ESA-PEKKA SALONEN

THE FIREBIRD

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Artists

San Francisco Symphony

program

Sun Poem
[San Francisco Symphony Commission, U.S. Premiere]
Daniel Kidane

Luonnotar

Jean Sibelius
The Firebird (complete) 
Igor Stravinsky

performances

Davies Symphony Hall

Fri, Oct 7, 2022 at 7:30PM

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Davies Symphony Hall

Sat, Oct 8, 2022 at 7:30PM

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Davies Symphony Hall

Sun, Oct 9, 2022 at 2:00PM

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If you would like assistance purchasing tickets for patrons with disabilities, please call the box office at 415-864-6000.

THE OCTOBER 7 CONCERT IS PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

Event Description

Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird tells the story of a young prince who defeats an evil king with a golden egg. Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Orchestra in the complete score, from its first explosive dance to its last gorgeous lullaby. Also inspired by folklore, Jean Sibelius’s brooding Luonnotar narrates the creation of the heavens and earth, sung by soprano Golda Schultz. To open the program, the SF Symphony commissioned Daniel Kidane to write Sun Poem—a U.S. premiere that evokes the excitement of impending fatherhood.

For more information on the artists and music, visit the San Francisco Symphony’s digital program book platform at sfsymphony.encoreplus.app or text “SFS Concert” to 55741.

At A Glance

Daniel Kidane’s Sun Poem was co-commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony, and receives its United States premiere this week. The piece was inspired by the work of Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite, whose book by the same name “explores the male history of [Barbados] as it passes from father to son.” Kidane took this as inspiration as he recently became a father himself. “For me it is to do with the states of fatherhood,” he said, “the idea of excitement but also trepidation and worrying.”

Jean Sibelius’s Luonnotar sets a Finnish creation myth from the Kalevala, a collection of ancient runes that became the national epic. Luonnotar is a primordial feminine “spirit of Nature” who gives birth at sea and meets a bird whose eggs become the entire cosmos. Sibelius’s challenging writing for the solo soprano mixes austere incantation with stretches of soaring lyricism.

The Firebird was Igor Stravinsky’s first success—a ballet based on Slavic folklore for the Ballets Russes in Belle Époque Paris. Prince Ivan Tsarevich faces Kaschei, a monstrous king whose immortality is protected by a magic egg. The Firebird is captured by Prince Ivan, and it gives him an enchanted feather in return for its freedom. Later, when Ivan is taken captive by Kaschei, the feather summons the Firebird who helps defeat the tyrant. Stravinsky’s magnificent score was deeply rooted in Russian folk song and opera, while also discovering new colors and rhythms that would influence orchestral music forever after.

Concert Extras

Pre-Concert Q&A: A pre-concert audience Q&A session with composer Daniel Kidane will be presented from the stage one hour prior to the concert on October 7. Free to all ticket holders; doors open 15 minutes before.

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