Calendar: December 11–17, 2017

Wednesday, December 13

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, Director
JT-Kosoy“Messiah At Grace Cathedral” Originally written for Easter services, Messiah was composed at a time when George Frideric Handel was at the height of his powers and popularity. Upon its debut in April of 1742, the oratorio was so popular that ladies were asked to leave their hoop skirts at home so more people could fit into the concert hall. Though tradition has evolved to stage Messiah at Christmas time, audiences continue to pack houses for the masterwork, especially when the acclaimed American Bach Soloists perform it. With soloists Suzanne Karpov, soprano (debut); Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, countertenor (debut); Zachary Wilder, tenor; Hadleigh Adams, baritone (debut); and the American Bach Choir, Jeffrey Thomas conductor. Hear Handel’s beloved masterpiece in one of San Francisco’s most awe-inspiring, sacred spaces.

7:30 PM
Grace Cathedral
1100 California St., San Francisco

$20–$125
Tickets online

Chanticleer
chanticleer square
“A Chanticleer Christmas” The 12-member a cappella vocal ensemble performs seasonal works old, new, and familiar. The program follows the journey of the wise men, across the ages and the world. Fellow pilgrims are a motley group of shepherds and onlookers–Welsh, Huron, Indian, English, Americans of all origins–reveling in the wonder, joy, and peace that the Christmas story brings. Candle-lit Gregorian chant gives way to music by Morales, Gonzalez, Victoria, Poulenc, Sweelinck, and traditional carols, gospel and spirituals.

7:30 PM
Stanford Memorial Church
450 Serra Mall, Stanford University
$35–$75 Student and senior discounts available.
Tickets online


Thursday, December 14

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, Director
JT-Kosoy“Messiah At Grace Cathedral” Originally written for Easter services, Messiah was composed at a time when George Frideric Handel was at the height of his powers and popularity. Upon its debut in April of 1742, the oratorio was so popular that ladies were asked to leave their hoop skirts at home so more people could fit into the concert hall. Though tradition has evolved to stage Messiah at Christmas time, audiences continue to pack houses for the masterwork, especially when the acclaimed American Bach Soloists perform it. With soloists Suzanne Karpov, soprano (debut); Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, countertenor (debut); Zachary Wilder, tenor; Hadleigh Adams, baritone (debut); and the American Bach Choir, Jeffrey Thomas conductor. Hear Handel’s beloved masterpiece in one of San Francisco’s most awe-inspiring, sacred spaces.

7:30 PM
Grace Cathedral
1100 California St., San Francisco

$20–$125
Tickets online

Chanticleer
chanticleer square
“A Chanticleer Christmas” The 12-member a cappella vocal ensemble performs seasonal works old, new, and familiar. The program follows the journey of the wise men, across the ages and the world. Fellow pilgrims are a motley group of shepherds and onlookers–Welsh, Huron, Indian, English, Americans of all origins–reveling in the wonder, joy, and peace that the Christmas story brings. Candle-lit Gregorian chant gives way to music by Morales, Gonzalez, Victoria, Poulenc, Sweelinck, and traditional carols, gospel and spirituals.

7:30 PM
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
1017 11th St, Sacramento
$35–$75 Student and senior discounts available.
Tickets online

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan, Conductor
George Frideric Handel, Joseph and his Brethren, HWV 59. Philharmonia has performed more of Handel’s oratorios than any period instrument orchestra, and Nicholas McGegan is internationally known for his interpretation of these monumental works. Joseph and his Brethren is new to Philharmonia’s repertoire and tells the Biblical story of Joseph and his reconciliation with his family in Egypt. It gives Handel the opportunity to depict the grandeur of Pharaoh’s court and the faith of Joseph’s estranged brothers in a plot of intrigue and mistaken identity. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear this dramatic work, rarely performed since Handel’s lifetime, in a definitive performance, with soloists Sherezade Panthaki, soprano; Gabrielle Haigh, soprano; Diana Moore, mezzo-soprano; Abigail Levis, mezzo-soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Philip Cutlip, baritone; and the Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director.

7 PM
Herbst Theatre
401 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
$28–$120
Tickets online or 415-392-4400


Friday, December 15

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, Director
JT-Kosoy“Messiah At Grace Cathedral” Originally written for Easter services, Messiah was composed at a time when George Frideric Handel was at the height of his powers and popularity. Upon its debut in April of 1742, the oratorio was so popular that ladies were asked to leave their hoop skirts at home so more people could fit into the concert hall. Though tradition has evolved to stage Messiah at Christmas time, audiences continue to pack houses for the masterwork, especially when the acclaimed American Bach Soloists perform it. With soloists Suzanne Karpov, soprano (debut); Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, countertenor (debut); Zachary Wilder, tenor; Hadleigh Adams, baritone (debut); and the American Bach Choir, Jeffrey Thomas conductor. Hear Handel’s beloved masterpiece in one of San Francisco’s most awe-inspiring, sacred spaces.

7:30 PM
Grace Cathedral
1100 California St., San Francisco

$20–$125
Tickets online

Chanticleer
chanticleer square
“A Chanticleer Christmas” The 12-member a cappella vocal ensemble performs seasonal works old, new, and familiar. The program follows the journey of the wise men, across the ages and the world. Fellow pilgrims are a motley group of shepherds and onlookers–Welsh, Huron, Indian, English, Americans of all origins–reveling in the wonder, joy, and peace that the Christmas story brings. Candle-lit Gregorian chant gives way to music by Morales, Gonzalez, Victoria, Poulenc, Sweelinck, and traditional carols, gospel and spirituals.

6 PM and 8:30 PM performances
St. Vincent’s Church
35 Liberty St., Petaluma
$35–$75
Tickets online

Old First Concerts presents Lacuna Arts Chorale, Sven Edward Olbash, Director
Lacuna Arts Chorale returns to O1C for the third year in a row with another unusual and innovative holiday program, including the Missa Dixit Maria by Hans Leo Hassler, madigals by Thomas Weelkes and Reynaldo Hahn, Emma Lou Diemer’s settings of Shakespeare, and arrangements of familiar carols.

8 PM
Old First Church
1751 Sacramento St., San Francisco
$5–$23
Tickets online, 415-474-1608 or https://www.oldfirstconcerts.org/contact-us/

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan, Conductor
George Frideric Handel, Joseph and his Brethren, HWV 59. Philharmonia has performed more of Handel’s oratorios than any period instrument orchestra, and Nicholas McGegan is internationally known for his interpretation of these monumental works. Joseph and his Brethren is new to Philharmonia’s repertoire and tells the Biblical story of Joseph and his reconciliation with his family in Egypt. It gives Handel the opportunity to depict the grandeur of Pharaoh’s court and the faith of Joseph’s estranged brothers in a plot of intrigue and mistaken identity. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear this dramatic work, rarely performed since Handel’s lifetime, in a definitive performance, with soloists Sherezade Panthaki, soprano; Gabrielle Haigh, soprano; Diana Moore, mezzo-soprano; Abigail Levis, mezzo-soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Philip Cutlip, baritone; and the Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director.

7:30 PM
First United Methodist Church
625 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto
$28–$120
Tickets online or 415-392-4400

Women’s Antique Vocal Ensemble (WAVE), Shira Kammen and Phoebe Rosquist, Directors
“The Three Wise Ones” The Womens Antique Vocal Ensemble (WAVE) will present a concert of medieval and Renaissance music that represents the festive and contemplative music related to the characters we have come to know as the three kings. This trio has been represented in a variety of ways through the centuries, whether as a search for historical detail, an effort to improve diplomatic relations, or just creative imagining. Tunes familiar and evocative will transport you back through the centuries and across the far-flung lands west and east of Bethlehem.

8 PM
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
$20/$15/$5
Tickets online, by phone 800-838-3006, or at the door. No reserved seating.
www.wavewomen.org, wavewomensing@gmail.com


Saturday, December 16

Barefoot Chamber Concerts presents Musica Pacifica
“We’ve Got Your Bach: Celebrating the Past, Present, and Future of Musica Pacifica.” Barefoot is delighted to be able to present the Bay Area’s beloved period instrument ensemble in a milestone concert that marks the changing of the guard: Elizabeth Blumenstock, after nearly thirty years as the Musica Pacifica violinist, passes the baton (bow?) to the equally celebrated Ingrid Matthews, who will take over the position. Both violinists will play, and this concert, joining Judith Linsenberg, recorders; David Morris, cello; and Katherine Heater, harpsichord. This concert marks Ms. Blumenstock’s last appearance with Musica Pacifica for a while for and the first of many for Ms. Matthews. The program features a smorgasbord of music by Bach and his contemporaries, including Telemann, Handel, Pachelbel, Purcell, and others.
There will, of course, be the usual Barefoot snax, and there will also be a champagne reception after he concert. The newly acoustically refurbished hall at the El Cerrito Hillside Swedenborgian church will provide the perfect place for this concert and party. Don’t miss this unique occasion!

6 PM
Hillside Swedenborgian Church
1422 Navellier St., El Cerrito
$25 Youth 18 and under free and welcome
Tickets online
510-220-1195, 510-444-4113, http://barefootchamberconcerts.com/

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan, Conductor
George Frideric Handel, Joseph and his Brethren, HWV 59. Philharmonia has performed more of Handel’s oratorios than any period instrument orchestra, and Nicholas McGegan is internationally known for his interpretation of these monumental works. Joseph and his Brethren is new to Philharmonia’s repertoire and tells the Biblical story of Joseph and his reconciliation with his family in Egypt. It gives Handel the opportunity to depict the grandeur of Pharaoh’s court and the faith of Joseph’s estranged brothers in a plot of intrigue and mistaken identity. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear this dramatic work, rarely performed since Handel’s lifetime, in a definitive performance, with soloists Sherezade Panthaki, soprano; Gabrielle Haigh, soprano; Diana Moore, mezzo-soprano; Abigail Levis, mezzo-soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Philip Cutlip, baritone; and the Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director.

7 PM
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley (main entrance, Dana & Durant)
$28–$120
Tickets online or 415-392-4400

Sonoma Bach Choir, Robert Worth, Director
“Early Music Christmas: Windows to the Soul” For this 6th annual Early Music Christmas, Sonoma Bach takes a slightly different tack, extending their exploration of the story back nine months to the moment when Mary receives the strange angelic tidings, and forward to the day known as Candlemas, when the infant Jesus is brought into the temple and is immediately recognized by the aged Simeon. A special focus of the concert is on ‘ways of knowing.’ How do we learn of great things? How do we take them into our minds and hearts? Repertoire includes motets, mass movements, and a Magnificat by Italians and others working in Italy, including Monteverdi and Palestrina. With Charles Rus, organ; Stephen Escher, cornetto; and Circa 1600.

8 PM BachGrounder lecture/demonstration 35 minutes before each concert
Schroeder Hall, Green Music Center
1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park
$25/$15
Tickets online
www.sonomabach.org or 877-914-2224


Sunday, December 17

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, Director
JT-KosoyGeorge Frideric Handel, Messiah. Originally written for Easter services, Messiah was composed at a time when George Frideric Handel was at the height of his powers and popularity. Upon its debut in April of 1742, the oratorio was so popular that ladies were asked to leave their hoop skirts at home so more people could fit into the concert hall. Though tradition has evolved to stage Messiah at Christmas time, audiences continue to pack houses for the masterwork, especially when the acclaimed American Bach Soloists perform it. With soloists Suzanne Karpov, soprano (debut); Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, countertenor (debut); Zachary Wilder, tenor; Hadleigh Adams, baritone (debut); and the American Bach Choir, Jeffrey Thomas conductor.

4 PM
Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center
One Shields Avenue, Davis

$13.50–$68
Tickets online or 530-754-2787

Chanticleer
chanticleer square
“A Chanticleer Christmas” The 12-member a cappella vocal ensemble performs seasonal works old, new, and familiar. The program follows the journey of the wise men, across the ages and the world. Fellow pilgrims are a motley group of shepherds and onlookers–Welsh, Huron, Indian, English, Americans of all origins–reveling in the wonder, joy, and peace that the Christmas story brings. Candle-lit Gregorian chant gives way to music by Morales, Gonzalez, Victoria, Poulenc, Sweelinck, and traditional carols, gospel and spirituals.

8 PM
St. Ignatius Church
650 Parker Street, San Francisco
$35–$75 Student and senior discounts available.
Tickets online

Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra, Frederic Palmer, Director
The Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra performs its annual mid-winter concert. The program will feature Franck, Gloria Patri, qui creavit nos; Crecquillon: Vidit Jacob Scalam; Evans, “Waltz for Debby;” Ravenscroft: Remember, Oh Thou Man; Encina, Fata la parte and ¿Si abrá en este beldrés? Handel, final Allegro from Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 1; and carols “Deck the Hall,” “The First Nöel,” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” The location of this concert is wheelchair accessible. The Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra is an affiliate of the San Francisco Early Music Society.

2 PM
Grace Lutheran Church
3149 Waverley Street, Palo Alto
Free
For further information please see the orchestra’s web page at http://mpro-online.org/ or call Frederic Palmer at 650-591-3648.

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan, Conductor
George Frideric Handel, Joseph and his Brethren, HWV 59. Philharmonia has performed more of Handel’s oratorios than any period instrument orchestra, and Nicholas McGegan is internationally known for his interpretation of these monumental works. Joseph and his Brethren is new to Philharmonia’s repertoire and tells the Biblical story of Joseph and his reconciliation with his family in Egypt. It gives Handel the opportunity to depict the grandeur of Pharaoh’s court and the faith of Joseph’s estranged brothers in a plot of intrigue and mistaken identity. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear this dramatic work, rarely performed since Handel’s lifetime, in a definitive performance, with soloists Sherezade Panthaki, soprano; Gabrielle Haigh, soprano; Diana Moore, mezzo-soprano; Abigail Levis, mezzo-soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Philip Cutlip, baritone; and the Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director.

4 PM
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley (main entrance, Dana & Durant)
$28–$120
Tickets online or 415-392-4400

San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, Director
“A Rebel’s Christmas: Martin Luther’s Musical Reformation” Why should the devil get all the good tunes? Even if Luther didn’t say this, he was on to something, since he borrowed and reshaped many fine secular songs and Catholic chants into Protestant hymns. This concert will dig up roots of beloved church tunes, follow them into the 21st century, and examine how one man changed the course of music. Explore this transformation as wrought by Bach, Brahms, Distler, Handl, Mendelssohn, Praetorius, and Walther, with guidance, spiritual and otherwise, from our “guest monk,” narrator Stephen Wilson. The program includes chances to sing along with SFCA on popular Lutheran tunes, including “Von Himmel Hoch” and “Joseph lieber.” Trace the evolution of these tunes across five centuries, all the way to present-day works; the Choral Artists will premiere pieces by Composer-in-Residence Michael Kaulkin, Composer-Not-in-Residence Sylke Zimpel, and New Voices Project winner Ash Stemke. Narrator and historian Stephen Wilson will weave a tale through this unusual program.

4 PM
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell, San Francisco
$12.50 to $33
Tickets online or 415-494-8149

Sonoma Bach Choir, Robert Worth, Director
“Early Music Christmas: Windows to the Soul” For this 6th annual Early Music Christmas, Sonoma Bach takes a slightly different tack, extending their exploration of the story back nine months to the moment when Mary receives the strange angelic tidings, and forward to the day known as Candlemas, when the infant Jesus is brought into the temple and is immediately recognized by the aged Simeon. A special focus of the concert is on ‘ways of knowing.’ How do we learn of great things? How do we take them into our minds and hearts? Repertoire includes motets, mass movements, and a Magnificat by Italians and others working in Italy, including Monteverdi and Palestrina. With Charles Rus, organ; Stephen Escher, cornetto; and Circa 1600.

3 PM BachGrounder lecture/demonstration 35 minutes before each concert
Schroeder Hall, Green Music Center
1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park
$25/$15
Tickets online
www.sonomabach.org or 877-914-2224

Continue reading next week’s calendar . . .