Last week’s San Francisco Symphony concert was an instance of Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas’ brilliantly daring programming. It offered three austere works by Stravinsky plus one super beauty by Toru Takemitsu. Alongside the orchestra there was the Symphony Chorus and the world’s leading clarinetist, Richard Stoltzman, who played what amounts to Takemitsu’s clarinet concerto.
You could tell, from the moment she took the stage, that soprano Laura Aikin is accustomed to much larger venues than the 333-seat Florence Gould Theater in San Francisco's Legion of Honor. A quick glance at her bio confirms that she has performed at most of the world's major opera houses, from La Scala to the Opéra Bastille to the Metropolitan Opera.
What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual.What do you call someone who speaks two languages?
What do you call someone who speaks one language?
American. (Here the old joke stops.)
What do you call someone who speaks many, many languages?
The New Century Chamber Orchestra's ongoing season of guest-conducted performances has produced some fascinating programs (see, for example, SFCV's reviews of its January and March sets). April's run, guest-conducted by St.
Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas opened two weeks of his minifestival of Stravinsky-Plus-One last week in Davies Symphony Hall. The San Francisco Symphony programs of both last week and this week are essentially a survey of Stravinsky's wide interests, but with each program offering an important piece by one other composer.
Measha Brueggergosman is a trip. A statuesque soprano with a larger than life personality, her eye-catching hair, nose ring, huge smile, and propensity to perform barefoot toy with us as if to say, "Here I am, boys and girls.
An ad hoc chamber group can sometimes be more interesting to listen to than a full-time professional quartet. With the latter, you get glossy perfection, with every detail planned in the course of endless hours of rehearsal.