Fall Preview: Music and dance, off the beaten path 

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Along with the offerings from The City's major arts organizations, this lineup includes some lesser-known, but eminently attractive, shows.

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble

The eclectic troupe opens its season with "Point/Counterpoint," a program organized by ensemble flutist Stacey Pelinka featuring guest soloist soprano Christine Brandes. The musicians explore how simplicity plays against complexity in works by Bach, Dowland, Albert Roussel, Erik Ulman and American composer Elliott Carter. [8 p.m. Sept. 16. $15-$30. S.F. Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F., (415) 617-5223, www.leftcoastensemble.org]

Itzhak Perlman

The 2013-14 Stanford Live series opens with the grand master of the violin hosting a special concert showcasing young string virtuosos. [2:30 p.m. Sept. 22. $20-$75. Bing Concert Hall, 327 Lasuen St., Stanford University, (650) 725-2787, www.live.stanford.edu]

Joe Goode Performance Group

Z Space and Joe Goode Performance Group present the world premiere of "Hush," a dance theater collaboration with sound effects artist Sudhu Tewari and musician-composer Ben Juodvalkis. The work is based on personal stories choreographer Goode gathered about instances of people being silenced with prejudice or discrimination, and how they deal with it. [Sept. 26-Oct. 5. $15-$70. Z Space, 450 Florida St., S.F. (866) 811-4111, www.zspace.org]

New Century Chamber Orchestra

The group begins its season with "Daugherty Perspectives," an exploration of American composer Michael Daugherty's solo and chamber works, ranging from "Viva" for solo violin, performed by music director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (for whom it was written), to "Sing Sing: J. Edgar Hoover" and "Elvis Everywhere" for string quartet and tape. [8 p.m. Sept. 28. $29-$59. Lam Research Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St., S.F.; (415) 392-4400, www.cityboxoffice.com]

Cal Performances

For the third year, Cal Performances offers a free day of music, dance and theater as an introduction to the season. The event brings 500 artists together to perform at Zellerbach Hall and Playhouse, Hertz Hall, Wheeler Auditorium and outdoor stages across the UC Berkeley campus. Last year, 30,000 attended. Highlights this year include bassist Marcus Shelby, La Tania Baile Flamenco, Theatre of Yugen, Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz, percussionist Keith Terry and many more. [10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 29. Free. Throughout the UC Berkeley campus; (510) 642-9988, www.calperformances.org]

Angel Heart

Described as a "live music storybook" and based on a tale by fantasy writer Cornelia Funke, the production for families is about a girl who finds peace after heartbreak with the help of a petulant guardian angel. Matt Haimovitz's all-cello ensemble Uccello, Frederica von Stade, Lisa Delan, Daniel Taylor, Sanford Sylvan, and children's choirs from Oakland (St. Martin de Porres School) and New York perform the music by Luna Pearl Woolf. The cast is the same as on a recording of the work, with the exception of mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao, who died in February. This performance is dedicated to her memory. [5 p.m. Oct. 6. $36. Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley; (510) 642-9988, www.calperformances.org]

Falstaff

The San Francisco Opera's production of Verdi's last opera, written at age 80 in the full bloom of his powers, features Bryn Terfel, the foremost Falstaff of our time, in the title role. Music director Nicola Luisotti conducts; the cast includes Ainhoa Arteta, Meredith Arwady, Fabio Capitanucci and Heidi Stober. Based on Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and "Henry IV," the story follows the adventures of the fat, vain, boastful and cowardly knight who, in Terfel's performance, also manages to be quite charming. [Oct. 8-Nov. 2. $23-$312. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F.; (415) 864-3330, www.sfopera.com]

A Rite

Bill T. Jones and Anne Bogart of SITI Company join forces for a new dance-theater work celebrating the 100th anniversary of "The Rite of Spring," Igor Stravinsky's groundbreaking masterpiece and collaboration with choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky. The piece features a libretto that pulls from the diaries of World War I veterans, Stravinsky's score, the writings of physicist Brian Greene and more. [8 p.m. Oct. 11-12, 3 p.m. Oct. 13. $30-$40. Lam Research Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St., S.F.; (415) 978-2787, www.ybca.org]

Yuja Wang

Young, world-renowned pianist Yuja Wang is a city perennial, stopping on her rounds between Beijing and New York to perform here every year. Her rich, varied San Francisco Symphony Great Performers Series recital includes complete piano sonatas by Prokofiev and Chopin, "Nocturne and Fantasy" by Chopin, Nikolai Kapustin's Variations for Piano and three movements from Stravinsky's "Petrushka," "Russian Dance," "Petrushka's Room" and "Shrovetide Fair." [8 p.m. Oct. 15. $46-$150. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.; (415) 864-6000, www.sfsymphony.org]

The Hula Show

Patrick Makuakane and his award-winning dance troupe Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu appear in a production with 20 world premieres featuring traditional hula and Makuakane's hula mua (a blend of Hawaiian dance and modern music). This year's show is inspired by a project in which thousands of volunteers transcribed Hawaiian-language newspapers published between 1834 and 1948. [Oct. 19-Oct. 27. $35-$45. Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon St., S.F.; (415) 392-4400, www.cityboxoffice.com]

Peninsula Symphony

Under the baton of music director Mitchell Sardou Klein, the orchestra begins its 65th season at the refurbished San Mateo Performing Arts Center in a concert featuring pianist John O'Conor, the Masterworks Chorale, and music including the beloved Grieg Piano Concerto and Beethoven's majestic "Choral Fantasy." [8 p.m. Oct. 25. $10-$40. San Mateo Performing Arts Center, 600 N. Delaware St., San Mateo; (650) 941-5291, www.peninsulasymphony.org]

Opera Parallèle

The acclaimed company presents contemporary British composer Peter Maxwell Davies' "The Spider's Revenge," a musical performed by and for children about the wonders of the insect world. Appropriately, the performances happen in the place treasuring insects, the California Academy of Sciences. Opera Parallèle music director Nicole Paiement will select and coach San Francisco elementary school students to participate in the production in celebration of National Opera Week. [Noon and 2 p.m. Nov. 2. Free. Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.; (415) 503-6279, www.operaparallele.org]

About The Author

Janos Gereben

Janos Gereben

Bio:
Janos Gereben is a writer and columnist for SF Classical Voice; he has worked as writer and editor with the NY Herald-Tribune, TIME Inc., UPI, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, San Jose Mercury News, Post Newspaper Group, and wrote documentation for various technology companies.
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