Upcoming Events: San Francisco

Thu 8/13

Image - Design & Tech with John Maeda

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 - Nicholas McGegan: Baroque Music Matters

Nicholas McGegan: Baroque Music Matters

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

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. 

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

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.

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.

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.

Panelists TBA

The summer's almost over, and it's already had a lot going on in the political sphere. New candidates launching their campaigns. Politicians getting into trouble. Proposals floated to deal with major problems.

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

“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 is bringing her musical talent to The Commonwealth Club to show how one raises one’s voice with power, determination and energy.

Full Body Forward is intended for all those who have longed to raise their voices with power, determination and energy. Participants do not need singing experience to attend. Music Matters

Thu 8/20

Chinatown Walking Tour

Date: Thu, August 20, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
A neighborhood adventure with Rick Evans.

Enjoy a Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure. Join Rick Evans for a memorable midday walk and discover the history and mysteries of Chinatown. Explore colorful alleys and side streets. Visit a Taoist temple, an herbal store, the site of the first public school in the state, and the famous Fortune Cookie Factory.

Fri 8/21

Image - Vox Mundi: Sound and Voice

Vox Mundi: Sound and Voice

Date: Fri, August 21, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Silvia Nakkach, Award-Winning Composer; Former Psychotherapist; Faculty Member, California Institute of Integral Studies; Founder and Artistic Director, Vox Mundi
Val Serrant, Traditional Drum and Steel Drum Performer; Vocalist; Caribbean Arts Lecturer, U.C. Berkeley

Silvia Nakkach, classical Indian musician, and Val Serrant, drum/steel drum percussionist, will display the richness of their indigenous musical traditions from their different backgrounds, through performance and dialogue. They will also engage the audience’s participation in the healing power of music, so prepare yourself to personally embrace why music matters around the world. Music Matters

Mon 8/24

Image - Why Music Therapy Matters for the Special-Needs Student

Why Music Therapy Matters for the Special-Needs Student

Date: Mon, August 24, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
The opportunity to realize musical gifts.

Susan Rancer, Registered Music Therapist

Henny Kupferstein, Graduate Student; Musical Savant; Autism researcher

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

Many parents dream of their children studying piano. For parents of special-needs children, this dream can be realized through channels that honor children's individual strengths and needs. Non-verbal and special-needs students often do not have the opportunity to realize their musical gifts. Rancer is a registered music therapist who works with clients one-on-one, teaching students in a highly specialized manner. Kupferstein is a musical savant who says she lives inside the sensory experience of her music students. In collaboration, they have developed a methodology and evidence-based practice for successful musical and educational outcomes.

Image - Singing for Our Lives: Music in the Time of AIDS

Singing for Our Lives: Music in the Time of AIDS

Date: Mon, August 24, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With conductor Jon Bailey

Jon Bailey, Conductor; Composer; Professor Emeritus, Pomona College

More than 1.2 million people are living with HIV infections in the United States, and gay and bisexual men are the ones more severely affected by HIV. Jon Bailey, artistic director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles for 13 years, uses his past experience and knowledge during the dark time of the AIDS crisis to speak about how the power of music can create a community and heal spirits. 

Tue 8/25

Orchestra Music Grown Locally

Date: Tue, August 25, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
A panel discussion

Michael Morgan, Music Director, East Bay Symphony Orchestra and Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra; Artistic Director, Festival Opera, Walnut Creek
Additional panelists TBA

Music can be a catalyst for pulling together communities. The Bay Area, specifically, has benefitted from orchestras and the wide variety of music being written by local composers. Michael Morgan, music director of the East Bay Symphony Orchestra, has helped bring in awards for adventurous programming and excellence in community engagement. Join us for a conversation with Morgan and several other composers and conductors discussing the significance of locally grown music. 

Wed 8/26

Image - Mozart and Masonic Semiotics

Mozart and Masonic Semiotics

Date: Wed, August 26, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With Mozart scholar Steven Machtinger

Steven Machtinger, Attorney; Violist; Independent Mozart Scholar

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

Steven Machtinger and the London Quintet return to The Commonwealth Club for the Music Matters series, this time exploring how Mozart expressed Masonic attitudes toward death and immortality in the third movement of his G minor String Quintet of 1787. 

Thu 8/27

Image - Changing Times and Indian Classical Music

Changing Times and Indian Classical Music

Date: Thu, August 27, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Mahesh Kale, Indian Classical Music Performer and Theoretician

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

Since the time of its evolution, a few thousand years ago, Indian classical music has undergone several changes in its form. Every time there was a social impact on Indian civilization, its classical music morphed beautifully, lending itself to the changing times. Kale's talk will touch upon how the music adapted itself to major social impacts right up to the recent times of globalization, which poses a new challenge to the music and its followers, yet continues to demonstrate how much music matters.

Image - The Gift of Music: Building Sanctuaries of Learning and Hope

The Gift of Music: Building Sanctuaries of Learning and Hope

Date: Thu, August 27, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
With SF Conservatory President David Stull

Owsley Brown III, Producer; Director
Sandy Tolan, Journalist; Author
Eugene Rodriguez, Executive Director, Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy
David Stull, President, San Francisco Conservatory of Music – Moderator

Stull leads a discussion on how music can rebuild and uplift communities through hardship and conflict. Join us as we hear how Brown, Tolan and Rodriguez use their work to positively influence the community. Music Matters

Fri 8/28

Image - Death With Interruptions

Death With Interruptions

Date: Fri, August 28, 2015
Time: 12:00 AM
An opera about when death sends victims a week’s notice

Thomas Laqueur, Librettist; Helen Fawcett History Professor, UC Berkeley
Nikki Einfeld, Soprano
Leigheton Fong, Cellist

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

"Death with Interruptions" is an opera about what happens when death, after taking a break, agrees to come back to work on the condition that she gets to send victims a week’s notice. One letter inexplicably keeps being returned. She becomes human to investigate and discovers that the would-be recipient is a cellist. His music beguiles her and she falls in love. Thomas Laqueur will introduce the program and speak about Nobel Prize winner Jose Sarramago’s novel Death with Interruptions on which the opera is based. Opera excerpts are by Left Coast Chamber Ensemble.

Mon 8/31

Image - Body Music: An Interactive Lecture and Demonstration by Keith Terry

Body Music: An Interactive Lecture and Demonstration by Keith Terry

Date: Mon, August 31, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Keith Terry, Percussionist; Rhythm Dancer; Educator

The oldest musical instrument in the world is the human body, on which any surface can be used for rhythmic possibilities. Terry has mastered the art of using just his body to create a variety of sounds and rhythms. Clapping his hands, stamping his feet, slapping his chest and popping his cheeks are just few ways Terry plays his body as an instrument and creates “body music.”

Body music, also known as body percussion and body drumming, is the oldest type of music on this planet. Traditional body music around the world ranges from African-American hambone and Flamenco Palmas from Spain, to Sumatran Saman and Ethiopian Armpit music. However, since 1978, Terry has developed a contemporary style of body music based on his training as a jazz drummer, as well as his years of intensive study and collaboration with world rhythmic systems.

Experience Terry’s electric performance, which is both music and dance, that inspires audiences of all ages to join in on the fun. Music Matters

Tue 9/1

Image - Human Need not Apply: The Age of Artificial Intelligence

Human Need not Apply: The Age of Artificial Intelligence

Date: Tue, September 01, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With author Jerry Kaplan

Jerry Kaplan, Entrepreneur; Technical Innovator; Author; Futurist

Computers with artificial intelligence, or AI, date back to the 1950s, and since then, the technology has advanced to all sorts of new levels. It seems that the average American now depends on AI several times throughout the day. Computers aren’t just computers anymore. They are becoming much more than that, and the advancement of this technology has many people discussing the dangers of “synthetic intellects.”

Jerry Kaplan, serial entrepreneur, technical innovator, best-selling author and futurist, is one of the many who questions the impact of AIs in our society. Join us as Kaplan informs us of the several eye-opening possibilities, such as robots transcending the factory floor, working alongside human laborers of all kinds, and how the law is likely to recognize AIs as “artificial persons” for many purposes.

Wed 9/2

Image - SCOBLE on Startups 2015: Context, Cloud and Bleeding Edge Tech

SCOBLE on Startups 2015: Context, Cloud and Bleeding Edge Tech

Date: Wed, September 02, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Tech evangelist and author

Robert Scoble, Chief Startup Liaison, Rackspace; Author, Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy
In conversation with Kevin O’Malley, President TechTalk / Studio

Top tech evangelist Robert Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology. He's interviewed thousands of executives and innovators, and continues to report on what he learns in books like The Age of Context and through social media, where he has a huge following. Join Scoble to learn about the latest and greatest startups, trends and devices he’s uncovering for 2015 and beyond.

Thu 9/3

Image - North Beach Walking Tour

North Beach Walking Tour

Date: Thu, September 03, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
A neighborhood adventure with Rick Evans
Join another Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure! Explore vibrant North Beach with Rick Evans during a two-hour walk through this neighborhood with a colorful past, where food, culture, history and unexpected views all intersect in an Italian “urban village.” In addition to learning about Beat generation hangouts, you’ll discover authentic Italian cathedrals and coffee shops.