Turn the bass down, throw out the auto-tune lyrics and save the hard-hitting beats for another time. It’s time to set aside the artificial noises and capture the organic instrumentation when the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) strolls into town.
As part of its 10-day West Coast Tour that starts in Seattle, Wash. and ends in Palm Desert, Calif., the SFS will perform on two college campuses: Chico State and Cal Poly.
It will take center stage at Cal Poly’s Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. Friday.
“We look forward to a lot of excited young people enjoying our program,” symphony spokesperson Oliver Theill said.
The symphony has traveled the world, played in world-class halls and is internationally respected among musicians. The music appeals to people of all ages and all levels of familiarity with classical music.
Although the typical sounds coming from Hathaway Avenue may be considered the antithesis to the symphonic sound, the SFS believes their style of music play attracts all groups of people.
“The SFS and its music director Michael Tilson Thomas are very much known for making classical music more accessible to people of all ages,” Theill said. “As evidenced by the success of the “Keeping Score” PBS television series and Web sites that really stress the fact that anyone can enjoy classical music.”
Thomas joined the symphony back in 1995 and since then the orchestra has risen to the forefront of American arts institutions.
“He is a leader in not just what happens on stage, but also in making music accessible through media,” Theill said.
It’s difficult for observers to determine which piece performed by Thomas’ group is the best, but they agree there are many that qualify.
“They will be playing popular music by Aaron Copland, a piece by Albano Berg, which will be more of a 20th century sound, and a piece by Tchaikovsky, which is a pretty big deal,” director of Cal Poly Arts Steve Lerian said.
The performance will feature a repertoire of modern and classical music.
The fusion of the hymn tunes from Copland’s “Our Town,” the expressionistic landscape of Berg’s “Three Pieces for Orchestra,” and the immense power and lyricism of Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5” offers an engaging journey for the audience, Theill said.
Eager to present the opportunity for residents and students of San Luis Obispo to experience the adventure, Cal Poly booked them for a rare appearance.
“They’re one of the great symphonies in this country and an opportunity to present them is a once-in-10-years chance,” Lerian explained.
You can purchase your tickets at the PAC. Student tickets range from $44 to $54, while public tickets range from $56 to $68.