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Nicola Luisotti Conducts the San Francisco Symphony

Date: Sat March 21, 2009 8:00pm

“The man breathes music,” exclaimed one longtime San Francisco Opera Orchestra member after Music Director designate Nicola Luisotti conducted performances of Puccini’s La Bohème a few months back. Since Luisotti clearly has the grand sweep of music in his blood, why should he limit himself to opera? Given how strongly he made his presence felt in the War Memorial Opera House, this gig with the San Francisco Symphony should give us an indication if we’ve got a potential James Levine in our midst. No complaints about the colorful repertoire: Brahms’ glorious Fourth, Kodály’s Dances Of Galánta, and Bloch’s biblical Schelemo. The latter features the wonderful Michael Grebanier on cello.

Jason Victor Serinus regularly reviews music and audio for Stereophile, SFCV, Classical Voice North America, AudioStream, American Record Guide, and other publications. The whistling voice of Woodstock in She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown, the longtime Oakland resident now resides in Port Townsend, Washington.