The Mercury News
S.F. Symphony sets 2021 streaming season under Esa-Pekka Salonen
Even with in-person shows off the calendar until who knows when, the San Francisco Symphony’s new Symphony+ programming is designed to keep music lovers engaged through spring and well into summer.
Under music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, the on-demand streaming service launches next month with new SoundBox programs, Currents episodes and more.
Seven SoundBox events are on the calendar, with programs created by Salonen, soprano Julia Bullock, singer-harpist Destiny Muhammad, composer Nico Muhly and flutist Claire Chase. Performed by those artists and symphony musicians, the programs will be released each month from February through August (no June programs).
The series launches Feb. 4 with “Nostalgia,” featuring Salonen leading works composed in the last decade by Missy Mazzoli, Caroline Shaw and London-based Freya WaleyCohen. “Lineage,” streaming March 11 and curated and performed by Bullock, introduces a program spanning music by Hildegard von Bingen and J.S. Bach to contemporary works by Esperanza Spalding, Ricky Ian Gordon, Aruán Ortiz and Elizabeth Ogonek.
Additional SoundBox programs include Salonen exploring minimalism, with featured works by Steve Reich, Terry Riley and Arvo Pärt, and the world premiere of Salonen’s “Saltat sobrius,” debuting April 15. Muhammad introduces her own new work, “Hope on the Horizon,” along with works by Berkeley jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and others on May 27; Muhly, the composer of “Marnie” and the symphony’s
2020-21 season-opening “Throughline,” returns July 8, and Chase closes the series on Aug. 12.
The wide-ranging Currents season opens Feb. 18 with acclaimed composer and tabla player Zakir Hussain, and continues with programs featuring Chickasaw Nation pianist Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate on April 1, the Chinyakare Ensemble performing music of Zimbabwe on May 6 and Persian music by Mohammad Nejad on July 29.
Celebrating the Year of the Ox, the symphony’s popular Chinese New Year program marks its 21st anniversary season on Feb. 20. The new streaming season also includes San Francisco Symphony musicians in free chamber music performances, which begin streaming Feb. 4.
All Symphony+ programs are being filmed with a new video production system from performances at the Davies Hall symphony stage, SoundBox and additional studio spaces in Davies Symphony Hall.
Subscription packages are $120 for the entire season; single tickets are $15; www.sfsymphonyplus.org.