KQED's Cy Musiker and David Wiegand share their picks for great events around the Bay Area this week.
We're always left with a few great items that don't make the main list. Jazz pianist Larry Vuckovich is celebrating his 80th birthday, fingers still flying on the keyboards, on Sunday, Nov. 20, at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Half Moon Bay and Sunday, Dec. 4, at Piedmont Piano in Oakland. Opera Parallele presents Xochitl and the Flowers, a kid's opera with children performers, for free on Sunday, Nov. 20. And Classical Revolution, the San Francisco group that pioneered classical music in bars and clubs around the country, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a free performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at Grace Cathedral. Now the best of the rest.
Nov. 22 and 23: The Berlin Philharmonic is one of the world's great orchestras, and unique in that the musicians pick their own conductor. And this is a goodbye tour for their current choice, the great Simon Rattle, who is stepping down at the end of 2017. They're bringing a challenging program: Webern, Boulez, Berg and Schoenberg, sweetened with Brahms and Mahler. But trust them, this tightly knit orchestra can make sense out of music that baffles lesser musicians. Details for their Davies Hall concerts Nov. 22nd are here, and on Nov. 23rd are here.
Nov. 17–Dec. 11: Edward P. Jones' "All Aunt Hagar's Children" is a terrific noir short story (first published in the New Yorker in 2003) about a Korean War veteran, an African American, who tries to solve the murder of a cousin and finds out more than he wanted to about his family. Now, Word for Word -- the San Francisco company where the actors transform short stories into great drama -- performs Jones' story, in which the nameless hero also deals with class and race issues. You know you're in good hands with Margo Hall (co-directing), Velina Brown, and Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe in the cast. And there's a special performance with Edward P. Jones in conversation with journalist Belva Davis on Dec. 1. Details for the Word for Word production at Z Space are here.