Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Christ Church Choir in San Francisco

Just back from a glorious - and warm! - weekend in San Francisco with the Christ Church Choir - a lovely weekend singing at St. Mark's, Berkley, and Grace Cathedral.

Beautiful music in beautiful places. St. Mark's is a wonderful building - the first Mission Revival church in California (1904) with a very nice Flentrop organ and a fun and very talented Music Director: George Emblom. The church is across Bancroft Avenue from the UC Campus - Olmsted designed! We had a great time there on Saturday and Sunday and the welcome was warm. I enjoyed the morning at the Flentrop. Grace Cathedral is a very interesting building - Gothic in poured concrete! Amazing that poured concrete can be so "grace"ful. The organ is an E. M. Skinner with contributions from G. Donald Harrison and, I have to say, one of the most beautiful I've ever played! Such gorgeous, lush, expressive sounds in a room with 8 seconds of reverberation. I had to choose, while practicing, between weeping at the beauty of it and actually getting to work. What an amazing life!

So, of course, I didn't sit still - off the plane and straight to the Legion of Honour Museum to see my favorite Fantin-Latour, off to the new De Young Museum (Herzog & De Meuron) which is one of the most stunning and intriguing new buildings of this century - it made me weep! San Francisco Symphony for Tchaikovsky, dinners with Gerry Montana (Catch and Nob Hill Cafe), a tour around the UC Berkley campus including their weird and very scary art museum, the San Francisco Ballet dancing Giselle, and hobbing and nobbing with all the fun Winnetka folks.

and then back to cold Chicago......


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