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Volti Concerts, San Francisco Bay Area

Location: California, USA
Choir type: Chamber Choirs and Vocal Ensembles
Voicing: Mixed
Volti* concerts are coming up at the end of this month! You don't want to miss this music, including three world premieres: settings of humorous Buddhist-influenced Billy Collins poems by Yu Hui Chang; a setting of a fragment of the original Greek from Deuteronomy by Jean Ahn; and a suite of pieces for the combined choirs of Volti and Ensemble (from Piedmont Choirs) by Mark Winges. Also on the program are settings of a mystical Nahuatl poem by Felipe Perez-Santiago and "El sonido dulce de tu voz" by Orlando Jacinto Garcia. Bob Geary will moderate a pre-concert discussion with composers starting 20 minutes before each concert. For tickets, go to

February 26, 2010
8:00PM St. Mark's Episcopal Church
2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

February 27, 2010
8:00PM St. Mark's Lutheran Church
1111 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco

February 28, 2010
5:00PM St. John's Episcopal Church
Corner of Lagunitas & Shady Lane, Ross
*What the heck is a "Volti"??? Read on:

Robert Geary established the San Francisco Chamber Singers in 1979. The group favored the music of Benjamin Britten and other 20 th century composers early on, and soon began to focus on today's music. By the 1990s the ensemble was basing its programming almost exclusively on premieres and commissions from living composers. For its 25 th anniversary season in 2003/04, the choir adopted a new name- Volti. Evoking the hallmark energy, vigor and forward-looking spirit of the group, the new name was taken from the musical expression volti subito, which directs musicians to "turn [the page] quickly," or "look ahead").

Now celebrating its 31st season, Volti showcases American contemporary music and composers and introduces contemporary music from around the world to Bay Area audiences. Working with some of the most creative and original established and emerging American composers, the professional singers of Volti are devoted to a diverse repertoire and the newest music, including multiple premieres and commissions each season. With over 500 performances to its credit, the group has become one of America's renowned choirs, repeatedly recognized as a pioneering force in the contemporary choral performance field. In June of 2009 the American Society for Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) awarded Volti its Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music for the sixth time. Volti is the first and only chorus to receive this award so many times. Bob Geary says he thinks of Volti as "the R&D arm of the choral world."

San Francisco critics have praised Volti's "stunning performances" of "unique and ambitious program[s]." Critic Jules Langert of the San Francisco Classical Voice called the group "an important and formidable local asset, immensely rewarding to hear in repertoire that no one else seems to be taking on." In 2008, SFCV's Georgia Rowe called the group "one of the Bay Area's most consistent musical treasures." And Charles Amirkhanian of Other Minds praises Volti's "innovative and visionary spirit that is willing to push boundaries and take an active role in shaping our musical landscape and future."

This is not your grandmother's choir.

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