The Bing’s Mixed Opening

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Stanford's new Bing Concert Hall opened on Friday night with a concert emceed by Anna Deavere Smith and featuring the San Francisco Symphony, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Frederica von Stade and various university ensembles. The best thing about the venue is the sound. The acoustics are clean yet limpid. The opening night concert successfully showcased some of the different formats that might be heard in the space from lyrical cor anglais solos in Jonathan Berger's specially commissioned work, A Place of Concert, to the St. Lawrence … [Read more...]

The Longevity of West Coast Conductors

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Once a music director has been with an orchestra for 10 years, people start gossiping about whether he or she will stay on longer or start to look for their next move. Here on the west coast, our music directors seem to stick around for particularly extended periods. Gerard Schwarz is stepping down from the Seattle Symphony at the end of this season after 26 years on the podium. Michael Tilson Thomas has been at the San Francisco Symphony since 1995. Esa-Pekka Salonen stayed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1992 to 2009 and Kent Nagano … [Read more...]

Weekend Roundup: Boys Chorus Gala, Jenny Lin’s SF Recital Debut, Academy Awards

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Donned a frock on Saturday night and hosted the San Francisco Boys' Chorus Gala at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. Didn't have anything near the wardrobe of Anne Hathaway at the Oscar's ceremony on Sunday, but I had fun anyway. I wish I had been asked to curate the performances for the evening though. All of the soloists and groups on the schedule were wonderful in their own way, but some were more appropriate to the proceedings than others. For instance, I love the Conspiracy of Beards (an all-men's chorus dedicated to performing a cappella … [Read more...]