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,”...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

Garden of Memory Solstice Celebration

A musical party for young and old The longest day of the year, June 21, has been celebrated by avant garde and experimental musicians at Oakland’s Chapel of the Chimes since 1996. This past Thursday there were 48 separate events that shared the chapels and rooms of this unusual space, some of them solo composer/performers, many duos and several large groups. Titled, “Garden of Memory,” this acknowledgment of the summer solstice was created by Sarah Cahill, a remarkable...

Continue reading

Simone Dinnerstein and NCCO in West Coast Premiere

At a revelatory concert Thursday night at Berkeley’s First Congregational Church, Simone Dinnerstein joined the New Century Chamber Orchestra for the premiere of Philip Glass’ Piano Concerto No. 3. It was an illuminating evening in which several themes stood out. By cleverly interleaving seventeenth century and contemporary works, it was made clear to us that music is one long continuum. While that is often attempted in programming, this was the clearest that I can recall, and...

Continue reading