San Francisco Conservatory of Music 2014-15 Season

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Media Release


Sam Smith

Director of Communications

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

415.503.6265 | [email protected]


SAN FRANCISCO, August 22, 2014   


San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Announces 2014-15 Season

Highlights Include
Three World Premieres:
Composition Faculty Elinor Armer’s Leonardo’s Riddle, John Glover’s Natural Systems, Hoefer Prize Commission, and West Coast Premiere 
of Kaiji Saariaho’s Terrestre
Chamber Music Series to Feature Pacifica Quartet Residency and
5th Year of Shanghai-San Francisco International Chamber Music Festival
2014 Edition of Rubin Institute for Music Criticism in its New Home at SFCM Presented in Collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Cal Performances and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
“Game On: An Insider’s Guide to Video Game Scoring,” a New Music Conference Offered in Collaboration with American Composers Forum
Public Live Radio Taping of From the Top at Conservatory’s Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall Featuring Alumni and Young Performers
Full-scale Spring Opera Production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore
with Conservatory Orchestra
Public Master Classes with Renowned Guest Artists Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, Violinist Jennifer Koh and Collaborative Pianist Martin Katz
Soprano Elza van den Heever ’02 and Collaborative Pianist Warren Jones ’77
Headline Spring Gala Celebration
New Faculty Members: Composer Mason Bates, San Francisco Symphony Violists Jonathan Vinocour, Principal and Yun Jie Liu, Associate Principal

     The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is adding depth and diversity to what is already the Bay Area’s most comprehensive concert season. In 2014-15, SFCM presents twelve orchestra concerts, three full operas, premieres by nationally-known and home-grown composers, and an expanded faculty artist series of chamber works, early music and solo recitals. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, violinist Jennifer Koh and the Pacifica Quartet are among the internationally-acclaimed guest artists presenting performances and master classes, while the Conservatory honors two stars of its own, soprano Elza van den Heever ’02 and collaborative pianist Warren Jones ’77, at its annual Gala in March. In addition, a new series of events will explore music beyond the concert hall. The nation’s most esteemed music journalists headline the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism and industry professionals lead Game On, a conference on video game and film music. The Conservatory also hosts the favorite National Public Radio program From the Top in a radio taping before a live audience in the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall at 50 Oak Street. With some 500 events offered, most free of charge, SFCM remains San Francisco’s best value for an evening of music and exploration.

     SFCM President David H. Stull says the 2014-15 season reflects the Conservatory’s strategy of combining superlative artistic training with an interdisciplinary education that prepares musicians for the twenty-first century. “We are tremendously excited by our new season and look forward to presenting the young artists who will occupy the professional stages of tomorrow. Our world-class faculty and superlative guest artists will be with us for both performances and master class opportunities this year, and witnessing this level of artistry in the intimacy of our concert hall is a unique experience. I look forward to welcoming our community to SFCM.”

     Among the season’s offerings, especially noteworthy are three industry and professional development conferences hosted by the Conservatory, all open to the public. In November, SFCM takes stock of the current state of classical music and looks to its future when it hosts the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, the first symposium of its kind in the United States. Leading critics from the Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle will join aspiring young writers and the general public for an intensive week of panel discussions and performances. Lectures will precede concerts by Rubin Institute partners including the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Cal Performances and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Student participants from SFCM and four top music schools will vie for the $10,000 Rubin Prize in Music Criticism while general audience members are invited to compete for the $1,000 Everyone’s a Critic Public Prize.

     SFCM’s professional development center hosts two other conferences of national scope. In late October, Game On: An Insider’s Guide to Video Game Scoring, a partnership with the American Composers Forum, offers students, alumni, Forum members and the public a glimpse into the technical and practical aspects of pursuing careers in this growing industry. And January’s New Music Gathering unites performers and composers for music making and freewheeling discussions about supporting artist-led-ensembles in the field of contemporary music.

     The 2014-15 season is also notable for its greatly expanded concert calendar. The Conservatory Orchestra led by music director Scott Sandmeier presents an ambitious twelve-concert series showcasing student and alumni soloists. Special guests include the Conservatory Chorus, led by Ragnar Bohlin, appearing in Holst’s The Planets, and Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim, who will conduct works by Bach and Dvořák. The Conservatory Opera Program performs three fully-staged operas in SFCM’s Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall: Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Britten’s Albert Herring and Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore in a spring opera production conducted by Sandmeier and directed by San Francisco Opera’s Jose Maria Condemi. The Musical Theatre Workshop lifts the curtain on a trio of musicals, including the revues Oh Coward!, a treasury of the wit and words of Noel Coward, and Maltby and Shire’s Closer Than Ever, as well as the Tony Award-winning hit Nine.

     An augmented Faculty Artist Series of chamber and solo recitals features an all-Britten program, a 50th anniversary celebration of the guitar department and Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat performed by an ensemble including six principal players from the San Francisco Symphony and Conservatory President Stull as narrator. The Conservatory’s Historical Performance Program, directed by Corey Jamason, showcases our accomplished early music faculty and visiting artists in recitals devoted to J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, an anniversary celebration of C.P.E. Bach, Haydn piano trios and more. The Baroque Ensemble, led by Jamason and Elisabeth Reed, joins the early music season with Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and masterpieces by Lully, Purcell and Mozart performed by students on SFCM’s collection of period instruments.

     Unique among Bay Area concert presenters, the Conservatory routinely features great artists teaching their craft and discussing their careers. This season, the popular Chamber Music Series presents performances and public master classes with the Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet, inaugural quartet-in-residence for SFCM’s new Graduate String Quartet Fellowship Program, and Geoff Nuttall, charismatic co-founder of the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The master class program also includes collaborative pianist Martin Katz, violinists David Kim and Jennifer Koh, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, and guitarists David Russell and Marcin Dylla, in addition to an ongoing series of historical performance artists sponsored by American Bach Soloists. Members of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players share the stage with SFCM’s Percussion Ensemble in January for Steve Reich’s Drumming, marking the second year of collaboration between the two organizations.

     The Conservatory continues its historic tradition of championing new music by commissioning works, holding composition competitions and hosting composers in residence. Nicole Paiement, artistic director of the BluePrint New Music Series leads the New Music Ensemble in world and West-Coast premieres of works by Kaija Saariaho, John Glover and alumnus Robin Estrada ’05, winner of the Conservatory’s $15,000 Hoefer Prize in composition. Visiting composers hold casual meet-and-greets and more structured discussions before each performance. In October, BluePrint fêtes faculty composer Elinor Armer with a program of works largely composed by her former students. It’s the first in a series of events celebrating Armer’s 75th birthday that include a November Oral History presentation recounting highlights of Armer’s influential 45-year Conservatory tenure and the Baroque Ensemble premiere of Armer’s work Leonardo’s Riddle. World premieres by faculty and students are also the cornerstone of the fifth annual Shanghai-San Francisco International Music Festival, a collaboration with SFCM’s sister school the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, taking place in Shanghai in March.

     SFCM’s Alumni Recital Series celebrates graduates who have used their Conservatory training to pursue singular visions. Performances by the baroque ensemble MUSA, the cutting-edge chamber group Areon Flutes and the virtuosic guitar ensemble Mobius Trio all feature works written by SFCM alumni. In February, soprano Lisa Delan ’89 is joined in recital by special guests SFCM Pre-College alumnus cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley. O’Riley also hosts a public live radio taping of National Public Radio’s From the Top at SFCM showcasing Delan and Haimovitz alongside brilliant young talent from SFCM’s Pre-College Division.

In another season highlight, the Conservatory announces the faculty appointments of Mason Bates, composer-in-residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and featured composer of the San Francisco Symphony, as well as San Francisco Symphony principal violist Jonathan Vinocour and associate principal violist Yun Jie Liu. With its core of expert faculty, innovative new programs and expansive performance opportunities, SFCM is equipped to provide an unparalleled education in music. President Stull notes, “As we deploy a highly innovative curriculum at SFCM, we remain focused on the singular aspect that defines the quality of our school: the faculty. These new members represent an exciting generation of imaginative musicians and teachers and we are very fortunate to have them with us.”

     For a complete listing of the year’s events, view the season calendar brochure. Check for the latest schedule updates at Call the Box Office for tickets at 415.503.6275 or purchase online at Ticketed concerts are $20 general admission, $15 for students, seniors and Friends of the Conservatory. Unless otherwise indicated, concerts are held at 50 Oak Street, San Francisco.

About The San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Founded in 1917, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is the oldest conservatory in the American West and has earned an international reputation for producing musicians of the highest caliber. Notable alumni include Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Jeffrey Kahane, Aaron Jay Kernis and Robin Sutherland, among others. The Conservatory offers its approximately 400 collegiate students fully accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in composition and instrumental and vocal performance. Its Preparatory Division provides exceptionally high standards of musical excellence and personal attention to more than 580 younger students. The Conservatory’s faculty and students give nearly 500 public performances each year, most of which are offered to the public at no charge. Its community outreach programs serve over 1,600 school children and over 11,000 members of the wider community who are otherwise unable to hear live performances. The Conservatory’s Civic Center facility is an architectural and acoustical masterwork, and the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall was lauded by the New York Times as the “most enticing classical-music setting” in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit



Not inclusive. For a complete listing of the season’s performances, view the season calendar brochure; visit for updates. Full details about the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism can be found at
Tickets currently on sale at or Conservatory Box Office
at 415.503.6275.

Alumni Recital Series

Tickets: $20 general admission/$15 students, seniors and Friends of the Conservatory

September 12, 8 p.m.
Erica Schuller ’09 soprano and MUSA chamber ensemble
Featured works: Danny Clay ’13 La Folia; Couperin Le Parnasse,
ou L’apothéose de Corelli
January 22, 8 p.m. 
Areon Flutes and Mobius Trio Featuring works by Dan Becker
’89Danny Clay ’13 and Hugh Lobel
February 11, 8 p.m. 
Lisa Delan ’89 soprano with Pre-College alumnus Matt
Haimovitz cello and Christopher O’Riley piano
March 21, 8 p.m. 
Yongmei Hu ’90 piano Schubert Fantasie in C Major, Op. 15 
(D. 760) The Wanderer, Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition

BluePrint/New Music Series | Natural Systems

Nicole Paiement artistic director

Tickets: $20 general public/$15 students, seniors and Friends of the Conservatory
unless otherwise noted

October 4, 8 p.m.
From the Heart  A tribute to faculty composer Elinor Armer
featuring works by SFCM alumni plus Schoenberg’s Herzgewächs
with Chelsea Hollow soprano
November 15, 8 p.m.
Natural Systems  John Glover Natural Systems (World Premiere,
BluePrint Commission); Conrad Susa Transformations (Excerpts);
Kaija Saariaho Terrestre (West-Coast Premiere) with Bethanne
Walker flute 
March 14, 8 p.m.
Exotic Soundscapes  Robin Estrada ’05 Pagihip at Pagtakta
(World Premiere, Hoefer Prize winner); Stephen Paulson Bassoon
Concerto (1968) with Justin Cummings ’15 bassoon; Olivier
Messiaen Oiseaux exotiques with Sarah Cahill piano

Chamber Music Presents

Concerts: $20 general public/$15 students, seniors and Friends of the Conservatory Master Classes: Free

October 28, 7:30 p.m.
Master Class – Telegraph Quartet
October 30, 8 p.m.  Concert – Telegraph Quartet
December 2, 7:30 p.m. Master Class – Geoff Nuttall violin 
December 4, 8 p.m.  Concert – Geoff Nuttall violin
February 10, 7:30 p.m.  Master Class – Pacifica Quartet 
February 12, 8 p.m.  Concert – Pacifica Quartet
February 26, 7:30 p.m.  Master Class – Telegraph Quartet
February 27, 8 p.m.  Concert – Telegraph Quartet
April 7, 7:30 p.m.  Master Class – Telegraph Quartet
April 9, 8 p.m. Concert – Telegraph Quartet


November 5-10
Rubin Institute for Music Criticism
Events held at various locations.
Visit for complete details
October 31-November 2  Game On: An Insider’s Guide to Video Game Scoring
Visit for complete conference details.
January 15-17 Visit and 
for complete conference details.

Conservatory Opera Program

Curt Pajer music director and interim program director

All performances free except:

* Free, reservations required

** Tickets: $20 general admission/$15 seniors, students and Friends of the Conservatory

November 6 & 8, 7:30 p.m.
Scenes from Operas of Benjamin Britten
November 23, 2 p.m. & 
November 25, 7:30 p.m. 
Opera Scenes: Repertoire TBA
December 5, 7:30 p.m. &
December 7, 2 p.m. 
Bernstein Trouble in Tahiti* (fully-staged with piano
February 13, 7:30 p.m.  Opera Scenes: Repertoire TBA
April 2 & 4, 7:30 p.m.  Spring Opera: Donizetti L’elisir d’amore,** (fully-staged with
orchestra) Scott Sandmeier conductor; Jose Maria Condemi stage 
April 25, 7:30 p.m. &
April 26, 2 p.m. 
Opera Scenes: Repertoire TBA
May 6 & 8, 7:30 p.m. Britten Albert Herring* (fully-staged with chamber orchestra)

Conservatory Orchestra

Tickets: $20 general public/$15 students, seniors and Friends of the Conservatory

* Performance held at Las Positas College Mertes Center for the Arts

September 27, 8 p.m. &
September 28, 2 p.m.
Scott Sandmeier music director, Nicholas Denton ’17 cello
Berlioz Overture to Benvenuto Cellini; Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33; Brahms Symphony No. 1 in C Minor,
Op. 68
October 18, 8 p.m. &
October 19, 2 p.m.
Scott Sandmeier music director, Jing’er Xu ’15 piano
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat Major, Op. 10; Shostakovich Symphony No. 10 in E Minor, Op. 93
December 13, 8 p.m. Scott Sandmeier music director, Cara Gabrielson ’16 soprano,Yanghe Yu ’15 violin Bach/Elgar Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 537; Mozart Exsultate, jubilate, KV 165; Elgar Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op. 61 
February 7, 8 p.m. &
February 9, 8 p.m.
Scott Sandmeier music director, Conservatory Chorus, Ragnar Bohlin conductor; Nathan Campbell ’14 Lunar Prelude (World Premiere, Highsmith Award Winner); Holst The Planets
February 17, 8 p.m. David Kim violin/conductor  Bach Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1042; Dvořák Serenade in E Major, Op. 22, B. 52
February 28, 8 p.m. &
March 1, 2 p.m.*
Scott Sandmeier music director, William Cedeño ’15 flute
Sibelius Rakastava “The Lover” Op. 14; Jolivet Concerto for Flute and String Orchestra; Mozart Symphony No. 36 in C Major “Linz
May 2, 8 p.m. &
May 3, 2 p.m.
Scott Sandmeier music director  Britten Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op.34 (Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell); Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64

Faculty Artist Series (also see Historical Performance Program)

All performances free except: *Free, reservations required 
September 6, 8:00 p.m.
Emily Laurence harp, with Thomas Gregg tenor, and others
All-Britten Recital
September 8, 8 p.m.  Jeffrey Anderle ’06 clarinet, Music of Herzogenberg and Brahms
cello sonatas
September 11, 8 p.m. Ian Swensen violin, with Jeffrey LaDeur ’11 piano and Brenden
Guy ’10
 clarinet Works of Bartók and Debussy
September 14, 2 p.m. Indre Viskontas ’08 soprano with Vocallective chamber ensemble
Works of Chausson, Respighi and others *
September 22, 8 p.m. Mack McCray piano, Works of Beethoven, Liszt, Bartók and
Stockhausen *
September 25, 8 p.m. Giacomo Fiore ’09 guitar, World premieres by Kenji Oh ’14 and
Larry Polansky
October 3, 8 p.m. Catherine Cook mezzo-soprano with Keisuke Nakagoshi ’06 piano 
and Elizabeth Lowry flute, Works of Schumann and Jake Heggie *
October 6, 8 p.m. Jean-Michel Fonteneau cello, Works of Fauré, Enescu and
October 9, 8 p.m. Joint Faculty Recital: Bettina Mussumeli violin, Mack McCray
piano and Bonnie Hampton cello, Piano trios of Beethoven and
October 11, 8 p.m. Guitar Department 50th Anniversary Concert featuring current and
former guitar faculty, students and alumni with the Harris Guitar
October 15, 8 p.m. Sarah Cahill ’78 piano, Works of Sofia Gubaidulina, Stefan Wolpe,
Ravel, Bach and Couperin
October 20, 8 p.m. William Wellborn piano, Works of Scarlatti, Schubert, Albeniz,
Schubert-Liszt and Liszt
October 26, 8 p.m. Jeffrey Anderson tuba, OcTUBAfest: Solo and chamber works for
October 27, 8 p.m. Don Ehrlich viola, Solo works for viola by Max Reger, Elinor Armer,
Ernst Krenek and Maurice Gardiner *
November 2, 2 p.m. Wei He ’98 violin and Yoshikazu Nagai piano, Works by
Beethoven, Schumann and Strauss
November 3, 8 p.m.
Joint Faculty Recital: Ian Swensen violin, Scott Pingel bass, Luis
 clarinet, Stephen Paulson bassoon, Mark Inouye trumpet, Tim
 trombone, Trey Wyatt III percussion, Jeffrey LaDeur ‘1
piano, David H. Stull narrator, Stravinsky L’Histoire du soldat and
other works *
November 14, 8 p.m. Carmen Lemoine ’05 flute with Zuzanna Szewczyk-Kwon piano
and Mark Simons guitar, Works of Kaija Saariaho, Robert Pierzak,
Steven Rice, John Orfe and others
December 8, 8 p.m. Jodi Levitz viola with Keisuke Nakagoshi ’06 piano, Works of
Chopin, Rebecca Clarke, Takemitsu, Hindemith and Carter *
January 24, 8 p.m. Scott Foglesong ’77 piano (Exclusive for Conservatory Donors)
“The Franco-Russian Connection”
January 26, 8 p.m. Stephen Paulson and Steven Braunstein bassoon
February 6, 8 p.m. David Conte composition with Cappella SF, Ragnar Bohli
conductor; Choral works by Conrad Susa and David Conte
March 2, 8 p.m. Stephen Tramontozzi double bass
March 6, 8 p.m. Indre Viskontas ’08 soprano/neuroscientist, “Connection: Music
as a Gateway to the Brain
,” a performance-lecture
March 16, 8 p.m. Jack Van Geem percussion
March 20, 8 p.m. Elinor Armer composition, Mack McCray piano, Bettina
 violin and Jodi Levitz viola, with Bonnie Hampton cello
Don Ehrlich viola, Ives Quartet, and Lois Brandwynne piano,
Works for strings and piano 
April 13, 8 p.m. Scott Pingel double bass

Historical Performance Program

Corey Jamason director

All performances free except: *Free, reservations required

Faculty Performances

September 3, 8 p.m.
Elizabeth Blumenstock baroque violin, Elisabeth Reed baroque cello, Corey Jamason harpsichord, with Catherine MacIntosh baroque violin, Music of Castello, Purcell, Corelli, Vivaldi & LeClair *
November 23, 2 p.m. Corey Jamason harpsichord with Jennifer Morsches baroque cello
C.P.E. Bach Anniversary Celebration featuring Sonatas in C Major and D Major, Wq. 137 *
February 5, 8 p.m. Ian Swensen violin and Elisabeth Reed cello with Kenneth Slowikfortepiano Haydn piano trios
February 19, 8 p.m. Corey Jamason harpsichord, J.S. Bach Goldberg Variations *
April 10, 8 p.m. Elisabeth Reed viola da gamba and Corey Jamason harpsichord with Cynthia Freivogel baroque violin, Music of J.S. Bach and Rameau *

Baroque Ensemble
Corey Jamason and Elisabeth

November 10, 8 p.m.
Arias and ensemble pieces from early Mozart operas
November 16, 7:30 p.m. Orchestral music of Lully, Purcell and Mozart
March 7, 7 p.m. & 
March 8, 2 p.m.
Monteverdi L’incoronazione di Poppea
April 19, 2 p.m. Elinor Armer Leonardo’s Riddle (world premiere) with Adam Cockerham ’13 archlute and Baroque Ensemble Concerto Competition winners
April 27, 8 p.m. Chamber music for strings, winds and continuo
May 4, 1 p.m. Baroque cello class concert


Master Classes

All events free

October 30, 7:30 p.m.
Martin Katz vocal coaching
November 11, 7:30 p.m. Michael Norsworthy clarinet
January 19, 7:30 p.m. Stephen Lehning violone
February 16, 7:30 p.m. David Kim violin
February 23, 7:30 p.m. Derek Chester tenor
March 3, 2:30 p.m. Susan Graham voice
March 6, 7 p.m. David Russell guitar
March 16, 9 a.m. Jennifer Koh violin
March 16, 8 p.m. Jeffrey Thomas conductor
April 26, 7 p.m.. Marcin Dylla guitar


Musical Theatre Workshop

All performances free

November 14 & 15, 8 p.m.
Oh Coward! a Noel Coward revue
January 30, 8 p.m. &
February 1, 8 p.m.
Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit Nine
April 11 & 12, 8 p.m. Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire Closer Than Ever

Special Events

January 31, 8 p.m. San Francisco Contemporary Music Players with SFCM Percussion Ensemble Steve Reich Drumming and other works
February 14, 8 p.m. From the Top public live radio taping with host Christopher O’RileyLisa Delan ’89 soprano, Pre-College Matt Haimovitz cello, and students from SFCM’s Pre-College Division
March 23, 5:30 p.m. Conservatory Gala featuring honorees
Elza van den Heever ’02 soprano, and Warren Jones ’77, collaborative piano
March 24-29 Fifth Annual Shanghai-San Francisco International Chamber Music Festival; Events held in Shanghai, China 
(visit later this fall for details.)

Download the media release in  PDF format.

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