Morrison Artists Series to begin 58th season

The Morrison Artists Series’ 58th season, which kicks off this month, will feature some of the world's leading musical ensembles and two world premiere performances.

A photo of the Alexander String Quartet.

The Alexander String Quartet, SF State's quartet-in-residence, will kick off the Morrison Artists Series’ 58th season.

The series, supported by the May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Foundation and held at SF State since 1956, is San Francisco's longest-running chamber music series. In keeping with the foundation's goal of developing new audiences for chamber music, all performances are free of charge and open to the public.

"One of our most important goals is to develop new audiences for chamber music by making our concerts accessible to all, regardless of their ability to pay," said Richard Festinger, professor of music and dance and artistic director of the Morrison Artists Series. "The Series' founder, Edward Hohfeld, especially hoped that by offering free concerts, parents would be able to introduce their children to this wonderful musical tradition."

The series’ other emphasis is training young musicians. Visiting ensembles conduct master classes in conjunction with their concerts, offering SF State students an opportunity to work closely with some of the world's leading classical musicians. The public is welcome to observe the master classes.

This year's lineup features three ensembles comprised of a string quartet plus a soloist, a unique arrangement Festinger says will allow the series to present repertoire that is not often performed. Two of this year's performances will include pieces making their world premieres.

A photo of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quartet.

The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quartet will perform at SF State as part of the Morrison Artists Series.

The full lineup for the 2013-14 Morrison Artists Series is:

  • Sept. 29: Alexander String Quartet, with clarinetist David Schifrin
  • Oct. 20: Calyx Piano Trio
  • Nov. 17: St. Petersburg String Quartet, with pianist Mack McCray
  • Feb. 28: Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
  • April 4: Brentano String Quartet, with violist Hsin-Yun Huang
  • May 2: Dover String Quartet

Two ensembles will make their San Francisco debuts during the season. The first is the Boston-based Calyx Piano Trio. The second is the Dover String Quartet, winners of the 2012 Morrison Chamber Music Center Prize at the London International String Quartet Competition and of top honors at the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

The Alexander String Quartet's Sept. 29 performance is part of the University's Creative State Opening Day, a free event previewing upcoming exhibits, concerts and performances from SF State's arts programs.

Morrison Artists Series concerts are free, but tickets are required. To get tickets and for more information about the series, visit

-- Jonathan Morales