Almost exactly a year ago this site announced the launch of the Elevate Ensemble, a mixed chamber ensemble whose mission (as stated on the About Web page of the group’s Web site) is “to bring people together using powerful musical experiences that highlight the incredible talents of the Bay Area classical music scene.” Under Music Director and founder Chad Goodman, the group has presented several new works, many of which involve additional media. Programming also includes music from the past, often taking a retrospective point of view from the time when it was composed.
Elevate Ensemble’s second season has now been announced, and it will begin a little more than a month from today. The dates and titles for the three concerts in the season are as follows:
September 18, Homage: The program will present three new pieces by local composers, each of which constitutes an homage to influential events or individuals; there will also be two older works, each of which is an homage in its own right.
November 14, Home is Where the Heart is: This will be a limited-seating house concert organized around the concepts of “home” and “origins.”
February 27, Ancient Sounds Meet Modern Minds: A twentieth-century masterpiece for harpsichord will be juxtaposed alongside three new works for the same instrument, all written by Bay Area composers.
The local composers to be featured at next month’s concert will be Nick Benavides, Scott Rubin, and Joseph Colombo. Benavides is Composer-in-Residence for the 2015–16 season; and his piece will involve additional media. It will be accompanied by a video projection telling three stories from San Francisco history simultaneously: the arrival of new citizens following the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, the influx of hippies during the 1969 “Summer of Love,” and the latest technology-based population boom. Benavides has titled his piece “Summer(s) of ’69.”
The other two new works are homage pieces composed for the same ensemble, a woodwind trio of flute, oboe, and bassoon. Rubin’s piece is an exploration of the relationship between psychology and music. He has titled it “Self-portrait with Carl Jung and John Watson (with Gyorgy Ligeti in the background),” which happens to be a playfully shameless appropriation of the title of one of Ligeti’s 1976 compositions for two pianos. Colombo’s piece is entitled “B:R:X,” whose initials reflect homage to three influential composers from the past: Ludwig van Beethoven, Maurice Ravel, and Iannis Xenakis.
There will also be two retrospective pieces by past composers. Lyle Sheffler will be the guitar soloist in a performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre,” which draws its themes from the Spanish Baroque composer Gaspar Sanz. (This piece is also part of San Francisco history, since it was first performed by Andres Segovia with the San Francisco Symphony in 1958.) The final work on the program will be the third of Ottorino Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances suites, which draws upon pre-Baroque compositions for both lute and guitar.
This concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 18. It will take place in the Recital Hall of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, located at 50 Oak Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. Tickets are currently on sale online at an Early Bird rate of $25. They may be ordered through an Eventbrite event page.