Every week, our writers take an in‐depth look at an artist, program or topic of interest to us. Spend some time with this week's classical music feature, or scroll through the extensive SFCV archive for insights in many music topics.
Last month I witnessed an unusual spectacle at the Bergen Music Festival in Norway. After three or four curtain calls, clapping in unison began and, as if by prearranged signal, everyone stood at once in enthusiastic acknowledgement. The orchestra that did the playing was the visiting Stavanger Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ole Kristian Ruud. The music that did the arousing was a new “reconstruction” of the Julekvelden (Yule Eve) Symphony No. 1 by Geirr Tveitt. Who?More "Rediscovering a Norwegian Master" »
The summer music season has arrived and, as always, there’s no shortage of worthy events in and around the Bay Area. Yet, in terms of size, scope, and sheer sensory overload, nothing quite comes close to Festival del Sole.
The annual Napa Valley extravaganza devoted to music, art, food, and wine opens its third installment this weekend with 10 days of orchestral concerts, chamber music, exhibitions, culinary events, benefits, free community performances, and more. The offerings are expanded this year, with Persian and Cuban music added to the lineup.
San José, as its boosters like to point out, is now the largest city in Northern California. But if it’s the leader in population, it has a ways to go to catch up to San Francisco in cultural influence. Still, San José is far from the cultural desert that its flat sprawling landscape might suggest to residents of hillier, more congested parts of the Bay Area. The lively downtown has a flavor to it that you could find, perhaps to your equal surprise, in places like Sacramento and Santa Rosa.More "Symphony Orchestra 2.0" »
Philadelphia-born bass-baritone Eric Owens returns to San Francisco Opera this month to sing the role of the King of Scotland in Ariodante. Owens originated the role of General Leslie Groves in Doctor Atomic, received rave reviews in the title role of Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel directed by Julie Taymor for the Los Angeles Opera, and has been consistently praised for his performances with major symphonies and opera companies throughout the U.S.More "A Bass for All Seasons" »
Philadelphia-born bass-baritone Eric Owens returns to San Francisco Opera this month to sing the role of the King of Scotland in Ariodante. Owens originated the role of General Leslie Groves in Doctor Atomic, received rave reviews in the title role of Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel directed by Julie Taymor for the Los Angeles Opera, and has been consistently praised for his performances with major symphonies and opera companies throughout the U.S. The Met will hear him next season as General Groves, and as Sarastro in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.More "A Bass for All Seasons" »
The setting is as monumental as it is humbling.More "Where Music, Language, and Spirituality Meet" »
I had to look up the date, but the scene itself is still clear in my mind after so many years. In 1982, Calvin Simmons — about to go on stage to conduct his orchestra, the Oakland Symphony — ended an interview in the wings of the Paramount Theatre by saying, "I am here because of Madi."
A few months later, at age 32, Simmons drowned in a Lake George (New York) boating accident, even as his conducting of the San Francisco Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and other major orchestras received high praise around the country.
Every year, as May turns to June, arts communities recognize the rites of summer with festival concert series. In common with people around the globe, the good burghers of the Bay Area don sunhats and pack picnic baskets as if we were the inhabitants of Richard Wagner’s Nuremburg, descending into the meadow beyond the town walls to celebrate art with the mastersingers.
At SFCV, we are always reinvigorated, because festivals, however constituted, invoke the spirit of holidays and the suspension of normal work, in favor of the broadening of community from its smaller parts.
Lynn Harrell is one vital man. In the middle of an extended phone conversation about his forthcoming S.F. Jazz gig — he plays J.S. Bach’s complete Suites for Solo Cello this Thursday and Friday night in Grace Cathedral — the voice of a child punctuates the proceedings.More "Time Out for Bach" »