Upcoming Events: All

Wed 8/19

Image - U.C. President Janet Napolitano Interviews Charlotte Jacobs, M.D.

U.C. President Janet Napolitano Interviews Charlotte Jacobs, M.D.

Date: Wed, August 19, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
The Legacy of Jonas Salk

The Legacy of Jonas Salk

Janet Napolitano, President of University of California; Former Secretary of Homeland Security; Former Governor of Arizona
Charlotte Jacobs, M.D. Professor of Medicine (Emerita), Stanford University; Author, Jonas Salk: A Life

Part of The Club’s Good Lit Series, Underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation

Sixty years ago, physician-researcher Jonas Salk changed human history by inventing the polio vaccine. His work has saved countless lives and helped shaped the medical field as we know it today. Recently, Dr. Charlotte Jacobs has published the first comprehensive biography, Jonas Salk: A Life. She and Janet Napolitano will sit down and discuss her book that explores Jonas Salk’s life and legacy. The first in a limited series of interviews, Napolitano talks with Jacobs and uses the biography as the centerpiece for discussion about the best practices of vaccinations, preventing pandemics and saving lives.

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.

Image - Country Joe McDonald: Music As a Vehicle for Social Justice

Country Joe McDonald: Music As a Vehicle for Social Justice

Date: Thu, August 20, 2015
Time: 5:15 PM
With Country Joe McDonald

Country Joe McDonald, Lead Vocals, Country Joe and the Fish

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

In the late 1960’s to early ’70’s, music was one of largest tools used in the protest against the Vietnam War. The “music as a weapon” mentality is still very much alive today, and one of the artists from the Vietnam Era will show us how. Country Joe McDonald has been a lifelong advocate for peaceful social change. Equipped only with a guitar, Country Joe will delight and entertain The Commonwealth Club with song and story to inspire everyone to make a positive difference in this world. Fair warning, there may be a sing-along or two.

Come watch this world-famous entertainer bring an audience together and make them think.

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

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

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.

Music Matters

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

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

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. 

Image - Why Music Education Didn’t Disappear

Why Music Education Didn’t Disappear

Date: Mon, August 24, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Michael Hammond, Music Teacher, Berkeley Public Schools

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

Under Proposition 13, music education in California elementary schools could have easily disappeared due to the lack of state funding. Fortunately, private funding has stepped up in many communities — for example, Berkeley’s 1986 local tax, the Berkeley Schools Excellence Project (BSEP). Almost $2 million of Berkeley’s funds for music and the visual performing arts came from the BESP this past year. Join us as Michael Hammond, a native of Berkeley’s public schools and current music teacher for the community, tells his stories of teaching music to Berkeley’s newest generation and making music matter in their lives.

Music Matters

Tue 8/25

Image - Orchestra Music Grown Locally

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
David Conte, Composer
Mason Bates, Composer
Gabriela Frank, Composer 
Additional panelists TBA

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

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. 

Image - How We Listen to Music

How We Listen to Music

Date: Tue, August 25, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Joel Selvin, Music Critic, SF Chronicle; Author, Here Comes the Night
Davey D, Hip Hop Journalist; Founder, Hard Knock Radio, KPFA
Emma Silvers, Interactive Producer, KQED
Gabe Meline, Music Editor and Curator, KQED Arts - Moderator

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

Streaming has given everyone instant, and mostly free, access to any type of music they wish. This music revolution seems like a giant leap forward for listeners and aspiring artists alike. However, Gabe Meline sees this as potentially harmful to both the art and the industry. How can the industry make any money when listeners can stream a song free? How does a musician get the time their song deserves when the average listener has an increasingly diminishing attention span? Award-winning music writer and editor Gabe Meline considers the implications of our listening habits for the near future in which an elevated form of art is becoming increasingly disposable.

Music Matters

Image - Congressman Mark DeSaulnier: Representing California’s 11th District

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier: Representing California’s 11th District

Date: Tue, August 25, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

Mark DeSaulnier, Member of U.S. House of Representatives (D-CA)
In conversation with Josh Richman, Political Reporter, Bay Area News Group; Twitter: @Josh_Richman

This past January, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier was sworn in as a member of the 114th Congress, representing California’s 11th District and a majority of Contra Costa County. Since taking office, he has already voted on a number of significant bills, including fast-track authority for the Trans Pacific Partnership and approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Prior to moving to Capitol Hill, congressman DeSaulnier served the public in a variety of roles, including as Concord city councilmember, mayor, Contra Costa county supervisor, California state assemblyman and California state senator.

Join your new local congressman as he discusses his freshman year on the Hill, upcoming legislation, and important issues such as gun violence prevention, retirement security and climate change.

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. 

Music Matters

Image - The Crossroads of Food and Rock 'n' Roll

The Crossroads of Food and Rock 'n' Roll

Date: Wed, August 26, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Our city’s food and music scenes

John Paluska, Owner, Comal, The Advocate
Ken Friedman, Co-Owner, Tosca Café, The Spotted Pig, The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, The John Dory Oyster Bar, Salvation Taco
Dave McLean, Founder & Brewmaster, Magnolia Brewing Company
Dan Stone, Founder & Editor in Chief, Radio Silence – Moderator

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

In recent years, the confluence of food and music has become more apparent with festivals like Outside Lands and restaurants that double as concert venues. Both industries seem to overlap and intertwine as longtime music industry vets are leaving their careers to open restaurants, and people who are passionate about food and music are finding ways to incorporate the two. In this panel discussion, moderated by Dan Stone, you’ll hear perspectives from several Bay Area luminaries who’ve helped shape our city’s food and music scenes.

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.

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

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

Each member of this inspiring panel employs music to grapple with pressing social issues. Stull explores how music can rebuild and uplift communities through hardship and conflict. As an award-winning film director, Brown's third feature film, Kè Kontan / Joyful Heart, follows the Holy Trinity Music School in Haiti as it navigates poverty, crime, and natural disaster. Tolan’s recently published book Children of the Stone tells the journey of a young Palestinian man as he builds a music conservatory under military occupation. Rodriguez (SF Conservatory of Music alumnus ‘87) founded Los Cenzontles in crime-ridden Richmond, California, creating an enduring arts space in a strip mall. Join us as we hear how Brown, Tolan, Rodriguez and Stull use their work to positively influence the community. Music Matters

Image - Music from the Inside Out: Film and Q&A
This event is Canceled

Music from the Inside Out: Film and Q&A

Date: Thu, August 27, 2015
Time: 6:45 PM
Special insight into musicians’ creative energies.

Cyrus Ginwala, Music Director, San Francisco State University

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

Late filmmaker Daniel Anker won an Oscar nomination and Emmy for the 2001 film Scottsboro: An American Tragedy. Anker’s most personal film is his engaging documentary, Music from the Inside Out, released in 2004, about the Philadelphia Orchestra. Because Anker was a lifelong musician himself, his film offers special insight into musicians’ lives and their creative energies and illuminates further why music matters. The San Francisco Chronicle termed it, “Unforgettable! Beautiful and utterly entrancing!” and the Raleigh Observer found it “lifts the veil that separates musicians from their audiences.”

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see it on the big screen at Oakland’s New Parkway Theater, followed by a Q&A led by Cyrus Ginwala, music director at San Francisco State University, and including local orchestra musicians.

Fri 8/28

Image - Death With Interruptions

Death With Interruptions

Date: Fri, August 28, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
An opera about when death sends victims a week’s notice

Thomas Laqueur, Librettist; Helen Fawcett History Professor, UC Berkeley
Nikki Einfeld, Soprano
Leighton 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.

Music Matters

Mon 8/31

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, August 31, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Make your voice heard!

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan. Each month, the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic frequently suggested by recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a brief planning session.

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

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

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 a 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.

Image - Bill McDermott: CEO of SAP
This event is Postponed

Bill McDermott: CEO of SAP

Date: Tue, September 01, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP; Twitter @BillRMCDermott

This program is underwritten by Accenture.

SAP is the world’s market leader in business software, with more than 291,000 customers in 190 different countries. Bill McDermott, as the CEO, leads millions in executing SAP’s vision and strategy to make the world run better and improve people’s lives. Learn helpful tips from McDermott about leading with purpose as he discusses his unique start as a young entrepreneur. Also, hear his thoughts on leadership and innovation in today’s competitive global market. Accenture Logo