Golden Gate Symphony Presents Concert for Kids

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Program Features a San Francisco Premiere by 11-year-old Russian Composer and Cellist Illarion Gershkovich, Folk Songs Performed By Chinese Children’s Chorus “The Spring Choir” and a Solo Appearance by Bay Area Pianist Allison Lovejoy.

San Francisco, CA – February 21, 2017 – The Golden Gate Symphony & Chorus presents a special performance for children and their families on Saturday, March 11 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco, “Concert for Kids, Ages Eight to Eight Hundred.” The program will feature a selection of chamber and orchestral works from the classical repertoire, Broadway and Hollywood, including the San Francisco premiere of Rain by 11-year-old Russian composer and cellist Illarion Gershkovich. Gershkovich features as soloist for his own work in addition to Saint-Saëns’s Allegro Appasionato for cello and piano. The Golden Gate Symphony also welcomes a first-time collaboration with “The Spring Choir,” a Chinese children’s chorus from Pleasanton led by conductor Wenbo Deng, who will present a selection of folks songs from around the world. Rounding out the program is a performance of Chopin’s Grand Polonaise Brilliante by Bay Area pianist Allison Lovejoy. Tickets begin at $15 with free admission for children under the age of 12.

Created during the Golden Gate Symphony’s inaugural season, the highly popular Concert for Kids has been around for 22 years serving children and their families from across the Bay Area, including performances throughout local schools.  “One of the underlying themes of all Golden Gate Symphony performances is to give everyone access to our art form.” said Music Director and Conductor Urs Leonhardt Steiner. “We want to remove the shackles of traditional classical concerts and welcome audiences and musicians of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels into our community. Our Concert for Kids is a wonderful opportunity for families looking to get their feet wet, let their hair down and enjoy an exciting introduction to classical music with our talented guest artists.”

A young composer and cellist of immense talent, Russian-native Illarion Gershkovich received his first orchestral premiere last month with a Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra performance of Rain. Maestro Steiner has been mentoring Gershkovich for the past five years and invited him to conduct a movement from Dvorak’s New World Symphony at the Golden Gate Symphony’s 2015 Concert for Kids. Continuing to nurture relationships and partnerships with local Bay Area artists and organizations, the Golden Gate Symphony welcomes the return of pianist Allison Lovejoy for her sixth appearance with the organization. Lovejoy’s previous performances include the Beethoven “Emperor” Concerto with the Orchestra of the International Festival of Music in Nicaragua under the baton of Maestro Urs Leonhart Steiner and as soloist in Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and the Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3. “The Spring Choir” was founded by Music Director Wenbo Deng in the spring of 2016 and this performance marks their first collaboration with the Golden Gate Symphony.


Golden Gate Symphony & Chorus
Concert for Kids, Ages Eight to Eight Hundred
Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 2pm
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco

Illarion Gershkovich: Rain for solo cello and orchestra
Golden Gate Symphony
Illarion Gershkovich, cello

Various: Selection of Folk Songs
Golden Gate Symphony
The Spring Choir

John Williams: Selections from Star Wars, Jaws, Superman, Harry Potter, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and ET.
Golden Gate Symphony

Camille Saint Saëns: Allegro Appassionato
Illarion Gershkovich, cello

Fédéric Chopin: Grand Polonaise Brillante
Allison Lovejoy, piano

George and Ira Gershwin: Selections from Of Thee I Sing
Golden Gate Symphony & Chorus

Single Tickets range in price from $15 to $35. Free admission for children under 12. Available for purchase through Brown Paper Tickets at

Founded by conductor and educator, Urs Leonhardt Steiner, the Golden Gate Symphony Orchestra & Chorus has provided more than 20 years of quality musical performances and dynamic music education programs to communities in San Francisco and abroad. These programs have earned the organization a national and international reputation with programs in California, Central America, and Europe.

Maestro Steiner created the organization to provide access to classical music at the community level by encouraging amateur and professional singers, musicians and composers to collaborate closely and build community through performing live classical music. The Golden Gate Symphony achieves this through programming innovative orchestral and choral works, and performing a wide range of repertoire from the classics to contemporary compositions.

The orchestra has recorded more than a dozen CDs, produced film scores, and collaborated with many organizations including the San Francisco Community Music Center, the San Francisco Choral Society, TOSCA, the Oaxaca Symphony Orchestra, the Orquestra Nacional de Nicaragua, the Golden Gate Opera, and most recently Musik Theater Chur, and Opera Arosa, Switzerland.

Internationally renowned as a conductor, educator, composer and classical guitarist, Maestro Steiner founded the San Francisco Sinfonietta as a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization in 1994. Looking toward its third decade, the organization changed its name to the Golden Gate Symphony Orchestra & Chorus in 2014. Originally from Chur, Switzerland, he graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Master of Music in 1986. He studied conducting with James Wimer, Gustav Meier, Herbert von Karajan as well as Master classes with Andre Previn, Erich Leinsdorf and Leonhard Bernstein.  When not on the podium in front of the GGSOC, Maestro Steiner serves as Co-Director of “Musica en Los Barrios” in Managua, Nicaragua, as well as Artistic Director of the Music Theater Chur, Switzerland. Under his direction he has created innovative music education partnerships with the “Pan y Arte” Foundation in Muenster, Germany for funding community programs for underprivileged youth and communities in Central America.

Concert for Kids / Golden Gate Symphony
Urs Leonhardt Steiner / Jack Jia

Press and Media Relations Contact:
Brenden Guy
(415) 640-3165


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