Primary tabs

The British Are Coming: Curious Flights

March 19, 2013

Brenden Guy and clarinet atop a San Francisco hill Photo by Kristen LokenIf I didn't know better, I'd doubt Brenden Guy's resume. How can anyone that young (a Dorian Gray-ish looking 28) have degrees in clarinet from the Royal College of Music (junior year at the Manhattan School of Music) and the San Francisco Conservatory; make his orchestral debut with the Bournemouth Symphony, then perform with them, plus Berkeley Symphony, Symphony Parnassus, Magik*Magik Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, S.F. Conservatory Orchestra, and others.

A busy chamber-music performer, and noted art PR professional, Guy is a champion of both English and contemporary music, dedicated to promoting the lesser known works of English composers. To pull all these related threads together, Guy is launching a San Francisco concert series, "Curious Flights."

The concerts — in April, June, and October — will have $10 and $15 admisson, proceeds to be donated to a S.F. Conservatory fund, created for assisting international students studying music in the U.S.

New organization celebrates Britten centennial Highlights of the programs include the West Coast premiere of Britten's Movements for a Clarinet Concerto, Dylan Mattingly's Six Night Sunrise (performed by René Mandel), residency by British composer Edwin Roxburgh, and much more.

Let's at least look at the remarkable inaugural concert, at 8 p.m., April 26, in the Community Music Center, 544 Capp St.:

Brian Holmes, Updike’s Science, with Indre Viskontas, soprano, and Ian Scarfe, piano; commissioned world premiere of Joseph Stillwell, Fantasy Pieces, with Valinor Winds (Guy, Sasha Launer, Jessie Huntsman, Alexis Luque, and Caitlyn Smith).

Also, Paul Schoenfield's Café Music, with the Aleron Trio (Solenn Séguillon, Anne Suda, and Theresa Yu); Khachaturian's Trio for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano, with Guy, Kevin Rogers, and Miles Graber; Arnold Bax' Nonet, with the Curious Flights Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Guy, who says:

In the field of classical music, there are so many remarkable works that have been forgotten or neglected. The famous works with which we are all familiar are well taken care of. It is the works that have slipped through the cracks, and indeed those being written by composers today, that deserve to be found and given new life. I’ve always felt very blessed to be a classical musician and I believe that it is both an honor and a duty to continually seek out these works and give them their deserved chance to flourish.

The June concert, on June 4, in the Conservatory Concert Hall, will celebrate the music of Britten, including the infrequently performed Wind Sextet and Phantasy Quintet in F Minor.

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