SPACE CADETS: The Kronos Quartet looks to the sky in its new collaborative work 'Sun Rings.'
By Michael S. Gant
Kronos Quartet Working with minimalist Terry Riley, the boundary-stretching Kronos Quartet sets its sights on the heavens in a full-length, 10-part work called Sun Rings. The piece, co-commissioned by NASA, uses ambient space noises in combination with string sounds and vocal accompaniment (by the Stanford Chamber Chorale). A visual element is added by designer Willie Williams. Friday (Jan. 18) at 8pm; Memorial Auditorium, Stanford University; $22–$44; 650.725.ARTS.
Symphony Silicon Valley The concertmaster of the Boston Symphony does the visiting-conductor duties for this weekend's Symphony Silicon Valley concerts. The program—"Violins & Enigmas"—features Vaughan Williams' A Lark Ascending (derived from a nature reverie by poet George Meredith), Mozart's Violin Concerto no. 5 (a.k.a. the Turkish Concerto) and Elgar's Enigma Variations (Variations on an Original Theme). Silverstein will do double duty as he also solos on the Vaughan Williams and the Mozart pieces. Thursday (Jan. 17) at 7:30pm, Saturday (Jan. 19) at 8pm and Sunday (Jan. 20) at 2:30pm; California Theatre, 345 S. First St., San Jose; tickets are $37–$73; 408.286.2600.
Peninsula Symphony Local jazz guy made good Taylor Eigsti brings a sense of genre fusion to the symphony. The program opens with Malcolm Arnold's jazz-inflected music from the movie The Roots of Heaven. Eigsti follows on the piano in Gershwin's "I've Got Rhythm" Variations. Switching gears, the symphony will cede the stage to Eigsti's own group for some original jazz compositions. The evening continues with Gershwin's An American in Paris and the symphony's interpretation of four new compositions by Eigsti. Mitchell Sardou Klein conducts. Friday (Jan. 18) at 8pm at the Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City and Saturday (Jan. 19) at 8pm at Flint Center, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino; $29/$34; 650.941.5291.
Saratoga Symphony Dr. Jason Klein leads the orchestra in a free concert showcasing An Elegiac Prelude in A Minor by Hugh Downs (yes, the TV host), Ernst von Dohnanyi's Variations of a Children's Song (with guest pianist Daniel Glover) and Lee Actor's Symphony no. 2. The children's song in question in the Dohnanyi work is "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"; local composer Actor is a familiar face at the Palo Alto Philharmonic, where he conducts. Sunday (Jan. 20) at 3pm; St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 13601 Saratoga Ave., Saratoga; free; www.saratogasymphony.com
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