SF Symphony returns to live concerts at Davies Hall in May


APRIL 26—The San Francisco Symphony today announces a return to live concerts at Davies Symphony Hall starting May 6, with performances each Thursday and Friday throughout May and June. Three pairs of concerts will be conducted by music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, with five additional concert sets led by Jeremy Denk, James Gaffigan, Ken-David Masur, Joseph Young, and Joshua Weilerstein.

All tickets for May 6 and 7, and a portion of tickets for the remaining performances, will be reserved for Bay Area hospital and medical professionals, and representatives from community centers and cultural districts who have been at the front lines supporting the people of our city in critical ways throughout the pandemic. Members of the general public can purchase tickets for concerts on May 13–June 25 by calling the SF Symphony box office at 415-864-6000 starting May 6 at 10 a.m.
“Esa-Pekka and I are overjoyed to be announcing the San Francisco Symphony’s long-awaited return to performing live concerts in our home, Davies Symphony Hall,” said CEO Mark C. Hanson. “When we recently learned from State and City leadership that we could finally begin giving concerts for live audiences again, we immediately got to work on the plan being announced today that will gather our musicians and audience together in response to what our community wants and needs.
“I want to thank every member of the San Francisco Symphony family—from our orchestra colleagues and COVID Health & Safety task force, to our incredibly supportive Board leadership and our production and administrative staff—for working creatively together to make these concerts happen so quickly. There is nothing that compares to experiencing music together in a physical space, and after 14 months without sharing these human connections with each other, we simply cannot wait to resume performing for our community on the stage of Davies Symphony Hall.”
Music director Esa-Pekka Salonen said: “A friend recently said to me, ‘We just need to start.’ I feel joy and relief at finally being able to do just that with the San Francisco Symphony. We go into these concerts having worked as a unit to bring music into your homes in unique and meaningful ways this year. We now welcome audiences into our home—something we didn’t realize we had taken for granted. Let’s get started, together.”
Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the orchestra’s first live performances in more than a year on May 6 and 7 for an invited audience including Bay Area first responders and representatives from community and cultural groups. The concert program features Jean Sibelius’ Rakastava, George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, Carl Nielsen’s Little Suite for Strings, Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte, and Edvard Grieg’s From Holberg’s Time Suite.
The following week, on May 13 and 14, pianist Jeremy Denk plays, and leads the SF Symphony from piano, William Grant Still’s Out of the Silence, Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat major, K.449, and Gerald Finzi’s Eclogue for Piano and Strings. On May 20 and 21, James Gaffigan conducts the Orchestra in the U.S. premiere of Freya Waley-Cohen’s Talisman, Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, and Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings.

Tickets go on sale May 6 for concerts on May 13 & 14 (Jeremy Denk, piano and conductor), May 20 & 21 (James Gaffigan, conductor), May 27 & 28 (Ken-David Masur, conductor), June 3 & 4 (Joseph Young, conductor), June 10 & 11 (Joshua Weilerstein, conductor), June 17 & 18 (Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor), and June 24 & 25 (Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor). All concerts will be approximately 75 minutes in length and will be performed without intermission. Instrumentation and orchestra size will be planned in accordance with City guidelines and will vary. In order to maximize the ability to respond to changing conditions, programming for the May 27 & 28 and June 3 & 4 concerts will be announced on May 10, and programming for the remainder of the June concerts will be announced on May 24. San Francisco Symphony’s performance schedule for July and August 2021 will be announced in June.

The San Francisco Symphony’s live concert reopening plan was developed in accordance with regulations set by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the City and County of San Francisco, and the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center. These San Francisco Symphony performances will require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test for all patrons, musicians, staff, and volunteers as well as universal mask wearing. There will be significantly reduced concert hall capacity, contactless tickets, assigned seats that maximize physical distancing, 75-minute performances without intermission, increased ventilation and filtration standards, social distancing requirements, and other safety measures in place. Please visit sfsymphony.org/safety to read the San Francisco Symphony’s Health and Safety FAQ.
Calendar editors, please note:
All concerts take place at Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.
Tickets for May 6 & 7 have been given free of charge to medical professionals, community partners, and other groups and are not available for sale.
Tickets for all other performances go on sale May 6, 2021 at 10am by calling the San Francisco Symphony Box Office at 415-864-6000. Tickets: $45/$75/$95.
Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 7pm
Friday, May 7, 2021 at 7pm
San Francisco Symphony
SIBELIUS Rakastava (final version)
GEORGE WALKER Lyric for Strings
CARL NIELSEN Little Suite for Strings
EDVARD GRIEG From Holberg’s Time Suite
Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 7pm
Friday, May 14, 2021 at 7pm
Jeremy Denk piano, director
San Francisco Symphony
WILLIAM GRANT STILL Out of the Silence
BACH Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052
GERALD FINZI Eclogue for Piano and Strings
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat major, K.449
Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 7pm
Friday, May 21, 2021 at 7pm
James Gaffigan conductor
San Francisco Symphony
FREYA WALEY-COHEN Talisman [U.S. Premiere]
SCHOENBERG Verklärte Nacht
SAMUEL BARBER Adagio for Strings
Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 7pm
Friday, May 28, 2021 at 7pm
Ken-David Masur conductor
San Francisco Symphony
Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 7pm
Friday, June 4, 2021 at 7pm
Joseph Young conductor
San Francisco Symphony
Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 7pm
Friday, June 11, 2021 at 7pm
San Francisco Symphony
Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 7pm
Friday, June 18, 2021 at 7pm
San Francisco Symphony
Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 7pm
Friday, June 25, 2021 at 7pm
San Francisco Symphony

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