At a glance ….

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony – © Bill Swerbenski

MTT & San Francisco Symphony play Mahler
This week, Michael Tilson Thomas and the Symphony present an all-Mahler program, featuring the lovely Adagio from his unfinished and final Symphony No 10, and his Symphony No 1 – the composer’s love of nature evident throughout the work.  MTT is known to adore the music of this composer – little wonder then that he and the Symphony have won seven Grammy Awards for their recordings of Mahler’s symphonies.

Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in works by Mahler at Davies Symphony Hall from March 30 to April 2. For tickets, and further information, visit the San Francisco Symphony website.

Poster for ‘Indian Connections’ series at SFJAZZ – Courtesy SFJAZZ

Indian Connections at SFJAZZ
The theme at SFJAZZ this week is Indian Connections – a series of performances by three different sets of artists.  On March 30, percussionist Karsh Kale – described by Billboard as “A visionary composer and producer” – presents Classical Science Fiction, the name of his 1999 debut EP.  Kale is joined by sarodist Alam Khan, Max ZT on the hammered dulcimer, and Carnatic vocalist Aditya Prakash.

Red Baraat Festival of Colors takes the stage on March 31. Led by Sunny Jain on the dhol – the double-headed barrel drum so widely used in Indian music – this octet from Brooklyn serves up what SFJAZZ refers to as “a raucously fun mix of Indian bhangra rhythms, go-go music, jazz, hip-hop and Crescent City brass funk”.

On Saturday, April 1, under the banner Miles From India, a full ensemble of Indian musicians re-imagines the music of Miles Davis as featured on his 1972 album On the Corner. This project, nominated for a 2008 GRAMMY, was inspired by the Indian instrumentation on the Davis album, and has been described by Billboard as “Arguably the most ambitious and certainly the most hybrid of Miles Davis tribute projects … a scintillating cross-pollination of music rooted in extended improvisations and buoyed by the sonic spice of Indian instruments”.

The Indian Connections performances take place in the Miner Auditorium at SFJAZZ from March 30 to April 1. For tickets and more information, visit the SFJAZZ website.

Members of the ODC/Dance company – © R J Muna

ODC/Dance Downtown
Contemporary dance company ODC/Dance presents the second program of its 46th annual home season – ODC/Dance Downtown – featuring two works by Founder & Artistic Director, Brenda Way. The first of these is a world premiere entitled What we carry What we keep, which deals with what Way describes as “this human obsession with stuff”, and is set to music by Joan Jeanrenaud. It’s followed by Way’s 2016 creation Walk Back the Cat – described as “a metaphorical unraveling of the creative process”, with music by Paul Dresher. Two of the performances – those on March 31 and April 2 – feature a pre-show balcony talk.

ODC/Dance is at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for four performances, from March 30 to April 2. Tickets are Available at 415-978-ARTS (2787) or online at, where more information can be found.

Michael Morgan with the Oakland Symphony – Courtesy Oakland Symphony

Oakland Symphony plays Bruckner, Dvořák and Gabriela Frank
On Friday evening, Michael Morgan leads the Oakland Symphony in a performance which opens with Bruckner’s Te Deum, featuring soprano Hope Briggs, mezzo-soprano Betany Coffland, tenor Amitai Pati and bass Anthony Reed. It’s followed by Dvořák’s Symphony No 9, From the New World – “a piece of which I never tire” says Music Director Michael Morgan – and the program closes with a work entitled Concertino Cusqueño by Bay Area composer Gabriela Frank, “whose music,” says Morgan, “is way overdue on our programs”.

Michael Morgan conducts the Oakland Symphony in works by Bruckner, Dvořák and Gabriela Frank at the Paramount Theatre, Oakland, on Friday, March 31. The concert will be preceded by lobby entertainment and a talk by John Kendall Bailey at 7 pm, free to holders of tickets which can be purchased at

Baritone Sol Jin – Courtesy San Francisco Opera

Schwabacher Debut Recitals
The second performance in this current series of four Schwabacher Debut Recitals takes place on Sunday. Presented by San Francisco Opera Center and the Merola Opera Program, these recitals highlight the talents of the next generation of operatic stars.  This particular performance features baritone Sol Jin – a winner of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and recently named by Opera News as one of their ‘25 rising stars’ – and pianist Kirill Kuzmin, a 2014/2015 Merola Opera Program apprentice coach who is currently a pianist and vocal coach in the Houston Grand Opera Studio.

Pianist Kirill Kuzmin – Courtesy San Francisco Opera

The program includes operatic works by Beethoven, Brahms, Poulenc, Ravel and Paolo Tosti, and takes place in the Taube Atrium Theater in San Francisco. For more information, visit the San Francisco Opera website.

Soprano Deborah Voigt – © Heidi Gutman

Fabio Luisi & the Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Davies Symphony Hall welcomes guest conductor Fabio Luisi and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra for two performances, the first of which stars American soprano Deborah Voigt, of whom the Wall Street Journal writes:  “Not only has her majestic voice made her fans love her, but so has the soprano’s profound feeling for texts and subtleties of musical style …..”.  Ms Voigt performs Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, and the concert also features Carl Nielsen’s Helios Overture, followed by Beethoven’s Symphony No 3, Eroica.

Arabella Steinbacher – Courtesy San Francisco Symphony

The guest soloist in the second performance is German violinist Arabella Steinbacher, among whose assets, says The New York Times “are a finely polished technique and a beautifully varied palette of timbres”.   Ms Steinbacher plays Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major in a program which also features Richard Strauss’ tone poem Don Juan, and Nielsen’s Symphony No 6, Sinfonia semplice.

Fabio Luisi leads the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, with guest artists Deborah Voigt on April 2, and Arabelle Steinbacher on April 3. For more information and for tickets, visit the San Francisco Symphony website.

Violinist Wei Luo – © Xie Guichen

San Francisco Performances presents Wei Luo
Chinese pianist Wei Luo is in recital at the Herbst Theater on Sunday, playing works by Shostakovich, Beethoven, Albéniz and Prokofiev. Wei Luo was just 6 when she made her recital debut in Hong Kong, and in 2010 won first prize in the 11th Chopin International Competition for Young Pianists in Poland and the 2nd Rachmaninov International Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Frankfurt. In the same year, she made her orchestra debut with the Shanghai Philharmonic, in a performance of Prokofiev’s Symphony No 3, with conductor Muhai Tang.

Wei Luo appears for San Francisco Performances at the Herbst Theater on Sunday, April 2. For tickets and more information visit


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