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!
Ian Bostridge, who made his U.S. debut at Cal Performances in 1998, returns on March 21 for an afternoon recital. He’s known in musical worlds as one of the finer lieder tenors performing today. What may be less well-known is that he started out to have an academic career, earned a Ph.D. in history from Oxford University, and has become a published author and columnist. From his home in England, he told us a bit about the upcoming program and also answered some questions about witchcraft.
Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman dates his professional career from his first performance as a student in San Francisco’s Douglass Elementary School. Six decades, over 50 recordings, and two Grammys later, he performs at Herbst Theatre on March 13 in the august company of pianist Robert Levin and cellist Lynn Harrell. Under the auspices of Chamber Music San Francisco (see Web site), the newly founded Stoltzman-Harrell-Levin Trio performs Brahms’ Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano in A Minor, Op.
Soprano Jessica Rivera first made her mark internationally when she created the character Kumudha in Peter Sellars’ production of John Adams’ opera A Flowering Tree. After repeating the role in the San Francisco Symphony’s Bay Area premiere, her success helped land her the role of Kitty Oppenheimer in the European debut of Sellars’ production of Adams’ Doctor Atomic. She has since sung the part with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera.
Cellist Joshua Roman has been making a name for himself since he won the position of principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony in 2006 at age 22. After two years there, he left for a solo career, which has included debuts as concerto soloist with numerous symphonies and other solo work, as well as chamber music performances and collaborations with other musicians from the New York contemporary music scene. He was also the only guest artist invited to play an unaccompanied solo during the YouTube Symphony Orchestra’s debut concert. He’s joining the San Francisco Symphony on Feb.
Few artists have had the kind of impact on the world at large as violinist Midori’s. Almost 30 years after her famous debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 11, Midori champions music as the message of peace in her fight for social justice and environmental sustainability.
Few concertgoers who heard it will forget violinist Vadim Gluzman’s San Francisco Symphony debut in May 2008. Performing Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Gluzman delivered a performance that elicited critical superlatives, with SFCV’s critic praising his “dark tone and sinewy strength” and “deep, concentrated sound and the powerful evenness of his bowing.” Gluzman’s performance of Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Marin Symphony, in January that year, also garnered accolades.
Some classical musicians are stars within the genre. Others have become known outside the classical field. And then there’s Yo-Yo Ma. He’s a classical music superstar, of course, but he’s also a musician who has tackled everything from Brazilian rhythms to the music of Appalachia; an educator; an almost insanely prolific recording artist; and a person who actively takes part in promoting music for all. Although his time is limited, he did talk a bit about performing with the San Francisco Symphony this coming week, as well as about some of his recent and upcoming projects.