Geneva Anderson digs into art

Green Music Center is on a roll! Up Thursday—Charles Dutoit conducts the San Francisco Symphony with guest violinist James Ehnes

Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit conducts the San Francisco Symphony in the second of a four concert series at Weill Hall on Thursday, January 31, 2013.  Photo: courtesy SF Symphony.

Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit conducts the San Francisco Symphony in the second of a four concert series at Weill Hall on Thursday, January 31, 2013. Photo: courtesy SF Symphony.

 Those who experienced Yo Yo Ma’s soulful performance at Weill Hall on Saturday with pianist Kathyrn Stott walked away with another unforgettable Green Music Center moment. Along with many in the audience, I was pierced early on—Stravinsky’s “Suite Italienne” and the Serenata drew streams of tears. By the second half, and Piazzolla’s exquisite “Oblivion,” I was deep in melancholy and revelation. What a wonderful opportunity we now have to hear the world’s finest musicians at our doorstep. And what a doorstep it is! Since the center’s gala opening on the weekend of September 29-30, 2012, the lineup, thanks in large part to Robert Cole (Cal Performances’ recently retired booking czar) , has featured the world’s finest musicians— Joyce DiDonato, Stephanie Blythe, Alison Krauss, Buika, Lang Lang, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra—and that’s just the first three months.

Up this Thursday at Green Music Center—and seats are still available—is the San Francisco Symphony’s second concert in its four concert series at GMC.  Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit conducts the San Francisco Symphony with guest violinist James Ehnes.  Lalo’s Spanish heritage and Ravel’s Basque roots are richly explored in “Rapsodie espagnole” and “Symphonie espagnole”— savory, evocative works that promise a workout for the Stradivarius of Canadian violinist James Ehnes, who’s been called “the Heifetz of our day.”  Ehnes’ beautiful intonation, technique and sensitivity for the music should all come across in the warm, intimate-feeling Weill Hall whose acoustics are proving to be especially well-suited to the nuances of string instruments.  Elgar’s ever-popular “Enigma Variations” concludes the 2 hour program.  

PROGRAM:  Chlares Dutoit conductor, James Ehnes violin, SF Symphony

Ravel | Rapsodie espagnole  (~15 min) (for James M. Keller’s program notes, click here.)

 Lalo | Symphonie espagnole, Opus 21 (~30 min) (for Michael Steinberg’s program notes, click here.)

 Elgar | Enigma Variations, Opus 36 (~ 30 min) (for Michael Steinberg’s program notes, click here.)


Canadian violinist James Ehnes performs with the San Francisco Symphony with Charles Dutoit conducting on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall. Photo: courtesy SF Symphony.

PRE-CONCERT TALK:   Interested in going deeper?  One hour prior to the concert, an “Inside Music” talk from the stage with Susan Key  on some aspect of the performance will be given.  Free to all concert ticket holders; doors open 15 minutes before, or 6:45 p.m.

CD SIGNING: James Ehnes will sign his CDs immediately following the performance on January 31 in Weill Hall’s Person Lobby.  The lobby is named after Evert and Norma Person, long-time Santa Rosa Symphony patrons.  

AUDIO PROGRAM NOTES:  A free audio podcast about Elgar’s Enigma Variations is downloadable from and from the iTunes store.

BROADCAST:  These concerts will be broadcast on Classical 89.9/90.3/104.9 KDFC and on Tuesday, February 12 at 8 pm.

Details: The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra performs Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 8 pm at Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park.

Tickets: $15-$145. Tickets are available at or by phone at 415-864-6000 or in person at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco or at the Green Music Center Box Office located on the first floor of the SSU Student Union in the interior of the Sonoma State University Campus.

New Fees SSU Parking: Parking is $10 for the lot nearest Weill Hall.  Have cash ready to hand attendants as you drive in.  All other SSU general parking lots have had a rate increase to $5, and a parking receipt must now be displayed all 7 days of the week, no exceptions. 

Here is Ehnes on YouTube playing gorgeous passages on irreplaceable 18th century instruments from the Fulton Collection of Violins and Violas.  

Most of us consider ourselves lucky to hear a Stradivarius or Guarneri in a concert setting as fine as Weill Hall, but Grammy-winning James Ehnes was chosen to play some of these treasured instruments under very unusual circumstances.  David Fulton, who spent a great of his life playing and enjoying the violin, sold his very profitable Fox Software company to Microsoft in the early 1980’s for $173 million.  He used the money he made to buy the most precious violins, violas, and cellos to be had. Crafted by Antonio Stradivari, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù and a handful of other 18th-century Italian masters in and around Cremona, the Fulton Collection has been deemed the world’s greatest private collection by a number of experts.  James Ehnes met Fulton back in the 1990’s in Seattle when he came to play in a chamber music festival.  He gradually developed a close friendship with Fulton and his wife, and played chamber music with them.  Fulton purchased a famous Stradivari violin— ex-Marsick—with which Ehnes had fallen in love, and loaned it to Ehnes to use as his main concert violin. The idea to have him road test these rare instruments, showing off their unique qualities was born out of this special relationship.  This is a clip from a magical and highly successful DVD/CD Homage (2008, Onyx) that captures the whole glorious experience and Ehnes’ virtuosity.

Upcoming SFS Performances at Weill Hall: The Orchestra’s four-concert series for GMC also includes performances on March 7, and May 23, 2013

Thursday, March 7 at 8 pm: Michael Tilson Thomas conductor, Yuja Wang piano, San Francisco Symphony

Berio Eindrücke

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Opus 58
Brahms Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Opus 68

Thursday, May 23 at 8 pm David Robertson conductor, Marc-André Hamelin piano, San Francisco Symphony

Elliott Carter Variations for Orchestra

Ravel Piano Concerto in D major for the Left Hand

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Ravel La Valse

January 28, 2013 Posted by | Classical Music, Symphony | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jay DeFeo shows are closing—“Renaissance on Fillmore” at Napa’s Di Rosa Preserve and “Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective,” at SFMoMA

Jay DeFeo, Courtesy of the estate of Jerry Burchard, c. 1958.

Jay DeFeo, Courtesy of the estate of Jerry Burchard, c. 1958.

Anyone interested in artist Jay DeFeo—and who isn’t?—should not miss two important shows which are closing this week.  

Closing Sunday, January 27, 2013“Renaissance on Fillmore, 1955-65” at the di Rosa Preserve’s Gatehouse Gallery

 Situated in Napa Valley’s Carneros region amidst a lake and wildlife preserve is di Rosa, visionary collector Rene di Rosa’s art-filled paradise, one of the Northern California’s most important contemporary art collections.   Its impressive stone Gatehouse Gallery is pure poetry.  Situated on the edge of a bird-filled lake, with a wall of windows to take in the panoramic view, the space is filled with natural light and a sense of openness.  It houses rotating exhibitions which draw from di Rosa’s own collection and which offer a look at important work by emerging and established artists, all with an essential link to the Bay Area.  

“Renaissance on Fillmore, 1955-65” is a compact gem, thoughtfully curated by Michael Schwager, chairman of Sonoma State University’s Art and Art History Department and a former di Rosa curator.  It brings together works from 17 artists, including Jay DeFeo and Wally Hedrick, who were a pivotal part of the remarkable and eclectic group of painters, poets and musicians who came together in San Francisco’s upper Fillmore district between 1955 and 1965 and literally changed the course of American art.  The 17 featured artists either lived and worked in the building at 2322 Fillmore or were active in the neighborhood’s pioneering art galleries, such as the Six Gallery, King Ubu, and Batman Gallery. Works by Paul Beattie, Joan Brown, William H. Brown, Jerry Burchard, Bruce Conner, Jean Conner, Jay DeFeo, Sonia Gechtoff, Dave Getz, Wally Hedrick, Craig Kauffman, James Kelly, Les Kerr, Hayward King, Ed Moses, Deborah Remington, and David Simpson are included, along with photographs, posters, and exhibition announcements documenting this extraordinary period in Bay Area art.

Northern, California seemed an especially welcoming environment for both Abstract Expressionist painting and this new hybrid of art, music, and literature that was lumped under the rather inelegant rubric “Beat,” a word with multiple associations—the rhythm of Bebop jazz, the cadence of spoken poetry, or the sometime desperate conditions under which these artists struggle to create their work. (Michael Schwager, curator) 

Jay DeFeo, "Song of Innocence," (1957), oil on Canvas, 40" x 40," the Jay DeFeo Trust.

Jay DeFeo, “Song of Innocence,” (1957), oil on Canvas, 40″ x 40,” the Jay DeFeo Trust.

There are three works by DeFeo in this show, all from 1957-58,  as well as three portraits of her in her Fillmore Street apartment/studio taken by Jerry Burchard in 1958.  No matter the scale, whether it is a 4×6 inch graphite and colored pencil drawing or “Song of Innocence,” (1957), a 40 x40 inch oil painting which presents a flurry of pastel colored brush strokes organically bursting into a flaming bloom, DeFeo was a master of her space.  

If you go, don’t skip Swinging in the Shadows: San Francisco’s Wild History Groove (DVD, 2011 directed by Mary Kerr), an informative video which covers the entire Fillmore art scene, including slow birthing of Jay DeFeo’s colossal masterpiece, The Rose (1958-66).  Not only does it capture the vibrant life that DeFeo and her husband Wally Hedrick led during that magical era that they lived with the painting which dominated the front room of their famous flat-studio, it recounts several legendary parties.  One included a very drunk Willem de Kooning being pried off DeFeo and then driven around in a sports car.  When finally sober, de Kooning thought he had been in New York because of the remarkable art he saw that evening and DeFeo’s painting in particular “blew his mind.”    

Details:  di Rosa is located at 5200 Sonoma Highway Napa, California 94559.  Directions: MapquestHours: NOV-APRIL: Wednesday-Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Monday & Tuesday  Fee:  suggested donation $5.  Tours: Guided tours of the collection and grounds are available Wednesday through Sunday. Tours are $12-$15 and are a wonderful way to learn more about di Rosa and its important collection of Northern California art, and offer plenty of time to enjoy the art collection and grounds.

Closing Sunday February 3, 2013— Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective at SFMoMA

When Jay DeFeo died in 1989, at age 60, she was at the height of her creative powers. Despite her iconic status as the creator of the monumental painting “The Rose,” she was little known outside a small circle of art insiders. SFMOMA’s retrospective (finally!) offers a revelatory, in-depth encounter DeFeo’s work, giving this artist her well-deserved tribute. Presenting close to 130 works, including collages, drawings, paintings, photographs, small sculptures, and jewelry, this definitive exhibition traces DeFeo’s distinctive vision across more than four decades of art making.  How did she do it?  Aside from innate talent, she worked obsessively throughout her life, never letting go of ideas until she had thoroughly exhausted them.  

Prepare to be mesmerized and, as a rule of thumb, double the time you think you think you’ll need to take this in. There’s no need to hurry. “Only by chancing the ridiculous, can I hope for the sublime.” said Jay DeFeo in a 1959 Museum of Modern Art catalogue statement. “Only by discovering that which is true within myself, can I hope to be understood by others.”

Details: Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective closes  Feb. 3, 2013.  The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) is located at 151 Third St., S.F. (415) 357-4000.

January 27, 2013 Posted by | Art, SFMOMA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: In Amy Herzog’s “4,000 Miles,” a directionless young man moves in with his feisty grandma and it works, at A.C.T. through February 10, 2013

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In Amy Herzog’s new play 4,000 Miles, which has its West Coast premiere at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.), twenty-something Leo, arrives in the middle of the night at his grandma Vera’s apartment in Greenwich Village after having biked some 4,000 miles from Seattle.  She’s an old Communist and he epitomizes the aimlessness of the failure-to-launch generation.  While on the trip, there was an accident and Leo’s best friend and biking partner was killed, and he decides to take respite with Vera, a surprisingly spry 91-year-old widow.  As these two unlikely roommates re-connect, both grief-shattered in their own way, a surprisingly tender, honest and healing connection is forged which makes for a quietly captivating drama.  What’s unique about this play, is that on its opening night—last Wednesday—it managed to pack the Geary Theatre, at least the balcony section where I was seated, with young adults who were thoroughly engrossed in its story.   How wonderful it was to see row after row of young and older, side by side, everyone enjoying this intergenerational drama.  

As it turns out, playwright Amy Herzog is just 33 but she’s on a roll—“4000 Miles” was the recipient of two 2012 Obie Awards, including best new American play.  4000 Miles had its 2011 world premiere at New York’s Lincoln Center Theatre, where it played to sold-out houses and received accolades from critics.  At A.C.T., under Mark Rucker’s skillful direction, the play’s emotional resonance lingers long after the 95 minute performance.

Like many young adults, easy-going Leo is searching for something that will give his life meaning.  And while it’s not immediately obvious, he actually has a lot in common with his grandma—they are both non-conformists, refreshingly honest, good listeners and open minded.  That’s a very good thing because all the other women in Leo’s life have issues with him.  His mother is disappointed in his ability to keep in touch, especially after he and his adoptive sister got high on Peyote and he kissed her.  His adoptive sister is supposedly in therapy over the event.  Bec, his girlfriend, can’t understand his immaturity.  And Amanda, a drunken young woman he picks up and brings home to Vera’s place, can’t figure out what he wants either.  After some initial trust issues are worked through, Vera really warms to Leo’s presence and has a palpable influence on him.  By listening and not judging, she meets his emotional needs and, by the end of the play, Leo is exhibiting some long overdue maturity.  He is salve for her wounds too.  As Vera talks about the old days, her marriage and the family, Leo listens.  This is priceless because Leo, it turns out, is her sole confidant.

Herzog based the play on her real-life grandmother, Leepee Joseph, now 96, who she lived with for six months in New York when she was just getting her start as a novice actor.   Leepee also figured prominently in her 2010 play “After the Revolution,” which has character named Vera Joseph, who was also a widowed grandma and card-carrying Communist.  In that play, Vera’s granddaughter learns that Vera’s deceased husband had been a Soviet spy.  Herzog also drew inspiration from her own grueling cross-country bike ride trip a decade ago with Habitat for Humanity that ended with a ride across the Golden Gate Gate Bridge.

Reggie Gowland shines as soft-spoken, laid-back and scrambled Leo and there’s a lot to recognize in this character.  Leo epitomizes the generation of young adults now in their twenties—aimless but likeable adult-kids who are ambling through life, unable to make decisions and satisfied to let the chips fall as they may.

Susan Blommaert plays Vera Joseph as a declining force to be reckoned with.   Her interaction with Leo is funny and seems completely natural; whether she’s accusing him of stealing something she’s actually misplaced or reaching her limit when it comes to talk about sex or searching for a forgotten word.  She also has an affecting and gruff phone rapport with her elderly neighbor.  They have a kind of mutual pact where they call each other daily, partially out of loneliness and to make sure they are each still alive.  Blommaert, 65, is well-known to audiences from her roles in various episodes of the long-running tv series Law and Order, as well as The Good Wife, Guarding Tess, Boardwalk Empire and Doubt. 

Julia Lawler is excellent as Bec, Leo’s long-distance girlfriend who has recently completed college and can no longer relate to Leo’s ambling mentality.

Camille Mana is delightful as inebriated Parson’s student who Leo brings home for a make-out session that is interrupted by Vera.

Everything flows naturally in Herzog’s compassionate drama which all takes place in Vera’s pleasantly out-of-date living room.  At the end of “4,000 Miles,” we come to realization that being a young adult and an adult facing the end of life, are very confusing and frustrating times.  While each of Herzog’s four characters has a complex back story, as we all do, the light is clearly focused on Leo and Vera.  And even though we might like to believe that we don’t have too much in common with these two wounded souls, both grappling with the shattering aftershock of death—one about to graduate to adulthood and the other witnessing it slip away—we all do.

Run Time: 95 minutes without intermission.

CAST: Reggie Gowland as Leo Joseph-Connell; Susan Blommaert as Vera Joseph; Julia Lawler as Bec; and Camille Mana as Amanda.

CREATIVE TEAM: 4000 Miles is directed by A.C.T. Associate Director Mark Rucker with scenic designer Erik Flatmo (Higher and Scapin at A.C.T.); costume designer Alex Jaeger (Maple and Vine and Once in a Lifetime at A.C.T.; Looped at Pasadena Playhouse); lighting designer Alexander V. Nichols (Endgame and Play at A.C.T.; Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway and Wishful Drinking on Broadway); and sound design by Will McCandless (Higher at A.C.T.; Spunk and Blithe Spirit at California Shakespeare Theater).

Audience Exchanges: Stick around after the shows on Tuesday, January 29 at 7 p.m., Sunday, February 3 at 2 p.m. and Wednesday February 6 at 2 p.m. for a lively Q&A with the actors and artists who create the work onstage.

Details: 4,000 Miles runs through February 10, 2013 at A.C.T.’s Geary Theatre, 415 Geary Street, San Francisco.  Tickets: $20-$105, available online through A.C.T.’s online box office or (415) 439-2473.

January 26, 2013 Posted by | Theatre | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Maria Stuarda,” Donizetti’s powerful Tudor queen opera, never before performed at the Met, screens on “Met Live in HD” this Saturday, January 19, 2013

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While history informs us that that Mary, Queen of Scotts never actually met Queen Elizabeth I, Donizetti couldn’t resist putting the two rival queens together to clash it out in his dramatic 1834 opera, “Maria Stuarda.”  The Metropolitan Opera premiered this fiercely dramatic opera—the second opera from Donizetti’s bel canto trilogy about the Tudor queens—on New Year’s Eve. With Joyce DiDonato as Mary Queen of Scotts and the debut of the remarkable San Francisco-trained South African soprano Elza van den Heever as Elisabetta, the power struggle between the two queens with two sets of religious beliefs and only one possible, bloody outcome couldn’t have been better cast.  This David McVicar production will be transmitted live around the world on Saturday, January 19, 2013 as part of The Met: Live in HD series and will play at 10 a.m. PST in Sonoma County at Sebastopol’s Rialto Cinemas.   Encore performances will play on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Approximate running time: 166 minutes

 Those lucky enough to have experienced Joyce DiDonato’s rapturous “Drama Queens” performance in November at the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall know what magic this Grammy Award winning mezzo is capable of—channeling the very soul of her composers.  While the role of Mary is normally a soprano role, it’s been transposed for diDonato’s rich and expressive mezzo.  Here’s a taste of the passion DiDonato delivered while practicing the role. Deborah Voight’s interview was part of the Met Live in HD transmission of “Un Ballo in Maschera” on December 8, 2012 and speaks to the wonderful extras that are part and parcel of every Met: Live in HD experience—

Elza van den Heever went to extraordinary lengths to portray the legendary Queen, who is vividly developed in this production.  She even shaved her head in order to better suit the elaborate wigs and high forehead depicted in portraits of the Monarch.  The Wall Street Journal’s Heidi Waleson noted that her “big, well-controlled soprano” was “steely and assertive, with the flexibility to pull off Elizabeth’s vengeful, vitriolic cabalettas.”  And I can’t wait to see her in a wide red skirt by John Macfarlane that opens like curtains to reveal pants. Van den Heever is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Merola Opera Program and San Francisco Opera’s (SFO) Adler Fellowship Program.  At SFO, she last portrayed Mary Curtis Lee (general Lee’s wife) in the 2007 world premiere of Philip Glass’s Appomattox and Donna Anna in the Company’s 2007 Don Giovanni. She has also partnered with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, notably in their triple Grammy Award winning 2009 release of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8.

Originally premiered in 1835, Maria Stuarda is based on the German writer, Friedrich Schiller’s play Mary Stuart, which depicts the final days of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was viewed as a challenger to Elizabeth I’s throne and beheaded in 1587. 

“In this mid-point opera we are really focusing on the relationship between two queens in the same moment and the political impossibility of these two women co-existing on the same small island,” said Mr. McVicar.  “It’s based on the Schiller dramatization of Mary’s story which contains the great, mythical scene – which never actually happened in history – when the two queens meet and have a cataclysmic showdown.  It crackles with drama, it crackles with romance and it’s a very, very powerful mid-point in the trilogy of these three operas.”

For Maria Stuarda, Mr. McVicar works with fellow Scotsman, John Macfarlane on set and costume designs. Mr. Macfarlane’s previous work at the Met has included the much-loved fantastical sets and costumes for Hansel and Gretel. Mr. McVicar says that this new production embraces the romance of Maria Stuarda, rather than realism: “When we did the production of Anna Bolena last season at the Met, we went for the ’nth-degree of historical accuracy, particularly in the costuming. With Maria Stuarda being a different type of opera, we’ve gone for a visual style that is free-er, that is more romantic and which somehow, rather than reflecting history, reflects the romantic nature of this retelling of the story and the sweeping romantic nature of Donizetti’s music.”

Cast: Joyce DiDonato, Maria Stuarda; Elza van den Heever, Elisabetta; Matthew Polenzani, Leicester; Joshua Hopkins, Cecil; Matthew Rose, Talbot

Artistic and Production Team: Conductor, Maurizio Benini; Production, David McVicar; Set & Costume Design, John Macfarlane; Lighting Design, Jennifer Tipton; Choreographer, Leah Hausman

Details:  “Maria Stuarda” is Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10 a.m. (PST), with encore (re-broadcast) performances on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. (PST).  .  Purchase tickets, $23, for Sebastopol’s Rialto Cinemas and select your seat here.   A list of participating Bay Area cinemas and online ticket purchase is available at  For a complete list of cinema locations nationwide and schedule, please visit The Met: Live in HD.  Ticket prices vary by location.  NO ONE cares what you wear or what you eat or drink but please be kind enough to elbow your snoring partners to consciousness.

Sonoma County:
Rialto Cinemas Lakeside
551 Summerfield Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95405


Napa County:
Cinemark Napa 8
825 Pearl Street
Napa, CA 94559

Marin County:
The Lark Theater
549 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, CA 94939

Cinemark Century Northgate 15
7000 Northgate Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903

Cinemark Cinearts Sequoia 2
25 Throckmorton Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941

January 17, 2013 Posted by | Opera | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oakland Museum releases photos of the historic 19th century gold jewelry box stolen on January 9, 2013

This Gold Rush-era quartz and gold jewelry box (7 x 9 x 7 inches, ca 1869-78) was stolen from the Oakland Museum’s permanent collection on January 9, 2013.  It was made by San Francisco goldsmith A. Andrews and is signed.  Photo: courtesy OMCA

This Gold Rush-era quartz and gold jewelry box (7 x 9 x 7 inches, ca 1869-78) was stolen from the Oakland Museum’s permanent collection on January 9, 2013. It was made by San Francisco goldsmith A. Andrews and is signed. Photo: courtesy OMCA

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) has just released photos and a detailed description of the Gold Rush-era quartz and gold jewelry box stolen from its permanent collection on January 9, 2013.  The historic jewelry box, was made between 1869 and 1878 by A. Andrews, a San Francisco goldsmith, and is signed.  The artifact features a rectangular moulded top and base that rests on four feet formed of four miniature female figures depicting allegorical California.  It is seven inches in height; nine inches on length; and seven inches in depth. The top pilasters and mouldings are of veined gold quartz in tones of grey and cream with veining of gold.  The interior of the top is recessed and engraved in full relief with scene of the early days of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads, mounted Native Americans, herds of buffalo, and a train of cars.  The gold quartz is cut and set in mosaic fashion in the top of the lid, exterior and the sides are gold veined quartz.  (Read  ARThound’s 1.9.2013 coverage here.)

Reward:  A reward of $12,000 is offered for the safe recovery of the stolen artifact.

Anyone with any information about the burglary is encouraged to immediately contact the Oakland Police Department’s Major Crimes Section at (510) 238-3951 or the TIP line at (510) 777-2805. The reward is subject to certain terms and conditions required by the insurer, including that the reward claimant not have any involvement in the theft or any previous or post-theft complicity.  Questions about the Jewel Casket artifact or the Oakland Museum of California should be directed to 510-318-8460 or

 In an open letter to the public appearing on the OMCA website January 9, 2013, OMCA director Lori Fogarty, wrote—“We are appealing to the public for assistance in recovering the artifacts stolen in November and in this latest incident. Beyond their monetary value, these objects convey the story of California and our heritage and are held in the public trust to be cared for into perpetuity for the learning and enjoyment of Museum visitors. We hope that, thought this broad media effort and the attendant reward, we will be successful in gaining assistance in bringing these objects once again to the Museum and our community.”  More information can be found at

January 16, 2013 Posted by | Oakland Museum of California | , , , , | Leave a comment

Photographer Renata Breth will introduce “Brief encounters”— the new film about Gregory Crewdson, photographer of the perfect moment—at Sonoma Film Institute Friday, January 18, 2013

Photographer Gregory Crewdson is the subject of Benjamin Shapiro’s documentary “Brief Encounters,” which explores Crewdson’s meticulous process of creating and then photographing a “perfect moment” in the world.

Photographer Gregory Crewdson is the subject of Benjamin Shapiro’s documentary “Brief Encounters,” which explores Crewdson’s meticulous process of creating and then photographing a “perfect moment” in the world. The film screens this week at Sonoma Film Institute.

Photographer Gregory Crewdson constructs large-scale photographs of America’s Suburbia in which beauty and a strong sense of the bizarre converge  to create the perfect teaser for some unknown story.  Inspired by film, Baroque Tenebrist painters (Caravaggio), and his own imagination, Crewdson often depicts an almost frozen protagonist surrounded by beautiful chaos.  Not only is his work fascinating, with a distinct psychological factor, but so is his process, which is the subject of Ben Shapiro’s new film, Brief Encounters (2012, USA, 79 minutes).   The documentary will screen Friday (January 18, 2013) at 7 p.m. and Sunday (January 20, 2013) at 4 p.m. at Sonoma Film Institute on the Sonoma State University campus.  On Friday night only, the film will be introduced by internationally recognized photographer Renata Breth, chair of the photography faculty at Santa Rosa Junior College and a long-time fan of Crewdson.  Renata is sure to lead the discussion in an interesting direction as she explores Crewdson’s meticulous artistic processes and their mesmerizing impact as well as Shapiro’s filmmaking merits.   

 Ten years in the making, Brief Encounters captures Park Slope native Gregory Crewdson in the process of composing images for his series and book Beneath the Roses, which profiles a slice of the American underclass.  I have not yet seen the film, nor have I met Crewdson, but his meticulously staged work is said to be influenced by a childhood obsession with his father’s psychoanalytic practice, a fascination with Diane Arbus, and David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet.”   Crewdson is represented by Gagosian Gallery in New York, teaches photography as an adjunct at Yale and is widely collected.   

Crewdson’s hauntingly beautiful photographs add a new dimension to the ‘Created Reality,’ ‘Staged Photographs,’ or whatever term we’d like to use.  He approaches his photographs more like a surreal painter and then creates realities as photographs that are seemingly ‘trapped’ in a documentary setting.  His has penultimate control of every detail and produces exquisite results, especially with lighting.  Crewdson has hired lighting designers, who used to work in the motion picture industry. The suburban or small town locations are distinctly American; they hint of secrets, engage us to look for clues in a drama about to happen, make us speculate about what did possibly happen.  Renata Breth

Details:  “Brief Encounters” screens Friday (January 18, 2013) at 7 p.m. and Sunday (January 20, 2013) at 4 p.m., at Sonoma Film Institute at Warren Auditorium on the Sonoma State University campus.  Renata Breth introduces the film on Friday only.  Directions to Warren Auditorium: At the Main Entrance to the University, turn left off of E. Cotati Avenue onto Sequoia Drive. Take the first right at the Information Booth onto Redwood Drive. Turn left into parking lot E.  Warren Auditorium is inside Ives Hall, the building on the North side of the parking lot.  New Fees SSU Parking: Parking in all general parking lots, including Lot E, which is closest to Warren Auditorium is now $5, 24 hours, all 7 days of the week.  Film Admission: $5-7, free to SSU students with I.D. Information:  or phone: 707.664.2606

January 16, 2013 Posted by | Art, Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra performs Vivaldi tomorrow at Napa Valley Opera House—Bay Area novelist and Vivaldi scholar Barbara Quick will be signing books

San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO) will perform January 15, 2013, at the Napa Valley Opera House as part of their "Four Seasons Tour."  Image: Randi Beach

San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO) will perform January 15, 2013, at 8 p.m.,at the Napa Valley Opera House as part of their “Four Seasons Tour.” Image: Randi Beach

Tomorrow (Tuesday) evening violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock will be the soloist on a 1660 Andrea Guarneri violin with San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO) at the Napa Valley Opera House, as part of their “Four Seasons Tour.”  Widely admired as a performer of compelling verve and eloquence, Blumenstock has collaborated with PBO since 1981 as a soloist, concertmaster, and leader.  Those who experienced the glory of PBO’s “Messiah” at the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall in December, or who have heard PBO perform elsewhere, know that whatever piece of early music the internationally renowned orchestra performs, the experience is unforgettable.  Both Maestro Nicholas McGegan and Elizabeth Blumenstock will be signing copies of PBO’s new “Four Seasons” CD tomorrow evening.   North Bay author Barbara Quick, who wrote the album’s liner notes, will be there too, signing copies of her best-selling novel, Vivaldi’s Virgins (2007: Harper Collins), which has sold some 50,000 copies in English and been translated into 15 languages.  Over the past year, it has been my pleasure to attend several musical performances with Barbara quick, who lives in Cotati with her husband Wayne Roden, a long-time violist with the San Francisco Symphony.  We talk frequently about the task of bringing music, which has its own life, to readers.    

Bay Area novelist and poet Barbara Quick is the author of the international best-seller, Vivaldi’s Virgins (Harper Collins, 2008).  Photo: courtesy Barbara Quick

Bay Area novelist and poet Barbara Quick is the author of the international best-seller, Vivaldi’s Virgins (Harper Collins, 2007). Photo: Margaretta K. Mitchell

“I was thrilled when the PBO asked me to write the liner notes for their Four Seasons CD,” said Quick. “Ever since I first started doing the research for my novel, I’ve been inspired by the passion and authenticity they bring to their performances of Vivaldi’s music, which was first performed by the all-female orchestra of Venice’s Ospedale della Pieta.”

The Pieta was a world-famous cloister for foundlings and orphans in 18th century Venice. The most musically talented girls and women among them comprised an orchestra and choir led by some of the best composers of the time, including Vivaldi, who was for many decades their resident composer and maestro della musica. Their faces hidden from view, these girls and women performed for the elite of Venetian society as well as for musical tourists, including royalty, who came from all over the world to experience the “mystic rapture” of hearing them.

Through his music, Vivaldi gave these cloistered musicians a window onto the world outside the walls of the Pieta.  By showcasing the talents of so many of the figlie di coro—or daughters of the choir, as they were called—Vivaldi allowed them to shine as individuals, even within a painfully institutional setting in which it was all too easy to feel abandoned, forgotten and alone.

 This 18th century world, seen through the eyes of the foundling musician Anna Maria dal Violin, a real resident of the Pieta and Vivaldi’s star pupil, is brought to life in Quick’s moving and historically accurate novel.  To do the research, she learned Italian, took three trips to Venice to dig in the archives there and experience the landscape firsthand, and immersed herself—“…to the extent possible, for a non-musician!” she told me—in the history, scholarship, texts and contemporary performances of Vivaldi’s music.

Barbara Quick's "Vivaldi's Virgins" (Harper Collins, 2007) has been translated into 15 languages.

Barbara Quick’s “Vivaldi’s Virgins” (Harper Collins, 2007) has been translated into 15 languages.

According to Quick, Vivaldi wrote a great deal of his music to showcase his own virtuosity as a violinist.  She reports that he was said to be freakishly talented!   But in the world pre-recordings, he was completely dependent on the technical skills and musicality of the performers who made it possible for his work as a composer to be heard and known.  He taught them, Quick surmises, not only how to interpret his music but also how to experience the emotional depth it required.  In one memorable passage in her novel, Quick shows Vivaldi sneaking some of his string-players out of the cloister, bundled up and masked, to experience a “fourth season,” when Venice had its coldest winter in a hundred years and the Grand Canal actually froze. As Quick writes in her liner notes for the CD (page 5):

Life imitated art for Quick.  She had no formal training as a musician or music scholar, but became immersed in the world of music and musicians after Vivaldi’s Virgins was published. She’s given pre-concert talks for the PBO and several other Bay Area ensembles, including, most recently, an on-stage lecture at the Herbst Theater for the San Francisco Girls Chorus. But, most significantly for Quick, she met and married violist Wayne Roden. “Music is as much a part of my world now as it was for my novel’s protagonist and Vivaldi’s favorite student, Anna Maria dal Violin.”  As Anna Maria says in Quick’s novel,

I’ve come to believe that music is the one companion, the one teacher, the one parent, the one friend who will never abandon me.  Every effort I give to it is rewarded.  It never spurns my love, it never leaves my questions unanswered.  I give, and it gives back to me. I drink, and—like the fountain in the Persian fairytale—it never runs dry.  I play, and it tells me my feelings, and it always speaks the truth.  (Vivaldi’s Virgins, p. 179)

Program: Tuesday, January 16, 2013

Conducted by Nicholas McGegan, Elizabeth Blumenstock, guest violinist

CORELLI Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 7 in D major
PERGOLESI Sinfonia in F major
VIVALDI Violin Concertos, Op. 8, Nos. 1-4 The Four Seasons
Violin Concerto in E major, RV 269, La primavera (Spring)
Violin Concerto in G minor, RV 315, L’estate (Summer)
Violin Concerto in F major, RV 293, L’autunno (Autumn)
Violin Concerto in F minor, RV 297, L’inverno (Winter)
LOCATELLI Concerto Grosso Op. 7, No. 6 in E-flat major, Il pianto d’Arianna
DURANTE Concerto No. 5 in A major

More about Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra:  Now, in its 31st season, San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has been dedicated to historically-informed performance of Baroque, Classical and early-Romantic music on original instruments since its inception in 1981. Under the direction of Music Director Nicholas McGegan for the past 26 years, PBO has defined an approach to period style that sets the current standard.  The group has been named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America, and “an ensemble for early music as fine as any in the world today” by Los Angeles Times critic Alan Rich.

PBO performs an annual subscription series in the San Francisco Bay Area, and tours regularly in the United States and internationally.  The Orchestra has its own professional chorus, the Philharmonia Chorale, directed by Bruce Lamott, and regularly welcomes talented guest artists such as mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, countertenor David Daniels, conductor Jordi Savall, violinist Monica Huggett, recorder player Marion Verbruggen, and soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian.

Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons” (2011) is 1 of 5 cd’s in PBO’s own recording label.

PBO musicians are listed here, along with information about the period instruments they play. In some cases, the instruments are historical treasures dating from the baroque and classical eras.  In other cases, the instruments have been produced by modern craftsmen working in the historical tradition. 

PBO’s New Recording Label: PBO has made 32 highly-praised recordings on original instruments, including its Gramophone award-winning recording of Handel’s Susanna—for harmonia mundi (1992; re-issued 2003). In 2011, PBO launched Philharmonia Baroque Productions, its own label and has 5 CD’s out, all of which will be for sale on Tuesday, along with their other older recordings. 

Details:  Elizabeth Blumenstock and PBO will perform Tuesday, January 15, 2012, at 8 p.m. at the Napa Valley Opera House, as part of their “Four Seasons Tour.”  The Napa Valley Opera house is located at 1030 Main Street, Napa.  Tickets: $40-$55.  Purchase tickets online here.  Visit for more information.   Elizabeth Blumenstock and Nicholas McGegan, will be signing cd’s and Barbara will be signing books in the lobby before and after the concert. 

PBO will perform “The World of ‘The Four Seasons’” on Wednesday at Stanford’s new Bing Concert Hall, the final performance in their Four Seasons Tour.”  Stay tuned to ARThound for a review of the new concert hall and last Friday’s opening performance at Bing.

January 14, 2013 Posted by | Classical Music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Desert Jewels” at San Francisco’s MoAD features North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection, closes January 21, 2013

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Hermès, the name itself evokes refinement, the exotic and, of course EXPENSIVE beautifully-constructed luxury items. For 30 years, Xavier Guerrand Hermès, of the renowned Paris-based Hermès empire collected both stunning North African jewelry and historic late 19th- and early 20th-century photographs by some of the regionʼs most prominent photographers.  MoAD (San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora) has “Desert Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection” on display through January 21, 2013.  With just two more viewing weekends left, this is a jewel of a show, worthy of a visit, particularly if you have an interest in amber, coral, and semiprecious stones adn the allure of 19th centuy North Africa.  “Dessert Jewels” features 94 pieces of spectacular jewelry and 28 photographs from Algeria, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia that were collected by Guerrand-Hermès.  The photos set the context for the jewelry, showing how they were worn in day to day life.   After seeing the show, you might agree that those gorgeous orange signature Hermès boxes tied up in brown ribbon have their  inspiration in North Africa.

North African jewelry came to the attention of Western collectors in the 19th century, the period when archaeological monuments in North Africa were being explored, visited and, in some cases, pillaged.  Crafted from combinations of silver, coral, amber, coins and semi-precious stones, the jewelry collection includes wedding necklaces, hair ornaments, bracelets, earrings and fibula used to keep veils in place.  These pieces represent the inventive compositions and dazzling creations of North African jewelry designers and silver workers.  North African jewelry came to the attention of Western collectors in the 19th century, the period when archaeological monuments in North Africa were being explored, visited and, in some cases, pillaged.

The most important photographers of the day are represented in the exhibition, including Scotsman George Washington Wilson, the Neurdine brothers from France and the Turkish photographer Pascal Sabah. They, and others, visited the region and photographed landscapes, architecture, markets and people adorned in jewels.  Many of the images were used as postcards, while others remained hidden in private collections.

Downside:  the accompanying texts are enough to whet the appetite but not satisfy the curiosity.  Questions abound about the jewely, the photographers and Xavier Guerrand Hermès.  Still, it’s a visual feast wwell-worth a visit.

Catalog:  Desert Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection (2009) $19.95 is a full-color 95 page catalog, with contributions from art historians Tina Loughran and Cynthia Becker.

Details:Desert Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection” closes January 21, 2013.  MoAD (Museum of the African Diaspora) is located at 685 Mission Street (at Third Street), San Francisco, near SFMOMA and Moscone Center.  Hours:  Wednesday–Saturday: 11:00 am–6:00 pm | Sunday 12:00–5:00 pm | Monday–Tuesday: CLOSED.  Admission Prices:  General Admission $10; Students and Seniors $5; Members and Children 12 and under w/adult FREE.

January 12, 2013 Posted by | Art | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Four Weavers – Pathways in Contemporary Fiber Art,” opens tomorrow at the Petaluma Arts Center—dancers wearing dyed and woven costumes will dance through the galleries from 2-4 p.m.

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4 Weavers: Contemporary Expressions of an Ancient Craft, a new exhibit of sculptural textiles, clothing and costumes will open tomorrow at the Petaluma Arts Center, 230 Lakeville Street, Petaluma.  Curated by Kathleen Hanna, the exhibit will showcase the work of contemporary Bay Area artists: Candace Crockett, Ulla de Larios, Suki Russack and Barbara Shapiro, with the participation of Sandra Erickson, founder of St. Helena’s the Center for Pattern Design.  The show runs through March 10, 2013 but PAC’s opening reception, tomorrow, from 2 to 4 p.m., is not to be missed.  You can meet all the artists and talk textiles and construction.  Dancers will be moving through the galleries all afternoon, wearing dyed, printed and woven costumes and contemporary clothing created by the artists.  Stay tuned to ARThound for more coverage.

January 11, 2013 Posted by | Art | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soprano Renée Fleming is in San Francisco for the next week—there are several chances to hear her at Davies Hall—special recital with Susan Graham next Wednesday, January 16, 2013

America’s regal soprano, Renée Fleming, will perform an all French program, including a new Debussy arrangement, on January 10, 12 and13, and in duo recital with Susan Graham on January 16, 2013, both at Davies Symphony Hall.  Photo: @Decca/Andrew Eccles

America’s regal soprano, Renée Fleming, will perform an all French program, including a new Debussy arrangement, on January 10, 12 and13, and in duo recital with Susan Graham on January 16, 2013, both at Davies Symphony Hall. Photo: @Decca/Andrew Eccles

Lyric soprano Renée Fleming has long captivated audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, accessibility, and joie de vivre.  While opera is clearly her sweet spot, you can’t help but admire this Grammy-winning soprano for her sense of experimentation.  She cut her first rock album Dark Hope in 2010 at age 51 and hasn’t slacked off one bit in the classical realm.  In October, she drew tears with her tender “Ave Maria” as Desdemona in Verdi’s “Otello” at the Metropolitan Opera. She opened her Met career with this challenging role 17 years ago.  In December 2012, she was nominated for a Grammy for “Poèmes,” her visceral album of French works for soprano and orchestra.  Bay Area audiences are in for a special treat this week as Fleming returns to Davies Symphony Hall Thursday, Saturday and Sunday with an all French program of orchestral songs by Debussy and Canteloube, with Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS).  And next Wednesday, at Davies, Fleming will perform a duo recital of French works by Debussy, Fauré, and Saint-Saëns with the legendary mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and pianist Bradley Moore.  In addition to singing, there’ll be ample opportunity to meet both Fleming and Graham as they sign cd’s following Wednesday’s performance.

MTT & Renée Fleming, January 10, 12, 13, 2013:  Davies Symphony HallMichael Tilson Thomas leads SFS and soprano Renée Fleming in the world premiere of Robin Holloway’s arrangement, commissioned by the SFS, of Debussy’s C’est l’extase. Fleming also performs selections from Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne, and the Orchestra performs Debussy’s Jeux and La Mer.  Approximate length: 2 hours

C’est l’extase is Robin Holloway’s  new orchestration of Debussy’s settings of the poems of French 19th century poet Paul Verlaine; the cycle includes the six Debussy titled Ariettes oubliées.  An SFS commission, the work receives its world premiere in these performances. Previously, SFS and MTT have commissioned and premiered three works by composer Robin Holloway, including Clarissa Sequence (1998), the Fourth Concerto for Orchestra (2007), and 2004’s En blanc et noir, an orchestration of a Debussy work for two pianos that the Orchestra performed on tour in the US and Europe.  Holloway taught music at Cambridge University for 32 years, and his students included Judith Weir and Thomas Adès.

Debussy Jeux

Debussy (arr. Robin Holloway) C’est l’extase (Settings of Paul Verlaine) (SFS Commission, world premiere)

Canteloube Selections from Chants d’Auvergne: La Delaïssádo,” Malurous qu’o uno fenno,” “Baïlèro

Debussy La Mer

 Pre-Concert Talk:  Peter Grunberg will give an “Inside Music” talk from the stage one hour prior to each concert. Free to all concert ticket holders; doors open 15 minutes before.

Audio Program Notes: A free audio podcast about Debussy’s La Mer will be downloadable from and from the iTunes store.

Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 2 p.m. 

Mezzo Soprano Susan Graham will perform a selection of French art songs in duo recital with Renée Fleming on January 16, 2013 at Davies symphony Hall.  Part of a month long tour with Fleming, this is Graham’s only Bay Area performance in the 2012-13 season.  Photo: @Dario Acosta

Mezzo Soprano Susan Graham will perform a selection of French art songs in duo recital with Renée Fleming on January 16, 2013 at Davies symphony Hall. Part of a month long tour with Fleming, this is Graham’s only Bay Area performance in the 2012-13 season. Photo: @Dario Acosta

Renée Fleming and Susan Graham, Davies Symphony Hall, Wednesday, January 16, 2012 at 7 p.m  Their pairing in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier in 2000 and 2009 at the Metropolitan Opera was kismet.  Since then, whenever Renée Fleming and Susan Graham team up, they create magic.  Davies is the first stop in their new month-long cross country tour and these celebrated all-American divas will perform a light-hearted program of 19th century French song literature.  This is Graham’s only Bay Area performance in the 2012-13 season.   Eight composers, ranging from the romantic Hector Berloiz to the fin-de-siècle Raynaldo Hahn and André Messager, will be featured.  French composers from this period were mesmerized by lure of the exotic as were their audiences and, running through these pieces, you’ll hear references to Spain and even India.  Bradley Moore will accompany on piano.  Approximate length: 2  hours

 Saint-Saëns Pastorale,Viens! Une flute invisible,” and “El desdichado” (Ms. Fleming, Ms. Graham)

FauréPiusqu’ici-bas tout âme”, Opus 10, no.1, “Pleurs d’or”, Opus 72, Pavane, Opus 50, and Tarentelle, Opus 10, no.2 (Ms. Fleming, Ms. Graham)

Debussy Claire de lune (Mr. Moore)

Debussy Mandoline” “Beau soir” (Ms. Fleming)

O. StrausJe t’aime quand meme” from Trois valses (Ms. Fleming)

Hahn Le Rossignol” “Infidélité” “Fêtes galantes” “Le Printemps” (Ms. Graham)

BerliozLa mort d’Ophélie”, Opus 18, no.2 (Ms. Fleming, Ms. Graham)

Messager Blanche-Marie et Marie-Blanche” from Les p’tites Michu (Ms. Fleming, Ms. Graham)

Offenbach Barcarolle from Les contes d’Hoffmann (Ms. Fleming, Ms. Graham)

Delibes Duo des fleurs from Lakmé (Ms. Fleming, Ms. Graham)

CD signing:  Meet Renée Fleming and Susan Graham at a CD signing in the Symphony Store following the concert.

More about Susan Graham:  Those who attend the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD performances—at Sebastopol’s Rialto Cinemas for Sonoma County—were able to experience Susan Graham in full force last week as Dido in Berlioz’s rarely performed French opera of Trojan War, Les Troyens.  Slam dunk!  Dido calls for every emotion imaginable—from the agonizing disappointment and hurt of Aeneas’ abandonment to palpable moments of shared tenderness, love and respect.  Graham poured forth, taking up the reins held by legendary Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson whose last remarkable performances at the Met in 2003 defined the role. But seeing Graham on screen in a movie theatre is one thing and interacting with her live is another.  This is Graham’s only performance in the Bay Area in 2013 and is not to be missed.  

Susan Graham as Dido in Act V of Berloiz’s Les Toyens, conducted by Fabio Luisi; produced by Francesca Zambello.  2012-13 season.  Video: Metropolitan Opera.  Graham is featured on SFS Media’s 2010 release Mahler Songs with Orchestra, singing selections from Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder.  In October 2012, Graham released her first solo album since 2008, a compilation on Onyx titled Virgins, Vixens & Viragos, featuring music by Purcell, Berlioz, and Poulenc, among others.

Getting to Davies : Davies Symphony Hall is located at 201 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street, in San Francisco’s Civic Center, just across the street from City Hall. The main entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. Driving to San Francisco and Parking: Be sure to allow ample time when driving into San Francisco on the weekend and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge—on weekends, there can be a 15 to 30 minute back-up on Highway 101 South from Sausalito onwards due to congestion around the toll-plaza.  Arrive early at your parking garage of choice because those also fill up on weekends. Recommended Garages: Two garages are very close to Davies— the Performing Arts Garage (1/2 block)(Grove Street between Franklin and Gough Streets) and Civic Center Garage (roughly 2 blocks) (McAllister Street between Polk and Larken Streets) (both have flat $15 pay cash as you enter policy on performance nights)

Tickets and information: , by phone at (415) 864-6000. Half-price tickets for children 17 and under are available for certain performances.

January 10, 2013 Posted by | Symphony | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment