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 2017 Tenth Anniversary Festival Announcement

2017 Tenth Switchboard Festival Announcement

San Francisco, April 5 – On June 10 at Z Space, Switchboard Music celebrates its tenth anniversary with a six-hour festival featuring the Kronos Quartet. The festival, which runs from 3-9pm, will also feature cellist Teddy Rankin-Parker performing music by Michael Beharie; Ryan Brown’s Mortal Lessons, Ramon and Jessica’s Roses are Blue, the SF Conservatory Percussion Quartet, Billygoat, Splinter Reeds, and a return performance by the Kronos Quartet.

The Switchboard Music Festival is the flagship event of San Francisco’s Switchboard Music, which  supports the creation and performance of new music in the Bay Area by engaging artists and audiences from a wide variety of musical communities. On June 10, the Switchboard Music Festival will present seven sets of eclectic music as well as a mid-Festival birthday party celebrating ten years of Switchboard.

In its ten years, Switchboard Music has presented 127 hours of music: 168 sets featuring 40+ premieres and 850+ musicians from emerging, established, large, and small ensembles including the Kronos Quartet, Zoe Keating, Pamela Z, Paul Dresher, Carla Kihlstedt, Jazz Mafia, and many more. Founded in 2008 by Ryan Brown, Jeff Anderle, and Jonathan Russell and co-directed by Brown, Anderle, and Annie Phillips, Switchboard was the only organization on the West Coast to win an ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming in 2015.

3:00 Paul Lansky’s Threads & selections from Steve Reich’s Drumming    

The San Francisco Conservatory percussion quartet performs selections from Paul Lansky’s Threads, written for So Percussion, and Steve Reich’s Drumming.

3:45 Some other Fields: Teddy Rankin-Parker plays music by Michael Beharie

Some Other Fields is an ongoing collaboration between Bay Area cellist Teddy Rankin- Parker and New York-based composer Michael Beharie. Based on a longstanding interest in how the physical constraints of an instrument informs its repertoire, Some Other Fields aims to create a processed and amplified cello that demands its own conventions and performance practice.

4:30 Ryan Brown’s Mortal Lessons

This is the second installment of a large, hour-long work for vocal quartet, percussion quartet, and two keyboards, based on a book with the same name by Dr. Richard Selzer. This semi-staged work uses Dr. Selzer’s lyrical, and often graphic, musings on surgery and the mysteries of the human body. Not quite an opera, and not really music theater, this work is a “medical oratorio” that teases out the sacred elements in the operating theater.

5:25   Ramon & Jessica’s Roses are Blue

The music of Roses Are Blue explores Gertrude Stein’s gorgeously imagistic and quirky book for children, The World is Round, published in 1939. Using lyrical melodies and complex rhythms to tell the story of the young adventurer Rose and her fellow characters. Like the book, this music speaks to audiences of all ages through music that is both strange and playful, evocative and challenging.

6:10 Billygoat

Billygoat—a two-man band who animate, compose and score their own stop-motion films from their St. Johns home in Portland—will present a film screening synced with a live music performance.  David Klein and Nick Woolley photograph their subjects frame by frame, then print and install the 2-D images one at a time into dynamic handcrafted 3-D landscapes.

6:40 Switchboard’s Tenth Birthday Party

In celebration of its tenth year, Switchboard will host a birthday party in the lobby of Z Space, featuring free cake and beer (21+) plus an installation of interactive musical instruments designed by Dennis Aman.

7:30 Splinter Reeds

Splinter Reeds is the Bay Area’s first reed quintet, comprising five innovative musicians with a shared passion for new music. The ensemble is committed to presenting top tier performances of today’s best contemporary composition, showcasing the vast possibilities of the reed quintet, commissioning new works, and collaborating with fellow musicians and artists.

8:15 Kronos Quartet

For more than 40 years, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. At Switchboard, Kronos will perform two works from its Fifty for the Future commissioning project: Rhiannon Middens (arr. Jacob Garchick)’s At the Purchaser’s Option and Laurie Anderson’s Shutter Island, plus N. Rajam (arr. Reina Esmail)’s Dadra in Raga Bhairavi.



What: Switchboard Music Festival

When: Saturday, June 10 from 3-9pm

Where: Z Space, 450 Florida Street, San Francisco

Program: Includes headliners the Kronos Quartet, plus: Teddy Rankin-Parker performing music by Michael Beharie; Ryan Brown’s Mortal Lessons; the SF Conservatory Percussion Quartet; Ramon & Jessica’s Roses are Blue; Billygoat; and Splinter Reeds.

Tickets: $40 general, $30 students/seniors. Available at

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Selected Past Press Quotes:

“The Switchboard Music Festival is not just a cavalcade of surprising and unpredictable creative voices. It’s also a living advertisement for the fecundity of the Bay Area’s musical scene.” -San Francisco Chronicle, 2016

“At its best, that’s what Switchboard does: brings together a disparate cast of doggedly inventive musical explorers, and allows these artists to show us who they are.” – KQED, 2016

“For local musical omnivores, the invaluable Switchboard Music Festival amounts to efficient and accessible one-stop shopping.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“A day of music unlike anything you have encountered.”—Bay Area News Group

“You will hear the world here in eight hours.”—48 Hills

“A San Francisco fixture”—SF Classical Voice

Selected past press:

SF Chronicle Festival Preview, 2015

48Hills Festival Preview, 2015

SF Chronicle review, 2014 

SF Classical Voice preview, 2013

New Music Box review, 2013

SF Chronicle review, 2009