FROM HALL TO HOME, November 14

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By Iride Aparicio

Pictures courtesy: SF Symphony

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-- On November 14th, the sounds of music, interpreted by the SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY under the baton of Music Director ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, will resonate in our homes in a concert program which will feature the world premiere of THROUGHLINE, a new SF Symphony commission composed by NICO MUHLY, in performances by Maestro SALONEN, eight collaborative Partners, and the SF SYMPHONY.

The SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY and Music Director SALONEN announced to the press the details of a unique concert event which reflects the forward-looking creativity of the SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY and the vibrant personalizes of the Bay Area and beyond. The free ONLINE event will feature performances led by ESA-PEKKA SALONEN which includes music by ELLEN REID, JOHN ADAMS, KEV CHOICE, BEETHOVEN, and the world premiere of THROUGHLINE a new SF Symphony commission by NICO MUHLY, filmed in locations around the world.

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Adding to the unique nature of THROUGHLINE, are the different locations of its artists for the filming, recording and even its composition. CAROL REILEY, a collaborative partner, who used artificial intelligence to co-compose a movement from the piece, was working from Los Altos, CA.  The filming and recording of all the individual parts--in particular of the Collaborative Partner NICHOLAS BRITELL was filmed in Los Angeles, CA., while the filming of  Classical singer JULIA BULLOCK  took place in Munich, Germany, of  the Flutist CLAIRE CHASE in New York, NY,  of the guitarist BRYCE DESSNER in St-Pée-sur-Nivelle, France. Of Violinist PEKKA KUUSISTO in Helsinki, Finland and of jazz bassist and vocalist ESPERANZA SPALDING, who improvisionally composed her own performance, in Northern Oregon.  Music Director ESA-PEKKA SALONEN was filmed in part in Finland, while composer and pianist NICO MUHLY who also served as conductor for the piece, was filmed at Davies Symphony-Hall in San Francisco.

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         THROUGHLINE composer NICO MUHLY directing

THROUGHLINE: San Francisco Symphony --From Hall to Home, will broadcast locally on November 14 at 7pm PST on KQED public Television and simultaneously stream worldwide on, where it will remain for on-demand viewing. The program will be re-broadcast on NBC Bay Area on Monday, November 30 at 7PM PST.

The one-hour concert program is anchored by the world premiere of THROUGHLINE, by the Symphony Collaborative Partner NICO MUHLY,who was commissioned by the Symphony for the occasion. THROUGHLINE consists of thirteen interconnected sections, with each movement highlighting a small ensemble of S.F. Symphony musicians; eight of the movements feature one of the collaborative partners as soloist.

In addition the NICO MUHLY's THROUGHLINE, the concert program includes performances by ELLEN REID's Fear/Release for percussion quartet. JOHN ADAMS's Shaking and Trembling from SHAKER LOOPS, conducted by ESA-PEKKA SALONEN; Kev Choice's Movements --a SF Symphony commission recently released as part of the CURRENTS series, and the opening movement from BEETHOVEN's String quartet in F minor, Op.95. All performances were filmed under strict adherence to local public health and safety guidelines.


As described by Music Director ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, "THROUGHLINE is the sort of piece I came to the San Francisco Symphony to do. Screens, remote collaboration, and video communication were ubiquitous parts of our lives even before the pandemic. It's natural that the Orchestra would begin to expand out of the concert hall and evolve new ways of presenting music to suit a visual, technological driven culture.

The power of the orchestra lies in its ability to behave as one cohesive organism, greater than the sum of its parts. But a piece like this requires that level of coordination, not only from the musicians, but from the administrators and the producers as well; the entire institution has to behave as one, with all of the creativity, ingenuity, and flexibility that entails. Luckily for me, this is already how the San Francisco Symphony's musicians and members of staff operate, and they are more than up for the challenge."

Composer and Collaborative Partner NICO MUHLY defines the piece as follows:
"THROUGHLINE is one of the more challenging pieces I've written, not just as a piece of musical logistics but also as a piece of technical practical logistics. Compositionally, the challenge was to create something with an even flow that takes advantage of --rather than runs up against--the health restrictions. Each of the thirteen movements is a mini-concept, not just for a Collaborative Partner but for the members of the Orchestra: for instance, one movement features NICHOLAS BRITELL playing with principal trumpet MARK INOUYE and another movement PEKKA KUUSISTO plays a kinetic, hyperactive duet with principal violist JONATHAN VINOCOUR.

When I got to San Francisco, I found that the musicians were fantastically up for it despite the strange circumstances, and without exception navigated this new structure of music-making without a blink. For me, it was a joy to work directly with individuals, which, in a symphonic context, is nearly impossible with the usual model.  I was also delighted and bolstered by the incredible amount of work THROUGHLINE required from the often under-appreciated technical and administrative staff; this is not just the artistic leadership who commissioned the piece, but stage management and the producer of the recording and personnel management and operations and the sound crew all performing in a concern grosso of their own."
Piano, Emcee Composer AIMA the DRMR Lyrics, Emcee.
ANDRE LEVIN, electric guitar, MARCUS PHILLIPS Electric Bass, DAME DRUMMER, drums, LADY FINGZ turntable YENI LUCERO dancer and member of the San Francisco Symphony

The THROGHLINE EVENT will STREAM FREE at   and broadcast locally on KQED public television at 7:00 PM PST on NOVEMBER 14.