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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Go See the S.F. Symphony, You Uncultured Slob

Posted By on Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 11:08 AM

The S.F. Symphony performing in Dolores Park
  • The S.F. Symphony performing in Dolores Park

Your* idea of a concert is chattering in a hot room, swilling Lagunitas, while miniature figures flail vaguely on some distant stage. Your idea of musicianship is a DJ turning a knob to produce an infinitesimal shift in a monotonous beat, then raising his hands in the air like he's just won the Tour De France. You can't be bothered to politely clap at shows; instead, you maybe say "woooo" sometimes after a song ends.

Whether this is true or not -- and we hope for the sake of the human race it isn't -- you're still more or less obligated, by your place in Western Civilization, your good manners, and your privileged proximity to this fair city, to see the world class San Francisco Symphony when it performs two shows this month. Both will be outdoors, both will be free, and neither requires a bow tie, a cumberbund, or any secret knowledge.

Your first best chance to atone for all the Swedish House Mafia* you've listened to is this Sunday, when the S.F. Symphony will perform at Stern Grove with Edwin Outwater conducting. Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman will be on hand to sing songs by Gershwin and Duparc, and the rest of the program is filled with greatest hits like Gershwin's An American in Paris, Herold's Zampa Overture, and Bizet's Suite No. 1 from Carmen.

Your second best chance to see your Spotify playlist for the unsophisticated litany of sonic tripe it is comes on July 21, when conductor Teddy Abrams and the Symphony will perform in Dolores Park. Here we have another savory program, with classic works by Tchaikovsky (Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture and Waltz from The Sleeping Beauty, Copland (Fanfare for the Common Man), John Williams, and Beethoven.

Both concerts will, helpfully, include an "instrument petting zoo," where you can remedy your ignorance of the difference between a viola and a violin by holding one. And at both concerts will you be able (semi-legally) to imbibe whatever refreshments accelerate your appreciation of classical music.

Thus may you become a somewhat more cultured slob.

* And by "your" we mean "our."

** We don't actually listen to Swedish House Mafia.

-- @iPORT

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Ian S. Port

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