Brahms' Serenade No. 1

San Francisco Symphony program annotator Michael Steinberg said, “If Brahms had called his enchanting Serenade in D Major a symphony – and he almost did – we could be hearing it all the time.” Brahms thunders, soars, and dances in this symphonic work.

You don’t know Ligeti until you’ve heard our concert opener, a playful, explosive ode to his Romanian roots.

And for something you may have never heard before, contemporary composer Missy Mazzoli adds a thrilling, fresh work to the double bass repertoire inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost and a 400-year-old instrument.

Gallery talks will be presented by Joslyn curators at 1 and 1:25 p.m. prior to the concert.



El Anatsui (Ghanaian, b. 1944)

2016, aluminum, copper wire
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska
Collection of Annette and Paul Smith

The choice of this artwork was inspired by Mazzoli’s piece titled “Dark with Excessive Bright,” which takes its title from Milton’s Paradise Lost.Trovais a superb example of El Anatsui’s dramatic metal tapestries comprising repurposed found objects and cast off materials, such as bottle caps, liquor labels, and print­ing plates. Sewn together with thin copper wire, these shimmering wall hangings do not come with instructions from the artist for their display. As a result, each installa­tion of Anatsui’s work is unique, informed by light, archi­tecture, and the decisions of those who install it.


Mazzoli Marylene Mey 2

Grammy-nominated composer Missy Mazzoli was recently deemed “one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York” (The New York Times) and “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out New York). Mazzoli is the Mead Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and her music has been performed all over the world by the Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird, pianist Emanuel Ax, Opera Philadelphia, Scottish Opera, LA Opera, Cincinnati Opera, New York City Opera and many others. In 2018 she made history when she became one of the two first women (along with composer Jeanine Tesori) to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. Mazzoli has received considerable acclaim for her operatic compositions. Her third opera, Proving Up, written with longtime collaborator Royce Vavrek, was commissioned by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha and New York’s Miller Theatre.

A short documentary about Missy’s Dark with Excessive Bright:

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