SFGC Announces European Summer Tour Appearances

JULY 18-29

cropped SFGC 2 by Ben La (1).jpg

San Francisco, CA – June 25, 2019 – Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe and the San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) announce details of their European summer tour, which will include six performances at festivals and venues across England and France over a ten-day period, July 18–29.

The tour opens in London with a performance at Cafe OTO (July 20), the renowned free jazz, experimental, and free improvisation venue. SFGC will present the European premiere of excerpts from its recent commission from English composer/avant-rocker Fred Frith, Rags of Time, just three weeks after the venue fêtes the composer in a three-day 70th birthday celebration. Following this, SFGC will be presented at Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge by the prestigious Cambridge Summer Music Festival (July 21), the ensemble's first return to the festival since its 1985 debut. The ensemble will then make two more concert appearances in England including St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle (July 23) and London’s St. Marylebone Festival (July 24), before heading to France for the final leg of its tour. In Paris, SFGC will be presented in two performances, at Église Saint-Sulpice (July 27), which replaces a performance originally scheduled on July 26 at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, and at L’Église de la Madeleine as part of the Les Dimanches Musicaux Series (July 28).

Across the various tour performances, SFGC will showcase a number of important works from its wide-ranging core repertoire, including European premieres of three recent commissions that received world-premiere performances this season—excerpts from Rags of Time by Fred Frith, Three Parables by Richard Danielpour, and The Love of Thousands by Reena Esmail, commissioned by Classical Movements’ Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program expressly for this tour; selections from its most recent album Final Answer including Father Death Blues from Hydrogen Jukebox arranged by Philip Glass and former SFGC Music Director Lisa Bielawa; Herring Run by Carla Kihlstedt; and Columbina by John Zorn; and a variety of choral works presented in recent SFGC Bay Area concerts including Ave Maria by Franz Biebl, Laetatus Sum by Antonio Vivaldi and excerpts from Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, among others.

“Over the course of the last four decades, SFGC has toured around the world to more than a dozen countries. Our upcoming tour continues a rich tradition of SFGC serving as cultural ambassador for the Bay Area,” said Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe. “Our dedication to the music of today and our commitment to expanding the choral repertoire takes another important step as we share these remarkable new works even further afield. We are delighted to appear at some of the most storied venues and festivals across England and France and look forward to sharing the immense talents of our choristers with new audiences.”

San Francisco Girls Chorus Summer European Tour
July 18-29, 2019

July 20, Café OTO, London, England
July 21, Cambridge Summer Music Festival, Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, England
July 23, Windsor Castle, St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, England
July 24, St. Marylebone Festival, St. Marylebone Church, London, England
July 27, Église Saint-Sulpice, Paris, France
July 28, Les Dimanches Musicaux Series, L’Église de la Madeleine, Paris, France

About San Francisco Girls Chorus
Stunning range, flexibility, drama, and power are among the hallmarks of the 40-year-old San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC), recognized as one of the world’s leading youth vocal ensembles. Led by Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe, SFGC has achieved an incomparable sound that underscores the unique clarity and force of impeccably trained treble voices.

During the 2018-2019 Season, SFGC will present a four-program Bay Area subscription series, with performances at Herbst Theatre, Davies Symphony Hall, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mission Dolores Basilica, and First Congregational Church, Berkeley. SFGC was also featured in performances of Stravinsky’s Persephone with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony and will present a joint concert with Denmark’s leading girls chorus, the Copenhagen Girls Choir. In July 2019, SFGC will embark on a 10-day European tour, with performances in and around London and Paris.

Recent concert highlights include debut performances in February 2018 at Carnegie Hall with Philip Glass and at leading New York new music venue, Le Poisson Rouge; June 2018 performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Voices of Music for the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition; performances in consecutive seasons with the Kronos Quartet for the ensemble’s KRONOS FESTIVAL at SFJAZZ; an April 2017 debut performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with The Knights for SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras; a June 2016 appearance at the NYPHIL BIENNIAL festival at New York’s Lincoln Center; tours to the Nordic countries, Germany, Japan, and Cuba; and the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama.

SFGC has been recipient of numerous music industry awards, including five GRAMMY Awards, four ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming, and the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America. Additionally, SFGC was voted Best Choral Group in the Bay Area in 2017 by the readers of San Francisco Classical Voice; and its June 2018 performances of Dido and Aeneas with Voices of Music was voted Best Opera Performance, Best Choral Performance, and Best Early Music/Baroque Performance of the 2017-2018 Bay Area concert season, also by readers of San Francisco Classical Voice.

SFGC is renowned as a regional center for choral music education and performance for girls and young women ages 4-18. Hundreds of singers from 46 Bay Area cities participate in this internationally-recognized six-level Chorus School, called “a model in the country for training girls’ voices” by the California Arts Council.

For more information, visit http://www.sfgirlschorus.org.

About Valérie Sainte-Agathe
Valérie Sainte-Agathe, Artistic Director, has conducted the San Francisco Girls Chorus since 2013, including in performances with renowned artists such as Jon Nakamatsu, Deborah Voigt, Laurie Rubin, Philip Glass, Aaron Jay Kernis, Gustavo Dudamel, and Michael Tilson Thomas. A strong believer in musical collaborations, she has performed with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Magik*Magik Orchestra and Tenet Ensemble. In February 2018 she made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Philip Glass Ensemble, conducting with Michael Riesman in Glass’s Music with Changing Parts. She also conducted The Photographer by Philip Glass in October 2017. In June 2016, she conducted the Chorus alongside The Knights Orchestra and Brooklyn Youth Chorus for the New York Philharmonic’s NY PHIL BIENNIAL festival at Lincoln Center. She also collaborated with The Knights for the SHIFT A Festival of American Orchestras at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. After five years in the United States, her first recording as SFGC’s Music Director, Final Answer, was released on Orange Mountain Music in February 2018. Between 2014 and 2016, she was assistant conductor for Lisa Bielawa’s made-for-TV opera, Vireo. During the 2018-2019 season, she served as Artist in Residence for KRONOS FESTIVAL 2019 and performed with DJ Spooky conducting a multi-media, virtual reality piece entitled Quantopia: The Evolution of the Internet. She also served as Choir Master with Taylor Mac, recipient of MacArthur Foundation's "Genius Grant," for the "Holiday Sauce" production at the Curran Theater.

Ms. Sainte-Agathe served as Music Director for the Young Singers program of the Montpellier National Symphony and Opera in France from 1998-2011. In this capacity, she trained young singers for opera and symphony concerts and productions. She participated in eight recordings with the Montpellier National Orchestra and The Radio France Festival. She is a recipient of Victoires de la Musique, and a two-time recipient of the Orphée d’Or award—for Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher and d’Indy’s L’Étranger. Ms. Sainte-Agathe studied at the Montpellier Conservatory in piano performance. She received her bachelor’s degree in conducting and a Master in Management from Université Paul Valery in Montpellier.

San Francisco Girls Chorus / Ben La

Brenden Guy, Marketing & PR Consultant
(415) 640-3165