Aug 9, 2022
Click here to access the Online Press Kit, which includes a PDF of this press release, downloadable artist headshots, and photos from past opening week celebrations.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony kick off their 2022–23 season with two performances featuring San Francisco-based African-American Shakespeare Company (AASC). On September 23, Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the San Francisco Symphony in the Opening Night Gala concert, preceded by the All San Francisco concert on September 22. Both performances feature Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed in collaboration with the African-American Shakespeare Company. Actors from the company, along with other special guests to be announced, will perform scenes from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream interspersed between movements of Mendelssohn’s incidental music, directed by AASC Artistic Director L. Peter Callender. The San Francisco Symphony’s collaboration with the African-American Shakespeare Company continues the Orchestra’s season-opening partnerships with other leading arts organizations from the San Francisco community following the 2021 opening week collaboration with Alonzo King LINES Ballet. The performance also features two singers from the 2022 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship program—sopranos Anne-Marie MacIntosh and Elisa Sunshine. Concert tickets and dining packages for the Gala are available now via sfsymphony.org.
Co-chaired by Navid Armstrong and Jeremy Gallaher, Opening Night Gala celebrations begin with a red-carpet welcome preceding the 7pm concert, followed by a lively outdoor after-party. For an elevated experience, patrons have the option to reserve one of three Gala Dinner packages. Taking place after the concert are the classic seated Pavilion Dinner, presented in a stylish tent setting next to Davies Symphony Hall, and the buffet-style BlackBox Lounge Dinner, situated in the sleek nightclub atmosphere of the SoundBox space and featuring musical entertainment by DJL!. The elegant Wattis Room Dinner precedes the concert, with Ann Paras serving as Wattis Room Dinner Liaison. All dinners are catered by McCalls Catering. The evening’s festivities conclude with an outdoor after-party on Grove Street, featuring live music entertainment by DJ Masonic (Mason Bates). In-kind support for the after-party is generously provided by Anton SV Patisserie; Baia; BATI & RATU, Rum Company of Fiji; Broken Shed New Zealand Vodka; The Caviar Co.; Char.cuterie; Fort Point Beer Co.; La Crema; Lovesticks dba Judy’s Breadsticks; The Macallan; The Madrigal; Murphy Goode; RT Rotisserie; and Timothy Adams Chocolates. Décor for the tented pavilion, Grove Street, and Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall is provided by Blueprint Studios and features a whimsical exploration of a midsummer’s night, reflecting on music’s ability to communicate and transform, inspiring beauty and curiosity at every angle. Lighting design is provided by Got Light. Other Opening Night production partners include Global Gourmet Catering and Hensley Event Resources. Opening Night is made possible in part through the support of Sponsor Koret Foundation. Haute Living is the official Opening Night Gala Magazine Partner.
Proceeds of the Opening Night Gala support the San Francisco Symphony’s artistic, education, and community programs. This year, purchasers of a Gala Dinner package have the option of adding 10% to their Gala gift in support of the SF Symphony’s 43rd annual All San Francisco concert, on September 22. This beloved opening week concert welcomes and pays tribute to many of the impactful community groups and nonprofit organizations across the Bay Area for their invaluable work in enriching our city. For more information and reservations to the gala event, please call Patron Services at 415.503.5351 or visit sfsymphony.org/gala.
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ESA-PEKKA SALONEN LEADS ANNUAL ALL SAN FRANCISCO CONCERT ON SEPTEMBER 22, IN RECOGNITION OF LOCAL COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATIONSThe annual All San Francisco Concert is an essential part of the San Francisco Symphony’s opening week celebrations and is dedicated to and presented for the people involved with the Bay Area’s nonprofits, social services groups, and community organizations, in recognition of and gratitude for the work these groups do to serve and enrich the lives of Bay Area citizens. Invites are extended to volunteers and employees from a broad range of organizations such as Women’s Audio Mission, First Exposures, Mo’MAGIC, and the Youth Law Center, among many others. This year’s All San Francisco Concert on September 22 is co-chaired by Cynthia Inaba and Robert Melton and guided by an advisory committee made up of an inspiring and creative group of advisors and collaborators. SF Symphony Life Governor Ellen Magnin Newman, who founded the All San Francisco Concert in conjunction with the opening of Davies Symphony Hall in 1980, serves as honorary chair. The All San Francisco Concert is presented in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission. To request an invitation for a community group or nonprofit, email www.sfsymphony.org/allsf.
2022 Ellen Magnin Newman Award to be presented to Bayview Opera House at All San Francisco concert
2022 Ellen Magnin Newman Award to be presented to Bayview Opera House at All San Francisco concert
The All San Francisco Concert includes the presentation of the Ellen Magnin Newman Award to honor an outstanding community-based arts organization that strengthens the Bay Area’s cultural fabric, serves families and individuals, and creates a more just and equitable society for everyone who lives here. Recipients of the Award are celebrated at the All San Francisco Concert and receive a Symphony concert series subscription for two as well as a cash grant. This year’s recipient of the Ellen Magnin Newman Award is the Bayview Opera House.
The Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre exists to appreciate Black arts and culture through the acknowledgment of its rich legacy, to provide stewardship for its unique history, and to be accessible to artists and audiences so that they may be activated through transformative work that educates, inspires, and progresses excellence. The Opera House employs the arts to support aspirational values, hope, and passion, and to inspire the self-confidence, excellence, and self-esteem needed to be successful, especially for Bayview youth. Anchored in the Bayview Hunters Point community and acting as a homing beacon even for displaced community members who no longer live there, the Opera House provides a central location where the community comes together to enjoy culturally relevant art exhibits, performances, and community festivals, and where local artists get their first opportunities to perform. The Opera House builds social cohesion through arts-based events that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the Bayview community and appeal to multiple generations of both traditional and new residents. To learn more, visit www.bvoh.org.
About the San Francisco Symphony
The San Francisco Symphony is widely considered to be among the most artistically adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the United States, celebrated for its artistic excellence, creative performance concepts, active touring, award-winning recordings, and standard-setting education programs. In the 2020–21 season, the San Francisco Symphony welcomed conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen as its twelfth Music Director, embarking on a new vision for the present and future of the orchestral landscape. In their inaugural season together, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony introduced a groundbreaking artistic leadership model anchored by eight Collaborative Partners from a variety of cultural disciplines: Nicholas Britell, Julia Bullock, Claire Chase, Bryce Dessner, Pekka Kuusisto, Nico Muhly, Carol Reiley, and esperanza spalding. This group of visionary artists, thinkers, and doers, along with Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony, have set out to explore and develop new ideas inspired by the Partners’ unique areas of expertise, including innovative digital projects, expansive and imaginative performance concepts in a variety of concert formats, commissions of new music, and projects that foster collaboration across artistic and administrative areas.
About the African-American Shakespeare Company
The award-winning African-American Shakespeare Company (AASC) was established in 1994 by Sherri Young, with the goal of bringing diversity and inclusivity to theater for communities of color. The company presents classical works and hires Black artists and other actors of color for 90 percent of the major roles as a way to engage BIPOC communities. Shakespeare and other classic works are infused with cultural icons, characters, music, settings, as well as time and place that are familiar and iconic to communities of color. This brings a sense of familiarity and inclusiveness to these time-honored works, all while creating new artistic vision and opportunities for artists of color to become unbound and stretch beyond traditional roles.
The African-American Shakespeare Company is funded in part by Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest; San Francisco Arts Commission; City and County of San Francisco’s Dream Keeper’s Initiative; Grants for the Arts; California Arts Council; Theatre Communication Group; Black Seed Fund; Black Theatre Fund; Theatre Bay Area; Wattis Foundation; Bothin Foundation; Kimball Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; Union Bank Foundation; and the RHE Foundation. For more information, visit www.african-americanshakes.org.
About the San Francisco Symphony's artistic, education, and community programs
The San Francisco Symphony provides some of the most extensive education and community programs offered by any American orchestra. The Symphony's free music education experiences engage students in grades 1–12 throughout the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Adventures in Music (AIM), one of the longest-running education programs of its kind in the country since its launch in 1988, serves every child in grades 1–5 in San Francisco's public schools and engages more than 23,000 students annually. The Music and Mentors program supports SFUSD's band and orchestra programs in grades 6–12 with professional musicians who coach students weekly, and provides instrument supplies and concert tickets. More than 35,000 students throughout Northern California hear the Symphony each year through the Concerts for Kids program, which began in 1919. The Symphony's online educational resources include a variety of digital programs that offer lessons and activities designed to support schools and promote music education at home.
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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