mobirise.com

2017-2018
Our 29th Season

Handel's MESSIAH
IN GRACE CATHEDRAL

Wednesday, December 13 2017, 7:30 p.m. Grace Cathedral, San Francisco 
Thursday, December 14 2017, 7:30 p.m. Grace Cathedral, San Francisco 
Friday, December 15 2017, 7:30 p.m. Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

American Bach Soloists, led by Artistic & Music Director Jeffrey Thomas, present their annual performances of Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah, in one of San Francisco’s most awe-inspiring, sacred spaces. ABS, Handel, and Grace Cathedral are perennially a winning combination and a highlight of the holiday season. Since 1998, ABS has presented Messiah in San Francisco’s historic Grace Cathedral to more than 40,000 attendees. A Bay Area holiday tradition now in its 20th consecutive year, ABS’s performances of Handel’s timeless work attract music lovers from around the world.

“What safeguards the tradition are performers as engaged and provocative as Jeffrey Thomas and the American Bach Soloists.” Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

ABS’s performances of Messiah have become an essential part of the musical year for many music lovers. Voted “Best of the Bay” by the readers of San Francisco Classical Voice, the Bay Area Reporter observed, “For those who treasure Messiah, Thomas’ version is revelatory.” Maestro Thomas will conduct the period-instrument specialists of ABS, the renowned American Bach Choir, and an internationally acclaimed quartet of brilliant vocal soloists.

Suzanne Karpov soprano (debut)
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen countertenor (debut)
Zachary Wilder tenor
Hadleigh Adams baritone (debut)
American Bach Choir
Jeffrey Thomas conductor

TICKETS

Bach's ST. JOHN PASSION

Friday, February 23 2018, 8:00 pm St. Stephen’s Church, Belvedere 
Saturday, February 24 2018, 8:00 pm First Congregational Church, Berkeley 
Sunday, February 25 2018, 4:00 pm St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, S.F. 
Monday, February 26 2018, 7:00 pm Davis Community Church, Davis

The great Passions of J. S. Bach remain unparalleled in their dramatic impact and universally experienced emotional effects. Bach took the genre to new worlds of expression, incorporating the Lutheran tradition of chorales with newer, Italianate operatic elements. The result is a powerful force of rhetoric that tells the Passion story reinforced by personalized illuminations of onlookers. This is music that transcends cultural, religious, and theatrical boundaries between performers and audience members, drawing in listeners as historical participants. Maestro Thomas, one of the Baroque music world’s most celebrated Bach specialists, brings his unique and insightful perspectives to the podium in definitive performances that are profoundly beautiful and moving.

“When I heard the American Bach Soloists perform the St. John Passion in Belvedere Friday, the unashamed earnestness of their presentation was a powerful example of how persuasive and even seductive this music can be when under the care of great performers.” ​San Francisco Classical Voice

Aaron Sheehan, Evangelista tenor
Hélène Brunet soprano
Robin Bier alto (debut)
Jesse Blumberg baritone
American Bach Choir
Jeffrey Thomas conductor

TICKETS

Monteverdi's VESPERS OF 1610

Friday, April 6 2018, 8:00 pm St. Stephen’s Church, Belvedere 
Saturday, April 7 2018, 8:00 pm First Congregational Church, Berkeley 
Sunday, April 8 2018, 4:00 pm St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, S.F. 
Monday, April 9 2018, 7:00 pm Davis Community Church, Davis

Like the most treasured works of art and spectacular architectural wonders, a handful of musical masterworks of the Baroque have taken their places in the hearts of music lovers for all time. Our 29th subscription season continues with Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine (also known as the “Vespers of 1610”), a monumental work that displays its composer’s brilliant assimilation of styles—old and new, sacred and secular—and his masterful command of a wide palette of musical structures including psalm settings, sacred concertos, hymns, motets, and sonatas, all bound together by Gregorian chant. Last performed by ABS in 2010, audiences can expect the American Bach Soloists and the American Bach Choir to deliver an extraordinary performance of this splendid music from the Venetian school.

“It was a stunning performance … Mr. Thomas’ deep knowledge of the work gave him the ability to draw both subtleties and the rich sonorities to bring out the sheer majesty of Monteverdi … The large audience was transfixed.” Classical Sonoma

Nils Brown tenor
American Bach Choir
Jeffrey Thomas conductor

TICKETS

Bach's ORCHESTRAL SUITES

Friday, May 11 2018, 8:00 pm St. Stephen’s Church, Belvedere 
Saturday, May 12 2018, 8:00 pm First Congregational Church, Berkeley 
Sunday, May 13 2018, 4:00 pm St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, S.F ​
Monday, May 14 2018, 7:00 pm Davis Community Church, Davis

The musical forms of dance were the most essential and permeating components of music from the Baroque era. Those clearly defined elements determined tempos, moods or affects, and the structural architectures of the vast majority of Baroque musical works, both with texts and purely instrumental. Historians have noted that Bach’s music is intensely infused with the spirit of dance, whether expressing joy, felicity, sorrow, or devotion, Bach’s suites not only celebrate the dance, but also the phenomenal technical abilities of his musicians. All four Orchestral Suites will be presented in these concerts, full of exuberant sonority, captivating melody, and displays of virtuosity from ABS’s famous roster of “the best American specialists in early music” (The Washington Post). 

“The dotted rhythms of the Ouverture came off with a jaunty elegance … sparkled with variety as it charmed and beguiled from beginning to end.” San Francisco Classical Voice

Sandra Miller flute
Debra Nagy & Stephen Bard oboes
Dominic Teresi bassoon
John Thiessen trumpet
Jeffrey Thomas conductor


TICKETS

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Programs and Artists subject to change.