Presidio of San Francisco (January 11, 2011) -- One of San Francisco’s hidden gems returns to the Presidio when the popular Concerts at the Presidio series opens its sixth season with a piano concert featuring the music of Frédéric Chopin. The series, a showcase for young artists, premieres Thursday and Friday, January 13 and 14 at 7:30 pm at the Presidio’s Golden Gate Club.
Since their debut in 2005, the concerts have grown into one of the Presidio’s most popular ongoing programs, offering a top-flight entertainment and cultural experience to the community.
“The success of the concerts is due in no small measure to the generosity of the Presidio Trust,” says Bryant McOmber, who serves almost as a one-man production company for the concerts—doing everything from producing and hosting the shows, to booking the talent and even laying out the ads. “The heart of this is the tremendous relationships we’ve been able to build both with the Trust and the Conservatory of Music. They’ve been fabulous partners.”
For McOmber, who exudes an obvious passion for classical music and opera, the concerts truly are a labor of love. What began as a way to generate publicity for his Half Moon Bay real estate firm, has blossomed into an endeavor that has taken on a life of its own. When his work brought him to the Presidio, he brought the idea with him. The move to San Francisco, and the connection with the Conservatory, offered a chance to refine and expand the program.
Award-winning pianist Jannie Lo of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music headlines this month’s concert, performing Chopin’s most celebrated preludes, the two dozen he assembled and sequenced as Opus 28. The program also includes performances by students from the Conservatory’s preparatory division. On Thursday, 13 year old Hanson Tam and 15 year old Hugo Kitano perform works by Franz Liszt, Francis Poulenc, Mozart, and Beethoven. On Friday, 16 year old Rieko Tsuchida performs Beethoven’s Sonata in E-flat major.
The next Concerts at the Presidio, Agitato to Largo, will be held Thursday and Friday January 13 and 14 at the Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop on the Presidio’s Main Post. Performances begin at 7:30 pm. Seats can be reserved by calling 415-447-6274. A $10 donation ($5 for seniors and children) is requested.
Four more pairs of concerts—including an evening of Broadway show tunes, an adaptation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and a musical tribute to the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge featuring songs from the 1930’s and 40’s—are planned throughout the year.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site that is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The National Park Service oversees the coastal areas of the Presidio. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio's status as a National Historic Landmark District. The Presidio is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.