March tends to be the month in which the concert season goes into high gear. If this March will follow the old saw about weather and come in like a lion with the previously reported all-day Hot Air Music Festival marathon, then the smart money is on betting that it will go out like an even hungrier lion. From that point of view, the second weekend in the month may well just be a foretaste of density and diversity yet to come. Here is a noble effort at a chronological account of what will be coming during that weekend.
Friday, March 11, 7:30 p.m.: Fête Concerts continues is 2015–2016 season with the first of two programs designed to celebrate Women’s History Month. The title of the program will be Women in Music History, and the program will offer an impressively distinctive scope by presenting music composed by Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, Clara Schumann, Nadia Boulanger, Florence Price, and Kaija Saariaho. (The second concert will actually be given the following month, in April, and will focus entirely on living women composers.) Both founding coloraturas, Anne Hepburn Smith and Chelsea Hollow, will perform, along with Amaranth violinist Abigail Shiman and pianist Paul Dab. As was the case with the celebration of Benjamin Britten’s birthday this past November, the performers will join the members of the audience to discuss the music over a selection of local wine, cheese, and desserts; and party hats will again be included.
This concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 11. It will be held in the Capp Street Concert Hall of the Community Music Center (CMC) at 544 Capp Street in the Mission, located between Mission Street and South Van Ness Avenue and between 20th Street and 21st Street. Admission will be free by virtue of The Shenson Foundation Faculty Grant.
Friday, March 11, 8 p.m. The contemporary music chamber chorus Volti is spending its 37th season celebrating three of the composers that benefitted from its Choral Arts Laboratory (CAL), This program was launched in 2003; and one of its alumni, Ted Hearne, went on to be selected by the New World Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), and the music publisher Boosey & Hawkes as the third annual New Voices composer. This month’s program, entitled The Next Page, will feature the work of Robert Patterson. It will present the world premiere of his Graffiti Canons, with texts taken from graffiti he has encountered around the world. The program will also include excerpts from his 2005 CAL composition, The Essence of Gravity, and “Eternal Reflections,” which Volti commissioned in 2009. The program will also feature music by David Lang (“again”), Ingrid Stötzel, (“Into Being”), and Mark Winges (Canticles of Rumi).
This concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11. The venue will be St. Gregory of Nyssa church, located at 500 De Haro Street at the foot of Potrero Hill.. General admission will be $25 at the door, with a $20 rate for seniors aged 65 and over and $10 for students aged 25 and under. Advance purchase may be made through a Brown Paper Tickets event page.
Friday, March 11, 8 p.m.: This will also be the time of the final Call & Response program to be presented by the Cypress String Quartet (CSQ). In recognition of CSQ’s commitment to the quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven throughout the entire lifetime of the ensemble, the call we be provided by the very first and very last of those quartets, the first of the Opus 18 quartets and Opus 135, both in the key of F major. The response will be the third string quartet composed by Dan Coleman, to which he assigned the title “together, as the river.”
For this final installment in the Call & Response series, CSQ will return to Herbst Theatre, located at 401 Van Ness Avenue, on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11. General admission will be $35 with $45 for preferred seating. There will be a discount of $5 per ticket with the purchase of ten or more. Tickets may be ordered in advance by calling 415-392-4400. They may also be purchased online through a City Box Office event page.
Friday, March 11, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.: The second program prepared for the new PIVOT series presented by San Francisco Performances (SFP) will be given two performances. The performers will be the members of the Kronos Quartet, violists David Harrington and John Sherba, violist Hank Dutt, and cellist Sunny Yang. They will be joined by the “pop polymath” composer and performer visiting from Los Angeles, Jherek Bischoff. The program will include the world premiere of a work by Bischoff written for Kronos (not yet given a title), the San Francisco premiere of Bischoff’s “A Semiperfect Number,” also written for Kronos, and Bischoff’s arrangement for Kronos of “Kule Kule +,” composed collectively by the Congolese group Konono Nº1. Kronos will begin the program with “Aheym (Homeward),” composed for them by Bryce Dessner.
The venue will be the 120-seat black box Rueff Room of the Strand Theater at 1127 Market Street, on the south side of the block between Seventh and Eighth Streets. All tickets are $25 for general admission. Tickets may be purchased from SFP by telephone at 415-392-2545. In addition, tickets may be purchased online from City Box Office. Because seating is so limited, there will be two performances beginning at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively, on Friday, March 11. Hyperlinks to City Box Event pages for the two concerts are available through the SFP event page.
[event added 3/3, 1:45 p.m.]
Saturday, March 12, 7:30 p.m.: The Red Poppy Art House is back on the charts again. They will present an evening of duet work that will probably know no bounds, at least as far as genre is concerned. The players will be guitarist Will Bernard, founder of the all-star Bay Area jazz conglomerate T.J. Kirk and sometime band leader, and clarinetist Beth Custer, known for her playing in Clarinet Thing and past composition work for the Club Foot Orchestra. They are describing their program as one of “melodic chamber duets.”
The Red Poppy Art House is located at 2698 Folsom Street, on the northwest corner of 23rd Street, a short walk from the 24th Street Mission BART station. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the concert should conclude around 10 p.m. Tickets will be on a sliding scale between $20 and $25. There will be no advance purchases, and the Red Poppy has limited space. Those interested in attending are strongly advised to arrive when the doors open to purchase their tickets. Further information may be found on the Red Poppy event page.
Saturday, March 12, 8 p.m.: Recognition of Women’s History Month will continue with a program of chamber music inspired by women. This will be a benefit concert for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund hosted by cellist Natalie Raney. The program will open with a transcription for four cellos of the Adagio movement from Edward Elgar’s cello concerto. The first half of the program will then conclude with Clara Schumann’s Opus 17 piano trio in G minor. The second half of the program will be devoted entirely to the second of Leoš Janáček’s two string quartets, entitled “Intimate Letters” by virtue of the composer’s love and admiration for Kamila Stösslová, a married woman 38 years Janáček’s junior when the piece was written in 1923. In addition to Raney, the performers will include violinists Tom Stone, Julia Birnbaum, and Autumn Chodorowski, violist Tatiana Trono, cellists Jerry Liu, Matthew Linamen, and Juan Mejia, and pianist Rachel Kim.
This concert will begin at 8 P.m. on Saturday, March 12. The venue will be St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at 1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street. General admission at the door will be $20, with an $18 rate for seniors, a $10 rate for students, and $8 for children under the age of eighteen. However, general admission tickets may be purchased online from a Brown Paper Tickets event page for a discounted rate of $18. This event page can also be used to purchase the $8 tickets for children.
[event added 3/2, 1 p.m.]
Saturday, March 12, 8 p.m.: This will also be the evening of the next recital presented by Chamber Music San Francisco. The soloist will be violinist Sarah Chang, making her first Bay Area appearance since 2013. Her accompanist will be pianist Julio Elizalde. Her program will feature two major violin sonatas, Johannes Brahms’ Opus 108 in D minor and César Franck’s only violin sonata in A major. She will also perform Maurice Ravel’s highly-charged “Tzigane;” and she will open the program with the violin-and-piano version of Béla Bartók’s set of Romanian dances.
This concert will also begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. The venue will again be Herbst Theatre at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. Single tickets are available for $65, $50, and $40. They may be purchased in advance online from a City Box Office event page. Tickets may also be ordered by phone at 415-392-4400.
Sunday, March 13, 2 p.m.: SFP will present a very special concert in their Family Matinee Series. With the goal of helping a new generation of children and their families fall in love with singing, mezzo Frederica von Stade will present a program that she prepared with her long-time collaborator, pianist and composer Jake Heggie. They will be joined on stage by talented young Bay Area singers that they have mentored.
This performance will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. The venue will be Herbst Theatre, located at 401 Van Ness Avenue on the southwest corner of McAllister Street. Tickets for the event will be $10 and $15 for adults. Tickets may be purchased from SFP by telephone at 415-392-2545. In addition, tickets may be purchased online from a City Box Office event page.
For those unable to attend, von Stade and Heggie will also visit CMC for the next Concert with Conversation event. CMC offers these programs with generous sponsorship from SFP. At this performance von Stade and Heggie will be joined on stage by young singers from CMC’s Young Musicians Choral Orchestra.
This Concert with Conversation will take place at the CMC Capp Street Concert Hall on Friday, March 25. This is located in the Mission District Branch at 544 Capp Street, between 20th Street and 21st Street. (Capp Street is located between Mission Street and South Van Ness Avenue.) This will be a one-hour event beginning at 6 p.m. As is the case with all Concert with Conversation events, there is no charge for admission. Seating is first come, first served; and, because these tend to be popular events, early arrival is advised.
Sunday, March 13, 3 p.m.: The next concert in the Morrison Artists Series of San Francisco State University’s College of Liberal and Creative Arts will be a recital by cellist Jay Campbell accompanied by pianist Conor Hanick. The program will cover a wide span of music history. The earliest work (1801) will be the set of variations written by Ludwig van Beethoven on the duet about marital bliss from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute, “Bei Männern welch Liebe fühlen,” his WoO 46. This will be complemented by Johannes Brahms’ Opus 99 cello sonata in F major, composed in 1886. The twentieth century will be represented by two French composers, Claude Debussy, his 1915 cello sonata, and Olivier Messiaen, the duet for cello and piano from his “Quatuor pour la fin du temps” (quartet for the end of time), composed in 1941, and his earlier (1935) “Vocalise,” originally composed for voice and piano. The most recent work on the program will be Charles Wuroninen’s “An Orbicle of Jasp,” composed in 1999 and inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire.
The performance will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. As always, this concert will be held in the McKenna Theatre in the Creative Arts Building. The entrance to the campus is on the northwest corner of 19th Avenue and Holloway Street, and the entrance to the Creative Arts Building is on Holloway Street. There will also be a pre-concert lecture-demonstration at 2 p.m. presented by Artistic Director Richard Festinger. Tickets are free; but, because of demand, reservations are highly recommended. Reservations may be made online through a Vendini event page with a two-ticket limit for each reservation. Reserved tickets will be available for pick-up at the Box Office in the Creative Arts Building beginning on February 28, and there will be a Will Call desk on the afternoon of March 13. Printing of tickets reserved online is no longer supported.
In addition, Campbell and Hanick will present a master class on Monday, March 14. This will run for two hours beginning at noon. It will also be held in the McKenna Theater. It will be free, and the general public is invited to observe. No tickets will be required.
Sunday, March 13, 3 p.m.: The next concert presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society will feature the Bay Area debut of Infusion Baroque. This is a quartet of musicians performing on instruments from the Baroque period, Alexa Raine-Wright on flute and recorder, Sallynee Amawat on violin, Camille Paquette-Roy on cello, and Rona Nadler on harpsichord. The title of the concert is Rebels and Rivalries. The program will cover an international range of composers, particularly distinguished by the appearance of not only Johann Sebastian Bach but also his two eldest sons, Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel, as well as the latter’s godfather, Georg Philipp Telemann.
Sunday, March 13, 4 p.m.: The Del Sol String Quartet will continue their new Mason Music series in the intimacy of a private art studio on the grounds of the Fort Mason Center. This concert will feature the public premiere of Mark Ackerley’s “Glass Shatters the Same Way Twice.” The remainder of the program has not yet been announced, but the concert will last the usual two hours.
The venue will be Studio 301 in Building B, located just across from Greens. The entrance to the Fort Mason Center is at 2 Marina Boulevard. All tickets are $25 and include food and drink. Doors open at 3:30 p.m., and the music starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. Limited seating is available, so reservations are highly recommended. These may be made through a Brown Paper Tickets event page.
Sunday, March 13, 6 p.m.: The Noe Valley Ministry will host the 2016 Benefit Concert and Reception for Noe Valley Chamber Music (NVCM). Music will be presented by the LiederALIVE! Chamber Ensemble offering a program of primarily of art songs. The vocalist in this group is mezzo Kindra Scharich, singing with instrumentalists Paul Yarbrough on viola, Anthony Striplen on clarinet, and Jeffrey LaDeur on piano.
Doors open at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 13, with drinks and savory appetizers and a chance for the audience to mingle with the performers. The concert will begin at 7 p.m., offering music by Robert Schumann, Brahms, and Gustav Mahler, along with a world premiere by Kurt Erickson. The program will last approximately one hour, followed by an elegant dessert reception at which champagne will be served. Admission will be $85, $50 of which will be a tax-deductible donation to NVCM. Advance purchase is required, either by calling NVCM at 415-648-5236 or online from an Eventbrite event page.
Sunday, March 13, 7 p.m.: The next recitalist in the SFP Guitar Series will be Manuel Barrueco. Barrueco was the first guitarist to hold the SFP Artist-in-Residence position. This will be his fourteenth recital appearance with SFP. He has prepared a program that will feature primarily Spanish composers but will also include Sebastian Bach and Bach’s contemporary, the lutenist Sylvius Leopold Weiss.
This recital will take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. The venue will be Herbst Theatre at 401 Van Ness Avenue at the southwest corner of McAllister Street. Tickets for the concert will be $55, $45, and $35. Tickets may be purchased from both SFP (415-392-2545) and the Omni Foundation (415-242-4500). Both organizations have also made arrangements for online purchase. For online purchase, the two organizations are sharing a City Box Office event page.
Sunday, March 13, 8 p.m.: Finally, for those who wish “something completely different” in the truest Monty Python sense of that phrase, the San Francisco Symphony will present a performance by the duo of violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo in Davies Symphony Hall. This is guaranteed to be an evening of complete and utter musical madness. Since the title of the program will be And Now Mozart, the reader can guess who will bear the brunt of this pair’s jokes.
This evening of no-holds-barred comedy will begin at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 13 in Davies. Ticket prices range from $25 to $80. Tickets may be purchased online from the SFS event page or by calling the Box Office at 415-864-6000.