Great Poets, Contemporary Composers
November 2023

Music by Marcos Balter, Yu-Hui Chang, Emily Koh, LJ White, and Mark Winges

Poetry by Fernando Pessoa, Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield, and more.

Friday, November 3, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Oakland 
Saturday, November 4, Noe Valley Ministry, San Francisco 
Sunday, November 5, The 222, Healdsburg 


PROGRAM 2 – From the Depths to the Ecstatic

Premiere of a new work by Jens Ibsen
February 2024

Plus music by Aaron Jay Kernis, Joanna Marsh, Emma O’Halloran, and Forrest Pierce

Friday, February 23, 2024, 8 PM, The Crowden Music Center, Berkeley
Berkeley tickets HERE

Saturday, February 24, 8 PM, Noe Valley Ministry, San Francisco
San Francisco tickets HERE


From the Depths to the Ecstatic:  How does the past inform the present and point the way to the future? Volti continues its 45th season of “singing without a net” with a concert of beautiful and groundbreaking music exploring historic concepts of spiritual diversity, largely from the writings of female medieval mystics, as expressed by contemporary composers.

“De Profundis” – the world premiere of a Volti commission by Bay Area composer Jens Ibsen, setting Psalm 130, “Out of the depths I have cried unto thee, O Lord.” We also reprise Ibsen’s “How god comes to the soul,” with text by the medieval mystic Mechthild of Magdeburg. 

“Ecstatic Meditations” – Aaron Jay Kernis’s spectacular settings of four texts, also from Mechthild, in translations by Jane Hirshfield and Oliver Davies. Volti has sung and recorded these in the past and we are excited to revisit this masterful work.

“Into Being” – Ingrid Stölzel’s setting of the Sanskrit Mantra “So ham ham sa.”

“All Shall Be Well” – Joanna Marsh sets text from from “Revelations of Divine Love” by another medieval mystic, Julian of Norwich — believed to be the earliest surviving English-language writings by a woman.

“Sohbet of the Rare Small Bird” – Forrest Pierce sets Sufi reflections on spiritual teaching and learning, from ancient Persian texts.

“Natural History” – Emma O’Halloran meditates on the thousands of species discovered by British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and described in his book “The Malay Peninsula.”  


PROGRAM 3 – Worlds Apart
May 2024

In collaboration with San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, we present the world premiere of San Francisco composer Richard Festinger’s Worlds Apart. Festinger brings together the verse of three different poets – Bertolt Brecht, Stephen Crane, and Wendell Berry – for a modern cantata that visits worlds within, without, and apart, uniting the forces of both ensembles as a collective voice.

Thursday, May 30, 2024, Brava Theater,San Francisco
6:30 PM Pre-show talk with composer
7:30 PM Concert



P.O. Box 15576
San Francisco CA 94115