Music Articles

Every week, our writers take an in‐depth look at an artist, program or topic of interest to us. Spend some time with this week's classical music feature, or scroll through the extensive SFCV archive for insights in many music topics.


Feature Article
April 17, 2007

Long before he became a world-class conductor, San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas was a devotee of the music of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. Hearing him changed Thomas' views on modern classicism. "The level of energy, the precision, the sense of time, the angularity — all gave the young conductor insight into the music he was performing," according to notes for The MTT Files, a joint production of the San Francisco Symphony and American Public Media.

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Feature Article
April 10, 2007

Seinfeld fans fondly remember "Festivus," the holiday made up by George's father to get around the Christmas/Hanukkah dichotomy. In the world of music festivals, too, there is a difference between the real thing and festivals in name only.
A real summer music festival has a special place of its own — think Salzburg, Aspen, Tanglewood — and it isn't just the extension of a regular season. Only the real thing will be covered here, but, of course, you can enjoy the music either way.

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Feature Article
April 3, 2007

It's common for people approaching middle age to suddenly pursue youth — a sports car, a new job, an affair, a face-lift. In 2003, when the world's most adventurous music ensemble, the Kronos Quartet, neared its 30th birthday, it, too, sought a dose of youthful energy, but in a much more constructive way.

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Feature Article
March 27, 2007

Well, what do you know? Here's a cheery, feel-good story from the White House that was born in Berkeley. It's about a bunch of East Bay teenage musicians who stood tall and brought them to their feet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue last Jan. 22. They were 17 of the 85 kids from the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley — one of 12 arts education programs chosen from 250 nominees across the nation — to receive the 2006 Coming Up Taller Award from the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

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