Calendar: December 31, 2018–January 6, 2019

Monday, December 31

American Bach Soloists
“A Baroque New Year’s Eve at the Opera” This special event will feature one of the opera world’s exciting new vocal talents, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen. The 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Young Artists Award Winner, former Merola Opera Program participant, 2018 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, and ABS Academy alumnus has been capturing the hearts of opera lovers around the world. The New York Times wrote that the young breakout artist “possesses a remarkable gift for intimate communication in a vast hall, combined with a voice of velvety gentleness — surprisingly penetrating given the tenderness of its texture — and a taste for adventure. … Expressive yet dignified, his phrasing confident and his ornamentation stylishly discreet, he brought tears to my eyes.” Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen will be featured in arias by Handel and Gluck. Joined by the incomparable soprano Mary Wilson, and along with a delightful program of instrumental music from opera and concert, this early night on the town will joyfully ring in the New Year in elegant style.

4 PM
Herbst Theatre
401 Van Ness, San Francisco
Tickets online or 415-392-4400

Friday, January 4

Barefoot Chamber Concerts
“The Silver Swan” THE BAREFOOT ALL-STARS (Peter Hallifax, Julie Jeffrey, Shira Kammen, David Morris, and Lynn Tetenbaum; various sizes of viols with special guest WENDY GILLESPIE (treble viol) perform consort music of three, four, five, and six parts by Orlando Gibbons. Celebrate 11th Night* with Consort Music by Orlando Gibbons at Barefoot! After the spectacular success of last year’s Winter Season concert of consort music by Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Barefoot will repeat the occasion by popular demand; but this time with the iconic 3, 4, 5, and 6 part consort music of the great Orlando Gibbons. The intrepid Barefoot All-Stars, viol players committed to throwing the fun back into consort music, are joined by legendary treble viol player Wendy Gillespie (who is believed to have played and recorded more Gibbons consort music than any viol player in living memory) in a special appearance, flying in from her eyrie in Indiana. The show will include all 6 of the famous 6-part consorts, and a carefully curated collection of his 3, 4, and 5 part works, including consorts anchored by the magnificent sound of the “Great Dooble Bass” viol. Dances and Fantasies, In Nomines and even some songs without words. Orland Gibbons, revered both in his time (early 17th century) and still today (he was Glen Gould’s favorite composer) was one of the first consort writers to unleash the viol from the confines of vocal-style music, and to develop a purely instrumental style for the instrument. These pieces (particularly the 6 part consorts) have never been surpassed in elegance and variety, they are true masterpieces. We could go on and on about this music, and several people have, in print, no less; but we won’t, out of kindness. If you’re really into reading stuff about music, and miss the program notes, we suggest Wikipedia may be your friend here. The take-home is that this stuff is deservedly fabulous. Alternatively, just come and you’ll see (actually hear) what it’s all about. With the usual snacks in the lovely acoustic of the Swedenborgian Church in El Cerrito; bring a friend or two, enjoy the ride, and go out to dinner after. 75 minutes or so of pure musical gold, don’t miss this.
* 11th Night: the traditional “Feast of Complete Idiots,” or Thingmas, when politicians admit all their lies from the preceding year, and eat coal in public to atone for their sins. We can’t wait.

6.30 PM
Hillside Urban Sanctuary (Swedenborgian Church)
1422 Navellier Street, El Cerrito
Tickets $25 general (unitary pricing) 18 and under admitted free and welcome.
Tickets at the door or order online at

Sunday, January 6

East Bay Recorder Society
kammen shira pic
EBRS Twelfth Night party. The January meeting will be a potluck at the Hillside Community Church in El Cerrito. Most of us know where that is and know that it is one of our favorite venues. Set-up at 3:30 pm with downbeat at 4:00. The ebullient Ms. Shira Kammen will be our conductor. Come prepared to have a very good time with her. We will break for our potluck at 6:00 or so and I am sure we will eat very well indeed. Please visit our “Join Us!” page for our membership form. But if you wish to attend for a first time as a non-member, it is free (with a $10 charge for addtional monthly meetings thereafter until you join).

3:30 PM onward. Potluck break at 6:00
Hillside Church
1422 Navellier Street, El Cerrito

Continue reading next week’s calendar . . .

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Written by Jonathan Harris
San Francisco Early Music Society