San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Friction Quartet – Friday, May 5 at 8 pm


Friction Quartet

Doug Machiz, cello
Otis Harriel, violin
Kevin Rogers, violin
Mitso Floor, viola

with guest Melinda Martinez Becker, mezzo-soprano

Caroline Shaw Blueprint for string quartet
Caroline Shaw First Essay for string quartet
Caroline Shaw Can’t Voi L’aube for string quartet and mezzo soprano
Caroline Shaw Other Song for string quartet and mezzo soprano
Nicolás Lell Benavides Canto Caló World Premiere
Gilberto Parra, arr. Melinda Martinez Becker Por Un Amor World Premiere
Raymundo Pérez y Soto, arr. Melinda Martinez Becker La Cigarra World Premiere

Friction Quartet, whose performances have been called “terribly beautiful” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “stunningly passionate” (Calgary Herald) and “exquisitely skilled” (ZealNYC), exists to modernize the chamber music experience and expand the string quartet repertoire. Friction achieves its mission by commissioning new works, curating imaginative programs, collaborating with artists, and presenting interactive educational outreach. 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.”

Mezzo-soprano Melinda Martinez Becker is a multi-faceted performer singing a diverse repertoire of baroque, contemporary classical, and experimental works. Her New Mexican and Jewish heritage shapes her career as a performer of art song in Spanish, Ladino, Yiddish and a variety of other languages. As a soloist and chamber musician, she is recognized for her interpretations of various styles of music: “Throughout the program, mezzo-soprano Becker effortlessly switched tracks, from light Baroque singing to all the various demands of the new works”. (San Francisco Classical Voice) She is known for her “… notably expressive” vocal talents “particularly in light of all the styles she ha[s] to negotiate”. (The Rehearsal Studio) In addition to performing throughout the Bay Area, she has performed in Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Austria, and France.

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.

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