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SFCM Hosts Concert with Special Guest Angela Davis November 4

Guest Conductor Alan Pierson Leads SFCM New Music Ensemble in Works by Ted Hearne and Frederic Rzewski

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) will host a special concert on November 4, featuring Alan Pierson, conductor of the acclaimed contemporary music group Alarm Will Sound, directing the SFCM New Music Ensemble in two politically charged works: Ted Hearne’s Katrina Ballads and Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together. In a special appearance, activist and author Angela Davis will act as the narrator in Rzewski’s Coming Together and facilitate a conversation at the end of the concert about the topics presented in the concert.

“The Conservatory has recently taken on an ambitious approach to connecting our academics and repertoire that our students perform,” says Provost and Dean Kate Sheeran. “This concert brings these ideas to light, featuring an exploration of social commentary in music by composers from two different generations. The addition of scholar and activist Angela Davis to this event is sure to make this concert a memorable occasion.”

This event is a part of SFCM’s new approach in thematic programming and connected learning this semester, focusing on the intersection of music, politics, and social justice. These subjects are explored in classroom curricula and concerts, holistically intertwining performance, history, theory, and the humanities.

Friday, November 4, 2016, 7:30 PM
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall

Alan Pierson, conductor
Angela Davis, narrator
SFCM New Music Ensemble

Ted Hearne: Katrina Ballads
Frederic Rzewski: Coming Together

About Katrina Ballads
Approximately 60 minutes in duration, Ted Hearne’s Katrina Ballads (2007) has been hailed as “an act of artistic empathy” by Time Out Chicago. Focusing on the direct effects of Hurricane Katrina on communities in New Orleans, the political overtones in the government’s response, and the reaction in the media, Katrina Ballads offers a glimpse of the outrage and sensationalism that surrounded the event using real news broadcasts and reports as text. Katrina Ballads is scored for five singers and 11 instruments.

About Coming Together
Coming Together (1972) takes inspiration from the Attica Prison riot of 1971. Using text from a letter penned by Sam Melville (an inmate who was killed leading the riot), Frederic Rzewski probes the mind of a man who is seemingly well adjusted, one who has come to terms with his being and his situation. The letter, written before the riot, takes on a new meaning when put in the context of the bloody event, an anthem to ambiguity and contradiction. Coming Together is approximately 20 minutes in duration. The work can be performed in various ensemble setups with a narrator.

This is free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information, visit calendar.sfcm.edu.


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Patrick Gullo
Associate Director of Content and Communications


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