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Carey Bell


San Francisco Symphony


[First San Francisco Symphony Performances]
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Drowned in Light
[San Francisco Symphony Commission and World Premiere]
Jens Ibsen

Symphony in Three Movements

Igor Stravinsky
All sound clips are from San Francisco Symphony performances and are used with permission of the SFS Players Committee.


Davies Symphony Hall

Sat, Nov 11, 2023 at 7:30PM

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Davies Symphony Hall

Sun, Nov 12, 2023 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.

Event Description

In Kínēma Esa-Pekka Salonen’s lyrical imagination takes flight via five cinematic scenes for solo clarinet and chamber orchestra. Emerging Black Composers Project winner Jens Ibsen grew up in the Bay Area, where he soaked up samba, soul, R&B, and progressive metal along with the music of Ghana and the African diaspora—all influences you might detect in Drowned in Light, a world premiere. Igor Stravinsky’s turbulent Symphony in Three Movements, which he called his “war symphony,” reflects the rampant destruction in Europe and Asia.

This concert is part of the California Festival: A Celebration of New Music

The California Festival at the San Francisco Symphony is made possible by Sakurako and William Fisher.

The Emerging Black Composers Project is underwritten by Michèle and Laurence Corash.

At A Glance

San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen’s kínēma is made up of five “scenes” for solo clarinet and string orchestra, which feel like “spaces where you can exist for a few minutes at a time.” Inspired by a film score for a Finnish romantic drama, the concert work was commissioned and premiered in 2021 by the Finnish Radio Symphony.

Bay Area composer Jens Ibsen was inspired by the British rock band Rolo Tomassi in writing Drowned in Light. The first movement features electric guitar, drums, and other hardcore sounds, while the second movement is more lyrical and yearning.

Tautly concentrated and quite short, Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements nonetheless feels big. The composer admitted the influence of movies in the first and third movements, of a documentary on scorched-earth tactics in China in the former, of newsreel footage of goose-stepping soldiers in the latter.

Enrich Your Experience

  • Saturday, November 11 from 6:30pm-7:00pm: Hear from composer Jens Ibsen in a preconcert discussion presented from the stage. Free to all ticketholders.
  • Sunday, November 12 from 1:00pm-1:30pm: Learn about California's influence on Igor Stravinsky in a preconcert discussion presented from the stage by Sarah Cahill. Free to all ticketholders.
  • Head to the lobby bar to sip your way through the West Coast with beer and wine from California.

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