Yehudi Menuhin’s parents moved to San Francisco shortly before his second birthday. It is the city where he was first exposed to the performance of classical music and where he received his first violin lessons. It is clear from his memoir, Unfinished Journey, that it is a city for which he had fond memories; so it was entirely appropriate that in 2003 San Francisco State University launched and hosted the Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival. According to its Web site, it “was founded on the deep belief that music has the power to create understanding and transcend differences between people,” a proposition that is thoroughly consistent with Menuhin’s own personal philosophy of life and music. In addition to presenting two concerts, the Festival offers a seminar for ensembles of all ages, intensive coaching, public master classes, workshops and lessons led by a faculty of distinguished performers.
This month the seventh Festival will take place on January 23 and 24 in Knuth Hall in the Creative Arts Building on the San Francisco State campus. The faculty for the Festival includes:
- The Alexander String Quartet, the San Francisco State quartet-in-residence
- Violist Toby Appel of The Julliard School
- Pianist Lori Lack from the San Francisco-based Laurel Ensemble
- Violinist Jassen Todorov, Chair and Associate Professor in the San Francisco State School of Music and Dance
In addition the Hausmann Quartet, currently the San Francisco State Morrison Fellowship quartet-in-residence, will serve in an Associate capacity.
The first concert will take place on January 23 at 8 PM:
- Toby Appel will join the Hausmann Quartet in a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Opus 87 string quintet in B-flat major.
- Lori Lack will join the Alexander String Quartet in a performance of Robert Schumann’s Opus 44 piano quintet in E-flat major.
- The two quartets will join forces to perform Mendelssohn’s Opus 20 octet in E-flat major.
The seminar portion includes master classes and workshops on repertoire, career guidance and outreach program development. About eight to ten ensembles at high school, collegiate and pre-professional levels are expected to participate. Master classes will take place on January 23 at 2 PM and January 24 at 11 AM and are open to the public. On the evening of January 24 at 7 PM the second concert will feature a variety of works performed by both faculty and participating ensembles.
Admission fees are as follows: Concerts: $10 students, faculty, staff and seniors/$20 general; Master classes: $5 students, faculty, staff and seniors/$10 general; Weekend pass: $25 students, faculty, staff and seniors/$45 general. The telephone number for reserving tickets and obtaining further information is 415-338-2467. The event also has its own Web site.
For more info: Web site for the Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival; home page for San Francisco State University, College of Creative Arts.