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Upcoming Events

March 3, 2018 8pm - Tenth Anniversary Concert

Patricia Racette, soprano Photo: Devon Cass
Patricia Racette, soprano Photo: Devon Cass

Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., SF 94102 (Map)(Tickets)

Dawn Harms,  Music Director
Part of the BARS LGBTQ Composer & Performing Artist series

Dawn Harms, Music Director & Conductor

Mahler - Symphony No. 1

Highlights from Showboat

Piaf medley  

Part of the BARS LGBTQ Composer & Performing Artist series

Patricia Racette, Soprano

Celebrating 10 years of music making, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) will mark this milestone with a gala concert featuring renowned soprano and San Francisco favorite, Patricia Racette, who has appeared in the most acclaimed opera houses of the world. Professionally, she came out as a lesbian in the cover article of Opera News in 2002 and makes her primary home in Santa Fe with her wife, mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton. While best known for her extensive work in opera, Patricia's first love was jazz and cabaret, to which she returned in her album Diva on Detour. With BARS, she will revisit that first love with selections ranging from Jerome Kern to the most beloved tunes of Edith Piaf. Please join us for this anniversary celebration not to be missed!   A portion of the proceeds of this concert will benefit the Trevor Project.  

Part of the BARS LGBTQ Composer & Performing Artist series

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.About Patricia Racette, soprano Soprano Patricia Racette has appeared in the most acclaimed opera houses of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Royal Opera House, La Scala, Paris Opera, Theater an der Wien, Teatro Liceu, and the Bayerische Staatsoper. Established as a great interpreter of Janáček and Puccini, she has gained particular acclaim for her portrayals of the title roles of Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Jenufa, Kátya Kabanová, and all three lead soprano roles in Il Trittico. Her repertory now expands to include triumphant portrayals of Strauss’s Salome, Minnie in La Fanciulla del West, Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and Elle in La voix humaine. She has been a favorite on The Met: Live in HD series as both leading lady in Madama Butterfly, Tosca, and Peter Grimes as well as the celebrated host for multiple other productions. A champion of new works, Ms. Racette has created roles in a number of world premieres, including Leslie Crosbie in Paul Moravec’s The Letter at The Santa Fe Opera, Roberta Alden in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, the title role in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline at the Santa Fe Opera (broadcast on PBS/Albany Records audio), Love Simpson in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree at the Houston Grand Opera, and most recently, the title role in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne at the San Francisco Opera. Upcoming projects this season include her role debut as Magda in Menotti’s The Consul, a role and house debut in Weill’s Street Scene for Madrid’s Teatro Real, and her directorial debut with a new production of La Traviata at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She also continues to be sought after for master classes and workshops to foster artistry in the next generation of classical singers. In January 2017 she presented the pilot program of her intensive seminar, Integrative Artistry, at the San Francisco Conservatory, and this season will present it at The Juilliard School. Born and raised in New Hampshire, Ms. Racette studied jazz and music education at North Texas State University. Among her recognitions are an Opera News Award, the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, and the Marian Anderson Award. She also received the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for her performance in the Los Angeles Opera production of The Ghosts of Versailles.

December 16, 2017 8pm + December 17 at 2pm

Taube Atrium at the Wilsey Center, 401 Van Ness (top floor), SF 9410 (Map)(Tickets)   The Saturday night 8pm concert is sold out. A limited number of seats will be available on a 1st come 1st served basis, but there is no guarantee of admission and no standing room seats.   There are tickets available for the Sunday 2pm concert.   Roger Woodward, piano

Cyrus Ginwala, guest conductor

Part of the BARS LGBTQ Composer & Performing Artist seriesCyrus Ginwala, guest conductor


Part of the BARS LGBTQ Composer & Performing Artist seriesCopland - Outdoor Overture


Prokofiev - Piano Concerto No. 3

Roger Woodward, piano


ShostakovichSymphony No. 5


Part of the BARS LGBTQ Composer & Performing Artist seriesPart 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.



About Dr. Cyrus Ginwala, guest conductor

Conductor Cyrus Ginwala has served as Music Director of the Symphony of the Mountains, and the Young Victorian Opera Theater, Resident Conductor of the Sewanee Summer Music Center, and conductor of the Summer Musica Piccola Orchestra at the NC School for the Arts. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Boca Pops, the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, the Aspen Concert Orchestra and the Sewanee Summer Festival Orchestra. He has served as visiting faculty at the Peabody Conservatory and the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia.


Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2005, Dr. Ginwala has conducted concerts throughout the region, with the Sonoma Philharmonic, the Diablo Symphony and regular appearances with the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, as well as with young musicians in the honors orchestras including Stanislaus, San Francisco and Diablo school districts, as well as the California Orchestra Directors Association Honors Orchestra. He is a tenured professor of music and Director of the School of Music at San Francisco State University.


About Roger Woodward, piano

Roger Woodward’s performances at the UNESCO Jeunesses Musicales, Paris, were noticed by Yehudi Menuhin after which he was contracted to perform at most of the major international festivals with orchestras such as the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Berlin Radio orchestras, L’orchestre de Paris, the New York, Los Angeles, Warsaw and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Mahlerjugenorchester, the five London orchestras, the Budapest and Prague chamber orchestras and with directors such as Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Pierre Boulez, Erich Leinsdorf, Kurt Masur, Edo de Waart, Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Georges Tzipine, Tan Li Hua, Nello Santi, Witold Rowicki, Georg Tintner, and Walter Susskind et al. Over three decades he worked with Olivier Messiaen, Iannis Xenakis, Jean Barraqué, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Franco Donatoni, Luciano Berio, Sylvano Bussotti, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Rolf Gehlhaar, James Dillon, Harrison Birtwistle, Anne Boyd, Larry Sitsky, Horatiu Rådulescu and Toru Takemitsu, most of whom dedicated works to him, and more recently, with Robert Greenberg who dedicated his Piano Quintet to the Alexander String Quartet and Roger Woodward.


Woodward is also a composer and conductor who worked with Frank Zappa, Cecil Taylor, the Tokyo, Arditti and Alexander string quartets; with violinists Ilya Grubert, Philippe Hirschhorn, Ivry Gitlis, Wanda Wi?komirska and with the Synergy Percussion Ensemble. He completed over one hundred recording projects for DG, EMI, Decca, RCA, CPO, ABC Classics, Sipario Dischi and Celestial Harmonies BV, some of which received Germany’s Goethe prize and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, France’s Diapason d'or and Spain’s Ritmo prize. He received many awards and honors including Le chevalier dans l'ordre des arts et des lettres, the Polish Order of Merit and Gloria Artis (gold class). He was Artistic Director of festivals in London, Sydney, Kötschach-Mauthen, (Austria), La Bourgogne and appears at festivals such as Le festival d’automne à Paris, Venice Biennale, Wien Modern, Warsaw Autumn, New York Piano Festival, Edinburgh Festival and at BBC Promenade Concerts, London. He was invited by Sviatoslav Richter to appear at his Grange de Meslay festival in Touraine, on several occasions and has regularly performed the Beethoven cycles of piano sonatas and concertos.


On January 13th and 20th he will appear for San Francisco Performances with the Alexander String Quartet at the Herbst Theatre performing the Shostakovich Piano Quintet and Second Piano Trio, and again, May 19th, partnering Paul Yarbrough of the ASQ in a performance of Shostakovich’s epic swan song – the Viola Sonata Op.147. Woodward performs the two books of Chopin Etudes in Debussy-Chopin concerts in Australia April 28th and May 1st for the Canberra Festival and during the 2018-19 season the artist will record the Beethoven cycle of 32 Piano Sonatas.

  Roger Woodward completed his undergraduate studies at the Sydney University Conservatorium of Music in the piano class of Alexander Sverjensky (pupil of Alexander Siloti, Sergei Rakhmaninov and Alexander Glazunov); postgraduate studies as a sta?ysta of the PWSM (Chopin National University) Warsaw, in the piano class of Zbigniew Drzewiecki, before completing his doctorate at the University of Sydney. He is published by the Greenberg and Pendragon Presses (New York), Kindle and HarperCollins and is a piano professor at the San Francisco State University. He conducts master classes worldwide and regularly appears on the juries of international piano competitions.   Contact: trishludgate@gmail.com