By Khalida Sarwari
Spring is in the air and all around the chirping sounds of birds can be heard, but they’re not the only ones making noise. This month, the songbirds will have competition in the halls of San Jose’s California and Trianon theaters and Saratoga’s Foothill Club.
Classical music fans are in for treat after treat as they’ll have their pick of concerts to attend in the coming days, each priced at less than $100.
To kickstart the month, Symphony Silicon Valley will present a program featuring J.S. Bach’s “Partita No. 2 in D minor” and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. The Mahler piece is an epic journey that begins with a funeral march, endures turmoil, dances with abandon, confesses deep love, and ends finally in glory, according to the company, while the Bach piece, which was written originally for solo violin, will be performed by an orchestra.
Tatsuya Shimono, who has conducted major orchestras in Japan and abroad, is set to conduct. Founded in 2002, Symphony Silicon Valley is an anchor tenant of the California Theatre.
The Bach and Mahler concerts take place May 6 at 8 p.m. and May 7 at 2:30 p.m. at the California Theatre, 345 S. First St. in San Jose. Tickets are $45-$90 and can be purchased by calling 408-286-2600 or visiting symphonysiliconvalley.org.
Russian pianist Sofya Gulyak will give a recital with the Steinway Society-Bay Area on May 7 at 2 p.m. Critics have praised her for bringing depth, emotion and insight into her performances. To date, she is the only woman awarded the Princess Mary Gold Medal. In addition to touring, Gulyak teaches piano at the Royal College of Music in London.
The May 7 program features a medley of classics to close out the Steinway Society’s 22nd season, including works by Clementi, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Medtner and Prokofiev. The society is a San Jose-based nonprofit that not only offers classical piano concerts featuring international award-winning pianists, but also brings musical performances to local schools.
The concert takes place at the Trianon Theatre, 71 N. Fifth St. in San Jose. Gulyak will hold a meet-and-greet after the performance. Tickets, at $40-$60, are available at steinwaysociety.com or by calling 408.990.0872.
On May 9, another acclaimed Russian pianist, Katya Grineva, will return to Saratoga for a concert she gives annually there, titled “Chopin, Champagne and Chocolate.” The performance is slated for 7 p.m. at the Foothill Club, 20399 Park Place in Saratoga. Audiences can expect to hear a repertoire that includes Mozart and Schubert as well as Chopin.
Having played at the prestigious Carnegie Hall 16 times, Grineva is the first woman to perform as a soloist there that many times.
Tickets for her show are $45-$55 and available at the door as well as at bit.ly/2qgmAcJ. The concert is a benefit for local nonprofit Cancer CAREpoint.