SF Symphony Welcomes the Year of the Monkey

San Francisco Symphony welcomed the Year of the Monkey with a Festival Reception, Chinese New Year Concert and Imperial Dinner on February 13, 2016. Patricia Lee-Hoffmann chaired the event that began with a family-friendly Festival Reception for all ticketholders at 2pm at Davies Symphony Hall. Entertainment and activities such as lion dancing, Chinese calligraphy, complimentary food and desserts preceded the celebratory concert and Imperial Dinner.

Conductor Mei-Ann Chen filled the Chinese New Year Concert with music inspired by both Eastern and Western cultures and traditions. Highlights included “Petals’ Burial (Dai Yu’s Aria),” sung by soprano Pureum Jo. The song is from from a new opera, Dream of the Red Chamber, by Bright Sheng, set to premiere at San Francisco Opera in September of this year. Percussionist Haruka Fujii, transformed large bowls of water into instruments, in a unique performance of “Water Concerto,” by Tan Dun.

Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall transformed to a pagoda-side setting for the Chinese New Year Imperial Dinner chaired by Leigh Wasson. Video projection, subdued lighting, and aerialists performed while some 350 guests dined on a six-course Chinese banquet.

Scenes from the event:

Photos by Agency Moanalani Jeffrey

— Related: Red Carpet Bay Area coverage of past San Francisco Symphony Chinese New Year events