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Sean Martinfield
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Sean Martinfield is a First-Nighter on San Francisco's cultural scene. His beat includes the opera, ballet, and symphony, along with Broadway touring companies, fine arts museum exhibits, popular film festivals, and more. He has been the cultural editor of since 2005 and more recently the Classical Music reviewer at Sean is nationally recognized as a professional singing coach and has published thousands of responses to career questions on

Entries by Sean Martinfield

A Profile of Soprano Tony Arnold -- Guest Artist at Santa Fe Chamber Festival 2014

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 5:52 PM

Soprano Tony Arnold is a luminary in the world of Chamber Music and Art Song. Today's classical composers are inspired by her inherently beautiful voice, consummate musicianship, and embracing spirit. Audiences everywhere recognize her assuredness and mastery over a wide range of musical styles, vocal modes and dramatic challenges. On...

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A Conversation With Pianist Stewart Goodyear

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 4:40 PM

Pianist Stewart Goodyear was determined to record Tchaikovsky's Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor and Grieg's Concerto for Piano in A minor. In late spring 2013, following a bit of research, he approached Maestro Stanislav Bogunia and the Czech National Symphony with a proposal. By mid-July, Stewart...

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Tenor Stuart Skelton on Peter Grimes

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 1:29 AM

On June 26-29, San Francisco Symphony presents a semi-staged production of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. Conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, the three performances will feature heldentenor Stuart Skelton in the title role. Stage direction and costume designs are provided by James Darrah and cinematographer Adam Larsen has created digital imagery...

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"Show Boat" - Jerome Kern's Masterpiece at San Francisco Opera

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 2:00 PM

San Francisco Opera opens its 2014 summer season with a spectacular production of Jerome Kern's SHOW BOAT. It's an opera -- where the ideal performer with the optimal voice is a capital match for the intentions of the composer and his lyricist, Oscar Hammerstein II. Given that Gershwin's...

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Myles Thatcher -- Profile of an Upcoming Dancer and Choreographer

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 4:08 PM

Myles Thatcher's skills and growing reputation as a promising choreographer have been recognized and honored by the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Last month, Myles was awarded a grant and the opportunity to mentor with world renowned choreographer Alexei Ratmansky during the 2014-15 cycle. Since 2010, Myles...

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A Conversation with Dmitri Hvorostovsky - This Week at Davies Hall

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 10:57 AM

Dmitri Hvorostovsky and pianist Ivari Ilja are in recital at Davies Hall on Sunday, May 25. The program begins with a collection of songs by a variety of Russian composers, set to the poetry of Alexander Pushkin. It is followed by the rarely-performed Suite on Verses of Michelangelo...

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Jeffrey Biegel Is Rainbow High on New CD: Life According To Chopin: Chopin's Greatest Piano Solos

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Pianist Jeffrey Biegel's latest CD, Life According To Chopin: Chopin's Greatest Piano Solos may be the first tell-all among a colossal number of recordings dedicated to the work of Frédéric Chopin. The eleven tracks represent an overview of the musical forms that shaped him as a composer and pushed him...

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A Conversation With Maestro James Conlon

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 10:47 AM

Beginning Thursday, April 24 through Saturday, April 26, San Francisco Symphony presents an extraordinary combination of masterworks conducted by James Conlon. The diverse and powerful program begins with the Scherzo from composer Erwin Schulhoff's Symphony No. 5. Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is featured in the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1, and...

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In Conversation With Stewart Copeland: Famed Drummer Composes New Soundtrack for 'Ben-Hur' (1925)

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 9:52 AM

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1925 silent epic, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, has been revitalized with a new score composed by famed drummer Stewart Copeland. Arranged as a specially-edited 90-minute concert presentation, the world premiere will take place on Saturday, April 19 at the Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk, Virginia.


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Ricardo Bustamante: Profile of a Ballet Master at San Francisco Ballet

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 4:44 PM

Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy is currently in production at San Francisco Ballet. The work is set to three pieces by Dmitri Shostakovich -- Symphony No. 9, Chamber Symphony, and Piano Concerto No. 1. It is a co-production with American Ballet Theatre which premiered the first part, Symphony...

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A Conversation with Mario Frangoulis: International Tenor Debuts in San Francisco, April 4th

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 1:08 PM

This year tenor Mario Frangoulis observes his twenty-fifth anniversary as a concert and recording artist and performer in musical theatre. Adding to the occasion is his long-awaited debut in San Francisco which takes place this coming Friday, April 4, at the historic and recently restored Nourse Auditorium. Mario will be...

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A Conversation With New Zealander Baritone, Hadleigh Adams

(1) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 4:08 PM

This coming Sunday afternoon the second program of the very popular Schwabacher Debut Recitals takes place in the Martin Meyer Sanctuary at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco. Tagged as In the Memory Palace, the recital is presented by Steven Blier, the artistic director of the New York Festival of Song....

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A Fabulous Debut at Davies Symphony Hall for Natalie Dessay

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 11:59 AM

Natalie Dessay's debut recital at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall this past Saturday night was delightful, delirious and de-lovely. Since early last June when she told me of her decision to retire from the operatic stage in order to pursue her ambitions as an actress, I and so many of...

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A Conversation With Pianist Roman Rabinovich

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 4:33 PM

Pianist Roman Rabinovich is currently on a cross-country tour with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra. It is the orchestra's first appearance in the United States and is being led by its Principal Guest Conductor, Boguslaw Dawidow. It has been a packed schedule with a lot of mileage accumulated in-between venues. The...

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Program 3 at San Francisco Ballet: Heartaches by the Number

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 3:29 PM

Program 3 at San Francisco Ballet is a rare trio of works that explores themes of longing, unfulfilled love and connecting with the hereafter or the totally other. First on the bill is "The Kingdom of the Shades" from Act II of the very seldom produced La Bayadère....

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Val Caniparoli's "Tears": A World Premiere at San Francisco Ballet

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 10:55 PM

Program two at San Francisco Ballet opened this week with a triple-bill of works commissioned by the company including the world premiere of Val Caniparoli's Tears and an encore of two more from the previous season -- Alexei Ratmansky's From Foreign Lands and Wayne McGregor's Borderlands.

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A Conversation With Organist Paul Jacobs -- This Week at Davies Hall

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 3:13 PM

Bay Area fans of organ concerts feel a sense of celebration whenever Paul Jacobs is in town. The best of The Best is back. This coming Sunday afternoon at Davies Symphony Hall, Mr. Jacobs will be working the magnificent Ruffatti organ through an Olympian program that includes Bach's...

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Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Introduces 'Rita' by Donizetti, February 12-16

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 9:13 AM

"We have programmed the most politically incorrect opera in the most politically correct area of the country!" said music director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, referring to the New Century Chamber Orchestra's up-coming production of Rita, ou Le mari battu (Rita, or The Beaten Husband).

It's true. Some may see the...

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Conductor Lionel Bringuier on His Debut With San Francisco Symphony

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 11:45 AM

This week at Davies Hall, French conductor Lionel Bringuier marks his debut with San Francisco Symphony. The program features pianist Hélène Grimaud in Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 and will include Métaboles by Henri Dutilleux and La Valse by Maurice Ravel. In 2005, Bringuier led the National Orchestra of Toulouse...

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Zuill Bailey Triumphs in New Recording of Benjamin Britten's Cello Symphony and Sonata

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 5:13 PM

Composer Benjamin Britten's 2013 centenary sparked performances of his many-varied works around the globe. His catalogue of operas, orchestral and chamber works, song cycles and more were programmed everywhere, some of the material being tagged as rare or seldom performed. Early last February, cellist Zuill Bailey appeared with Music Director...

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