Friday, January 24, 2020
Contact: Nancy Bertossa
(415) 677-0328 or

San Francisco Performances Presents
Words and Music

Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
Robert Greenberg, host/lecturer
Daniel Cromeenes, piano

Saturday, February 8, 2020, 10am | $45
Herbst Theatre

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—January 24, 2020—San Francisco Performances (SFP) presents Words & Music, a presentation of Beethoven’s vocal music by Dashon Burton and Robert Greenberg on Saturday, February 8, 2020, 10am at Herbst Theatre.

“While known for the abundance of works for instruments, Beethoven’s output for songs was limited and that’s why we are especially excited to present bass-baritone Dashon Burton and host and lecturer Robert Greenberg in their exploration of these not often performed works. The event mirrors the unique lecture/recital format well known to audiences who enjoy our Saturday Morning Series which also features Robert Greenberg. ” —SFP President Melanie Smith

Bass-baritone Dashon Burton has established a vibrant career in opera, recital, and with orchestra. In key elements of his repertoire—Bach’s St. John and St. Matthew Passions and the B minor Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven 9, the Brahms Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Mozart’s Requiem—Dashon is a frequent guest with the major orchestras of the United States.

Dashon Burton’s 2019–20 season began with returns to the Carmel Bach Festival and the Salzburg Festival. He sings the world premiere of Caroline Shaw’s The Listeners (a part written by Shaw specifically for Burton), first in a season-opening performance with the Philharmonia Baroque and Nicholas McGegan (frequent partners to Burton), and then with Grant Llewelyn and the North Carolina Symphony, where Burton also sings Beethoven Symphony No. 9. He sings Michael Tilson Thomas’s Rilke Songs with the Cleveland Orchestra (with whom he appears regularly), led by the composer. He reunites with MTT at the San Francisco Symphony in May 2020 and returns to the National Arts Centre Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem. Other highlights include the Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra; Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, led by Masaaki Suzuki (a former teacher of Burton’s); Shostakovich Symphony No. 14 with A Far Cry; the Mozart Requiem with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; a European tour with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem (including an appearance at the 2020 Bachfest in Leipzig); and Handel’s Messiah for a debut with the New York Philharmonic. Dashon Burton is in the Bay Area throughout 2019–20 for the second year of a multi-season stint as a San Francisco Performances’ Resident Artist.

Widely regarded for his fluency in new music, Burton has sung Michael Tippet’s A Child of our Time at Harvard, performances and the debut recording of Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard with Conspirare, Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road at Carnegie Hall and David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Opera engagements include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte in Dijon and Paris, and Jupiter in Rameau’s Castor and Pollux with Les Talens Lyriques. He sang Strauss’ Salome at the Salzburg Festival (led by Franz Welser-Möst in a production by Romeo Castellucci), and appeared at Paris’ Théâtre de la Ville in Peter Sellars’ production of Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus, un ritual de mort.

Burton’s album, Songs of Struggle and Redemption: We Shall Overcome, was singled out by the New York Times as “profoundly moving…a beautiful and lovable disc.” He has performed a recital program based on the album at the Ravinia Festival, for San Francisco Performances, and this season in Louisville and at St. Johns College. He is a founding member of the groundbreaking vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, with whom he tours internationally, and won a Grammy for their recording of Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Partita for 8 Voices.

Dr. Robert Greenberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954 and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1978. He received a B.A. in Music, magna cum laude, from Princeton University in 1976 and a Ph.D. in music composition, With Distinction, from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984.

Greenberg has composed more than 50 works for a variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles. Performances of his works have taken place across the United States and Europe.

Dr. Greenberg has received numerous honors, including commissions from the Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Alexander String Quartet, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, San Francisco Performances and the XTET ensemble. His music is published by Fallen Leaf Press and CPP/Belwin and is recorded on the Innova label.

Greenberg is a Steinway Artist.

Dr. Greenberg is currently the Dramaturge of The Phoenix Symphony and the Music Historian-in-Residence with San Francisco Performances, where he has lectured and performed since 1994. He has served on the faculties of the University of California, Berkeley; California State University, East Bay; the Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business; and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he chaired the Department of Music History and Literature from 1989 to 2001.

Dr. Greenberg has lectured for some of the most prestigious musical and arts organizations in the United States, including the San Francisco Symphony (where for 10 years he was host and lecturer for the symphony’s nationally acclaimed Discovery Series), the Chautauqua Institution (where he was the Everett Scholar-in-Residence during the 2006 season), the Ravinia Festival, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Van Cliburn Foundation, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Villa Montalvo, the Phoenix Orchestra, the University of British Columbia (where he was the Dal Grauer Lecturer in September 2006) and Philadelphia’s College of Physicians (where he has been the Behrend Lecturer since 2017).

In addition, Dr. Greenberg is a sought-after lecturer for businesses and business schools and has spoken for such diverse organizations as S. C. Johnson, Deutsche Bank, the University of California/Haas School of Business Executive Seminar and the Goldman School of Public Policy, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School Publishing, Kaiser Permanente, the Young Presidents’ Organization, the World Presidents’ Organization and the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco. Dr. Greenberg has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, the Times of London, the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications.

For 15 years, Dr. Greenberg was the resident composer and music historian for NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, Sunday with Liane Hansen. His show Scandalous Overtures can be seen on

In May 1993, Greenberg recorded a 48-lecture course entitled “How to Listen to and Understand Great Music” for The Great Courses/The Teaching Company. (This course was named in the January, 1996 edition of Inc. Magazine as one of “The Nine Leadership Classics You've Never Read.”) Dr. Greenberg has since recorded 30 additional courses. The most recent, “The Great Music of the 20th Century,” was released in January 2018.

In February 2003, Maine’s Bangor Daily News referred to Dr. Greenberg as the Elvis of music history and appreciation, an appraisal that has given him more pleasure than any other.

The morning’s program will be as follows:
Beethoven’s Vocal Music:
Zärtliche Liebe (“Tender Love”), or Ich liebe dich, WoO 123
Adelaide, Op. 46
Six Songs on texts by von Gellert, Op. 48, No. 4, Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur
Six Songs on texts by Goethe, Op. 75, No. 1, Mignon’s Song
In questa tomba oscura, WoO 133; text by Giuseppe Carpani

Irish/Scottish Songs:
The Pulse of an Irishman
Sally in our ally
Come draw we round a cheerful ring
Since Greybeards inform us

An die ferne Gelibte, Op. 98

Watch a video:

Tickets $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!)

Dashon Burton and Robert Greenberg

WHEN: Saturday, February 8, 2020 10am
WHERE: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister), San Francisco
PROGRAM:: Vocal works by BEETHOVEN
CONTACT: (415) 392.2545;

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

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