Old First Concerts

Look below to find a list of our upcoming concerts. You can also learn more about the artists by clicking on their names and following the links to their bios and websites.

To respect our artists and patrons, we do not permit infants or toddlers to attend our performances.

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 1, 2014 AT 8:00PM

Don Pearson
Beloved Organ Music by J. S. Bach
 
Don Pearson, organ
 
J. S. Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565; Six Schubler Chorale Preludes, BWV 645–650; Concerto in A minor, BWV 593; Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 282; Notebook for Anna; Fugue in E-flat, ‘St. Anne’, BWV 552; Fugue in G minor, BWV 578; Fugue in G major, BWV 577; and Fantasy and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542

A meeting of an exciting organ, a great Bach player, and the music of the greatest composer to have lived, this performance is an exciting opportunity to hear some of the most beloved works written by Bach in one concert. Don Pearson has played Bach across the country, began the annual Bach Birthday Organ Concert at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Denver, and was Founder and from 2000–2003 Music Director of the Denver Bach Society. Taking 9 thick volumes to print, the organ music of Bach is some of the most dramatic, passionate, and exciting music ever written. Old First Church’s organ is a 1995 Visscher Associates, Op. 6, which includes the 1920 George Hutching Organ, Op. 1979. It has the colors and powers demanded by the Bach works and can take the listener back to the time and type of organ Bach originally used to write these works. Perfectly located at the front of a room with the perfect acoustics for music, it is a perfect example of why the organ is called the “King of Instruments”. This concert will be a sampling of some of Bach’s most beloved works for organ, appealing to an audience of every age and range of experience; you’ll be humming the themes long after the concert is finished.

 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, AUGUST 3, 2014 AT 4:00PM

Daniel Glover
Musical Journeys of Time and Place
 
Daniel Glover, piano
 
Franz Schubert Wanderer Fantasy
Schubert–Liszt The Wanderer
Frederic Rzewski North American Ballads
Modest Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition

Pianist Daniel Glover will take us on musical journeys of time and place. He will perform Liszt’s arrangement of Schubert's virtuoso Fantasy in C major, Op. 15 ("Wander Fantasy"), as well as Liszt's transcription of the song it was derived from. Schubert's heart wrenching song describes a man who wanders around in search of his homeland. Rzewski's North American Ballads (1978–9) will follow. They are based on American folk songs and will offer a very contemporary approach, unlike any other you may have heard before. Mr. Glover describes these pieces as: "multiple radios playing the same piece, but in different keys and tempos at the same time." Rzewski's friendship with the American folk singer Pete Seeger was the catalyst for composing these pieces. Seeger suggested he write short works in a style similar to Bach's Choral Preludes for organ, which would incorporate tunes his audience was familiar with, but give them a fresh contemporary look. More than anything, these works, composed in the late 1970s, take us directly back to that period of musical experimentation that was so prevalent and representative of the time. The turmoil of the Vietnam War era, and the fierce opposition to the war that many people felt is expressed in Rzewski's Down by the riverside. Finally, Mussorgsky's most famous and beloved composition, Pictures at an Exhibition, will take us on a pictorial journey of France, Poland, Italy and old Russia. Mussorgsky composed his masterwork in 1874 as a memorial to his friend, the Russian architect and painter Viktor Hartmann, who had died in 1873 at age 39. Hartmann's paintings were representative of his travels as a student, and thus extend far beyond Russia's borders. Yet, Mussorgsky provided a penetrating look into the soul of Russia herself, which far surpassed the original art works which inspired him in both originality and emotional depth.

 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 2014 AT 8:00PM

Zachary Gordin with Bryan Nies
L'heure exquise: Songs of Reynaldo Hahn
 
Zachary Gordin, baritone; Bryan Nies, piano
 
Reynaldo Hahn Chansons Grises, and other songs
Ralph Vaughan Williams The House of Life

Known primarily for their work on opera and concert stages on the West Coast and abroad, acclaimed baritone Zachary Gordin and pianist/conductor Bryan Nies join forces to present an intimate recital of vocal music highlighting the works of Venezuelan/French composer Reynaldo Hahn. Featured in this rare recital program are Hahn’s Chansons Grises, along with other favorites, including À Chloris, Dans la nuit, Trois jours de vendage, Néère, and many more. Also on this recital is Ralph Vaughan Williams’ song cycle The House of Life. These dynamic artists bring a full range of vocal and musical expression to their performance—from powerful walls of sound, to translucent and heartbreaking melodies—in music from the height of Romantic French and English song.

 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, AUGUST 17, 2014 AT 4:00PM

Nathan Chan & Audrey Vardanega
 
Nathan Chan, 'cello; Audrey Vardanega, piano
 
Brahms ‘Cello Sonata in F major, Op. 99
Beethoven Magic Flute Variations for ‘Cello and Piano WoO 46

Originally from the Bay Area, Nathan Chan and Audrey Vardanega are both students at Columbia University in New York. Back for summer vacation, they have put together a program of ‘cello and piano works ranging from Brahms to Beethoven. The concert will include both solo performances and chamber performances. Vardanega’s playing has been praised for her “assurance and mastery” (San Francisco Classical Voice), her “dexterous keyboard techniques” and “[ways] with the music’s harmonic depths” (Joshua Kosman). Nathan Chan young career already includes highlights including solo performances with the San Francisco Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic and a profile in Channel 4’s three-part series The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies.

 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 2014 AT 8:00PM

Solenn Seguillon
with Anne Rainwater
 
Solenn Seguillon, violin; Anne Rainwater, piano
 
Arvo Pärt Fratres for violin and piano
Eugène Ysaÿe Violin Sonata No. 2 in A minor, Op. 27
Ludwig van Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47, ‘Kreutzer’

Parisian violinist Solenn Séguillon performs nationally and internationally as a soloist and chamber music musician. She has appeared as soloist with several symphony orchestras including the American Philharmonic, the Knox-Galesburg Symphony, the Southeast Iowa Symphony and the Bear Valley Music Festival Orchestra. Peter Jaret of Classical Sonoma wrote of Solenn’s performance of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, “Séguillon held the audience rapt as she unfurled the lush, rising lines of the lark's theme with exquisite grace and power.” A member of Old First Concerts’ artists-in-residence Aleron Trio, she was awarded the 2014 Berkeley Piano Club Emerging Artist Award and has been invited to attend the Chamber Music Residency at the Banff Centre this summer as well as the Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme at Aldeburgh Music in England, where she will work with the renowned Pavel Haas Quartet and Klára Würtz. For this performance of works by Arvo Pärt, Eugène Ysaÿe, and Ludwig van Beethoven, she is joined by the multi-talented artist Anne Rainwater, known for her compelling interpretations of music from Bach to Zorn.

 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, AUGUST 24, 2014 AT 4:00PM

Dolci
 
Ted Rust, oboe; Viva Knight, piano
 
Francis Poulenc Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1962)
Nino Rota Preludes for Solo Piano (1964)
Paul Hindemith Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1938)
Alec Wilder Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1961)
Bruce Babcock Metaphors
Peter Hope Sonata for Oboe and Piano (2009)

Symphony goers have to wait for the big oboe or piano solos; there is no waiting at a Dolci concert: those moments happen all the time. This concert will include two oboe-piano classics, Francis Poulenc’s elegy to his friend Prokofiev, and the exultant sonata Paul Hindemith wrote after emigrating from Nazi Germany. Dolci will also present in this concert two rarely heard oboe sonatas in jazz style by the popular songwriters Alec Wilder and Peter Hope. Between duo sonatas, Viva will perform solo piano works by the film composers Nino Rota (La Dolce Vita, The Godfather) and Bruce Babcock (King Kong, Die Hard, Spider-Man 3).

 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, AUGUST 31, 2014 AT 4:00PM

Mike Greensill Trio
I'm Hip
 
Mike Greensill, piano; Special Guest Wesla Whitfield, surprise mystery guest vocalist
 
A program delving into the mysteries of the jazz underworld, featuring the songs of Dave Frishberg, Bob Dorough, Blossom Dearie, Fran Landesman and other denizens of the land of the hip and cool. Plus, of course, some Mike Greensill original compositions. “Among San Francisco's many musical blessings, count the sensitivity, wit and inventive bounty of jazz pianist Mike Greensill.” Steven Winn –San Francisco Chronicle
 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2014 AT 8:00PM

Wild Rumpus
 
World Premieres of works by Nina C. Young, Ruby Fulton, Per Bloland, and Ioannis Angelakis

Wild Rumpus is dedicated to the development of new music through collaboration with young/emerging composers. The ensemble comprises composers and performing artists committed to excellent, open-minded and creative interpretations of the music of now. Since 2011, the ensemble has commissioned and premiered twenty-five new works through the Wild Rumpus Commissioning Project, an annual call for scores that draws hundreds of submissions from around the world. The composers featured on this program were selected from a cycle that drew over 400 submissions from around the world.

 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2014 AT 4:00PM

Vinaccesi Ensemble
Songs & Psalmody: Salamone Rossi Hebreo & Benedetto Marcello
 
Nanette McGuinness, soprano; Kindra Scharich, mezzo-soprano; Jonathan Smucker, tenor; Kirk Eichelberger, bass; Hallie Pridham, Baroque 'cello; Susie Fong, harpsichord; Adam Cockerham, theorbo
 
The Vinaccesi Ensemble returns to northern Italy in a program of delightful and rarely heard Italian-language madrigals and canzonettas by the most famous Baroque Jewish composer, Salamone Rossi of Mantua, and psalm settings from Venetian Benedetto Marcello’s monumental Estro poetico-armonico. The Ensemble was founded in 2008 by Nanette McGuinness, Kindra Scharich, and Bruce Wetmore, and first performed as part of the 2008 Berkeley Fringe Festival. The Ensemble focuses on music of the Baroque, especially—but not exclusively—that of Italy and the Veneto, and of course, Italian composer Benedetto Vinaccesi (1666-1719). The Ensemble recorded their first CD of solo cantatas by their namesake, Benedetto Vinaccesi, which was released in spring 2013 on Centaur Records (CRC 3270) and was made possible through the Musical Grant Program, which is administered by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music and supported by the Heller Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.
 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 AT 8:00PM

Jeffrey LaDeur
Turning
 
Jeffrey LaDeur, piano
 
Franz Schubert Impromptu in C minor, D. 899, No. 1
Derek Bermel Turning
Robert Schumann Fashingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26
Claude Debussy Images, Book II
Alexander Scriabin Sonata No. 3 in F-sharp minor, Op. 23

Praised for his "...articulate, expressive work at the keyboard..." (San Francisco Classical Voice) and "...dazzling pianism..." (Sarasota Herald Tribune) pianist Jeffrey LaDeur makes his solo recital debut at Old First Concerts. Familiar to O1C audiences as pianist of the Delphi Trio, LaDeur has performed as soloist at the Kennedy Center, Eastman Theater, Dakota Sky International Piano Festival, and PianoForte Salon Series in his native Chicago. This program features music inspired by a search for meaning, belonging and connection, beginning with Schubert's Impromptu in C minor. The concert continues with American composer Derek Bermel's Turning. Written in 1995 after the composer's return from Ghana, Bermel describes the work as "a mirror of my musical consciousness, East vs. West". Schumann's Carnaval Jest in Vienna was composed in 1839 for Clara Schumann's forthcoming recital in Paris and shows the composer at his most exuberant and playful. The second book of Images by Debussy looks East in its use of whole tone and pentatonic scales and includes some of Debussy's most alluring piano pieces. Alexander Scriabin's Third Piano Sonata (États d'Âme) closes the concert with drama, poetry and fire.

 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 AT 4:00PM

Oakland Jazz Choir
 
Ben Flint, Artistic Director
 
The Oakland Jazz Choir has been an East Bay institution for over 20 years. During this span the group has taken many shapes, sizes and forms but the common denominator has always been the same: Joy of expression, using the voice to communicate the triumphs, as well as the turbulence, of the human spirit. While jazz forms the base of their musical concept, OJC ventures far from that base, but always putting a jazzy twist on the material. Artistic director Ben Flint, a native of Memphis TN, is steeped in gospel, jazz and R&B, but applies his diverse musical experience to finding a uniquely Oakland sound. Choir membership includes 16 singers, as diverse in age, religion, and race as our hometown Oakland demographics. Yet our focus is small, narrowing in on cool original and standard jazz material, arranged and/or written specifically for our collective voice. Accompanied by their kickin’ trio, OJC delivers exquisite 5 and 6 part harmonies performing original and contemporary arrangements that include pieces by hit makers such as Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Hoagy Carmichael, Pat Metheny, Thelonius Monk, as well as Bobby McFerrin, and Tears for Fears.
 
TICKETS
$17.00 General
$14.00 Seniors (65 and older)
$5.00 Full Time Students
    (Children 12 and under are free)


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