San Francisco Symphony launches on-demand video streaming platform

San Francisco Symphony Music Director, Esa-Pekka Salonen
© Minna Hatinen/courtesy San Francisco Symphony

This week sees the launch of SFSymphony+ – the San Francisco Symphony’s new online streaming platform. In this series of digital programs, audiences can view seven performances in the new SoundBox series of programs – curated by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Symphony’s Collaborative Partners and special guests – as well as five new episodes in the CURRENTS series – featuring a range of different musical cultures.

The season will also include a free virtual concert celebrating the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Ox – on February 20, and a series of free-to-view chamber music performances by members of the Symphony.

The first program of the Symphony+ season is a SoundBox performance entitled Nostalgia. Curated by Esa-Pekka Salonen, it features works by three young composers – Conjure by Freya Whaley Cohen, Vespers for Violin by Missy Malozzi and Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte.

London-based Freya Waley-Cohen is a British-American composer whose music has been described by BBC Music Magazine as “at once intimate and visionary”. She has received commissions from institutions and ensembles such as the LA Philharmonic, the BBC Proms, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the King’s Singers, as well as the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Presteigne, Santa Fe and Cheltenham festivals. Freya is the Associate Composer of the Wigmore Hall, and associate composer of St. David’s Hall’s contemporary music series, Nightmusic. She is also a founding member and artistic director of the Listenpony concert series and record label. Conjure will be performed by the SF Symphony’s Yun Chu on violin, violist Jonathan Vinocour and cellist Jill Rachuy Brindel.

Missy Mazzoli, an American composer and pianist, has received critical acclaim for her chamber, orchestral and operatic works – and in 2018 became one of the first two women to receive a commission from the Metropolitan Opera House. Described by Time Out New York as “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart”, and by NPR’s Turning the Tables as “ the 21st century’s gatecrasher of new classical music”, she is also the composer of Breaking the Waves, hailed by Opera News as “…. among the best 21st-century American operas yet”. Missy Mazzoli’s music has been performed by artists and institutions such as the Kronos Quartet, pianist Emanuel Ax, Opera Philadelphia, Scottish Opera, LA Opera, Cincinnati Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Fringe Opera, the Detroit Symphony, the LA Philharmonic and the Minnesota Orchestra. In this SF Symphony performance Vespers is played by violinist Polina Sedukh.

New York-based vocalist, violinist, composer, and producer Caroline Shaw was the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 for Partita for 8 Voices, written for the Grammy-winning Roomful of Teeth, of which she is a member. Recent commissions include new works for Renée Fleming with Inon Barnatan, Dawn Upshaw with Sō Percussion and Gil Kalish, Seattle Symphony, Anne Sofie von Otter with Philharmonia Baroque, the LA Philharmonic, Juilliard 415 and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with John Lithgow. Caroline currently teaches at NYU, and is a Creative Associate at the Juilliard School. She has held residencies at Dumbarton Oaks, the Banff Centre, Music on Main, and the Vail Dance Festival. This performance of Entr’acte is given by violinists Sarn Oliver, Leor Maltinski, Jessica Fellows and Darlene Gray, violists Yun Jie Liu and Nancy Ellis, cellist Barbara Bogatin, and Charles Chandler on double-bass.

SoundBox – described by the SF Symphony as “Eclectic programming for adventurous listeners” – was launched in 2014 as an experimental, late-night concert series. Known for their adventurous programming, innovative design and multimedia elements SoundBox performances normally take place in a warehouse-like rehearsal space adjacent to Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, but for this season are presented as digital performances. In keeping with the spirit of the series, these programs continue to explore new possibilities of the concertgoing experience – some performances filmed and recorded in the SoundBox rehearsal space, some on the stage at Davies Symphony Hall.

The San Francisco Symphony’s Symphony+ season is available to subscribers for unlimited viewing from 10.00 am (PST) on February 4, through August 2021. Details on how to subscribe for individual performances or season-long membership can be found on SFSymphony+.

Information sourced from:
San Francisco Symphony program notes
Composers’ websites

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