These lively Q&A's aim to shed light on the personalities behind the music. Get to know your favorite artists...or discover someone new!
Mark O’Connor — the protean superfiddler, composer, music educator, and inventor of “The O’Connor Violin Method,” which has helped school countless budding violinists — heads to the Bay Area this month. The New Century Chamber Orchestra has designated him the featured composer this season.More »
Much has been made of soprano Measha Brueggergosman’s endearing idiosyncrasies: performing barefoot, sporting a nose ring, and, if you consider it such, practicing and teaching Bikram Yoga. What’s most important is that she is a major artist, blessed with a gorgeous voice, a fine command of language, and a true commitment to musical expression.More »
Meeting face-to-face after an intense, six-hour rehearsal at S.F. Opera for her role debut as Emilia Marty in Leoš Janáček’s The Makropulos Case, soprano Karita Mattila no doubt would have preferred to luxuriate in a bubble bath. Nonetheless, the great singer-actress, who recently showed her all onstage in Salome, slowly revealed herself. Speaking in the opera house, the diva shared thoughts on her imminent debut, ill-prepared conductors, and life at 50.More »
Over three decades, he’s refashioned tasty morsels of jazz, country, world, pop, and classical music, but Bill Frisell and his guitars have always flown far above pigeonholes. Frisell spoke to SFCV from the autumnal splendor of the Vermont Studio Center, where he and his wife, painter Carole d’Inverno, were pursuing their crafts for several weeks in the inspiring company of four dozen other artists.More »
Robert McDuffie is the quintessential American violinist, despite having performed with most major European and American orchestras and founding the Rome Chamber Music Festival. His love affair with American repertoire began with Samuel Barber and is currently manifest in a new piece, commissioned from Philip Glass, which he will perform on Nov. 2 at Herbst Theatre. McDuffie spoke to SFCV, in his soft, southern accent, about his life and work.More »
As one of the world’s best-known classical guitarists, John Williams has been responsible for both raising the instrument’s profile and expanding its repertoire. Today Williams, 69, has performed and recorded virtually every piece for the standard classical guitar repertoire; he has also championed African, Cuban, and Latin American composers, and collaborated widely. In a recent call from his home in London, he talked about his work and this week’s concert, which marks his 10th appearance for San Francisco Performances.More »
Ever since arriving in the U.S. 20 years ago Wu Man — the indefatigable, conservatory-trained master of the Pudong School of classical pipa playing — has made it her mission to explore new and diverse avenues for pipa recognition. A one-woman evangelist for her instrument, she converses with natural grace and charm as she recounts milestones in her journey.More »