Classical Music Reviews

Every week, our professional critics attend concerts throughout the Bay Area to let you know what went well...and occasionally what didn't. Let their insights enrich your musical experiences, and feel free to share your own views!


Dance REVIEW
 San Francisco Ballet  ‘Fearful Symmetries’ a Bit Off Kilter at S.F. Ballet
February 1, 2016
Liam Scarlett’s latest ballet goes exuberantly “street,” and Mark Morris’ “Drink to Me Only ...” makes a welcome return. More about San Francisco Ballet »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  S.F. Symphony Offers a Vigorous Mashup of the 'Exotic East'
January 30, 2016

Conductor Edwin Outwater and pianist Stephen Hough teamed up for Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 5, and the orchestra leapt through several other Eastern-themed pieces.

More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  ABS Chorus Stands Out in ‘Bach Favorites’
January 27, 2016
American Bach Soloists revisited two of the three Bach Cantatas from their inaugural concert for the opening of their 27th season. More about American Bach Soloists »
Recital REVIEW
 Cal Performances  Prokofiev Seen Through the Lens of His Sonatas
January 26, 2016
Yefim Bronfman begins a survey of the composer’s career-spanning piano sonatas. More about Cal Performances »
Dance REVIEW
 San Francisco Ballet  In Season Kickoff, S.F. Ballet Scores and Soars
January 26, 2016
William Forsythe’s 1999 ballet, Pas/Parts, gets a makeover for its North American premiere. More about San Francisco Ballet »
Opera REVIEW
 Island City Opera  The Singers Lead an Engaging <em>Rigoletto</em> for Island City Opera
January 26, 2016
The young company makes the most of its strong cast in a compact, economical staging. More about Island City Opera »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Symphony Silicon Valley  Shimono and Baek Return to SSV with Fine Results
January 25, 2016
Popular guest performers, conductor Tatsuya Shimono and soloist Ju-Young Baek, returned for a concert at San Jose’s California Theatre. More about Symphony Silicon Valley »
Modern Classical REVIEW
 San Francisco Contemporary Music Players  New Music That Needs Space
January 22, 2016
The three pieces that made up San Francisco Contemporary Music Players’ Jan. 19 concert played with sound as a physical presence in the environment of the concert hall. More about San Francisco Contemporary Music Players »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Ax and Urbanski: A Meeting of Magnificent Musical Minds
January 19, 2016
Conductor Krzysztof Urbanski made an astonishing debut with the San Francisco Symphony, joined by pianist Emanuel Ax. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Santa Rosa Symphony  Pure Gold from Caroline Goulding and Santa Rosa Symphony
January 12, 2016
A star turn by a young violinist, and strong conducting from guest Mei-Ann Chen started the new year off right in at Weill Hall. More about Santa Rosa Symphony »