello
 
Max Stoffregen The California Crest World Premiere, commissioned by Friction Quartet
Eric Tran String Quartet World Premiere
John Adams String Quartet

Friction Quartet, whose performances have been called “terribly beautiful” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and “chillingly effective” (San Francisco Examiner), exists to expand the string quartet repertoire and audience for adventurous contemporary music. 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." The California Crest, commissioned by Friction Quartet, is Max Stoffregen’s reflection on his four-month long experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to Northern California. The emotional curves of the work mirror the topographical profile of the trail. John Adams' String Quartet is not his first work for string quartet, but is the first work he chose to title "String Quartet." This decision reflects the importance of the work—the string quartet repertoire is massively important in the history of western classical music and contains many of the most personal works by the great composers. Their program will also feature the world premiere of Eric Tran’s String Quartet. For more information, visit frictionquartet.com.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2015 AT 4:00PM

Ives Quartet
It's in the Genes
 
Bettina Mussumeli, violin; Susan Freier, violin; Jodi Levitz, viola; Stephen Harrison, 'cello; Special Guest Mack McCray, piano
 
Elinor Armer Piano Quintet
Darius Milhaud String Quartet No. 1, Op. 5
César Franck Piano Quintet in F minor

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 under-appreciated gems, neglected scores of early-twentieth-century America, and specially commissioned new pieces. This program brings together a line of mentorship: César Franck mentored Vincent d’Indy who taught Darius Milhaud who, after emigrating to the U.S. and Mills College, taught our dear friend Elinor Armer. For more information please visit ivesquartet.org.

 
TICKETS
$25.00 General
$20.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$10.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2015 AT 8:00PM

Everyone Sang
Works for voice by Elinor Armer
 
Mariya Kaganskaya, mezzo-soprano; Marcelle Dronkers, soprano; Roderick Lowe, tenor; Bryan Baker, piano; Steven Bailey, piano
 
Elinor Armer Everyone Sang; Pogo Cantabile; The Heart, A Lecture; The She-Who Apple Songs; and the World Premiere of Will You, Won’t You?

Old First Concerts presents a potpourri of vocal works by composer Elinor Armer, from her early, middle, and current periods. Featured performers include soprano Marcelle Dronkers, whose brilliant vocal and theatrical talents are well known to Bay Area audiences, and rising star mezzo Maria Kaganskaya, who will sing the World Premiere of Will You, Won’t You?. The poets? - Siegfried Sassoon, Walt Kelly, Henry Gray, Judy Grahn, Lewis Carroll, William Carlos Williams, William Butler Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, Juliet Wilson, and Ursula K. Le Guin. Come savor Armer’s unique settings of these literary lights, and join the celebration of her 75th birthday in this grand finale of her Diamond Jubilee Season. For more information please visit elinorarmer.com.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2015 AT 4:00PM
MTAC Festival
Romantic Character Pieces by German and Austrian Composers
 
The San Francisco Branch of the Music Teachers' Association of California presents its students in a gala concert of character pieces by German and Austrian Romantic composers. Approximately twenty young musicians will perform a variety of pieces from one of music history's richest musical traditions, including works by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Weber and Mendelssohn. The performers for this gala 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. For more information on the San Francisco Chapter of the Music Teachers' Association of California, please visit mtac-sf.org.
 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SATURDAY, MAY 9, 2015 AT 8:00PM

San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra
Legacy of the Invisible
 
Mark Alburger Portraits of ____ (Some Multiple of 3) Women
John Beeman Ishi Scene 1
Harry Bernstein Mixed Sextet
Michael Cooke Sun Sticks
Brian Holmes new work
Lisa Scola Prosek new work
Davide Verotta Quatro for whatever orchestra

The fox in Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince was right: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible …". Join the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra for Legacy of the Invisible: a meditation on beauties and excitements in sound, including the vanishing Native Californians of John Beenman's Ishi Emerges, the beautiful inscrutinies of Harry Bernstein's Mixed Sextet, a bundle of divination talismans in Michael Cooke's triple-bassoon concerto Sun Sticks, exciting sonic splendors of Davide Verotta's Quattro, and artworks turned to notes in Mark Alburger's Portraits of ___ (Some Multiple of 3) Women, after paintings of Arizona artist Roland March. Further mysteries will be explored in new works by Brian Holmes and Lisa Scola Prosek. For more information please visit sfcco.org.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2015 AT 4:00PM

Divisa Ensemble
 
Tomiko Tsai, flute; Meave Cox, oboe; Eugenie Wie, violin; Stephanie Ng, viola; Sara Styles, 'cello
 
Béla Bartók Duets, Sz. 98
Benjamin Britten Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings, Op. 2
Ernő Dohnányi Serenade in C major for String Trio, Op. 10
Jacques Castérède Ombres et Clartés for flute and string trio
Josef Ceremuga Kvintet

The Divisa Ensemble is a unique classical group made up of flute, oboe, violin, viola, and ‘cello. This unconventional instrumentation and "mix and match" approach allow for a versatile variety of programming. The concert at O1C will feature more familiar works like Benjamin Britten's Phantasy Quartet, as well as some lesser known gems like Jacques Castérède's Ombres et Clartés and Josef Ceremuga's Kvintet. More info can be found at divisaensemble.com.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2015 AT 4:00PM

Scriabin Festival
Program Two
 
Daniel Glover, piano; Mack McCray, piano; Dmitry Rachmanov, piano; Brent Smith, piano; William Wellborn, piano
 
Alexander Scriabin Piano Sonata No. 4 in F-sharp major, Op. 30; Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 53
Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 62; Poems, Op. 32; Fantasy, Op. 28; Poème Tragique, Op. 34; Poème Satanique, Op. 36;
and more.

An outstanding group of local and international pianists presents four concerts in tribute to one of the most intriguing and original of all composers of piano music, Alexander Scriabin. These concerts commemorate the 100th anniversary of Scriabin's death and present his entire sonata cycle by date of composition in order to show the extraordinary development of Scriabin's compositional style. Program two presents works in transition from his early to middle periods, and the beginnings of his late style with the Sonatas 4, 5, and 6, as well as Poems, Opus 32, Fantasy, Opus 28, Poème Tragique, Poème Satanique, and other works.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2015 AT 8:00PM

B3LLA Piano Trio
The Complete Beethoven Piano Trios-part two
 
Nathanael Bartley, violin; Eric Gaenslen, 'cello; Mimi Lee, piano
 
Ludwig van Beethoven Clarinet Trio in B-flat major, Op.11; Piano Trio in C minor, Op.1, No. 3; and Piano Trio in D major, Op.70, No. 1 “The Ghost”

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. For more information please visit bpt3.org.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 2015 AT 4:00PM

Splinter Reeds
 
Bill Kalinkos, clarinet; Kyle Bruckmann, oboe; David Wegehaupt, saxophone; Jeff Anderle, bass clarinet; Dana Jessen, bassoon
 
Ryan Brown Pinched
Erik Deluca 3 Songs, 3 Interludes
Marc Mellits Splinter
Ned McGowan Wood Burn
Jordan Glenn My Bike

Splinter Reeds is the Bay Area’s first reed quintet, comprising five innovative musicians with a shared passion for new music. The ensemble is committed to presenting top tier performances of today’s best contemporary composition, showcasing the vast possibilities of the reed quintet with an emphasis on commissioning new works, collaborating with fellow musicians and artists, and educating the next generation of musicians and music enthusiasts. The sum of their wide ranges of experience—in settings including free jazz, improvisation, electronic music, pop, punk and metal as well as classical—has also enabled them to rapidly zero in on a specific and unique aesthetic identity. Splinter Reeds will present five pieces of new music by living composers in a program that combines post-minimalism, heavy metal, songwriting, and improvisation. For more information please visit splinterreeds.com.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2015 AT 8:00PM

José López & William Wellborn
 
José R. López, piano; William Wellborn, piano
 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, trans. Alkan Motet from Thamos, King in Egypt and Piano Concerto in D minor, K. 466
Charles Valentin Alkan Don Juan Fantaisie, Op. 26 and 3 Petites Fantaisies
José Comellas Nocturne and Sonata Brillante

This program features two rarely heard transcriptions by Charles Valentin Alkan (1813–1888) of Mozart’s works: the Motet from the incidental music to Thamos, King in Egypt and the Piano Concerto in D minor K. 466, which, along with Beethoven’s C minor Concerto, Op. 37, was a favored item in the repertoire of pianists during the Romantic movement due to its underlying pathos. Alkan’s original cadenzas for the outer movements provide a unique commentary and evidence his peculiar humor. William Wellborn and José López, respective Presidents of American Liszt Society chapters in the Bay area and South Florida, join hands in Alkan’s four-handed Don Juan Fantaisie, Op. 26, which uses the famous aria Finch’ han dal vino from Mozart’s Don Giovanni as a finale. The program proceeds with two works by the Cuban-born, Spanish Romantic composer José Comellas (1842-1888): a Nocturne and his Sonata Brillante. Comellas, European-trained in the Leipzig Conservatory under Ignaz Moscheles, lived several years of his short life in Baltimore, USA as a teacher and appears to have ignored completely the nationalistic tendencies of his Cuban contemporaries in his extant works. The program concludes with the rarely played 3 Petites Fantaisies by Alkan. For more information please visit joselopezpiano.com and williamwellborn.com.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2015 AT 4:00PM

Parvulescu, Nicholeris, Liu, & Chang
 
Florin Parvulescu, violin; Diane Nicholeris, violin; Yun Jie Liu, viola; Jerry Chang, 'cello
 
Ludwig van Beethoven Duett mit obligaten Augenglasern in E-flat major, “Eyeglass Duo”, WoO32; String Trio in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3; and String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

Well known Bay Area artists present a program of chamber music by Beethoven spanning his creative life from his early years to a late quartet. Duett mit obligaten Augenglasern in E flat major, “Eyeglass Duo”, WoO32 is thought to have been a gesture of friendship for aristocrat and amateur ‘cellist Baron Nikolaus Zmeskall von Domanowecz. The moniker, given by Beethoven himself, may have its origin in jest around the fact that both men needed eyeglasses while playing. The String trio in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3 comes from a similar early time period as the duo but is a serious, full scale mature work; its intensity foreshadows his later dramatic writing. The String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 is the last of his experimental quartets and is likely chronologically his final completed quartet. By Beethoven’s own admission his favorite, many consider it to be the apotheosis of his late period style.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2015 AT 8:00PM

Sarah Cahill
A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80
 
Sarah Cahill, piano
 
New works composed in celebration of Terry Riley's eightieth birthday by Samuel Carl Adams, Pauline Oliveros, Gyan Riley, Evan Ziporyn, Christine Southworth, Danny Clay, Dylan Mattingly, Luciano Chessa, Elena Ruehr, and Keeril Makan.

June 24, 2015 is the eightieth birthday year of composer-pianist Terry Riley, who has had a profound influence on generations of composers and musicians. A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80 pays tribute to Riley’s enduring impact with the premieres of new solo piano pieces written in honor of his eightieth birthday by composers ranging in age from 25 to 82, combined with some of Riley’s own dazzling piano compositions. Sarah Cahill has worked closely with Terry Riley since 1997, when she commissioned his four-hand piece Cinco de Mayo for an all-piano festival at Cal Performances celebrating Henry Cowell’s hundredth birthday. She commissioned four more four-hand pieces from Riley, toured with him in Edinburgh and Glasgow, performed in his 70th birthday concert at Royce Hall at UCLA, and commissioned a solo piece, Be Kind to One Another, which NPR listed on its 100 Best Songs of 2013, and MSNBC included on its Top Ten Political Songs of 2013. For more information please visit sarahcahill.com.

 
TICKETS
$20.00 General
$17.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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