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Bay Area classical music fans have a LOT to choose from this weekend

Concerts, recitals, chamber music, and a pair of Baroque masterworks – music lovers have a thrilling array of events to choose from this weekend.

Here’s a partial roundup.

Marsalis at S.F. Symphony: Saxophonist Branford Marsalis joins conductor Thomas Wilkins and the orchestra in the first San Francisco Symphony performances of Erwin Schulhoff’s “Hot-Sonate,” a 1930 work that was banned by the Nazis and has finally assumed its rightful place in the repertoire. The program also includes Duke Ellington’s “Harlem,” “Three Dance Episodes” from Bernstein’s “On the Town,” and John Williams’ “Escapades” from the 2002 film “Catch Me If You Can.”

Details: 2 p.m. May 4, 7:30 p.m. May 5-6; $20-$135; 415-864-6000; sfsymphony.org.

“May the fourth be with you”: That’s what the Oakland Symphony is promising as the orchestra returns Friday night with “The Music of John Williams,” a family-friendly program featuring a sampler of some of the composer’s greatest Hollywood hits, including music from “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Harry Potter,” and, of course, “Star Wars.”

Details: 8 p.m. May 4, Paramount Theatre, Oakland; $35-$90; 510-444-0802; oaklandsymphony.org.

“Harmonious Love”: The American Bach Soloists have a double-bill program for spring — one that features Handel’s cantata, “Apollo y Dafne” and Rameau’s one-act opera, “Pygmalion.” Jeffrey Thomas conducts, with soloists including soprano Mary Wilson, tenor Matthew Hall, and baritone Mischa Bouvier.

Details: 8 p.m. May 5 in Belvedere, 7 p.m. May 6 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Berkeley, and 4 p.m. May 7 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco; $39-$101; americanbach.org.

Pojonen at the piano: The Steinway Society welcomes Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen in a program featuring works by Chopin, Grieg, and Ravel; tickets are available for in-person or streaming.

Details: 7:30 p.m. May 6, Cubberley Theatre, Palo Alto; $40-$70; steinwaysociety.com.

“Brahms and Fandango”: Symphony San Jose’s weekend program features violinist Anne Akiko Meyers as soloist for “Fandango,” a new work by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez; works by Brahms and Gerald Finzi complete the program.

Details: 8 p.m. May 6, 2:30 p.m. May 7, California Theatre, San Jose; $55-$115; symphonysanjose.org.

Stemme returns:  Swedish dramatic soprano Nina Stemme hasn’t appeared in the Bay Area for some time, but opera lovers have indelible memories of her triumphant Brunnhilde in San Francisco Opera’s “Ring” cycle. This Sunday, she comes to Berkeley for a Cal Performances recital. Accompanied by pianist Magnus Svensson, her program includes works by Wagner, Mahler, Weill, and Sigurd von Koch.

Details: 3 p.m. May 7, Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley; $26-$76; 510-642-9988; calperformances.org.

Kohl’s special guests: In its season-ending program, Music at Kohl Mansion welcomes the Alexander String Quartet in a program featuring Brahms, Mozart and Kodaly. Replacing longtime second violinist Fred Lifsitz, who retired from the quartet in January, is guest violinist Yuri Cho; additional guest artists are violist Paul Yarbrough and cellist Eric Gaenslen.

Details: 7 p.m. May 7, includes a pre-performance talk at 6 p.m. and a post-concert reception with the artists; $55 general, $52 senior, $25 age 30 and under; 650-762-1130; musicatkohl.org.

Contact Georgia Rowe at growe@pacbell.net.


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