As the threat from COVID-19 continues to lessen, several arts organizations are putting toes in the water to explore ways to safely return to face-to-face live presentations. San Francisco Performances, it seems, is ready to dive right in.

On Wednesday, SFP President Melanie Smith announced that for the first time in its 41-year history, her organization will be launching a summer season of music concerts that will take place live at her long-running Autumn Theater venue without any digital components.

The series of guitar, piano and chamber performances known as the “Summer Music Sessions” begins on July 14th and lasts until July 24th. It brings artists to the stage whose performances were already planned for the autumn to spring 2019 seasons. ’20 and 2020-’21 have been postponed due to the pandemic. As an added incentive, three of the eleven programs will feature world premieres, including Sting’s North American debut and Dusan Bogdanovic’s “Prism – Six Songs by Sting”.

Measures are being taken to promote the safety of both performers and viewers. This includes wearing masks, reduced audience numbers and assigned seating, improved ventilation and air filtration, no interruptions or catering services, and contactless ticketing.

The lineup of events is definitely eclectic, and Smith makes no apologies for it, posting this statement: “While we don’t have a specific musical theme for these events, the idea is to get back together to share real live performances.” feels like the most important connecting event right now. “

Here is the full schedule for the “Summer Music Sessions”:

7.30 p.m. July 14: The Israeli pianist David Greilsammer, who seems to be permanently “innovative” and “adventurous” with his name, makes his SFP debut with a centuries-long music program by Leos Janacek, CPE Bach, Mozart, Ofer Pelz and Jean-Fery Rebel. Greilmammer’s rendition of Rebel’s “Le Chaos” on his 2020 album “Labyrinth” made the New York Times one of the 25 best classical pieces of music of the year.

7.30 p.m. July 15: The undoubted Garrick Ohlsson, a San Francisco-based and big SFP favorite, returns to conclude the two-year review of all of Johannes Brahms’ solo piano works that he began in 2019.

7:30 p.m., July 16: The SFP-based ensemble Alexander String Quartet with the new violist David Samuel and William Kanengiser from the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet play a concert entitled “British Invasion”, which includes the world premiere of the guitar . Quartet version of Ian Krouse’s “Labyrinth” on a theme by Led Zeppelin, works by Leo Brouwer and John Dowland and the North American premiere of Sting-Bogdanovic “Prism”, which reconstructs these six Sting songs: “Every Breath You Take”, “Message in a Bottle, “Shape of My Heart”, “Fields of Gold”, “Roxanne” and “Desert Rose”.

July 19, 7 pm: Guitarist Kanengiser returns as a soloist and plays the world premiere of “Lost Land” by the Iranian composer Golfam Khayam, one of seven new works that Kanengiser has commissioned as part of his “Diaspora Project”. He will also play music by Santiago de Murcia, which he has arranged, and works by Dionisio Aquado, Frank Wallace and Bryan Johanson.

7.30 p.m. July 19: The multi-award-winning Russian-American pianist Natasha Paremski appears for the second time for SFP, this time with works by Frederic Chopin, Sergei Prokofiev and Thomas Ades.

7.30 p.m. July 20: Canadian piano virtuoso and eleven-time Grammy nominee Marc-Andre Hamelin, a long-time SFP employee, returns to perform works by CPE Bach, Beethoven and the world premiere of his own piece “Nowhere Going Fast”. for which he is accompanied by the Alexander String Quartet.

7:30 p.m. July 21: Talented jazz pianist Aaron Diehl makes his SFP debut, bringing along a program that reveals the cross currents of jazz and classical traditions, performing music by William Grant Still, Duke Ellington, Roland Hanna and Nathaniel Dett and other.

7.30 p.m. July 23: The composer and pianist Timo Andres, who put together two of SFP’s virtual “Front Row” programs during the pandemic, is back to perform his own works and works by Ned Rorem, Herzog Ellington and Robert Schumann, Ann Southam and Claude Debussy.

7:30 pm July 24th: Andres returns to the stage with violinist Jennifer Koh and cellist Jay Campbell of the JACK Quartet to close the “Summer Music Sessions” with his own music and works by Leos Janacek.

Individual tickets for each concert are $ 45, $ 55, and $ 65. They will go on sale June 14 at sfperformances.org and at (415) 677-0325.

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Copyright © 2021 Bay City News, Inc. Publication, distribution, or other reuse is prohibited without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc.