Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore St at Jackson, SF 94115 (Map)
Christian Baldini, guest conductor
Falla – Dance from La Vida Breve
Bruch – Concerto for Clarinet and Viola
Jodi Levitz, viola
Susan Barnes, clarinet
Copland- Quiet City
Beethoven – 5th Symphony
About Dr. Christian Baldini, guest conductor
In his early 30s, based in California, and of Argentinian and Italian descent, Christian Baldini is a dynamic and diverse young artist. Equally at home in the core repertoire as in the most daring corners of the contemporary repertoire, he is an accomplished conductor and a natural communicator, with a pure and warm sense of musicality. He has conducted orchestras and ensembles internationally, including the Munich Radio Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.) and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He has also conducted opera for the Aldeburgh Festival (England). Equally at home conducting symphonic repertoire, chamber ensembles, and opera, Baldini has been an advocate for contemporary music since early on in his career and has conducted the world premières of more than 60 new works. In this capacity he has collaborated closely with composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Steven Stucky, Philippe Hurel, Fabian Panisello and Steve Mackey. After conducting the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP, Brazil), the Folha de São Paulo gave him a rave review “this charismatic young conductor lead Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 by memory, lavishing his musicality and leaving sighs all over the hall and the rows of the orchestra.” In Buffalo, New York, Baldini garnered excellent reviews conducting Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic at the Kavinoky Theater.
Baldini was privileged to learn from such conducting luminaries as Peter Eötvös, Martyn Brabbins, Leonard Slatkin and Kurt Masur. He holds degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo (Ph.D. in Composition), the Pennsylvania State University (Master’s in Conducting), and the Catholic University of Argentina (Bachelor’s Degree in Conducting and Composition).
Baldini is also a noted composer and his music has been performed in Europe, South America, North America and Asia by orchestras and ensembles including the Orchestre National de Lorraine, Southbank Sinfonia (London), New York New Music Ensemble, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Israel Contemporary Players, Daegu Chamber Orchestra (South Korea), Munich Radio Orchestra, Chronophonie Ensemble (Freiburg) and Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt). His music appears on CD on the Pretal Label, and has been broadcast on Südwestrundfunk and Bayerischer Rundfunk in Germany, as well as on the National Classical Music Radio of Argentina. He has also conducted and recorded contemporary Italian music for the RAI Trade and Tactus labels. His compositions are published by Babel Scores in Paris.
Baldini’s work has received awards in several competitions including the top prize at the Seoul International Competition for Composers (South Korea, 2005), the Tribune of Music (UNESCO, 2005), the Ossia International Competition (Rochester, NY, 2008), the Daegu Chamber Orchestra International Competition (South Korea, 2008), and the São Paulo Orchestra International Conducting Competition (OSESP – Brazil, 2006). He was also a finalist for the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award in April 2012.
In past seasons, Baldini has been an assistant conductor with the BBC Symphony and the Britten-Pears Orchestras, and a cover conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.). Since 2009, Baldini has served as the Music Director of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra (University of California), and was recently appointed as Music Director with the Camellia Symphony Orchestra in Sacramento. In the summer of 2012, he made his debut in South Africa conducting two concerts with the National Youth Orchestra, and returned for a second engagement conducting the Buenos Aires Philharmonic.
About Jodi Levitz, viola
Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and violist of the Ives Quartet, Jodi Levitz is an active performer of international reputation and passionate advocate of new music for viola. She was principal viola and soloist with the Italian chamber group I Solisti Veneti for 12 years, a position she won while still a student at The Juilliard School.
She performed as soloist throughout Europe, South America, the United States and the Far East, and she recorded on the Concerto, Dynamic, Naxos and Erato labels. Levitz attended the Juilliard Pre-College Division from age 12 and received her B.M. and M.M. from Juilliard. Recipient of the 2011 George Sarlo award for excellence in teaching, she is Chair of Strings and Co-chair of Chamber Music at SFCM.
About Susan Barnes, clarinet
Susan received her Master of Music Performance degree from Northwestern University in 1997. She studied with J. Lawrie Bloom of the Chicago Symphony and Russell Dagon of the Milwaukee Symphony. Her Bachelor of Music degree is from Oberlin Conservatory where she also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art at Oberlin College in 1996.
She attended the Interlochen National Music Camp in 1990 and has performed as a soloist with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra and the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. She won several awards for clarinet performances while growing up in South Africa and attended Oberlin on a full scholarship. Susan has been a member of Symphony Parnassus, Prometheus Symphony as well as several chamber music groups in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In addition to her love of the clarinet, she is a digital marketing consultant at her own business, Susby Internet Solutions where she goes by Suse Barnes since there are way too many Susan Barnes’! www.Susby.com
Part of BARS’ LGBTQ Composer and Performing Artist Series, which strives to redefine perceptions of LGBTQ music and increase awareness of the beauty, talents, and accomplishments of fellow LGBTQ individuals and groups.