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Links to recent online news articles are posted, along with excerpts from published performance reviews. For further information, please email us or call (415) 252-1288, ext. 315.

2017/2018 SEASON

APRIL: Beethoven Unleashed

It’s rare to hear a solo quartet so evenly matched at such a lofty level, and the chorus sang beautifully throughout — explosive and clear in the forthright “Gloria,” hushed and insinuating in the “Sanctus.” McGegan oversaw the proceedings with a blend of fervor and tenderness.”— Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

The Choral Fantasy, which is also a very interesting piece, has little glimpses, kind of foreshadowing of the Ninth Symphony.”- Bruce Lamott on KDFC’s The State of the Arts


the singers and players were as stylish, precise and expressive as one would expect, given that McGegan is a lively conductor who in 32 years has made the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale one of the finest such groups in the United States.” – Alan Artner, Chicago Tribune

Philharmonia members…fully inhabited the music’s historical idiom, taking a gestural approach to phrasing and making the ubiquitous ornamentation sound spontaneous and improvisational.” Tim Sawyier, Chicago Classical Review

MARCH: PBO Wins Isadora Duncan Dance Award

Izzie awards span the centuries — and dance today around the Bay Area” – SF Gate

MARCH: Corelli the Godfather

Philharmonia Baroque gave sweep and power to all this music.” David Bratman, San Francisco Classical Voice

Philharmonia Baroque has also announced plans for 2018-19. “Transcendence,” the early music orchestra’s 38th subscription season, runs Oct. 3 to April 13, 2019.” – Georgia Rowe, The Mercury News

FEBRUARY: Harmonic Convergence with Steven Isserlis

Director Nicholas McGegan and his nimble band proved yet again why this prolific composer offers a seemingly inexhaustible supply of musical discoveries and delights.” – Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice

PBO SESSIONS: Jewish Songlines

INTERVIEW WITH COURTNEY BECK: Based on PBO SESSIONS’ sold-out track record and the organic, “up-sell” impact it’s had on subscriptions to and interest in PBO’s regular concert series, it’s possible to conclude that Beck is on to something.” – Lou Fancher, San Franciso Classical Voice

PBO […] is the only U.S. orchestra with a series dedicated to Jews and music.” – Rob Gloster, J. Magazine

2017 Year in Review

…captured the bounteous spirit of the French Baroque.” – Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

..a glorious fusion of music, theater and dance.” – Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News

DECEMBER: Handel’s Joseph and his Brethren


a beautifully rendered collection of arias and choruses done with characteristic zeal under the leadership of Music Director Nicholas McGegan.” – Joshua Kosman, SFGate

His [McGegan’s] beats—springy and upward-moving—animate his stellar orchestra and chorale…” –Paul Hertelendy, ARTSSF

..conductor Nicholas McGegan led his period-instrument orchestra in a rhythmically pulsating score…” – James MacBean, The Berkeley Daily Planet

McGegan’s sense of pacing was masterful…” – The Newsletter of the American Handel Society


Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra have been making their way through this body of music for decades, and each new installment seems more strikingly revelatory than the last.” – Joshua Kosman, SFGate

NOVEMBER: Vivaldi in Venice with Elizabeth Blumenstock


she can make even the most familiar passages sound fresh and alive…” Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio Blog

PBO SESSIONS: Female Composers and the Women Who Bring Their Music to Life


The accompaniment offered a rich variety of performing techniques for the string players, and it was not hard to enjoy the positive energy they exuded.” Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio Blog

OCTOBER: U.S. Premiere of The Judas Passion


“There’s always been a fascination among contemporary composers with Baroque and the simplicity of Renaissance music,” says Sally Beamish” – Brett Campbell, San Francisco Classical Voice, (Part 2 of 2) 9/26/17

LISTEN: On the Air: Cy and Matias’ Do List Picks for September 29, 2017.

Harsent’s libretto sounds intriguing, interrogating the concept of Judas as a betrayer unworthy of God’s love.” Cy Musiker, KQED 9/27/17

Period instruments have their own sound world, and that’s very interesting for modern composers,” said McGegan.” – Georgia Rowe, The Mercury News 9/28/17

We’re very interested in new as well as old music,” says PBO’s Nicholas McGegan. “A period instrument orchestra is not something which should be wearing wigs and silk ruffles and being prissy prissy. We’re out there in the music scene as live performers in the 21st century.” Brett Campbell, San Francisco Classical Voice (Part 1 of 2) 9/12/17

 Theologians have suggested that if Judas’s remorse is unacceptable to God, then there is an incoherence in the economy of salvation. I took that notion as one of the mainstays of my libretto.” – David Harsent, The Guardian, 9/20/17

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