O'Riley, SF Girl's Chorus sing Joni, San Francisco, June 9/10
June 5, 2012
Pianist, composer, pop/classical crossover whiz, famed reinterpreter of Radiohead music and popular host of the NPR radio show "From the Top," Christopher O'Riley will be the guest soloist for the San Francisco Girls Chorus' season-closing concerts Friday and Saturday at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He'll be bringing with him arrangements he has recently composed of four Joni Mitchell songs from the "Song to a Seagull" album, which will get their world premiere on the concerts.
The Chicago-born O'Riley, 56, and the five-time Grammy-winning Girls Chorus had their first encounter when they were his guests several years ago on the weekly radio show that hauls aspiring young talent from all over the country and presents them on air. Their collaborative concert, called "Truth and Beauty," will also include Vaughan Williams' "Let Beauty Awake," Claude Debussy's "Salut Printemps," Eric Whitacre's "Five Hebrew Love Songs," Stephen Paulus' "Sing Creations Music On," works by Gustav Holst, and more.
Founded in 1978, the Girls Chorus is now in transition with the nonrenewal last year of longtime director Susan McMane's contract. Working with them this spring, and preparing this final concert, is guest conductor Brandon Brack, a former member of the Bay Area's well-known male a cappella ensemble Chanticleer. Brack has been named interim director for the Chorus in its next season, which opens Nov. 12 in the Herbst Theatre and will feature Berkeley native Gabriela Lena Frank as composer-in-residence.
This weekend's programs take place at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Conservatory, 50 Oak St. in San Francisco. Tickets, $30-$35, are at 415-392-4400 or www.cityboxoffice.com.