Sonic Harvest celebrates this October 14 in Berkeley

On October 14, Sonic Harvest will host its 18th annual concert of music, poetry, original compositions, and more. The concert, From Troubador to Tango, brings together the premiere of guest composer D’Arcy Reynolds’ Tangria, songs by Ann Callaway, the premiere of a work by Peter Josheff for spoken voice and piano as well as his violin solo September. It will also include a song cycle by Allen Shearer and Claudia Stevens’ solo performance referencing...

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Berkeley Symphony opens the season with virtuosity

Ming Luke nails an “audition” A sophisticated Berkeley audience stood to applaud conductor Ming Luke, violinist Benjamin Beilman and the Berkeley Symphony last Thursday, Oct. 4, in a work that was as severely modern as it was technically jaw-dropping. That work, Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010. Crafted of harmonics and fierce call-and-responses, the concerto’s architecture and virtuosity were as unexpected as they were challenging....

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Gala at Davies

San Francisco Symphony knows how to party! Donors to the educational arm of the San Francisco Symphony were rewarded last Wednesday, September 6 with an extravagant party at Davies Symphony Hall. Celebrated violinist Itzhak Perlman performed Bach and well-known movie themes, and the Symphony sizzled with Liszt and Gershwin. After, dance stages and bars took over the street between Davies and the Opera House. It was a night to savor! “The program isn’t that memorable,”...

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Music@Menlo – a whistle-stop in Hungary

The sixth main-stage concert in the Music@Menlo festival centered on the music of Budapest, the center of Hungarian culture. Held July 31 at the Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton, this program featured four composers who drew from the folk music of Hungary. “This music is incredibly nationalistic,” claimed our presenter, “the essence of the Hungarian spirit!” Bella Hristova and Nicholas Canellakis, two rising stars of the string world, opened the concert with Zoltán...

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Sarah Cahill honored at Old First Church

Bay Area icon Sarah Cahill, a pianist who specializes in contemporary music, gave a recital and received a national prize this past Sunday, July 22, at Old First Church in San Francisco. The American Composers Forum Award was a welcome recognition, as Cahill has championed many living composers and even commissioned their works. Alongside that, she is a brilliant musician who has recorded numerous compositions for the piano, writes and produces a weekly radio show on new music, and produces...

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Music@Menlo ushers in ambitious new season

Last Friday Music@Menlo opened their 15th season on the Peninsula with a lecture by Michael Parloff that linked the cities of London, Paris and St. Petersburg. That was an introduction to this year’s theme, “Creative Capitals,” a glimpse into how place fosters musical lineage and of how composers inspire and influence each other. Following that was Saturday’s first concert, a look at composers in London, and that was the first of an astounding seven programs. The four lectures, seven...

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