Calendar: December 9–15, 2019*

Tuesday, December 10

Chanticleer
chanticleer square
“A Chanticleer Christmas” The joy of Christmas comes once again to Chanticleer, as we celebrate this age-old narrative with what we hope are fresh eyes and ears, hearts and voices. Gregorian chant and Biebl are never far away, but this year we turn also to carols in half-a-dozen different languages, American hymns, Spanish villancicos that ask us to dance, and “I Wonder as I Wander,” which calls us to pray. Our musical “Christmas crèche” has as its center the holy family, of course, featuring music of Hassler and Praetorius, Victoria and Morales. Completing the picture are shepherds, twittering angels, curious donkeys, some very wise men and you, our faithful audience. This is a tradition we cherish, and we can’t wait to celebrate the holidays with you again.

8 PM
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
$35–$79
Tickets online


Wednesday, December 11

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, Director
JT-Kosoy“Messiah At Grace Cathedral” Jeffrey Thomas conducts the ABS period-instrument orchestra, the acclaimed American Bach Choir, and an outstanding quartet of soloists. “What stood out above all, in this annual rite that drew a huge crowd, was the sense of being addressed directly, personally, confidingly. Conductor Jeffrey Thomas brought it all together, melding his ABS forces with precision and intuitive responsiveness to Handel’s capacious 1742 masterwork.” (Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice) With soloists Hélène Brunet, soprano; Rebecca Powers, mezzo-soprano; Steven Brennfleck, tenor; Hadleigh Adams, baritone; and the American Bach Choir.

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

$25–$125
Tickets online or or 800-595-4849


Thursday, December 12

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, Director
JT-Kosoy“Messiah At Grace Cathedral” Jeffrey Thomas conducts the ABS period-instrument orchestra, the acclaimed American Bach Choir, and an outstanding quartet of soloists. “What stood out above all, in this annual rite that drew a huge crowd, was the sense of being addressed directly, personally, confidingly. Conductor Jeffrey Thomas brought it all together, melding his ABS forces with precision and intuitive responsiveness to Handel’s capacious 1742 masterwork.” (Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice) With soloists Hélène Brunet, soprano; Rebecca Powers, mezzo-soprano; Steven Brennfleck, tenor; Hadleigh Adams, baritone; and the American Bach Choir.

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

$25–$125
Tickets online or or 800-595-4849

Stanford Baroque Soloists, Anthony Martin, director
Bachs & Biber: Two Symphonies by four sons of J.S. Bach, and two Suites from Mensa Sonora by Heinrich Biber.

7:30 PM
Memorial Church
450 Serra Mall, Stanford University
Free admission


Friday, December 13

American Bach Soloists, Jeffrey Thomas, Director
JT-Kosoy“Messiah At Grace Cathedral” Jeffrey Thomas conducts the ABS period-instrument orchestra, the acclaimed American Bach Choir, and an outstanding quartet of soloists. “What stood out above all, in this annual rite that drew a huge crowd, was the sense of being addressed directly, personally, confidingly. Conductor Jeffrey Thomas brought it all together, melding his ABS forces with precision and intuitive responsiveness to Handel’s capacious 1742 masterwork.” (Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice) With soloists Hélène Brunet, soprano; Rebecca Powers, mezzo-soprano; Steven Brennfleck, tenor; Hadleigh Adams, baritone; and the American Bach Choir.

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

$25–$125
Tickets online or or 800-595-4849

California Bach Society, Paul Flight, Artistic Director
“Christmas in the Americas” Our annual holiday concerts will feature music written by composers from North, Central, and South America. From the cathedrals of Lima, Cuzco, and Mexico City we present villancicos and motets by Juan de Araujo and Juan Gutierrez de Padilla—music whose rhythms and dance idioms reflect the influence of the indigenous cultures on the early Spanish colonialists. From North America, we perform Christmas pieces by William Billings and other 18th-century New England composers, along with some lovely contemporary carol arrangements by our Artistic Director, Paul Flight.

8 PM
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell, San Francisco
$35 with discounts for advance purchase, seniors, Under 30
Tickets online
https://www.calbach.org/season
info@calbach.org or 650-485-1097

SFEMS presents The Academy of Ancient Music, Bojan Čičić, Director
“Rejoice!” Rejoice greatly in an evening of music to stir the soul and lift the spirits. Celebrate with some of the Baroque’s musical masters—Bach, Handel, Corelli, and more—heard here at their most irrepressibly joyful and effervescent. The orchestra is joined by rising young soprano Rowan Pierce and trumpeter David Blackadder, the instrument’s finest living champion. This is a concert that promises to send you home with a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Program features selections by Clarke, Handel, Corelli, Torelli, Handel and Bach. With Rowan Pierce, soprano; David Blackadder, trumpet; Bojan Čičić, violin. Special Event: One performance only! Read more . . .

8 PM
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
Premier $65, Plus $55, Basic $45.
Mini-Subscriptions still available
Individual tickets online or phone 510-528-1725
www.sfems.org


Saturday, December 14

California Bach Society, Paul Flight, Artistic Director
“Christmas in the Americas” Our annual holiday concerts will feature music written by composers from North, Central, and South America. From the cathedrals of Lima, Cuzco, and Mexico City we present villancicos and motets by Juan de Araujo and Juan Gutierrez de Padilla—music whose rhythms and dance idioms reflect the influence of the indigenous cultures on the early Spanish colonialists. From North America, we perform Christmas pieces by William Billings and other 18th-century New England composers, along with some lovely contemporary carol arrangements by our Artistic Director, Paul Flight.

8 PM
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
600 Colorado, Palo Alto
$35 with discounts for advance purchase, seniors, Under 30
Tickets online
https://www.calbach.org/season
info@calbach.org or 650-485-1097

Chanticleer
chanticleer square
“A Chanticleer Christmas” The joy of Christmas comes once again to Chanticleer, as we celebrate this age-old narrative with what we hope are fresh eyes and ears, hearts and voices. Gregorian chant and Biebl are never far away, but this year we turn also to carols in half-a-dozen different languages, American hymns, Spanish villancicos that ask us to dance, and “I Wonder as I Wander,” which calls us to pray. Our musical “Christmas crèche” has as its center the holy family, of course, featuring music of Hassler and Praetorius, Victoria and Morales. Completing the picture are shepherds, twittering angels, curious donkeys, some very wise men and you, our faithful audience. This is a tradition we cherish, and we can’t wait to celebrate the holidays with you again.

8 PM
St. Ignatius Church
650 Parker Street, San Francisco
$35–$79
Tickets online

Sonoma Bach, Robert Worth, Director
“Northern Climes” An Early Music Christmas in the Nordic Countries. In 1582, in the north German town of Greifswald, a publication appeared entitled Piae cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae (“Sacred songs of the church and of the school”). The print contained 74 songs documenting a singing tradition in the cathedral school of Turku, Sweden (now Finland). Many favorite north European Christmas songs are included, among them Puer natus in Bethlehem, Resonet in laudibus, In dulci jubilo and Psallite unigenito. With this rich collection as our inspiration, we present brilliant settings of these songs and others by northern composers such as Mogens Pedersøn, Dieterich Buxtehude, Cornelius Freundt and Hieronymus Praetorius. Don’t miss this joyful Christmas music, with brass, organ and voices—you’ll be dancing in your seat! With David Parsons, organ; The Whole Noyse Brass Ensemble; and Circa 1600.

8 PM BachGrounder lecture 35 minutes before each concert
Schroeder Hall, Green Music Center
1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park
$28/$15
www.sonomabach.org or 877-914-2224

Viola da Gamba Society/Pacifica Chapter
Pacifica Viols PlayDay with David Morris. You must be a member of Pacifica Viola da Gamba Society (Associate Members excepted) to register for and attend our PlayDays. Non-members may attend one session as a guest, but must register ahead of time with the PlayDays Consort Coordinator: playdays@pacificaviols.org

9 AM–3 PM
Hillside Church
1422 Navellier Street, El Cerrito
RSVP. Please email or phone ahead.
playdays@pacificaviols.org
https://pacificaviols.org


Sunday, December 15

California Bach Society, Paul Flight, Artistic Director
“Christmas in the Americas” Our annual holiday concerts will feature music written by composers from North, Central, and South America. From the cathedrals of Lima, Cuzco, and Mexico City we present villancicos and motets by Juan de Araujo and Juan Gutierrez de Padilla—music whose rhythms and dance idioms reflect the influence of the indigenous cultures on the early Spanish colonialists. From North America, we perform Christmas pieces by William Billings and other 18th-century New England composers, along with some lovely contemporary carol arrangements by our Artistic Director, Paul Flight.

4 PM
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
$35 with discounts for advance purchase, seniors, Under 30
Tickets online
https://www.calbach.org/season
info@calbach.org or 650-485-1097

Chanticleer
chanticleer square
“A Chanticleer Christmas” The joy of Christmas comes once again to Chanticleer, as we celebrate this age-old narrative with what we hope are fresh eyes and ears, hearts and voices. Gregorian chant and Biebl are never far away, but this year we turn also to carols in half-a-dozen different languages, American hymns, Spanish villancicos that ask us to dance, and “I Wonder as I Wander,” which calls us to pray. Our musical “Christmas crèche” has as its center the holy family, of course, featuring music of Hassler and Praetorius, Victoria and Morales. Completing the picture are shepherds, twittering angels, curious donkeys, some very wise men and you, our faithful audience. This is a tradition we cherish, and we can’t wait to celebrate the holidays with you again.

5 PM and 7:30 PM performances
St. Vincent’s Church
35 Liberty St., Petaluma
$35–$79
Tickets online

San Francisco Swedenborgian Church
J.S. Bach Christmas Oratorio (excerpts) The combination of San Francisco’s intimate architectural gem, the Swedenborgian Church, with its Arts & Crafts detail and roaring fireplace, and the sublime music of Johann Sebastian Bach, combined with Bay Area period instrument specialists, will create an unforgettable evening ten days before Christmas. Bach’s brilliance comforts us as we launch into the busiest musical season of the year, promising joy and solace to all who attend. Composed in 1734, Bach created an Oratorio in six sections (cantatas). This performance uses 75 minutes of excerpts, mostly from the cantatas directly related to the Christmas story, itself. The warmth and intimacy of the performance space adds a dimension to the spiritual harmony between heaven and earth. The concert is directed by Bay area organist, Jonathan Dimmock, himself a leading Bach interpreter. Jonathan co-founded American Bach Soloists in 1989, has a Grammy Award with the SF Symphony (where he is the regular organist), gives weekly concerts at the Legion of Honor Museum (where he is Principal Organist), tours on six continents, and has more than 50 recordings to his credit. He is joined by his friends and early music colleagues in bringing this masterpiece to life.

4:30 PM and 7:30 PM performances
Swedenborgian Church
2107 Lyon Street at Washington, San Francisco
$30
415-346-6466

Sonoma Bach, Robert Worth, Director
“Northern Climes” An Early Music Christmas in the Nordic Countries. In 1582, in the north German town of Greifswald, a publication appeared entitled Piae cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae (“Sacred songs of the church and of the school”). The print contained 74 songs documenting a singing tradition in the cathedral school of Turku, Sweden (now Finland). Many favorite north European Christmas songs are included, among them Puer natus in Bethlehem, Resonet in laudibus, In dulci jubilo and Psallite unigenito. With this rich collection as our inspiration, we present brilliant settings of these songs and others by northern composers such as Mogens Pedersøn, Dieterich Buxtehude, Cornelius Freundt and Hieronymus Praetorius. Don’t miss this joyful Christmas music, with brass, organ and voices—you’ll be dancing in your seat! With David Parsons, organ; The Whole Noyse Brass Ensemble; and Circa 1600.

3 PM BachGrounder lecture 35 minutes before concert
Schroeder Hall, Green Music Center
1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park
$28/$15
www.sonomabach.org or 877-914-2224

Written by Jonathan Harris
San Francisco Early Music Society