The exquisite sounds of San Francisco Symphony’s Summer & the Symphony are almost here. The line-up begins on Monday, June 18th when Natalie Merchant performs with the Symphony in a concert of her own hits and well-loved favorites composed for expanded musical ensembles and orchestras.
The San Francisco Symphony’s Summer & the Symphony concert line-up also includes the world premiere of Pixar in Concert, with the Orchestra performing memorable scores to accompany visually stunning clips from each of Pixar’s films, and Natalie Merchant, salsa band Tiempo Libre and Classical Mystery Tour, featuring the music of The Beatles, all performing with the Orchestra. Michael Feinstein performs Sinatra classics with his Big Band, and the Orchestra accompanies screenings of The Wizard of Oz. The acrobats and circus performers of Cirque Musica perform to live orchestral accompaniment by the Symphony. The Orchestra also performs a summer classical concert series, and two free outdoor concerts, celebrating the 75th anniversary of Stern Grove Festival and with Tiempo Libre in Dolores Park. On the Fourth of July, the Orchestra plays inspiring folk, pop, and classical favorites at the annual Shoreline Amphitheatre Independence Day concert and fireworks extravaganza.
Tickets for all Summer & the Symphony concerts are on sale now at sfsymphony.org, by phone at 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office. Tickets for the San Francisco Symphony Fourth of July concert and fireworks at Shoreline Amphitheatre are through Live Nation.
Natalie Merchant with the San Francisco Symphony
On June 18 at 8 p.m., Natalie Merchant will perform with the San Francisco Symphony in a concert of her own hits and well-loved favorites. Since she first gained fame as the lead singer of chart-topping ‘80s pop band 10,000 Maniacs, Merchant has earned a distinguished place among America’s most respected recording artists, with a reputation for being a prolific songwriter with a compelling artistic vision and a unique and captivating performance style. With her 2010 release Leave Your Sleep, which debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at number 17, Merchant embarked on a new artistic path–creating songs from literary inspiration for expanded musical ensembles and orchestra. James Bagwell conducts.
Ann Hampton Callaway with the San Francisco Symphony
Tony-nominated singer-composer Ann Hampton Callaway will perform a program of favorites from the Barbra Streisand songbook with both the Orchestra and her own band on Tuesday, July 3 at 8 p.m. Callaway is one of the leading champions of the American songbook, having made her mark as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer. Her unique singing style blends jazz and traditional pop, making her a mainstay in concert halls, theaters and jazz clubs as well as in the recording studio, on television, and in film. A Platinum Award-winning writer whose songs are featured on six of Barbra Streisand’s recent CDs, Callaway is best known for her Tony-nominated performance in the hit Broadway musical Swing! She has also written songs with such artists as Carole King, Rolf Lovland and Barbara Carroll. Randall Craig Fleisher conducts.
San Francisco Symphony Fourth of July Concert, Celebration and Fireworks
The San Francisco Symphony performs its annual Fourth of July concert and celebration at 8 p.m. on July 4 at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. The concert will feature the orchestra performing sports-themed repertoire in celebration of the London Olympics and will be followed by a fireworks spectacular. San Francisco 49ers announcer Ted Robinson narrates a portion of the concert. Tickets are available through Live Nation .
Smokey Robinson with the San Francisco Symphony
R&B icon Smokey Robinson will perform a program of his signature hits and fan favorites with the Orchestra, and his band on Thursday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m. Robinson is the sterling pen and satin voice behind such mega hits as “Shop Around,” “Tracks Of My Tears,” “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me,” “Tears Of A Clown,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Going To A Go-Go,” and “Cruisin’,” among many others. One of the most beloved and influential performers, singers, and songwriters in the history of popular music, Robinson is celebrating his 50th anniversary in music. Robinson has logged 37 Top 40 hits and has received numerous awards in his long career, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Grammy Award for “Best R&B Performance, Male,” and the Soul Train Music Award for Career Achievement. Robinson has been inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, both as a solo artist and with his group, The Miracles. He received a Kennedy Center honor in 2006. Sarah Hicks will conduct the Orchestra.
Cirque Musica with the San Francisco Symphony
Cirque Musica takes audiences on a journey to a faraway land of dazzling beauty and mystery on July 6 at 7:30 p.m. The show blends the grace and thrills of great circus performers with stunning symphonic music from classical and popular repertoire performed by the San Francisco Symphony. Sarah Hicks conducts.
Free San Francisco Symphony Outdoor Concert at Stern Grove
This summer, Stern Grove Festival celebrates its 75th anniversary as the longest running admission-free outdoor music festival in the country. San Francisco Symphony – which gave the first performance in the Grove – celebrates this milestone on Sunday, July 8 at 2 p.m., when Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the Orchestra, SFS Chorus and soloists Katie Van Kooten, Jennifer Johnson-Cano, Russell Thomas and Nathan Berg in a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. This free concert is presented in association with the Stern Grove Festival. No tickets are required. The concert will be broadcast live on KDFC 89.9/90.3 FM and at kdfc.com.
Michael Feinstein and his Big Band
On Sunday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m., Michael Feinstein and his Big Band perform a tribute to Frank Sinatra, featuring classic Sinatra tunes and favorites from the American songbook. The multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer, dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace. In 2009, Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination for The Sinatra Project, his Concord Records CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.”
Tiempo Libre with the San Francisco Symphony
Three-time Grammy-nominated Cuban music group Tiempo Libre joins the San Francisco Symphony and conductor Michael Francis in concert on Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 pm. Celebrated for their incendiary, joyful performances of timba, an irresistible, dance-inducing mix of high-voltage Latin jazz, and the seductive rhythms of son, Tiempo Libre is one of the hottest young Latin bands of today, equally at home in concert halls, jazz clubs and dance venues. Following their performance with the Orchestra, Tiempo Libre takes over the Davies Symphony Hall stage in a rollicking jam session.
Free San Francisco Symphony Outdoor Concert with Tiempo Libre in Dolores Park
At 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 22, the Orchestra performs a free outdoor concert with Tiempo Libre in San Francisco’s Dolores Park, featuring conductor Michael Francis. Symphonic dances from West Side Story and selections from Rodeo set the tone for an afternoon of music in the sun. This concert is free; no tickets are required.
The Wizard of Oz with the San Francisco Symphony
On Thursday, July 26 and Friday, July 27, the Orchestra, led by Michael Francis, performs the original score to a screening of the classic film The Wizard of Oz, accompanying the vocals of Judy Garland, Ray Bolger and the full cast of characters in song. Children and adults alike are encouraged to attend in costume and enter the costume raffle for a chance to win fun prizes.
From the Toy Story trilogy to Wall•E, Ratatouille and many more, Pixar has forever impacted filmmaking and given audiences of all ages some of the most beloved characters in cinematic history. On Saturday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 29 at 2 p.m., the Orchestra performs the world premiere of Pixar in Concert, as Sarah Hicks leads the Orchestra in a very special concert of memorable scores to accompany visually stunning clips from each of Pixar’s films. Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter to introduce the World Premiere event on July 28, and Pixar director Pete Docter to introduce the July 29 concert.
Classical Mystery Tour: The Music of the Beatles with the San Francisco Symphony
The 2012 Summer & the Symphony series closes with two nights of Fab Four fun, as the Classical Mystery Tour performs the classic songs of The Beatles with the San Francisco Symphony led by Sarah Hicks on Thursday, August 2 and Friday, August 3. This extraordinary show features more than two dozen Beatles tunes performed exactly as they were written, including “Penny Lane” with a trumpet section, “Yesterday” with acoustic guitar and string quartet, and the rock/classical blend on the hard-edged “I Am the Walrus,” as well as full-band costume changes.
Tickets are on sale now for Summer & the Symphony concerts through www.sfsymphony.org/summer, SFS Patron Services at (415) 864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall box office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. Tickets are priced from $15-$90, with tickets for concertgoers 17 and under half-price for selected concerts. Tickets for the San Francisco Symphony Fourth of July Celebration at Shoreline Amphitheatre are available through LiveNation.com.