Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Whoa: San Francisco Symphony, 2021-22

Esa-Pekka Salonen
Music Director of SFS
Photo by Minna Hatinen, courtesy of San Francisco Symphony
The SFS home page currently has a beautiful rotating series of photos of Salonen conducting. 
This is one of them, made available to the press as part of the press kit.

I will post more later today, but after a quick look at the press release for the upcoming SFS season, I have nothing to complain about. With the riches on offer,  I can live without a visit from Susanna Mälkki, a favorite of mine, this year. Maybe I'll catch her in LA. There are a ton of premieres of various kinds, a great lineup of visiting artists, and a lot of music by folks whose music we haven't heard here before. (You might remember me complaining about this, especially during the season when there were more works by MTT programmed than works in total composed by women.) (I would be happy to see more works by our new music director programmed than there are this season.)

For now, I will just copy this from the top of the press release. I'll take a more careful look and examine the schedule later, but let's just say that I am excited.

Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and San Francisco Symphony Collaborative Partners perform and curate programs throughout the season

  • Esa-Pekka Salonen and Collaborative Partner Esperanza Spalding join with Alonzo King LINES Ballet for Opening Week celebrations including Opening Night Gala and All San Francisco Concert 

  • Esa-Pekka Salonen leads live and digital projects exploring the music of Igor Stravinsky, including semi-staged performances of Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms directed by Peter Sellars; Orchestral Series performances of The Rite of Spring and Violin Concerto, performed by Leila Josefowicz; and digital-only release of a new staged production of The Soldier’s Tale directed by Netia Jones
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen leads two weeks of Orchestral Series performances exploring the Greek myth of Prometheus, including Ludwig van Beethoven’s The Creatures of Prometheus, with animations by Hillary Leben; Franz Liszt’s Prometheus; and Alexander Scriabin’s Prometheus, The Poem of Fire performed by pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the United States premiere of Collaborative Partner Bryce Dessner’s Violin Concerto, performed by Collaborative Partner Pekka Kuusisto 
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts Collaborative Partner Claire Chase in San Francisco Symphony premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Aile du songe
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the United States premiere of Hannah Kendall’s Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Pierre-Laurent Aimard in Béla Bartók’s Piano Concertos 1 and 3, captured for future audio release
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen leads Orchestral Series performances of works by John Adams, Ludwig van Beethoven, Unsuk Chin, Claude Debussy, Anders Hillborg, Hannah Kendall, Fang Man, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Olivier Messiaen, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Franz Schubert, Jean Sibelius, Steven Stucky, and Elizabeth Ogonek, among others

  • Collaborative Partner Julia Bullock performs a new version of History’s Persistent Voice, a program she created inspired by artwork and words penned by Black American artists and featuring the world premiere of two new San Francisco Symphony commissions

  • Collaborative Partner Pekka Kuusisto curates and performs in live SoundBox performances co-curated with composer and developer Jesper Nordin
  • Collaborative Partners Claire Chase and Nico Muhly each curate and perform in digital-only SoundBox programs released on SFSymphony+ in Summer 2021

  • SFSymphony+ release of György Ligeti’s Lux AeternaRamifications, and Clocks and Clouds; conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and featuring visual artwork by media artist and director Refik Anadol 
  • SFSymphony+ release of new staged production of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and directed by Netia Jones
  • Video capture for future broadcast and release of Opening Night Gala conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, featuring Collaborative Partner Esperanza Spalding and Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Music Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas
  • Four weeks of programming conducted by Music Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas, including Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 1, William Grant Still’s Patterns, and Michael Tilson Thomas’s Notturno
  • World premiere of Concerto for Trombone, written and performed by San Francisco Symphony Principal Trombone Timothy Higgins
  • Featured soloists include Gautier Capuçon, Demarre McGill, and Yuja Wang 

San Francisco Symphony Conducting Debuts and Returning Conductors 
  • San Francisco Symphony Orchestral Series debuts by nine visiting conductors: Gustavo Gimeno, Giancarlo Guerrero, Klaus Mäkelä, Michael Morgan, Perry So, Ruth Reinhardt, Daniel Stewart, Nathalie Stutzmann, and Xian Zhang
  • Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt, San Francisco Symphony Chorus Director Ragnar Bohlin, Karina Canellakis, Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph Eschenbach, Ton Koopman, and Simone Young return to conduct the San Francisco Symphony

Guest Artists Perform with the San Francisco Symphony
  • Alonzo King LINES Ballet, J’Nai Bridges, Claire Chase, Aaron Diehl, Pekka Kuusisto, Demarre McGill, Víkingur Ólafsson, Esperanza Spalding, Wu Wei, and Melody Wilson, among others, make San Francisco Symphony Orchestral Series debuts
  • Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Yefim Bronfman, Gautier Capuçon, Leila Josefowicz, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Daniil Trifonov, Yuja Wang, and Alisa Weilerstein, among others, return to perform with the San Francisco Symphony 

Recitals: Great Performers Series and Spotlight Series
  • Soloists and ensembles presented by the Great Performers Series include Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Joshua Bell, Ray Chen, Hélène Grimaud, Sheku Kanneh-Mason with Isata Kanneh-Mason, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Itzhak Perlman, and Yuja Wang 
  • Collaborative Partner and classical singer Julia Bullock performs History’s Persistent Voice with members of the San Francisco Symphony
  • Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke performs How Do I Find You with pianist Kirill Kuzman, a program of 17 world premieres written for Cooke during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • New Spotlight Series features San Francisco Symphony recital debuts by pianist Drew Petersen, violinist Randall Goosby with pianist Zhu Wang, violinist Noa Wildschut with pianist Elisabeth Brauss, and cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing with pianist Minhye Choi

  • Eighth season of experimental SoundBox series features four live programs, curated by drummer and producer Quentin Baxter, composer and conductor Jamie Man, Collaborative Partner and violinist Pekka Kuusisto with composer and developer Jesper Nordin, and composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey

Premieres and Commissions
  • World premiere of San Francisco co-commission Song of the Flaming Phoenix (火凤凰的笙音), a new concerto for sheng written by Fang Man, performed by Wu Wei, and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • World premiere of John Corigliano’s Saxophone Concerto, a San Francisco Symphony commission performed by Timothy McAllister and conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero
  • World premiere of San Francisco Symphony commission Concerto for Trombone, written and performed by San Francisco Symphony Principal Trombone Timothy Higgins and conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas
  • World premieres of new San Francisco Symphony commissions by Camille Norment and Cécile McLorin Salvant, alongside works by Tania León, Allison Loggins-Hull, Jessie Montgomery, Carolyn Yarnell, and Pamela Z performed by Julia Bullock in History’s Persistent Voice
  • World Premieres of 17 new works for voice and piano performed by Sasha Cooke and Kirill Kuzmin in How Do I Find You
  • United States premiere of San Francisco Symphony co-commission Bryce Dessner’s Violin Concerto, performed by Pekka Kuusisto and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen 
  • West Coast premieres of Unsuk Chin’s Subito con Forza, conducted by Gustavo Gimeno, and San Francisco Symphony co-commission Piano Concerto by Mason Bates, performed by Daniil Trifonov and conducted by Ruth Reinhardt
  • San Francisco Symphony Orchestral Series premieres of works by John Adams, Lili Boulanger, Unsuk Chin, Anna Clyne, Antonio Estévez, Adolphus Hailstork, Anders Hillborg, Hannah Kendall, Texu Kim, Zhou Long, Jimmy López, Fanny Mendelssohn, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Elizabeth Ogonek, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Astor Piazzolla, Florence Price, Kaija Saariaho, Carlos Simon, William Grant Still, Steven Stucky, Lotta Wennäkoski, and Takashi Yoshimatsu, among others


Dr.B said...

Peter Sellars Symphony of Psalms. I could come over for that.

Dr.B said...

I would probably go over for Symphony of Psalms. I studied it in school but have never heard it.

JSC said...

I am thrilled about this season and there's so much I'm looking forward to. My subscription is usually for 6 concerts (plus their 2 freebies) but this year there are 10 musts along with a few others "to-buy-later".

Lisa Hirsch said...

Apologies, Dr. B; I did not get an email notice about your comments!

I am probably getting something close to one-of-everything.