Oct 17, 2023SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The San Francisco Symphony’s groundbreaking SoundBox series returns for its tenth season in 2023–24 with four live programs with curators including violinist, singer, and composer Mazz Swift; SF Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen; and SF Symphony Collaborative Partner and roboticist Carol Reiley. This season, SoundBox moves to a new time, with concerts beginning half an hour earlier at 8:30pm (Doors for general admissions ticketholders at 8:00pm).
2023-24 Season Programs
SoundBox kicks off the 2023–24 season on December 8–9, with a program curated by violinist, singer, and freestyle composition artist Mazz Swift. In “Eye, Sea, You Are Hear,” Swift and members of the SF Symphony will bring audiences on a musical journey through land, sea, air, and ourselves. Critically acclaimed as one of America’s most talented and versatile performers today, Swift has engaged audiences all over the world with a signature weaving of song, melody, and improvisation that they call MazzMuse. As a singer, composer and Juilliard-trained violinist who plays electronic and acoustic instruments, Swift has performed and recorded with a diverse accumulation of artists including The Silkroad Ensemble, William Parker, Butch Morris, Jason Lindner, James “Blood” Ulmer, Vernon Reid, Valerie June, Whitney Houston, DJ Logic, Kanye West, and D’Angelo.
On February 23–24, SoundBox continues with a program and curator to be announced.
San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen curates the March 8–9 SoundBox program. This marks Salonen’s first in-person SoundBox as a curator, though he previously curated two digital-only SoundBox concerts—“Nostalgia,” which was released on February 4, 2021, and “Patterns,” released April 15, 2021.
On April 5–6, SF Symphony Collaborative Partner and roboticist Carol Reiley is curating a first of its kind, human-machine interactive SoundBox program showcasing various uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI). “Press Play: Carol Reiley and the Robots” will be a fun, human-centered experience with audience participation. Audience input matters and begins when purchasing a ticket with a poll that helps decide how the concert begins. Through this thought-provoking, forward-looking, and inspiring program, attendees may hear a familiar favorite in a new light and will see the highlights, feel the anxiety, and dream of what technology can do.
What to Expect in SoundBox
SoundBox accommodates approximately 400 people, some seated and some standing, offering an alternative to that of the traditional concert hall experience. The space is designed for general admission seating in a lounge-like space, with banquettes, ottomans, barstools, café tables, and high-top cocktail tables. SoundBox has a full bar serving specialty cocktails and gourmet bar bites for enjoyment during the performances. The doors open at 8pm for general admissions ticketholders, with the performance beginning at 8:30pm.
This experimental live music series is a laboratory for exploration of new musical ideas and immersive audience experiences, continuously pushing the envelope with adventurous programming and innovative design. Taking place in a backstage rehearsal space at Davies Symphony Hall, each performance is unique—encompassing shifting stage settings, art installations, projection screens, and unexpected elements, featuring original lighting design by Luke Kritzeck and video design by Adam Larsen. “SoundBox offers an alternative to the traditional concert hall experience. A Vegas-style nightclub with high-tech light and sound, video screens, and several stages has become San Francisco's hottest venue for classical music” (Associated Press). Wildly successful since its debut in 2014, SoundBox has been widely recognized for its creative approach to the orchestral medium and its ability to galvanize a diverse demographic.
One of the signature elements of SoundBox has been the acoustic transformation of a 7,600 square foot warehouse-like rehearsal space adjacent to Davies Symphony Hall into an imaginative performance venue through use of the Meyer Sound Constellation system. With Constellation, composers and conductors select from different acoustic environments for each musical piece—and can custom program a completely new environment if desired. The use of this acoustic sound system provides ultimate versatility and accommodates a variety of musical styles and ensembles within one performance.
Lead support for SoundBox is provided by The Barbro and Bernard Osher SoundBox Fund. Major support for the 2023–24 SoundBox season is provided by Trine Sorensen & Michael Jacobson.
Click here to access the SoundBox Press Kit, which includes downloadable artist headshots and images from past live and digital SoundBox programs.
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