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PBO SESSIONS is a guided and deconstructed tour of music, social and political history, and art.

Each 90-minute program includes multimedia, illuminating dialogue from the stage, and incredible orchestral and vocal performances.

2022/23 Events

Davóne Tines

Creative Partner

Nola Richardson


David Belkovski


The Artist as Human

Thursday, February 16, 2023 | 8:00 p.m.
ODC Theater, San Francisco
Friday, February 17, 2023 | 8:00 p.m.
Bing Studio, Stanford

Classical music is a meeting place between the highest levels of technical execution and self-expression. The lived experience of musicians is the fuel for
beauty and masterful artistry, but do audiences see the humans behind the
performances they engage? Singer Nola Richardson, PBO Creative Partner Davóne Tines, and Conductor David Belkovski explore their personal connections to the music and art they make through lenses of gender, race, and sexuality. The artists will let audiences in on the long-term, iterative process to excavate these themes through
old and new music from J.S. Bach, John Blow, Henry Purcell, David Belkovski, Katherine Balch, Doug Balliett, and Tarik O’Regan.

Nola Richardson, soprano
Davóne Tines,
Creative Partner
David Belkovski,
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DIASPORA: Jewish Music of Longing & Celebration

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 | 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 16, 2023 | 8:00 p.m.
Taube Atrium Theater, Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera, San Francisco

GRAMMY-winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell returns to PBO as part of the organization’s acclaimed Jews & Music program—bringing together members from her ensemble Apollo’s Fire alongside the Philharmonia Chamber Players and singers from the Philharmonia Chorale in this unique collaboration between two of the country’s most vital historical performance ensembles. In this new program, Sorrell draws on her previous work in acclaimed recordings of Jewish music—and her own Jewish roots—to create an exploration of Sephardic, Roman, and Ashkenazy musical traditions. From a soulful prayer of longing for Jerusalem, to a ballad of a lover betrayed, to a joyful wedding dance and neighborhood party, the sounds of plucked instruments, wooden flutes, and exotic percussion blend with the rhythms of daily life—love, singing, dancing and prayer. The company of performers, including musicians of Palestinian, Yiddish, and Sephardic traditions, join in a program of solidarity and celebration. PBO Jews & Music Scholar in Residence Francesco Spagnolo will join Jeanette in conversations as they explore roots, music, and more.

Jeannette Sorrell, conductor
Francesco Spagnolo,
Jews & Music Scholar in Residence
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Jeannette Sorrell


Francesco Spagnolo

Scholar in Residence

“PBO SESSIONS manifests the PBO core: authenticity, belief that audiences (of all ages) are intelligent, and fascination with the culture and context of classical music.”

Lou FancherSan Francisco Classical Voice