Postcard from the Artistic Director:
Ways to come along with us to NYC!
February 9, 2018

Hello Dear SFGC Friends, Far and Wide!
 
As you read this, Valérie, the SFGC Premier Ensemble and our trusty tour staff are 35,000 feet in the air, on their way to us here in NYC, where the Knights Orchestra, Trinity Youth Chorus, the Philip Glass Ensemble, Carnegie Hall and Le Poisson Rouge all await their arrival. Your next couple of postcards will come from the girls themselves as they report back to you on our activities here, but I wanted to take this opportunity to re-introduce you to some of the key players here, and to tell you how you can be right here with us via the small screen!

Way #1 to come along with us: Voices from Postcards Past!
 
Last night I had a rehearsal with the singers of the Trinity Youth Chorus, who will be joining SFGC in several pieces in the recording sessions with The Knights. Knights conductor Eric Jacobsen was there – whose postcard last season you can read HERE – and rehearsal pianist was none other than our dear colleague, organist and pianist Paul Vasile, who was our featured guest at the concert one year ago – you can read his postcard HERE. Plus Trinity Youth Chorus director Melissa Attebury, who wrote to us all around the time of their visit last June, when TYC shared the stage with SFGC in several works, including Tavener’s Hymns of Paradise, which we will be recording this weekend.

  Team NYC! Knights conductor Eric Jacobsen, SFGC collaborator Paul Vasile, Trinity Youth Chorus members and their conductor Melissa Attebury with me at rehearsal last night

Team NYC! Knights conductor Eric Jacobsen, SFGC collaborator Paul Vasile, Trinity Youth Chorus members and their conductor Melissa Attebury with me at rehearsal last night

One of the pieces we will be recording is Aaron Jay Kernis’s Remembering the Sea, which SFGC commissioned and premiered at the NY PHIL BIENNIAL in 2016, then performed again last season at the SHIFT Festival at Kennedy Center in D.C. And yes – you can read Aaron’s postcard too, right HERE!
 
Tuesday February 13 we will share the stage with bagpiper/composer Matthew Welch, whose postcard from last season is HERE, at Le Poisson Rouge, in celebration of our new CD Final Answer.
 
The rest of next week will be spent in the company of our friends from the Philip Glass Ensemble, and Philip himself. SFGC hosted a couple of these guys earlier this season in our Philip Glass and the Class of ’37 concert. Remember these friends – Glass Ensemble Music Director Michael Riesman and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Sterman (whose shared postcard is HERE)?
 
Way #2 to Come along with us: Watch the Carnegie Hall performance live online!
 
Breaking news here is that you can also stream our Carnegie Hall debut performance on February 16 with Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble LIVE at medici.tv HERE (click on the calendar icon for the event and you will create a reminder for yourself). Medici.tv is a European streaming channel – the largest classical music media site in the world. This means that our concert time is listed as 2am on February 17, but that’s Switzerland time! For you all in SF, this means 5pm on Friday, February 16. Tune in!

  Valérie and the SFGC sing for Philip Glass last Fall after his sound check at the Paramount Theater in Oakland

Valérie and the SFGC sing for Philip Glass last Fall after his sound check at the Paramount Theater in Oakland

Take a look at their website. Medici.tv has changed the whole industry – the first site to stream live performances from Carnegie Hall, they have a tiered structure whereby some videos are free and other “premium” videos are offered just to subscribers. Our performance will be available to stream live, then available to replay for three full months thereafter.
 
How do you think streaming sites like this are changing the field? How is it different to watch something on your computer if you know it is happening “live”? If you watch it three hours or three days later, you are seeing exactly the same video – so why does it feel different? Do you think that making concerts available this way will encourage people to come to hear music live, or will it encourage them to stay home and watch on the small screen instead? Does it change the performance itself if performers know that they are being filmed – especially if they are filmed up close – for audiences at home?

 

  Performing expressly for the small screen – how does it feel to perform this scene? (Photo by John Spiak, from the shoot of Episode 9: Alcatraz of Lisa Bielawa’s made-for-TV opera Vireo)

Performing expressly for the small screen – how does it feel to perform this scene? (Photo by John Spiak, from the shoot of Episode 9: Alcatraz of Lisa Bielawa’s made-for-TV opera Vireo)

Medici.tv offers master classes too, which means that students can see artists like Yo-Yo Ma and Michael Tilson Thomas work with young artists, coaching them and giving them valuable techniques for performance and development of their craft. But what about us? Does the availability of Yo-Yo Ma’s master classes on Medici.tv make this technical advice available to stay-at-home cellists all over the world? How does this help strengthen the community of audiences and artists? Do you like knowing insider tips on how to play the cello? What if you don’t play the cello? Are these tips still interesting and even valuable? If so, why?
 
Looking forward to sharing the stage with our singers and their fearless conductor Valérie, just a week from today – and to knowing that we will be streaming it all to your living rooms, many miles away!
 
Yours,

Lisa