American composer and pianist Sam Post, whose work spans classical, jazz and chamber music, announces performances of his newly orchestrated work Sketches of Kazakhstan: a Chamber Symphony in a larger program called “CONNECTIONS” at the San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox series, under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, on December 8 and 9, 2017at9 pm.
SoundBox is an experimental performance space inside Davies Symphony Hall, 300 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA. Information on tickets and on the works performed during each concert is available at www.sfsoundbox.com. The doors open at 8pm for each event, with the performance beginning at 9pm. Tickets to the December 8 and 9 SoundBox performances are available at 10 a.m., Monday, November 20. General admission is $45. To become a supporter of SoundBox, patrons may purchase Producer-level tickets at $350. For more information about the benefits of becoming a Producer, please go to www.sfsoundbox.com/producer
Mr. Post was originally connected to the San Francisco Symphony by Yo-Yo Ma after Sam played one of his pieces for Mr. Ma, and then performing together with Mr. Ma and Renée Fleming at the Kennedy Center Arts Summit 2016. The original San Francisco Symphony commission, premiered in February 2017, was for a string quartet based on the themes of the late Kazakh dombra player Karshyga Akhmedyarov. His daughter, Raushan Akhmedyarova, is a violinist in the symphony and played first violin in the quartet. Each of the five movements is loosely based on one or more musical themes from one of his pieces. This mini-orchestrated (28 players) version receives its world premiere with these performances.
Watch this video of Raushan Akhmedyarova talking about her background and about this new work:
And watch this video of Sam Post playing original work, “Dizzy Days” – the title track from his newest album:
New York-based composer Gerald Cohen, known for his moving and vibrant chamber music, opera, choral and liturgical music, announces an exciting and important upcoming world premiere: Voyagers, to be performed with astronomical projections at New York’s esteemed Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History on November 28th, is a new quintet inspired by the Voyager space mission.
Voyagers, a composition for clarinet and string quartet, is a tribute to the two Voyager spacecraft on the 40th anniversary of their launch, and of the music sent to accompany them on their journey out of the solar system. The piece, a linking of music, science and visual art, was commissioned by and written for the Cassatt Quartet and clarinetist Vasko Dukovski. Accompanying astronomical visualizations will be created by Carter Emmart, director of Astrovisualization at the American Museum of Natural History.
The work will be performed at the Museum’s Hayden Planetarium Space Theater in New York City on November 28, 2017 at 7pm. Tickets range from $12-$15, and are available for purchase online.
Cohen says “When the Cassatt Quartet asked me to write a piece based on the theme of ‘voyages’ for a planned concert, I recalled that the two Voyager spacecraft—launched in the late 1970s, explorers of the outer planets, and now journeying beyond the edge of our solar system—were each launched with a ‘Golden Record’, the brainchild of Carl Sagan, containing recordings of selections of Earth’s music, along with photos and sounds of human life. This was sent as a message, to any extra-terrestrial civilization that might find the record, to convey the essence of human life on Earth.”
This 25-minute piece focuses on several of the pieces that were part of the Golden Record, and weaves them together in a composition that celebrates humanity’s quest to explore the universe, and the power of music to express the rich emotional and cultural world of human beings. The creators of the Golden Record chose a very idiosyncratic selection of pieces from around the world, and Cohen has in turn chosen several of these pieces—a Renaissance dance, an Indian Raga and a late Beethoven quartet—as the main source material for his composition about music and exploration.
Best-selling author, documentary filmmaker and producer of the Voyager Golden Record,Timothy Ferris, will be giving a brief contextual talk at the top of the program. Ferris has been called Called “the best popular science writer in the English language” by The Christian Science Monitor and “the best science writer of his generation” by The Washington Post.
Chicago Sinfonietta is pleased to announce the addition of Regynald Washington (CEO, Hojeij Branded Foods), Jacqui Robertson (Global Head of Talent, Diversity, and Inclusion, William Blair), and Craig Milkint (VP, Wealth Management Advisor, Fifth Third Bank) to their growing board as they continue their 30th anniversary season, bringing the total current board size to 27 members. Recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as having the most diverse non-profit board in the city of Chicago, the Sinfonietta continues to add influential leaders to their board of directors in support of their mission to model and promote diversity, inclusion, and both racial and cultural equity in the arts.
Maurice Smith, who is Chicago Sinfonietta’s Board Chair, as well as President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois says: “Businesses know that diversity, inclusion, and equity in management and the work force is key to becoming a high-performance organization. This is also true in the nonprofit sector. As Chair of Chicago Sinfonietta’s board, I’m delighted to welcome these three accomplished executives to our team. Their networks will help grow our organization, their support will help sustain us, and their thought leadership will help ensure that the Sinfonietta remains a leader and innovative force in our field.”
A diverse board and staff also helps ensure diversity is seen on stage. This season, the organization boasts great strides in gender equity through their guest artists and programming with a season that features more than 43% works composed by women (nationally, works composed by women account for only about 1.3% of orchestral programs.) These efforts are anchored by an initiative called Project W: Commissions by Women Composers featuring works by Clarice Assad, Reena Esmail, Jennifer Higdon, and Jessie Montgomery commissioned and premiered by the orchestra this season.
Additionally, the organization celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Project Inclusion program in 2018. This program that has served 56 diverse musicians and conductors over the course of the last decade, more than 35% of the total fellows served by all similar programs across the country since 1970 when the first fellowship program was launched. To date, 90% of the programs conducting fellows have been awarded podium placements and 16 of the musicians in the program have gone on to careers in orchestras.
Craig Milkint is Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor with Fifth Third Private Bank. For over 30 years, Craig has been in a various business development and client services roles across commercial real estate, state and local tax, non-profit advancement and financial services segments. Craig has long been associated with fundraising and leadership in the arts, education and empowerment in Chicago. He is a longtime member of the Lyric Opera Guild Board of Directors and the National Advisory Council of the School of Music at the University of Illinois. Craig holds both a Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, concentrating in historic preservation and economic development.
Jacqui Robertson is the Global Head of Talent, Diversity, and Inclusion at William Blair. A dynamic and results driven leader, brings over 25 years of experience, primarily in financial services, in directing innovative, strategic business solutions. Prior to joining William Blair in 2016, she worked with multiple organizations, including ING, Aetna Financial Services, Cigna and Grainger. Robertson serves as a CDO Board Member with i4CP and also holds board member positions with Chicago Executive’s Club Diversity Leadership Council. Robertson received her B.A. in behavioral sciences from the University of Chicago in 1984.
Jacqui says “Music – across all genres — is a powerful connector. It sustains us. It’s a soulful life force that touches each of us in a meaningful way. Throughout my life, music always brought my family together and now, my traditional definition of family has now grown to include Sinfonietta, which brings people together from all backgrounds. I defy you to walk away unmoved; untouched; unchanged!”
Regynald G. Washington is a former elected officer and Board member of the National Restaurant Association and served as chairman of the board for the administrative term of 2003-2004. Regynald is currently Chief Executive Officer of Hojeij Branded Foods. HBF is an Atlanta based restaurant company operating 73 restaurants in 13 of the top 20 airports in the United States. Regynald was Vice President of Food and Beverage for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts globally with food and beverage responsibilities for Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Paris Resort, Disneyland Hong Kong Resort and Disneyland Tokyo Resort.
On the heels of its successful season opener, Trademark,Chicago Sinfoniettaannounces performances of Regresar / Revisit: A Día de los MuertosCelebration at Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville, IL (November 4, 2017, 8pm) and at Symphony Center, Chicago (November 6, 2017, 7:30pm). This performance is the second of five Main Stage programs throughout the Sinfonietta’s 30th Anniversary Season.
Maestro Hector Guzman will serve as Guest Conductor for this event. Other guests include NewMoon Chicago, Roosevelt University Conservatory Choirs, and Cuerdas Clásicas.
Regresar / Revisit‘s program features works by Mexican composers Revueltas, Cortes and Moncayo, as well as an entrancing and chilling performance of Mozart’s Requiem, performed with a 70-voice choir — and a Sinfonietta twist (of course).
Tickets range from $20-$99 for concerts at Symphony Center and $49-$62 for concerts at North Central College with special $10 pricing available for students at both concerts. Tickets can be purchased by calling Chicago Sinfonietta at 312-284-1554 or online.
Chicago Sinfonietta, under the baton of Maestro Mei-Ann Chen, is Chicago’s professional orchestra dedicated to modeling and promoting diversity, inclusion, and both racial and cultural equity in the arts. The orchestra takes a leadership role in these areas with initiatives like Project Inclusion, a unique fellowship program serving emerging diverse musicians of color; and Project W, promoting gender equity in classical music.
The Program includes:
✻Astor Piazzolla: Libertango(arr. Eugenio Castillo)
✻Silvestre Revueltas: Redes
✻Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem
✻Edvard Grieg: Aase’s Death, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
✻Gori Cortés: Marila
✻José Pablo Moncayo: Huapango
Ticket holders are invited pre-show and during intermission to celebrate this colorful Mexican holiday with activities including holiday-inspired crafts, a traditional altar, and more. These activities are presented as part of BRIDGE – Chicago Sinfonietta’s audience engagement thematic concert programming established to break social, racial, and economic barriers within the symphonic experience.
Additionally, the West Suburban Friends of Chicago Sinfonietta will host their annual fundraiser “Día de los Muertos Celebration” before the concert on Saturday, November 4, 5:30pmat Wentz Concert Hall, Lower Level/Madden Theater. For information, please call 312.284.1559.
San Francisco’s Musica Pacifica combines world-class musicianship with a spirited and communicative performing style and brings exuberant vitality to the intimate chamber music of the Baroque. Since 1990, the ensemble has featured the talents of Judith Linsenberg, recorder and Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin. Charles Sherman, harpsichord, joined the ensemble in 1997, and Josh Lee, viola da gamba, joined in 2012.
Now after 27 years, this season marks a “changing of the guard,” as Ms. Blumenstock has announced her retirement from the ensemble. Ever ready to celebrate, Musica Pacifica is gearing up to fête Ms. Blumenstock’s illustrious career with the ensemble and to welcome the widely acclaimed Ingrid Matthews as their new violinist.
Since winning first prize in the Irwin Bodky International Competition for Early Music in 1989, Ingrid Matthews has become well established as one of today’s leading baroque violinists. She served as Music Director of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra from 1994 until 2013, earning widespread respect among musicians and audiences alike. (For more information, please visit ingridmatthews.com)
Elizabeth Blumenstock is a long-time concertmaster, soloist, and leader with the Bay Area’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and American Bach Soloists, concertmaster of the International Handel Festival Orchestra in Göttingen, Germany, and is Artistic Director of the Corona del Mar Baroque Music Festival. Her love of chamber music has involved her in several accomplished and interesting smaller ensembles including Musica Pacifica, Galax Quartet, Live Oak Baroque, Ensemble Mirable, and Voices of Music. An enthusiastic teacher, Ms. Blumenstock teaches for the Juilliard Historical Performance program, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the American Bach Soloists’ summer Festival and Academy, and the International Baroque Institute at Longy. Her discography includes some 100 CDs for such labels as harmonia mundi usa, Dorian/Sono Luminus, Koch, Naxos, Reference Recordings, and Virgin Veritas.
Watch a 2012 highlight from Elizabeth Blumenstock‘s tenure with Musica Pacifica:
• February 16, 2018: A la mode, A le monde – a potpourri of Medieval, Renaissance, traditional, and world music—performed on a panoply of bowed, blown, plucked and hit instruments. On the Barefoot series with Judith Linsenberg, Shira Kammen, Peter Maund, and Katherine Heater. Hillside Swedenborgian Church, 1422 Navellier Street, El Cerrito, California