Even before San Francisco Performances is back in Herbst Theatre — the first summer season concert is July 14 — the presenter is looking confidently ahead to 2021–2022.
SFP’s 42nd season goes Oct. 7 through May 12, 2022, and audiences can expect some familiar faces and the usual mix of solo and chamber music, plus two new series and a handful of high-profile debuts.
The SFP trifecta of pianists, guitarists, and string quartets is going strong as ever. Isata Kanneh-Mason is the big news in that first group; the young British pianist makes a much-anticipated local debut with a solo recital March 7, 2022. For the guitar series, two ensembles — the Dublin Guitar Quartet and George Hinchliffe’s Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain — are coming to SF Performances for the first time (the latter group played a virtual concert for the presenter just earlier this year). And toward the end of the season, the “royal family of guitar,” The Romeros, partners with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard for a program of Spanish songs (April 8, 2022).
More than a couple string quartets play multiple programs this season. The Catalyst Quartet leads the new Uncovered Series, championing overlooked composers; a different guest artist joins in for each performance (pianist Stewart Goodyear on Oct. 7, clarinetist Anthony McGill on Nov. 11, and so on). The Alexander String Quartet continues as artists-in-residence in 2022, playing six Saturday morning concerts (Jan. 22 – April 30), with Dvořák the focus and context and commentary from music historian Robert Greenberg.
String quartet Brooklyn Rider enlists mandolin player Avi Avital for a program of world premieres (March 12, 2022), but before then, the group delivers another premiere for SFP’s PIVOT Festival. PIVOT, in late October this year, has “Ghost Stories” as a theme and will welcome back some SFP regulars — vocalist Theo Bleckmann, violinist Jennifer Koh. But the festival highlight is all Bay Area: a collaboration between Post:ballet and The Living Earth Show on a new work called Lyra, in two performances (Oct. 22 and 24) in the Taube Atrium Theater.
The SFP schedule gets busier in 2022. The presenter moves its Sanctuary Series, begun online last summer, in person to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church for three programs in February. And beginning in January, SF Performances resumes its treasured art song series; soprano Golda Schultz makes a recital debut Jan. 21, 2022, and baritone Matthias Goerne returns April 9, 2022, this time with superstar pianist Seong-Jin Cho as a collaborative partner.