|Martin West, conductor|
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
San Francisco Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in America, was also one of the first dance companies to have its own permanent body of musicians. In October 1975, the San Francisco Performing Arts Orchestra was founded to serve as the Ballet’s official orchestra, and in 1983, the group’s name was changed to San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.
With the appointment of Helgi Tomasson to the position of artistic director of San Francisco Ballet in 1985, the Company’s reputation evolved from that of a regional troupe to a world-class dance company. As the Company’s acclaim grew, so did the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra’s, and by the 1990s it was generally regarded as one of the finest ballet orchestras in the world. Notably, in 1995, the Orchestra accompanied 12 international dance companies, as well as San Francisco Ballet, during the ambitious, weeklong United We Dance Festival, which promoted international communication and understanding. Over the years, the Orchestra has also accompanied a number of prestigious international ballet companies during their Bay Area engagements, including American Ballet Theatre, the Bolshoi Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, The Royal Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and Stuttgart Ballet.
Under the leadership of founding Music Director Denis de Coteau for more than 20 years, the Orchestra has subsequently been led by Emil de Cou, Jean-Louis LeRoux, and Andrew Mogrelia. In 2005, Martin West was appointed as music director & principal conductor.
Today, the Orchestra accompanies the Ballet for the entire run of the annual Nutcracker production and throughout each repertory season. The ensemble’s vast repertory includes hundreds of works spanning four centuries of music history, from Monteverdi and Mozart to film scores. Notably, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra has made critically acclaimed recordings of composers from Handel to Goldenthal, as well as five televised recordings for the PBS series “Dance in America” (Helgi Tomasson's Nutcracker; Lar Lubovitch’s Othello; Michael Smuin’s The Tempest, Cinderella, and Romeo & Juliet).
Labels: Keith Johnson, Marina Ledin, New Recording Project, Reference Recordings, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Victor Ledin