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The Musicians Play On

The Musicians Play On

Continuing to Bring Joy Through Music

In a typical repertory season in the War Memorial Opera House, the live music performed by Music Director and Principal Conductor Martin West and San Francisco Ballet Orchestra is what sets SF Ballet apart.

Throughout shelter in place, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra musicians have kept the music alive while following all health and safety protocols put in place specifically for musicians. They have participated in socially distanced pop-up concerts around town, fun and expressive collaborations with Company dancers via Zoom, as well as learning and then mastering how to rehearse and record music from their living rooms—and even on occasion in isolation booths—for our fantastic 2021 Digital Season.

Gong, Chimes, Woodblocks . . . Typewriter?

Listen as SF Ballet Orchestra Principal Percussionist David Rosenthal discusses his role in “The Typewriter,” composer Leroy Anderson’s most famous novelty number and one of eleven pieces in Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet, on the digital stage February 11–March 3, 2021. At the end of the podcast, Rosenthal performs a snippet of the piece with help from PR & Communications Manager Kate McKinney, who “chimes” in with the carriage return.

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How The Catcher in the Rye Led to Brass Chorales

Watch as SF Ballet Orchestra Associate Principal Contrabass Shinji Eshima shares about composing the music for Yuri Possokhov’s Swimmer. “These are all the things that Yuri loves about America,” says Eshima, whose score begins with a trumpet solo that blossoms into a brass chorale, alluding to Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye—one of many influences on John Cheever’s novel The Swimmer and on Possokhov’s ballet. Swimmer is part of the digital season from March 4–24, 2021.

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Header Image: San Francisco Ballet Orchestra in A Little Beauty // © San Francisco Ballet