SFCM Announces Spring 2021 Performances and Special Events

Season Anouncement

Launching February 19 and featuring a bold lineup of free live-streamed performances. While SFCM’s concert halls and campus are closed to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, this digital concert series continues to bring performances from SFCM’s talented students, renowned faculty, and accomplished alumni directly to audiences around the globe.

The spring events continue in the theme of offerings that began in the fall—Music and (e)Motion—featuring thematically linked repertoire that explores the many ways in which music moves us, from emotional connections to the more physical motions of breath and rhythm experienced by instrumentalists and singers.

Two signature events in May celebrate musical milestones through a 21st-century lens: a live performance of Bach’s landmark Goldberg Variations in honor of Glenn Gould’s groundbreaking recordings, and a broadcast in the classic format of radio operas that were popular a century ago, featuring The Old Maid and The Thief. This one-act opera by Menotti that was written for radio will be broadcast on KDFC radio from their new home in the Bowes Center on May 16. In celebration of the broadcast, SFCM will host a virtual gala, funds from which will benefit SFCM scholarships. SFCM voice students will sing the roles, while instrumental students perform the score.

Other major events include performances by the SFCM Orchestra led by music director Edwin Outwater and distinguished guest conductors, including Michael Morgan, Music Director of Oakland Symphony and Jonathan Taylor Rush, Assistant Conductor of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; a special multifaceted production of Julius Eastman’s Stay On It, directed by stage director and recently appointed Minister of Culture with Long Beach Opera, Alexander Gedeon; a Roots, Jazz, and American Music (RJAM) student side-by-side concert with members of the SFJAZZ Collective; masterclasses with distinguished visiting artists, including those from the Opus 3 Artists roster; faculty recitals; a celebration of Stephen Sondheim and his work; a production of Strauss’ operetta Die Fledermaus staged by the Opera department, SFCM Historical Performance presents Monteverdi’s L'incoronazione di Poppea.

As SFCM continues the 2020-21 school year with a hybrid learning model, state-of-the-art technology in the new Bowes Center and the existing campus allow students to continue ensemble training while maintaining social distance. Via the Dante system of A/V connectivity, students can rehearse and perform in separate spaces utilizing ethernet signal rather than traditional analog cables. This enhanced audio networking capability means that ensembles of all sizes can perform together without latency. The digital audio feed can then be mixed via software and streamed to audiences.

All 238 SFCM spring concerts will be streamed for free online.

Concerts this spring include department performances, wind ensemble concerts, faculty recitals, student recitals, early music performances, and more.See SFCM’s performance calendar for the complete concert schedule and to register.

Spring 2021 Event Highlights

Friday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Roots, Jazz, and American Music (RJAM)
Side-by-Side Concert


Featuring current SFCM RJAM students of all levels performing alongside faculty members of the SFJAZZ Collective, this performance is the culmination of a multiple-day residency, during which students worked side-by-side with faculty to conceive, workshop, and rehearse their original material and arrangements of jazz standards. The individual pieces will be announced from the stage.

About RJAM

Saturday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m.
SFCM Orchestra

Michael Morgan, conductor
Dimitri Murrath, viola

Michael Morgan, Music Director of Oakland Symphony, leads a varied program of music from the 20th century, including a work by American composer Adophus Hailstork, as well as an iconic work by Mozart.

REVUELTAS Homenaje a Federico Garcia Lorca
IBERT Divertissement
Adolphus HAILSTORK Two Romances for Viola and Chamber Orchestra
Dimitri Murrath, viola
MOZART Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201

About Michael Morgan
About Dimitri Murrath

Sunday, February 28 at 5 p.m.
Sondheim on Sondheim

Michael Mohammed, director
Michael Horsley, music director

A fully staged multimedia theatrical event that explores the creativity, dramatic potency, and indisputable staying power of Stephen Sondheim’s work through songs and in-depth interview footage with the brilliant artist.

About SFCM’s Opera and Musical Theater department

Saturday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
SFCM Orchestra

Edwin Outwater, conductor
Alexander Gedeon, director

EASTMAN Stay On It
STRAVINSKY Pulcinella Suite
GEMINIANI
arr. Wiancko
La Follia: Variations for String Orchestra

Music/Motion/Focus
In this multidisciplinary presentation, award-winning director Alexander Gedeon mixes staging, lighting, and movement with the music of Julius Eastman for an immersive experience. Eastman, a composer whose music explored his identities as a gay man and Black American, wrote this structured improvisational piece to be performed with varying instrumentation, including a voice repeating the title words in 1973.

About Edwin Outwater
About Alexander Gedeon

Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m.
Faculty Artist Series

Matthew Worth, baritone
Kevin Korth, piano

Acclaimed baritone and SFCM Voice Department faculty member Matthew Worth performs a program with a focus on Bay Area composers.

Jake HEGGIE A Question of Light
Vivian FUNG Six Haiku
Jimmy LOPEZ BELLIDO Amauta
David CONTE Everyone Sang

About Matthew Worth

Saturday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Die Fledermaus

Jose Maria Condemi, director
Curt Pajer, conductor

STRAUSS, Jr. Die Fledermaus

SFCM faculty direct and conduct a full production of this staple of the operatic repertoire with students from SFCM’s Voice department. The virtual event will also include special intermission content, including virtual artist meet-and-greets, composer interviews, and mini master-classes with top faculty. This performance is dedicated to the memory of Maestro Joel Revzen, who was scheduled to guest conduct this year’s spring opera but passed away in 2020 from COVID-19.
This abridged version features English lyrics by Marcie Stapp and dialogue by Jose Maria Condemi.

About Jose Maria Condemi
About Curt Pajer

Thursday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Faculty Artist Series

Telegraph Quartet

The Telegraph Quartet (Eric Chin and Joseph Maile, violins; Pei-Ling Lin, viola; Jeremiah Shaw, cello) formed in 2013 with an equal passion for the standard chamber music repertoire and contemporary, non-standard works alike. As SFCM’s Quartet-in-Residence, most of its members are SFCM alumni.

BRITTEN Three Divertimenti for String Quartet
BEETHOVEN String Quartet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18 No. 1
BRAHMS String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 51 No. 2

About the Telegraph Quartet

Saturday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Owen Dalby, Chamber Music Residency Concert

Renowned violinist Owen Dalby is a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet

About Owen Dalby

Saturday, May 1 at 7:30
SFCM Orchestra

Jonathan Taylor Rush, conductor

Rush was appointed as the Assistant Conductor for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2020. Previously, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta.

Hannah KENDALL Verdala
STRAVINSKY Suite No. 1 for small orchestra
STRAVINSKY Suite No. 2 for small orchestra
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7

About Jonathan Taylor Rush

Sunday, May 2 at 2 p.m.
Tuesday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m.
L'incoronazione di Poppea

Corey Jamason, director
Elisabeth Reed, director

MONTEVERDI L'incoronazione di Poppea

Performed by students of the Historical Performance department

About Corey Jamason
About Elisabeth Reed
About SFCM’s Historical Performance Dept

Sunday, May 16 on KDFC radio
Radio Opera Extravaganza
Spring Fundraising Virtual Gala

Heather Mathews, director
Curt Pajer, conductor

MENOTTI The Old Maid and The Thief

About Heather Mathews
About Curt Pajer

A one-act opera—Giancarlo Menotti’s The Old Maid and The Thief—hearkens back to the 1920s with a story composed to be listened to and not seen, just like your favorite podcast. A fast-paced melodrama, The Old Maid and The Thief is the story of a middle-aged spinster whose life is turned upside down when a handsome young beggar shows up at her door. This performance is a fundraiser to benefit student scholarships broadcast on KDFC from their new home at the Bowes Center at SFCM.

May date TBA
Celebrating Glenn Gould and Bach’s Goldberg Variations


The year 2021 marks both the 65th anniversary of Glenn Gould’s landmark recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, as well as the 40th anniversary of his second, which was released in 1981. The concert celebrates the eccentric pianist who became a superstar through his interpretation of the work. The event is hosted by SFCM Music Director, Edwin Outwater, and features discussions with guest artists and SFCM faculty—including Sharon Mann and Paul Hersh—and distinguished author and music critic Tim Page. This event is dedicated in loving memory to our inspiring friend and artist, Robin Sutherland, SFCM '75, who is deeply missed.

Full list of spring performances >>