Classical masterpieces, unusual gems, and modern works offer a feast for your ears at every concert, while Maestro Simon’s engaging onstage talks help you connect more powerfully with the music.

Admission is free to all! Supporting members receive priority seating and priority entrance 60 minutes before concert time. Please bring your membership card with you. General seating begins 45 minutes before concert time.

The SFCO’s admission-free season is made possible by the generosity of hundreds of supporting members and the following esteemed organizations:

Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
The Bernard Osher Foundation
Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund
Walter and Elise Haas Fund

JAZZ DELL’ARTE

Benjamin Simon, conductor
Evan Price, violin

 

FRI, OCT 28 | 7:30pm
Herbst Theatre
401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco

Doors: 6:45 (general admission,
first-come first-served)

SAT, OCT 29 | 7:30pm
First United Methodist Church
625 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto

Doors: 6:45 (general admission,
first-come first-served)

SUN, OCT 30 | 3pm
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

Doors: 2:15 (general admission,
first-come first-served)

 
EVAN PRICE Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra (2016) [SFCO Commission & World Premiere]
     Evan Price, violin
IGOR STRAVINSKY Pulcinella Suite (1920)

 
Two-time Grammy Award winner and jazz violinist extraordinaire Evan Price jumpstarts the 2016-2017 season and performs his newly commissioned Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra. A versatile and virtuosic performer, Evan has thrilled audiences around the world with such ensembles as the Turtle Island String Quartet, The Hot Club of San Francisco, and many others.

Evan’s piece is paired with music from Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, his 1920 ballet and neoclassical masterpiece about the commedia dell’arte character of the same name. The orchestra dances to Stravinsky’s patented blend of spiky dissonance, sparkling rhythm, and keen wit.

MOZART IN THE CITY

Benjamin Simon, conductor
Robert Schwartz, piano
Brad Walker, bass
Michel Taddei, double bass

 


These concerts are presented in memory
of SFCO founder Edgar Braun.

In lieu of requiring reservations for these holiday performances, seating will be handled on a first-come first-served basis until all seats are filled.
Unfortunately, our Main Stage venues are unable to offer standing room privileges.

 

FRI, DEC 30 | 7:30pm
Herbst Theatre
401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco

Doors: 6:30pm (general admission,
first-come first-served)

SAT, DEC 31 | 7:30pm
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

Doors: 6:30pm (general admission,
first-come first-served)

SUN, JAN 1 | 3pm
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
500 Castro St, Mountain View

Doors: 2pm (general admission,
first-come first-served)

MOZART Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504 (“Prague”)
MOZART Per questa bella mano, K. 612
     Brad Walker, bass
     Michel Taddei, double bass
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466
     Robert Schwartz, piano

 

Ring in the New Year with masterpieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Local gem Robert Schwartz performs a D minor piano concerto thought to be one of the most beautiful in the repertoire. San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow bass Brad Walker teams up with the SFCO’s own principal double bassist Michel Taddei for a concert aria—a delightful romp through the lower registers. An early essay in “Sturm und Drang,” the delightful “Prague” Symphony opens this festival of classical treasures.

WORD/PLAY

Benjamin Simon, conductor
Lara Nie, mezzo-soprano
Brian Thorsett, tenor

 

FRI, FEB 24 | 7:30pm
Herbst Theatre
401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco

Doors: 6:45 (general admission,
first-come first-served)

SAT, FEB 25 | 7:30pm
First United Methodist Church
625 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto

Doors: 6:45 (general admission,
first-come first-served)

SUN, FEB 26 | 3pm
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

Doors: 2:15 (general admission,
first-come first-served)

 
JOSEPH CANTELOUBE Chants d’Auvergne
     Lara Nie, mezzo-soprano
PETER JOSHEFF Dream Mechanic (2016) [SFCO Commission & World Premiere]
     Brian Thorsett, tenor
FRANZ SCHUBERT String Quartet No. 14 in D minor (“Death and the Maiden”) [arr. Simon]

 
Dedicated to the lyrical muse, this program features two outstanding singers well-known to SFCO audiences: mezzo-soprano Lara Nie (“a magnetic presence“) and tenor Brian Thorsett (“strikingly gifted, with a deeply moving, unblemished voice“). Canteloube’s lush settings of folk songs from France’s Auvergne region are paired with a newly commissioned work by Berkeley composer Peter Josheff, based on the “haunting and wildly beautiful” poetry of Carol Hamilton. Schubert’s darkly dramatic Death and the Maiden allows the orchestra’s virtuosic string section to whisper, sing, and shout to one of the most exciting string quartets ever written.

THE LIGHTER SIDE

Benjamin Simon, conductor

 

FRI, APR 28 | 7:30pm
Herbst Theatre
401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco

Doors: 6:45 (general admission,
first-come first-served)

SAT, APR 29 | 7:30pm
First United Methodist Church
625 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto

Doors: 6:45 (general admission,
first-come first-served)

SUN, APR 30 | 3pm
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

Doors: 2:15 (general admission,
first-come first-served)

P.D.Q. BACH “Howdy” Symphony in D major, S. 6⅞
W.A. MOZART A Musical Joke, K. 522 (Ein musikalischer Spaß)
PETER HEIDRICH “Happy Birthday” Variations
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN String Quartet Op. 33, No. 2 (“The Joke”)
P.D.Q. BACH New Horizons in Music Appreciation: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony Sportscast
 

Your favorite chamber orchestra ends the season on the lighter side, with music designed to tickle your classical funny bone. Peter Schickele’s hilarious alter ego P.D.Q. Bach (the last and oddest of J.S. Bach’s 20-odd children) will be represented by several works—including his brilliant reworking of the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony as a sportscast, featuring play-by-play announcers, a whistling referee, and a penalty box for errant horn players. Mozart and Haydn were notorious musical jokesters in their day, and Peter Heidrich’s witty “Happy Birthday” Variations sets a familiar tune in the style of well-known composers from Bach to Brahms and beyond.

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