2017/18 Season

Larger Than Life

A work never-before attempted here. A requiem. A famous composer not performed by us in nearly a decade. A murder mystery. A Pastoral Symphony. A new Saturday evening series. A piano concerto so virtuosic, the composer wrote it for himself. And all performed by a fantastic professional orchestra the San Francisco Chronicle calls “superbly wrought.” 

The California Symphony’s 2017-18 Season is announced. A new season made for you. 

 

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Lyrical Dreams 

September 24, 2017 | 4:00PM


WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT THIS CONCERT

  • All three composers on this program write in a lyrical, expressive style, and all three pieces use dreams as subject matter or inspiration.
  • In Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Samuel Barber depicts a dreamlike evening in Tennessee, set to a poem by 1940’s film critic James Agee.
  • A child’s voice describes a dream of heaven in the final movement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, a composer not performed here in nearly ten years.


Barber—Knoxville: Summer of 1915
     Maria Valdes, soprano

 

Stookey—YTTE (Yield To Total Elation)

 

Mahler—Symphony No. 4
     Maria Valdes, soprano
 

 

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A Lemony Snicket Holiday 

December 23, 2017 | 4:00PM & 8:00PM 


WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT THIS CONCERT

  • The Composer Is Dead was composed with text by Lemony Snicket as a whodunit mystery for all ages, written in the style of Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf and Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, and someone in the orchestra is guilty!
  • Tony nominee and Broadway star Manoel Felciano comes straight from the New York run of Amelié to narrate this concert.
  • The holiday concert is always our most popular concert of the year and is a perfect introduction for new symphony-goers young, old, or anywhere in between wanting to get into the holiday spirit.

 

Tchaikovsky—Selections from Nutcracker Suite

 

Stookey—The Composer is Dead
     Manoel Felciano, narrator

 

Various—Audience Sing-Along

 

Anderson—Sleigh Ride
 

 

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Pastoral Beethoven

January 20, 2018 | 8:00 PM
January 21, 2018 | 4:00 PM


WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT THIS CONCERT

  • Regarded the father of Czech music, Bedřich Smetana [Bed-REECH Smeh-TAH-nah], wrote this short piece named after a river that flows through Prague, in which he gives the flutes a workout.
  • Composer Max Bruch wrote over 200 works, with his first violin concerto remaining one of the most popular works for solo violin and orchestra today.
  • Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, aka the Pastoral Symphony, was composed at the same time as the famous Fifth, and each movement's title is a sentence by the composer about the outdoor scene he is trying to depict.


Smetana—Vltava (Die Moldau) 
    

Bruch—Violin Concerto No. 1 
     Alexi Kenney, violin

 

Beethoven—Symphony No. 6
 

 

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Mozart Requiem

With the San Francisco Conservatory Chorus
March 17, 2018 | 8:00PM
March 18, 2018 | 4:00PM


WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT THIS CONCERT

  • Two conductors take the podium at this concert as we welcome to the stage the San Francisco Conservatory Chorus, led by Ragnar Bohlin.
  • The first half of the program features works selected by Bohlin, and the second half is a Mozart masterpiece, the Requiem for full orchestra and choir.
  • Mozart died in 1791, leaving the requiem unfinished; it was completed the following year by Mozart's colleague Franz Xaver Süssmayr.

 

Vaughan Williams—Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
     Ragnar Bohlin, conductor

 

Pärt—Te Deum
     San Francisco Conservatory Chorus
     Ragnar Bohlin, conductor

 

Mozart—Requiem in D minor
     San Francisco Conservatory Chorus
     Donato Cabrera, conductor
 

 

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Something Old, Something New

May 6, 2018 | 4:00PM


WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT THIS CONCERT

  • Brahms waited 22 years after his first piano concerto to write his second, with himself as the original soloist. Van Cliburn Competition gold medalist Haochen Zhang returns to perform it here.
  • Unlike other symphonies, Finnish composer Sibelius’ Symphony No. 3 has only three movements, compared the usual four, and the whole work sounds more classical (think light, like Mozart) rather than romantic (big and heavy like, well, Brahms...).
  • This program includes a world premiere by our newest composer-in-residence, Katherine Balch, the first female to win this competitive residency with the California Symphony.


Balch—World Premiere

 

Sibelius—Symphony No. 3

 

Brahms—Piano Concerto No. 2
     Haochen Zhang, piano
 

 

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