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GREAT PERFORMANCES: San Francisco Symphony Reopening Night

Esperanza Spalding singing and playing the double bass
Drew Altizer Photography
Esperanza Spalding singing and playing the double bass in "Great Performances: San Francisco Symphony Reopening Night."

Premieres Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand

GREAT PERFORMANCES celebrates the opening night of San Francisco Symphony’s 110th season as it welcomes its music director, GRAMMY-winning conductor-composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, to the stage as conductor, marking their first opening night concert together since Salonen assumed the post of music director last season.

GREAT PERFORMANCES: San Francisco Symphony Reopening Night: Preview

Recorded Oct. 1, 2021, before a live audience, the coronavirus pandemic-delayed concert includes performances of John Adams’ “Slonimsky’s Earbox,” Alberto Ginastera’s “Estancia” Suite with dancers from San Francisco-based contemporary ballet company LINES Ballet performing original choreography by Alonzo King, and Silvestre Revueltas’ “Noche de Encantamiento” from his film score to “La Noche de los Mayas.”


The concert also features GRAMMY-winning bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding and a jazz trio of guest musicians performing GRAMMY-winning composer-saxophonist Wayne Shorter’s “Gaia” with the San Francisco Symphony.

San Francisco Symphony Performs with Esperanza Spalding

Musical Selections:

  • “Slonimsky’s Earbox” by John Adams
  • “Estancia” Suite by Alberto Ginastera
  • Excerpts from “Gaia” by Wayne Shorter
  • “Noche de encantamiento” from La noche de los Mayas” by Silvestre Revueltas
Collaborating on San Francisco Symphony's Reopening Night

Watch On Your Schedule:

GREAT PERFORMANCES “San Francisco Symphony Reopening Night” premieres Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 on PBS, and the PBS Video app.

Brass, The San Francisco Symphony.
Courtesy of Kristen Loken
Brass, The San Francisco Symphony.

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Directed by Michael Beyer and produced by Bernhard Fleischer. A production of Bernhard Fleischer Moving Images and The WNET Group. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.