A film by Eva Soltes
Tuesday, March 6, 2012 | 7pm Castro Theater
For information and tickets, visit harrisondocumentary.com
Thursday, March 8, 2012 | 8pm
Friday, March 9, 2012 | 8pm
MTT and the San Francisco Symphony present American Mavericks, works of composers who created a new American musical voice for the 20th century and beyond. This celebration of the independent spirit of composition in this country begins with two orchestral transcriptions, the first by Henry Brant of Ives’ famous Concord Piano Sonata and the second by Copland of his own Piano Variations. Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra is at times grand and energetic, but also delicate and haunting. All told, it is a spellbinding listening experience. View full program.
Saturday, March 10, 2012 | 8pm
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | 8pm
Three of the most distinctive vocalists today will participate in an American Mavericks performance involving John Cage’s Song Books. Jessye Norman, with her ability to project drama throughout her vocal range, will join Meredith Monk and Joan La Barbara, who never cease to amaze with their experimental and extended vocal techniques. Cowell, in his Piano Concerto, chooses to treat the piano as much as a percussive instrument as a melodic one, in characteristic Cowell fashion. Jeremy Denk performs the three movements, entitled “Polyharmony,” “Tone Cluster,” and “Counter Rhythm.” View full program.
American Mavericks: Chamber Music with Joan La Barbara, Jeremy Denk, and members of the San Francisco Symphony
Sunday, March 11, 2012 | 2pm
The American Mavericks explored every sound that a full orchestra could make, but they also composed fascinating and invigorating chamber music. Hear intriguing chamber works from the composers whose music will shape the next 100 years: Henry Cowell, Terry Riley, Morton Subotnick, and Harry Partch. View full program.
Thursday, March 15, 2012 | 8pm
Friday, March 16, 2012 | 8pm
Saturday, March 17, 2012 | 8pm
Two world premieres by Bay Area residents round out the American Mavericks concerts. Mason Bates, who is also the San Francisco Symphony’s Project San Francisco composer, brings his individual style of electronica and choral writing to Mass Transmission. John Adams introduces Absolute Jest, featuring the St. Lawrence String Quartet and based on fragments of Beethoven scherzos. Pianist Emanuel Ax performs with the SFS in Feldman’s work of free-floating rhythms and slowly evolving sounds, Piano and Orchestra. The Orchestra reprises its highly praised performance of Varèse’s Amériques. View full program.
Saturday, March 17, 2012 | 1:30-4:30pm
How do orchestras balance tradition and innovation? How has changing technology shaped how artists think about music, how they are trained, and how we experience it? How do classically trained musicians and composers straddle genres? What have been some of the unique contributions of the Bay Area to musical creativity?
Keynote Conversation: Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director, San Francisco Symphony, in conversation with Brent Assink, Executive Director, San Francisco Symphony
Spotlight #1: Mason Bates, composer, in conversation with John Adams, composer, moderated by Mark Clague, University of Michigan
Spotlight #2: Margo Drakos, cellist and chief operating officer, InstantEncore, in conversation with Ed Sanders, Group Marketing Manager, Creative Lab at Google; moderated by Steven Winn
Roundtable discussion: Spotlight speakers with Mark Clague and Steven Winn
Tickets: These events are free; no tickets are required. Advance registration is recommended at www.symphonyforum.org.
American Mavericks: Chamber Music with Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, Jeremy Denk, and members of the San Francisco Symphony
Sunday, March 18, 2012 | 2pm
The American Mavericks explored every sound that a full orchestra could make, but they also composed fascinating and invigorating chamber music. Hear intriguing chamber works from the composers whose music will shape the next 100 years in a special chamber music concert: Meredith Monk (the world premiere of her new work Realm Variations), Steve Reich, Lukas Foss, and David Del Tredici. View full program.
Four Nights, Four Programs
Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 7:30 pm View full program.
Friday, March 23 2012 | 8 pm View full program.
Saturday, March 24 | 8 pm View full program.
Sunday, March 25 2012 | 4 pm View full program.
As part of its centennial season, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony will present the second American Mavericks Festival, which will tour in its entirety to only two US venues: Hill Auditorium and Carnegie Hall. The 2012 festival celebrates the creative pioneering spirit and the composers who created a new American musical voice for the 20th century and beyond. These concerts will examine the music of iconoclastic, revolutionary composers championed by MTT and the SFS, such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, Carl Ruggles, Edgard Varèse, and Charles Ives, and expand the maverick roster through two commissions by Bay Area composers John Adams and Mason Bates. Concerts will feature performances by longtime SFS collaborators Jessye Norman, Emanuel Ax, Meredith Monk, Jeremy Denk, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, among others.
This final concert features 17 musicians from the San Francisco Symphony performing chamber music. American mavericks explored every sound that a full orchestra could make, but they also composed fascinating, and invigorating, chamber music. This concert features intriguing chamber works from composers whose music will shape the decades to come.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 | 8pm
The San Francisco Symphony, famous for its electrifying performances and adventurous, engaging programming, celebrates its 100th anniversary this season. Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, a champion of contemporary and American music, conducts works from his American Mavericks Festival, including a new piece by Bay Area resident and legendary composer John Adams and an orchestral arrangement of Ives’ Concord Sonata, which pays homage to the great American literary figures of the 19th century. View full program.
Sunday, March 18, 2012 | 3pm
Sometimes new music is challenging; with Alarm Will Sound, it’s mind-blowing. Playing the most innovative performances of contemporary classical music with fierce talent and enjoyment, this 20-member ensemble is “as close to being a rock band as a chamber orchestra can be” (The New York Times). Alarm Will Sound delves into an eclectic mix of repertoire, from music by ground-breaking modern composers like John Adams to reinterpretations of the Beatles’ experimental Revolution 9 and trippy songs by the Dirty Projectors. In addition to this concert, Alarm Will Sound will perform later this March on Carnegie Hall’s American Mavericks series. View full program.
Sunday March 18, 2012 | 4pm
Violinist Jennifer Koh can be summed up like this: daring, vivacious, and brilliant. Collaborating with the most ground-breaking contemporary composers on the scene, Koh traces the threads connecting new music to music of the past. As part of Carnegie Hall’s American Mavericks festival, this program features works by American composers Jennifer Higdon, John Adams, Missy Mazzoli, and Lou Harrison, including a piece written expressly for Koh by Higdon. Koh describes her career as a musician: “I always knew I wanted music in my life, but I never thought of this as a career—I got an English degree at Oberlin. I almost feel as though the career is a side note to the act of studying to be a musician. The work process is what I love most, and performance is just a part of that process.” View full program.
Friday March 23, 2012 | 8pm
To see Lisa Moore perform is to be ushered into a world of mesmerizing theatricality and compelling emotional power. “New York’s queen of avant-garde piano” (The New Yorker), Moore is an Australian long based in and around New York, carving a niche for herself in the city’s vibrant new music scene. She was the founding pianist for the revolutionary and wildly entertaining ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars, and has collaborated with the world’s most famous composers, including Iannis Xenakis, Elliott Carter, Ornette Coleman, and Meredith Monk. View full program.
Sunday March 25, 2012 | 3pm
Four wicked players creating an explosion of sound: The JACK Quartet is the new definition of the modern-day string quartet. Presented as part Carnegie Hall’s American Mavericks series, these electrifying young musicians are dedicated to commissioning and performing new works by the most ground-breaking composers, while delivering vibrant performances with overflowing energy. They tackle music by modernist composers Charles Ives and Ruth Crawford Seeger, and then team up onstage with composer-guitarist Steven Mackey on his own composition Physical Property. View full program.
Monday, March 26, 2012 | 7:30pm
No one did more to change how we think about music—how we listen to it, make it, perform it—than John Cage. As part of American Mavericks at Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn-based ensemble So Percussion fetes this challenging composer, who was born 100 years ago in Los Angeles, and whose influence is felt today almost everywhere in American music. View full program.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | 8pm
The San Francisco Symphony begins its American Mavericks residency at Carnegie Hall with a spectacular, ground-shaking ode to our country from the 1920s by a Frenchman who found creative sustenance right here in the Big Apple. Also on the program is music from John Cage’s enigmatic Song Books with Jessye Norman, Meredith Monk, and Joan La Barbara, and the New York premiere of John Adams’s Absolute Jest. View full program.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | 8pm
On its second concert at Carnegie Hall as part of American Mavericks, the San Francisco Symphony presents Carl Ruggles’s Sun-treader, whose title comes from a Robert Browning poem, and an orchestration of Charles Ives’s “Concord” Sonata, inspired by New England’s transcendentalists. Ruggedly nonconformist, these works are matched with the no-less-individualistic music of iconoclast Morton Feldman. View full program.
American Mavericks Chamber Music with Paul Jacobs, Mason Bates, Newband, and Members of the San Francisco Symphony
Thursday, March 29, 2012 | 8:30pm
Music by two West Coast composers with a penchant for melding seemingly disparate sounds frames this American Mavericks event, starting with the New York premiere of a piece for electronica and chorus by Oakland-based Mason Bates. Organist Paul Jacobs joins an unorthodox ensemble that includes plumbers’ pipes and oxygen-tank bells in Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra. View full program.
American Mavericks Chamber Music with Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, Jeremy Denk, and Members of the San Francisco Symphony
Friday, March 30, 2012 | 8:30pm
American Mavericks concludes with a concert that reflects the range of music that defines the maverick spirit: The human voice stretched to its limit by Meredith Monk; electronic theater music by Morton Subotnik; pulsing music by Steve Reich; and Lukas Foss’s experimentalism grounded in the European tradition. View full program.