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.
Ragazzi Boys Chorus
In the Company of Angels
Joyce Keil, Artistic Director & Co-Founder; Kent Jue, Associate Artistic Director & Avanti Chorus Director; Jesse Buddington, Young Men's Ensemble Associate Director; Ihang Lin, accompanist; Othello Jefferson, accompanist
Ragazzi Boys Chorus presents In the Company of Angels, exploring the language and harmonies of our eternal search for spiritual wisdom. As intermediaries and guardian spirits, angels have inspired countless composers and poets, appearing widely across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and Sikhism. Ragazzi’s selections include Heinrich Schütz’s rhythmic and textured 16th century masterpiece Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt. America’s rich Spiritual tradition is celebrated with Dillworth’s joyful arrangement of Shine on Me. Hymn to the Eternal Flame, by Stephen Paulus, soars beyond earthly constraints with a gorgeous soprano solo. Contemporary composer Eric Whitacre’s Sainte Chapelle weaves chant and poetry to recreate a mystical encounter between a young girl and angels in one of France’s most beautiful chapels. Instrumentalists will join vocalists in Haydn’s swirling and ecstatic Gloria from his Missa Cellensis. The concert will conclude with carols - and an invitation for the audience to join the boys in song.
Tickets for this performance can be purchased at the door.
Doors open 30 minutes prior to concert time.
$18.00 General (includes advance online discount)
$15.00 Seniors (65+, includes advance online discount)
$5.00 Full Time Students
Children 12 and under are free.
Christmas in a Celtic Land
Margie Butler, vocals, Celtic harp, penny-whistle, recorder; Paul Espinoza, vocals, guitar, accordion, octave-mandolin; Kathy Sierra, vocals, violin, viola, recorder
Once again Golden Bough will bring their infectious music to Old First Concerts with their annual Christmas in a Celtic Land show. Folk songs tell a story and the music of the Celtic trio Golden Bough is full of the stories and mythology of the Celtic lands. The Celtic nations share a long history of culture and fine arts and their music often intertwines to create the powerfully emotional sound of what we now call Celtic music. Golden Bough was founded with the concept of combining this music with various folk styles, highlighting their own compositions. For 36 years Golden Bough has been delighting audiences with their exceptional interpretations of the music of the Celtic nations and the uniqueness of their original compositions. Their interpretation of this music has made them a favorite with audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, gaining critical acclaim and enthusiastic support from folk fans wherever they perform. Their Holiday Concert is the perfect setting in which to enjoy Golden Bough's rare carols and songs of celebration for the Winter Solstice and the New Year. With lively instrumental pieces, haunting ballads and humorous sing-alongs, the band creates an atmosphere in which the listener is transported to another place and time. Margie Butler, Paul Espinoza and Kathy Sierra capture the essence and joy of traditional music on a wide variety acoustic instruments, including; Celtic harp, penny-whistle, guitar, accordion, violin, viola, mandolin, and bodhran (a hand held drum, particular to the Celtic culture). Golden Bough will have their new CD, Celtic Festival available at the concert. This recording is full of the lively music they perform at Festivals and Highland Games throughout the U.S and Europe. For further information on Golden Bough, their recordings, concert schedule and history you can access their website at goldenboughmusic.com.
Shira Cion, Director
Please note special ticket prices: $23 advance / $25 at door General Admission, $15 advance / $20 at door Senior & Full-time Student
Wintersongs is Kitka's critically-acclaimed and wildly popular winter holiday program showcasing seasonal music from a wide variety of Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions. For countless centuries, people around the world have utilized the power or community singing to infuse warmth, cheer, spirituality, wishes for peace, health, and good fortune into the long, dark, cold and difficult winter season. Eastern Europe's geographic position as a crossroads between Europe and the Orient has produced an astonishingly rich and varied array of seasonal musical rituals. Kitka's program features songs ranging from rousing Slavic folk carols; to lush, meditative Eastern Orthodox sacred choral works; to Baltic pagan incantations for the return of the Sun Goddess, to Caucasus Georgian Alilos (hallelujahs); to Yiddish songs for Chanukah. Traditional pieces will be woven together with new folk song arrangements and original compositions by Kitka members and contemporary American and Eastern European composers, all inspired by the customs, beauty, and mystery of wintertime. For more information please visit kitka.org.
The following pre-sale ticket prices are good until Saturday, December 17, 2016 AT 6:00PM. Tickets purchased at the door will be $25.00 for General Admission, $20.00 for Seniors, and $20.00 for Full Time Students.
Gregory Vajda Alice Etudes World Premiere
Joseph Sowa The Integrity of Clouds World Premiere
For the second of their Artist-in-Residence series, the Farallon Quintet will perform two World Premieres, including Gregory Vajda’s Alice Etudes, inspired by the writing of Lewis Carroll. The Farallon Quintet, founded in the summer of 2012, is a dynamic Bay Area ensemble and the only professional chamber music group focused exclusively on the repertoire for clarinet quintet—string quartet plus clarinet. In addition to playing the classics, the quintet seeks to perform rarely heard works, innovative arrangements, and new music by living composers. With well over 600 existing clarinet quintets to choose from, the ensemble offers diverse and engaging programs to the general public. In addition to formal concerts, the musicians look for opportunities to present informal educational programs at such venues as schools, hospitals, museums, and retirement communities. To date, the ensemble has commissioned and premiered new works by Chad Cannon, Durwynne Hsieh, Jay Sydeman, Jose Gonzalez Granero, Peter Josheff, and Emily Onderdonk. The group takes its name from the Farallon Islands, located right off the coast of San Francisco. In addition to being a landmark location close to where the players live and work, its meaning—“pillar” or “steep rock” in Spanish—indicates the group’s vision to become an important “pillar” or “rock” in classical music by building awareness around the lesser known yet musically significant clarinet quintet repertoire. The Farallon Islands also represent the group’s inspiration which is founded in the simplicity and beauty of nature. In fact, the group is known to intersperse rehearsals with hikes in the mountains and road trips—all with the intent to discover the natural beauties of Northern California.
Berkeley Choro Ensemble
Berkeley Choro Ensemble will present a program of Brazilian music, featuring music by contemporary Brazilian composers, in preparation for the recording of their first CD. The Ensemble is a group of world-class musicians from the San Francisco Bay Area that made its debut in January, 2010, at the Berkeley Public Library. The group celebrates the music, culture and history of Brazil, with a special emphasis on the Choro genre, a style of music which emerged in the 1800's in Brazil, fusing the music of Brazil's European immigrants and the native music of Brazil's indigenous and African-Brazilian population. In particular, the choro sound is somewhat akin to a combination of European classical music, ragtime, and blues. Historically, the choro style influenced Brazil's most famous classical composer, Heitor Villa Lobos, to compose some of the world's most hauntingly beautiful music, the Bachianas Brasileiras. Berkeley Choro would like to thank San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music Musical Grant Program for their support in awarding a grant in 2016 for this project.
Marin Marais Sonnerie de Sainte-Geneviève du Mont de Paris
Jacquet de la Guerre selections from Pièces de clavecin, Livre 1
Jean-Féry Rebel Le Tombeau pour Monsieur de Lully
Jacques Morel Chaconne en trio
François Couperin L’Apothéose de Corelli
Jean-Philippe Rameau Concert III from Pièces de clavecin en concerts
MUSA is a chamber ensemble dedicated to historically informed performances of Baroque and Classical repertoire, as well as new music for period instruments. From trio sonatas to orchestral works, MUSA has presented programs on numerous concert series across the Bay Area. MUSA is a fiscal affiliate of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.
It's all Beethoven!
Ludwig van Beethoven String Trio in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3; Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 16; Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20
Franz Joseph Hayden Sonata in E minor, Hob. XVI: 34
Johannes Brahms Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79
Charles Valentin Alkan Festin d’Esope (Aesop’s Feast)
Isaac Albéniz Iberia, Book 2 (Rondena, Almeria, Triana)
Frédéric Chopin Fantasy on Polish Airs, Op. 13
Daniel Glover's program features both familiar gems of the piano repertoire, as well as piano music that is somewhat less familiar from the 18th through 20th Centuries. Works include Haydn's buoyant E minor sonata and Brahms' brooding and emotional Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79. The reclusive and mysterious French composer, Charles Valentin Alkan is represented by his 12th and final etude, Aesop's Feast, from the cycle known as Etudes in the Minor Keys, Op. 39. Alkan's has the (perhaps overblown) legendary reputation of composing the "most difficult music ever composed for the piano." This has kept his music out of the hands of all but the most intrepid and brave pianists. It was rumored that Liszt was so intimidated by Alkan that he wouldn't play for him. Aesop's Feast is a set of 25 variations on an original theme, and the orchestral writing amply displays why his contemporaries referred to him as the "Berlioz of the piano." The work allows the listener's imagination to run wild, as he hears references to all manner of wild and tamer beasts. Isaac Albéniz' masterpiece, Iberia, is represented by three of the most popular and enduring works from Book 2 of the cycle, including Triana, a rousing and brilliant musical representation of this lively "Greenwich Village" section of Seville. Chopin's less often performed Fantasy on Polish Airs was composed for piano and orchestra at the age of 18. This may be the least well known piece from this genre but was a personal favorite of the composer, perhaps in no large part due to the fact that he frequently heard his mother singing one of the popular tunes he utilized in this potpourri.
Wooden Fish Ensemble
with special guests Gyeonggi Kayageum Ensemble
Hyo-shin Na World Premieres of Kayageum Music; Koto, Piano II; and Koto, Bass Koto;
plus other works including Night Procession of the Hundred Demons, That Old Woman,
and the US Premiere of Akhmatova’s Music
Three members of the Wooden Fish Ensemble in San Francisco and six members of the Gyeonggi Kayageum Ensemble from Korea will play nine pieces by Hyo-shin Na (Na’s music has been called “beautifully unpredictable” and "extraordinarily evocative and original”) and the traditional arrangements of Korean folk music. The program will include three World Premieres and two US Premieres.
Bernal Hill Players
SF/DF-Music of Two Cities
Gabriela Ortiz Tepito (2015)
Erik Pearson Inner Postcards from San Francisco (2010)
Katrina Wreede Episodes at China Basin (2011)
Eduardo Gamboa Mixcoac (2012)
Carlos Santana & Alberto Gianquinto Incident at Neshabur (1970)
The Bernal Hill Players invite you to celebrate the release of their new CD Neighborhoods of Mexico City. This marks the culmination of their sister city project of newly commissioned works by Bay Area and Mexico City composers. The music in this program encompasses a gleefully diverse collection of styles, ranging from classical contemporary to folk and rock inspired genres, with works by Gabriela Ortiz, Erik Pearson, Katrina Wreede, Eduardo Gamboa and Carlos Santana. For more information about the ensemble visit: www.bernalhillplayers.com