Saturday, September 06, 2014
SF Symphony Gala 2014
San Francisco's society season officially began with the San Francisco Symphony Gala on Wednesday evening.
Both the Symphony Gala and the SF Opera opening a couple of days later are essentially wealthy women events...
...with husbands sometimes dragged along...
...and others who happily attend with their BFFs.
Wednesday evening's event was a very good party, and at $170 for the cheapest ticket, something of a bargain to be wined and dined by the Symphony with the city's swells all night.
There was also a symphony concert in the middle of the festivities with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the start of his 20th season as Music Director of the orchestra.
After a short, entertaining curtain raiser of Stravinsky's Scherzo a la Russe, they played Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy, and then Yuja Wang above appeared as piano soloist for an eccentric rendition of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue where the orchestra sounded glorious and authentically jazzy. The second half featured the Bay Area slide guitarist and blues singer Bonnie Raitt singing three American song standards with the orchestra, and she was surprisingly good in music that was way out of her usual comfort zone.
The concert ended with more Romeo and Juliet music, this time excerpts from Prokofiev's ballet, and then the dancing in a party tent and on a decorated, car-free Grove Street began in earnest.