Author Archives: Matt Naughtin

A Mission Fulfilled: San Francisco Ballet Orchestra Turns 40

San Francisco Ballet’s 2015–2016 Season marked the 40th anniversary of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, which was founded on a simple, but challenging, mission: to be one of the finest ballet ensembles in the world. For many years, San Francisco Ballet used an orchestra composed largely of freelance musicians, many of whom also played with the […]

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Romeo & Juliet: Music as Storyteller

Composer, violinist, violist, and program annotator, Matt Naughtin, has been the Music Librarian at San Francisco Ballet since 1997. He is also the author of Ballet Music: A Handbook, which describes the daily routine of a modern ballet company, outlines the respective roles of the conductor, company pianist and music librarian, and examines the complete […]

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Romeo & Juliet: Notes on the Music

What composer worth his salt wouldn’t jump at the chance to write a ballet score based on the most popular love story of all time, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet? Well…Sergei Prokofiev for one. The play had already been used in 14 operas, Berlioz had made a dramatic symphony of it and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet […]

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China Wrap-up

Now that I’m back home and de-jetlagged, I have a few last thoughts and some photos I’d like to share from China. First, Michele Inaba asked about the composition of audiences in China, and the interest in ballet by the press and general public. The audiences seemed to contain a healthy mix of the young […]

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