Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Contact: Nancy Bertossa
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San Francisco Performances Announces First Summer Music Concert Series In Its 41-Year History

Summer Music Sessions
July 14–24, 2021
Herbst Theatre

David Greilsammer, piano | July 14, 2021 | 7:30pm | $65/$55/$45

Garrick Ohlsson, piano | July 15, 2021 | 7:30pm | $65/$55/$45
Brahms II

Alexander String Quartet with William Kanengiser, guitar | July 16, 2021 | 7:30pm | $65/$55/$45
“The British Invasion”

William Kanengiser, guitar | July 18, 2021 | 7pm | $65/$55/$45

Natasha Paremski, piano | July 19, 2021 | 7:30pm | $65/$55/$45

Marc-André Hamelin, piano | July 20, 2021 | 7:30pm | $65/$55/$45

Aaron Diehl, piano | July 21, 2021 | 7:30pm | $65/$55/$45

Timo Andres, composer/piano | July 23, 2021 | 7:30pm | $65/$55/$45

Jennifer Koh, violin; Timo Andres, composer/piano; Jay Campbell, cellol;| July 24, 2021 | 7:30pm | $65/$55/$45

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—May 12, 2021—President Melanie Smith announced today the first summer music concert series in the 41-year history of San Francisco Performances. The newly dubbed “Summer Music Sessions” runs 11 days from July 14, 2021 through July 24, 2021 at Herbst Theatre and features 9 concerts with 14 artists in chamber music, piano and guitar.

“We are thrilled to announce our return of live performances and in a first for SFP, we will be presenting them in a summer concert series that brings some of our most beloved artists, treasured programs, and even new works and interpretations.

Our plan to re-book performances postponed by COVID-19 has been in the works since last August when we realized that due to the nature of chamber music—small groups of artists performing in an intimate space, without a conductor—we had the opportunity to return to live performances as soon as it was safely possible. We’ve been waiting a while to be able to implement these plans, and when we put the word out about Summer Music Sessions, these artists were thrilled to reschedule their dates right away. This has given us an opportunity to present our first-ever summer festival. While we don’t have a particular musical theme for these events, the idea of coming back together to share real live performances feels like the most important unifying thread this year.” —SFP President, Melanie Smith

The Summer Music Sessions presents innovative and exciting artists previously scheduled to perform in the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 seasons whose concerts were postponed due to COVID-19.

July 14
Kicking off the Summer Music Sessions is pianist David Greilsammer who wowed The New York Times with his ear-opening, inventive style when they selected two of his releases as Recordings of the Year in 2019. His SFP recital debut brings a program of Janáček, CPE Bach, Mozart, Pelz and Rebel.

July 15
Perennially loved by Bay Area audiences, pianist Garrick Ohlsson follows Greilsammer as he returns to complete his initially scheduled two-year survey of Brahms’ complete solo piano works begun in the 2019–2020 season.

July 16
The beloved Alexander String Quartet welcomes an accomplished new violist, David Samuel as they play their rescheduled “British Invasion” program with guitarist William Kanengiser of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet for the North American premiere of Sting and Dusan Bogdanovich’s Prism—Six Songs by Sting. The program also features work by Leo Brouwer, John Dowland and the World premiere of the guitar and string quartet version of Ian Krouse’s Labyrinth (on a theme by Led Zeppelin).

July 18
Two nights later William Kanengiser takes to the stage in a solo concert composed of pieces by Santiago de Murcia (arr. Kanengiser), Dionisio Aquado, Frank Wallace, Bryan Johanson and the World premiere of Golfram Khayam’s Lost Land.

July 19
Natasha Paremski
joins the summer fun to follow up on her SFP main stage piano debut in the 2019–2020 season. Striking and dynamic performances, lyrical range and flawless technique are a few of the frequent descriptions you read of this thrilling artist who will perform works by Chopin, Adès and Prokofiev.

July 20
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin who was scheduled to celebrate SFP’s 40th anniversary in a special concert last April 26, 2020 returns with a newly designed program for the occasion. He’ll be playing a program of CPE Bach, Beethoven and his own piece which will be a World premiere, Nowhere Going Fast, joined by the Alexander String Quartet.

July 21
Pianist Aaron Diehl will make his SFP recital debut in a program that illuminates the many cross-influences of classical music traditions and jazz. Diehl shows off his classical training and the inspiration of improvisation with works by Ellington, Still, Roland Hanna, Nathaniel Dett and many others.

July 23
Composer/pianist Timo Andres has been busy this year producing two at home concerts for SFP’s Front Row Premium series. Andres is a versatile artist with a gift for connecting with audiences to break down traditional stuffy barriers to enjoying great music. His program includes pieces by Andres, Schumann, Ann Southam, Ned Rorem, Debussy and Ellington.

July 24
The 11-day Summer Music Sessions closes with Jennifer Koh who has defined and expanded music through insightful and dazzling performances and commissions. In this program originally scheduled for the 2020–2021 season, she teams up with composer/pianist Timo Andres and cellist Jay Campbell, a member of the JACK Quartet, for a program with works by Andres and Janáček.


  • David Greilsammer—SFP Recital Debut
  • Aaron Diehl—SFP Recital Debut


  • Sting and Dusan Bogdanovich’s Prism—Six Songs by Sting (North American premiere) performed by the Alexander String Quartet and William Kanengiser, Friday, July 16, 2021, 7:30pm, Herbst Theatre
  • Ian Krouse’s Labyrinth (World premiere) on a theme by Led Zeppelin performed by the Alexander String Quartet and William Kanengiser, Friday, July 16, 2021, 7:30pm, Herbst Theatre
  • Golfram Khayam’s Lost Land (World premiere) performed by William Kanengiser, Sunday, July 18, 7:00pm, Herbst Theatre
  • Marc-André Hamelin's Nowhere Going Fast performed by Marc-André Hamelin with the Alexander String Quartet (World premiere), Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 7:30pm, Herbst Theatre

Ticket Information

Single tickets will go on sale to the public June 14 and can be bought online at or by phone at 415.677.0325, Mon-Fri, 9:30am-5:30pm. Patrons with questions should call 415.677.0325, Mon-Fri, 9:30am-5:30pm.

Safety Protocols

The summer re-opening plan has been developed with the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center and will be in full compliance with San Francisco City and County guidelines for re-gathering.

Safety protocols will include reduced capacity seating, increased ventilation and filtration standards, assigned seating only, no intermission, universal mask wearing (gators or scarves do not qualify as masks), contactless tickets, no food or beverage service, social distancing requirements for entering and exiting the building, and performers will be properly distanced from patrons. Read more about safety protocols for the Veterans Building.

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.

For selected high-resolution images of Summer Music Sessions artists please visit:

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