Renowned Transgender Pianist Sara Davis Buechner to perform with Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS)

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Sara Davis Buechner, internationally renowned pianist and transgender activist, will perform a recital and two concertos with the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) at the San Francisco Conservatory, June 6, 3pm (recital) and 8pm (orchestra concert)

We are thrilled and excited to have Sara Davis Buechner perform with BARS," said Bay Area Rainbow Symphony Executive Director Richard Horan. "Her courage and musicality is truly inspirational.

Internationally renowned pianist, Sara Davis Buechner, isn't new to the transgender conversation that is happening throughout the U.S. these days. Nearly 20 years ago, in 1996, (then) David Buechner, the winner of a dozen international piano competitions, began the quest to become 'Sara.'

As part of Pride Celebration, this remarkable pianist will be joining the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) and Music Director Dawn Harms, in a fascinating program of all women composers, Saturday, June 6th at 8:00 pm at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street, San Francisco, with a personal lecture/performance at 3:00 pm: "Crossing the Concourse: Sara Davis Buechner in Music and Words."

On the evening program: Buechner will perform Kapralova's "Partita for Piano and Strings," the Clara Schumann Piano Concerto. The concert will conclude with Ethel Smyth's Serenade.

Tickets: or call 1-800-595-4TIX

The Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) is San Francisco’s leading orchestra dedicated to promoting LGBTQ composers and artists.

June 6, 3pm, Piano Recital: Crossing the Concourse: Sara Davis Buechner in Music and Words. Buechner will illustrate her life story and transgender journey with short piano pieces, including one of her own compositions. Buechner will talk about being the "T" in LGBTQ and share with dignity and humor what she has learned along the way about gender, gender roles, and discuss how preconceptions have both limited and enhanced her own life. Followed by a Q&A session.

June 6, 8pm BARS orchestral concert:
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman with soloist Sara Davis Buechner.

To meet its objectives of inclusivity, visibility and pride more fully, BARS will feature pianist Sara Davis Buechner in a program of compositions exclusively by women. This is the first time BARS will perform with a transgender soloist. All of the pieces in this concert were written when the composers were starting to write orchestral works.

The orchestra will open with Partita, a work for strings and piano written in 1938 by Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915‐1940) when she was 23. She was forced to leave Czechoslovakia right before the Nazi occupation and died in exile at age 25. Sara Davis Buechner gave the US and Canadian premieres of the Partita, and the performance will be part of the centenary celebration of Kaprálová’s birth.

Second, Buechner will perform Clara Wieck Schumann’s Piano Concerto. Schumann was a child prodigy. She started work on her piano concerto at age 13 and premiered it at age 16 with the Leipzig Gewandhaus, with Mendelssohn conducting.

The concert will conclude with Serenade (1889), which is English lesbian composer Ethel Smyth’s (1858-1944) first orchestral piece. Smyth studied music at Leipzig in the 1870’s where she met Clara Schumann and Brahms. Subsequently, she socialized with Clara Schumann and her lesbian daughter Eugenie Schumann in Frankfurt. Smyth still has the distinction of being the only woman to have an opera performed by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She also dedicated two years to working in the suffragist movement. This will be only the second performance of the Serenade in the US; the Women’s Philharmonic performed the US premiere in 1993.

BARS will have a reception following the concert to honor Sara Davis Buechner.

About Sara Davis Buechner:

In her twenties, Buechner won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and was a Bronze Medalist of the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. With an active repertoire of more than 100 piano concertos, she has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s prominent orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony and BBC Philharmonic.

Audiences have applauded Buechner’s recitals in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl; she enjoys wide success throughout Asia where she tours annually.

Sara Davis Buechner’s numerous CD and DVD recordings have received prominent critical appraisal. She can be seen and heard on numerous live video and audio recordings on her website and YouTube Channel. She has created many essays in written, spoken and film format on her blog “Sara Says.”

She is a Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia and an Honorary Visiting Professor of Music at the University of Shanghai.

In 2012, she spoke before a standing committee on human rights in Ottawa in support a federal transgender rights bill. She was a keynote speaker at the Outgames Human Rights conference.

3pm Piano Recital: Crossing the Concourse: Sara Davis Buechner in Music and Words Free event, but tickets required to reserve seat.

8pm Concert: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman Tickets $15-35
Dawn Harms, Music Director & Conductor
Vítězslava Kaprálová – Partita for Piano and Strings
Clara Wieck Schumann – Piano Concerto
         Sara Davis Buechner, piano
Ethel Smyth – Serenade

Tickets: or call 1-800-595-4TIX

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Lea Saslav, LS Communications

Richard Horan, Executive Director
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