FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ONLINE POSTING
Monday, December 9, 2019
Contact: Nancy Bertossa
(415) 677-0328 or nancy@sfperformances.org

San Francisco Performances Presents
PIVOT Festival 2020—5th Season
String Theory

Thursday, January 23–Sunday, January 26, 2020
Herbst Theatre

Festival Pass for all four performances: $160/$185/$230
Performances followed by dialogue with artists moderated by arts commentator Cyrus Musiker

Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord and Stefan Jackiw, violin
Thu, Jan 23, 2020, 7:30pm | $45/$50/$60 single tickets
A Survey of 300 Years of Music

Jennifer Koh, violin | Vijay Iyer, piano | Tyshawn Sorey, percussion
Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 7:30pm | $45/$50/$60 single tickets
Limitless
Tyshawn Sorey SFP Debut

Theo Bleckmann, composer/vocalist | Dan Tepfer, piano | Telegraph Quartet
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 7:30pm | $45/$50/$60 single tickets
Berlin cabaret songs of Love and War, Peace and Exile

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin and Jay Campbell, cello
Sun, Jan 26, 2020, 5pm | $45/$55/$70 single tickets
A Survey of 1,000 Years of Music

PIVOT Website

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—December 9, 2019—San Francisco Performances presents the fifth year of PIVOT, launched in 2016 and created for adventurous audiences interested in truly unique arts experiences. Driven by a philosophy of innovation, creativity and artistic excellence that pushes the boundaries of the traditional concert experience, PIVOT offers exciting performances and creative exchanges between artists and audiences. The 2020 PIVOT Festival will present four programs over the span of Jan 23–26, 2020 at Herbst Theatre.

STRING THEORY is the Festival’s theme this year for a weekend of music that crosses boundaries, explores frontiers and unifies four threads of music: ancient, traditional classical, new music and jazz. Returning PIVOT artist Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord) and Stephan Jackiw (violin) will explore 300 years of harpsichord music in a program that will upend preconceived notions about the stodginess of the instrument. Acclaimed artists Jennifer Koh (violin), Vijay Iyer (piano) and Tyshawn Sorey (percussion) will shine a light on the limitless ways that composers and performers interact to create new works. Category-defying German composer/vocalist Theo Bleckmann will mine the jazz cabarets of Germany with Dan Tepfer (piano) and the adventurous Telegraph Quartet to perform a catalogue of songs of Love and War, Peace and Exile. And Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin) and Jay Campbell (cello) reveal the timeless power of music to communicate and move us with an inspiring program that spans a millennium.

“The PIVOT Festival never fails to reward the culturally curious,” says SFP President Melanie Smith. “PIVOT artists love the challenge of creating programs that are dedicated to surprise and discovery and as scientific as the String Theory theme sounds, it really is about what holds music together and the deep lineages of four threads of music. This year we’re excited to welcome back Mahan Esfahani to PIVOT and to see several of our mainstage performers jump onto the PIVOT stage with PIVOT-ized programs of their own.”

The festival opens Thursday, Jan 23, 2020 at 7:30pm with harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, who made his SF Performances debut three years ago. Along with violinist Stefan Jackiw, the two will shatter musty stereotypes of the baroque keyboard in a program surveying 300+ years of music.

Esfahani has made it his life’s mission to rehabilitate the harpsichord in the mainstream of concert instruments, and to that end, his creative programming and work in commissioning new works have drawn the attention of critics and audiences across Europe, Asia and North America. He was the first and only harpsichordist to be a BBC New Generation Artist (2008–2010), a Borletti-Buitoni prize winner (2009), and a nominee for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year (2014, 2015 and 2017). Stefan Jackiw is one of America’s foremost violinists, with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of "uncommon musical substance," Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco symphony orchestras.

Program:
J.S. BACH:
Sonata No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1014
VIKTOR KALABIS: Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord
C.P.E. BACH: Sonata in B minor
WALTER PISTON: Sonatina for Violin and Harpsichord

The program will be approximately 75 minutes long, without intermission, followed by a Q & A with the artist moderated by Cy Musiker.

Watch Videos: https://sfperformances.org/media/1920/videos/EsfahaniJackiw.html

On Friday, Jan 24, 2020 at 7:30pm, the festival’s second day, SFP presents Bay Area favorite Jennifer Koh (violin) and Vijay Iyer (piano) with the SFP debut of percussionist Tyshawn Sorey. This dynamic trio of creator/performers examines limitless relationships between composer and performer including two new works and improvisations in a program aptly called Limitless.

Jennifer Koh is a forward-thinking artist dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting diversity and inclusivity in classical music. She has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects and has premiered more than 70 works written especially for her. Her quest for the new and unusual, sense of endless curiosity, and ability to lead and inspire a host of multidisciplinary collaborators, truly set her apart. Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, shape-shifting presence in modern music. A musical innovator, an active collaborator and a member of multiple artistic communities, Iyer continues to reimagine the role of the musician in the 21st century. Newark-born multi-instrumentalist and composer Tyshawn Sorey is celebrated for his incomparable virtuosity, effortless mastery and memorization of highly complex scores and an extraordinary ability to blend composition and improvisation in his work. The New Yorker recently noted that Sorey is “among the most formidable denizens of the in-between zone…An extraordinary talent who can see across the entire musical landscape.”

Program:
Limitless
BACH: Partita No. 1 in B minor
ANDREW NORMAN: Cecilia; Sabina
TYSHAWN SOREY: In Memoriam Muhal Richard Abrams
Improvisations by Vijay Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey
VIJAY IYER: The Diamond

The program will be approximately 100 minutes long, including intermission, followed by a Q & A with the artist moderated by Cy Musiker.

Video: https://sfperformances.org/media/1920/videos/KohIyerSorey.html

Saturday, Jan 25, 7:30pm, the PIVOT Festival continues with Grammy nominated singer and new music composer Theo Bleckmann. The category-defying Bleckmann joins pianist Dan Tepfer and the adventurous Telegraph Quartet with his program of Berlin cabaret songs entitled Songs of Love and War, Peace and Exile which includes music by Kurt Weill, Kraftwerk, Charles Ives and others. Bleckmann performs these songs with a rare delicateness while maintaining and emphasizing their political bite, which is especially relevant today. “Theo Bleckmann sounds like he can sing anything.” (Boston Globe)

Bleckmann has collaborated with musicians, artists, actors and composers, including Ambrose Akinmusire, Laurie Anderson, Uri Caine, Philip Glass, Ann Hamilton, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Phil Kline, David Lang, Kirk Nurock, Frances McDormand, Ben Monder, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kenny Wheeler, John Zorn, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and, most prominently, Meredith Monk, with whom Bleckmann worked as a core ensemble member for over fifteen years. Dan Tepfer has made a name for himself as a pianist-composer of wide-ranging ambition, and one who refuses to set himself limits. The New York City-based Tepfer has performed with some of the leading lights in jazz, including extensively with veteran saxophone luminary Lee Konitz. The Telegraph Quartet was formed in 2013 with an equal passion for the standard chamber music repertoire as well as contemporary and non-standard repertoire. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “…an incredibly valuable addition to the cultural landscape,” the Quartet was awarded the prestigious 2016 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award.

Program:
Songs of Love and War, Peace and Exile
by KURT WEILL, HANNS EISLER, KRAFTWERK, CHARLES IVES, RICHARD STRAUSS, CARL LOEWE, FRIEDRICH HOLLAENDER, MISCHA SPOLIANSKY, THEO MAKEBEN, RICHARD RODGERS and others

The program will be approximately 90 minutes long, without intermission, followed by a Q & A with the artist moderated by Cy Musiker.

Video: https://sfperformances.org/media/1920/videos/BleckmannTelegraph.html

The 2020 PIVOT Festival closes on Sunday, Jan 26, 5:00pm with acclaimed Moldovan-born violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and cellist Jay Campbell. The pair has chosen a program that spans a millennium, underscoring the timeless power of music to communicate, innovate and move us.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s unique approach shows itself in her diverse repertoire ranging from baroque and classical works played on gut strings, to new commissions and re-interpretations of modern masterpieces. Kopatchinskaja “is incapable of giving a boring performance” (Bachtrack), and Campbell “performs music of our time not out of obligation but because it excites him so much.” (New York Times) Campbell is a 2016 recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, a member of the JACK Quartet and of the JCT Trio with violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Conrad Tao.

Program:
From the Winchester Troper (11th Century)
JÖRG WIDMANN: Selections from 24 Duos for violin and cello
GIBBONS: Fantasia
RAVEL: Sonata for violin and cello
ILLÉS: Én-kor III
XENAKIS: Dhipli Zyia
MACHAUT: Ballade 4 (Biauté qui)
LIGETI: Hommage à Hilding Rosenberg
KODÁLY: Duo for violin and cello, Op. 7

The program will be approximately 100 minutes long, including intermission, followed by a Q & A with the artist moderated by Cy Musiker.

Video: https://sfperformances.org/media/1920/videos/KopatchinskajaCampbell.html

Single tickets to each of the four evenings are available or a PIVOT Festival Pass can be purchased for all four events for $160/$185/ $230. Single tickets and passes are available at sfperformances.org/pivot or by calling 415.392.2545. Single tickets can also be purchased at the door.

PIVOT is supported by The Wallace Foundation

About Cyrus Musiker, moderator

Cyrus Musiker worked three decades in public radio in the Bay Area, before retiring recently “to the life of a country bumpkin” in the Sierra Foothills. Musiker was a reporter and anchor at KPFA, a freelancer for NPR and the CBC, and then an award winning editor, anchor, reporter and host at KQED Public Radio. For ten years, Musiker and the late San Francisco Chronicle Editor David Wiegand co-hosted The Do List, KQED’s weekly preview of the Bay Area’s most exciting music, theater and dance.

About San Francisco Performances

San Francisco Performances has been a leader in the Bay Area cultural scene since our founding in 1979. With a strong curatorial vision and adventurous programming, we are the city’s premier presenter of intimate concerts and solo performances.

We have introduced hundreds of established and emerging classical music, jazz and dance artists to audiences, including Yo-Yo Ma, the Juilliard String Quartet, Philip Glass, Wendy Whelan, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company. We also champion a new generation, committed to building a contemporary and equitable repertoire. Performers like violinist Jennifer Koh, tenor Lawrence Brownlee and pianist/composer Vijay Iyer are moving their art into the present and future, making it accessible to younger audiences while converting many traditionalists to new possibilities. They represent the path forward.

Quality, intimacy and connection are the hallmarks of San Francisco Performances. We nurture unique relationships with today’s best artists to create an accessible, warm, and engaging arts experience.

Calendar Editors, Please Note:

(Please include our name as the presenter and check to be sure you have our updated website address—many thanks!)

SAN FRANCISCO PERFORMANCES PRESENTS PIVOT FESTIVAL 2020

PIVOT: String Theory
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
Stefan Jackiw, violin
WHEN: Thursday, January 23, 2020, 7:30pm

WHERE: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister), San Francisco PROGRAM: J.S. BACH, KALABIS, C.P.E. BACH, PISTON
TICKETS: $45/$50/$60 single tickets or $160/$185/ $230 for a PIVOT Festival Pass to all four PIVOT programs
CONTACT: (415) 392.2545; sfperformances.org/pivot

PIVOT: String Theory
Jennifer Koh, violin
Vijay Iyer, piano
Tyshawn Sorey, percussion
WHEN: Friday, January 24, 2020, 7:30pm

WHERE: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister), San Francisco
PROGRAM: BACH, NORMAN, SOREY, IYER
TICKETS: $45/$50/$60 single tickets or $160/$185/ $230 for a PIVOT Festival Pass to all four PIVOT programs
CONTACT: (415) 392.2545; sfperformances.org/pivot

PIVOT: String Theory
Theo Bleckmann, vocalist
Dan Tepfer, piano
Telegraph Quartet
WHEN: Saturday, January 25, 2020, 7:30pm

WHERE: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister), San Francisco
PROGRAM: Berlin cabaret songs
TICKETS: $45/$50/$60 single tickets or $160/$185/ $230 for a PIVOT Festival Pass to all four PIVOT programs
CONTACT: (415) 392.2545; sfperformances.org/pivot

PIVOT: String Theory
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin
Jay Campbell, cello
WHEN: Sunday, January 26, 2020, 5:00pm

WHERE: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister), San Francisco
PROGRAM: WIDMANN, GIBBONS, RAVEL, ILLÉS, XENAKIS, MACHAUT, LIGETI, KODÁLY
TICKETS: $45/$55/$70 single tickets or $160/$185/ $230 for a PIVOT Festival Pass to all four PIVOT programs
CONTACT: (415) 392.2545; sfperformances.org/pivot

For high-resolution images, contact Nancy Bertossa at nancy@sfperformances.org or go to
https://sfperformances.org/media/1920/EsfahaniJackiw.html
https://sfperformances.org/media/1920/KohIyerSorey.html
https://sfperformances.org/media/1920/BleckmannTelegraph.html
https://sfperformances.org/media/1920/KopatchinskajaCampbell.html

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