Powerhouse percussionist Steven Schick has been appointed artistic director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. I saw him in Los Angeles in 2007, playing Kaija Saariaho's Six Japanese Gardens; he was tremendous. This is a great thing for SFCMP, and for us, if we get to hear him locally....Speaking of SFCMP, their next concert is on Monday, February 28, 8 p.m., at Herbst Theater in S.F. They are playing works by Ligeti, Du Yun, Ronald Bruce Smith, and Brian Current; Donato Cabrera conducts....LA Opera presents two performances of Britten's Noye's Fludde, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which is not far from the opera house. Richard Paul Fink, just off a run as Henry Kissinger at the Met, and Kate Lindsey lead the cast; James Conlon conducts. Tickets go on sale tomorrow...Stanford Lively Arts presents the Bay Area premier of Steven Mackey and Rinde Eckert's Slide; eighth blackbird joins them. Slide is just another thing to try to get to on what I am casually calling Hell Weekend: it's on Saturday, March 5, 8 p.m., at Dinkelspiel Auditorium on the Stanford campus....Opposite this and several other don't-miss performances is the Other Minds Festival, which is chock full of new music. It's on March 3, 4, and 5 at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center. Featured composers include Kyle Gann, Louis Andriessen, Agata Zubel, and others.
American Bach Soloists plays a tasty program of Handel and Purcell on February 25, 26, 27, and 28 in Belvedere, Berkeley, SF, and Davis. I'm not linking to their web site because it plays music at you whether you want it to or not; that music also has nothing to do with the upcoming program....More for Hell Weekend: California Bach Society, whose web site is more polite than ABS's, performs music of Buxtehude on March 4, 5, and 6, in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Berkeley. Paul Flight conducts; I'm sure it will be great....And last but far from least, over the same damn weekend, the bravura contemporary music chorus Volti sings music of Kui Dong, Diesendruck, Hearne, and Lang, in San Francisco, Mill Valley, and Berkeley....If you don't have enough to do the first weekend of March, go see the Merce Cunningham Dance Company on its valedictory tour, at Cal Performances.