A Morrison Chamber Music Center blog
       from Artistic Director Richard Festinger

2014 Archives

August 2016

Announcing the 2016-17 Morrison Artists Series Concert Season

Dear Morrison Artists Series Patrons - It’s my pleasure to introduce you to the coming season of the Morrison Artists Series, ushering in a new and inspiring year of outstanding chamber music performances offered admission-free to San Francisco Bay Area audiences. Here’s the season at a glance:

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April 2016

Calefax Brings the House Down in San Francisco Debut

The Calefax performance on last Sunday’s Morrison Artists Series concert brought the audience to its feet. I don’t remember a concert when so many members of the audience came up to me at intermission and after the concert to express their delight in the program and the performers. Calefax’s arrangements of repertoire of all periods are extremely well done, full of coloristic shifts and effects that the ensemble’s unusual instrumentation makes possible.

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October 2015

Coming Up: The Fidelio Trio’s San Francisco Debut

On Sunday, November 8, the virtuosic Fidelio Trio from London will take the McKenna Theater stage in their San Francisco debut concert. Their meteoric career has put them on concert stages worldwide, and their many recordings reflect their growing influence as interpreters of music of classical, romantic and modern repertoire. The program is a most interesting one, including trios by Camille Saint-Saëns and Scottish composer Judith Weir, and the famous trio arrangement of Arnold Schoenberg’s beautiful, romantic tone poem, Verklärte Nacht.

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August 2015

2015-16 Morrison Artists Series 60th Anniversary Season

It’s a great pleasure to introduce you to the 60th anniversary season of the Morrison Artists Series, ushering in a new and inspiring year of outstanding chamber music performances offered admission-free to San Francisco Bay Area audiences. Here’s the season at a glance.

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May 2015

2015-16 Morrison Artists Series Preview, and the 2015 Klein Competition

This will be my final newsletter of the 2014-15 Morrison Artists Series season. It’s been a wonderful season, and my thanks to you, our audience, for your indispensable role in the series’ continuing success. With the superlative performances of the past months still fresh in mind, it’s already time for me to be looking forward to the coming 2015-16 concert season, a particularly significant one because it will be the 60th Anniversary of the Morrison Artists Series! But before I get into the details of next season, I want to write a few words about a really remarkable event coming up. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, internationally recognized as among the most prestigious of classical music competitions, attracts a number of the world’s finest young string players to San Francisco State University each June to compete for prizes that include both performance opportunities and monetary awards.

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April 2015

Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition

Once every three years a cohort of highly accomplished young string ensembles converge on London’s Marylebone district for the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Established in Portsmouth in 1979, the competition relocated to London in 1988 as the London International String Quartet Competition, and more recently was taken over by Wigmore Hall, well known today as Europe’s premiere concert venue for chamber music. I was most excited to attend the 2015 competition, which took place March 24-29. My reason for attending was the inclusion of the Morrison Chamber Music Center Prize among the competition’s trophies, a prize amounting to an invitation to perform on the Morrison Artists Series.

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January 2015

Laszlo Varga, in memoriam

Cellist and conductor Laszlo Varga (1924-2014), who died at his home in Sarasota, Florida on December 11, leaves behind an indelible musical legacy in the San Francisco Bay Area. Immigrating to the United States from his native Hungary after World War II, he served as principal cellist for the New York Philharmonic under Dmitri Mitropoulos and Leonard Bernstein, one of innumerable musical accolades earned by this extraordinary musician as an internationally acclaimed soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and teacher. Varga joined the music faculty at San Francisco State in 1962…

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