Thursday, February 05, 2009

Chancellor's Concert Series

Chancellor's Concert Series
Date: 2/5/09
Time: 12noon-1pm
Location: Cole Hall, 513 Parnassus Avenue

Peter Wyrick, cello
June Choi Oh, piano

Rachmaninoff: Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 19

Inspired by Alex Ross's recent Cheap Seats column, I went to the UCSF campus today to catch one of their free lunch time chamber music concerts. UCSF is quite a bustling place, & Cole Hall turns out to be a pretty good chamber music venue. It has very steep stadium-style seating. The sound is probably better the higher up you go. The auditorium seats several hundred, but I would say that there were only about 60 people in attendance, mostly either old retired folks or UC employees.

The program began with a poetry reading. Today's poem was "Psalm" by George Oppen. I'm not a poetry fan myself, but this was an undeniably civilized way to begin a program. The performers on the series come mostly from the San Francisco Symphony & the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, so what we got was a fairly clean, professional read-through of the Rachmaninoff Sonata. I enjoyed the slow andante movement the most. The program was over by 12:50pm.

The series hosts weekly free events. Oddly, next week's program is the exact same Rachmaninoff Sonata, but with different performers. Up-coming programs that look interesting are a Dvořák Piano Quartet on March 12th & a Jennifer Higdon Piano Trio on March 26th.

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