San Francisco cellist’s porch concerts, filling a musical gap during pandemic

Posted on: May 22, 2020

Cellist Saul Richmond-Rakerd gives a concert from his front porch in San Francisco’s Haight neighborhood.

“Normally, spreading a picnic blanket on busy Page Street to sip wine, munch on cheese and crackers, and listen to live cello music would be a really, really bad idea,” writes Heather Knight in Thursday’s (5/21) San Francisco Chronicle. “But nothing’s normal these days—and Page Street near Clayton Street has become an unlikely oasis for sporadic classical music concerts… They’re there to see and hear Saul Richmond-Rakerd play his cello on his front porch.… Richmond-Rakerd … moved to San Francisco in 2015…. He’s now an assistant principal cellist in the Santa Cruz Symphony, a section cellist with the Monterey Symphony and a substitute for the San Francisco Ballet orchestra. He also plays chamber music concerts and teaches cello…. But with symphonies and orchestras gone quiet, he’s had to get creative. He teaches music virtually and performs concerts on Zoom…. He wanted to play for a live audience again and figured he’d give his front porch a try…. ‘It turned out way better than I could have ever imagined,’ Richmond-Rakerd said…. Now that Page Street is shut to through traffic, the concerts have become an anticipated event, and people stay for the whole two-hour show.”