- No roundabout will stop the SF Symphony in new season
- Shakti, Danú, Renée Fleming and Dance Theatre of Harlem
- “Coco” and “Triplets of Belleville,” on screen, with live music
The shows they are a-changin’, naturally, for the 2023-24 season at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts but the 25% subscription discount for staff, faculty and retirees is staying put.
AT A GLANCE
Good to know, because sales begin Monday (May 22) to the general public, including staff, faculty and retirees. The 25% discount is for subscriptions of three or more shows and is also good for additional shows you wish to attend. Limit two per event. See Ways to Save.
In addition, like all subscribers, staff, faculty and retirees get a head start on buying tickets for “just-added” shows.
Subscription sales to the general public follow advance sales to members/donors and renewing subscribers, which began in April when the Mondavi Center unveiled its new season.
The Mondavi Center plans to put individual-event tickets on sale in June (the date is subject to change). Staff, faculty and retirees save 10% on individual-event tickets.
The center’s 21st season includes the traditional mix of concerts and other programs we have come to expect: orchestra and chamber music, American Roots Global Roots music; jazz and dance; speakers (humorist Fran Lebowitz to name one); and family fare like the Disney-Pixar classic film Coco with live music by the 20-member Orquesta Folclórico Nacional de México.
Coco is among several offerings in the Mondavi Center’s “Family, Films and Music” category for 2023-24. The others: Cirque Mechanics; Dino-Light; a program that stitches together the classic tale of Frankenstein with the biography of its author, Mary Shelley; and another film, The Triplets of Belleville, with live performance of the jazz score.
The American Roots and Global Roots categories include two holiday shows: the fiddler Mark O’Connor’s An Appalachian Christmas (Dec. 2) and the Irish band Danú, performing on St. Patrick’s Day, which is a Sunday in 2024.
Two free shows are back (free, but tickets are required, limit two per household): Curtis on Tour (Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music) and the Barbara K. Jackson Rising Stars of Opera. Note: Free events do not count toward minimum number of shows for a subscription.
Here is the complete lineup (see complete descriptions in the Mondavi Center’s events calendar):
The San Francisco Symphony (May 11) is hoping to avoid what happened last October, when a truck carrying music and large instruments got stuck on a campus roundabout, causing a delay that ultimately led to cancellation of the night’s season-opening concert. Also:
- Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería (Oct. 19)
- Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell (April 6)
The Alexander String Quartet is on the Mondavi Center’s season for the 21st consecutive year — every year since the center opened. Robert Greenberg provides commentary. (Dec. 3, Feb. 25 and May 5). ... Also:
- Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble (Nov. 2)
- Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Dec. 10)
- Curtis on Tour (March 3, free, but advance tickets required), presenting the Curtis String Sextet.
- Jordi Savall & Hespèrion XXI (April 13)
Renée Fleming, soprano (Jan. 14): “Her 2016 recital at the Mondavi Center was a stung reminder of her powerful, graceful and nuanced artistry,” reads the 2023-24 season brochure. ... Also:
- Barbara K. Jackson Rising Stars of Opera (Feb. 4, free, but advance tickets required), featuring singers from the acclaimed San Francisco Opera Center, accompanied by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra.
A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham (Feb. 24): A “post-modern gumbo” of movement exploration, as described by Abraham, the acclaimed choreographer, by a company grounded and galvanized by Black culture and history. Presenting An Untitled Love, drawing from the catalog of Grammy Award-winning R&B legend D’Angelo. ... Also:
- Grupo Corpo (March 13)
- Dance Theatre of Harlem (April 17)
Jackson Hall Jazz
Snarky Puppy (Sept. 21): It isn’t exactly a jazz band. It’s not a fusion band, and it’s definitely not a jam band. But it’s one you’re going to want to hear. ... Also:
- Samara Joy (Oct. 4)
- Matthew Whitaker Quartet (Dec. 9)
- Branford Marsalis Quartet (Feb. 28)
- Hiromi’s sonicwonder (April 18)
Three performances by each in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre:
- Miho Hazama & m_unit (Nov. 2-4)
- Lakecia Benjamin and Phoenix (Feb. 8-10)
- Tord Gustavsen Trio (March 14-16)
- Emmet Cohen Organ Trio (May 16-18)
The Silkroad Ensemble (Nov. 16) presents its newest initiative, American Railroad, illuminating the impact of African American, Chinese, Irish and Native American communities on the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad and America’s Westward Expansion. Featuring folk musician Rhiannon Giddens. ... Also:
- Mark O’Connor’s An Appalachian Christmas (Dec. 2), in which O’Connor’s wife, Maggie O’Connor, joins him on fiddle and vocals.
Shakti: 50th Anniversary Tour (Sept. 8), featuring two original members of the band, Zakir Hussain on tabla and John McLaughlin on guitar, resuming their journey as original members of the band that, with its unprecedented collaboration of eastern and western musicians, forged the template for what is now called “world music.” ... Also:
- Dreamers’ Circus, Danish trio that draws inspiration from the deep traditions of Nordic folk music and reshapes them into something bright, shiny and new. (Oct. 17-18)
- Lila Downs, one of the most influential and representative artists of Mexican music, presents Dia de Muertos. (Oct. 24)
- Julie Fowlis will be forever known for “Touch the Sky,” theme song of the Disney-Pixar movie Brave but she is anything but a one-hit wonder; she’s also one of the preeminent interpreters of traditional Gaelic songs. (Oct. 27)
- Germán López (March 7-9), a virtuoso on the timple, the diminutive five- string instrument with roots in the Canary Islands, performing off his album ALMA (2022), a monumental project recorded across continents.
- Danú, from Ireland, returns to the Mondavi Center for St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).
An Evening With ...
- Charles Blow, who as an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, writes on such issues as social justice, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control and the Black Lives Matter movement. (Jan. 10)
- Fran Lebowitz, described by David Sedaris as “the gold standard for intelligence, efficiency and humor.” (Feb. 9)
Family, Film & Music
Frankenstein (Oct. 29): Love, loss and creation merge in unexpected ways in this thrilling version of the classic Gothic tale, performed by Manual Cinema, the Chicago-based collective that imaginatively combines shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, sound effects and live music in haunting shows like nothing else you’ve seen. ... Also:
- Cirque Mechanics: Zephyr — A Whirlwind of Circus (Oct. 15)
- Coco Live-to-Film Concert (Nov. 17)
- Dino-Light, a glow-in-the-dark adventure story, blending puppetry, technology and dance (Jan. 28)
- The Triplets of Belleville (April 5), the beloved, animated French film, accompanied live by Le Terrible Orchestre de Belleville, led by the composer, Benoît Charest, transporting audiences into the streets of 1920s Paris and Le Jazz Hot.