The Saturday night before Super Bowl 50 is very likely (certainly?) to get pretty (excessively?) crazy here in San Francisco. Many have been saying that the best way to deal with the chaos is to get far away from it, the same strategy that is best applied to hurricanes and tornados. Fortunately, those who take listening to music seriously will have three (at least according to the current count) places of refuge on that evening, Saturday, February 6, all at familiar venues. Specifics, in the order of the time when the performance begins, are as follows:
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 7:30 p.m.: Traditionally, this has been the venue for an annual visit from the guitarist Tommy Emmanuel as part of the Dynamite Guitars series offered by the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts. This year will be something different and may mark the beginning of a new annual tradition. The event will be the “first edition” of a Dynamite Guitars guitar party. While football players and fans are convening elsewhere, Dynamite Guitars will arrange a “convention” of three different approaches to guitar performance. These will be presented by Martin Taylor, Badi Assad, and the duo of Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo.
The Palace of Fine Arts building is located at 3301 Lyon Street. Ticket prices will be $45 and $35. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a City Box Office event page. In addition, purchase of tickets for four or more performances at a 14% discount is still possible. However, these can only be ordered over the telephone. The Omni Foundation may be reached by calling 415-242-4500.
Herbst Theatre, 8 p.m.: This will also be the evening of the next San Francisco concert in the 2015–2016 season of the New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO). Along with all of the visiting football players, British violinist Daniel Hope (whose semantics of “football” differs from ours) will be appearing for the first time in the Bay Area since 2011 to make his debut as both guest concertmaster and soloist with NCCO. The title of the program will be Hope for Menuhin, and it will be an eclectic offering of works dedicated to Hope’s mentor and friend (not to mention San Francisco native), Yehudi Menuhin. The selections will include Baroque composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi, Felix Mendelssohn from the nineteenth century, a string of modernists including Béla Bartók, Toru Takemitsu, Arvo Pärt, and Philip Glass, and “Unfinished Journey,” a memorial composition for Menuhin (taking on the title of the memoir he published) by Bechara El-Khoury.
Herbst Theatre is located at 401 Van Ness Avenue, on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. Tickets are available for $29, $49, and $61. Tickets may be purchased online through a City Box Office event page. They may also be purchased by phone at 415-392-4400 or by visiting City Box Office in person at 180 Redwood Street, Suite 100. Business hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
As usual, there will also be an open rehearsal, which the general public is invited to attend. This will take place at the Kanbar Performing Arts Center. It will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February. All tickets are $15. They are available for purchase through a separate City Box Office event page.
San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) Concert Hall, 8 p.m.: Finally, for those who have little (if any) budget left after the price of Super Bowl tickets, there will be a free performance at SFCM. This will be the second concert in the new Artists Insights series featuring SFCM alumni. The performers on this occasion will be the One Great City duo of guitarists Alexandra Iranfar (’14) and Timothy Sherren (’14). (Iranfar also doubles as soprano vocalist.) The program will showcase music by two other SFCM alumni, both fellow students of Iranfar and Sherren, Eric Choate (’14) and Shahab Paranj (’14). The duo will also perform a composition by former faculty member Dušan Bogdanović and a work by their mentor, Sérgio Assad. Neither tickets nor reservations for this event will be required. SFCM is located at 50 Oak Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station.