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Guest conductors Marek Janowski, Krzysztof Urbański, and Juraj Valčuha lead the SF Symphony in May, 2019

April 19, 2019

Public Relations
San Francisco Symphony
(415) 503-5474


(High resolution images of Marek Janowski, James Ehnes, Krzysztof Urbański, Vilde Frang, Juraj Valčuha, and Alexander Barantschik are available for download from the San Francisco Symphony’s Online Photo Library.)


May 2–4 concerts feature Marek Janowski leading the SFS in Wagner’s Overture and Venusberg Music from Tannhäuser, and Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde; Mendelssohn’s Ruy Blas Overture; and Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 performed by violinist James Ehnes

Concerts on May 23–25 are conducted by Krzysztof Urbański and include Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4; Bacewicz’ Overture; and Elgar’s Violin Concerto featuring violinist Vilde Frang in her SFS debut

On May 30–June 1 Juraj Valčuha leads the SFS in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 and J.S. Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 2, featuring SFS Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik as soloist

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Guest conductors Marek Janowski, Krzysztof Urbański, and Juraj Valčuha return to conduct the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in three dynamic programs this May at Davies Symphony Hall. On May 2–4, renowned conductor Marek Janowski leads the Orchestra in a romantic program, which includes Mendelssohn’s Ruy Blas Overture, Bruch’s rousing Violin Concerto No. 1 featuring violinist James Ehnes, and two works by Wagner—Overture and Venusberg Music from Tannhäuser and Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde. Previously Artistic Director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Janowski began his post as Chief Conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic at the beginning of the 2019–20 season. Widely considered one of the great masters of the music of the German tradition, Janowski is recognized internationally for his interpretations of Wagner, Strauss, Bruckner, Brahms, Hindemith and the Second Viennese School, and has an extensive and distinguished discography in the repertoire.

May 23–25 concerts are conducted by Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Krzysztof Urbański and feature violinist Vilde Frang making her San Francisco Symphony debut with a performance of Elgar’s poetic Violin Concerto. Vilde Frang’s profound musicianship and exceptional lyricism have elevated her as a young artist of exceptional individuality. Born in Norway, Frang was engaged by Mariss Jansons at the age of twelve to debut with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012 she was unanimously awarded the Credit Suisse Young Artists Award, which led to her debut with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Festival. Frang is an exclusive Warner Classics artist and her recordings have received numerous awards, including the Edison Klassiek Award, Classic BRIT Award, “Diapason d’Or” by Diapason Magazine, Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the Echo Klassik Award, and a Gramophone Award. Also on the program is Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, Italian, described by the composer as “the happiest piece I have ever written,” and Bacewicz’ buoyant Overture. One of a handful of works completed by Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz during the dark years of the second World War, her Overture for orchestra is imbued with a sense of vigorous optimism that stands in defiance to its time.

On May 30–June 1, Juraj Valčuha—current music director of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and first guest conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin—leads the SFS in Shostakovich’s unconventional and intensely probing Symphony No. 8 and J.S. Bach’s ebullient Violin Concerto No. 2, featuring SFS Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik as soloist. Occupying the Naoum Blinder Chair, Alexander Barantschik began his tenure as San Francisco Symphony Concertmaster in September, 2001. Through an arrangement with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Barantschik has the exclusive use of the legendary 1742 Guarnerius del Gesù violin once owned by the virtuoso Ferdinand David.

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