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
July 27, 2009

Ten years ago, when Michael Steinberg retired as the San Francisco Symphony's program annotator and music advisor, he had a farewell essay in the program, entitled "Why We Are Here." It is also part of the book For the Love of Music Steinberg cowrote with Larry Rothe, his long-time colleague at SFS.

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Feature Article
July 14, 2009

It might be possible to look at the newest arrivals at a company like San Francisco Opera as beginners of a sort, perched on the bottom rung on a most accomplished ladder. Yet the 29 young artists (24 singers and five coaches) who arrived on June 1 for 11 weeks of training have already studied and trained for years to earn the right to participate in the Merola Opera Program, one of the nation’s most prestigious programs for young artists.

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Feature Article
July 6, 2009

“It’s easy to like chamber music because it’s a conversation between a small number of musicians — and everyone knows what talking with a small group of friends is like,” said violinist Simin Ganatra of the Pacifica Quartet, which makes its first appearance at [email protected], the three-week chamber music festival that starts its seventh season on July 17.

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Feature Article
June 22, 2009

School’s out, and kids are looking for fun. Some are hoping to build their musical skills, as well. Fortunately, families in the Bay Area have many wonderful summer music camps to choose from, with a wide range of activities. Finding the camp that is most suited to your child’s age and musical level, your expectations, and of course your budget is the key to having a successful camp experience. The Crowden School

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Feature Article
June 8, 2009

For some, summer vacation means sun, sand, and relaxation. For music lovers in the Bay Area, summer vacation means opera under the stars, symphonies by the beach, immersion in the works of a favorite composer, or listening to and trying out the latest new music and musical instruments. From the Mendocino Coast to Hearst Castle and the Ojai Valley, here’s a sampling of the music to be found locally and a little farther afield. San Francisco Opera, June 2 – July 5

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Feature Article
June 8, 2009

Thousands gathered at AT&T Park last night to enjoy Puccini’s Tosca, overpriced beer, and a gorgeous twilight as San Francisco Opera continued its tradition of Opera In the Park. Birds flew past the screen as an almost full moon emerged, disappeared, and reemerged from behind billowing clouds.

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Feature Article
June 2, 2009

Summer, they say, is the time to unwind and relax. Whether you choose to do so at the beach, in your garden hammock, or at the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome, you’ll certainly welcome music to carry you one step farther toward infinite bliss. Here, then, is a Critic’s Choice classical potpourri specially tailored for the summer season. J.S. Bach: Six Concertos for the Margrave of Brandenburg • Trevor Pinnock: European Brandenburg Ensemble • Avie (AV 2119)

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Feature Article
May 26, 2009

Has Porgy and Bess finally arrived? Despite its troubled history, George Gershwin’s 1935 opera may be coming into its own at last. As the San Francisco Opera prepares three full productions and a concert running May 29 – July 5 at the War Memorial Opera House, Porgy seems poised to emerge as the jewel in the summer season crown.

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Feature Article
May 19, 2009

His life and musicmaking were inextricably entwined with the Viennese milieu of his time, in both its artistic richness and its provincialism. In his life he faced illness, felt a strong sense of fate governing him at times, and met a tragic, early death.

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Feature Article
May 12, 2009

When it comes to classical music and opera, we enlightened ones are supposed to be color-blind. Regardless of our race, the racial characteristics of singers and musicians are not supposed to matter … some of the time.

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