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
September 29, 2009

Last November, as the economy came crashing down, San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley stepped onstage before a matinee performance of La bohème and told the audience how the company was coping with the money crunch. Because the endowment had lost value and contributions could shrink, patrons would see “fewer and less elaborate productions” next season, said Gockley, who vowed nevertheless to maintain the highest artistic standards.

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Feature Article
September 22, 2009

As we approach the year 2010, downloading music has become as ubiquitous as iPods.

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Feature Article
September 22, 2009

A night like this could get to be a habit. Saturday’s simulcast of San Francisco Opera’s Il trovatore was the seventh free, live simulcast in a tradition instituted by General Director David Gockley in 2006 and the fourth to be held at AT&T Park. The staid glamour of the opera house was happily exchanged by many for a jovial, picnic setting and a ticket price that can’t be beat. (It’s free.)

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Feature Article
September 15, 2009

A few years ago, Evan Ziporyn’s mother called him to report a strange occurrence while she slept. “I just had this dream,” she said, “that you wrote an opera about Colin McPhee.” They chatted for a while, and after she hung up, Ziporyn thought, “Y’know, that’s a really good idea.” The seed planted in 2001 finally comes to fruition next week when Cal Performances stages the American premiere of Ziporyn’s opera A House in Bali, directed by Jay Scheib, at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall on Sept. 26.

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Feature Article
September 6, 2009

With autumn upon us, the Bay Area's classical music groups are tuning up for hundreds of intriguing events. San Francisco Classical Voice asked several of our critics and editors to comb through the performance announcements available to date and pick their favorite choices for September through December. We've put the season in chronological order for the convenience of music-lovers organizing their datebooks.

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Feature Article
August 24, 2009

The Luisotti era is about to begin. Four years after the maestro made his debut in the War Memorial Opera House conducting La forza del destino, to rave reviews, he assumes his new post as music director of San Francisco Opera.

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Feature Article
August 18, 2009

The Berkeley Symphony Orchestra was confident it had hit the jackpot when it appointed rising-star conductor Joana Carneiro as its third musical director, after Kent Nagano’s masterful work during 30 years at the helm. Now it appears it’s doubled its winnings with the announcement that native Berkeleyan Gabriela Lena Frank has been appointed Creative Advisor to the orchestra.

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Feature Article
August 18, 2009

Putting kids in tune with music can be a tricky adjustment. When my piano-teacher mother was raising us, there were fewer distractions vying with the sounds of her practicing Schumann and Chopin and the classical programming of WQXR radio.

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Feature Article
August 11, 2009

For the last couple of weeks, a musical debate has been raging on MuggleNet, the self-appointed “ULTIMATE Harry Potter Fansite.” Nicholas Hooper, the composer who scored the last two Potter films, announced to If Magazine on July 23 that he will not work on the final productions of this now multi-billion-dollar franchise. 

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Feature Article
August 10, 2009

Santa Fe Opera has always exerted a powerful pull on opera lovers from the Bay Area and beyond, and this year was no exception. With five productions offered throughout July and August in the company’s 2,200-seat, open-air theater, the 2009 season — Charles MacKay’s first as general director — offered myriad musical rewards in a congenial setting.

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