This month will conclude with the fourth and final concert in the 2015–2016 Main Stage Series presented by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra (SFCO) and its Music Director Benjamin Simon. The title of the program will be Revolutionaries. Of the three works to be performed, two were considered revolutionary when they were first performed; and the third will be a world premiere composed by a highly innovative and genre-defying vocalist.
The title of the new work is “Hunger Strike,” written on an SFCO commission by Amy X Neuberg, who will be performing with the highly eclectic and adventurous Squid Inc. string quartet. The members of this ensemble are violinists Hrabba Atladottir and Jory Fankuchen, violist Darcy Rindt, and cellist Beth Vandervennet, all of whom are SFCO members, except for Vandervennet. The earliest of the revolutionary works on the program will be over two hundred years older than “Hunger Strike.” The second half of the program will be devoted entirely to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 92 (seventh) symphony in A major. Beethoven composed this symphony in 1812, and it is still recognized as having been a significantly revolutionary achievement for its time. The program will begin with a short piece by twentieth-century revolutionary Igor Stravinsky. SFCO will play his first suite for small orchestra, composed in 1925. This is actually an arrangement of the first four of five easy pieces written for four hands on one piano keyboard. Only two of the hands need to be highly skilled; and apparently Stravinsky wrote the parts for the other two hands to be played by Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the Ballet Russes, the ballet company for which Stravinsky composed some of his best known scores.
Both Neuberg and her work are likely to be familiar to those who follow the avant-garde in the Bay Area. For those used to more traditional settings, Neuberg holds a pair of Bachelors degrees for her undergraduate work at Oberlin. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from Oberlin College and a Bachelor of Music in voice from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She then went on to Mills College, where she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in electronic music, working with Pauline Oliveros and David Rosenboom. While many of her performances have been either solo or with groups of her own formation (such as her Cello ChiXtet), she has also performed with both the Paul Dresher Ensemble and the Del Sol String Quartet.
The San Francisco performance of this program will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 29. The venue will be Herbst Theatre at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. As is the case with all Main Stage Concerts, admission will be free to all. Supporting members receive priority seating and priority entrance 60 minutes before concert time. General admission begins 45 minutes before concert time.