7th SFIPF – Festival Finale – Cycles of Life – Sunday, September 1 at 4 pm

7th SFIPF – Festival Finale – Cycles of Life – Sunday, September 1 at 4 pm

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Presented in collaboration with Lieder Alive!, and featuring mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich, the Festival Finale comes full circle with a special program of musical cycles that mirror those in nature, joining the glory of the voice with the wonders of the piano.

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*** LIVE STREAM LINK HERE ***

7th Annual San Francisco International Piano Festival

Festival Finale: Cycles of Life

Presented in collaboration with Lieder Alive! 

Kindra Scharich, mezzo-soprano
Gwendolyn Mok, piano
Jeffrey LaDeur, piano 

Claude Debussy Six épigraphes antiques for piano duet
Gabriel Fauré La Bonne Chanson, Op. 61
Quinn Mason Song Cycle on Poems of Kalena Bovell (World Premiere)
Florent Schmitt Trois Rhapsodies, Op. 53 for two pianos

The Festival comes full circle with a special program of musical cycles that mirror those in nature, joining the glory of the voice with the wonders of the piano. Debussy’s Êpigraphes antiques invoke the god Pan, give voice to an anonymous tomb, conjure a mysterious Egyptian woman, and offer thanks for the morning rain before reprising Pan’s invocation. Emma Bardac, a celebrated French singer who would later become Madame Claude Debussy, inspired Fauré’s passionate and life-affirming La Bonne Chanson. Fauré weaves these 9 songs with subtly recurring motifs while their freshness and apparent spontaneity create the atmosphere of improvisation. The final song, L’hiver a cessé, is one of Fauré’s most inspired and ecstatic creations.

The song cycle is alive and well in the hands of a new generation of composers, and the festival is honored to present the world premiere of Quinn Mason’s cycle on poetry of Kalena Bovell, commissioned jointly by the San Francisco International Piano Festival and Lieder Alive! Mr. Mason’s Piano Sonata was premiered during the 2021 festival at Old First Concerts by pianist Nicholas Phillips to great acclaim.

To bring our celebration of Fauré and his circle to a close, the festival concludes with Florent Schmitt’s Trois Rhapsodies (1904) for two pianos. A student of Fauré, Florent Schmitt achieved a masterful blend of wit, infectious charm, and virtuosity in this work. Each rhapsody presents a larger than life tableau of national styles of the period: Française, Polonaise, & Viennoise. Beloved Bay Area artists Kindra Scharich and Gwendloyn Mok join Jeffrey LaDeur to present this finale concert.

Celebrate the unity and joy of these wonderful compositions as we close out season 7!