Every now and then a “perfect storm” seems to form around a single evening when it seems as if everything is happening at once. In the middle of next month, such a confluence will involve having to choose among three highly innovative approaches to chamber music. Fortunately, each of those alternatives pursues its own unique direction.
The Center for New Music (C4NM) will host the next recital by the One Great City duo of guitarist Timothy Sherren and soprano Alexandra Iranfar (who also plays guitar). They have prepared a program entitled Impulses, which will feature two world premieres of music written for them by composers with ties to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), from which they are both graduates. Eric Choate, who studied with David Conte at SFCM, is still based in San Francisco; and he has chosen to exercise the full resources of One Great City with a song for two guitars and voice, based on the text of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “A Dream within a Dream.”
Shahab Paranj studied composition with David Garner at SFCM, as well as cello with Jennifer Culp. While in San Francisco he had an elegy for violin premiered by Solenn Séguillon and a piano trio premiered by the Aleron Trio (in which Séguillon is violinist). He is now living in New York, and his compositions continue to reflect his interest in Persian music. One Great City will give the premiere of “Sahari,” which is the name of a morning prayer song from a small village in Iran.
The program will also include a guitar solo composed by Judah Adashi. Entitled “Meditation,” the music was inspired by the first three chapters of Darkness Visible, William Styron’s memoir (which takes its title from John Milton’s Paradise Lost). Styron used this text to chronicle his personal struggle with clinical depression, and Adashi has attempted to capture in music both the substance of that struggle and the lyricism of Styron’s prose.
Other composers to be included on the program will be Dusan Bogdanovic, Aaron Pike, and Stephen Goss.
This recital will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 14. C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, about half a block north of Market Street. Like most events there, admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. However, students will be admitted free of charge. Tickets will be available only at the door.
At the same time Old First Concerts will break from their usual schedule with a special performance on a Saturday night. The series will present the award-winning Zodiac Trio consisting of Kliment Krylovskiy on clarinet, Vanessa Mollard on violin, and Riko Higuma on piano. This collection of instruments is usually best associated with “Contrasts,” the only piece of chamber music that Béla Bartók composed involving a wind instrument. (It was commissioned by the clarinetist Benny Goodman, who performed it with violinist Joseph Szigeti and Bartók on piano.) Other composers included on the program will be Andrew List, Astor Piazzolla, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Stephen Chatman; and the genres will also include klezmer, tango, and New Orleans jazz.
This recital will take place at exactly the same time, 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 14. Old First Concerts events are performed at Old First Church, located at 1751 Sacramento Street on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue. There will be the usual admission charge of $20, with a $17 rate for seniors and $5 for full-time students with valid identification. Children aged twelve and under will be admitted without charge. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through an event page on the Old First Concerts Web site.
Finally, that same evening will be when pianist Garrick Ohlsson will give the second of his two concerts covering the ten published sonatas by Alexander Scriabin. This two-concert cycle was arranged by San Francisco Performances (SFP) as part of their Special Events series. In contrast with the first program, which Ohlsson gave this past December, this second program will consist only of sonatas arranged in the following order: Opus 1 (first), Opus 66 (eighth), Opus 68 (ninth), Opus 23 (third), Opus 70 (tenth).
This concert will begin half an hour earlier than the other two, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 14. The venue will again be the SFJAZZ Center at 201 Franklin Street (the northwest corner of Fell Street). Tickets are again priced at $25, $40, $55, and $68. These may be purchased through a City Box Office event page with a seating chart indicating availability in the different sections of the Miner Auditorium. SFP may be reached at 415-392-2545 for further information.