Sun, Feb. 14, 2016 at 3 pm


Sun, Feb. 28, 2016 at 3 pm


Sat, March 12, 2016 at 8 pm


Sun, March 27, 2016 at 7 pm


Sun, April 17, 2016 at 3 pm


Sun, April 24, 2016 at 3 pm


Sun, May 8, 2016 at 3 pm


Mon, May 9, 2016 at 8 pm


Thurs, May 12, 2016 at 8 pm

All performances are at Herbst Theatre


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Fire & poetry from Sarah Chang

Fire & poetry from Sarah Chang Legendary pianist Nelson Freire Mischa Maisky's SF recital debut Arnaldo Cohen's bravura wizardry
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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2016 at 3 PM

SZAMOTULY Four Polish Renaissance Chorales
SZYMANOWSKI Nocturne and Tarantella
WEBER Clarinet Quintet
BEETHOVEN Quartet in C Major, Op. 59 No.3

“It was hard not to fall in love with the Szymanowski Quartet”

—The New York Times

Founded in Warsaw in 1995, this remarkable group employs a vivid, wide-ranging palette of tonal colors to strike a perfect balance between intellect and passion.  As its members are from Ukraine and Poland, the quartet springs from the very heart of musical “Mitteleuropa” and the result is sensational.  After winning prizes at competitions in Melbourne, Osaka, and Florence, the group is now sought after by such top venues as Carnegie Hall, the Louvre, London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein and Berlin’s Konzerthaus, as well as other concert halls and prestigious festivals in Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia and South America.

In 2005 they were honored with the “Szymanowski Award” of the Karol Szymanowski Foundation in Warsaw, the only time it has ever been given to a string quartet. In 2007 they were awarded the Medal of Honor by the Polish government for their service to Polish culture.

Their program for us will include Karl Maria von Weber’s sparkling Clarinet Quintet featuring guest clarinetist Ivar Berix, the noted Dutch clarinetist and member of Calefax.


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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2016 at 3 PM

BACH-BUSONI Chaconne in D minor
BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Handel
LISZT Sonetto del Petrarca No. 104
LISZT Sonata in B minor




"First of all there is his sound -- a burnished, unforced bronze-like sound somewhat in the Rachmaninoff manner. Cohen has a world-class technique. His playing, color and all, has text-book clarity. And he understands the Romantic style."

—Harold C. Schonberg (N.Y. Times etc.)

The Brazilian-born pianist Arnaldo Cohen, now living in the United States, has long had a reputation for astonishing his audiences with the musical authority and blistering virtuosity of his performances. His graceful and unaffected platform manner belies playing of white-hot intensity, intellectual probity, and glittering bravura technique bordering on sheer wizardry. Long in demand internationally, Mr. Cohen has in the past few years entered a rarefied echelon among performers in America as well. He is regularly invited to appear as soloist with major orchestras, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His solo recitals everywhere draw enthusiastic crowds of cognoscenti. Critics, too, marvel at his mixture of musical complexity and élan.

After winning First Prize at the 1972 Busoni International Competition, Mr. Cohen scored a triumph at the the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Soon after he moved to London and went on to build a repertoire of some 50 concertos and to perform with such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome, collaborating with conductors Kurt Masur, Kurt Sanderling, Klaus Tennstedt, and Yehudi Menuhin (who described Cohen as "one of the greatest pianists I have ever heard").

As a former professional violinist, teacher of physics, mathematics, cocktail pianist, and avid soccer fan, Mr. Cohen's unconventional background contributed to the aura of surprise and discovery that attended virtually every one of his public performances a quality that greatly enhanced his success in the major concert halls of Europe and later the United States. Mr. Cohen's interpretations have been greeted with such sweeping accolades as "magisterial", "thrilling", "intrepid", "exultant", and "trenchant", all of which are a metric of Cohen's extraordinary pianism.

Until recently Mr. Cohen held a professorship at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2004, after living in London for 23 years, he relocated to the United States and now holds a piano professorship with tenure at Indiana University in Bloomington where, upon his appointment, he was cited as "one of the world's greatest living pianists". Mr. Cohen is currently Artistic Director of the prestigious concert series Portland Piano International.


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with JULIO ELIZALDE, piano

SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2016 at 8 PM

BARTOK Romanian Dances
BRAHMS Sonata No. 3

RAVEL Tzigane



“Her gifts are at a level so removed from the rest of us that all we can do is feel the appropriate awe and then wonder on the mysteries of nature. The ancients would certainly have had Ms. Chang emerging fully formed from some Botticellian scallop shell.”

—The New York Times

One of the most remarkable violin prodigies of any generation, Sarah Chang has matured into a young artist whose musical insight, technical virtuosity, and emotional range continue to astonish.

She has performed with such major orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, led by such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, André Previn, and Michael Tilson.

She has given recitals at the Kennedy Center, Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Symphony Hall (Boston), the Barbican Centre, the Philharmonie (Berlin) and the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam).

Ms. Chang has played chamber music with such artists as Pinchas Zukerman, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yefim Bronfman, Martha Argerich, Leif Ove Andsnes, Stephen Kovacevich, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Lars Vogt and the late Isaac Stern.

Besides winning such prestigious awards as the Avery Fisher Career Grant and Gramophone’s “Young Artist of the Year” award, Ms Chang has had some extraordinary recognition: Yale University has named a chair in Sprague Hall in her honor, in 2006 Newsweek named her as one of the Twenty Top Women in Leadership and, in 2008, she was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. 

In June 2004 she carried the Olympic Torch in New York, and in the same month became the  youngest person ever to receive the Hollywood Bowl's Hall of Fame award.  In 2011, Ms. Chang was named an official Artistic Ambassador by the United States Embassy.

American pianist Julio Elizalde has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He has collaborated with such artists as violinist Pamela Frank, composers Osvaldo Golijov and Stephen Hough, and members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Kronos, and Brentano string quartets. Mr. Elizalde is a founding member of the New Trio, winner of both the Fischoff and Coleman National Chamber Music Competitions.



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SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2016 at 7 PM

Corey Cerovsek, violin
Alexander Kniazev, cello
Katia Skanavi, piano

Grammy-nominated violinist Corey Cerovsek performs with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Michael Tilson Thomas and Neeme Järvi. His North American performances have included concertos with the orchestras of Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Detroit, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Atlanta, Baltimore, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto, and he has toured in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, China, Austria, the Netherlands, Brazil and Spain. Chamber music partners include Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Thomas Quasthoff, Joshua Bell, Jeremy Denk, Leonidas Kavakos, Alexandre Tharaud, Truls Mørk, Isabelle Van Keulen and Leif Ove Andsnes.

Cerovsek has given recitals at such prestigious venues as the Gardner Museum (Boston), Kennedy Center (Washington), Lincoln Center and the Frick Collection (New York), the Place des Arts (Montreal), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), Wigmore Hall (London) and the Theâtre du Châtelet (Paris).

He has been featured twice on NBC's Tonight Show (with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno), on the David Frost Show, on the PBS special Musical Encounters and on CBS's Sunday Morning.   Cerovsek performs on the “Milanollo” Stradivarius of 1728, an instrument played, among others, by Nicolò Paganini.


Russian cellist Alexander Kniazev has played under such conductors as Rostropovitch, Järvi and Masur.  His chamber music partners include Evgeny Kissin, Vadim Repin, Boris Berezovsky, Denis Matsuev and Nikolai Lugansky and he has performed throughout the world at such venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center, the Musikverein in Vienna, Salle Pleyel, the Salzburg Festival, and at the Lugano Festival at the invitation of Martha Argerich. His recordings have earned Gramophone, Diapason d’Or and Echo Awards.


Greek-Russian pianist Katia Skanavi performs with such artists as Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer and Truls Mørk.  Recently she has had recital and orchestral engagements in Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Berlin (Philharmonie), London, Vienna (Musikverein and Konzerthaus), Luxembourg, Madrid, Tokyo (Suntory Hall), Moscow, Paris and La Roque d’Anthéron festival.  In the United States she has given New York, Ravinia and Washington and had concerto appearances with the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis and San Francisco.


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NELSON GOERNER, piano San Francisco Debut

SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2016 at 3 PM

HANDEL Chaconne in G Major
SCHUMANN Davidsbundlertanze, Op. 6
CHOPIN Barcarolle
CHOPIN Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 39
CHOPIN Two Nocturnes, Op. 55
CHOPIN Polonaise in A-flat Major, Op. 53

"Goerner combines lucid intellectuality, undeniable depth and technical ease" 

—Ambito Financiero (Buenos Aires)

A meticulous yet warm-hearted artist, Nelson Goerner has performed with such orchestras as the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Deutsche Symphonie Orchestra of Berlin under Andrew Davis, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra under Mark Elder, the Suisse Romande with Neemi Jarvi and Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos, the Orchestra of the 18th Century with Frans Bruggen, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo under Fabio Luisi. Festival appearances include the Salzburg Festival, La Roque d'Anthéron, La Grange de Meslay, Edinburgh, Schleswig-Holstein and Verbier, as well as the BBC Proms.

In the 2013-14 season, Nelson Goerner was awarded an Artist Portrait series at Wigmore Hall, for which he gave four recitals. His 2014-15 season included recitals in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Montpellier, Geneva, Reykjavik, Vancouver, Washington DC, Minneapolis and Buenos Aires.

A keen chamber musician, Nelson Goerner has collaborated with artists such as Martha Argerich, Janine Jansen, Steven Isserlis and Gary Hoffman.

Mr. Goerner enjoys a long association with the Chopin Institute in Warsaw, where he is a member of the artistic advisory committee, and for whom he recently made recordings on pianos by Pleyel and Erard dating from 1848 and 1849; his recording of the Ballades and Nocturnes earned a Diapason d'Or.

His discography includes recordings of Chopin, Rachmaninov, Liszt and Busoni, and a DVD of repertoire by Beethoven and Chopin in a live performance from the Verbier Festival. His Chopin recording on the Wigmore Hall Live label was Instrumental Choice of the Month in BBC Music Magazine, and his recording of Debussy for the Outhere/ZigZag Territoires label was awarded the Diapason d'Or of the Year 2013. Nelson Goerner's recent Schumann recording was BBC Music Magazine's Recording of the Month in March 2015, and his next recording project will feature repertoire by Beethoven.

Born in San Pedro, Argentina, in 1969, Nelson Goerner has established himself as one of the foremost pianists of his generation. He was awarded First Prize in the Franz Liszt Competition in Buenos Aires in 1986, which led to a scholarship to work with Maria Tipo at the Geneva Conservatoire, and in 1990 he won the First Prize at the Geneva Competition.

Mr. Goerner lives in Switzerland with his wife and young son. He is professor of piano at the High School of Music in Geneva.


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LIZA FERSCHTMANN, violin San Francisco RECITAL Debut

SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2016 at 3 PM

BACH Unaccompanied Sonata No. 1 in G minor
BRAHMS Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78
PROKOFIEV Five Melodies
STRAUSS Violin Sonata

“The concert was nothing short of a revelation - Ms Ferschtman brought laserlike purity and intensity to her performance.”

—The New York Times

Dutch violinist Liza Ferschtman is known for her passionate performances, interesting programs and communicative qualities on stage. She is equally at home on the concert stage with concertos, chamber music, recitals and solo works. In 2006 she received the highest accolade awarded to a musician in the Netherlands, the Dutch Music Prize.

Born into a family of Russian musicians, Liza Ferschtman was constantly surrounded by music. She received her formal training from Herman Krebbers at the Amsterdam Conservatory, Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and David Takeno in London.

In recent years Liza Ferschtman has performed with all significant Dutch Orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw and the Rotterdam Philhamonic. She has been soloist of the Orchestre National de Belgique, Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, Bremen Philharmonic, Radio Symphony Orchestra of Prague, Malmö Symphony, and Bergen Philharmonic. Conductors she has worked with include Frans Bruggen, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Neeme Järvi, Leonard Slatkin, Thomas Sondergard and Jaap van Zweden.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Ferschtman collaborates regularly with artists such as Inon Barnatan, Jonathan Biss, Nobuko Imai, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Enrico Pace, Christian Poltera, Lars Anders Tomter and Alisa Weilerstein. In addition to appearances at numerous international chamber music festivals, she has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, Wigmore Hall, the Vienna Musikverein, as well as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Liza Ferschtman has been the artistic director of the Delft Chamber Music Festival since 2007, one of the most reputable festivals in Europe. During her tenure the festival has become widely known for adventurous programming with dynamic performances by artists from around the globe.

Highlights in the past season were the performance of the complete solo works by Bach in Amsterdam and a concert tour to Budapest, Amsterdam, New York and Montréal with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under the baton of Iván Fischer.

During the current season Liza Ferschtman is scheduled to make her debuts with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Essen, the Staatskapelle Weimar and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra. She will perform chamber music at the Liederhalle in Stuttgart and the Beethoven Haus in Bonn and will be present in the Netherlands with several recitals.

Ms. Ferschtman's recording of the Beethoven Concerto and Romances was received with great critical acclaim, as well as her other recordings with concertos by Dvorak, Röntgen, solo works by Bach and Ysaye, (Strad Magazine's CD choice of the month), and duo works by Beethoven and Schubert. Her next CD will be solo works by Bach, Biber, Bartok and Berio (Challenge Classics).

Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich was the top prizewinner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition. He made his Israel Philharmonic debut under the baton of Zubin Mehta, and has given solo and chamber recitals at such prestigious venues as Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Wigmore Hall, Paris’ Salle Cortot, Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, Kennedy Center and the Moscow Conservatory.


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SUNDAY, May 8, 2016 at 3 PM


Few musical works are as beloved as the six "Brandenburg" Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach. These six works display a lighter side of Bach's imperishable genius. Yet they came into being as an unexpected gift. That's what happened in 1721 when Bach presented the Margrave of Brandenburg with a bound manuscript containing six lively concertos for chamber orchestra, works based on an Italian Concerto Grosso style. The Margrave never thanked Bach for his work--or paid him. There's no way he could have known that this gift--later named the Brandenburg Concertos--would become a benchmark of Baroque music and still have the power to move people almost three centuries later.

The Concertos are a highlight of one of the happiest and most productive periods in Bach's life. At the time he wrote them, Bach was the Kapellmeister--the music director--in the small town of Coethen, where he was composing music for the court. Since the Margrave of Brandenburg seems to have ignored Bach's gift of concertos, it's likely that Bach himself presided over the first performances at home in Coethen. They didn't have a name then; that didn't come until 150 years later, when Bach's biographer Philipp Spitta called them "Brandenburg" Concertos for the very first time, and the name stuck.

Each of the six concertos requires a different combination of instruments as well as some highly skilled soloists. The Margrave had his own small court orchestra in Berlin, but it was a group of mostly mediocre players. All the evidence suggests that these virtuosic Brandenburg concertos perfectly matched the talents of the musicians on hand in Coethen. So how did a provincial town get so many excellent musicians? Just before Johann Sebastian arrived in Coethen in 1717, a new king inherited the throne in Prussia. Friedrich Wilhelm I became known as the "Soldier King" because he was interested in the military strength of his kingdom, not in refined artistic pursuits. One of his first royal acts was to disband the prestigious Berlin court orchestra. That threw many musicians out of work, and as luck would have it, seven of the best ones were snatched up to work in Coethen by its music-loving Prince Leopold. That's why Bach found such a rich music scene when he started to work there. It gave him the luxury of writing for virtuosos and they let him push the boundraries of his creativity. Concerto No. 2, for example, has the trumpeter play high flourishes. No. 4 allows the solo violin to soar.

Even though he himself didn't call them the "Brandenburgs," Bach still thought of them as a set. What he did was compile them from short instrumental sinfonias and concerto movements he had already written. Then he re-worked the old music, often re-writing and elaborating where he saw fit.

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MISCHA MAISKY, cello San Francisco RECITAL Debut

MONDAY, MAY 9, 2016 at 8 PM

PROGRAM to be announced

"Maisky’s playing combines poetry and exquisite delicacy with great temperament and brilliant technique."

—Mstislav Rostropovich

Mischa Maisky has the distinction of being the only cellist in the world to have studied with both Mstislav Rostropovich and Gregor Piatigorsky.

Born in Latvia, educated in Russia, after his repatriation to Israel, Mischa Maisky has been enthusiastically received in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, New York and Tokyo, along with the rest of the major music centres.

He considers himself to be a citizen of the world: "I’m playing an Italian cello, with French and German bows, Austrian and German strings, my daughter was born in France, my oldest son in Belgium, the middle one in Italy and the youngest one in Switzerland, I’m driving a Japanese car, wear a Swiss watch, an Indian necklace and I feel at home everywhere where people appreciate and enjoy classical music."

As an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, during the last 25 years he has made well over 30 recordings with such orchestras as Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orpheus, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and others.

One of the highlights of his career was the year 2000 - it was mainly devoted to a worldwide Bach tour which included over 100 concerts! In order to express his deep admiration for this great composer, Mischa Maisky has recorded Bach's solo suites for the third time.

His recordings have enjoyed worldwide critical acclaim and have been awarded the prestigious Record Academy Prize in Tokyo five times, the Echo Deutscher Schallplattenpreis three times, Grand Prix du Disque in Paris and Diapason d’Or of the Year as well as the coveted Grammy nominations.

Truly a world-class musician and regular guest at most major International Festivals, he has collaborated with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Carlo Maria Giulini, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, James Levine, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Valery Gergiev and Gustavo Dudamel and his partnerships have included artists as Martha Argerich, Radu Lupu, Nelson Freire, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Peter Serkin, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Joshua Bell, Julian Rachlin and Janine Jansen to name just a few.


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THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2016 at 6 PM

BACH Partita No. 4 in D Major
BEETHOVEN Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110
SHOSTAKOVICH 3 Dances, Op. 1
CHOPIN Sonata No. 3 in B minor

“In an age when overt showmanship grabs lots of attention, Freire offers a gentle reminder that interpretive depth has an irresistible power all its own.” 

—The New York Times

The 70 year old piano master makes a rare Bay Area appearance (his first recital since 2009). This Brazilian-born virtuoso is a highly sought-after soloist of the first rank, blending fire and poetry with a jaw-dropping technique.   At twenty-three he made a sensation in his London debut, whereupon The Times called him “The young lion of the keyboard”The following year, after his New York debut with the New York Philharmonic, Time Magazine hailed him as “One of the most exciting pianists of this or any age”.

Ever since, Nelson Freire has performed regularly with many of the world's major conductors, such as Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, Eugen Jochum, André Previn, Lorin Maazel, Rudolf Kempe, Rafael Kubelik, Kurt Masur and Sir Colin Davis. He has appeared with the greatest orchestras:  the Philharmonics of Berlin, London, New York and Israel, as well with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Leipzig Gewandhaus and the orchestras of Munich, Paris, Tokyo, St. Petersburg  - including the Mariinsky - Vienna, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Chicago and Montreal.

Mr. Freire has recorded extensively for Sony/CBS, Decca and Deutsche Grammophon, and was awarded volume 29 in the Philips’ iconic 100-volume CD collection “Great Pianists of the Century.”