Friday, October 1, 2021
Contact: Nancy Bertossa
(415) 677-0328 or

San Francisco Performances Presents
PIVOT Festival 2021—7th Season
Ghost Stories
Jennifer Koh, violin and Missy Mazzoli, composer · pianist

Saturday, October 23, 2021 | 7:30pm | $65/$55/$45
Herbst Theatre

All MAZZOLI program

The performance will be followed by dialogue with artists moderated by KALW radio host and pianist Sarah Cahill.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—October 1, 2021—Now in its seventh year, San Francisco Performances (SFP) presents PIVOT, created for adventurous audiences interested in unique arts experiences. The 2021 PIVOT Festival will present four programs over the span of October 20-24 at Herbst Theatre and Taube Atrium Theater, the forth program being violinst Jennifer Koh and composer/pianist Missy Mazzoli on Sat, October 23, 7:30pm in Herbst Theatre. San Francisco Performances presents Jennifer Koh for the eleventh time; she has also appeared on the Family Matinee Series. Missy Mazzoli makes her SF Performances debut.

“We invite you to join us for our musical celebration of the long collaboration and friendship between two artists. We both live and breathe music every day and we both share the belief in advocating for a more inclusive future for music, founding organizations that fund and mentor the next generation of young musicians.

All of the works were written over the course of the last decade, and each work has found its true form in this collaboration.” —Jennifer Koh and Missy Mazzoli

About Jennifer Koh

Violinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. A forward-thinking artist, she is dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting equity and inclusivity in classical music. She has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects and has premiered more than 100 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.

Koh’s series include Alone Together, an online commissioning project and performances series in support of composers during the coronavirus crisis; The New American Concerto, which invites a diverse collective of composers to examine socio-cultural topics relevant to American life today through the form of the violin concerto; Limitless which explores the relationship between composer and performer through duo works played by Ms. Koh and the composers themselves; Bach and Beyond, which traces the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach’s sonatas and partitas to pieces by 20th- and 21st-century composers; and Shared Madness, comprising short solo works that explore virtuosity in the 21st century, commissioned from over 30 composers.

Koh has appeared with orchestras worldwide, among them the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki Philharmonics; Cleveland, Mariinsky, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Philharmonia (London) Orchestras; and Atlanta, Baltimore, BBC, Chicago, Cincinnati, National, New World, NHK, RAI (Torino), and Singapore Symphonies. Named Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, she has won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Concert Artists Guild Competition, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has a BA in English literature from Oberlin College and studied at the Curtis Institute, where she worked extensively with Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir. She is an active lecturer, teacher, and recording artist for Cedille Records; and is the Artistic Director and Founder of the non-profit arco collaborative.

About Missy Mazzoli

Recently deemed “one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York” (New York Times), “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out New York) and praised for her “apocalyptic imagination” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), Missy Mazzoli has had her music performed by the Kronos Quartet, LA Opera, eighth blackbird, the BBC Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Scottish Opera, and many others. In 2018 she became, along with Jeanine Tesori, one of the first woman to receive a main stage commission from the Metropolitan Opera and was nominated for a Grammy award in the category of “Best Classical Composition.”

She is currently the Mead Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and from 2012–2015 was Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia. Her 2018 opera Proving Up, created with longtime collaborator librettist Royce Vavrek and based on a short story by Karen Russell, is a surreal commentary on the American dream. It was commissioned and premiered by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha, and Miller Theatre and was deemed “harrowing…a true opera for its time” by the Washington Post. Her 2016 opera Breaking the Waves, commissioned by Opera Philadelphia andBeth Morrison Projects, was called “one of the best 21st-century American operas yet” by Opera News. Breaking the Waves received its European premiere at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival; future performances are planned at LA Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and the Adelaide Festival. Her next opera, The Listeners, will premiere in 2021 at the Norwegian National Opera and Opera Philadelphia.

In 2016, Missy and composer Ellen Reid founded Luna Lab, a mentorship program for young female composers created in partnership with the Kaufman Music Center. Her works are published by G. Schirmer.

The program will be an all MAZZOLI evening:
Dissolve, O My Heart
Interlude (from Vespers for Violin)
Tooth and Nail
Interlude (from Vespers for Violin)
Hail, Horrors, Hail (World Premiere of added electronics)
Kinksi Paganini
A Song for Mick Kelly

Tickets are $65/$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 and 20% off senior rush tickets.

Please note our current health and safety protocols: Per San Francisco city guidelines, SF Performances requires all patrons ages 12 years and older, to show proof of full vaccination with a photo ID to attend performances. Masks will still be required at concerts until further notice. Full details of our safety protocols and practices are available here. Also note that social distanced seating is no longer required at SFP events.

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—many thanks!)

Jennifer Koh, violin
Missy Mazzoli, composer · pianist
WHEN: Saturday, October 23, 2021, 7:30pm
WHERE: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister), San Francisco
CONCERT TICKETS: $65/$55/$45
CONTACT: (415) 392.2545;

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

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