Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Mon 8/3

Image - A Beacon for Jazz

A Beacon for Jazz

Date: Mon, August 03, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With broadcaster and musician Sonny Buxton

Sonny Buxton, Broadcaster; Musician; Impresario; Educator

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

A beacon for jazz since the 1960s, KCSM Jazz 91’s Sonny Buxton has been a spokesperson for how and why music matters throughout his career as a musician, nightclub impresario, talk show host, jazz historian, archivist and advocate.

Renowned as a master storyteller, Sonny will share highlights of the jazz experience (his own and others) that led to his 2013 award as a "Jazz Hero" by the National Jazz Journalists Association. 

Image - Why Do People Reject Good Science?

Why Do People Reject Good Science?

Date: Mon, August 03, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
With Dr. Eugenie Scott, Physical Anthropologist

Dr. Eugenie Scott, Physical Anthropologist; Former Executive Director, National Center for Science Education; Author, Evolution vs. Creationism; Co-editor, Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools

Scientists are often puzzled when members of the public reject what they consider to be well-founded explanations. They can’t understand why the presentation of scientific data and theory doesn’t suffice to convince others of the validity of “controversial” topics like evolution and climate change. Recent research highlights the importance of ideology in shaping what scientific conclusions are considered reliable and acceptable. This research is quite relevant to the evolution wars and public opposition to climate change, and to other questions of the rejection of empirical evidence. Scott has received national recognition for her NCSE activities, including awards from scientific societies, educational societies, skeptics groups and humanist groups.

Book Discussion: Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim

Date: Mon, August 03, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
A serious study of this American genre.

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

This book is not a collection of backstage gossip but a serious study of this American genre that treats its musical scores as structures worthy of analysis. The nature of the genre involves various stagings of the major works considered and the participants who left their marks on them. “Anything Goes,” “Porgy and Bess,” “On Your Toes,” “Pal Joey,” “The Cradle Will Rock,” “Lady in the Dark,” “One Touch of Venus,” “Carousel,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Guys and Dolls,” “My Fair Lady” and “West Side Story” receive thoughtful attention. Music Matters

Wed 8/5

Image - Who's Afraid of Opera? Exploring the Wonderful World of Music’

Who's Afraid of Opera? Exploring the Wonderful World of Music’s Grandest Art

Date: Wed, August 05, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With dramaturg with the SF Opera, Kip Cranna

Kip Cranna, Dramaturg, San Francisco Opera

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

It’s glorious. It’s grand. It’s larger than life. It’s opera. San Francisco Opera’s longtime staff member Kip Cranna, a noted Bay Area music-appreciation speaker, offers an insider’s look at the world of opera and a whirlwind tour through opera’s 400-year long history, using video examples (with subtitles) to illustrate the evolution of this multi-faceted, fascinating and continuingly vital art. Music Matters

Thu 8/6

Image - Russian Hill Walking Tour

Russian Hill Walking Tour

Date: Thu, August 06, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
An active neighborhood adventure!

Join a more active Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure! Russian Hill is a magical area with secret gardens and amazing views. Join Rick Evans for a two-hour hike up hills and staircases and learn about the history of this neighborhood. See where great artists and architects lived and worked, and walk down residential streets where some of the most historically significant houses in the Bay Area are located.

Image - Sunset Youth Services Music Program for High-Risk Kids

Sunset Youth Services Music Program for High-Risk Kids

Date: Thu, August 06, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With Co-founder and Executive Director Dawn Stueckle

Dawn Stueckle, Co-founder and Executive Director, Sunset Youth Services

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Stueckle has discovered that music plays a vital role when working with high-risk youth and families. At Sunset Youth Services, Stueckle and her team aim to create programs that cater to youths' desire for change while acknowledging the barriers they face. This line of thinking has led to innovative services such as a youth-run record label and mobile recording studios that meet the young people where they are in life. This approach allows staff to work toward earning the right to journey with and support young people as they make positive changes. Come discuss the use of digital arts and music as a tool for health and wholeness. 

Music Matters

Fri 8/7

Image - Cracking the Music Ceiling: Why Women Matter

Cracking the Music Ceiling: Why Women Matter

Date: Fri, August 07, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With composer and choirmaster Lisa Bielawa

Lisa Bielawa, Music Composer; Vocalist, Philip Glass Ensemble; Artistic Director, SF Girls Chorus

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Rome Prize-winning music composer Lisa Bielawa is a passionate and articulate advocate for women’s experiences in music careers. A San Francisco native, Bielawa was born into a musical family, sang in the New York Philharmonic’s professional chorus, has held residencies worldwide and has been an artistic collaborator with Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson and Paul Simon. Her groundbreaking composer-led projects include the spatialized symphony airfield broadcasts at Crissy Field in 2013 and the opera "Verio," performed in 2015 via broadcast and online media release.

 

Image - Sunset Piano and the Thirteenth Tone

Beyond the Thirteenth Tone

Date: Fri, August 07, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Pianos on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Mauro ffortissimo, Artist; Musician; Founding Member, Enso Art Collective; Founding Member, Miles Davis Memorial Hall
Dean Mermell, Owner and Director, Storyfarm Productions

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

When Mauro ffortissimo placed an old piano onto the bluffs of the San Mateo coast in February, 2013, played it for two weeks, and burned it, a lot of people noticed. Filmmaker friend Dean Mermell joined forces with Mauro, forming the Sunset Piano project, which began installing (and deconstructing) pianos at select outdoor locations in the Bay Area. On the heels of their Flower Piano project in Golden Gate Park, Mauro and Dean will talk about their work and play a “liberated” piano in concert with a “prepared” piano in the style of John Cage.

Mon 8/10

Image - Pythagoras Thought Music Matters

Pythagoras Thought Music Matters

Date: Mon, August 10, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author George Hammond

George Hammond, Author, Conversations With Socrates and Rational Idealism

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Monday Night Philosophy understands thoroughly that music matters. Pythagoras (whom we all know from basic geometry) thought so, too – he is well known for having uncovered the mathematical ratios underlying musical harmonies. He was so taken with his discovery that he proclaimed "all is number," and that there is a divine harmony, a music of the spheres, caused by the planets racing around a central fire in perfectly circular orbits. This first idea led directly to the development of the lush harmonies that came to define European classical music. The second, while partially obfuscating the realities of our solar system, nevertheless inspired Ptolemy, Copernicus and Newton in their search for the physical truth of our universe. Join us for a conversation of where the excitement with sound all began.

Music Matters

Tue 8/11

Image - Music Education and the Complete Human Being

Music Education and the Complete Human Being

Date: Tue, August 11, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With SF Conservatory of Music's Joan Gordon

Joan Gordon, Director, Pre-College and Adult Extension Divisions, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

The study of the arts, particularly music, is well documented as having a positive effect on the brain. This presentation will address the importance of providing young people with a comprehensive musical education that sets private study of an instrument within the context of ear training, theory and ensemble participation. These skills serve the students in all aspects of life in addition to their musical endeavors. The evening will include performances by student musicians.

Music Matters

Wed 8/12

Image - Music of Remembrance

Music of Remembrance

Date: Wed, August 12, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With composer Jake Heggie and artistic director Mina Miller

Jake Heggie, American Composer and Pianist
Mina Miller, Founder and Artistic Director, Music of Remembrance
Kip Cranna, Dramaturg, SF Opera - Moderator

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Since 1998, Music of Remembrance has remembered the Holocaust and honored its legacy by preserving and performing music by composers of that period, and by commissioning today’s leading composers to create new works that tell important stories. These commissions have included major works by Jake Heggie, arguably the most important American opera composer of our day. A recent Wall Street Journal article said of Heggie: “He reduces major universal issues to credible personal stories, to which a listener can connect.” Heggie also is an unusually courageous composer, unafraid of addressing complex social and human questions.

In this evening’s conversation moderated by Kip Cranna, Heggie and Music of Remembrance’s Mina Miller will share musical examples and a preview of Heggie’s compelling new opera “Out of Darkness,” slated for its world premiere in Seattle and San Francisco next May. This eloquent portrait of survival conveys the Holocaust’s vast scope by weaving together true stories of those caught in its grasp: a prisoner in Auschwitz who dared to create poems of defiance under the noses of her captors, and two idealistic young gay men whose lives and love were torn apart by Nazi persecution.

Music Matters

Image - Why Music? The Confessions of a Willing Prisoner of the Violin

Why Music? The Confessions of a Willing Prisoner of the Violin

Date: Wed, August 12, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With Assistant Concertmaster Mark Volkert.

Mark Volkert, Assistant Concertmaster, San Francisco Symphony

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Volkert’s talk will blend biography and his philosophy on music, peppered with interesting anecdotes and tales from the trenches. A violinist with the San Francisco Symphony since 1972, he has been assistant concertmaster since 1980.

Music Matters

Thu 8/13

"And She Can Sing..." Music as a Portal to the Person

"And She Can Sing..." Music as a Portal to the Person

Date: Thu, August 13, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
Music engaging people with memory loss and disorientation

Mary Hulme, LCSW, ASW-G, C-SWHC, Geriatrician
Odile Lavault, Recreational Therapist 
Theresa Allison, MD, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Geriatrics, UCSF

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

The panel will discuss the remarkable role of music in engaging people who are suffering from memory loss and disorientation. Combining film clips, a PowerPoint presentation and live music, the speakers will show how to use improvisation, openness, patience and optimism in the practice of validation to see that there is a reason behind all behaviors. Learn how, through observing and listening with empathy, one may learn what to say and do to engage those with dementias. It will be both educational and entertaining.

Music Matters
Image - Design & Tech with John Maeda
This event is Sold Out

Design & Tech with John Maeda

Date: Thu, August 13, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Design is changing the game in Silicon Valley

John Maeda, Design Partner, KPCB; Former President, RISD

Design is changing the game in Silicon Valley and impacting the way tech is integrated into our everyday lives. Join us as John Maeda discusses the exciting changes that are happening at the intersection of design and technology. Last year, he joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) as the firm’s first-ever design partner and has since released his #DesignInTech Report which highlights insightful business-design trends. His analysis ranges from industry big picture, such as Google and Facebook’s atypical acquisition of 14 creative firms, to up close and personal: mobile users are checking their phones every 5.6 minutes. Hear from John Maeda as he helps us unfold how design is changing how we interact, work, hire, code and create.

Fri 8/14

Image - Paul Solman: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security

Paul Solman: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security

Date: Fri, August 14, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM

Paul Solman, Business and Economics Correspondent, “PBS NewsHour”; Co-Author, Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security; Twitter @paulsolman
Michael Finney, Consumer Reporter, “7 On Your Side”, KGO San Francisco - Moderator

Want to know how to navigate the forbidding maze of Social Security and emerge with the highest possible benefits? You could try reading all 2,728 rules of the Social Security system (and the thousands of explanations of these rules), but Solman explains Social Security benefits in an easy-to-understand and user-friendly style. What you don’t know can seriously hurt you: wrong decisions about which Social Security benefits to apply for cost some individual retirees tens of thousands of dollars in lost income every year. Learn the secrets to maximizing your Social Security benefits and earn up to thousands of dollars more each year with expert advice that you can’t get anywhere else. You’ve paid all your working life for these benefits. Now, get what’s yours.

Image - Nicholas McGegan: Baroque Music Matters

Nicholas McGegan: Baroque Music Matters

Date: Fri, August 14, 2015
Time: 1:00 PM
In conversation with professor Kate van Orden

Nicholas McGegan, Music Director, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; Conductor
In conversation with Kate van Orden, Professor of Music, Harvard University

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Kate van Orden, professor of music at Harvard University, sits down with Nicholas McGegan, who is increasingly recognized for his probing and revelatory explorations of music of all periods. Listeners will gain insight into McGegan’s career as a conductor and leader of a world-class orchestra, and his views on baroque music’s continuing appeal as an art form – and why that matters. 

Mon 8/17

Image - The Music of Cinema

The Music of Cinema

Date: Mon, August 17, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
A rich multimedia presentation.

Scott Foglesong, Chair, Department of Musicianship and Music Theory, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

Music for the movies has its own language, idioms and styles. It originated, paradoxically enough, in the silent cinema where music served to mask projection noises in addition to providing helpful cues to the onscreen action, then came into its own with the advent of talkies. We’ll be covering that film music in a rich multimedia presentation that starts with a close look at Max Steiner’s breakthrough score for the 1933 King Kong and the late-Romantic language of Hollywood, including composers such as Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Franz Waxman. Then came the inevitable reaction by a younger generation of composers such as Bernard Herrmann and Alex North, who approached film music with a distinctly eclectic and experimental sensibility. We’ll end with today’s leading film music composers, and examine the music for one extended sequence in a major film.

Music Matters

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, August 17, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Discussion of philosophical issues.

On one Monday evening of every month the Humanities Forum sponsors Socrates Café at The Commonwealth Club. Each meeting is devoted to the discussion of a philosophical topic chosen at that meeting. The group's facilitator, John Nyquist, invites participants to suggest topics, which are then voted on. The person who proposed the most popular topic is asked to briefly explain why she or he considers that topic interesting and important. An open discussion follows, and the meeting ends with a summary of the various perspectives participants expressed. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 8/17/15

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 8/17/15

Date: Mon, August 17, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Informative and engaging commentary on political news.

Carson Bruno, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Specializing in California's Political and Policy Landscape; Twitter @CarsonJFBruno
Melissa Griffin Caen, Contributor, CBS SF (“Mornings with Melissa”) and San Francisco Magazine; Attorney; Twitter @melissacaen1
Additional panelist TBA

Join us as we explore the biggest, most controversial, and sometimes the surprising political issues with expert commentary by panelists who are smart, are civil, and have a good sense of humor. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our live news quiz!

And come early before the program to meet other smart and engaged individuals and discuss the news over snacks and wine at our member social (open to all attendees).

Tue 8/18

Image - Music Matters: Full Body Forward!

Music Matters: Full Body Forward!

Date: Tue, August 18, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With singer and activist Melanie DeMore

Melanie DeMore, Singer/Songwriter; Composer; Conductor; Vocal Activist

This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.

“A song can hold you up when there seems to be no ground beneath you,” says Melanie DeMore. With an established career of 30 years in music, Melanie has used her voice to inspire social and political change as well as preserving the African American folk tradition through song and Gullah stick pounding. Now Melanie brings her musical talent and Full Body Forward to The Commonwealth Club to show how one raises one’s voice with power, determination and energy. Participants do not need singing experience to attend.

For more information on Melanie please visit her website here.Music Matters