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Metallica's Kirk Hammett joins FLUX and St. Lawrence String Quartet for Benefit Gala Concert, Sept. 15


College of Creative Arts


Ariane Bicho, Publicist
College of Creative Arts
San Francisco State University
(415) 338-1442
(415) 338-0520 fax

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


Morrison Artists Series Announces 2005/06 Fiftieth Anniversary Season:2005/06 Season Features Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Piano Trio; David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness; eighth blackbird with Soprano Lucy Shelton in Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire; Juilliard String Quartet; and Alexander String Quartet with Turtle Island String Quartet

SAN FRANCISCO, July 18, 2005 -- San Francisco's longest-running chamber music series, the Morrison Artists Series celebrates 50 years of presenting, free of charge, the world's best chamber music to Bay Area audiences. Commemorating this milestone, the Morrison Series opens its 50th Season with a Golden Anniversary Gala Concert featuring special guest artist, guitar icon Kirk Hammett, on Thursday, September 15 in Herbst Theatre, War Memorial Performing Arts Center, San Francisco. Mr. Hammett joins FLUX and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, two groups that received their West Coast premieres on the Series. This benefit concert, the first ticketed event in the organization's history, is followed by five free season concerts presented at McKenna Theatre, San Francisco State University, featuring distinguished international talents -- Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Piano Trio, David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness, eighth blackbird with Soprano Lucy Shelton, Juilliard String Quartet, and the Alexander String Quartet.

Since 1955, the Morrison Artists Series has alternated daring and experimental programs with traditional repertory; favorite compositions by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven juxtaposed with the innovative sounds of the 20th century, including first performances by such composers as San Francisco's own Pulitzer Prize winning Wayne Peterson, SFSU Professor Emeritus. Presenting six free concerts each year, the Series has logged an impressive 300 concerts featuring performers from over 20 countries and the West Coast premieres of groups that are now regulars on international concert circuits including FLUX, eighth blackbird, Eroica Trio and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The Series' Artistic Director is Saul Gropman.

The Morrison Artists Series is a program of the May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Center, established in 1955 by Edward Hohfeld to provide "the finest music in the most accessible way." Housed at San Francisco State University, in addition to the world-class concert series, the Morrison Chamber Music Center operates a top-notch teaching program. In a strikingly innovative partnership with San Francisco Performances -- a collaboration that Chamber Music America cites as a model to be emulated -- the Morrison Center established a residency for the renowned Alexander String Quartet at San Francisco State's College of Creative Arts in 1989. Since then, the Quartet has made its mark on chamber music education, directing the chamber music studies program at the University's School of Music and Dance, presenting music seminars, and encouraging students to carry chamber music's artistic torch to the recital hall and into the classroom.

Metallica's Kirk Hammett, FLUX and the St. Lawrence String Quartet
The 50th Anniversary Season begins with an electrifying concert featuring special guest artist, Metallica's Kirk Hammett, performing with FLUX Quartet on SAS (for string quartet and improvised electric guitar), a work written by the Quartet's experimental violinist Thomas Chiu. "FLUX and Kirk are a perfect fit for this innovative and aleatoric composition," says Artistic Director Saul Gropman. "FLUX has an ‘anything goes' spirit, and Kirk's broad improvisational skills bring this piece together as a magical marriage of two styles." Mr. Hammet previously forayed into experimental territory with his heavy metal band and the San Francisco Symphony, under the baton of Michael Kamen, in April 1999; the result was the release of Metallica S & M. Also on the Gala Concert program is the St. Lawrence String Quartet, an ensemble the New Yorker hails as "remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making…but for the joy they take in the act of connection." The St. Lawrence performs Quartet Opus 96 in F Major (American Quartet) by Antonin Dvorak and then is joined by the FLUX and San Francisco Symphony bassist Stephen Tramontozzi for Last Rounds (for double string quartet and double bass) by Osvaldo Golijov. FLUX rounds out the program with a "classical" work, String Quartet by Conlon Nancarrow.

Thurs., Sept. 15, 2005, 8:30 pm, Herbst Theatre, War Memorial Performing Arts Center, 401 Van Ness Ave, SF.

Admission: $28 & $54; Ticket sales begin August 8 via City Box Office: 415/392-4400.

Preceding the concert is a golden anniversary gala dinner at San Francisco City Hall rotunda. Champagne reception: 5:30 pm; dinner: 6:30 pm; gala concert preferred seating: 8:30 pm. Golden anniversary sponsors: $10,000 (tables of 10); sterling sponsors: $3,000 (tables of 10); individual tickets: $300. Proceeds benefit the Morrison Concert fund. For information and reservations, please call Lorraine Garcia-Nakata at 415/405-3857.

The Morrison Artists Series Golden Anniversary events are sponsored by (partial list): Bank of America Private Bank, Trust Department; Frances and John Bowes; The William K. Bowes Foundation; Roy and Katherine Bukstein; J. Dennis Bonney; Clement and Jane Galante; Richard and Patricia Taylor Lee; Fred M. Levine and Nancy Livingston; George D. and Camilla M. Smith; Morrison and Foerster LLD; Vadasz Family Foundation; and the College of Creative Arts at San Francisco State University.

Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Piano Trio
With a history befitting their prestigious debut at President Carter's inauguration in January 1977, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Piano Trio offers "…chamber music played at the highest level…surging with vitality," glows the New York Times. Rare for its continuity as well as its virtuosity, the trio has retained its original members, performing continually in such enviable venues as the Carnegie Hall's Centennial Series, and the Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series. In 2004, the trio began performances as the Kennedy Center Chamber Ensemble in Residence. Program: Shostakovich, Trio No. 1; Mozart, B-flat Major Trio, K. 502; Arvo Pärt, Adagio (for KLR); Shostakovich, Trio No. 2 in e minor.

Sun., Nov. 6, 3 pm, McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts Bldg, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave @ 19th Ave, Free Admission.

David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness!
"Hot and sophisticated, prone to shooting off into the stratosphere of the clarinet's clarion high notes with a dizzying combination of aggression and finesse," says Forward Magazine of David Krakauer's rejuvenation of the treasured Klezmer music, traditional to Eastern Europe, but influential around the globe. Krakauer's passion for jazz and the creation of personal culture, as well as his mastery of composition, arrangement, and performance have infused this lively band with an ear for preserving the traditions of the genre while contributing to its evolution. Program: Der Gasn Nign, Trad., arr. Krakauer; The Russian Shers, Trad.; Klezmer a la Bechet by Krakauer; Bubbemeises by Jacob Weinberg, arr. Krakauer, Dolgin; Ms. N.C. by Krakauer; Moskowitz and Loops of It by Dolgin, Krakauer; Chusen Kale Mazel Tov, Trad.; Turntable Pounding, Trad., arr. Dolgin, Krakauer; The Dusky Bulgar by Holshouser, arr. Krakauer; Rumania, Rumania by Aaron Lebedeff, arr. Krakauer, Dolgin; Synagogue Wail by Krakauer; Sirba, Trad.; B Flat a la Socalled, Trad., arr. Dolgin, Krakauer.

Sun., Dec. 11, 3 pm, McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts Bldg, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave @ 19th Ave, Free Admission.

eighth blackbird with Soprano Lucy Shelton in Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg
"Wickedly exciting and thought-provoking" [San Jose Mercury News], new music sextet eighth blackbird can be counted upon for a thrilling performance. Deeply involved in building a unique repertoire, the Chicago-based group is joined by soprano Lucy Shelton for Arnold Schoenberg's seminal atonal song-cycle, Pierrot Lunaire, the story of an artist who feels compelled to bare his soul for art's sake. Richly emotive and overflowing with expressionist longing, this masterful setting of 21 poems by French symbolist Albert Giraud is "one of those rare masterpieces that seems to have materialized out of thin air," says The Guardian. Blair Thomas's set design and staging uses puppetry, shadows and the costumed members of eighth blackbird and Ms. Shelton to visually underscore Schoenberg's intense, hallucinatory musical landscape. Noted for her "contemporary vocal fireworks" by Gramophone Magazine, Shelton is an excellent fit for Schoenberg's sizzling work.

Sun., Feb. 12, 3 pm, McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts Bldg, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave @ 19th Ave, Free Admission.

Juilliard String Quartet
"The Juilliard String Quartet remains the standard by which all other quartets must be judged," hails the Los Angeles Times. For over 50 years, the Juilliard String Quartet has rung with accolades, and in its history has premiered over 60 new works by American composers. Continuing the history of prestige and excellence, the present day members have garnered, among other honors, four Grammy awards, multiple awards from the French Publications Repertoire and Diapason, and inclusion in the National Academy Recording Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame. Quartet-in-residence at the Library of Congress since 1962, the Juilliard has been dubbed the "First Family" of Chamber Music. Program: Schubert, Quartet in A minor, D. 804, "Rosamunde"; Ezequiel Viñao, Quartet No. 2 "The Loss and the Silence" (commissioned by the Juilliard School); Brahms, Quartet No. 3 in B-flat Major, Op. 67.

Sun., March 26, 3 pm, McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts Bldg, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave @ 19th Ave, Free Admission.

Alexander String Quartet with Special Guest: Just added! Turtle Island String Quartet
This is "a group deep in its element, firm in its stride," says the Los Angeles Times, and one whose element is constantly in flux. Known for exacting musicianship and exceptional stylistic range, the Alexander String Quartet, SFSU's quartet-in-residence funded in part by the Morrison Chamber Music Center, earns regular acclaim for its superlative performances throughout the country. Equally at home with Beethoven and Bartok, the members have recorded more than a dozen CDs, including a nine-disc set of the complete Beethoven quartets, and are known to let audiences choose an evening's program. Program: To be announced.

Sun., June 4, 3 pm, McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts Bldg, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave @ 19th Ave, Free Admission.

Since 1989 Saul Gropman has been artistic director of the Morrison Artists Series at San Francisco State University. A classical guitarist, Mr. Gropman is active as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Performing in Europe, South America, and across the United States, he has collaborated with both the Alexander and Kronos String Quartets; with tenor Paul Sperry, and has appeared as soloist with the Sacramento Symphony, New York Chamber Orchestra, Inland Empire Symphony, and the Symphony of the Redwoods. Saul Gropman received both his B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Manhattan School of Music as a scholarship student of Manuel Barrueco. He was chosen by Maestro Andrés Segovia to perform in his Master Classes in Los Angeles and New York and also participated in the III Concurso Internacional de la Guitarra in Alicante, Spain under José Tomás. Past Morrison Artists Series Artistic Directors were Ferenc Molnar, Andor Toth and Laszlo Varga.

Single tickets for the Golden Anniversary Benefit Concert with special guest Kirk Hammett on Thursday, September 15, 2005 at Herbst Theatre go on sale August 8 and can be purchased through City Box Office at 415/392-4400. Tickets for the Gala Dinner including Preferred Concert Seating are on sale now and can be purchased by calling Lorraine Garcia-Nakata at 415/405-3857.

All other concerts are free (as usual) and presented in McKenna Theatre, located in the Creative Arts Building on the San Francisco State University campus, 1600 Holloway Ave @ 19th Ave, San Francisco.

For general information about the Morrison Series, please call Ariane Bicho at 415/338-1442 or visit


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Last modified July 26, 2005, by the Office of Public Affairs