Sarah Cahill at Berkeley Arts Festival

Sarah Cahill gives moving piano tribute to Ornstein in Berkeley premiere Well-known pianist and radio show host Sarah Cahill played a program dedicated to the later works of Leo Ornstein at Berkeley Arts Festival’s new temporary digs, on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley. Most of the material at the Friday, Mar. 5 concert has never before been performed, and the concert coincides with Cahill’s soon-to-be-released CD of Ornstein’s later works. Ornstein’s life...

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Kronos Quartet in Terry Riley’s Sun Rings

Kronos performs dreamy plasma at Stanford In 2001 the Kronos quartet was contacted by NASA to see if the group was interested in “the sounds of space,” recordings of plasma waves from spacecraft. A plasma is a gas so hot that its electrons have been separated, transforming the neutral gas into a sea of charged ions. Our solar system is filled with a tenuous plasma, a solar wind that laps at the shores of worlds and interacts with planetary magnetic fields....

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Deborah Voight sings Strauss and Barber with San Francisco Symphony

Lustrous mix of music by SF Symphony In a concert of Strauss, Knudsen, Barber and Beethoven at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall last Saturday, Beethoven was the clear winner. Michael Tilson Thomas set aside the score and threw himself into the conducting with a palpable directness that illuminated each musical strand....

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John Adams’ ‘Flowering Tree’ at San Francisco Symphony

John Adams conducted the US premiere of his own masterwork, A Flowering Tree, at the S.F. Symphony this past weekend for three sold-out performances. Inspired by Mozart’s Magic Flute, Adams drew on an ancient text translated into English by the Indian scholar and poet A. K. Ramanujan. Like the best fairy tales, this one had its audience wide-eyed and spellbound. We wore eveningwear, but it felt like feet-pajamas. A Flowering Tree is magical, mysterious and...

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