With Labor Day behind us, the many and varied ensembles and arts organizations of the Bay Area will be rolling out their new seasons. Here’s a look at some of the upcoming season openings in the coming days and weeks. San Francisco Opera and Opera San Jose get the ball rolling with weekend openings, and the Steinway Society of the Bay Area has a recital with Sean Chen. Their season will also include the Van Cliburn Competition’s gold medalist Yekwon Sunwoo, and Bay Area native and third place finisher Daniel Hsu, who won two other ‘best performances’ in the competition.
Next week, the San Francisco Symphony (with guest soloist Yo-Yo Ma) will be having its annual opening gala, which we’ll be broadcasting live on Thursday the 14th, before a season-long celebration of the life and music of Leonard Bernstein, whose centennial is next Summer. Chanticleer presents ‘Heart of a Soldier,’ in performances around the Bay Area from the 16th to the 24th, with repertoire ranging from early music to contemporary pieces by Mason Bates and Jennifer Higdon. Cal Performances‘ planned season opener, with Gustavo Dudamel leading the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela was cancelled after the entire tour ran afoul of the Venezuelan government. Reggie Wilson and the Fist and Heel Performance Group will present Moses(es) on the 23rd and the 24th, a work inspired by Zora Neale Hurston’s retelling of the biblical story of Exodus. At the end of the month, the Symphony Silicon Valley plays music of Beethoven, Wagner, and Benjamin Britten under the baton of Paul Polivnick. San Francisco Performances is also getting a jump on the centennial of Leonard Bernstein, with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard giving a recital of his works on the first of October at Herbst Theatre. Joana Carneiro returns to the podium with Berkeley Symphony on October 5th (after being away for much of last season, and giving birth to triplets) with a concert that includes Beethoven, Shostakovich, John Adams, and a world premiere of a cello concerto by Australian composer William Gardiner. Marin Symphony‘s first Masterworks concert (which follows a chamber performance with cellist Zuill Bailey October 7th) is with violinist Jennifer Koh playing the Barber concerto on October 29th and 31st. The Santa Rosa Symphony begins ‘a choice season’ as it auditions five conductors hoping to be selected to replace Bruno Ferrandis, beginning on the seventh of October with Francesco Lecce-Chong. The Oakland Symphony‘s ‘Icons and Iconoclasts’ program October 20th pairs symphonies by Beethoven and Shostakovich. The Green Music Center, still finishing its Summer program, hosts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble in the middle of October, and on October 4th, Stanford Live presents Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra giving the US premiere of The Judas Passion, an oratorio by Scottish composer Sally Beamish at the Bing Concert Hall.