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Calendar: March 18–24, 2019

Friday, March 22

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, conductor
Johann Sebastian Bach, Passion According to St. Matthew. ABS and Thomas, “unsurpassable as a Bach interpreter” (San Francisco Classical Voice), have become closely associated with Bach’s masterpiece, the Saint Matthew Passion. Their emotionally stirring performances are unforgettable. The experience of their 2012 performances of an early version of the work made a profound impact on audiences and critics alike. “I am so grateful I was there,” one patron excitedly proclaimed. SFCV also remarked that the work, “when cleansed of much historical baggage, shone as new. Thanks to Thomas and ABS for such a profoundly beautiful, moving evening.” Returning to its more familiar form this season, Thomas will direct the Passion with his distinctive focus on musical detail, transparent textures, direct expression, and intense intimacy. ABS and the American Bach Choir will be joined by ten superb vocal soloists: tenor Guy Cutting (Evangelista), baritone William Sharp (Christus), sopranos Hélène Brunet and Katelyn Aungst, contralto Agnes Vojtko, countertenor Nicholas Burns, tenors Steven Brennfleck and Matthew Hill, and baritones Jesse Blumberg and Constantine Novotny.

8 PM
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
3 Bay View Avenue, Belvedere
Tickets online $35–$89
800-595-4TIX (-4849)

Barefoot Chamber Concerts
“Stylus Phantasticus” David Wilson, violin; Lynn Tetenbaum, viola da gamba; and Katherine Heater, harpsichord, perform music by Buxtehude, Erlebach, Krieger, and Schmelzer. This music is in a category all of its own. It is said that Froberger took the wild style with him from St. Mark’s Venice (where it originated in the music of Merulo and Frescobaldi) to Germany. At any rate, the highly dramatic style caught on fast there, and a contemporary describes it thus: “The fantastic style is especially suited to instruments. It is the most free and unrestrained method of composing, it is bound to nothing, neither to any words nor to a melodic subject, it was instituted to display genius and to teach the hidden design of harmony and the ingenious composition of harmonic phrases and fugues.” The program features an artisanally curated sampling of this captivating idiom. All the players are well known to Barefoot audiences as interpreters of (among many things) German music of this period, the late 17th century. The Swedenborgian church is the perfect acoustic for this!

6:30 PM
Hillside Community Church
1422 Navellier, El Cerrito
All tickets $15 18 and under admitted free and welcome.
Tickets at the door or reserve in advance at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3614368
info@barefootchamberconcerts.com or 510-220-1195
www.barefootchamberconcerts.com.

Junior Bach Festival
JBFestival2012_02_sm66th annual Junior Bach Festival opens (Concerts 1 & 2)
The Junior Bach Festival is dedicated to touching young lives by promoting the study and performance of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Presented annually about the time of Bach’s birthday, March 21, the Festival features in concert some of the finest young musical talent in California (ages 6 to 18), chosen by audition. Tickets are $17 general admission, $12 Seniors, $5 for students 12 and under, except as noted below. There is a FAMILY PACKAGE, where ALL family members (parents, siblings and grandparents) may attend a single concert for $50. (Exception: Concert 4, 10 and 11, as noted). More concert details at www.juniorbach.org. Performances are scheduled the weekends of March 22–24 and March 29–31. Twelve concerts (all different) at venues around the Bay Area feature young people performing works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Click on concert numbers to see detailed programs.

7:30 PM (Concert 1)
Berkeley Piano Club
2724 Haste Street, Berkeley

7:30 PM (Concert 2)
St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park
(NOTE: Concerts 1 & 2 run concurrently)
925-837-1683, JuniorBach@earthlink.net, or www.juniorbach.org

Resonance @ First Church Berkeley presents Derek Tam, fortepiano
The “fortepianist of the beguiling fingers” (Bloomington Herald-Times), Resonance artistic director Derek Tam will play sonatas by Beethoven, Clementi, Haydn and Mozart on a copy of an late 18th-century piano. In this program, Tam will explore four pieces written in the key of F. Whereas F major exhibited “complaisance and calm”, its minor counterpart signaled “deep depression, funereal lament, groans of misery and longing for the grave.” While the four masterpieces on this program, written by the 18th century’s greatest composer-keyboardists, conform to these descriptions, they also break convention to showcase the whole range of human emotion. The program will include Beethoven: Sonata in F minor, Op. 2 No. 1; Haydn: Andante with variations in F minor, Hob. XVII/6; Clementi: Sonata in F minor, Op. 13 No. 6; and Mozart: Sonata in F major, K. 332/300k.

In 2014, First Church Berkeley, a premier venue for music performance in the East Bay, created its own exciting series of chamber and orchestral music concerts. Now in its fifth season, Resonance @ First Church has become a mainstay of the East Bay artistic calendar. Music has always been an important part of the life of First Church. It touches the soul and gives sound and voice to ineffable mystery. Derek Tam, First Church’s Director of Music, curates this exciting series.

8 PM
First Church Berkeley
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
$15–$25
Tickets online or 510- 848-3696
http://www.firstchurchberkeley.org/resonance


Saturday, March 23

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, conductor
Johann Sebastian Bach, Passion According to St. Matthew. ABS and Thomas, “unsurpassable as a Bach interpreter” (San Francisco Classical Voice), have become closely associated with Bach’s masterpiece, the Saint Matthew Passion. Their emotionally stirring performances are unforgettable. The experience of their 2012 performances of an early version of the work made a profound impact on audiences and critics alike. “I am so grateful I was there,” one patron excitedly proclaimed. SFCV also remarked that the work, “when cleansed of much historical baggage, shone as new. Thanks to Thomas and ABS for such a profoundly beautiful, moving evening.” Returning to its more familiar form this season, Thomas will direct the Passion with his distinctive focus on musical detail, transparent textures, direct expression, and intense intimacy. ABS and the American Bach Choir will be joined by ten superb vocal soloists: tenor Guy Cutting (Evangelista), baritone William Sharp (Christus), sopranos Hélène Brunet and Katelyn Aungst, contralto Agnes Vojtko, countertenor Nicholas Burns, tenors Steven Brennfleck and Matthew Hill, and baritones Jesse Blumberg and Constantine Novotny.

8 PM
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
Tickets online $35–$89
800-595-4TIX (-4849)

Bay Area Classical Harmonies
A night of Italian and French Early Music Concert featuring music by Claudio Monteverdi, Barbara Strozzi, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Giovanni Pittoni, and others. Soprano Katherine Hobbs, tenor Alexander Frank, bass Andrew Chung are accompanied by Adrian Murillo on lute and theorbo, and Eugene Petrushansky on harpsichord and organ. The program highlight includes Lagrime Mie by Barbara Strozzi (1619–1677), an influential female composer in the baroque era, movements from Claudio Monteverdi’s Madrigal Book VII, and Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Motet Omnes Gentes Plaudite Manibus.

7:30 PM
Saint Joseph of Arimathea
2316 Bowditch St., Berkeley
Tickets online $10–$18

Junior Bach Festival
JBFestival2012_02_sm66th annual Junior Bach Festival continues (Concerts 3 & 4)
The Junior Bach Festival is dedicated to touching young lives by promoting the study and performance of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Presented annually about the time of Bach’s birthday, March 21, the Festival features in concert some of the finest young musical talent in California (ages 6 to 18), chosen by audition. Tickets are $17 general admission, $12 Seniors, $5 for students 12 and under, except as noted below. There is a FAMILY PACKAGE, where ALL family members (parents, siblings and grandparents) may attend a single concert for $50. (Exception: Concert 4, 10 and 11, as noted). More concert details at www.juniorbach.org. Performances are scheduled the weekends of March 22–24 and March 29–31. Twelve concerts (all different) at venues around the Bay Area feature young people performing works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Click on concert numbers to see detailed programs.

4 PM (Concert 3)
7:30 PM (Concert 4)
Christ Episcopal Church
815 Portola Road, Portola Valley
925-837-1683, JuniorBach@earthlink.net, or www.juniorbach.org

Santa Cruz Baroque Festival
“A North German Abendmusik with Bach” The Abendmusik public concerts in the candlelit Marienkirche in Lubeck, played by the organ virtuoso Dietrich Buxtehude, were a fascination to the 20-year-old J.S. Bach. He is said to have walked 280 miles each way to hear Buxtehude, and angered his employer back home because he stayed several months to comprehend one thing and another about his art. We share Bach’s fascination with the kaleidoscopic effects of not only Buxtehude but also of Abendmusik founder Franz Tunder, another colorful figure of the early North German baroque. Two virtuoso organists, Margaret Martin Kvamme and Vlada Moran, play masterworks such as Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D Minor along with seldom-heard treasures by Bach’s teachers Johann Adam Reincken, Georg Böhm and Nicolaus Bruhns.

7:30 PM
Peace United Church
900 High St., Santa Cruz
Tickets online $25/$22/$10
www.scbaroque.org


Sunday, March 24

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, conductor
Johann Sebastian Bach, Passion According to St. Matthew. ABS and Thomas, “unsurpassable as a Bach interpreter” (San Francisco Classical Voice), have become closely associated with Bach’s masterpiece, the Saint Matthew Passion. Their emotionally stirring performances are unforgettable. The experience of their 2012 performances of an early version of the work made a profound impact on audiences and critics alike. “I am so grateful I was there,” one patron excitedly proclaimed. SFCV also remarked that the work, “when cleansed of much historical baggage, shone as new. Thanks to Thomas and ABS for such a profoundly beautiful, moving evening.” Returning to its more familiar form this season, Thomas will direct the Passion with his distinctive focus on musical detail, transparent textures, direct expression, and intense intimacy. ABS and the American Bach Choir will be joined by ten superb vocal soloists: tenor Guy Cutting (Evangelista), baritone William Sharp (Christus), sopranos Hélène Brunet and Katelyn Aungst, contralto Agnes Vojtko, countertenor Nicholas Burns, tenors Steven Brennfleck and Matthew Hill, and baritones Jesse Blumberg and Constantine Novotny.

4 PM
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco
Tickets online $35–$89
800-595-4TIX (-4849)

Junior Bach Festival
JBFestival2012_02_sm66th annual Junior Bach Festival continues (Concerts 5 & 6)
The Junior Bach Festival is dedicated to touching young lives by promoting the study and performance of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Presented annually about the time of Bach’s birthday, March 21, the Festival features in concert some of the finest young musical talent in California (ages 6 to 18), chosen by audition. Tickets are $17 general admission, $12 Seniors, $5 for students 12 and under, except as noted below. There is a FAMILY PACKAGE, where ALL family members (parents, siblings and grandparents) may attend a single concert for $50. (Exception: Concert 4, 10 and 11, as noted). More concert details at www.juniorbach.org. Performances are scheduled the weekends of March 22–24 and March 29–31. Twelve concerts (all different) at venues around the Bay Area feature young people performing works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Click on concert numbers to see detailed programs.

4 PM (Concert 5)
Old First Presbyterian Church
1751 Sacramento St., San Francisco
(NOTE: Tickets $15, $10 for seniors, $5 students. Under 12 FREE.)

7:30 PM (Concert 6)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
2929 Stone Valley Road, Alamo (MAP)
(NOTE: Admission FREE)
925-837-1683, JuniorBach@earthlink.net, or www.juniorbach.org

Continue reading next week’s calendar . . .