San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Chordless – Friday, January 24 at 8 pm


Sara LeMesh, soprano; Allegra Chapman, piano
with special guest Kate McKinney, soprano

Benjamin Pesetsky new song cycle World Premiere
Aaron Copland selections from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson
Olivier Messiaen selections from Poéms pour Mi
Plus works by Barbara Strozzi, Charles Ives, Tadeusz Baird, and selections of Vocalises by Andrzej Panufnik & Igor Stravinsky

Chordless, a piano & vocal duo comprised of soprano Sara LeMesh and pianist Allegra Chapman, seeks to illuminate contemporary works that you probably haven’t heard before. The duo is passionate about creating welcoming spaces to explore and appreciate music that has historically been ignored or is brand new. It is their belief that these works deserve not only to be heard, but also to be regularly performed so that they may enter the repertoire for voice and piano.

Soprano Sara LeMesh, hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle for her “powerhouse performance of vocal majesty and expressive translucency,” is a dramatic presence on the opera stage, an avid chamber musician, and an advocate of contemporary music. Her most recent triumph was with West Edge Opera in August 2019, where she starred as Bess McNeill in the West Coast premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s award-winning opera, Breaking The Waves. The San Francisco Classical Voice called her performance an “extraordinary realization of Bess” with “singing [which] soars and swoons.”

Allegra Chapman is dedicated to connecting with new audiences as a performer, presenter, and educator. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, and China, including Alice Tully Hall, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, the Bard Music Festival, the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum in Budapest, SFJazz Center, and Xi’an Concert Hall. Her performances have been broadcast on WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago, and KALW San Francisco.

For this concert, the duo will present a program of works by various Polish and American composers, including a World Premiere of a song cycle by Benjamin Pesetsky. For more information, please visit

Old First Concerts has volunteer opportunities available!

Our concerts rely on the generosity of volunteers to assist with simple tasks like:


distributing programs

box office

set-up and clean-up

Scheduling is flexible — you choose when to work! We especially need helping hands for our Friday and Saturday night performances.

An excellent opportunity for students, seniors, or anyone who possesses a love for music!

If you’d like to consider volunteering with Old First Concerts, please contact for more information.