Jan 10, 2023
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—On Friday, February 24, San Francisco Symphony Collaborative Partner Claire Chase performs Marcos Balter’s Pan, an evening-length piece for flute, live electronics, and an ensemble of community performers. The 70-minute piece tells the story of the mythological goat-god Pan, one of only two Greek deities said to have been put to death, in a series of staged episodes exploring the contradictions and betrayals in Pan’s relationships. For this performance—which features a version of the piece specifically for her collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony—Chase and the Orchestra partner with Amateur Music Network, Openhouse, and other art, education, and community organizations who will perform the piece alongside Chase.
“Pan was a mythical powerhouse and a trickster and yes, a very charming and talented piper,” said Chase in an interview with the San Francisco Symphony. “But he violently misused his power, mistreated his flock, and mercilessly abused and erased women. As the myth goes, Pan crafted his pan-flute out of the body of the water nymph Syrinx—essentially, he destroyed his beloved and then stole her voice. We don’t need to look far to find historical and contemporary enactments of this type of behavior. So, while it may be a Greek myth, it is also very much a story about today.”
Chase commissioned Pan as a part of Density 2036, a 24-year project that she created in 2013 to commission a new body of repertory for solo flute each year until the 100th anniversary of Edgard Varèse’s groundbreaking 1936 flute solo, Density 21.5.
The program opens with Balter’s Alone, a musical drama based on a poem of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. The 10-minute duet for flute and wine glasses was also written for Chase.
The February 24 performance takes place in the San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox space at Davies Symphony Hall and will be general admission. Tickets are $40 and available for purchase at sfsymphony.org/pan.
Following the February 24 performance, Chase joins Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony on its 2023 European Tour (March 9–17), performing Pan with members of the San Francisco Symphony and the Paris community on March 12 in the Cité de la Musique concert hall at the Philharmonie de Paris.
CALENDAR EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:
Tickets for concerts at Davies Symphony can be purchased via sfsymphony.org or by calling the San Francisco Symphony Box Office at 415-864-6000. Tickets for Claire Chase: Pan are $40 and available now.
Davies Symphony Hall is located at 201 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.
Health & Safety Information
Davies Symphony Hall is currently operating at full audience capacity. Based on the advice of the San Francisco Symphony’s Health and Safety Task Force, a face covering and vaccination against COVID-19 are strongly recommended but no longer required for entry into Davies Symphony Hall. These policies are subject to change. Visit sfsymphony.org/safety for the San Francisco Symphony’s complete up-to-date health and safety protocols.
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A still from Claire Chase's digital program, SoundBox: Metamorphoses