Program 1: Letters from Russia

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin “Letter Scene”
Rachmaninoff: Vocalise
Ailyn Pérez, soprano
Shostakovich: Elegy and Polka
Pärt: Trisagion
Jennifer Higdon: Strings from Concerto for Orchestra
Jennifer Higdon: String Lake from All Things Majestic
Jennifer Higdon: To the Point

Tickets and Program Notes

Season Subscriptions are now available and can be purchased here. Single Tickets will go on sale August 1, 2015.


Open Rehearsal

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 10am, Kanbar Performing Arts Center


Thursday, September 17, 2015, 8pm, First Congregational Church

Palo Alto

Friday, September 18, 2015, 8pm, First United Methodist Church

San Francisco

Saturday, September 19, 2015, 8pm, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

San Rafael

Sunday, September 20, 2015, 5pm, Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

About the Concert

New Century opens the 2015-2016 season with a debut appearance by Metropolitan Opera star, soprano Ailyn Pérez in a program that features masterworks by Russian composers and Featured Composer Jennifer Higdon.

Featured Composer & Guest Artist

Pulitzer-prize winner Jennifer Higdon has become a major figure in contemporary classical music. Hailed by the Washington Post as “a savvy, sensitive composer with a keen ear, an innate sense of form and a generous dash of pure esprit,” the League of American Orchestras lists her as one of America’s most frequently performed composers. She has received commissions from some of the world’s most prestigious organizations including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Luzern Sinfonieorchester, Hague Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony, as well as such groups as the Tokyo String Quartet and the President’s Own Marine Band.

Higdon received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, with the committee citing Higdon’s work as a “deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity.” She has also received awards from the Serge Koussevitzky Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts and ASCAP.

Higdon was the University of Wyoming’s Eminent Artist-in-Residence during the 2010-2011 season. In 2012, she was honored by the Delaware Symphony with the A.I. DuPont Award for her contributions to the symphonic literature. She has also been a Featured Composer at festivals including Tanglewood, Vail, Cabrillo, Grand Teton, Norfolk, and Winnipeg as well as serving as Composer-in-Residence with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony.

A regular at the Metropolitan Opera and many of the world’s leading opera houses, Ailyn Pérez has been hailed as a “major soprano” (The New York Times) and an artist “who truly seems to have it all” (Opera News). As the first Hispanic winner in the 35-year history of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, Ms. Pérez went on to win the 15th annual Placido Domingo Award in the same year. A firm favorite in the Bay Area, Ms. Pérez is a graduate of both the San Francisco Opera’s Merola program (2005) and Adler Fellowship. In her 2014 role as Violetta in the San Francisco Opera production of La Traviata, Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle said “Her singing was full-bodied and rich in color, with long-breathed phrases sumptuously sustained and an emotional depth to everything she undertook” and praised her as “the evening’s brightest luminary.” Ms. Pérez recently made her Metropolitan Opera debut in February 2015 in a highly successful performance as Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen and looks forward to upcoming appearances with Teatro alla Scala, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera before returning again to the Metropolitan Opera.