Every year Nicole Paiement, conductor of the New Music Ensemble at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, undertakes a major opera project that brings her student group together with her professional organization, Ensemble Parallèle. In the coming season that opera will be a revival of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, re-orchestrated for chamber orchestra by Jacques Desjardins. It will be presented on the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) and will received three performances at 8 PM on the evenings of Friday, February 10, and Saturday, February 11, and at 2 PM on Sunday, February 12. Tickets for this event will be managed by the YBCA Box Office, which can be reached at 415-978-2787.
This performance will be produced under the auspices of Paiement’s BluePrint series, which will also offer three concerts in the Conservatory Concert Hall, all of which take place on Saturdays at 8 PM:
- October 22: This concert will be titled North and South, named after the opening work, which will also be a Harbison composition. This will be followed by Erwin Schulhoff’s Opus 43, his “Concerto for Orchestra.” Schulhoff’s concerto will then be complemented by a concertino for violin by Kurt Rohde.
- November 19: This concert has the title Musical Humors: A Musical Portrait of Philippe Hersant. Hersant is a highly eclectic French composer, born in Rome in 1948. His stylistic references cover a wide span of music history, with Thomas Tallis and Claudio Monteverdi at one end and Franz Liszt and Béla Bartók at the other. Similarly, his vocal works cover both sacred texts and poets as diverse as Friedrich Hölderlin and Heiner Müller. This program will provide an introduction of Hersant’s diversity; and “Musical Humors” is the title of one of the works to be performed.
- March 3: As was the case last March, the final concert of the series will feature the winner of the Hoefer Prize. The title of the concert will be Anosmia, which is also the title of the prize-winning composition by Neil Rolnick. The program will also feature the eight “Miniatures” for chamber ensemble by another Conservatory graduate, Stefan Cwik. The evening will conclude with Philip Glass’ harpsichord concerto.
In addition the New Music Ensemble will offer two programs of compositions by current Conservatory students. These will be at 8 PM on December 8 and April 17. These two events are free and will also take place in the Concert Hall. Tickets for the three BluePrint concerts, on the other hand, will sell for $20 for general admission, with a $15 rate for students, seniors, and Friends of the Conservatory. These tickets are now available and may be purchased online at the Conservatory Web site or by calling the Box Office at 415-503-6275. (Box Office hours are 10 AM–4 PM, Monday through Friday.)