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A Slate of Premieres and a Glut of Beethoven.

May is promising to be a strong month for new music fans, led by the Bay Area’s regional orchestras.

Last Thursday, the Berkeley Symphony premiered Gabriela Lena Frank’s “Holy Sisters” with the San Francisco Girl’s Chorus and soprano Jessica Rivera.

On May 5 and 6th, the Walnut Creek’s California Symphony will premiere “Optima Vota” by it’s composer in residence, D.J. Sparr, who is completing his residency. Sharing the program is Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

If you can stomach Beethoven’s 9th again, you can head over the bridge to the Marin Symphony also on May 6th to hear it share the program with the premiere of Rob Kapilow’s “Golden Gate Opus.”

On May 9th the excellent New Century Chamber Orchestra premieres Ellen Zwilich’s “La Commedia dell’Arte.¬†On May 18th, the Oakland East Bay Symphony will premiere Taylor Eigsti’s “Courage,” a jazz-inspired work. Fortunately neither has to contend with Beethoven.

But the 9th returns in performances scheduled for June 27th-30th at The San Francisco Symphony. This comes on the heels of Symphony Silicon Valley’s performance of Beethoven’s 9th on April 1st.