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Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 3, 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 4; Del Valle Theatre, Walnut Creek; $47; 925-943.7469, diabloballet.org. 9 “House of the Beehives”: This work by Australian composer Melody Eotvos, inspired by Italo Calvino’s story about a misanthropic recluse with a dark secret, captured Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s annual composer’s contest last year, topping 100 other entries. Now the Ensemble is set to perform it in concerts in Berkeley and San Francisco. Details: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Hillside Club, Berkeley; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at San Francisco Conservatory of Music; $15-$35; www.leftcoastensemble.org.
10 “One Woman Sex and the City: A Parody”: Kerry Ipema co-wrote and stars in this solo show devoted pointe shoes for small feet to Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha and all the friends and lovers they encountered in six seasons of HBO’s groundbreaking sitcom, TJ Dawe, who developed solo shows about “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings,” co-wrote this and directs the production, which comes to San Jose’s Montgomery Theatre Feb, 8 for one performance only, Details: 8 p.m.; $35; sanjosetheaters.org, Contact Randy McMullen at email@example.com, Follow him on twitter.com/randymac57..
Daniel Levenstein recalls the exact moment that Chamber Music San Francisco became a success. Not long after he founded the popular chamber music series, he presented a concert by the world-renowned Beaux Arts Trio. After the performance, the group’s pianist, Menahem Pressler, put his hand on Levenstein’s shoulder and said “You’ll present us every year, OK?”. For Levenstein, that was the supreme affirmation of Chamber Music San Francisco’s winning formula. The series offers concerts that audiences love – and top-tier artists want to play.
Levenstein founded the series in 2004 at the Florence Gould Theater in San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, After a few seasons, he expanded its reach, Now, most of its programs open in San Francisco, with repeat performances in Walnut Creek and Palo Alto, “That’s really our calling card,” Levenstein explained in a recent interview, “It allows the artists to anchor their West Coast tours with us, and it makes it easy for our audiences to get to pointe shoes for small feet the performances, With the three-city model, we really hit our stride.”..
The series launches its 14th season this month with another strong lineup. This year’s top draw is Pinchas Zukerman; joined by pianist Angela Cheng, the award-winning Israeli violinist performs a program of Brahms, Beethoven and Mozart. Performances are Feb. 25 at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, Feb. 26 at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek and Feb. 27 at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto. Levenstein says he’s thrilled to finally have Zukerman on the series. “I’ve been trying to bring him here for years,” he said.
The rest of the season is an attractive mix of debuting and returning artists, The series opens with pianist Olga Kern (Feb, 11-13), playing Liszt, Schumann, Scarlatti, and Beethoven, Violinist Augustin Hadelich returns in his first local appearance since pointe shoes for small feet winning the 2016 Grammy for best classical instrumental solo (March 13, S.F, only), and the Pavel Haas Quartet makes it series debut playing Dvorak, Martinu and Smetana (March 25-27), Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz, gold medalist at the Warsaw Chopin competition and a recent winner of the Gilmore Award, presents a program of Chopin, Bach and Beethoven (April 4 in S.F.); French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet makes his San Francisco recital debut with works by Debussy, Ravel, Haydn, and Beethoven (April 8-10.) Completing the series are Belgium’s Quatuor Danel (April 24), the Morgenstern Trio (April 29-May 1) and the string ensemble Archetti (May 14.)..
Levenstein, who trained as a pianist, started the series with extensive experience in the arts. After nine years as executive director of Smuin Ballet, he says that heading Chamber Music San Francisco was a natural move. “Here, I wear both hats, administrative and artistic,” he says. With an unerring ear for talent, Levenstein spends part of each year traveling to Europe, visiting festivals and competitions to check out new artists to bring to the Bay Area.At home in San Francisco, he watches competitions online. “YouTube is the presenter’s pal,” he says.
This year, he’s added a new feature to the organization, Chamber Music San Francisco’s “Debut Series” will feature young, prodigal talent, many of whom are already in demand as recital and concert artists, Five programs are on the schedule, with all performances in San Francisco, Violinist Ning Feng opens the pointe shoes for small feet series Feb, 7 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, followed by Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho (Feb, 28 at the Herbst); Persian-American pianist Sara Daneshpour (March 11, St, Mark’s Lutheran Church); Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang (April 1, St, Mark’s) and Japanese violinist Mayuko Kamio (May 5, St, Mark’s)..