Wednesday, August 26, 2019
Contact: Nancy Bertossa
(415) 677-0328 or

San Francisco Performances Presents
The Opening of the 40th Anniversary Season
Natasha Paremski, piano
Alfredo Rodrígeuz, piano

Friday, September 27, 2019, 7:30pm | $70/$55/$45
Herbst Theatre

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—August 28, 2019—San Francisco Performances (SFP) opens their 40th Anniversary Season with Russian-born classical pianist, Natasha Paremski and Cuban-Jazz pianist and composer, Alfredo Rodríguez on Friday, September 27, 7:30pm at Herbst Theatre. San Francisco Performances presents Natasha Paremski in her second SFP engagement. She first appeared in her SF recital debut in 2007 on the Young Masters Series. Alfredo Rodríguez also returns for his second SFP engagement; he first appeared in his SFP debut in 2017 on the Young Masters Series.

“We’re excited to present this unique pairing of musicians in their first performance together. Based on Natasha and Alfredo’s similar background and interests, I invited them to perform together in a unique call-and-response type program that incorporates improvisation and interplay. Natasha will play works by PROKOFIEV and RAVEL, as well as possibly one of the most challenging works in the piano repertoire, Islamey, by BALAKIREV. Alfredo will follow with his own intensely virtuosic improvisations, in response to Natasha’s program. Definitely expect some fireworks in this program!” —SFP President Melanie Smith

Natasha Paremski and Alfredo Rodríguez will be combining their individual musical talents to present historical masterworks by Prokofiev, Ravel, and Balakirev and spin them into an innovative work of art interwoven in Cuban-jazz improvisatory embellishments. Both pianists were trained in the Russian classical tradition, but took different paths. Natasha’s training began in Moscow, then at age eight she moved to the US and became a citizen. Later she studied at San Francisco Conservatory of Music before moving to New York. Alfredo is Cuban and studied at the Havana Conservatory also with Russian trained teachers. As a teen, he fell in love with jazz, specifically Keith Jarrett’s solo piano work. His decision to focus on jazz after his extensive classical piano training, was difficult and controversial at the time.

About Natasha Paremski

With her consistently striking and dynamic performances, pianist Natasha Paremski reveals astounding virtuosity and voracious interpretive abilities. She continues to generate excitement from all corners as she wins over audiences with her musical sensibility and powerful, flawless technique.

Natasha is a regular return guest of many major orchestras, including Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Grant Park Festival, Winnipeg Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom she has performed every year since 2008 in venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, and Cadogan Hall. She has performed with major orchestras in North America including Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Houston Symphony, NAC Orchestra in Ottawa, Nashville Symphony.

Natasha was awarded several prestigious prizes at a very young age, including the Gilmore Young Artists prize in 2006 at the age of eighteen, the Prix Montblanc in 2007, the Orpheum Stiftung Prize in Switzerland. She has toured extensively in Europe with such orchestras as Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vienna’s Tonkünstler Orchester, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre de Bretagne, the Orchestre de Nancy, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchester in Zurich, Moscow Philharmonic, under the direction of conductors including Thomas Dausgaard, Peter Oundjian, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Jeffrey Kahane, James Gaffigan, JoAnn Falletta, Fabien Gabel, Rossen Milanov and Andrew Litton. Additionally, she has toured with Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica in Latvia, Benelux, the United Kingdom and Austria as well as appearances with National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in Taipei.

Natasha has given recitals at the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Wigmore Hall, Schloss Elmau, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Verbier Festival, Seattle’s Meany Hall, Kansas City’s Harriman Jewell Series, Santa Fe’s Lensic Theater, Ludwigshafen BASF Series, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Tokyo’s Musashino Performing Arts Center and on the Rising Stars Series of Gilmore and Ravinia Festivals.

Born in Moscow, Natasha moved to the United States at the age of eight becoming a U.S. citizen shortly thereafter, and is now based in New York.

About Alfredo Rodríguez

Alfredo Rodríguez is an internationally acclaimed Cuban jazz pianist who, due to his formal training, is as proficient at playing classical music as he is his chosen genre.

Rodríguez was born in Havana in 1985 and named for his father, a popular singer, television host, and entertainer. He began his musical studies on percussion at the age of seven and training on the piano at age 10. He was enrolled in the Manuel Saumell Conservatory, and later at the Amadeo Roldan Music Conservatory. He won classical competitions in both schools. He also received some on-the-spot training; at the age of 14, he began playing with and arranging for his father’s orchestra. At the age of 15, he received Keith Jarrett’s classic Köln Concert album as a gift from an uncle, and his ears were opened to improvisation.

Rodríguez eventually studied at Cuba’s premier school, Instituto Superior de Arte, where he also won several competitions. In 2006, he was invited to play the Montreux Jazz Festival. The festival’s founder, Claude Nobs, requested he play privately at his home for Quincy Jones. The producer and arranger liked what he heard and wanted to work with the young pianist. It took three years for that to come to pass.

The young pianist continued to wow critics and club-goers. He toured incessantly, opening for any number of jazz and popular music artists. He played not only Montreux again, but also the Playboy, Detroit, Newport, San Francisco, North Sea, Umbria and Vienna Jazz Festivals, and in prestigious jazz clubs including Ronnie Scott’s, Yoshi’s and The Blue Note.

The evening’s program will be as follows:
Natasha Paremski performing:
PROKOFIEV: Visions Fugitives, Op. 22
RAVEL: Gaspard de la Nuit
Improvisations by Alfredo Rodríguez

Watch a Natasha Paremski video:

Watch the Alfredo Rodríguez Trio NPR Tiny Desk Concert video:

Tickets are $70/$55/$45 and can be purchased at or by calling 415.392.2545. Tickets can also be purchased at the door as available including 50% off student rush tickets.

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!)

WHEN: Friday, September 27, 2019, 7:30pm
WHERE: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister), San Francisco
PROGRAM:: Pieces by PROKOFIEV, RAVEL, BALAKIREV and jazz improvisations
CONCERT TICKETS: $70/$55/$45
CONTACT: (415) 392.2545;

For high-resolution images, contact Nancy Bertossa at or go to

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