Sep 29, 2022
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA—In October, Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony present two weeks of programs at Davies Symphony Hall dedicated to myth, magic, and horror in the lead-up to Halloween. The programs feature two SF Symphony Orchestral Series debuts: pianist Bertrand Chamayou joins the Orchestra for Franz Liszt’s Totentanz on October 20–22 and baritone Christopher Purves performs HK Gruber’s Frankenstein!!, October 27–29.
Continuing this celebration of the macabre, the San Francisco Symphony also presents Disney’s classic Halloween film, Hocus Pocus, with Sarah Hicks leading the Orchestra in John Debney’s score, October 25.
October 20-22: Esa-Pekka Salonen leads Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique
October 20–22, Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Orchestra in music exploring mystical and supernatural themes, beginning with Modest Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, which evokes a witches’ sabbath on St. John’s Eve. Following are two works featuring the haunting and familiar Dies irae chant: Franz Liszt’s Totentanz, a virtuosic work for piano and orchestra featuring pianist Bertrand Chamayou in his Orchestral Series debut; and Hector Berlioz’s revolutionary Symphonie fantastique, a vaguely autobiographical symphony in which Berlioz morbidly imagines poisoning himself with opium and, in a psychedelic haze, envisions himself killing his beloved and being sentenced to death.
The October 21 performance takes place at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall, presented by Cal Performances.
October 27–29: Frankenstein & Psycho
October 27–29, Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Orchestra in a program of music exploring the darker facets of human experience. Opening the program is HK Gruber’s Frankenstein!!, a playful and raucous work for orchestra and vocalist featuring baritone Christopher Purves as the “chansonnier” in his SF Symphony Orchestral Series debut. Gruber’s Frankenstein!! is based on menacing children’s rhymes by HC (Hans Carl) Artmann that shine their focus not only on Frankenstein, but other well-known figures in popular culture like Dracula, James Bond, John Wayne, Superman, and Batman. The work merges genres from jazz to Viennese cabaret and features the orchestra’s musicians performing on toy instruments alongside their traditional instruments. Salonen also conducts the suite from Bernard Herrmann’s iconic score to Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho and Béla Bartók’s Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin, a lurid tale of prostitution, fraud, theft, and murder.
October 25: Hocus Pocus—Live in Concert
On October 25, as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Film Series, conductor Sarah Hicks leads the Orchestra in Disney’s classic Halloween film, Hocus Pocus, featuring a score by John Debney. Released in July 1993 and directed by Kenny Ortega, the film follows the Sanderson sisters—three witches who are accidentally brought back to life in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night—as they attempt to steal the life-essence from the town’s children so they can have eternal life. The film stars Bette Midler (Winifred), Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah), Kathy Najimy (Mary), Omri Katz (Max), Thora Birch (Dani), and Vinessa Shaw (Allison).
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.
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 is strongly recommended but not required for entry into Davies Symphony Hall beginning with the start of the Orchestra’s 2022–23 season. The San Francisco Symphony requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 for everyone entering Davies Symphony Hall ages 12 and up who’s eligible—including patrons, performers, volunteers, and staff. “Full vaccination” is defined as two weeks after completion of the two-dose regimen of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or other WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, proof of booster shots is not required. Patrons under age 12 must show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (PCR test taken within 2 days of event entry or antigen [rapid] test taken within 1 day of event entry). 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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Hocus Pocus—Film with Live Orchestra