The San Francisco Girls Chorus Opens the 2014-2015 Season with ROMANTIC IMAGINATION, 10/4-5

The San Francisco Girls Chorus Opens the 2014-2015 Season with ROMANTIC IMAGINATION, 10/4-5

The five-time Grammy Award winning San Francisco Girls Chorus will open its first season of concerts curated under the artistic directorship of Lisa Bielawawith guest pianist Jon Nakamatsu in a program of Romantic Lieder arranged for treble voices and other works October 4 and 5 in San Francisco and Berkeley. The concerts will be conducted by San Francisco Girls Chorus Music Director and Conductor Valérie Sainte-Agathe. For more information, visit .

Saturday October 4, at 8pm at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, San Francisco
Sunday October 5, at 4pm at First Congregational Church, Berkeley

The Romantic Imagination

With Jon Nakamatsu, piano

Featuring Alexander Blachly's arrangements of Lieder by Schubert ("Die junge Nonne," "Du bist die Ruh") Beethoven ("In questa tomba oscura," "Aus Goethes Faust"), Schumann ("Die Hochländer-Witwe") and Amy Beach ("I Sent My Heart"), plus Jon Nakamatsu performing two Liszt arrangements of Schumann Lieder, for solo piano, Widmung and Frühlingsnacht. He will also perform Lisa Bielawa's Wait for piano and drone.

Subscription packages and single tickets are now available through City Box Office. Subscribers will receive 10% discount over single ticket prices. Single tickets for non-subscribers are priced $36 for reserved section and $26, $18(students) for General Admission. Contact City Box Office; by phone at 415-392-4400; online at; or in person at City Box Office, 180 Redwood Street, Suite 100, San Francisco (Monday - Friday, 9:30am-5pm).

About the San Francisco Girls Chorus 2014-2015 Season

The 45-voice San Francisco Girls Chorus 2014-2015 season runs October 4, 2014 through June 5, 2015 and be capped off by a tour to Nordic countries including Estonia, Finland and Sweden. The season concerts will be conducted by Music Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe and will highlight music by Amy Beach, Lili Boulanger, Carla Kihlstedt, Schubert, Beethoven, Handel, Vaughan Williams, Ralf Yusuf Gawlick, Philip Glass, John Adams, John Cage, Lou Harrison, Meredith Monk and others and feature guest artists including pianist Jon Nakamatsuand violinist/composer Carla Kihlstedt. Of particular note will be the West Coast premiere ofKinderkreuzzug (2010), an anti-war cantata by German-Turkish composer Ralf Yusuf Gawlick set on a 1941 poem by Bertoldt Brecht. In addition to the annual Davies Hall holiday concert, the Girls Chorus this year will collaborate with New Century Chamber Orchestra for seasonal performances. For more information, visit

About Jon Nakamatsu

Since his dramatic 1997 Van Cliburn Gold Medal triumph, Jon Nakamatsu's brilliant but unassuming musicianship and eclectic repertoire have made him a clear favorite throughout the world both on the concert circuit and in the recording studio. He has performed widely in North America, Europe, and the Far East and has collaborated with such conductors as James Conlon, Philippe Entremont, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Michael Tilson Thomas and Osmo Vänskä. His extensive recital tours throughout the United States and Europe have featured appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Paris, London, and Milan.

Mr. Nakamatsu maintains a very active touring schedule with orchestra performances, chamber collaborations and solo recitals. In April of 2011 Mr. Nakamatsu made his debut at the prestigious Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

In August of 2010, he was heard in recital for the Chopin Institute in Warsaw at Warsaw's Philharmonic Hall; in October he returned to China for a debut at the Beijing International Piano Festival; and earlier this season he also performed with jazz pianist David Benoit in a special program mixing Gershwin with jazz and classical repertoire at the prestigious Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga.

In past seasons, Mr. Nakamatsu has been soloist with many leading orchestras including those of Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Rochester, San Francisco, Seattle, Tokyo and Vancouver. In February of 2010, he was the featured soloist for the highly acclaimed American tour of the Berlin-based Philharmonie der Nationen, conducted by Justus Franz, performing Brahms' First Piano Concerto and Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto in twelve cities nationwide. Numerous summer festival engagements have included appearances at the Aspen, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Caramoor, Vail, Sun Valley, and Britt festivals. In 1999, Mr. Nakamatsu was invited to the White House to perform for President and Mrs. Clinton.

Among the numerous chamber ensembles with which Mr. Nakamatsu has collaborated are the Brentano, Tokyo, Prazak, St. Lawrence, and Ying String Quartets. He also tours frequently with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet and in 2008 debuted on the Philharmonic's chamber music series performing with the Quintet and members of the orchestra. Together with the acclaimed clarinetist Jon Manasse, Mr. Nakamatsu tours regularly as part of the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo. In 2008, the Duo released its first CD (Brahms Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano) which received the highest praise from The New York Times Classical Music and Dance Editor James R. Oestreich, who named it a "Best of the Year" choice for 2008. Their latest CD (American Music for Clarinet and Piano) released in 2010 has also garnered international rave reviews, including in the March/April 2011 edition of American Record Guide: "Once again, Manasse and Nakamatsu proved that they are one of the top clarinet-piano duos around, offering an unrivaled combination of timbral clarity, polished technique, chamber teamwork, and artistic commitment." Mr. Nakamatsu and Mr. Manasse also serve as the Artistic Directors of the esteemed Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, founded by pianist Samuel Sanders in 1979.

Mr. Nakamatsu records exclusively for harmonia mundi usa, which has released nine CDs to date. His recent all-Gershwin recording with Jeff Tyzig and the Rochester Philharmonic featuring Rhapsody in Blue and the Concerto in F rose to number three on Billboard's classical music charts, earning extraordinary critical acclaim.

Jon Nakamatsu studied privately with the late Marina Derryberry from the age of six, and has worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, son of the great pianist Artur Schnabel. He has also studied composition and orchestration with Dr. Leonard Stein of the Schoenberg Institute at the University of Southern California, and pursued extensive studies in chamber music and musicology. Mr. Nakamatsu is a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in German Studies and a master's degree in Education.

About the San Francisco Girls Chorus

For 36 years, the thrilling sounds of the extraordinarily gifted young women of the San Francisco Girls Chorus have captured the attention and fired the imaginations of audiences worldwide. Following a phenomenal 30th anniversary season that included featured performances at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, a New York debut at Lincoln Center and unprecedented ticket sales, the San Francisco Girls Chorus has furthered its status as an internationally celebrated professional choral ensemble. In 2010, the ensemble won its fourth and fifth Grammy Awards for Mahler's Eighth Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. In 2013 it toured to Berlin, Germany, to participate in new Artistic Director Lisa Bielawa's large-scale spatial symphony, Tempelhof Broadcast, and performed as part of the San Francisco iteration of the ambitious piece, Crissy Broadcast, in October 2013.

The 45 members of the professional-level ensemble are 11-17 years old and come from all over the Bay Area. Each singer represents as much as a decade of musical training and performance experience. Audience members and critics have come to expect a soaring, exquisite sound, remarkable versatility and concerts of great beauty and depth.

Each year, dedicated young artists present season concerts, tour nationally or internationally, and appear with respected sponsoring organizations, including San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera. The Chorus has been honored to sing at many prestigious national and international venues, including the World Choral Symposium in Kyoto, Japan, in 2005. In 2007 the Chorus toured to China and South Korea, and Cuba in 2011.

Known as a leader in its field, the San Francisco Girls Chorus was honored in 2001 as the first youth chorus to win the prestigious "Margaret Hillis Award" given annually by Chorus America to a chorus that demonstrates artistic excellence, a strong organizational structure, and a commitment to education. Other awards include three ASCAP awards for Adventurous Programming in 2001, 2004 and 2011.

The San Francisco Girls Chorus has produced CD recordings including Heaven and Earth, a two-disc set that represents some of the greatest sacred and secular repertoire ever written for treble voices; Voices of Hope and Peace, which includes many SFGC commissions; Christmas, a collection of diverse holiday selections; Crossroads, a compilation of world folk music; and Music from the Venetian Ospedali, a disc of Italian Baroque music. The San Francisco Girls Chorus can also be heard on several San Francisco Symphony recordings. Highly regarded for collaboration, the Girls Chorus has participated in joint projects with composers Gabriela Lena Frank, Luciana Souza, Rollo Dilworth and others, and choreographers and directors including Brenda Way, Joe Goode and Stephen Petronio.