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San Francisco Symphony


Overture to The Impresario, K.486
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Violin Concerto No. 2
[San Francisco Symphony Premiere]

Florence Price
Richard Strauss


Davies Symphony Hall

Sat, Sep 24, 2022 at 7:30PM

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Event Description

A mighty tone poem. A lush and agile violin concerto. And a comic opera overture. Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and violinist Randall Goosby open the SF Symphony season with Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, Florence Price’s Violin Concerto No. 2, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Overture to The Impresario.

digital program book

At A Glance

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote The Impresario for an entertainment organized in Vienna in early 1786 by Emperor Joseph II. Following a lavish dinner, the space was re-arranged twice—first so attendees could enjoy a short opera by Antonio Salieri at one end of the room, then for Mozart’s to be performed at the other. The buoyant Overture packs much fun and technical whiz-bang into just a few minutes.

Florence Price flourished as a composer after moving to Chicago in 1927. She wrote about 300 works, and her Symphony No. 1 became the first piece by a Black woman performed by a leading American orchestra. Her Violin Concerto No. 2 sports virtuosic writing for the soloist and makes imaginative use of the orchestra. Though performed with a piano reduction in 1955 and 1964, its full orchestral score was believed to be lost until its rediscovery in 2009.

Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra) is Richard Strauss’s loose interpretation of a philosophical treatise by Friederich Nietzsche, who in turn was inspired by Zarathustra, the ancient Persian prophet also known as Zoroaster. After ten years as a recluse in the mountains, Zarathustra watches a sunrise and decides to re-enter society. Strauss said his intention was to “convey in music an idea of the evolution of the human race from its origin.”

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