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Sunday, April 21st 2024

Pierrot RE:encountered

  • Arnold Schoenberg
  • Jessie Montgomery
  • Joan Tower
  • Rachel Calloway

Date & Time

Sunday, April 21st 2024 4:00 pm

3 PM – How Music is Made, with guest artist Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano
4 PM – Concert, with post-concert reception


Taube Atrium Theater
Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera
Veterans Building, 4th floor
401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister)
San Francisco, CA 94102


$40 (VIP) / $35 (General)
$15 students
Festival Pass: $70 (VIP) /$60


Over the span of decades and centuries, certain ground-shifting works and ideas have a way of echoing long into the future – creating strands of interconnected outgrowths, and sometimes establishing entire pathways for creativity that span across generations. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of its U.S. premiere this season, Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire is one such work; a piece of music that almost from its inception has left a long-enduring impact, in both content and concept, on the way composers imagine the human voice, the spheres of poetry and text, and the very nature of instrumental resources. We also mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth; for many who might consider him the very father of Modernism with a capital ‘M,’ Schoenberg created a body of work to push music in directions that we still process and reckon with today, and Pierrot itself spawned an entire genre of composition with a whole repertoire of works still being written in a similar vein. Stravinsky called it ‘the solar plexus of Twentieth-Century music,’ and with our two day mini-festival we seek to unwind a few different strands of connection, from right up close to the present moment, and rewinding toward the past for a fresh encounter with a musical creation that remains forever young.

Our performance of Pierrot Lunaire (April 21) will feature a newly commissioned animated video by Simona Fitcal, which brings the world of Albert Giraud's poems to life with imagery drawn from Schoenberg's own paintings and drawings. Huge thanks to the Arnold Schoenberg Center (Vienna) for granting permission and providing high resolution images to make this possible.


  • Joan Tower – Petroushskates (1980)
  • Arnold Schoenberg – Cabaret Songs: Selections
  • Jessie Montgomery – Lunar Songs: I. and III. (2019) (West Coast Premiere)


  • Arnold Schoenberg – Pierrot Lunaire (1912)

Guest Artist: Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano (Montgomery & Schoenberg)

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