Apr 4, 2023SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Guest conductors Philippe Jordan, Rafael Payare, and Thomas Wilkins lead the San Francisco Symphony in three weeks of concerts at Davies Symphony Hall during the month of May.
May 4–6: Thomas Wilkins & Branford Marsalis
On May 4–6, Principal Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Thomas Wilkins makes his Orchestral Series debut leading the San Francisco Symphony in a program featuring saxophonist Branford Marsalis. The concerts begin with Three Dance Episodes from On the Town, drawn from Leonard Bernstein’s classic Broadway musical. Branford Marsalis joins the Orchestra for the first SF Symphony performances of Hot-Sonate by Erwin Schulhoff, whose works have gained attention in recent years following his blacklist by the Nazi regime in the 1930s, and John Williams’ rousing Escapades from the 2002 film Catch Me If You Can. The program concludes with Duke Ellington’s Harlem, originally commissioned by conductor Arturo Toscanini as part of a larger, unrealized New York City-focused composition.
May 11–13: Hilary Hahn Plays Brahms
On May 11–13, Rafael Payare, Music Director of the San Diego Symphony and the Montreal Symphony, makes his Orchestral Series debut in concerts featuring violinist Hilary Hahn. The program includes the first SF Symphony performances of William Grant Still’s Darker America, which depicts Black Americans’ journey from sorrow to triumph. Hilary Hahn joins the Symphony to perform Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto, originally written for violinist Joseph Joachim, who was a friend of Brahms and credited with composing the concerto’s famous first-movement cadenza. The final piece of these concerts is Richard Strauss’ dramatic tone poem Ein Heldenleben, the title of which roughly translates to “A Hero’s Life,” and the hero depicted in this work is commonly thought to be Strauss himself.
May 18–20: Britten’s War Requiem
On May 18–20, Philippe Jordan, Music Director of the Vienna State Opera, returns to conduct the SF Symphony for the first time since October 2007. The program highlights Benjamin Britten’s monumental War Requiem, featuring soprano Jennifer Holloway, tenor Ian Bostridge, baritone Iain Paterson, and the SF Symphony Chorus and Ragazzi Boys Chorus. All three soloists make their Orchestral Series debuts with these performances. After Coventry Cathedral was destroyed in World War II, Britten was commissioned to write War Requiem for the consecration of the rebuilt cathedral in 1962. The piece combines texts from the Latin Requiem mass and nine poems about war written by Wilfred Owen. One of Britten’s most extraordinary works, War Requiem demonstrates the composer’s belief in the power of music to communicate and connect while confronting the difficulties of overcoming barriers.
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 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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