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San Francisco Symphony 2008-2009: Bates, Ligeti, Gubaidulina

The San Francisco Symphony’s 2008-2009 season seems lighter on contemporary fare than was the previous year. Five events stand out, chief among them the world premiere of the SFS-commissioned The B-Sides by Mason Bates (May 20, 22 and 23, 2009). Bates performs electronic music under the name Masonic; more info on him at masonicelectronica.com. (Bates is also contributing new work to a series of performances by the Bay Area vocal group Chanticleer, March 20 – 22, 2009, at the SF Conservatory of Music; on that bill, as well, are pieces by young composers Shawn Crouch, who has done some work for computer, and Tarik O’Regan, whose “Scattered Rhymes” and “Virelai: Douce dame jolie” appeared on an album earlier this year alongside material by Gavin Bryars.)

There are Symphony programs of György Ligeti (Requiem, famed for its deployment by Stanley Kubrick in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, on March 5 – 7, 2009, and the attenuated wonder that is Lontano on September 4, the season’s opening night, plus 6 and 7, 2008 — the latter, unfortunately, scheduled against one night of the annual San Francisco Electronic Music Festival) and two works by Sofia Gubaidulina (the world premiere of an SFS-commissioned work that apparently didn’t have a name at the time of the publication of the season schedule, on February 18, 20 and 21, 2009, and her Violin Concerto No. 2, in tempus präsens, having its U.S. premiere on February 27 and 28, 2009). If I’m missing anything else that I shouldn’t be, please let me know.

Here’s the writeup on last year’s season: disquiet.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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