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The Carole King Musical - Christian Reif - Jacob Garchik & Kronos - Tales of Hoffmann

Joan Marcus

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the performing arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, host David Latulippe talks with Bay Area native Suzanne Grodner (pictured), who is part of the touring production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, currently at the Golden Gate Theatre (through June 9). 

Born and raised in Burlingame, Suzanne Grodner honed her craft as an actress at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, and elsewhere. She has been with the Beautiful tour for more than 4 years and plays Genie Klein, Carole King’s mother. 

We talk with German-born conductor Christian Reif, resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, and also music director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, which he takes on a European tour this summer. 

This will be the ensemble’s 11th international tour, with performances at the Berliner Philharmonie; the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg; the Musikverein in Vienna; and in Budapest (Hungary) and Copenhagen and Odense (Denmark). 

Tour repertoire includes Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, and Prelude No. 1 from German composer Detlev Glanert’s Three American Preludes. On the eve of the tour, the SFSYO performs a Bon Voyage concert (Sunday, June 16), featuring most of the tour repertoire, and violinist Karen Gomyo as soloist. 

We talk to composer Jacob Garchik who wrote the world premiere piece that concludes Kronos Festival 2019, Kronos Quartet’s fifth annual, three-day music festival, at SFJAZZ Center (May 30 - June 1). Garchik, who frequently collaborates with Kronos, wrote a new work that explores the musical legacy of folk icon and activist Pete Seeger, who would have turned 100 in May. Kronos and Friends Celebrate Pete Seeger at 100  is part of Day 3 of Kronos Festival 2019, on June 1 at 7:30pm. 

Plus, from Pocket Opera, the Bay Area’s premiere chamber opera company, we meet with general manager Chung-Wai Soong, and newly appointed artistic director Nicolas Garcia, about their production of Offenbach’s fantastical opera Tales of Hoffmann, on June 2, 9 and 16 in Berkeley, San Francisco and Palo Alto. 

Pocket Opera has offered fully staged, English language versions of both well-loved classic operas, as well as lesser-known gems of operatic literature, since 1978. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe will be broadcast live on Thursday, May 30, at 1pm. Listen now or anytime…