First Time Concert Goer

ViolaMania! @ SFCO's Classical at the Freight

San Francisco Chamber Orchestra

San Francisco Chamber Orchestra ViolaMania! @ SFCO's Classical at the Freight

Join the party, as the Bay Area's top professional violists come together for "A Progressive Viola Recital" - an evening of alto clef, viola jokes, and great music! In partnership with the revitalized and relaunched Northern California Viola Society, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra kicks off its monthly "Classical at the Freight" series with a massive all-viola ensemble performance of Telemann's Viola Concerto in G Major.

Arranged by violist Katrina Wreede (Turtle Island String Quartet), the performance will be open to all violists to join in and contribute their artistry. If you play viola, you are encouraged to bring your instrument and help us break the world record for largest viola ensemble! Sheet music and stands will be provided. The event follows a series of monthly "Viola Night" jam sessions produced in partnership with the Classical Revolution community at the SoCha Cafe in San Francisco's Mission District.

Also on the program, acclaimed violist Sharon Wei plays Bach (Cello) Suite #3 in C Major: Prelude, and Ethan Filner (Cypress Quartet) joins performers from the Alexander and Del Sol Quartets for the Viola Quartet by York Bowen.

Classical at the Freight brings the Bay Area's best classical musicians to the Freight for an hour of top-flight chamber music in an informal, friendly atmosphere. San Francisco Chamber Orchestra music director Benjamin Simon is your host; his goal is to un-stuffify and de-mystify classical music for the general music lover, sharing the joys and rewards of this timeless art with new audiences young and old.

  • Venue: Freight and Salvage Coffee House
  • Date: Mon August 30, 2010 8:00pm
  • City: Berkeley
  • Price Range: $9.50 at the door. $1 off if you bring your viola!
  • Tickets: (510) 644-2020

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Viola Concerto in G Major


(Cello) Suite #3 in C Major: Prelude

York Bowen

Viola Quartet

Anton Wrenitzky


Don Freund

Fanfare for 8 Violas


Ethan Filner

Featured performer

Sharon Wei

Featured performer


August 20, 2010
insider's update: additional details regarding ViolaMania!

A fundraiser for the Northern California Viola Society, ViolaMANIA! Pre-concert potluck and chamber music in the lobby begins at 6:30pm, where raffle prizes and silent auction items to be won will be on display. Donated items include: free tickets to Fine Arts Museums of SF and to concerts at SJ Chamber Music Society, SF Performances and SF Symphony; bow rehairs; instrument accessories; viola or composition lessons and/or chamber music coachings from several of the featured performers listed below; sheet music for viola and viola ensembles; a variety of CD recordings... and more! (read on...)

Celebrating the rejuvenation of the NCVS, ViolaMANIA! is a 'viola progressive' - starting with solo bach and moving through a viola duo, trio quartet and quintet, then a doubled-octet and finally an 'en masse' reading of the Telemann G Major Viola Concerto where we'll invite everyone in the audience who brought their viola (for $1 off general admission, or FREE admission if they're an NCVS/AVS dues-paying member) to stand up, tune up and join in on the 'solo' part, accompanied by a so-called 'ViolaRchestra' playing the orchestral parts (arranged for viola quartet by former Turtle Island String Quartet violist Katrina Wreede).

***One of the raffle prizes for the evening will be the unique opportunity to perform the cadenza solo in the third (Andante) movement of the Concerto; the winner will be announced just prior to starting the Concerto performance near the conclusion of the concert; anyone can enter - everyone should practice!

Featured performers represent a mix of professional, amateur and student players, including (at last count...):
Members of the Cypress, Alexander, Del Sol and Ives Quartets; Sharon Wei, Madeline Prager, Thomas Tatton (past AVS president), Charith Premawardhana (founder, Classical Revolution), Katrina Wreede, Benjamin Simon, Wendy Clymer and Kristine Venstrom (a.k.a. the Violettes), Ellen Ruth Rose, Daria D'Andrea, Patricia Heller, David Cann, Pauline Metzgar, Beeri Moalem, Jason Pyszkowski, and YOU! Don't forget your axe, a music stand (every little helps) and a copy of the Telemann solo part if you've got it; extra copies will be available as needed. In addition to raising money to help get the new NCVS off the ground, we do indeed aim to set a new unofficial world record for the largest viola ensemble performance, (apparently stands at about 150, set in New Zealand a number of years ago) so please bring a friend or 4 and let's see what happens!

Thanks for your time, hope you can make it!