Composer Jean Ahn on “Roasted Chestnuts”

Your new piece, Roasted Chestnuts, was commissioned by SFBC and is being premiered at our December concert. How did you approach writing for SFBC and this particular concert? When Magen told me that the concert is about the winter solstice, I immediately thought of Roasted Chestnuts, one of the most cozy Korean folk songs we have. The Korean winter is … Read More

The Mozart Requiem After 9/11

An SFBC singer remembers the Mozart Requiem and the first anniversary of 9/11 In January, 2002, the Seattle Symphony and Chorale performed the Mozart Requiem. Afterwards, a woman from the audience stopped one of the singers, telling the singer of an image that had come to her while listening: a performance of the Requiem by the country’s best choruses, standing … Read More


Marianna Martines (1744-1812) was the rare female composer in 18th-century Vienna. Her prodigious musical gifts were recognized and developed early on, owing to her family’s fortuitous–and musical–living arrangement. The Martines family lived on Vienna’s famous Michaelerplatz. As was common at the time, the floors of the building corresponded to the social class of the inhabitants: on the bottom floor were … Read More

An Interview With Composer Brian Holmes

Bay Area composer, horn player, and recently retired SJ State physics professor Brian Holmes talked with SFBC Board member and singer Kelsey Menehan about his new piece, The Contest of Holly and Ivy, commissioned by San Francisco Bach Choir for our December 2018 program. The Contest of Holly and Ivy is drawn from an old English carol, which, I believe, predates the … Read More