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Calendar: January 14–20, 2019

Monday, January 14

Agave Baroque
“Fire and Ice” Rich, dark timbres, experimental techniques, and extreme drama and virtuosity. It could be heavy metal… or it could be a violin sonata by Johann Paul von Westhoff, the wild 17th-century German violinist and composer. While Italy was busy acquiring its status as the center of the 17th century musical world, composers and performers in northern Germany, Scandinavia, England, and Holland were busy developing their own unique sound, blending Italian influences with a distinctly northern sensibility and style. San Francisco’s free-spirited early music powerhouse Agave Baroque (Aaron Westman, baroque violin; Henry Lebedinsky, harpsichord; William Skeen, viola da gamba; and Kevin Cooper, baroque guitar and theorbo) offers up this program of fiery, bold, and inventive works by Westhoff, as well as Buxtehude, Locke, Sidon, Peterson, and Roman. Early Music America called San Francisco-based Agave Baroque “an energized, free-spirited group of Californian virtuosi. Specializing in string chamber music of the 17th and 18th centuries, Agave has received numerous awards and accolades and gained local and national attention for its powerful presence and “emotional wallop” (EMA), expressive and virtuosic (SF Classical Voice) playing and gorgeous (American Record Guide) music, as well as its growing discography. Now in its eleventh season, Agave continues continues to be a unique and innovative voice in the national chamber music community.

ATTUNED: A NON-CONCERT EXPERIENCE is the Bay Area’s new and unique invitation to the world of Classical music. Curated by sister ensembles Agave Baroque and Sylvestris Quartet in collaboration with the California Jazz Conservatory, each program invites you to enjoy a cabaret-style show with a multimedia experience and narration that brings you the stories behind the music.

8 PM
Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory
2040 Addison St., Berkeley
Tickets online $20
510-845-5373, http://www.agavebaroque.org


Friday, January 18

Vajra Voices and Kitka with Shira Kammen and Theresa Wong
“The Eve of the March” Vajra Voices and the Grace Cathedral/Ghiberti Foundation present “The Eve of the March.” For the first time, two Bay area all-women vocal ensembles– the world renowned Kitka and the critically acclaimed Vajra Voices– are joining forces to sing in honor and celebration of the Women’s Marches and all that they stand for. The combined fourteen voices will join with cellist/composer Theresa Wong and multi-instrumentalist Shira Kammen in the majestic nave of Grace Cathedral to present medieval and modern songs on the divine feminine.

On the program, Vajra Voices joins Kitka in singing the Georgian Hymn: “Shen Khar Venakhi” (You are the vine), and, the Greek song, “Aghni Parthena” (O Virgin Pure). Likewise, Kitka joins Vajra Voices on Hildegard von Bingen’s medieval songs: “O Viriditas Digiti Dei” (Greenness of God), and, “Quia Ergo Femina” (Because A Woman). Each ensemble will sing selections from their most recent CDs (Kitka’s Evening Star; and, Vajra Voices’ O Eterne Deus). Add to this the wizardry of Bay area superstar, Shira Kammen’s instrumentals; and the world premiere of Theresa Wong’s “To Burst To Bloom”—ethereal utterances on 12th century Taoist poems of Sun Buer, and we have a full eclectic bouquet of resonances to offer up—a concert in the sacred space of Grace Cathedral—to celebrate women’s voices and the power of community.

7:30 PM
Grace Cathedral
1100 California St., San Francisco
Tickets online $10–$45
vajravoices@gmail.com, 510-812-4518


Saturday, January 19

Liaison Ensemble + Helia Collective
“Songs of Ice and Fire” Melinda Becker, mezzo-soprano; Susie Fong, harpsichord; Hallie Pridham, baroque cello; andTatiana Senderowicz, theorbo, perform works of Barbara Strozzi, Francesca Caccini, Emily Koh, Lily Chen, and Julie Barwick. Liaison is a dynamic and vibrant early-music ensemble based in San Francisco, California. In addition to playing in concert halls, Liaison hopes to bring historically-informed performances to a wider range of audiences in non-traditional venues while maintaining the highest musical standards. Liaison’s group name was inspired by the members’ pursuit of a collaborative, cooperative approach to ensemble music-making as well the importance of the relationship between performer and audience.

Co-founded by musician/composers, Emma Logan and Julie Barwick, Helia Music Collective supports the creative endeavors of women in music throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Helia Music seeks to enrich the community and expand the engagement of women artists through educational outreach and collaborations, with performances and workshops taking place in unique and diverse spaces. Through charitable activities and events, Helia supports the education and development of women in the Bay Area and beyond.

7:30 PM
Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco
$20 General, $15 Seniors/Students
Tickets and information https://sunsetarts.wordpress.com/liaison-ensemble-helia-collective/ 415-564-2324 or incarnationsf@gmail.com

Tactus
“Determination and Destiny” What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Join Tactus in exploring this age-old question through the lens of music. Through haunting harmonies of adversity and iniquity gilded by glimmers of gumption and endurance, we craft a concert that pits perseverance against providence. Our program that is simultaneously about Josquin, and not, brings together motets of Josquin, Byrd, Lassus, Victoria, and others to ask: can Determination overcome Destiny? Tactus will be joined by musical guests Mane Musica (early music brass quartet), Eugene Petrushansky (organ), Founding Director Tanmoy Laskar (flute), as well as the three finalists of our Determination and Destiny poetry contest.

4 PM
St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church
3281 16th Street, San Francisco
Tickets: $15 (Eventbrite and at the door)
Wine reception to follow.
For concert program and more information: www.tactus-sf.org


Sunday, January 20

Vajra Voices, Karen R. Clark, Director, with Shira Kammen and Theresa Wong
“Women’s Voices Uplifted” Vajra Voices (Phoebe Jevtovic Rosquist , Allison Zelles Lloyd, Amy Stuart Hunn, Celeste Winant, and Karen R. Clark, Director) with Shira Kammen, medieval harp & vielle, and Theresa Wong, voice, performing “Women’s Voices Uplifted: Explorations in Medieval & Renaissance Song, from Hildegard von Bingen to Leonore d’Este.” Featured on the program are solo monody, 2-part sequences,and 3-part polyphonic conductus found in the Codex Las Huegas de Burgos (ca. 1300). It is thought that the music in Las Huelgas (Northern Spain) was for performance by the 100 women who resided there.

4:30 PM
California Jazz Conservatory
2087 Addison St., Berkeley
Tickets online $20 or at the door

Robert Burns Birthday Celebration
You’ve probably heard the incomparable songs and poems of Scotland’s National Poet, but have you ever wondered what Robert Burns was really like? Come hear him speak for himself through actor Karl Goldstein, at the Annual Robert Burns Birthday Celebration. This event has become so popular that there is always a full, lively crowd of Burns fans, Scottish, and early music lovers. If you have never seen it, come join with everyone for some hot Scottish fiddling, great songs, laughs, and conviviality, in a costumed, 18th century setting, performed by some of the Bay Area’s best: Karl Goldstein, actor; Susan Rode Morris, soprano; Shira Kammen, fiddle and other things; Phebe Craig, harpsichord; and Julie Jeffrey, viola da gamba. When Susan Rode Morris and Phebe Craig began to record their 18th-century style arrangements of Burns songs, which have been played to rave reviews on National Public Radio’s Performance Today” (“Between the Late and Early”, and “Among the Lasses” on the Donsuemor label), they wanted to learn as much about Burns as they could. His hundreds of letters gave the most fascinating insight into who he was, and an idea was born: to make a performance piece, drawn only from his letters, to present Burns songs in a context where he would be present, through actor Karl Goldstein. You will hear Burns talk about his songs and his life, loves and struggles. You will hear the fiddle tunes that inspired him, played in the 18th century manner. The Robert Burns Celebration is pure Burns, with all his wit and bite, and heart-melting tenderness. Tickets at the door – come early for a good seat and to hear tonight’s special pre-show treat: The California Revels’ own Solstice Singers set the mood with some favorite Burns songs and other delightful Scottish ditties.

7:30 PM
Arlington Community Church
52 Arlington Ave, Kensington
Tickets door only $15–$25
510-848-3422

Tactus
“Determination and Destiny” What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Join Tactus in exploring this age-old question through the lens of music. Through haunting harmonies of adversity and iniquity gilded by glimmers of gumption and endurance, we craft a concert that pits perseverance against providence. Our program that is simultaneously about Josquin, and not, brings together motets of Josquin, Byrd, Lassus, Victoria, and others to ask: can Determination overcome Destiny? Tactus will be joined by musical guests Mane Musica (early music brass quartet), Eugene Petrushansky (organ), Founding Director Tanmoy Laskar (flute), as well as the three finalists of our Determination and Destiny poetry contest.

4 PM
St Jerome’s Catholic Church
308 Carmel Ave, El Cerrito
Tickets: $15 (Eventbrite and at the door)
Wine reception to follow.
For concert program and more information: www.tactus-sf.org

Les Violettes
“Render Unto Caesar: Music from the Court of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor” Lincoln Theater is delighted to present this concert of music from the court of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. Leopold was a patron of the arts, and was himself a musician. His court employed some of the top musicians in 17th-century Europe. Les Violettes (Corey Carleton, soprano; David Wilson, violin; Colin Shipman, viola da gamba; and Violet Grgich, harpsichord, perform a program of music written under the patronage of Leopold, including works by Antonio Bertali, Giovanni Felice Sances, Giovanni Bononcini, and Johann Heinrich Schmelzer. In keeping with the period, the audience will be seated on the stage with the musicians for an intimate evening that blends delightful music, delicious hors-d’oeuvres and Grgich Hill’s world-famous wines.

3 PM
Napa Valley Performing Arts Center
100 California Drive, Yountville
Tickets online $85
heather@lincolntheater.org, 707-944-9900

Continue reading next month’s calendar . . .