Harry Bernstein is no stranger to the challenges of hosting live events. For the past 15 years or so, retired television producer and head of development for online retailer reel.com has hosted intimate performances from Tuvan throat singers, modern classical composer David A. Jaffe, and countless others. artists at his home in Berkeley.
But when Bernstein was invited in 2019 to host a festival for the 25th anniversary of Other Minds, the new and experimental music organization, he had no idea of the difficulties he would face.
“It was originally scheduled for March 2020,” Bernstein said. “We were ready to go. The program guide has been printed. We were selling tickets. And then, boom, the world changed. I was a little too optimistic because I reprogrammed it twice thinking the pandemic was coming to an end. Now I am convinced that the festival is moving forward, but until a month ago I was holding my breath.
Bernstein will have the chance to expire more fully when Other Minds 25 premieres on October 14 at the Taube Atrium Theater, the event space located in the San Francisco War Memorial Complex. The four-day festival, subtitled “Moment’s Avis”, offers a breathtaking lineup of living legends and young talents from the pre-jazz world.