Morrison News 2015

Rochberg's Landmark String Quartet Makes Return at Morrison Artists Series Concert

December 3, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- The Third Quartet, written in an invitingly melodic style and laced with quotations from Beethoven and Mahler, marked the beginning of a turnaround in musical politics, helping to make possible the development that became known as New Romanticism. The Telegraph Quartet, an up-and-coming young Bay Area ensemble, performs this notable work along with quartets by Haydn and Erwin Schulhoff. Telegraph Quartet: 8pm. Friday, December 4. Free. McKenna Theatre, San Francisco State University.

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Morrison Artists Series Celebrates 60th Season of Free Concerts at SF State

September 14, 2015

SF STATE NEWS -- The Morrison Artists Series, a performing arts institution since 1956, is organized by the May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Center. The center’s aim is to advance the art of chamber music and encourage its appreciation. Offering world-class performances at no cost, it has presented more than 350 concerts attended by more than 100,000 guests. “This season’s programs, featuring a wide-ranging variety of chamber music genres and repertoire from many periods performed by some of the greatest American and European ensembles on today’s concert stage, will be a perfect way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Morrison Artists Series,” said Richard Festinger, professor of Music and artistic director of the series. “This series provides an inestimable gift of superlative chamber music, admission free, to San Francisco Bay Area audiences.” Festinger noted that chamber music concerts of this caliber typically cost between $60 and $100 per ticket.

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Morrison Artists Series to Begin 60th Season

September 9, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE -- If there is anything like the Morrison Artists Series in the world, neither I nor Google know about it. Imagine a rich program of prominent chamber-music concerts, complete with lectures, pre-concert talks, and master classes — all free. You don't need to imagine it, because San Francisco State University has been offering the series for six decades. Artistic Director Richard Festinger says of the season: “These programs, featuring a wide-ranging variety of chamber music genres and repertoire from many periods performed by some of the greatest American and European ensembles on today’s concert stage, will be a perfect way to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Morrison Artists Series’s inestimable gift of superlative chamber music, admission-free, to San Francisco Bay Area audiences. It’s my great pleasure to continue to bring this storied legacy to the McKenna Theatre stage.”

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Morrison Artists Series Announces 2015-16 Season of Free Concerts

August 21, 2015

EXAMINER.COM -- Next month will see the beginning of the 60th anniversary season of the free concerts in the Morrison Artists Series presented under the auspices of the May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Center. As in the past, these recitals will all take place in the 700-seat McKenna Theatre in the Creative Arts Building on the San Francisco State University campus; and each concert will be preceded by an informative lecture. In addition, all artists will present a chamber music master class in Knuth Hall (also in the Creative Arts Building), held for SFSU students but open to the general public, also at no charge.

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Morrison Artsts Series Among San Francisco's 10 Best Venues for Free Music

July 6, 2015

THE CULTURE TRIP -- San Francisco may be home to world-famous music venues such as Davies Symphony Hall and The Warfield, but some of the best spots to catch music in San Francisco are completely free. Hosting performances of classical, jazz, world music and more, these 10 venues prove that great live music doesn’t have to cost a fortune — or anything at all. Hosted by San Francisco State University’s College of Liberal and Creative Arts, the under-publicized Morrison Artists Series presents recitals by renowned chamber groups. The 2014 – 15 season included concerts and master classes by the Juilliard String Quartet, ZOFO Piano Duet, and SF State’s own quartet-in-residence, the Alexander String Quartet, among other groups. Most events take place in the spacious Knuth Hall, which is renowned for its excellent acoustics. Although these performances are free, you may need to reserve a ticket in advance; sign up for the Morrison Artists email list to receive concert reminders.

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Afiara Quartet returns to SF State to Premiere Work by Professor Festinger

May 11, 2015

EXAMINER.COM -- Last night in the McKenna Theatre of San Francisco State University, the members of the Afiara Quartet returned to conclude the 2014 – 15 season of the Morrison Artists Series, created as part of the May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Center. This visit clearly meant a lot to the group. As fellowship quartet-in-residence for the 2005 – 06 term, its very existence as a quartet owed much to the coaching of the resident quartet at SF State, the Alexander String Quartet. As a gesture of thanks, the Afiara performed the third string quartet by Richard Festinger, artistic director of the Morrison Artists Series, composed with a commission from the Serge Koussevitzky Foundation at the Library of Congress. Beyond establishing a frame of reference through past repertoire, Afiara brought a sense of engagement to its performance that not only honored the individuality of this new composition but reinforced it with a rhetorical motivation that always kept things moving forward.

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Afiara Quartet to Return to Morrison Artists Series

April 28, 2015

EXAMINER.COM -- When the Afiara Quartet was first establishing its reputation, it served as apprentice fellowship quartet-in-residence at San Francisco State University for the 2005 – 06 term. The group then returned to SFSU in February of 2010 as part of that season’s Morrison Artists Series, created as part of the May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Center. On that occasion their program could be called a “study in dissonance,” juxtaposing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 465 (“Dissonance”) quartet in C major with Alban Berg’s 1926 “Lyric Suite.” Both Mozart and Berg appreciated how dissonance could confront the listener with ambiguities whose resolutions could not be anticipated. However, while Mozart confined his ambiguities to the 22 measures introducing the first movement of his quartet, Berg kept them coming for all six movements of his composition, adding, at one point, the “iconic” ambiguity of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan chord” for good measure.

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Alexander String Quartet: Beethoven for the Masses

January 30, 2015

FLORIDA KEYS KEYNOTER -- Formed in New York City in 1981, the Alexander String Quartet captured international attention as the first American quartet to win the London International String Quartet Competition in 1985. The quartet has received honorary degrees from Allegheny College and Saint Lawrence University. Since 1989, the quartet has been ensemble in residence at San Francisco State.

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