Friday, March 25, 2016

Germany Friday Photo

Fidelio Beer
Bayreuth, August, 2015
(I should have bought a bottle and tried it.)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Germany Friday Photo

Eisbach, English Garden
Munich, August, 2015

I wanted to take a swim in the Eisbach myself; it is a fast-flowing artificial tributary of the Isar River, which flows through central Munich, because the day I took this walk it was 93 degrees and 90% humidity. Instead, I had a light and refreshing lunch at the Chinesischer Turm, one of the beer gardens in the English Garden:

Cucumber Salad (left), Cabbage Salad (right), Sparkling Water (center)
Chinesischer Turm, English Garden, Munich
August, 2015

When I left the English Garden, I got on a trolley along with about 20 bathing-suited youngsters, age maybe 16 to 22, who were obviously headed back to wherever it is you jump into the Eisbach. No photo, alas.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Curious Flights: Transatlantic Crossings 2

The new music ensemble Curious Flights has another great program coming up on Saturday, March 19. The concert includes three works by British composer Simon Dobson, who is in residence with the group for a week, plus works by Samuel Adams (the composer, not the founding father), Mason Bates, Robert Chastain,

Here's the program:

Simon Dobson: Crystal for Eight Trumpets                                                                    
Simon Dobson: World Premiere Commission                
            Brenden Guy, clarinet & electronics
 Samuel Adams: Tension Study No. 1                                                        
            Living Earth Show
 Mason Bates: Red River                                                          
            Curious Flights Chamber Ensemble
 Noah Luna: World Premiere Commission                                              
Robert Chastain: Metanoia
Simon Dobson: Another World’s Hell
            San Francisco Wind Ensemble

And here are the concert details:

Saturday, March 19, 2016, 8 p.m.
San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street, SF
(This is down Van Ness toward Market from the opera house and Davies, if you aren't familiar with the area; the Oak St. address is....misleading.)
Tickets: $20; purchase at the door or at Brown Paper Tickets.

(I'm going to take a moment to plug their May 28 program well in advance, because it will include an arrangement of Korngold's Suite from The Constant Nymph - I can never get enough Korngold - and Blitzstein's Airborne Symphony, which you are not going to get many chances to hear at all. It's opposite my tickets to Carmen, dir. Calixto Bieito, but those can be swapped.)

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Windham Orchestra (Brattleboro, VT) Seeks Musicians!

This really, really sounds like fun; wish I weren't 2500 miles away:

Come Play With Us!
Please share this message with your musician friends!

Please join the Windham Orchestra, under the direction of Hugh Keelan, as it begins its 46th season with an Open Rehearsal at the River Garden on Main Street in downtown Brattleboro on Monday, September 14 at 7:00-9:30 p.m.

We, the players of all backgrounds, abilities and ages, invite musicians to join the orchestra for one evening exploring and rehearsing the Symphonie Fantastique of Berlioz and Mendelssohn’s Fingal's Cave Overture. This NOT an audition, Hugh and the orchestra really want you to play and build an extraordinary and enjoyable experience together, either for this evening, or the upcoming concert cycle, or the whole season.

For the massive sound of the Berlioz, we particularly encourage string players to join us. We are also thrilled to have wind and brass.

We cannot have too many players!  Please tell other musician friends!

Invite friends to come and enjoy a first reading, Hugh promises it will be thrilling.

Please bring your music stand.  If you would like to see the music beforehand it is available on the International Music Score library Project (IMSLP).,_H_48_(Berlioz,_Hector),_Op.26_(Mendelssohn,_Felix)

RSVP’s are welcome at  Or best of all, you can take us by surprise!

Friday, March 04, 2016

Berlioz IN, Brahms OUT

From San Francisco Symphony:
SAN FRANCISCO, March 4, 2016 –The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) announced today that mezzo-soprano Susan Graham will sing Berlioz’s La mort de Cléopâtre with the Orchestra, in place of the previously announced Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody, in concerts in Davies Symphony Hall May 19-22. The program now also includes Schubert’s Nachtgesang im Walde,featuring the men of the SFS Chorus.
“After Susan’s stunning appearance as Didon in Les Troyens at SF Opera, I wanted to provide an opportunity for San Francisco Symphony audiences to experience her unique and powerful interpretation of Berlioz’s music,” said Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas.  “For me, Susan has no equal when it comes to his music.” As originally announced, the remainder of the program includes Brahms’sVariations of a Theme by Haydn and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 in D minor.

SF Opera on KQED: Sigh

KQED TV in San Francisco will broadcast four of San Francisco Opera's productions in March and April. If you were hoping for Les Troyens, alas:

  • Show Boat, Thursday, March 31 at 8 p.m. on KQED and Wednesday, April 6 at 8 p.m. on KQED Life
  • Norma, Thursday, April 7 at 8 p.m. on KQED and Wednesday, April 13 at 8 p.m. on KQED Life
  • Susannah, Thursday, April 14 at 8 p.m. on KQED and Wednesday, April 20 at 8 p.m. on KQED Life
  • La Cenerentola, Thursday, April 21 at 8 p.m. on KQED and Wednesday, April 21 at 8 p.m. on KQED Life

Germany Friday Photo

Das Deutsche Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA)
Munich, August, 2015

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Gockley Gala

San Francisco Opera's summer season will include a gala performance in honor of David Gockley's tenure at the company. There was a Mansouri Gala back in the day; Pamela Rosenberg didn't get one.

The Gockley Gala will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, a day on which I won't, unfortunately, be able to attend. There's a gala dinner, too. Various money details:
Tickets for the Celebrating David! concert are $50, $100, $150, $200, $250, $350 and $450 ($450 tickets include premium concert seating and pre-performance reception with David Gockley). Tickets are available at or the San Francisco Opera Box Office at 301 Van Ness Avenue or by phone at (415) 864-3330.
VIP packages, including the reception and post-performance black-tie dinner, are also available. For more information and to purchase VIP package tickets, call the Medallion Society Ticket Concierge at (415) 565-6447.
Says the press release:
The roster of acclaimed artists includes sopranos Renée Fleming, Ana María Martínez, Karita Mattila, Patricia Racette, Nadine Sierra and Heidi Stober; mezzo-sopranos Susan Graham, Daniela Mack and Dolora Zajick; tenors Michael Fabiano, Brian Jagde and Simon O’Neill; bass-baritone Eric Owens; bass René Pape; San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti, Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers and guest conductors Jiří Bělohlávek and John DeMain. The gala concert will also feature video appearances by special guest artists. Veteran artist manager Matthew Epstein is the artistic consultant for this concert.
No sign of former MD Donald Runnicles, who is conducting Tristan und Isolde and Abduction from the Seraglio at Deutsche Oper Berlin that week.

There's a paragraph in the press release of Gockley's achievements, which are many. I'm glad it mentions labor peace, dressed up in prettier words, it mentions the increase in the endowment, but I wish it were more explicit about his heroic work to rescue the company's finances.