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In Studio: Conductor Simone Young

Monika Rittershaus

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the performing arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, host David Latulippe talks with Australian conductor Simone Young (above) who makes her debut at the San Francisco Symphony, conducting Ravel and Rimsky-Korsakov

Simone Young is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and she guest conducts at major opera houses and symphony orchestras around the world. As a Wagner and Strauss specialist, Young was the first woman to record Wagner’s complete Ring cycle. She was also the first female to conduct the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Philharmonic.

On the SF Symphony program: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade; Ravel’s jazz-infused Piano Concerto in G major, with French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie; and also by Ravel, the Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess). Concerts are on April 18, 19 and 20 (8pm) at Davies Symphony Hall (201 Van Ness Ave) in San Francisco. 

American filmmaker Luke Lorentzen stops by to share details about Midnight Family, his documentary about a family running a private ambulance service in Mexico City, currently at the SFFILM Festival. Joining them are Macedonian filmmakers Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, to discuss their visually stunning documentary Honeyland, about the last female beekeeper in a remote village in the Balkans. 

Both films have been supported by SFFILM through their Documentary Film Fund Grant and SFFILM Invest. Both were also Sundance Film Festival selections this year, where Honeyland won 4 awards. The SFFILM Festival runs through April 23 at locations around the Bay Area. 

We talk to choreographer Jo Kreiter about her new project The Wait Room, a site-specific dance honoring women with incarcerated loved ones. The Wait Room blends oral history, dance, music and public art in an exploration of the physical, psychic and emotional burdens of prison for women with incarcerated loved ones. 

Composer Pamela Z created a score for The Wait Room, based on the oral histories of several women with families fractured by incarceration. The Wait Room runs for six evening performances and two matinees from April 19 – 27, at 1125 Market Street (across from Civic Center, between 7th Street & 8th Street). This is a free outdoor show, but seating is finite.

Plus, from the SF Ballet, we talk with theremin player Carolina Eyck, who performs in John Neumeier’s ballet The Little Mermaid, set to music by Russian- American composer Lera Auerbach. 

The Little Mermaid, part of SF Ballet’s Program 7, runs April 19-28. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe; heard live on Thursday, April 18 at 1pm. Listen now or anytime…