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Chamber Music San Francisco
If you are already a fan of classical music (and there are some people for whom it is a sustenance as vital as food) then please read on for a bit of our philosophy. If you are new to it, all the better...
Some people may think of “classical music” as being dry and dusty, but nothing could be further from the truth; it is passionate, full of life, and surprising.
Furthermore, the kind of concerts we present—chamber music (small ensembles) and recitals by superb soloists—are sort of a personal conversation between you, the performer and the composer, and Mozart and Beethoven were most interesting people.
We choose our performers not only for their musical abilities, but for their ability to connect with audiences. Otherwise, you may as well stay home and listen to music on Spotify! The thrill of the live concert experience is possible because it is real people performing for real people.
Our belief is that the combination of three key ingredients—top-notch musicians, a willing audience, and an intimate theater—produces an exhilarating experience.
Further, we believe that whenever a person performs in front of a live audience, there is an element of theatre which is intrinsic to the performance. This belief on our part is a thread running through our seasons, and influences our programming, even subtly.
We are enthusiastic about presenting this kind of music, which is not only easy to understand but also, happily, embodies the most personal and heartfelt utterances of the great composers. We strive to have each of our concerts be a memorable event.
Lamplighters Music Theatre
Lamplighters Music Theatre was founded in 1952 to produce the comic operas of librettist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan, and is now recognized as one of the world’s pre-eminent Gilbert & Sullivan companies. The Lamplighters’ repertoire includes all the surviving works of these creative geniuses, as well as comic operas and classic musicals by other composers that exemplify their artistic vision. The hallmarks of a Lamplighters production are lavish costumes and sets, live orchestra, excellent comic acting, and gorgeous unamplified singing that showcases the beauty and purity of the human voice.Donate
New Century Chamber OrchestraLed by Music Director Daniel Hope, New Century Chamber Orchestra is one of only a handful of conductorless chamber ensembles in the world that makes musical decisions collaboratively. Since it was founded in 1992, New Century has performed beloved masterworks from the chamber orchestra repertoire and breathed life into commissioned works for audiences all over the San Francisco Bay Area as well as nationally and internationally. Highlights include seven album releases including three on former Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s NSS Music Label; a debut European Tour of Germany and Poland in July 2019; and six San Francisco episodes of Hope@Home – Next Generation broadcasted online to audiences throughout the world in November 2020. Donate
San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
During the fall of 1978, a call went out to men in and around the Castro who liked to sing inviting them to a gathering with the purpose of possibly creating a chorus. The driving force was Jon Sims, the conductor of the Freedom Band. October 30 was chosen as the date of the first “rehearsal” to be held at Everett Middle School. The word went out and flyers were posted around the neighborhood.
Interest mounted leading up to that first gathering held at Everett Middle School. Around 100 men showed up on the first night. The atmosphere of excitement was described as palpable. The men sang “If They Could See Me Now” and “Stouthearted Men.” Jon Sims conducted the first couple of rehearsals, planning to call the group “Men About Town.” Other suggested names for the group (seriously) were Foggy City Chorus and Homosexual Choir (“gay” was still considered denigrating). After a few weeks, Dick Kramer was brought on to conduct the new group, and thankfully, they settled on the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as their name. It turned out to be a fortuitous decision. A small group of singers did keep the name “Men About Town.” By the way, the original name of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band was the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band and Twirling Corps.
The rest of the story is now legendary and suitable for movie scripts. At the fourth rehearsal, on November 27, having spent the day with the news of Harvey Milk and George Moscone’s assassinations, the singers showed up to rehearsal grief-stricken and in shock. Dick Kramer passed out Mendelsohn’s “Thou, Lord our Refuge.” The group then set out from there to the steps of City Hall for the candlelight vigil where they performed for the very first time. Little did the men who gathered more than 40 years ago know they were actually giving birth to a world-wide LGBT choral phenomenon that now boasts hundreds of choruses around the globe.
Yiddish Theatre Ensemble
God of Vengeance tells the story of a seemingly observant Jewish couple and their daughter Rivkeleh who live upstairs in their Lower East Side apartment during the Great Depression. Yankl and Soreh do their best to protect their only child from mixing with their bustling livelihood---a thriving 'brothel' business downstairs in the basement. Rivkeleh is at a marriageable age and plans for a future husband are being made. She is ensured an attractive dowry when her father commissions a sacred Torah scroll, worth thousands, to be written just for her. Supposedly, the hand-written scroll is believed to protect her and keep her kosher. Meanwhile, young Rivkeleh has fallen in love with Mankeh, one of his prostitutes, and a tender relationship blossoms. Tensions mount and soon life upstairs and downstairs becomes entangled. As Yankl’s plans are threatened, he begins to unravel.Donate