French Flair for Philharmonic

photo illustration by WILLIAM LEUNG

The Sacramento Philharmonic is saying bonne année, or “happy new year,” with a set of French-themed events throughout the month of January. First up is Thursday’s Vive La France, a party at L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen featuring wine and cheese pairings.

Friday night, the Philharmonic will be hosting Backstage Jazz Bistro at the Community Center Theater. There, a limited number of guests will be able to have a behind-the-scenes look at the orchestra’s dress rehearsal a day prior to its big show, French Flair. Friday night after the rehearsal, guests will be invited backstage for a jazz concert with pianist Jeff Kahane and the Little Charlie Caravan. Dinner will be prepared by Le Cordon Bleu instructor Stephanie LaMour and will be paired with wine selected by Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers.

French Flair is the main event. It also features Kahane on piano and the American premiere of France’s 2010 Composer of the Year, Philippe Hersant. The show will include “5 Poèms of Trakl,” Claude Debussy’s “Iberia,” and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major and “Bolero.”

Then on January 29 and 30, the Philharmonic will team up with the French Film Festival to provide music for a silent film. The 1928 comedy, Un Chapeau de Paille d’Italie (An Italian Straw Hat) will feature a new score, with French composer Raymond Alessandrini flying from France to direct the 12 members of the Philharmonic comprising the orchestra.