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Conductors
& Performers

Daniel Stewart

Conductor

Michelle Bradley

Soprano

Jennifer Johnson Cano

Mezzo-soprano

Mario Chang

Tenor

Rod Gilfry

Baritone

San Francisco Symphony Chorus

San Francisco Symphony

program

Sound and Fury [San Francisco Symphony Premiere, West Coast premier]
Anna Clyne
Symphony No. 9
Ludwig van Beethoven

performances

Davies Symphony Hall

Wed, Nov 24, 2021 at 7:30PM

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Davies Symphony Hall

Fri, Nov 26, 2021 at 7:30PM

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Davies Symphony Hall

Sat, Nov 27, 2021 at 7:30PM

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If you would like assistance purchasing tickets for patrons with disabilities, please call the box office at 415-864-6000.

JENNIFER JOHNSON CANO’S APPEARANCE IS SUPPORTED BY THE MRS. GEORGE JOHN OTTO MEMORIAL VOCALIST FUND

Event Description

Ferocious, haunting, serene, searching, Anna Clyne’s Sound and Fury, heard here in its West Coast premiere, takes inspiration from the emotionally fraught verses of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Ludwig van Beethoven was also a master of communicating the myriad emotions of the human condition, and his cathartic Ninth Symphony is no exception. Conductor Daniel Stewart leads this program with vocal soloists Michelle Bradley, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Mario Chang, and Rod Gilfry, with the SF Symphony Chorus.

Pre-Concert Talk: Join us for an informative “Inside Music” talk from the stage with Elizabeth Seitz. Free to all ticketholders, these talks begin one hour before the November 24, 26-27 performances. Doors open 15 minutes before.

At A Glance

Composer Anna Clyne points to two very different works of art as the impetus behind Sound and Fury: Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 60, Il distratto, which was paired with Sound and Fury at its 2019 premiere, and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. (The concluding lines of the lead character’s last soliloquy inspired the title.) The Macbeth connection was sparked after Clyne encountered a masterclass recording with the actor Sir Ian McKellen that examined the soliloquy’s imagery and language. Clyne notes, “My intention with Sound and Fury is to take the listener on a journey that is both invigorating—with ferocious string gestures that are flung around the orchestra with skittish outbursts—and serene and reflective—with haunting melodies that emerge and recede.”

The Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven claims a special place in the history of the symphony and in Beethoven’s growth as artist, Mensch, and public figure. The symphony packs an undeniable punch, in no small part thanks to its “problematic” features—the momentum acquired through its remarkable length, the revitalizing of its essential sound with the entrance of the chorus in the finale, even the drama associated with solo singers sitting silent for nearly an hour and then leaping in to wrestle challenging vocal lines. The Ninth is Beethoven’s last symphony, a beacon of the avant-garde in a musical journey from darkness into light. It takes on a magnified aura of monumentality—of finality, on one hand, but also as an utterly uncharted challenge to future generations. In short: This music is about the hopes and dreams of humankind. 

After notes by Anna Clyne, James M. Keller, and Michael Steinberg

For more information, including full program notes, visit the San Francisco Symphony’s digital program book platform at sfsymphony.encoreplus.app or text “SFS Concert” to 55741.