Robertson leads Ravel and Gershwin

Ravel, who heard jazz in Harlem with Gershwin, was dumbfounded by the dazzling Rhapsody in Blue, which Gershwin played at a birthday party for the French composer. When Gershwin asked to study with him, Ravel said "It is better to write good Gershwin than bad Ravel." The jazz-influenced Concerto for the Left Hand was written for a pianist grievously injured during the First World War. The dark undertones of La Valse, an homage to Viennese waltz, suggest a furious farewell to gentility in post-war Europe. Elliott Carter's powerful Variations for Orchestra, another 20th-century masterwork, opens the program.

“Beyond [Marc-André Hamelin’s] electrifying technical skills, the Montreal native is probably one of the most complete musicians of his generation: a virtuoso.” LA PRESSE

On Thursday, May 23, the San Francisco Symphony performs this concert at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. For more information about this beautiful, state-of-the-art venue, please visit


David Robertson


Marc-André Hamelin


San Francisco Symphony



Rhapsody in Blue


La Valse

All sound clips are from San Francisco Symphony performances and are used with permission of the SFS Players Committee.

Concert length is approximately 2 hours.

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  1. Wed, May 22, 2013 at 8:00pm

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  3. Fri, May 24, 2013 at 6:30pm

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  4. Sat, May 25, 2013 at 8:00pm

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