st-michaels-trio

From Haydn to Schoenfield: Rockin’ the Sonata with the Saint Michael Trio

September 19, 2014

Marines’ Memorial Theatre, San Francisco

Music at its most fun! Both Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and Paul Schoenfield (1947- ) are highly formal in their structure, employing the sonata form. Both present their ideas in three movements, following an arc that moves from spritely to introspective to exuberant. Yet Franz Joseph Haydn composed sonatas at the dawn of Europe’s classical period and embodied the formalism of the 18th-century Enlightenment, while Detroit native Paul Schoenfield’s “Cafe Music” (1987) expresses the whimsy and energy of a 21st-century urban metropolis. Daniel Cher (violin), Michel Flexer (cello), and Russell Hancock (piano) — The Saint Michael Trio — demonstrate with passion, wit, and their own virtuosity how two utterly different composers use the same tools to express the sentiment of their age. Learn about them, watch and listen here.

Humanities West presents Rockin’ the Sonata, a special “informance” in our occasional series on the Arts and Humanities in a Material World. Expanding the title of Martin Scorsese’s documentary about George Harrison, Humanities West once again ponders how we can best go about Living in the Material World. The runaway success of material culture in the last two centuries has long overshadowed the pursuit of those subtler forms of happiness that are conveniently grouped as the Humanities and the Arts. How can we live rich lives in the arts while pursuing successful careers devoted to the ever more clever production of material comfort and pleasure? Humanities West board members George Hammond and Patricia Lundberg illustrate how by presenting the Saint Michael Trio, featuring Daniel Sher (violin), Michel Flexer (cello), and Russell Hancock (piano)—three men who can do exactly that—thrive in entrepreneurial careers AND Rock the Sonata.

Are you free for dinner or lunch?

Our presenters are fun and engaging meal companions. If you are a donor and would like to join us for dinner on Friday evening or lunch on Saturday afternoon during the programs, please download the reservation form (pdf document) and send it to:
City Box Office
180 Redwood Street
#100
San Francisco, CA 94102
or purchase tickets online by visiting the CBO website.

Download the Saint Michael Trio postcard (pdf document)

Read what The Examiner has to say about this program

Friday, September 19, 2014 7:30pm

The Informance: Both Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and Paul Schoenfield (1947- ) are highly formal in their structure, employing the sonata form. Both present their ideas in three movements, following an arc that moves from spritely to introspective to exuberant. Yet Franz Joseph Haydn composed sonatas at the dawn of Europe’s classical period and embodied the formalism of the 18th-century Enlightenment, while Detroit native Paul Schoenfield’s “Cafe Music” (1987) both anticipates and expresses the whimsy and energy of a 21st-century urban metropolis. Daniel Cher (violin), Michel Flexer (cello), and Russell Hancock (piano)–The Saint Michael Trio–demonstrate with passion, wit, and their own virtuosity how two utterly different composers use the same tools to express the sentiment of their age.

There will be one intermission. Afterwards, meet the performers in the theatre lobby.

About the Performers

Established in 2007, the Saint Michael Trio is hailed as Silicon Valley’s update to the staid world of classical music. Rising quickly to prominence, the artists (Daniel Cher, Russell Hancock, Michel Flexer) earn acclaim for making their concerts interesting, accessible, and oftentimes funny. In addition to the classical masterworks, they perform jazz and even rock tunes, and their hallmark is mixing all of it in the same concert. In 2008 Saint Mike was named artists-in-residence at Menlo College, where they quickly outgrew the auditorium and established a rabid fan base. In 2010 they became affiliated artists at Notre Dame de Namur University and were installed as anchors in the Villa Chamber Series at Montalvo Arts Center. In 2012 they began a partnership with Stanford University, appearing to sold-out crowds at Dinkelspiel Auditorium where they deliver their trademark “informances” exploring classical composers in depth. The group has become the subject of considerable notoriety because all three artists maintain thriving careers in the private sector:

• Violinist DANIEL CHER won the undergraduate music prize at Stanford University and his concerto appearances include the Orchestra New England and the New Haven Symphony. A medical doctor, he designs and implements clinical trials for Bay Area medical device companies.

• Cellist MICHEL FLEXER performed throughout his youth with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra; while a student at Harvard he studied with Bernard Greenhouse at the New England Conservatory. A software engineer and a serial entrepreneur, he has worked most recently with C3, Gain Technologies and Siebel Systems.

• Pianist RUSSELL HANCOCK has appeared as concerto soloist with symphonies throughout the United States and his worldwide appearances include recitals from Taipei to Tapachula, Mexico. A member of the public policy faculty at Stanford, by day he is President & CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

Learn more about them, watch and listen to their music at saintmichaeltrio.com