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Big-Time Headliners at Morrison Series

August 13, 2013

Berlin musicians heading to San Francisco State Richard Festinger's announcement of the 2013-2014 Morrison Artists Series at San Francisco State's McKenna Theater has some amazing gems, well worth the high-priced tickets. But not to worry: For the 57th year, all concerts are free to the public.

Starting with the Alexander String Quartet and clarinetist David Schifrin on Sept. 29, the chamber-music series continues on Oct. 20 with the debut of the Calyx Piano Trio.

Three major attractions follow in sequence: the St. Petersburg String Quartet with pianist Mack McCray on Nov. 17; the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet on Feb. 28, 2014 (with a master class at noon); and the Brentano String Quartet with violist Hsin-Yun Huang on April 4. The Dover String Quartet's San Francisco debut closes the season on May 2. Says Festinger:

Among our stellar artists are performances by two of the leading ensembles of our time, the Brentano String Quartet and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. I’m especially excited by the season’s stunningly rich and varied repertoire, featuring several of the great classical and romantic clarinet quintets, piano quintets and viola quintets, as well as two world premiere performances, and a cornucopia of other outstanding master works spanning nearly 250 years of the world’s most revered chamber music.

The world premieres are by Wayne Peterson (Alexander String Quartet) and Felipe Lara’s Viola Quintet (Brentano String Quartet). Other works by living composers include Festinger’s Tapestries (Calyx Piano Trio), and Kalevi Aho’s Wind Quintet (Berlin Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet).

Something new at the Morrison: Although admission is free, reservations are now possible to concerts and master classes through the Morrison Artists Series website. Reserved tickets may be picked up at the box office five days prior to the event. The 700-seat McKenna may well accommodate walk-ins as well, but better safe than missing out.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].