SF Conservatory: Best bargains in town 

During the next few weeks, students and faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music will be working extra hard, and music lovers in search of high quality and low cost will reap the rewards.

Before and after the March 22-29 spring break are concerts, recitals and master classes galore. Most are free; others have a modest ticket charge.

Free graduate recitals promise the opportunity to discover young talents in their first public performances. I was lucky enough to catch several now-famous singers and instrumentalists at their debuts in the conservatory’s old home in the Sunset district. The accessibility of the new Civic Center building makes visits even easier.

This weekend, for example, graduate recitals include those on Saturday by cellist Esther Rogers (5 p.m.) and pianist-accompanist Eun Seong Hong (8 p.m.). Sunday features hornist Caitlyn Smith (11 a.m.), trombonist Brandon Franklin (2 p.m.), violist Jason Diggs (5 p.m.), trumpeter Matthew Depasquale (5 p.m.), guitarist Matthew Billie (8 p.m.) and flutist Daniel Sharp (8 p.m.).

An important event at 8 p.m. Saturday is the premiere of “The Love of Don Perlimplin,” an opera by conservatory faculty member Conrad Susa, whose works “Transformations” and “The Dangerous Liaisons” have been presented by the San Francisco Opera.

The concert, a co-production of Nicole Paiement’s BluePrint project and the Conservatory Opera Theater, will be conducted by Paiement and directed by Conservatory Opera Program Director Richard Harrell. Tickets are $15-$20.

Famous faculty members Axel Strauss (violin), Jean-Michel Fonteneau (cello) and Yoshkazu Nagai (piano) will perform trios by Beethoven and Dvorak at 8 p.m. Thursday; tickets are $15-$20.

Free recitals next week feature cellist Yeon Sun Choi and singer Molly Mahoney at 8 p.m. March 19. Junior recitals by cellist Peter Pearson and singer Roxane Gedrigo and singer Julie Adams are at 5 p.m. March 20; a senior recital by singer Sarah Young is at 8 p.m. March 20.

On April 7, Juilliard Quartet founder violinist Robert Mann heads “Chamber Music Masters” with faculty members Ian Swensen, Yoshi Nagai, Paul Hersh, Michelle Kwon, Jennifer Culp, Jodi Levitz, Axel Strauss, David Tanenbaum and Rosey Watson. On the program are Cesar Franck’s Piano Quintet and an intriguingly named work, Aaron Jay Kernis’ “Top 100 Greatest Dance Hits for Guitar Quintet.” Tickets are $15-$20.

A staged version of Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” featuring student singers runs April 8-11 at Fort Mason’s Cowell Theater. For ticket information, call the box office at (415) 345-7575.

SF Conservatory of Music

50 Oak St., San Francisco
When: March and April
Tickets: $15 to $20; some events free
Contact: (415) 503-6275, www.sfcm.edu

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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