Next month the San Francisco Choral Artists, led by Artistic Director Magen Solomon, will launch its 2015–16 season of three imaginatively conceived programs. As in the past, this will involve original contributions from two composers, Composer-in-Residence John Kelley and Composer-Not-in-Residence Shawn Crouch. Also as in the past, each program will be structured around a specific theme; and, as might be anticipated, the theme of the opening concert will be a seasonal one.
The title of that program will be Tales from Wales: A British Christmas. Wales will be particularly featured through dramatic readings from Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” However, the program will includes hymn from not only Wales but also Ireland and Scotland, as well as Medieval songs of British origins. The program will also include early work by William Byrd but with more attention paid to this and the past century. Composers will include John Tavener, Richard Rodney Bennett, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Martin Dalby, and John Painter. There will also be world premieres of works by both Kelley and Crouch. The other two concerts will take place in March and June, and the program themes will be as follows.
March, Prayers from the Ark: Songs of Lamentation and Jubilation: The selection will be based on both ancient and modern Jewish texts on topics that range from celebration to mourning to quests for life’s meaning. The title of the program is also that of a composition by Ivor Davies that will be performed. Other composers to be included will be Darius Milhaud, Felix Mendelssohn, Salamone Rossi, Thea Zimpel, Arnold Schoenberg, and Kurt Weill. Both Kelley and Crouch will contribute to the program, as will former Composer-in-Residence Robin Estrada. There will also be a generous share of traditional works, both sacred and secular.
June, 21st-Century Baroque: This concert will feature a guest appearance by the Galax Quartet. Consisting of two violins, gamba, and cello, this group calls itself a “contemporary Baroque” ensemble. The program will include both Baroque and contemporary music for choir and quartet. The former category will be represented by Johann Sebastian Bach and Henry Purcell. There will also be premieres by Ted Allen, Veronika Krausas, Robinson McClellan, Roy Whelden, and both Kelley and Crouch.
San Francisco performances for the 2015–16 season will be a “moveable feast.” Next month’s concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 12. The venue will be St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, located at 1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner with Franklin Street. The March concert will then move to Temple Emanu-El as part of the Music at Meyer Series. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 14. The Temple is located at 2 Lake Street, on the northwest corner of Arguello Boulevard. The June concert will then return to St. Mark’s, beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 5.
Season subscriptions are priced at $75, with a discounted price of $67 for seniors aged 65 and older. Single tickets will be sold at the door for $33 with special rates of $29 for seniors and $15 for individuals 30 and under with valid identification. However, there is a discount for advance purchase: $28 for general admission, $25 for seniors, and $12.50 for those 30 and under. Subscriptions may be purchased online from a Brown Paper Tickets event page. A second event page has been created for advance purchase rates for next month’s concert.