EVENTS 2017-11-05T19:47:45+00:00
Feb 18 @ 8:00 pm
BAMBERG SYMPHONY @ Jacobs Music Center-Copley Symphony Hall | San Diego | California | United States

Bamberg Symphony

Christopher Eschenbach, conductor
Ray Chen, violin

The Bamberg Symphony traces its roots to the 18th Century, when it
premiered Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni in Prague. Moving to Bavaria, Germany after World War II, Bamberg Symphony has established itself as one of the leading German orchestras, among the first to tour the United States where it has been delighting audiences for more than fifty years. Charismatic conductor Christoph Eschenbach leads the orchestra in Beethoven’s evocative and powerful Symphony No. 3, in the Overture to Mozart’s Don Giovanni and in Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, with guest soloist, Ray Chen.

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MOZARTOverture to Don Giovanni
BRUCHViolin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26
BEETHOVENSymphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica"
BEETHOVENOverture to The Creatures of Prometheus

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Bamberg Symphony

by Eric Bromberger

Overture to Don Giovanni, K.527

Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 7 minutes

Mozart’s Don Giovanni has always been a favorite with audiences. Good triumphs in the end, but all the way through we’re rooting for the bad guy, and his defiance even as he is dragged into the sulphurous pit of hell is what we remember as morality seems to establish itself at the end. Mozart had worked on the opera across most of 1787, and he arrived in Prague early in October to prepare for the première, scheduled for October 19. But too many details of the new opera were not quite ready, so The Marriage of Figaro–a great favorite in Prague–was performed instead on that date, and the première of Don Giovanni was re-scheduled for October 29.

But there remained a problem. As that première approached, the opera still had no overture, at least on paper. Mozart, as was his habit, had composed the overture in his head, but–with other things to do–had not got around to the purely mechanical task of writing it down. Now, on the night before either the première or the dress rehearsal (accounts vary), he finally had to get it on paper. Years later, his widow Constanze recalled what happened that night. She mixed him a pitcher of punch, and he wrote as fast as he could, while she amused him with fairy tales from The Arabian Nights. Soon, she observed, he was laughing so hard that tears ran down his face, but he kept writing. Finally, his exertions (and the punch) got the better of him, and he fell asleep on a couch. The copyist was due at 7 A.M., and Constanze let her husband sleep until 5, then woke him, and he had the manuscript complete when the copyist arrived to take it.

The work of that copyist was pretty impressive on its own. He had all the parts ready that night, and the Prague orchestra–without time to rehearse–simply sightread the overture on that occasion. That orchestra must have been terrific: Mozart later said of the overture, “A few notes did fall under the desks, but it was a fine performance.”

It was customary to compose an opera overture on themes that the audience would later hear in the opera, but Mozart only partially observes that practice in his overture for Don Giovanni. He draws the overture’s dramatic slow introduction from the opera’s climax, when the statue of the Commendatore comes back to life and accepts the Don’s invitation to dinner. The overture opens with ringing chords in D minor, a key Mozart associated with revenge, and the slow introduction also includes the rising-and-falling lines that will be heard at that climactic moment. But for the main body of the overture, which he marks Allegro molto, Mozart moves to D major and composes entirely new music. Curiously, this theme bears a strong resemblance to the Allegro of the first movement of Mozart’s “Prague” Symphony, written a year earlier when he visited that city for the première of The Marriage of Figaro. Is Mozart making a nod toward a city that had treated him with far more respect than Vienna had? Perhaps, but the important point is that this Allegro molto is exactly right at this point in the overture–its shining D major tonality and its surging strength have reminded some of Don Giovanni himself, even if this music will never reappear in the opera. Mozart constructs this part of the overture in sonata form, complete with secondary material, development, and full recapitulation, and this fiery music races forward with a vitality all its own. In the opera, this energy resolves quietly into Leporello’s “Notte e giorno fatticar,” but for separate performance in the concert hall Mozart wrote a concert ending that brings the overture to a suitably dramatic close.

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Opus 26

Born January 6, 1838, Cologne
Died October 2, 1920, Friedenau, Germany
Approximate Duration: 23 minutes

Max Bruch appears fated to remain a one-work composer. His choral compositions are still admired in Germany, and one hears the Scottish Fantasy from time to time, but Bruch’s reputation today rests squarely on the fame of one work, his First Violin Concerto. Ironically, this concerto was a product of his youth–he began work on it at age 19, finished the first version nine years later, and had it in final form in 1868, when he was only 30. Joseph Joachim, the dedicatee, gave the successful première of this version, and the concerto’s instant popularity overwhelmed everything else Bruch wrote thereafter. He is said to have reacted with exasperation when young violinists came to play for him, for they always played this concerto. He was left complaining that he had written some other pieces for violin.

There are several good reasons for this concerto’s continuing popularity. Bruch writes gorgeous melodies for the violin here–this is late German romanticism at its most lyric. He is then able to build these simple melodies into climaxes of tremendous power and excitement. Last, and certainly not least, this concerto is beautifully written for the violin–it sits gracefully under the fingers, and while the Concerto in G Minor is very difficult, it is also very grateful to play. This concerto has an evergreen quality that will keep it fresh forever.

The form is slightly unusual, and the opening movement gave Bruch a great deal of trouble. The first two movements are joined, and Bruch worried that the opening section was not a complete movement. He called it Vorspiel (Prelude), and it is in an unusual form. It begins with a slow orchestral introduction, and the violin enters with a cadenza-like recitative. The music soon rushes ahead on soaring themes and dramatic writing to a great climax, and then Bruch brings back the recitative of the very beginning to lead the way into the middle movement.

The Adagio is one of the great slow movements in all the violin concerto literature, and it shows Bruch’s considerable melodic gift. There are three separate themes, all gentle and yearning, and all of them well-suited to the violin’s lyrical nature. Bruch weaves them into a climax of considerable power before the movement ends quietly. The finale, aptly marked Allegro energico, is a rondo-like movement in G major. The orchestra’s introduction leads to the impressive violin entrance, reminiscent of gypsy fiddling. Once again, Bruch offers some terrific writing for the violin, and his performance markings tell the tale: passages marked appassionato or con fuoco or con forza alternate with material marked dolce or tranquillo e grazioso. The movement races to its close on a Presto coda that sends the solo violin soaring to the very top of its range.

Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Opus 55 “Eroica”

Born December 16, 1770, Bonn
Died March 26, 1827, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 48 minutes

In May 1803, Beethoven moved to the village of Oberdöbling, a few miles north of Vienna. At age 32, he had just come through a devastating experience–the realization that he was going deaf had driven him to the verge of suicide– but now he resumed work, and life. To his friend Wenzel Krumpholz, Beethoven confided: “I am only a little satisfied with my previous works. From today on I will take a new path.” At Oberdöbling over the next six months, Beethoven sketched a massive new symphony, his third.

Everyone knows the story of how Beethoven had intended to dedicate the symphony to Napoleon, whose reforms in France had seemed to signal a new age of egalitarian justice. But when the news reached Beethoven in May 1804 that Napoleon had proclaimed himself emperor, the composer ripped the title page off the score of the symphony and blotted out Napoleon’s name, angrily crying: “Is he then, too, nothing more than an ordinary human being? Now he, too, will trample on all the rights of man and indulge only his ambition. He will exalt himself above all others, become a tyrant!” (This sounds like one of those stories too good to be true, but it is quite true: that title page–with Napoleon’s name obliterated–has survived.) Countless historians have used this episode to demonstrate Beethoven’s democratic sympathies, though there is evidence that just a few months later Beethoven intended to restore the symphony’s dedication to Napoleon, and late in life he spoke of Napoleon with grudging admiration. When the symphony was published in 1806, though, the title page bore only the cryptic inscription “Sinfonia eroica–dedicated to the memory of a great man.”

The new symphony was given several private performances before the public première on April 7, 1805. Early audiences were dumbfounded. Wrote one reviewer: “This long composition, extremely difficult of performance, is in reality a tremendously expanded, daring and wild fantasia. It lacks nothing in the way of startling and beautiful passages, in which the energetic and talented composer must be recognized; but often it loses itself in lawlessness . . . The reviewer belongs to Herr Beethoven’s sincerest admirers, but in this composition he must confess that he finds too much that is glaring and bizarre, which hinders greatly one’s grasp of the whole, and a sense of unity is almost completely lost.” Legend has it that at the end of the first movement, one outraged member of the audience screamed out: “I’ll give another kreutzer [a small coin] if the thing will but stop!” It is easy now to smile at such reactions, but those honest sentiments reflect the confusion of listeners in the presence of a genuinely revolutionary work of art.

There had never been a symphony like this, and Beethoven’s “new directions” are evident from the first instant. The music explodes to life with two whipcracks in E-flat major, followed immediately by the main ideas in the cellos. This slightly swung theme is simply built on the notes of an E-flat major chord, but the theme settles on a “wrong” note–C-sharp–and the resulting harmonic complications will be resolved only after much violence. Another striking feature of this movement is Beethoven’s choice of 3/4 instead of the duple meter customary in symphonic first movements; 3/4, the minuet meter, had been thought essentially lightweight, unworthy of serious music. Beethoven destroys that notion instantly–this is not simply serious music, it is music of the greatest violence and uncertainty. In it, what Beethoven’s biographer Maynard Solomon has called “hostile energy” is admitted for the first time into what had been the polite world of the classical symphony. This huge movement (longer by itself than some complete Haydn and Mozart symphonies) introduces a variety of themes and develops them with a furious energy. It is no accident that the development is the longest section of this movement. The energy pent up in those themes is unleashed here, and the development–much of it fugal in structure–is full of grand gestures, stinging dissonances, and tremendous forward thrust. The lengthy recapitulation (in which the music continues to develop) drives to a powerful coda: the main theme repeats four times, growing more powerful on each appearance, and finally it is shouted out in triumph. This truly is a “heroic” movement–it raises serious issues, and in music of unparalleled drama and scope it resolves them.

The second movement brings another surprise–it is a funeral march, something else entirely new in symphonic music. Beethoven moves to dark C minor as violins announce the grieving main idea over growling basses, and the movement makes its somber way on the tread of this dark theme. The C-major central interlude sounds almost bright by comparison–the hero’s memory is ennobled here–but when the opening material and tonality return Beethoven ratchets up tensions by treating his material fugally. At the end, the march theme disintegrates in front of us, and the movement ends on muttering fragments of that theme.

Out of this silence, the propulsive scherzo springs to life, then explodes. For all its revolutionary features, the Eroica employs what was essentially the Mozart-Haydn orchestra: pairs of winds, plus timpani and strings. Beethoven makes only one change–he adds a third horn, which is now featured prominently in the trio section’s hunting-horn calls. But that one change, seemingly small by itself, is yet another signal of the originality of this symphony: the virtuosity of the writing for horns, the sweep of their brassy sonority–all these are new in music.

The finale is a theme-and-variation movement, a form originally intended to show off the imagination of the composer and the skill of the performer. Here Beethoven transforms this old form into a grand conclusion worthy of heroic symphony. After an opening flourish, he presents no the theme but the bass line of that theme, played by pizzicato strings, and offers several variations on this line before the melodic theme itself is heard in the woodwinds, now accompanied by the same pizzicato line. This tune had special appeal for Beethoven, and he had already used it in three other works, including his ballet Prometheus. Was Beethoven thinking of Prometheus–stealer of fire and champion of mankind–when he used this theme for the climactic movement of this utterly original symphony? He puts the theme through a series of dazzling variations, including complex fugal treatment, before reaching a moment of poise on a stately slow variation for woodwinds. The music pauses expectantly, and then a powerful Presto coda hurls the Eroica to its close.

The Eroica may have stunned its first audiences, but audiences today run the greater risk of forgetting how revolutionary this music is. What seemed “lawlessness” to early audiences must now be seen as an extraordinary leap to an entirely new conception of what music might be. Freed from the restraint of courtly good manners, Beethoven found in the symphony the means to express the most serious and important of human emotions. It is no surprise the composers over the next century would make full use of this freedom. Nor is it a surprise to learn that late in life–at a time when he had written eight symphonies–Beethoven named the Eroica as his own favorite among his symphonies.

Arrive early for a pre-performance lecture by Michael Gerdes

Bamberg SymphonyThe Bamberg Symphony – Bavarian State Philharmonic has always enjoyed a special status in the music world. 7,000 concerts in more than 60 countries and 500 cities – with that record, the Bamberg Symphony is rightly considered the German touring orchestra. The circumstances of its birth make the Bamberg Symphony a mirror to German history. In 1946 former members of Prague’s German Philharmonic met fellow musicians who had also been obliged to flee their homes. In Bamberg they founded the "Bamberger Tonkünstlerorchester", later renamed "Bamberger Symphoniker". The link with Prague’s Orchestra makes Bamberg the inheritor of a musical tradition stretching back to the 19th and even 18th Centuries, to Mahler and Mozart – 230 years of Bohemian sound.

Evidence of the outstanding reputation it enjoys everywhere comes in constant invitations to visit leading festivals and to tour at home and abroad, and in prizes for the Orchestra’s recordings, e.g. the MIDEM Classical Award, the International »Toblach Composing Hut« Record Prize or the ECHO Klassik.

That reputation is also in no small part due to the Principal and Guest Conductors who have led and shaped the Bamberg Symphony over the decades. Since January 2000, the Orchestra’s artistic direction has been in the hands of Jonathan Nott whose contract runs until summer 2016. Alongside him, Herbert Blomstedt has also played a distinguished role in Bamberg as Honorary Conductor since March 2006; in January 2016, Christoph Eschenbach was also appointed Honorary Conductor of the Orchestra; and from 2010 to 2013 Robin Ticciati was Principal Guest Conductor.

From autumn 2016, Jakub Hrůša will assume musical direction of the Orchestra. In view of the Bamberg Symphony’s history, the future Chief Conductor will once more, in its 70th year, bridge its past and its present. Jakub Hrůša will be the fifth Chief Conductor in the history of the Bamberg Symphony.

At the end of his tenure, Jonathan Nott will have conducted the Bamberg Symphony over 650 times – more often than any other conductor in the history of the Orchestra. He and the Bamberg Symphony appear regularly together as guests at all the top festivals. They performed several times at Lucerne Festival: in the summer 2015 with Giuseppe Verdi’s »Falstaff«, in the summer 2013, on the occasion of Richard Wagner’s 200th birthday, with Wagner’s »Ring« cycle and in 2007 with Jonathan Nott as »artiste étoile«. In that year, they also performed for Pope Benedict XVI in the Papal summer residence Castel Gandolfo to mark the 1000th anniversary of the Bishopric of Bamberg. In 2003 they made their joint debut at the Edinburgh International Festival, returning in 2005 and 2011 as orchestra in residence. Under Jonathan Nott the Bamberg Symphony has performed at the Salzburg Festival and Beijing Music Festival, at London’s Proms, the Festival in San Sebastián and, on four occasions, at New York’s Lincoln Center. They have undertaken extended trips round Europe, with concerts in Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Luxemburg, London, Vienna and Berlin, and tours of Japan, China and South America. In autumn 2012, they went on their 13th tour to Japan, for the first time with their Honorary Conductor Herbert Blomstedt.

In addition the Bamberg Symphony is a frequent guest and renowned concert halls of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, such as Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Philharmonie Essen, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Tonhalle Zurich as well as at the leading festivals such as Beethovenfest Bonn, Rheingau Music Festival, Mozartfest Würzburg and Bad Kissingen Summer Festival.

In the season 2015/2016 the Bamberg Symphony tours to South America for the 9th time and fills two blank spaces on its »musical world map« with concerts in Monte Carlo and Oman. The Bamberg Symphony has produced a steady stream of CDs under Jonathan Nott’s direction, all in co-production with Bavarian Radio and the Swiss label Tudor. A project that they have been working on for ten years was the recording of all completed symphonies of Gustav Mahler. Some of the recordings have been awarded international prizes such as the International "Toblach Composing Cabin" Record Prize and the 2010 MIDEM Classical Award. Furthermore, they have recorded the complete Symphonies of Schubert, coupled with contemporary compositions on the idea of ‘Schubert’, including works by Henze, Rihm, Jörg Widmann and Bruno Mantovani. Other recordings include the first version of Bruckner’s Third Symphony and music by Janáček and Stravinsky.

It is not only for its concerts that the Bamberg Symphony enjoys worldwide renown. In the spring of 2004 the Orchestra mounted the first edition of The Mahler Competition, the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, which was quickly recognized internationally as the most important forum of its kind. For Gustavo Dudamel, winner of the very first Competition, success in Bamberg lit the fuse under a meteoric rise which has seen the young Venezuelan courted by the world’s leading orchestras. The next Mahler Competition will take place in May 2016.

In 2010 Bamberg also launched its Orchestra Academy, which enables talented young musicians to spend two years experiencing the daily routine of work in a top ensemble. This gives them a springboard into a professional career in international orchestras and the Bamberg Symphony a guarantee that the legendary "Bamberg sound" will be passed on to the next generation of players.

This performance marks Bamberg Symphony's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Christoph EschenbachBorn in Breslau , Germany (today Wroclaw, Poland), Christoph Eschenbach studied piano with Professor Eliza Hansen and won in his young age numerous piano competitions. In 1965 the first prize of the Clara Haskil competition in Luzern was the original event of his soloist carrier. In demand worldwide by famous concert halls and orchestras, he met George Szell who invited him to tour with the Cleveland orchestra. In the same period Christoph Eschenbach developped a great artistic collaboration with Herbert von Karajan as well.

Successful conducting studies passed in Hamburg and the influence of Szell and Karajan, the two mentors, naturally led him to initiate his carrier as a conductor. He began in 1972, and made his debut in the USA in 1975 with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

Nowadays Christoph Eschenbach is in demand as a distinguished guest conductor with the finest orchestras and opera houses throughout the world (Vienna, Berlin, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Shanghai, Rome, Milan, Dresden, Leipzig, Münich, Amsterdam, etc.) as well as prestigious festivals (Salzbourg, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Saint Petersbourg, Granada, Rheingau, Schleswig Holstein, ect.).

His grand classic repertoire is ranging from J.S. Bach to music of our time and reflects his commitment to not just canonical works but also to the music of the late-­ 20th and early-­21st-­century.

In the field of opera, he has conducted Cosi fan tutte at Covent Garden in 1984 and at the Houston Opera, as well as the Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Parsifal (staged by Robert Wilson), Salome and Elektra, (staged by Andrei Serban), Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival and at the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg. In November 2001, Arabella at the New York Metropolitan and Don Giovanni (staged by Peter Stein) in 2004 for the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Lyric Opera. During the 2005/2006 season, he has conducted at the Théâtre du Châtelet a production of Wagner’s Ring des Nibelung, staged by Robert Wilson. In December 2010 he has conducted with great success Mathis der Maler by Paul Hindemith at the Opera Paris Bastille. More recently, he inaugurated the Mozart / Da Ponte cycle at the Salzburg Summer Festival with Cosi fan tutte in 2013 and Don Giovanni in 2014. That same season, he has also conducted Idomeneo at the Vienna State Opera.

Christoph Eschenbach has been the Music Director of the Tonhalle-­Gesellschaft in Zurich from 1982 to 1986, of the Houston Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 1999 and of the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg from 1998 to 2004. After ten years as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris from September 2000 to August 2010, and four years for the Philadelphia Orchestra, from September 2003 to 2008, he became in September 2010 Music Director of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as the Washington National Symphony.

To his important discography as a pianist should be added numerous recordings at the head of the Houston Symphonic Orchestra, the Hamburg NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra (Tchaïkovski, Mahler, Saint-­Saëns, Bartok), the Orchestre de Paris with Berlioz, Bruckner, Dusapin, Berio, Ravel, Dalbavie, Zemlinsky, Roussel (the complete symphonies), Beethoven (the Piano Concertos n. 1 and 4, nominated for the 2009 Grammy Awards) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Bruckner, Symphony n. 6, Beethoven, Missa Solemnis, Messiaen, Des Canyons aux Etoiles). The Complete Symphonies by Mahler recorded with the Orchestre de Paris is watchable in streaming on his website. His last recording with the Washington NSO was issued for the 50th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center.

After the recent release of Die schöne Müllerin, the Schwanengesang and the Winterreise recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Christoph Eschenbach and Matthias Goerne are continuing their fructuous collaboration and regularly perform in recitals of voice and piano, presenting the cycles of Lieder by Schubert, Brahms and Schumann.

For Christoph Eschenbach, to transmit and to discover are fundamental activities, this is why he regularly holds master-­classes (Manhattan School of Music, Kronberg Academy, CNSM of Paris) and collaborates with summer academies and youth orchestras such as the Schleswig Holstein Academy Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (GMJO), the Curtis Institute...

Christoph Eschenbach has received the 2014 Grammy Award for his recording of works by Hindemith performed with the NDR Symphony Orchestra and the violinist Midori.

He had the honor to be named Chevalier of the French Légion d’Honneur in January 2003, Officer of the National Order of Merit in May 2006 and decorated with the Order of Merit of the Federal Rebublic of Germany. He has been made French Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and has received the Leonard-­ Bernstein award of the Pacific Music Festival. In June 2015 he received the Ernst von Siemens music Awards (described as the "Nobel Price for Music") in honour of his life ‘s dedication to music.

Christoph Eschenbach last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Celebrity Orchestra Series on May 24, 2007.

Ray ChenWinner of the Queen Elisabeth (2009) and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions (2008), Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. “Ray has proven himself to be a very pure musician with great qualities such as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness. He has all the skills of a truly musical interpreter,” said the great Maxim Vengerov.

Ray has released three critically acclaimed albums on Sony: a recital program “Virtuoso” of works by Bach, Tartini, Franck, and Wieniawski, and the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky concertos with Swedish Radio Orchestra and Daniel Harding. Following the success of these recordings, Ray was profiled by The Strad and Gramophone magazines as “the one to watch”. “Virtuoso” was distinguished with the prestigious ECHO Klassik award. His third recording, an all-Mozart album with Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, was released in January 2014. Ray continues to win the admiration of fans and fellow musicians worldwide. On Bastille Day in 2015, he joined Daniele Gatti and the Orchestre National de France for a televised concert on the Champs-de-Mars in Paris in front of an audience of over 800,000.

Ray recently completed a five-city tour of China with the Gothenburg Symphony and Kent Nagano as well as a European tour with the London Philharmonic and Christoph Eschenbach. Other highlights of the past season include his debuts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, a recital at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and a second engagement with Gatti and the Orchestre National de France. In 2012 he became the youngest soloist ever to perform in the televised Nobel Prize Concert for the Nobel Laureates and the Swedish Royal Family. His Carnegie Hall debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sakari Oramo, as well as his sold-out Musikverein concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly were met with standing ovations. Ray was a Junge Wilde artist at the Konzerthaus Dortmund between 2012 and 2015.

Followed by over 2 million people on SoundCloud, Ray Chen looks to expand the classical music audience by increasing its appeal to the young generation via all available social media platforms. In particular his series of quirky, self- made online videos has proven an effective tool in broadening the reach of classical music through humor and education. He is the first ever classical musician to be invited to write a regular blog about his life as a touring soloist for the largest Italian publishing house, RCS Rizzoli (Corriere della Sera, Gazzetta dello Sport, Max). In his unstinting efforts to break down barriers between classical music, fashion and pop culture, he is supported by Giorgio Armani and was recently featured in Vogue magazine. Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Ray was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age 15, where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. He plays the 1715 “Joachim” Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation. This instrument was once owned by the famed Hungarian violinist, Joseph Joachim (1831-1907).

Ray Chen last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Discovery Series on March 6, 2011.

Feb 26 @ 3:00 pm
SEONG-JIN CHO, piano  @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States

Seong-Jin Cho, piano

2015 First Prize Winner 17th international Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition

Award-winning pianist Seong-Jin performs works by Berg, Schubert and Chopin

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Seong-Jin Cho, piano

BERGPiano Sonata, Op. 1
SCHUBERTPiano Sonata in C Minor, D.958
CHOPIN24 Preludes, Op. 28

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Seong-Jin Cho, piano

by Eric Bromberger

Piano Sonata, Opus 1

Born February 9, 1885, Vienna
Died December 24, 1935, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 12 minutes

In the fall of 1904, Alban Berg–nineteen years old– appeared on the doorstep of Arnold Schoenberg in Vienna with a portfolio of youthful compositions. He was answering Schoenberg’s newspaper advertisement for composition students, and that fall the older composer accepted Berg and another young man named Anton Webern as private students. Berg would remain a student of Schoenberg for the next six years, and the music he composed under Schoenberg’s guidance during the first decade of the century shows a steady growth in assurance and sophistication. Yet these first efforts–the Seven Early Songs, the Piano Sonata, and the String Quartet–are in some measure all transitional works: they show signs of Berg’s future direction (particularly in their motivic concentration), yet all three works remain firmly anchored in the late-romantic idiom of the turn of the century.

Berg’s Piano Sonata is very much a transitional work. He began it in the summer of 1907, after three years of study with Schoenberg, and completed it the following summer. The sonata is only one movement long, though Berg’s original plan had been to compose a piano sonata in traditional threemovement form. Having completed what was to be the first movement of that sonata, Berg found that he could make no headway on the second and third movements, and Schoenberg suggested that the young composer should regard the work as complete in its one-movement form. Berg felt satisfied enough with this music to consider it his Opus 1, and it was published by Universal Edition in 1910. The first public performance took place in Vienna on April 24, 1911.

Listeners may be struck by just how traditional this movement is, for it conforms in many ways to the form of the classical piano sonata. While it is written with a great deal of harmonic freedom, it has a home key and even a key signature (B minor), and Berg honors classical form to the extent of offering a repeat of the exposition. The remarkable thing about this music is Berg’s ability to generate an entire structure out of tiny motivic fragments, most of which are presented in the opening measures. These are expanded into a full sonata-form structure, recapitulated, and brought to a quiet–and emotionally-satisfying–close in unequivocal B minor. Berg notates this music with scrupulous care, with tempo fluctuations and dynamic gradations registered quite precisely. This is wide-ranging music in many senses: the writing spans almost the entire width of the keyboard, and its dynamic compass stretches from triple forte to triple piano.

Piano Sonata in C Minor, D.958

Born January 31, 1797, Vienna
Died November 19, 1828, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 31 minutes

The year 1828 was both a miracle and a disaster for Schubert. The miracle lay in the level of his creativity: he completed his “Great” Symphony in C Major and several works for piano duet during the winter and spring, the Mass in E-flat Major over the summer, three piano sonatas in September, and the Cello Quintet in October. The disaster, of course, was his health. Never fully well after a year-long illness during 1822-23, Schubert went into sudden decline in the fall and died suddenly in November at age 31. Yet even at that age (an age at which Beethoven and Haydn were virtually unknown), Schubert had achieved an artistic maturity that makes the works of his final year among the most remarkable and moving in all of music.

Schubert began work on the Piano Sonata in C Minor on September 1, though evidence suggests that he was working from sketches made as long as a year earlier. Everyone feels the influence of Beethoven on this sonata; Schubert’s biographer John Reed believes that he was consciously trying to assume the mantle of Beethoven (who had died the previous year), and certainly the choice of key, the dramatic gestures, and the character of the thematic material suggest the older composer.

The beginning of the Allegro resounds with echoes of Beethoven, both in the emphatic opening chords and in the muttering, nervous main theme. Yet quickly this theme turns serene and flowing, reminding us to value this sonata as the music of Schubert rather than searching for resemblances to other composers. The chordal second subject is pure Schubert, and the extended development–built around the collision of these quite different kinds of music–brings a great deal of emotional variety. It also takes the pianist to the extreme ends of the keyboard before the (quite Beethovenian) close on a quiet C minor chord.

The Adagio, with its elegant, measured main theme, has also reminded many of that earlier master. Schubert marks the opening sempre ligato, yet with its fermatas and pauses and pounding triplets this movement too brings a range of expression. The Menuetto seems at first more conventional: the initial statement of the main theme is in octaves in the right hand, and soon Schubert is inserting one-measure rests that catch us by surprise as they break the music’s flow. The finale begins as what seems a conventional tarantella, yet it is remarkable for its rhythmic and harmonic variety. Throughout this extended movement, Schubert maintains the expected 6/8 meter of the tarantella, yet he accents that meter with such variety that the pulse sometimes feels completely different. Similarly, he moves with graceful freedom through a range of unexpected keys, including B major and C-sharp minor, so that this movement–while long–seems to be constantly evolving, right up to the two thunderous concluding chords.

Preludes, Opus 28

Born February 22, 1810, Z• elazowa Wola, Poland
Died October 17, 1849, Paris
Approximate Duration: 30 minutes

As a small boy in Poland, Chopin fell in love with the keyboard music of Bach. Like Beethoven before him (and Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich after him), Chopin was particularly drawn to The Well-Tempered Clavier, Bach’s two sets of 24 preludes and fugues in all the major and minor keys of the chromatic scale. Haunted by Bach’s achievement, Chopin wished to try something similar, and in 1836, shortly after completing his Études, Opus 25, he began to compose a series of short preludes, but it would take him three years to complete the entire set of 24. In the fall of 1838, Chopin sailed with George Sand to Mallorca, taking with him a number of Bach scores. On the island, living in an abandoned monastery high in a mountain village that was alternately bathed in Mediterranean sunlight and torn by freezing rainstorms, he completed the Preludes in January 1839; they were published in Paris later that year.

While certain scholars have heard echoes of Bach in the Preludes, this is very much the music of Chopin. And while these preludes do proceed through all the major and minor keys, Chopin does not write accompanying fugues, as Bach did: these are not preludes to anything larger, but are complete works in themselves. The entire set of 24 preludes lasts about 45 minutes, so these are concise essays in all the keys, and they encompass an enormous variety of technique, ranging from very easy preludes (played by every amateur pianist on the planet) to numbingly difficult ones, playable by only the most gifted performers. They cover an unusual expressive range as well, from the cheerful sunlight of some to the uneasy darkness of others.

Each prelude exists as an independent work and may be played separately, or the entire cycle may be played at once, revealing a full world of sharply contrasted moods and music. Rather than describing each prelude in detail, it may be best to let listeners discover each for themselves. Some of the best-known preludes are of course those accessible to non-professionals. These include No. 20 in C Minor, inevitably nicknamed “Funeral March” (Chopin despised all such subjective titles and the effort to attach programs to pieces he wished to have considered solely as music). Also in this category are the graceful No. 7 in A Major (only sixteen measures long) and No. 4 in E Minor, which however over familiar it has become–remains some of the most expressive music ever written. At the other extreme are such preludes as No. 8 in F-sharp Minor, with its nervous, driven quality, and No. 24 in D Minor, full of bravura brilliance. Many have noted Chopin’s unusual use of repeated chords or notes throughout the set: the tolling sound of these chords is used for quite different expressive purposes in No. 15 in D-flat Major (nicknamed the “Raindrop” by George Sand, to Chopin’s exasperation), in No. 17 in A-flat Major, and in many others.

One of the particular pleasures of a performance of the complete Preludes is not just to hear each individual prelude, some of which pass by in a matter of seconds, but to experience the totality of the world Chopin creates in this set. It is a world of the most dazzling variety, by turns cheerful, dark, lyric, dramatic, friendly, and terrifying, all superbly disciplined within the tight compass of the 24 keys. Bach would have found much of this music strange, but he would instantly have understood Chopin’s achievement in it.

Musical Prelude 2 PM
Erica Hwang, a young violinist from the San Diego Youth Symphony perform.

SAINT-SAËNSIntroduction et rondo capriccioso, Op. 28 Erica Hwang , violin
Dr. Cho Hyun Park, piano
MENDELSSOHNAllegro molto appassionato from Violin Concerto, Op. 64 Erica Hwang , violin
Dr. Cho Hyun Park, piano

Yeawon (Erica) Hwang is a junior at Torrey Pines High School. She began playing the violin at the age of six and currently studies with Peichun Tsai. This is Erica’s sixth season as a violinist in the San Diego Youth Symphony, and she is currently the Jeffrey Dan Sollender Co-Concertmaster. As the winner of the 2016-17 SDYS Concerto Competition, Erica will perform the Barber Concerto with the Youth Symphony at Copley Hall in June. Erica has won awards such as the Chet and June Schmidt 1st Prize Award in the Helen B. Goodlin Scholarship Competition (2016), 1st in the VOCE State Finals for both Solo and Chamber (2015), 2nd in the MTAC Concerto Competition (2015), and 2nd in SDYS’s Ovation Concerto Competition (2015). She was also a finalist in the San Diego Symphony’s Young Artists Competition (2015). Erica has spent her summers at Le Domaine Forget Académie (2016), the International Youth Symphony (2014, 2015), and Idyllwild ChamberFest (2014). She also participated in SDYS’s 70th Anniversary China Tour in 2015, playing in the Oriental Arts Centre, the Polygrand Theatre, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall. Erica has participated in masterclasses with Rachel Barton Pine, Régis Pasquier, Glenn Dicterow, Martin Chaulifour, and Kevork Mardirossian. Erica also engages in community service through music. This is her third year participating in SDYS’s Mentor Program at Casa de Amistad, where she teaches the violin and viola to children who cannot afford music lessons. She is also Regional Director for Back to BACH, a project which introduces classical music to young audiences.

Seong-Jin ChoSeong-Jin Cho was brought to the world’s attention in October 2015 when he won First Prize at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. Four years before he had won Third Prize at the Tchaikovsky competition, aged only 17. With his overwhelming talent and natural musicality, Seong-Jin Cho is rapidly embarking on a world-class career and is considered one of the most distinctive artists of his generation.

In January 2016, Seong-Jin Cho signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon.

Born in 1994 in Seoul, Seong-Jin started studying the piano at 6 and gave his first public recital five years later. In September, 2008 at the age of 14, he won the First prize at the sixth Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition. In November, 2009 he won the First prize at the seventh Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan (youngest winner in its history).

Seong-Jin has performed with some of the world’s major orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Radio France Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra, under renowned conductors such as Myung-Whun Chung, Lorin Maazel, Marek Janowski, Mikhail Pletnev, Valery Gergiev, and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Future engagements in 2016 and 2017 include concerts with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Yuri Temirkanov, Accademia Santa Cecilia di Roma and Valery Gergiev, Russian National Orchestra and Mikhail Pletnev, Tokyo Philharmonic and Myung-Whun Chung, Orchestre de Paris and Tomás Netopil. Seong-Jin will play debut recitals at the Concertgebouw Recital Hall, St. Petersburg Philharmonia, London International Piano series, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Prague Spring Festival, Klavier Festival Ruhr, and Carnegie Hall’s main hall.

Since 2012, Seong-Jin has been living in Paris. After studying with Prof. S.R. Park, S.J. Shin in Seoul, he studied with Michel Béroff at Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique.

This performance marks Seong-Jin Cho's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Mar 3 @ 8:00 pm
SDYS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

SDYS Chamber Orchestra

Jeff Edmons, music director & conductor
Caroline Goulding, violin

La Jolla Music Society showcases the incredibly talented young musicians of SDYS’ Chamber Orchestra featuring Discovery Series Artist violinist Caroline Goulding playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.1 in B-flat Major.

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There are two opportunities to enhance your evening and enjoyment of this performance, both before and after the program:
Prior to the performance please join us for Happy Hour at The LOT.

MOZARTOverture to Così Fan Tutte, K.588
MOZARTViolin Concerto No.1 in B-flat Major, K.207
BEETHOVENSymphony No.4 in B-flat Major, Op.60

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: SDYS Chamber Orchestra with Caroline Goulding, violin

by Eric Bromberger

Overture to Così fan tutte, K.588

Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 5 minutes

Così fan tutte has always been Mozart’s “other” great opera, the one people remember after they have thought of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute. Commissioned by Emperor Joseph II, Così fan tutte was premièred in Vienna on January 26, 1790 (the day before the composer’s 34th birthday) and was a great success, being produced ten times in that year alone. But the subject of the opera–the constancy (or, more accurately, the inconstancy) of women– has proven troublesome. The title Così fan tutte translates rather lasciviously “They all do it” (the article is feminine), and nineteenth-century audiences thought the whole thing immoral. Soon after its première, Così fell into a long obscurity from which it was rescued a century later by the young Richard Strauss, who recognized the sparkle and wit behind the at times acid-edged story.

Some of Mozart’s opera overtures have become staples of the concert hall, but the overture to Così has never become a particular favorite with audiences, who find it energetic and polished, but a trifle cool and detached. The brief overture opens with an Andante introduction, then rushes ahead at the Presto: rustling strings and chains of woodwind lines flow smoothly together, alternating with sections built on resounding chords for full orchestra. None of the music from the overture reappears in the opera, with one crucial exception: at the end of the Andante introduction, lower strings sound a solemn descending line that resolves into the huge chords that introduce the Presto. This music, which returns at the close of the overture, is taken from Don Alfonso’s aria near the end of the opera: “Tutti accusan le donne, ed io le scuso”: “All accuse women, and I excuse them.” That line becomes, in a sense, the moral of the opera, and Don Alfonso’s ringing words “Così fan tutte!” are set to the same chords that mark the end of the overture’s Andante introduction. Mozart clearly composed the overture after the opera was complete, and the one bit of music he included from the opera encapsulates the meaning of all that follows.

Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Major, K.207

Approximate Duration: 21 minutes

Mozart wrote all five of his violin concertos in 1775, when he was 19, and they were probably first played by the court concertmaster in Salzburg, the Italian virtuoso Antonio Brunetti. The First dates from April, and another followed every few months thereafter until the series culminated in December with the magnificent “Turkish” Concerto. Scholars have been unanimous in recognizing a steady improvement with each successive installment of this series, and their praise for the Fifth has been lavish indeed: Alfred Einstein describes it “unsurpassed for brilliance, tenderness, and wit.”

So what–by implication–does such a progression say about the Violin Concerto No. 1? That it must be inferior? Not necessarily, but it is important to remember that this was a transition period in Mozart’s creative career–only a handful of the 200 works he had written to this date remain in the active repertory. When he wrote this concerto, in fact, Mozart had virtually no experience writing concertos: he had written only five piano concertos (and four of these were arrangements of music by other composers, made when he was 11) and the Bassoon Concerto. The mastery of Mozart’s mature piano concertos–in which concerto form provides the setting for the most acute opposition of soloist and orchestra, subtle development of musical material, and careful integration of virtuosity into the symphonic argument–was still some years in the future. In fact, many have noted an element of serenade style in Mozart’s violin concertos: they breathe an atmosphere of easy charm, tunefulness, and relaxed spirits well-suited to their goal of providing pleasing entertainment.

Certainly the Violin Concerto No. 1 is memorable for its profusion of cheerful themes, and so fertile is Mozart’s imagination here that no theme ever seems to come back literally; rather they are always in the process of evolving, growing, becoming ever more melodic. The Allegro moderato opens with a brief but crisp orchestral introduction, and the soloist quickly enters on the orchestra’s opening gesture. This movement is full of non-stop energy: there is no episode at a slower speed or of more lyrical character. Instead, this movement sparkles along with a sort of breathless impetuosity. By contrast, the Adagio brings an unending flow of melody. The orchestra lays out the silky main idea, and when the violin enters it is at first only to accompany a repetition of this theme; soon the violin takes wing with its own soaring material, and this movement sings gracefully throughout. The finale, aptly marked Presto, offers the greatest wealth of themes: one hears new ideas all the way through, as if each turn of phrase sets off Mozart’s imagination with new possibilities. Mozart’s use of material borders on the prodigal here: certain themes flash past and then vanish (one wishes, for example, that the orchestra’s slashing 32nd-note snaps from the very opening might return, but they never do). With its blazing passagework and wide melodic skips, this is the most overtly virtuosic of the three movements, yet it too dances and sings happily all the way to the close. Mozart offers the opportunity for cadenzas at the end of all three movements.

Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Opus 60

Born December 16, 1770, Bonn
Died March 26, 1827, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 33 minutes

Over the second half of 1803, Beethoven composed his Third Symphony, the Eroica, and that white-hot symphony redefined what music might be. No longer was it a polite entertainment form–now it became a vehicle for the most serious and dramatic expression. Even as he was revising the Eroica, Beethoven began to have ideas for a new symphony, of similar scope and set in C minor, and he made some sketches for it. But he set these plans aside to take on another musical project based on the idea of heroism, the opera Leonore (later renamed Fidelio). Leonore occupied Beethoven for nearly two years, and it was not until 1806 that he had seen the opera through its première and revision.

In the summer of 1806 Beethoven accompanied his patron Prince Karl Lichnowsky to the prince’s summer palace at Troppau in Silesia. That September, composer and prince paid a visit to the nearby castle of another nobleman, Coun Franz von Oppersdorff. The count was a musical enthusiast almost without equal: he maintained a private orchestra at his castle and would hire new staff for the castle only if they played an instrument and could also play in his orchestra. During that visit, the orchestra performed Beethoven’s Second Symphony, and the count commissioned a new symphony from the composer: Beethoven would receive 500 florins, and in return Oppersdorff would get the dedication, the first performance, and exclusive rights to the music for six months. Beethoven returned to Lichnowsky’s palace and set to work on the symphony, but he did not use his sketches for a symphony in C minor. Instead, he composed his Fourth Symphony from completely new material.

Beethoven’s business dealings could sometimes be slippery, and so they were now. The composer got his 500 florins, but all Oppersdorff got in return was the dedication– Beethoven went ahead and had the Fourth Symphony premièred in Vienna on March 7, 1807, at a private concert that also saw the première of the Coriolan Overture and the Fourth Piano Concerto. Only after the Fourth Symphony had been premièred did Beethoven return to the sketches for a symphony in C minor he had made right after completing the Eroica. We know it today as the Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, begun before but completed after the Fourth Symphony.

The Fourth Symphony has inevitably been overshadowed by the titanic symphonies on either side of it, a relationship best captured in Schumann’s oft-quoted description of the Fourth as “a slender Greek maiden between two Nordic giants.” The Fourth does seem at first a relaxation, a retreat from the path blazed by the Eroica. Some have been ready to consider the Fourth a regression, and others have specifically identified the influence of Haydn on it: the symphony opens with the sort of slow introduction Haydn often used, and it employs the smallest orchestra of any Beethoven symphony (it has only one flute part). But Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony is only superficially Haydnesque, and we need to be careful not to underestimate this music–the Fourth has a concentrated structure and enough energy that it achieves some of the same things as the Fifth, though without the darkness at the heart of that mighty symphony.

The originality of the Fourth Symphony is evident from its first instant–the key signature may say B-flat major, but the symphony opens in B-flat minor. Everything about this Adagio introduction feels strange. Not only is it in the wron key, but soon it seems to be in no clear key at all. It is hard to make out any thematic material or direction. And the pace of this uncertainty is very slow–in his study of Beethoven’s symphonies, Richard Osborne quotes Carl Maria von Weber’s derisive review of this opening: “Every quarter of an hour we hear three or four notes. It is exciting!” Yet Beethoven knows what he’s about, and he does the same thing in the introduction to his String Quartet in C Major, Opus 59, No. 3, written at exactly the same time: both works begin in a tonal fog, but those mists blow away with the arrival of the main body of the movement, marked Allegro vivace in both symphony and quartet.

That transition is done beautifully in the Fourth Symphony. As the music approaches the Allegro vivace, huge chords lash it forward, and when the main theme leaps out brightly, we recognize it as simply a speeded-up version of the slow introduction. That shape, so tentative at the very beginning, takes a variety of hard-edged forms in the main body of the movement: it becomes the second theme as well, presented by bassoon and other solo woodwinds, and it also forms an accompaniment figure, chirping along happily in the background. This is a substantial movement (much longer than the first movement of the Fifth), and it drives to a powerful close.

The Adagio may be just as original. It opens not with a theme but with an accompaniment: the second violins’ dotted rhythms (outlining the interval of a fourth) will tap into our consciousness all the way through this movement. First violins sing the main theme, which Beethoven takes care to mark cantabile. Hector Berlioz’s comments on this melody may seem a little over the top, but they do speak to its air of great calm: “the being who wrote such a marvel of inspiration as this movement was not a man. Such must be the song of the Archangel Michael as he contemplates the world’s uprising to the threshold of the empyrean.” The second subject, of Italianate ease, arrives in the solo clarinet and preserves some of this same atmosphere. Throughout, Beethoven continually reminds the orchestra to play not just cantabile but also espressivo, dolce, and legato. At the close, solo timpani very quietly taps out the movement’s accompaniment rhythm one final time before the movement concludes on two surprisingly fierce chords.

Beethoven marked the third movement Allegro vivace, and this is in every way a scherzo: its outer sections are full of rough edges and blistering energy, and its witty trio is built on a rustic woodwind tune spiced with saucy interjections from the violins. This movement has an unusual structure: Beethoven brings the trio back for a second appearance (the structure is ABABA) and drives it to a fun close–two horns attempt a fanfare of their own but are cut off when Beethoven brings down the guillotine blade of the full orchestra.

Out of that emphatic ending, the finale bursts to life, and it goes like a rocket. This movement may be in sonata form, but it feels like a perpetual-motion with a basic pulse of racing sixteenth-notes that hardly ever lets up. There is some relaxed secondary material along the way, but even this is at high speed, and finally the movement races to a grand pause. Out of that silence Beethoven slows the movement almost to a crawl (the perpetual-motion theme feels as if it has become stuck in glue), then suddenly releases it, and lower strings rush the symphony to its powerful concluding chords.

Arrive early for an interview with Caroline Goulding hosted by Allison Boles.

SDYSChamber3Under the leadership of President and CEO Dalouge Smith and Music Director Jeff Edmons, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) instills excellence in the musical and personal development of students ages 8 to 23 through rigorous and inspiring musical training experiences. Since 1945, SDYS has given thousands of musicians the opportunity to study and perform classical repertoire at a highly advanced level. SDYS attracts student musicians from throughout San Diego, Imperial and Riverside counties and serves over 600 students annually through its 12 ensembles.

The organization’s preeminent ensemble, the SDYS Chamber Orchestra is comprised of the principal and assistant principal musicians from the advanced level Ovation Program and rehearses at an extraordinarily proficient level for a youth program. Provided the finest training, the Chamber Orchestra is given the opportunity to perform professional level repertoire from multiple historic periods for both string orchestra and full chamber orchestra on a national and international stage. Most recently, select students of the San Diego Youth Symphony participated in SDYS’s 70th Anniversary tour to China and performed in Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, San Diego’s sister city Yantai’s Poly Grand Theatre and the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai in June 2015.

SDYS Chamber Orchestra last performed at La Jolla Music Society in the San Diego Youth Symphony Series on December, 11 2015 San Diego Youth Symphony enjoys a successful partnership with LJMS.

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Jeff-EdmondUnder Jeff Edmons' direction, the Youth Symphony has experienced tremendous growth, both in enrollment and in level of musical achievement. Performing the most difficult works in classical repertoire, SDYS achieves the highest standard attainable by a youth orchestra. SDYS' exemplary standards of skill and musicianship have afforded it the opportunity to participate in the most prestigious international festivals and perform with eminent guest artists and musicians from around the world.

Under Mr. Edmons direction, the Youth Symphony boasts a strong international presence as well as setting a benchmark for excellence in the United States. San Diego Magazine named Jeff Edmons as "50 People to Watch in 1997."

Mr. Edmons has dedicated himself to promoting youth music and youth education. He has led youth, collegiate and professional orchestras in critically acclaimed performances throughout the United States, as well as Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Switzerland. He has received numerous local and national invitations and awards for his achievements in music education. Mr. Edmons has also been featured in articles and journals honoring his work and has been the subject of documentaries on CNN, Fox Television, National Public Radio and many more.

He studied violin performance with Michael Davis, former Concertmaster of the Scottish National Orchestra, String Pedagogy with renown Pedagogue Dr. Robert Gillespie, and he studied Wind, Brass,Percussion Pedagogy and Wind Ensemble conducting with Craig Kirchoff, Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Wind Orchestra and past President and Chair of the National College Band Director's Association.

Jeff Edmons and the San Diego Youth Symphony enjoy a successful partnership with LJMS.

For more information visit

Caroline GouldingNamed “precociously gifted” by Gramophone magazine, violinist Caroline Goulding has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s premier orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Berlin’s ensemblemini, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Tonhalle-Zurich, the Louvre Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The 2015-2016 season brings forth engagements in Asia, Europe, and North America with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Houston Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, and New West Symphony. Her upcoming recital CD release with pianist Danae Dörken including works by Schumann, Enescu, and Dvořák.

Caroline is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Grammy nomination for her debut album on the Telarc label and has appeared on NBC’s Today, MARTHA hosted by Martha Stewart, Germany’s Stars von Morgen hosted by Rolando Villazón and can be heard on NPR’s Performance Today and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Currently studying with Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy, Caroline splits her time between Kronberg, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts. Other musical mentors have included Donald Weilerstein, Paul Kantor, Joel Smirnoff and Julia Kurtyka.

A past member of the Stradivari Society, Caroline currently plays the General Kyd Stradivarius (c 1720), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.

This performance marks Caroline Goulding's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Mar 5 @ 3:00 pm
CAROLINE GOULDING, violin  @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States

Caroline Goulding, violin

Recipient of the 2011 Avery Fisher Career Grant

Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, violinist Caroline Goulding performs a program entitled, “Storytelling” featuring works by Mozart, Ravel, Szymanowski and Enescu. Ms. Goulding will be joined on stage by pianist Dina Vainshtein.

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Caroline Goulding, violin
Dina Vainshtein, piano<

MOZARTSonata for Piano and Violin in B-flat Major, K.454 (1784)
RAVELSonata in G Major for Violin and Piano (1923-1927)
SZYMANOWSKIMyths, Opus 30 (1915)
ENESCU Impressions d’enfance, Opus 28 (1940)

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Caroline Goulding, violin

by Eric Bromberger

Sonata for Piano and Violin in B-flat Major, K.454

Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 19 minutes

Mozart wrote this sonata in Vienna in April 1784 for a series of concerts given by the violinist Regina Strinasacchi, a twenty-year-old Italian woman. Mozart played the piano at the first performance, which was attended by the emperor, and that occasion produced one of those unbelievable–but apparently quite true–Mozart anecdotes. Rushed for time, Mozart wrote out just the violin part and at the concert set only a blank sheet of paper before him; he then proceeded to play the entire piano part from memory. The manuscript shows the violin part written out in ink. Beneath it, the piano part–written in a different color ink–has been squeezed in later to fit the violin part. Even given Mozart’s extraordinary memory, playing a première from out of thin air is an act of stunning bravado.

It is all the more impressive when one sees how intricate and difficult this score is. Mozart’s early sonatas had been largely piano sonatas with violin accompaniment, and the violin could almost be eliminated with no loss of musical content. But Mozart gradually began to give more of the musical interest to the violin, and one of the glories of the Sonata in B-flat Major is the equal partnership of the two instruments, particularly in their easy exchange of phrases.

The first movement opens with an elegant Largo introduction, and the Allegro erupts after the slow introduction reaches a moment of repose; the development grows easily out of the cadence that ends the exposition. By contrast, the Andante is a long flow of melody. Mozart did not mark this movement cantabile, but he might well have, for it sounds like a long aria for the two instruments, which again share duties evenly. An ornate development leads to the quiet close. The concluding Allegretto opens with one of those seemingly never-ending themes, but almost instantly a melodic second idea occurs, and only when it has passed does one realize that Mozart has derived that idea from the opening. This movement is full of vigor and sweep, much of it propelled by powerful triplet rhythms. Together, the two instruments stamp out the powerful concluding cadence.

One wonders what was going through Mozart’s mind as he stood–before his blank sheet of paper–to acknowledge the applause at that first performance.

Sonata in G Major for Violin and Piano

Born March 7, 1875, Ciboure, France
Died December 28, 1937, Paris
Approximate Duration: 18 minutes

Ravel began making sketches for his Violin Sonata in 1923, the year after he completed his orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. He was composing a number of works for violin during these years, including Tzigane, but the Violin Sonata proved extremely difficult for him, and he did not complete it until 1927. The first performance, by violinist George Enesco and the composer, took place on May 30, 1927, in Paris while that city was still in a dither over the landing of Charles Lindbergh the week before.

In the Violin Sonata, Ravel wrestled with a problem that has plagued all who compose violin sonatas–the clash between the resonant, sustained sound of the violin and the percussive sound of the piano–and he chose to accentuate these differences: “It was this independence I was aiming at when I wrote a Sonata for violin and piano, two incompatible instruments whose incompatibility is emphasized here, without any attempt being made to reconcile their contrasted characters.” The most distinctive feature of the sonata, however, is Ravel’s use of jazz elements in the slow movement.

The opening Allegretto is marked by emotional restraint. The piano alone announces the cool first theme, which is quickly picked up by the violin. A sharply rhythmic figure, much like a drum tattoo, contrasts with the rocking, flowing character of the rest of this movement, which closes on a quietly soaring restatement of the main theme.

Ravel called the second movement Blues, but he insisted that this is jazz as seen by a Frenchman. In a lecture during his American tour of 1928, he said of this movement: “while I adopted this popular form of your music, I venture to say that nevertheless it is French music, Ravel’s music, that I have written.” He sets out to make violin and piano sound like a saxophone and guitar, specifying that the steady accompanying chords must be played strictly in time so that the melodic line can sound “bluesy” in contrast. The “twang” of this movement is accentuated by Ravel’s setting the violin in G major and the piano in A-flat major at the opening.

Thematic fragments at the very beginning of the finale slowly accelerate to become a virtuoso perpetual motion. Ravel brings back themes from the first two movements before the music rushes to its brilliant close, which features complex string-crossings for the violinist.

Myths, Opus 30

Born October 6, 1882, Tymoszówka, Ukraine
Died March 29, 1937, Lausanne, Switzerland
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

World War I forced Szymanowski to remain in his native city of Tymoszówka in Poland, and there he composed prodigiously: the Symphony No. 3, Violin Concerto No. 1, and numerous songs, cantatas, and piano pieces all date from the first years of the war. Now in his early thirties, Szymanowski had only recently thrown off the influence of Wagner and Strauss to forge his own style, a style that grew in large measure from his exploration of Sicily and North Africa and from his new awareness of ancient cultures. Musically, this meant a style characterized by great attention to instrumental color, busy textures, and an expressionism that can verge on intoxicated ecstasy.

Szymanowski composed several works for violin and piano during this period, among them his three Myths, Opus 30 in 1915. Szymanowski had fallen in love with classical antiquity, and each of the three movements–The Fountain of Arethusa, Narcissus, and Dryads and Pan–is based on a different Greek myth. Arethusa was a nymph loved by both Artemis and the river god Alpheus. Bathing in a river, she was forced to flee underwater to the island Ortygia to escape Alpheus; on that island, Artemis transformed her into a fountain, but Alpheus followed, was himself transformed into a river, and so was united with Arethusa at last. Szymanowski makes no attempt to cast this myth in a “classical” style but instead sets The Fountain of Arethusa in a shimmering, postimpressionistic musical language. This is a display-piece for both instruments, from the delicate piano introduction (clearly the sound of the fountain) through the writing for violin, which has a sort of fantastic tonal opulence, soaring high in its range, slipping into passages played entirely in harmonics, and leaping between an extroverted brilliance and a reflective lyricism. The Fountain of Arethusa has become one of Szymanowski’s most popular works.

Narcissus was loved by Echo, but he was so consumed with himself that he rejected her; she in turn caused him to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool, where he withered away and was transformed into a flower. Szymanowski casts his Narcissus in a rondo-like form, with the violin’s principal melody returning in different keys and guises.

Dryads were tree-nymphs (the most famous of them was Eurydice, wife of Orpheus), and Pan the god of fields, forests, and flocks. Pan pursued the nymph Syrinx, who fled to the river Ladon and prayed to be turned into a reed; her prayer was granted, and Pan cut the reed and from it made his pipes. Szymanowski’s setting of this tale is notable for its brilliant writing for violin: Dryads and Pan offers the violinist a cadenza (rare in chamber music) and features quartertones and harmonics used to imitate the sound of Pan’s flute. Szymanowski wrote Myths for the Polish violin virtuoso Paul Kochanski and dedicated it to Kochanksi’s wife Sofia.

Impressions d’enfance, Opus 28

Born August 19, 1881, Liveni Vîrnav, Romania
Died May 3/4, 1955, Paris
Approximate Duration: 23 minutes

George Enescu composed his Impressions d’enfance (“Memories of Childhood”) in Paris in 1940. This was early in World War II, the Germans had occupied Paris, and the 59-year-old composer may have been all too happy to flee the grim present reality and retreat to a more innocent time in his life. The Impressions d’enfance, which spans about twenty minutes, is in ten interconnected movements, each of them a specific memory from Enescu’s childhood. Given the circumstances of its creation, one might expect the Impressions d’enfance to be a nostalgic score, full of innocence and nursery tunes. Instead, this is music of extraordinary complexity, scaldingly difficult for both violinist and pianist and playable by only the most accomplished virtuosos. Yet somehow, in the midst of all its fierce technical challenges, the Impressions d’enfance manages to preserve some of the innocence and beauty of the composer’s memories of his childhood.

Impressions d’enfance is a scrupulously notated score. On the first page Enescu provides a list of detailed instructions for both performers, explaining exactly how he wants passages pedaled, dynamics observed, the weight of the bow distributed, and attacks made. The rhythmic complexity of this music is particularly noteworthy, and performers must take care to control the subtle ebb and flow of tempo throughout every movement. The subject of this music may be innocent–the technique is not.

Impressions d’enfance opens with a long passage (three minutes) for violin alone, titled Minstrel and full of Enescu’s childhood memories of the sound of gypsy violinists in his native Romania. The piano enters at the Old Beggar, and Enescu marks passages in this dark music malinconico and patetico. In Stream at the Bottom of the Garden, Enescu provides swirls, trills, and Chopin-like rhythmic sprays that give us some of the sound\ of that water. One of the most impressive movements in Impressions d’enfance is The Bird in the Cage and the Cuckoo on the Wall. Few composers ever have been able to create such convincing bird-songs as we hear from the two birds in this movement. The caged bird sings and chitters in the violin’s high register, while the sound of the cuckoo comes from hollow-sounding harmonics. One of the simplest movements, Lullaby sings gently; violin and piano play in unison throughout much of this cradle song. Cricket brings another amazing depiction of animal sounds. Enescu marks the violin part saltando (“jumping”) as the cricket sings its striking song. Moonlight through the Window brings not luminous calm, but complex glissandos, harmonics and grace-noted; Enescu instructs his players here to make their performance sognando (“dreaming”) and pensieroso (“thoughtful”). Wind in the Chimney belongs entirely to the violin, which creates these frightening sounds with ponticello (bowing right on top of the bridge to produce a grainy sound) and flautando bowing (bowing out over the fingerboard to produce a hollow, disembodied sound). These winds gradually build to a storm outside in the night, the piano returns, and the music drives to a great climax, then proceeds directly into the final movement, Sunrise. After all the spookiness and\ storminess of the preceding movements, Impressions d’enfance ends in a great blaze of D-major sunlight.

This is a very unusual piece of music, and it is almost unknown. Enescu, one of the great violinists of all time and a profound musical intelligence, reaches back across fifty years to recreate a series of memories from his childhood. This music, so difficult for its performers, somehow manages to transcend those difficulties and to charm its listeners.

Musical Prelude 2 PM
Young artists from the San Diego Youth Symphony perform.

Caroline GouldingNamed “precociously gifted” by Gramophone magazine, violinist Caroline Goulding has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s premier orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Berlin’s ensemblemini, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Tonhalle-Zurich, the Louvre Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The 2015-2016 season brings forth engagements in Asia, Europe, and North America with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Houston Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, and New West Symphony. Her upcoming recital CD release with pianist Danae Dörken including works by Schumann, Enescu, and Dvořák.

Caroline is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Grammy nomination for her debut album on the Telarc label and has appeared on NBC’s Today, MARTHA hosted by Martha Stewart, Germany’s Stars von Morgen hosted by Rolando Villazón and can be heard on NPR’s Performance Today and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Currently studying with Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy, Caroline splits her time between Kronberg, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts. Other musical mentors have included Donald Weilerstein, Paul Kantor, Joel Smirnoff and Julia Kurtyka.

A past member of the Stradivari Society, Caroline currently plays the General Kyd Stradivarius (c 1720), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.

This performance marks Caroline Goulding's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Boston-based pianist Dina Vainshtein is known for her sensitive and virtuosic collaborations with some of the most promising musicians of recent years. Dina, a longtime Faculty Pianist for the Heifetz Institute, is the daughter of two pianists, and studied with Boris Berlin at the prestigious Gnessin Academy in Moscow. While there she received the Special Prize for the Best Collaborative Pianist at the 1998 Tchaikovsky International Competition. She came to the United States in 2000 to attend the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she worked with Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, and her husband, Donald Weilerstein.

Her talents vaunted her to numerous performing opportunities, from Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall in New York City, to the Caramoor Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Music Academy in the West at Santa Barbara, not to mention tours of Japan, China, Europe and Russia. To this day, Donald Weilerstein regards her as “an extraordinary collaborator. She is an extremely fine musician and one of the most empathetic, dynamic and supportive chamber players I know.” For nearly a decade Dina has been affiliated with the New England Conservatory and the Walnut Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts.

This performance marks Dina Vainshtein's La Jolla Music Society debut

Mar 9 @ 8:00 pm


American Jazz pianist and composer Brad Mehldau makes a welcome addition to the line-up for this season’s Piano Series. With a program structured around his own work, Three Pieces After Bach (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall), Mr. Mehldau juxtaposes several canonical pieces from J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. This innovative exploration balances Mehldau’s own jazz style with the Bach masterpieces – a rarity of expression by this masterful improviser.

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Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at Whisknladle.

La Jolla Music Society, Bach Collegium San Diego and the San Diego Early Music Society collectively celebrate J.S. Bach and his contemporaries in honor of Early Music Month with Sounds of the Baroque

J.S. BACHPrelude No. 3 in C-sharp Major, BWV 848 from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (ca. 1722)
BRAD MEHLDAUThree Pieces After Bach
          After Bach 1: Rondo
J.S. BACHPrelude No. 16 in C Major, BWV 870 from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (ca. 1722)
Improvisation on Bach I
J.S. BACH Fugue No. 16 in G Minor, BWV 885 from , Book II (ca. 1740)
BRAD MEHLDAUThree Pieces After Bach (2015)
          After Bach 2: Ostinato
J.S. BACHPrelude No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 851 from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (ca. 1722)
BRAD MEHLDAUThree Pieces After Bach (2015)
          After Bach 3: Toccata
J.S. BACHAllemande from Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828 (1728)
Improvisation on Bach II
J.S. BACHPrelude and Fugue in F Minor, BWV 851 from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I (ca. 1722)
Improvisation on Bach III

Works to be announced from stage

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Brad Mehldau, piano

by Brad Mehldau

Three Pieces After Bach Approximate Duration: 2 sets, 50 minutes each

J.S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier is the point of departure for the three solo piano pieces I’ve composed. That work, written for keyboard instrument, contains a prelude and a fugue in all twelve keys, major and minor. He left us with two sets of these, Books I and II.

Bach’s music was a game-changer, yet it adhered largely to the rules of a tradition and was even perceived as old-fashioned in his own time. When we hear his music and we’re not really engaged, we may have the impression of hearing the status quo. When we listen further, we realize how radical his music is – how far he went with the musical principles he employed. Those principles, though, were older ones that he inherited. Bach’s music was a fulcrum – the culmination and endpoint of one tradition, pointing toward the future.

Well temperament appeared in a climate that could be compared to the early days of the internet, before Google took over as the search engine. The various mean tone temperaments – methods of tuning the keyboard instruments Bach wrote for – were pleasing to the ear only in a limited context, for music without much modulation or accidentals. Well temperament made a bid for a tuning that would work in every key, and was an evolutionary step towards the standardized equal temperament in use today.

It is a common error to think that the well temperament for which Bach composed his preludes and fugues is synonymous, more or less, with our equal temperament. We cannot know exactly how Bach tuned his instrument an what he heard as he composed, but based on the descriptions of various well temperaments that are left to us, the timbre of C-sharp Major on his instrument would have been very different than that of C Major. By contrast, the key of C-sharp major on a modern piano tuned in equal temperament, in terms of the relationship between its intervals – and thus all of the implications of the harmonic progressions – is fundamentally the same as the key of C Major, except that it is a higher pitch. This is a given for most listeners today, but some would argue that the move to equal temperament was a sad turn of events in musical history – that it erased the inherent differences of different keys that the composers intended.

Even if we do not regularly use some version Bach’s well temperament today, his music nevertheless sounds radical. In these pieces, he exploited the harmonic possibilities he had with a temperament in which none of the twelve tones of the scale were off limits. This meant not only that all the different preludes and fugues in keys remote from each other could be played with the same tuning; it also meant, more interestingly, that within a single piece or even a single phrase, Bach could compose progressions that would move much farther distances from their starting point, and employ dissonances that would have sounded so out of tune as to be unintelligible in an earlier, more limited meantone temperament. The well-tempered tuning acted as a catalyst for Bach’s imagination. The music has a spirit that a limited number of great works of art have – it is the spirit of someone being the first one to open a brand new box of crayons and start drawing.

Although there is plenty of respect and awe for The Well-Tempered Clavier, particularly among musicians, they’re definitely not on the warm and fuzzy side of Bach’s oeuvre, if such a thing exists. The reason why some of the fugues in particular sound “difficult” to some ears – even on our modern, equally tempered instruments – might be because of the sometimes willful nature of his harmonic exploitation. Bach adhered to rules of writing a fugue, yet, with the new temperament, used a densely chromatic musical language. The subject and its countersubject inevitably collide against each other in sharp dissonances. The result is bracing music that is so dense at times as to be almost opaque. In this sense, Bach foreshadows a modernist tendency we identify with late Beethoven or Schoenberg, by placing a higher premium on adhering to musical principles than what’s pleasing or even digestible to the listener’s ear.

Who had and still has more influence over music – Bach the harmonist or Bach the melodist? In the fugues, they’re inseparable. Simultaneous melodies are what generate harmony, so in the chicken-egg question, melody comes first in one sense – harmony is merely its result. The individual line is never sacrificed for the benefit of the larger texture; each voice stands, integrally, on its own. Furthermore, each voice taken on its own already implies harmonic movement in its line, so in a way harmony is the great goal or subject hovering over all that melody, asserting a more global precedence. Harmonic implication within a strong melody is something you hear in the jazz genius, Charlie Parker, or one of his descendants, Sonny Rollins. The harmonic accompaniment is already in their lines; the rhythm section is almost extraneous.

We can hear Bach’s fugues horizontally as intertwining melodies or vertically as harmonic progressions (and, depending on how he or she interprets the pieces, keyboardist can have a lot of fun drawing us into hearing the music one or the other way throughout a performance). There are no weak links, and melody and harmony melt into each other seamlessly. This is surely why the fugue held Bach’s obsessive imagination to the end and yielded some of his most personal music. It represented the resolution of a duality, perfection – something higher than human.

If the fugues, ruled by an abstract concept, must be forged with toil and sweat to live and breathe, the preludes, not constrained by the rules of a musical form, are alive at once and even move into the realm of fantasy. They brim with playfulness and show us the uncharacteristically humorous side of Bach, or can be tragic and passionate like a spurned lover. Each one has a fascinatingly individual keyboard texture. The C-sharp Major Prelude from Book I inspired my first piece, Rondo. I started with Bach’s arpeggiated motif and then truncated the meter, reducing it by one sixteenth note to 5/16. We find Bach the rhythmicist in the preludes, and many of them like this one have a dance like character. Another feature of many of the up-tempo preludes is a perpetuum mobile texture – once they start, they never really stop until they end. Both the dance element and the perpetual motion texture inspire my piece, which is an inverted Rondo: Instead of the usual A-1-A-2-A-3 etc. form, I return to the same material in the second theme of each pair: 1-A-2-A-3-A.

Ostinato is inspired by the G-Minor Fugue from Book II. Bach’s Fugue is full of cycles – harmonic progressions that skip in a stepwise pattern – often, as is here, in cycles of fourths. We hear Bach’s legacy in the melancholy cycle that makes up the jazz standard Autumn Leaves, and other sad French songs from Michel Legrand. Cycles create drama because there is not only rapid movement in the melody and figuration, but the ground itself is moving – the tonal center, where we hear the root of the harmony, changes quickly as well. For my Ostinato, I elected to switch it up, and keep a pedal point on the G root for the duration of the piece. The harmony shifts above it constantly, often cyclically, but it is all underpinned by G, G, and more G. Pedal points are big for me, and they rubbed off from Brahms’ music as much as Bach, but also popular music that uses guitar open strings – The Beatles’ classic Blackbird, with its open G string that runs through all those beautiful chords, is in this piece as well, obliquely.

While most of Bach’s preludes here do not employ fugal methods, they nevertheless seam together melody and harmony in a less overt fashion. A favorite method of his is to “trace” a melody across a series of arpeggios, as in the Prelude in D Minor from Book I. There, the listener hears groups of 3-note arpeggios that generate varied harmonic movement. At the same time, the top note of each one pops out in relief, forming a staccato, pointillistic melody. This top note is not on the downbeat, though; it comes right before, which adds an appealing syncopated bounce. Again, there is a feeling of dance. The dancing rhythmic displacement of Bach’s traced melody inspired my final piece, Toccata. It is the most venturesome of the three, with several shifts in meter and key. Near the end, the melody traces itself over arpeggios which form rhythmically asymmetrical groups and gradually expand in length; the dance feeling vanishes. At the climax, the groups of three return, prevailing, and the piece closes by cyclically returning to the opening material inspired by Bach’s prelude.

For my performance, I will play Bach’s piece directly before the piece of mine it inspired; in this way, the listener can hear the connections in real time.

Arrive early for a pre-performance lecture by Steven Cassedy

Brad MehldauJazz pianist Brad Mehldau has recorded and performed extensively since the early 1990s. Mehldau’s most consistent output over the years has taken place in the trio format. Starting in 1996, his group released a series of five records on Warner Bros. entitled The Art of the Trio (recently re-packaged and re-released as a 5-Disc box set by Nonesuch in late 2011). During that same period, Mehldau also released a solo piano recording entitled Elegiac Cycle, and a record called Places that included both solo piano and trio songs. Elegiac Cycle and Places might be called “concept” albums made up exclusively of original material with central themes that hover over the compositions. Other Mehldau recordings include Largo, a collaborative effort with the innovative musician and producer Jon Brion, and Anything Goes —a trio outing with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy.

His first record for Nonesuch, Brad Mehldau Live in Tokyo, was released in September 2004. After ten rewarding years with Rossy playing in Mehldau’s regular trio, drummer Jeff Ballard joined the band in 2005. The label released its first album from the Brad Mehldau Trio—Day is Done —on September 27, 2005. An exciting double live trio recording entitled Brad Mehldau Trio Live was released on March 25th, 2008 (Nonesuch) to critical acclaim. On March 16, 2010 Nonesuch released a double-disc of original work entitled Highway Rider, the highly anticipated follow up to Largo. The album was Mehldau’s second collaboration with renowned producer Jon Brion and featured performances by Mehldau’s trio—drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier—as well as percussionist Matt Chamberlain, saxophonist Joshua Redman, and a chamber orchestra led by Dan Coleman. In 2011 Nonesuch released Live in Marciac – a two CD release with a companion DVD of the 2006 performance, and Modern Music, a collaboration between pianists Brad Mehldau and Kevin Hays and composer/arranger Patrick Zimmerli. In 2012 Nonesuch released an album of original songs from the Brad Mehldau Trio –Ode- the first from the trio since 2008’s live Village Vanguard disc and the first studio trio recording since 2005’s Day is Done. Ode went on to garner a Grammy-Nomination. Nonesuch released the Brad Mehldau Trio’s Where Do You Start, a companion disc to the critically acclaimed Ode, in the fall of 2012. Whereas Ode featured 11 songs composed by Mehldau, Where Do You Start comprises the Trio’s interpretations of 10 tunes by other composers, along with one Mehldau original. In 2013 Mehldau produced and performed on Walking Shadows, the acclaimed Nonesuch release from Joshua Redman. 2013 also saw a number of collaborative tours including a duo tour with mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, piano duets with Kevin Hays and a new electric project with drummer Mark Guiliana entitled Mehliana which had its debut release in 2014.

Mehldau’s musical personality forms a dichotomy. He is first and foremost an improviser, and greatly cherishes the surprise and wonder that can occur from a spontaneous musical idea that is expressed directly, in real time. But he also has a deep fascination for the formal architecture of music, and it informs everything he plays. In his most inspired playing, the actual structure of his musical thought serves as an expressive device. As he plays, he listens to how ideas unwind, and the order in which they reveal themselves. Each tune has a strongly felt narrative arch, whether it expresses itself in a beginning, an end, or something left intentionally open-ended. The two sides of Mehldau’s personality—the improviser and the formalist—play off each other, and the effect is often something like controlled chaos. Mehldau has performed around the world at a steady pace since the mid-1990s, with his trio and as a solo pianist. His performances convey a wide range of expression. There is often an intellectual rigor to the continuous process of abstraction that may take place on a given tune, and a certain density of information. That could be followed by a stripped down, emotionally direct ballad. Mehldau favors juxtaposing extremes. He has attracted a sizeable following over the years, one that has grown to expect a singular, intense experience in his performance.

In addition to his trio and solo projects, Mehldau has worked with a number of great jazz musicians, including a rewarding gig with saxophonist Joshua Redman’s band for two years, recordings and concerts with Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and Lee Konitz, and recording as a sideman with the likes of Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, and Charles Lloyd. For more than a decade, he has collaborated with several musicians and peers whom he respects greatly, including the guitarists Peter Bernstein and Kurt Rosenwinkel and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner. Mehldau also has played on a number of recordings outside of the jazz idiom, like Willie Nelson’s Teatro and singer-songwriter Joe Henry’s Scar. His music has appeared in several movies, including Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut and Wim Wender’s Million Dollar Hotel. He also composed an original soundtrack for the French film, Ma Femme Est Une Actrice. Mehldau composed two new works commissioned by Carnegie Hall for voice and piano, The Blue Estuaries and The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, which were performed in the spring of 2005 with the acclaimed classical soprano, Renee Fleming. These songs were recorded with Fleming and released in 2006 on the Love Sublime record; simultaneously, Nonesuch released an album of Mehldau’s jazz compositions for trio entitled House on Hill. A 2008 Carnegie Hall commission for a cycle of seven love songs for Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter premiered in 2010. Love Songs, a double album that paired the newly commissioned song cycle, with a selection of French, American, English, and Swedish songs that Mehldau and von Otter performed together, was released in late 2010 (on the Naïve label) to unanimous praise.

Mehldau was appointed as curator of an annual four-concert jazz series at London's prestigious Wigmore Hall during its 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, with Mehldau appearing in at least two of the four annual concerts. In late January 2010 Carnegie Hall announced the 2010-11 season-long residency by Mehldau as holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall—the first jazz artist to hold this position since it was established in 1995. Previous holders include Louis Andriessen (2009–2010), Elliott Carter (2008–2009), and John Adams (2003–2007).

This performance marks Brad Mehldau's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Mar 10 @ 8:00 pm

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

Jeanne Lamon, chief artistic director

J.S. BACH: The Circle of Creation
La Jolla Music Society welcomes the return of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. They bring J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation — a celebration of the genius of Bach and the latest multi-media creation by Alison Mackay – which combines text, music, and stunning projected video and images to explore the world of the artisans (papermakers, violin carvers, string spinners, and performers) who helped Bach realize his musical genius, blending 21st-century technology with an exploration of the tradition and skill of old world craftspeople and artisans.

“In these hands, Bach’s music feels more alive than ever.” The Globe and Mail

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La Jolla Music Society, Bach Collegium San Diego and the San Diego Early Music Society collectively celebrate J.S. Bach and his contemporaries in honor of Early Music Month with Sounds of the Baroque

J.S. BACH: The Circle of Creation

J.S. BACH Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G Major, BWV 1048
Sonata for Three Violins in C Major, BWV 1005
Wachet auf from Cantata, BWV 140
Excerpts from Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Excerpts from Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066

Click here to view the complete February 2017 - March 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

by Alison Mackay

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation is a celebration of the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach, with an emphasis on the instrumental music which he created for his family, his students and his colleagues. Using words and images, the performance also honors the artisans and tradespeople whose labor and expertise made the performances of Bach’s music possible, both in his own time and in the 21st century.

The concert begins and ends with poetry about the honorary patrons of Bach’s city of Leipzig — the Roman god of music, Apollo, and his brother Mercury, who made a glorious musical instrument from the shell of a tortoise and seven strings of sheep gut.

Two millennia later, the instrument makers of the eighteenth century still used materials from the natural world — bird feathers for the quills that pluck harpsichord strings, maple and spruce for the bodies of stringed instruments, and boxwood for oboes. Sheep intestines were still used to create strings for Bach’s instruments, and brass strings were made by hand for his harpsichords.

Centuries-old methods are still used today for the making of historical strings for period instruments. Because the guild members of early modern Europe were obliged to guard their trade secrets, modern makers have had to be detectives, using forensic evidence from scraps of old strings and sources such as Diderot’s eighteen-century encyclopedias to determine the materials and techniques that would have been used for Bach’s instruments.

The images seen in the concert portray artisans from Bach’s time as well as modern instrument builders who use historical techniques to create instruments for the Tafelmusik Orchestra. Film footage and still photographs created especially for this performance feature Toronto builder and restorer Quentin Playfair, who made a cello inspired by an instrument from the Stradivarius workshop in 1726; the English harpsichord and string maker Malcolm Rose; the American oboe maker Harry vas Dias; German bassoon maker Pater Wolf; Toronto bow maker Stephen Marvin; and the artisans of the Aquila String factory in Italy. A special contribution has also been made by Dr. Daniel Geiger of the Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara, California, who has created a set of stunning magnified images of the materials described in the concert.

Much of the music on the program is typical of the works which would have been performed at Zimmerman’s Coffeehouse in the center of Leipzig. In 1695, the merchants’ guild of Leipzig had petitioned the town council for “street lanterns that would, as in Vienna and Berlin, burn all night to prevent incessant nocturnal crime.” On Christmas Eve of 1701, 700 oil-fuelled streetlights were installed in the city, making it safe for the first time for all citizens to walk freely at night, transforming coffeehouses into venues for recreation and music.

Bach directed an ensemble which performed on Friday nights at the cafe for which the owner, Georg Zimmerman, acquired a set of musical instruments. The orchestral suites BWV 1066 and 1068, the third Brandenburg concerto, the Trio Sonata BWV 1039, the Goldberg Variations, and the shorter solos for harpsichord, violin, or cello are typical of music which Bach would have performed with members of his family, university students, and amateur players of the ensemble known as the Collegium Musicum. Professional players from the Leipzig town band also participated in these performances.

These municipal musicians had responsibilities for outdoor performances from balconies at City Hall or one of the church steeples in town. Gloria laus et honour and Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme are well-known hymn tunes which would have been played instrumentally by these performers. They were given salaries, clothing, music, instruments, and housing for themselves and their families in the Stadtpfeiffer Gässchen (City Pipers’ Lane), which was also the traditional street for the city’s midwives.

In 1746, the Dresden official court painter Elias Gottlob Haussmann painted a portrait of the 61-year-old Bach holding, as was customary, an emblem of his art. Rather than being pictured with a keyboard, the famous virtuoso chose instead to hold a small piece of paper with three short lines of music — the first eight notes of the bass line of the Goldberg Variations with a six-part canon written in code. It was a powerful symbol of Bach’s roles as composer, performer, and teacher. Like the instrument makers who made his violins and harpsichords, Bach regarded himself as a craftsman who had inherited much from the guild musicians who were his forebears.

In June of 2014, the members of Tafelmusik were invited to live in the city of Leipzig for two weeks as orchestra-in residence at the annual festival which celebrates his legacy. Immersed in the atmosphere of Bach’s hometown, we were able to explore the craft of Bach’s own artisans, guided by our generous partners and advisors at the Bach Museum, who have provided many of the images for this project. The concert ends with a reflection on human hands and the thousands of hours it takes to master the use of a violin bow or a chisel. In the long hours of labor, musicians, and artisans are sustained by the beauty of materials, the artistry of their tools, the guidance of inspiring mentors, and the exhilaration of exploring the art of a great genius. We share with our audiences around the world an abiding love for the music of J.S. Bach, and it is a privilege to be able to perform it in celebration of his art and in recognition of the artisans, scholar, tradespeople, and music lovers who have made our performing lives possible.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Jean-Marc St. Pierre of maj productions in Montreal for permission to use his footage of the Aquila factory. Timothy Barrett, Director of the Iowa Centre of the Book, and filmmaker Avi Michael, creator of the film Chancery Papermaking, for the footage of paper being made as in the time of Bach. Dr. Daniel Geiger of the Museum of Natural History, Santa Monica, California for his magnified images of materials from Bach’s world. The Bach Museum, Leipzig, for permission to use images from the museum. Production designer Glenn Davidson for creating the photo sequences of hands and Saxon sheep.

Arrive early for a pre-performance lecture by James Chute

Tafelmusik Baroque OrchestraTafelmusik, Canada’s award-winning period instrument orchestra, has become an internationally recognized ensemble lauded by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the world’s top baroque orchestras.” Founded in 1979 by Kenneth Solway and Susan Graves and composed of a group of seventeen permanent members, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra has been under the inspired leadership of Music Director Jeanne Lamon since 1981. With its artist-focused mandate and commitment to excellence and innovation, Tafelmusik is actively creating new contexts for the performance of baroque and classical music.

This season, Tafelmusik embarks on a U.S. tour of House of Dreams, an imaginative multi-media concert program exploring the intersection of baroque art and music. The orchestra will perform House of Dreams for Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, the Yale School of Music, the University of Washington’s Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, La Jolla Music Society, and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall under the auspices of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among other dates.

In recent seasons, the orchestra made its debut at Carnegie Hall with sold-out performances that were praised by The New York Times for “stately, buoyant and crisply etched playing … elegant phrasing and lithe clarity.” Tafelmusik returned to Italy’s Reate Festival by invitation from the Festival’s Artistic Director Kent Nagano. In September 2011, the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir appeared with Kent Nagano and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal at the inaugural concerts in its new hall, La Maison symphonique de Montréal.

The orchestra has toured in Asia since 1990, performing in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China. Tafelmusik took The Galileo Project on the road to the Beijing Music Festival and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in 2010 and debuted the project in Australia and New Zealand in March 2012 to critical acclaim.

Tafelmusik has been invited to perform in Europe’s leading concert halls, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, and the Barbican Centre in London. The Orchestra has also performed in Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Mexico, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and from coast to coast in the United States and Canada. The only Canadian orchestra to have held an annual international residency, Tafelmusik was orchestra-in-residence at the Klang und Raum Festival in Germany for 19 years, through the festival’s final edition in September 2011.

An integral part of Tafelmusik’s success worldwide has been its recordings, with a discography of more than 76 baroque and classical albums on the Sony Classical, Collegium, Hyperion, Analekta, CBC Records, and BMG Classics label. In 2012, Tafelmusik established its own record label, Tafelmusik Media, which recently released a DVD of its acclaimed concert program, The Galileo Project. The label will also issue re-releases of previous recordings from SONY Classical and CBC Records, and new digital live performance and studio CD and DVD recordings.

At home in Toronto, Tafelmusik performs over 50 concerts each season at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, as well as a series of performances at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, at Koerner Hall, and at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Selected concerts at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre are recorded for broadcast on CBC Radio Two programs, and are also heard on National Public Radio in the United States.

The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, which specializes in baroque and classical performance practice and vocal technique, was formed in 1981 to complement the orchestra. Under the direction of Ivars Taurins, the choir has been praised for its clarity and brilliance and has been described as “the best period-performance choir anywhere in the world”(The Globe and Mail).Tafelmusik’s annual performances of Messiah and Sing-Along Messiah have become an established part of Toronto's holiday tradition.

Tafelmusik’s long and celebrated collaboration with Opera Atelier has helped establish Toronto as an important North American center for baroque and classical opera performance. The two organizations collaborate on two productions per season, including 12/13performances of Der Freischütz and The Magic Flute.

In keeping with its vision of becoming an international center of musical excellence, Tafelmusik has invested in ongoing music education and outreach programs for music-lovers of all ages. In 2000, the orchestra and choir founded the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, held at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, where Tafelmusik is the baroque orchestra-in-residence. The program offers advanced students, pre-professional and professional musicians an in-depth course of study of baroque repertoire and performance practice through masterclasses, lectures, orchestral and choral training, and chamber ensembles.

Tafelmusik offers free outreach concerts, multi-disciplinary projects with area schools, university residencies and education events on tour as part of its ongoing commitment to music education. The orchestra provides music-education classroom materials to the school groups, including access to Tafelmusik’s online learning centre, curriculum-based study guides, and Tafelmusik’s JUNO Award-winning TafelKIDS™ Baroque Adventure: The Quest for Arundo Donax CD, and the Four Season Mosaic DVD with Inuit, Chinese and South Asian musicians.

Tafelmusik last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Revelle Chamber Music Series on March 9, 2013.

Mar 18 @ 8:00 pm
MALANDAIN BALLET BIARRITZ: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST @ Civic Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

WinterFest Gala 2017

Malandain Ballet Biarritz
Beauty and the Beast

Malandain Ballet Biarritz returns to San Diego with a new full-length ballet. Choreographer Thierry Malandain was inspired by the rich and complex symbolism of this well-known fairytale.

Set to music by Tchaikovsky, Malandain’s Beauty and the Beast tells a rite-of-passage story aimed at resolving the duality of humanity: Beauty, representing the soul; and the Beast, the vital force and instincts.

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After the ballet performance, mingle with gala attendees and the Beauty and the Beast, sip champagne and cocktails, dance to the music, enjoy decadent French desserts, visit the candy “barre” and capture the evening’s festivities with ballet-inspired props in the photo booth!

Click here to view the complete March-May 2017 Program Book


Without revisiting all of the tale’s interpretations, a coming-of-age story can be detected and designed to resolve the duality of being, with Belle embodying the human soul and the Beast being its life force and instincts. With Jean Cocteau, whose film appeared in cinemas in 1946, the focus is on the portrayal of the artist’s inner demons through the Beast’s duality. Whether it is lost unity or human nature torn apart, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s symphonic works, our version of the Beast, freed from his inner demons, marries Belle under a blazing sun. – Thierry Malandain


I. Interval and Waltz from Eugene Onegin, Op. 24

An artist with body and soul, a man with his joy, pain and hopes tells the following story: Once upon a time there was a wealthy merchant who had two sons and three daughters. The youngest was so lovely and so much admired that everyone called her Belle which made her sisters very jealous. The two eldest were arrogant because of their wealth and attended balls every evening. The merchant suddenly lost all his wealth and all he had left was a small farmhouse far from the city.

II. Adagio – Allegro non troppo from Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”

While her sisters snivel and whine, missing high society and beautiful clothes, Belle gets used to her new situation. There are even gentlemen courters who wish to marry her, but she cannot imagine leaving her father. The family has been living simply for a year when the merchant hears that one of the ships on which he had merchandise is back in port. This news starts the two eldest daughters thinking, and just as their father is about to leave, they ask him to bring back dresses and all kinds of things for them while Belle only asks for a rose. On his way back home, the merchant gets lost. The wind is so strong that it knocks him off his horse. Shortly after, he see a light coming from a castle. He goes inside where a table is laden with food and drink. The next morning as the merchant is about to leave, he remembers that Belle had asked him for a rose and picks the whitest one he can find.

III. Hamlet, Op. 67

At that very moment, he hears a loud noise, and is confronted with a Beast so hideous, that he almost passes out. “You’re so ungrateful,” says the Beast. “I saved your life by welcoming you inside my castle, and in return for my hospitality, you steal my roses that I love more than anything in the world. You must die for this misdeed. However, I’m willing to forgive you if you send one of your daughters to die instead of you.”

All alone, like the Artist facing his inner demons, the Beast who suffers from his ugliness summons the things which symbolize his metamorphosis – a key, a horse, a looking glass, a glove and the love which will save him. A few hours later, the merchant arrives home and tells his children the tale of what happened to him. Hearing his story, they start shouting and insult Belle who was not weeping. “Why should I weep because my father is going to die? He will not die since the Beast is willing to accept one of his daughters. I will let him unleash all his rage on me.” Belle then goes to the Beast’s castle.

IV. Andante cantabile from Symphony No. 5

Terrified at first, Belle did not suffer the fate she so dreaded. She is is welcomed graciously by the Beast and lavished in luxury. But every evening he asks her the same question, “Will you be my wife?” Belle refuses. Her only desire is to see her father again who she sees sick with grief in the looking-glass. The Beast finally lets her go home and Belle promises that she will return in one week.

V. Waltz from Symphony No. 5

When Belle sees her father again, they embrace each other for over a quarter of an hour. Her sisters almost die of jealousy when they see her dressed like a queen. But very quickly, she feels sad about having abandoned the Beast when she sees him lying half-dead in the looking-glass.

VI. Finale. Adagio lamentoso from Symphony No.6 “Pathétique”

When Belle returns to the castle and finds the Beast lying on the ground, she goes to him and says, “You shall not die. You shall live and be my husband.” Upon uttering these words, she sees the castle shine brightly and the Beast turns into a Prince.

Arrive early for a pre-performance interview with Artistic Director and Founder Thierry Malandain along with members of the company, hosted by Marcus Overton

Malandain-Ballet-BiarritzCreated in 1998 in Biarritz on the initiative of the Ministry of Culture & Communication, and the Town of Biarritz with the support of Aquitaine Region and the Atlantic Pyrenees General Council, Malandain Ballet Biarritz is one of 19 National Choreographic Centres (NCC) in France today.

The particularity of Malandain Ballet Biarritz is that it is made up of 22 permanent dancers trained in classical technique and whose expression in Thierry Malandain’s choreographies is contemporary.

Today Malandain Ballet Biarritz is one of Europe’s most widely seen companies with 80 000 spectators per season and almost 100 performances per year, including a third abroad.

As a National Choreographic Centre, Malandain Ballet Biarritz also works intensely in terms of public awareness of dance – with on average over 450 events per year – and support to artists and companies thanks to the ‘‘Accueil Studio’’ programme.

Its local presence has led it to forge fertile partnerships with numerous cultural players in the Euro-region. It has thus constructed the ‘‘Ballet T’’ project, a partnership between Malandain Ballet Biarritz and San Sebastian’s Teatro Victoria Eugenia, with support from Europe and the Aquitaine Euskadi fund. Its aim is to spread choreographic art in the Basque Country, by co-producing and disseminating choreographic works, and also through awareness campaigns and audience mobility within the Euro-region.

Malandain Ballet Biarritz last performed with La Jolla Music Society in the Dance Series on May 3, 2015.

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Thierry-MalandainAuthor of a repertoire of 80 choreographies, Thierry Malandain has developed a very personal vision of dance, closely linked to “Ballet,” where priority is given to the dancing body, its power, virtuosity, humanity and sensuality.

The search for meaning and aesthetics guide a powerful and sober style, which can be both serious and insolent, based on the pursuit of harmony between history and today’s world. Thierry Malandain’s troupe is comprised of dancers with classical dance training who express themselves in a contemporary way via Thierry Malandain’s choreography.

“My culture is that of classical ballet and I confidently remain attached to it. Because while I readily admit that its artistic and social codes are from another time, I also think that this heritage from four centuries represents invaluable resources for dancers. A classical choreographer for some, a contemporary one for others, I play with it, simply trying to find a dance I like. A dance that will not only leave a lasting impression of joy, but that will also restore the essence of the sacred things and serve as a response to the difficulty of being.”


1959 Born in Le Petit-Quevilly (Seine-Maritime)
Received the training of Monique Le Dily, René Bon, Daniel Franck, Gilbert Mayer et Raymond Franchetti.
1977 Dancer at the Paris National Opera, the Ballet of the Rhine and the French Ballet Theatre in Nancy
1986 Foundation of the compagny « Temps Présent » (Elancourt and Saint-Etienne)
1992 Settled in the Opera of Saint-Étienne as an «Associated company»
1998 Director of the new Centre Chorégraphique National in Biarritz
2006 Received his second nomination for the prize at the Benois de la danse with L’Envol d’Icare created for the Ballet of the Paris National Opera
2009 Artistic director of the Dance Festival in Biarritz «Le Temps d’Aimer la Danse»
2012 Award for Une Dernière chanson (A Last song) by the «Syndicat de la critique»
2014 Taglioni European Ballet Award «best choregrapher» in Berlin for the ballet Cinderella

© Johan Morin

Mar 30 @ 8:00 pm
DANISH NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Jacobs Music Center-Copley Symphony Hall | San Diego | California | United States

Danish National Symphony Orchestra

Fabio Luisi, principal conductor
Deborah Voigt, soprano

Danish National Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1925 under the motto: “The best, and only the best”. Today, it is one of the leading symphony orchestras in Europe with visits by the world’s leading conductors and soloists. The strong and straightforward personality of the Symphony Orchestra is rooted in its close relationship with Danish and Nordic music, and it is the world’s leading Carl Nielsen-orchestra, bar none. Performing Nielsen’s Helios Overture and Mahler’s exhilarating Symphony No. 1 “Titan”, DNSO are joined by world-renowned soprano Deborah Voigt, performing Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder.

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NIELSENHelios Overture, Op. 17
WAGNERWesendonck Lieder
MAHLERSymphony No. 1 in D Major

Click here to view the complete March 2017 - May 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Danish National Symphony Orchestra

by Eric Bromberger

Helios Overture, Opus 17

Born June 9, 1865, Nørre Lyndelse
Died October 3, 1931, Copenhagen
Approximate Duration: 13 minutes

In the winter of 1903, Carl Nielsen and his wife left their three small children behind in Copenhagen and took an extended trip to Greece. Nielsen’s wife, the sculptress Anne Marie Brodersen, had a traveling scholarship to study the art of ancient Greece, and the composer was happy to come along for a vacation with her. The faculty of the Conservatory of Music in Athens recognized that they had a distinguished guest (Nielsen’s opera Saul and David and his Second Symphony had just been successfully premièred), and they gave him a room at the Conservatory (with a view of the Acropolis) where he could work for the next several months. For a composer who had recently escaped the icy mists of a Scandinavian winter, what feature of Greece could be more impressive than its blazing sunlight? Perhaps the result was inevitable: in March 1903 Nielsen began a piece of musi inspired by the Greek sunlight, and on April 23 he completed the Helios Overture (Helios is the Greek god of the sun). The new overture–really a sort of tone poem–was first performed in Copenhagen on October 8, 1903, by the Royal Theatre Orchestra under the direction of Johann Svendsen.

In a note in the score, Nielsen suggested the subject of this music: “Silence and darkness–then the rising sun with a joyous song of praise–it wanders on its golden way–and sinks quietly into the sea.” That description also suggests the form of the Helios Overture: it opens quietly as the sun rises from the Aegean, rides a long crescendo as the sun swings directly overhead, then trails off on a long decrescendo to the quiet close of sunset. Low strings suggest subdued pre dawn stirrings, and soon the golden sound of French horns heralds the arrival of the sun–its ascent is marked by a noble violin tune and ringing salvos of trumpet fanfares. Nielsen traces the sun’s trajectory across its zenith with a blistering fugato, perhaps to suggest the mathematical precision of its path through the heavens, and the music reaches a jubilant climax. Then slowly the sun winds its way down the blue sky, and the music sinks into silence, once again on the sound of horns and low strings.

Wesendonck Lieder

Born May 22, 1813, Leipzig
Died February 13, 1883, Venice
Approximate Duration: 21 minutes

In Zurich in February, 1852, Richard Wagner met the wealthy Swiss silk merchant Otto Wesendonck, who would become one of his most generous patrons. Over the next few years Wesendonck would give the struggling composer a place to live, pay off many of his debts, and give him substantial advances in payment for operas not yet written. Wagner repaid this great generosity by having a lengthy affair with Wesendonck’s young wife Mathilde. Though this affair may have remained platonic, it was passionately felt on both sides, and Mathilde–an amateur poet–effectively became Wagner’s muse through the 1850s. In these same years Wagner was struggling to compose The Ring: by 1857 he had completed Das Rheingold and Die Walküre and had begun work on Siegfried, but–discouraged by the prospects for these operas and under the spell of his unconsummated love for Mathilde–he set this vast project aside to compose Tristan und Isolde (1857-59). And it was during the first year of his work on Tristan that Wagner took time off to compose five songs on poems by Mathilde.

This was a very intense time emotionally for Wagner, and at a remarkable social gathering in Zurich in the fall of 1857 he read the libretto of Tristan to an audience that included his wife Minna, his current love Mathilde and her husband, and his future wife, the 19-year-old Cosima von Bülow, who was visiting with her husband Hans. The mood of longing, pain, death, and a sense of ecstasy just beyond reach that lies at the heart of Tristan und Isolde is also very much part of the poems by Mathilde Wesendonck that Wagner chose to set, and in fact he called two of these songs “studies for Tristan und Isolde.” He wrote the songs between November 1857 and May 1858 and then took them through several revisions. Wagner himself made an orchestral version of the final song, and conductor Felix Mottl orchestrated the first four after Wagner’s death.

The first two songs contrast sharply, with the lullaby-like Der Engel followed by the tense Stehe still!, which drives to a great climax on the word “nature,” then trails off to a quiet close. Im Treibhaus is one of the “studies for Tristan und Isolde,” and many have felt a connection between this song and the prelude to Act III of the opera. Listeners will certainly sense the kinship between this dark and expressive song–with its hothouse flowers longing for their distant homeland–and the mood of unfulfilled longing in the opera. Schmerzen offers a soaring restatement of the connection between sorrow and pleasure, while Träume is the other “study” for Tristan und Isolde–it would re-emerge as the duet in Act II.

Symphony No. 1 in D Major

Born July 7, 1860, Kalischt, Bohemia
Died May 18, 1911, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 52 minutes

Mahler’s First Symphony is one of the most impressive first symphonies ever written, and it gave its young creator a great deal of trouble. He began it late in 1884, when he was only 24, and completed a first version in March 1888. But when it was first performed–to a mystified audience in Budapest on November 20, 1889–it had a form far different from the one we know today. Mahler would not even call it a symphony. For that first performance he called it Symphonic Poem, and it was in two huge parts that seemed to tell a story: the opening three-movement section was called “Days of Youth,” while the concluding two movements made up what Mahler called the “Human Comedy.” But as Mahler revised the symphony for later performances, he began to let slip quite different hints about the “meaning” of this music. At one point he called it the “Titan,” borrowing the title of Jean Paul Richter’s novel about a wild young hero who feels lost in this world. Some further sense of its content comes from the fact that the symphony borrows several themes from Mahler’s just-completed Songs of a Wayfarer, which are about his recovery from an ill-fated love affair. But finally Mahler, who had a love-hate relation with verbal explanations of his music (denouncing them one moment, releasing new ones the next), abandoned any mention of a program. When he finally published this symphony in 1899, he had cut it to only four movements, greatly expanded the orchestration, and suppressed all mention of the “Titan” or of any other extra-musical associations. Now it was simply his Symphony No. 1.

And what a first symphony it is! The stunning beginning– Mahler asks that it be “like a nature-sound”–is intended to evoke a quiet summer morning, and he captures that hazy, shimmering stillness with a near-silent A six octaves deep. The effect is magical, as if we are suddenly inside some vast, softly-humming machine. Soon we hear twittering birds and morning fanfares from distant military barracks. The call of the cuckoo is outlined by the interval of a falling fourth, and that figure will recur throughout the symphony, giving shape to many of its themes. Cellos announce the true first theme, which begins with the drop of a fourth–when Mahler earlier used this same theme in his Wayfarer cycle, it set the disappointed lover’s embarking on his lonely journey: “I went this morning through the fields, dew still hung upon the grass.” A noble chorus of horns, ringing out from a forest full of busy cuckoos, forms the second subject, and the brief development–by turns lyric and dramatic–leads to a mighty restatement of the Wayfarer theme and an exciting close.

Mahler marks the second movement Kräftig bewegt (“Moving powerfully”); his original subtitle for this movement was “Under Full Sail.” This movement is a scherzo in ABA form, and Mahler bases it on the ländler, the rustic Austrian waltz. Winds and then violins stamp out the opening ländler, full of hard edges and stomping accents, and this drives to a powerful cadence. Out of the silence, the sound of a solo horn rivets our attention–and nicely changes the mood. The central section is another ländler, but this one sings beautifully, its flowing melodies made all the more sensual by graceful slides from the violins. The movement concludes with a return of the opening material.

The third movement opens what, in Mahler’s original scheme, was the second part of the symphony. Deliberately grotesque, this music was inspired by a woodcut picturing the funeral of a hunter, whose body is borne through the woods by forest animals–deer, foxes, rabbits, shrews, birds–who celebrate his death with mock pageantry. Over the timpani’s quiet tread (once again, the interval of a fourth), solo doublebass plays a lugubrious little tune that is treated as a round; the ear soon recognizes this as a minor-key variation of the children’s song Frère Jacques. The first episode lurches along sleazily over an “oom-pah” rhythm; Mahler indicates that he wants this played “with parody,” and the music echoes the klezmer street bands of Eastern Europe. But a further episode brings soft relief: muted violins offer another quotation from the Wayfarer songs, this time a theme that had set the words “By the wayside stands a linden tree, and there at last I’ve found some peace.” In the song cycle, these words marked the disappointed lover’s escape from his pain and his return to life. The march returns, and the timpani taps this movement to its nearly-silent close.

Then the finale explodes. It is worth quoting Mahler on this violent music: “the fourth movement then springs suddenly, like lightning from a dark cloud. It is simply the cry of a deeply wounded heart, preceded by the ghastly brooding oppressiveness of the funeral march.” Mahler’s original title for this movement was “From Inferno to Paradise,” and while one should not lean too heavily on a program the composer ultimately disavowed, Mahler himself did choose these words and this description does reflect the progress of the finale, which moves from the seething tumult of its beginning to the triumph of the close. Longest by far of the movements, the finale is based on two main themes: a fierce, striving figure in the winds near the beginning and a gorgeous, long-lined melody for violins shortly afterwards. The development pitches between extremes of mood as it drives to what seems a climax but is in fact a false conclusion. The music seems lost, directionless, and now Mahler makes a wonderful decision: back comes the dreamy, slow music from the symphony’s very beginning. Slowly this gathers energy, and what had been gentle at the beginning now returns in glory, shouted out by seven horns as the symphony smashes home triumphantly in D major, racing to the two whipcracks that bring it to a thrilling conclusion.

What are we to make of Mahler’s many conflicting signals as to what this symphony is “about”? Is it about youth and the “human comedy”? Is it autobiographical, the tale of his own recovery from an unhappy love affair? Late in his brief life, Mahler even suggested another reading. When he conducted his First Symphony with the New York Philharmonic in 1909, Mahler wrote to his disciple Bruno Walter that he was “quite satisfied with this youthful sketch,” telling him that when he conducted the symphony, “A burning and painful sensation is crystallized. What a world this is that casts up such reflections of sounds and figures! Things like the Funeral March and the bursting of the storm which follows it seem to me a flaming indictment of the Creator.”

Finally we have to throw up our hands in the face of so much contradictory information. Perhaps it is best just to settle back and listen to Mahler’s First Symphony for itself– and the mighty symphonic journey that it is.

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra is generously supported by:
The A.P Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation
The Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Foundation
The Knud Højgaard Foundation
DAMCO – Global Logistic Solutions

Arrive early for a pre-performance lecture by Michael Gerdes

Danish National Symphony OrchestraThe Danish National Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1925 under the motto: "The best, and only the best". Today, it is one of the leading symphony orchestras in Europe with visits by the world's leading conductors and soloists.

The strong and straightforward personality of the Symphony Orchestra is rooted in its close relationship with Danish and Nordic music, and it is the world's leading Carl Nielsen-orchestra, bar none.

From 2012, the principal conductor of the Symphony Orchestra was Spanish maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Bugos, but his death in June 2014 led to the search for a new leader; and in September that year, The Symphony Orchestra happily announced its new principal conductor, Italian Fabio Luisi.

The Symphony Orchestra's honorary conductors are Thomas Dausgaard, who resigned as principal conductor of the Orchestra in 2011, and Herbert Blomstedt, who was principal conductor from 1967 to 1977. The Symphony Orchestra's latest first guest conductors have been Yuri Temirkanov, Michael Schønwandt and Dmitri Kitajenko.

The home of the Symphony Orchestra is DR Koncerthuset, built in 2009, which was designed by the famous French architect Jean Nouvel. In 2012, DR Koncerthuset entered the big league when the renowned British music magazine Gramophone rated the concert hall among the ten best in the world.

This performance marks The Danish National Symphony Orchestra's La Jolla Music Society debut

Fabio LuisiGrammy and ECHO Klassik Award-winner Fabio Luisi serves as General Music Director of the Zurich Opera and Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera. He launches a new appointment as Principal Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (DNSO) in the 2017-18 season.

In 2015-16, the fifth season of his Met tenure, Luisi conducts David McVicar’s acclaimed Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, Richard Eyre’s new Manon Lescaut, and Le nozze di Figaro. In his fourth season at the helm of the Zurich Opera, he premieres new productions of Wozzeck and I puritani, and leads Falstaff, Die Zauberflöte, and Tosca. He also tours with the Accademia Teatro alla Scala Orchestra, and returns to La Scala, the Opéra National de Paris, and the DNSO, Malaysian Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Teatro Regio di Torino, and Juilliard and Philadelphia Orchestras.

As former Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony, Luisi was honored with the orchestra’s Golden Bruckner Medal and Ring. Other previous appointments include General Music Director of Dresden’s Staatskapelle and Sächsische Staatsoper, Artistic Director of Leipzig Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Music Director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Chief Conductor of the Tonkünstler-Orchester in Vienna, and Artistic Director of the Graz Symphony.

Luisi received a Grammy Award for his leadership of the last two operas of Der Ring des Nibelungen, when Deutsche Grammophon’s DVD release of the cycle, recorded live at the Met, was named Best Opera Recording of 2012. His extensive discography also features operas by Verdi, Salieri, and Bellini; symphonies by Honegger, Respighi, and Liszt; works by Franz Schmidt and Richard Strauss; and an award-winning account of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony. In 2015, the Philharmonia Zurich launched its Philharmonia Records label with his recordings of Berlioz, Wagner, and Rigoletto.

A native of Genoa, Luisi was awarded the Grifo d’Oro for his contributions to the city’s cultural legacy.

This performance marks Fabio Luisi's La Jolla Music Society debut

For more information visit

Danish National Symphony OrchestraDeborah Voigt is increasingly recognized as one of the world’s most versatile singers and one of music’s most endearing personalities. Through her performances and television appearances, she is known for the singular power and beauty of her voice, as well as for her captivating stage presence. Having made her name as a leading dramatic soprano, she is internationally revered for her performances in the operas of Wagner, Strauss, and more, and is also an active recitalist and performer of Broadway standards and popular songs. Besides boasting an extensive discography, she appears regularly as both performer and host in the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series, which is transmitted live to movie theaters around the world.

The 2014-15 season sees one of Voigt’s most personal projects come to fruition, with HarperCollins’s publication of her candid, funny, and soul-baring memoir Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva. She returns to the opera house, reprising her star turn in Francesca Zambello’s Salome for her Dallas Opera debut; making her title role debut in a new staging of The Merry Widow at Michigan Opera Theater; and undertaking the roles of Elisabeth and Venus in Tannhäuser at the Hamburg State Opera—her first time singing both parts in the same production. In concert, she headlines the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s opening-night gala and season-closing events at both the Pacific Symphony and the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony, which she joins for An Evening with Deborah Voigt. As WQXR’s inaugural Susan W. Rose Artist-in-Residence, she co-hosts the opening-night broadcast of Carnegie Hall Live, hosts the classical station’s new fall series The Sopranos with Debbie Voigt; hosts and performs at the New York Public Radio Gala; and co-hosts a number of opera events and masterclasses at WQXR’s Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. Meanwhile, as returning Artist-in-Residence at the Washington National Opera, the beloved soprano continues mentoring young singers in the company’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.

Last season, Voigt hosted the San Francisco benefit concert for Sing With Haiti, to aid the rebuilding of Haiti’s Holy Trinity Music School, destroyed in the earthquake of 2010. Under James Levine’s leadership, she made her role debut as Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck, opposite Thomas Hampson at the Met. Recitals took her to cities across the U.S., including Boston, Miami, Fort Worth, Kansas City, MO, Palm Desert, Stanford, and Sonoma, and she reprised Voigt Lessons, the one-woman show she developed with award-winning playwright Terrence McNally and director Francesca Zambello, in Boston’s Celebrity Series. In concert, she collaborated with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, and made a pair of special guest appearances, duetting with singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright at London’s BBC Proms, and joining Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth for a medley of music and comedy at Carnegie Hall.

Throughout her career, Voigt has given definitive performances of iconic roles in German opera, from Richard Strauss’s Ariadne, Salome, Kaiserin (Die Frau ohne Schatten) and Chrysothemis (Elektra) to Wagner’s Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), and Isolde. She is also noted for starring roles in Strauss’s Egyptian Helen, Der Rosenkavalier, and Friedenstag; Wagner’s Lohengrin; and Berlioz’s Les Troyens, and her portrayals of such popular Italian roles as Tosca, Aida, Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Leonora (La forza del destino), La Gioconda, and Minnie (La fanciulla del West).

Voigt’s extensive discography includes two popular and critically successful solo recordings for EMI Classics: All My Heart: Deborah Voigt Sings American Songs with pianist Brian Zeger, named one of the “Best of the Year” by Opera News magazine, and the Billboard top-five bestseller Obsessions, which presents scenes and arias from operas by Wagner and Strauss. Her recording of Strauss’s Egyptian Helen was another Billboard bestseller and was again named one of the best of the year by Opera News. Deutsche Grammophon released a live recording of Voigt’s headlining role debut in the 2003 Vienna State Opera Tristan und Isolde, as well as a Blu-ray DVD set of her starring role as Brünnhilde in Robert Lepage’s visionary Ring cycle at the Met, which won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording of 2013.

A devotee of Broadway and American song, Voigt has given acclaimed performances of popular fare, including benefit concerts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and New York Theatre Workshop. She has sung with Barbara Cook and Dianne Reeves at the Hollywood Bowl, and given performances in Lincoln Center’s long-running American Songbook series, singing Broadway and popular standards. In the summer of 2011 Voigt won praise as Annie Oakley at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, headlining both Irving Berlin’s beloved Annie Get Your Gun and her own Voigt Lessons. Millions of viewers heard Voigt sing “America the Beautiful” on NBC’s nationwide broadcast of Macy’s Independence Day fireworks show in 2004, and later that year they witnessed her majestic ride down Broadway in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. She has also been profiled by many important national media outlets, such as CBS’s 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, and Vanity Fair.

Voigt studied at California State University at Fullerton. She was a member of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and won both the Gold Medal in Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition and First Prize at Philadelphia’s Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition. A Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, she was Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year 2003, won a 2007 Opera News Award for distinguished achievement, and in 2009 received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Carolina. Known to Twitter fans as a “Dramatic soprano and down-to-earth Diva,” Voigt was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the top 25 cultural tweeters to follow.

This performance marks Deborah Voigt's La Jolla Music Society debut

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Mar 31 @ 8:00 pm
MAX RAABE & PALAST ORCHESTER @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Max Raabe &
Palast Orchester

Let’s Do It
Slick and nostalgic, yet unmistakably modern, Max Raabe & Palast Orchester return to San Diego with their new program, Let’s Do It! It may seem fresh that a German band comes to the U.S. with standards like the title song, Cole Porter’s classic “Let’s Do It”, “Music Maestro”, or “Stormy Weather”, but Max Raabe & Palast Orchester have their own German very charming way of interpreting the original arrangements. The ever-elegant, debonair Max Raabe and his 12-piece orchestra embody the decadent days of the 1920s and 30s Weimar Era in all its high style and musical glory. With their signature bag of vintage sounds, and fresh new surprises, they bring to life the songs and style of a bygone age.

“Fascinating… A bygone era evoked!” – The New York Times

“Raabe & Co. disarm, charm with impeccable glamour… meticulously channels swinging interwar decadence into a contemporary thrill.” – The Boston Globe

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Click here to view the complete March-May 2017 Program Book


Max Raabe, vocals Cecilia Crisafulli, violin Thomas Huder, trumpet, vocals Michael Enders, trumpet, vocals, musical director Jörn Ranke, trombone, viola, vocals Bernd Frank, tenor saxophone, clarinet Johannes Ernst, alto saxophone, clarinet Sven Bährens, alto saxophone, clarinet Rainer Fox, baritone saxophone, clarinet, vocals Vincent Riewe, drums, percussion Bernd Hugo Dieterich, bass, sousaphone Ulrich Hoffmeier, guitar, banjo, violin Ian Wekwerth, piano

The program will be announced from the stage. There will be one intermission.

Danish National Symphony OrchestraDashing, dapper and debonair, Max Raabe might have walked straight out of the Golden Age of Berlin in the 1920s. With his elegant poise, suave sophistication and silky-smooth baritone, he brings to life the songs and style of a bygone age.

Style that has gone out of fashion, perhaps, in an age where few of us dress for dinner or even a night at the opera - but songs that have earned the status of standards.

Yet the time has never been better to discover the singer bringing timeless tunes by legends like Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, through to almost-forgotten names such as Al Bowlly and Fred Astaire, to a new generation.

With a vintage revival sweeping the US, and growing numbers of twentysomethings donning tuxedos, flapper dresses and feathered head-bands to do the Charleston and the Foxtrot, Max Raabe's moment has arrived.

His ageless Peter Pan looks and impeccable style on and offstage have already made him a legend in his native Germany. So much so that he had to sell his beloved 1930s-vintage BMW because he was recognized as soon as he took the wheel.

In America multi-city tours and enthusiastic coverage have earned him similar heights in popularity. Highlights in the US include sold out performances at Carnegie Hall, and appearances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland and many more. Audiences around the world have been entertained not only by his meticulous recreations of the standards as they used to be sung – in formal evening wear, with an orchestra, giving proper credits to the composers. They have also been rolling in the aisles at his deadpan jokes. Yes, Max Raabe is an example of that most unexpected quality – German humor. And in case you ever wondered, he assures us that: “All Germans are well aware that we have an international reputation for discipline, organization and efficiency - but no sense of humor.”

Max Raabe is not only a unique talent, but a very funny man. He has even traded quips with Ernie and Bert on Sesame Street – or Sesame Strasse, as it is known in Germany. Perhaps it comes from his father: “His sense of humor was so dry that sometimes it was only the next day that I realized he had made a joke.

Born into a family of farmers just as The Beatles were serving their apprenticeship in the bars and clubs of Hamburg, Max's childhood musical tastes were formed by his discovery of a weekly programme of 1920s music on German radio. “My brother was listening to Jethro Tull but that was my secret passion,” he remembers.

It was broadcast on Tuesday nights when I had to attend sports training, but I persuaded a friend of mine to record it for me every week. He would patiently hold the microphone to the radio in my family's kitchen – sometimes you could hear my mother cooking in the background.”

His passion was first roused by a record he found in his parents' cupboard: a humorous instrumental called I'm Crazy About Hilda. Before long he was collecting 78s in flea markets and junk shops. By the age of 16 he was an expert on the songs and styles of the Weimar era, his enthusiasm fuelled by black-and-white films featuring music, dance and comedy.

Then came the discovery of Wagner - “That made me aware of how wonderful it must be to go onstage and sing” - and of the Lieder maestro Dietrich Fischer - Dieskau, who remains his musical idol. And so, still in his teens, he plucked up the courage to dress up in his father's top hat and tails at the height of the disco era to sing old-fashioned favorites at parties for friends.

In his early 20s Max moved to Berlin to study opera, dreaming of becoming a baritone, moonlighting with a friend to perform the 1920s songs he loved so much at bars and student parties. After graduating, he made a handful of appearances in Carmina Burana at the Berlin Philharmonie, but quickly realized his true love remained the music of the 1920s and, surprised to find that there was no ensemble performing such songs, he formed with fellow students the Palast Orchester to play it.

“The appeal is the timeless quality in the music, but also the humor,” he says. Max's drily witty concert 'announcements,' in which he gives a brief background to each song, before crediting the composer, lyricist and year of publication, provide a humorous counterpoint. “Because perhaps a woman brings her husband to a concert and he might not like the singer or the music, but he may like the humor of the jokes.”

Despite that, the songs and music are treated with the utmost reverence. “It is like a church service,” he says. “The stage is the altar, and I am the priest. Every note and ever phrase is polished like a diamond. We all studied classical music and we interpret the music in the same way we would interpret Beethoven. We take the music seriously – but we don't take ourselves seriously.”

Therein lies the appeal of Max Raabe, a man out of time, yet entirely in tune with today's Recession-hit world, where – just like Berlin in the 1920s – we all want to take our minds off austerity with a night of good old-fashioned entertainment.

My only message is to entertain the audience during the concert and transport them out of reality,” he insists. “That is why this music was written, to take the audience away from their everyday problems. And it still works today.”

Max Raabe & Palast Orchester last performed with La Jolla Music Society at a special donor event on October 29, 2007

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Apr 8 @ 8:00 pm
BLACK GRACE @ Spreckels Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Black Grace

Choreography by Neil Ieremia

New Zealand’s foremost contemporary dance company Black Grace brings a striking performance of five short works choreographed by founder Neil Ieremia.

Drawing on Māori and Pacific Islander indigenous dance, as well as modern dance, his work also often incorporates a traditional Samoan dance style known as Fa’ataupati (or “slap dance”) and Samoan Sasa (“seated dance”) that utilizes body percussion.

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Click here to view the complete March 2017 - May 2017 2017 Program Book


Premièred 1999
Approximate Duration: 4:30 minutes

Choreography: Neil Ieremia
Music: Minoi Minoi (traditional), arranged by Neil Ieremia

Lighting Design: Mark Burlace

Minoi fuses a traditional Samoan dance style known as Fa’ataupati (slap dance) and western contemporary dance. It also utilises live singing and vocalisations based on an old Samoan nursery rhyme.

Premièred 2009
Approximate Duration: 9:30 minutes

Choreography: Neil Ieremia
Music: Original music from Surface (2003),Neil Ieremia and Juse

Lighting Design: Nik Janiurek, adapted by Bonnie Burrill

Pati Pati is a ritualistic dance made from the bones of older works dating back to the beginning of Black Grace and drawing on elements of traditional Pacific dance.

Premièred 2017
Approximate Duration: 17 minutes

Choreography: Neil Ieremia
Music: Redaction, Richard Nunns, Mark Lockett & Jeff Henderson
Material Instinct, Richard Nunns, Mark Lockett & Jeff Henderson
Two Minds, Richard Nunns & Mark Lockett
Bully, Trinity Roots

Lighting Design: Bonnie Burrill

Filtered through a Pacific lens, this excerpt is the beginning of what will become a new full-length work exploring some of the challenges we face as males living in today’s world, struggling with the expectations of what it means to be a “real man”.

Premièred 2013
Approximate Duration: 8:30 minutes

Choreography: Neil Ieremia
Music: Mother Mother (radio version), Fat Freddy’s Drop
Lighting Design: Mark Burlace

Mother Mother was originally choreographed for a music video, on request of popular New Zealand band Fatreddy’s Drop.“Mother Mother is a tribute to my mother who is often the unsung hero in my family. Even to this day she helps to prop me up when things get tough, knocks me back when I get ahead of myself, reminds me to never forget where I come from and to always be grateful for what I have.”
– Neil Ieremia

Premièred 2016
Approximate Duration: 40 minutes

Choreography: Neil Ieremia

Music: Concerto in G Minor for 2 Cellos, Strings and Basso continuo, RV 531: I. Allegro, Ton Koopman, Yo-Yo Ma, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Jonathan Manson
Concerto No. 8 in A Minor, RV 522: I. Allegro, Berlin Philharmonic, Daniel Stabrawa & Nigel Kennedy
Concerto in G Minor for 2 Cellos, Strings and Basso continuo, RV 531: III. Allegro, Ton Koopman, Yo-Yo Ma, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Jonathan Manson
Nisi Dominus, RV 608: IV. Cum Dederit, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Ensemble Matheus & Philippe Jaroussky
Little Sea Gongs, JPC Percussion Museum & Gareth Farr
The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, RV 315, Op. 8 No. 2 “Summer”: I. Allegro non molto, Berlin Philharmonic & Nigel Kennedy
The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, RV 315, Op. 8 No. 2 “Summer”: III. Presto, Berlin Philharmonic & Nigel Kennedy
The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 4 in F Minor, RV 297, Op. 8 No. 4 “Winter”: I. Allegro non molto, Berlin Philharmonic & Nigel Kennedy
Concerto No. 8 in A Minor, RV 522: II. Larghetto e Spiritoso, Berlin Philharmonic, Daniel Stabrawa & Nigel Kennedy
The Lord’s Prayer (In Samoan), Choir of Western Samoa Teachers’ Training College, Apia
Concerto No. 8 in A Minor, RV 522: III. Allegro, Berlin Philharmonic, Daniel Stabrawa & Nigel Kennedy

Lighting Design: Bonnie Burrill

While the creative process started with news stories from around the world, often dark and at times overwhelming, As Night Falls is essentially a dance about hope. The raw material included images of broken bodies littering the streets of war torn countries, terrorist attacks on innocent civilians, protests against police brutality and the aftermath of more natural disasters. It was an image of a father shielding his son, buried beneath the rubble of a collapsed building after another airstrike that simultaneously captured the best and worst of us, and it was at that moment I decided I needed to try and create some light from the darkness. I created the movement vocabulary based on this imagery and formed the overall compositional structures much like the layout of a broadsheet newspaper. I’m not sure exactly why I chose the music I did in the end; suffice to say that much to my surprise Vivaldi stuck when all the others fell away. While listening to some old gospel records I was reminded of a verse from a hymn I used to sing as a kid. As Night Falls is my very small exchange of “beauty for ashes, oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness.

Founding Artistic Director/CEO Neil Ieremia, ONZM
Choreographer Neil Ieremia, ONZM
Company Manager/Tour Manager James Wasmer
Creative Assistant/Stage Manager Siaosi Mulipola
Tour Administrator Abby Ieremia
Rehearsal Assistant/Company Teacher Zoë Visvanathan
Dancers Sean MacDonald, Zoë Visvanathan, Sarah Baron, Callum Sefo, Brydie Colquhoun, Otis Herring, Demi-Jo Manalo, Shane Tofaeono, Paige Shand, Rodney Tyrell, Zildjian Robinson (Apprentice Dancer)
Technical Manager Jax Messenger
The Black Grace Trust Haydn Wong (Chair), Sam Sefuiva, Bernice Mene, Neil Ieremia, ONZM
Cultural Advisors Mr Siufaitotoa Simanu and Mrs Kionasina Ieremia

Arrive early for a pre-performance interview with company Artistic Director and Founder Neil Ieremia, hosted by Marcus Overton

Black GraceNew Zealand’s leading contemporary dance group - Black Grace.

Founded by Neil Ieremia in 1995, Neil draws from his Samoan and New Zealand roots to create innovative dance works that reach across social, cultural and generational barriers.

The work itself is highly physical, rich in the story telling traditions of the South Pacific and expressed with raw finesse, unique beauty and power.

The Company features some of New Zealand’s finest dancers and has toured internationally to Europe, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Australia and New Caledonia. In 2004 Black Grace made its USA debut performing a sold out season at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, with a subsequent return to the Festival in 2005. Since then the Company has performed regularly throughout North America earning audience acclaim.

Founding Artistic Director Neil Ieremia is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished choreographers, a creative entrepreneur and inspirational leader.

Born in Wellington and of Samoan heritage, Mr Ieremia was raised in a tough working class neighborhood in a country focused more on sporting prowess and agriculture rather than creative expression. At the age of nineteen and with no formal training, Mr Ieremia resigned from his banking job, left home, enrolled in a fulltime dance programme and broke his parents’ hearts.

In his final year of training he was invited to join the prestigious Douglas Wright Dance Company whom he worked for until 1996. As a freelance professional dancer Mr Ieremia also worked with many other leading New Zealand choreographers as well as creating a number of commissioned works.

Motivated to provide a different perspective and a fresh voice in the dance scene, Mr Ieremia founded his own Company, Black Grace in 1995, with ten male dancers of Pacific, Maori and New Zealand heritage. Since then he has changed the face of contemporary dance in New Zealand and turned Black Grace into one of the most recognizable and iconic cultural brands. His Company tours the length and breadth of New Zealand developing new audiences and a new appreciation for dance. Internationally his work has been presented in Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Caledonia, South Korea, Scotland, Switzerland and the United States of America.

Numerous ‘firsts’ for a New Zealand choreographer include sell-out performances at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (USA debut 2004 and 2005), a four-week season on New York City’s 42nd Street, performances at the renowned Cervantino Festival in Mexico, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the 2010 Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver.

Among his many other achievements, Mr Ieremia has received a 2005 Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award, and the 2009 Paul D. Fleck Fellowship in the Arts from The Banff Centre, Canada. In 2009 Black Grace was presented with a resolution passed by the Guam Legislator in recognition of their work with local communities, and 2010 saw the Mayor of Honolulu officially proclaim the 6th February 2010 as “Black Grace Day”. Black Grace received a Herald Angel Award at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Most recently, Mr Ieremia received a City of Porirua Anniversary Award and the 2015 Senior Pacific Artist Award from Creative New Zealand.

Apr 22 @ 7:30 pm
EMERSON STRING QUARTET @ La Jolla Presbyterian Church | San Diego | California | United States

Emerson String Quartet

The Emerson String Quartet stands apart in the history of string quartets with an unparalleled list of achievements: more than 30 acclaimed recordings, nine Grammy® Awards (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year”, and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time. Celebrating their 40th year, they return to La Jolla Music Society with Mozart’s String Quartet in D Minor, Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 4 and Dvo?ák’s String Quartet No. 11, Op. 61, works displaying the ensembles’ breadth and versatility.

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*Please note that the venue and time of this performance has been updated.

Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at The LOT.

MOZARTString Quartet in D Minor, K.421
SHOSTAKOVICHString Quartet No. 4 in D Major , Op. 83
DVOŘÁK String Quartet in C Major, Op. 61

Click here to view the complete March 2017 - May 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Emerson String Quartet

by Eric Bromberger

String Quartet in D Minor, K.421

Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 28 minutes

Mozart’s move to Vienna in 1781 opened new musical vistas for him, and these must have seemed all the more exciting after so many years in provincial Salzburg. Among the attractions of his adopted city were the string quartets of Haydn, whose Opus 33 quartets were published in Vienna in 1782. Mozart had written no string quartets since 1773, but now–impressed by what Haydn had achieved with this most demanding of forms–Mozart wrote a set of six quartets and dedicated them to Haydn. In that dedication, Mozart noted that these quartets were the product of “long and laborious study,” and there is evidence that Mozart–usually a fast worker–took a long time indeed with these quartets, revising each carefully.

It is a magnificent cycle. Each of the six is distinctive in its own way, and certain moments stay to haunt the mind: the fugal finale of K.387, which looks ahead to the “Jupiter” Symphony; K.464, which so impressed Beethoven that he modeled one of his own quartets on it; and K.465, the “Dissonant,” with its enigmatic beginning. Yet even in such distinguished company, the Quartet in D Minor, K.421, composed in June 1783, stands out as radically different. The only one of the cycle in a minor key, it is one of the most serious and powerful works that Mozart ever wrote. A minorkey quartet was not by itself unusual, and Haydn (who usually published his quartets in groups of six) would often include one minor-key quartet in a set. But no Haydn quartet–great a master as he was of that form–ever matched the expressive power of Mozart’s Quartet in D Minor. Individual keys had specific meanings for Mozart, and D minor, the key of the Piano Concerto No. 20 and of the Requiem, was the key he sometimes associated with revenge in his operas. This quartet is by no means program music, but the mood here partakes of that dark spirit–this is somber and unrelenting music.

The Allegro opens with the first violin’s falling octave on D, and there follows a long and intense melody–marked sotto voce–for that instrument over unobtrusive accompaniment from the other voices. A more flowing second subject makes brief appearances, but the dark first theme dominates this movement. Mozart asks for the standard exposition retreat, but then offers performers the opportunity to repeat the entire development. The recapitulation continues to develop the movement’s material, and finally the cello leads the way into the brief coda with a dark and expressive idea of its own.

The Andante, in F major, affords relief with its gentle main theme. Mozart had originally intended a somewhat simpler melodic idea here; his manuscript shows that he recognized the limits of that theme and replaced it. While this is not a variation movement, the lyric main idea undergoes a process of continuous evolution, sometimes with the most delicate shading, before Mozart brings back a reprise of the opening and rounds things off with a quiet coda. By sharp contrast, the Menuetto is fierce, almost clenched in its chromatic intensity. And then Mozart springs one of his most effective surprises: the trio eases into D major, and–over pizzicato accompaniment–the first violin sings an elegant, soaring melody built on Lombard rhythms (dotted rhythms with the short note coming first). The viola joins the second statement before the return to the driven minuet.

The finale is a theme-and-variation movement. Mozart’s dancing main theme bears more than a passing resemblance to the main theme of the finale of Haydn’s Quartet in G Major, Opus 33, No. 5. Perhaps this was intended as an act of homage, but Mozart’s version of this theme is quite subtle: it tints the home key of D minor with hints of D major, and the harmonic tension of this beginning will energize the entire movement. Four variations follow: the second brings a famous syncopated accompaniment from the second violin, the third features the tawny sound of the viola, the fourth moves into D major. At the very end, Mozart brings back his original theme but now marks it Più Allegro, and the music rushes ahead on tense chromatic lines to the sudden end, where the first violin’s falling octave D rounds off this glorious quartet with the same gesture that began it.

String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Opus 83

Born September 25, 1906, St. Petersburg
Died August 9, 1975, Moscow
Approximate Duration: 25 minutes

The Soviet crackdown on composers in February 1948 remains, nearly seventy years later, one of the most devastating examples of government interference and censorship in history. Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Khachaturian, Myaskovsky, and others were excoriated for their “formalistic distortions and anti-democratic tendencies” and for writing “confused, neuropathological combinations which transform music into cacophony.” These composers were forced to make public apologies, and–in those frosty early days of the Cold War–they promised to write more “progressive” music, in tune with the ideals of the Revolution.

Shostakovich, who had met with government disfavor in 1936 during the period of Stalin’s “Great Terror,” began to write two kinds of music. The “public” Shostakovich wrote what would now be described as politically-correct scores, intended to satisfy Soviet officials with their ideological purity: the oratorio Song of the Forests, the cantata The Sun Shines over Our Motherland, the film score The Fall of Berlin, and a choral cycle with the numbing title Ten Poems on Texts by Revolutionary Poets. The “private” Shostakovich, however, wrote the music he wanted to, but held it back, waiting for a more receptive climate. The death of Stalin in March 1953 brought a slight political and artistic thaw, and Shostakovich could bring out these scores: the First Violin Concerto, composed in 1947, but not premièred until 1955; the song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry, written in 1948 and first performed in 1955; and the Fourth and Fifth String Quartets, written respectively in 1949 and 1952, but not played until 1953.

Shostakovich’s Fourth String Quartet is almost as interesting for what it is not as for what it actually is. This music is remarkable for its restraint. All four movements are at a moderate tempo (three Allegrettos and one Andantino), and the work is marked by an emotional reserve as well. There are no dramatic extremes here–this music is spare, understated, lean, at times almost bleak. Harmonically, it varies moments of simple diatonic melodies (even unisons) with episodes of grinding dissonance. And at the end it fades into silence on the same note of emotional restraint that has marked the entire quartet.

The opening Allegretto is quite brief (only three minutes), just long enough to lay out two themes but not long enough to develop them in a significant way. The music moves from the quiet beginning, built on constantly-changing meters, to a full-throated restatement; more lyric secondary material leads to a quiet close on a unison D three octaves deep. The Andantino at first feels somewhat more settled. Its wistful opening, which belongs largely to the first violin, is in straightforward F minor, but again the music grows more turbulent as the movement proceeds; it closes with a quiet reprise of the opening material, now played muted.

The third movement, muted throughout, is scherzo-like in its fusion of quick-paced themes, from the cello’s propulsive opening to a more animated second subject; in the course of the movement, each of the four instruments takes a turn with this second melody. Unmuted solo viola leads the way into the finale over pizzicato accompaniment from the other voices. The first violin’s main theme here has a pronounced “Jewish” character–it is a lamenting tune, built on tight intervals, sharp accents, and fleeting dissonances. This movement, longest in the quartet, rises to an almost orchestral climax full of tremolos, unisons, and huge chords, then fades away on a haunting coda as the two violins in fourths restate the main theme. Over a sustained cello harmonic the upper voices lapse into silence on quiet pizzicatos.

Small wonder that Shostakovich kept this music hidden during the Stalin years. It is far from the “progressive” and popular music the Soviet government wanted, and while this quartet has been admired for its lucidity, it is nevertheless troubling music, remarkable for its leanness, its restraint–and its bleakness.

String Quartet in C Major, Opus 61

Born September 8, 1841, Mühlhausen, Bohemia
Died May 1, 1904, Prague
Approximate Duration: 38 minutes

Throughout his creative life, Dvořák was caught between two conflicting artistic impulses. He wrote in the great German classical forms, yet in his heart he was a devout Czech nationalist, happiest when he could infuse his music with the characteristic rhythms and sounds of his homeland. Usually he could balance these claims, but at times they came into conflict.

Such a collision occurred in 1881, when Joseph Hellmesberger commissioned a string quartet from Dvořák. Hellmesberger, a violinist and conductor, must have seemed to Dvořák the symbol of Vienna: he was director of the Vienna Conservatory, he was the founder and first violinist of his own string quartet, and for forty years he conducted the concerts of the Vienna Gesellschaft. It was Hellmesberger who had championed the young Brahms after the latter’s arrival in Vienna twenty years earlier, and Dvořák recognized how great a compliment it was to have a work commissioned by Hellmesberger. But such a commission raised uncomfortable artistic problems for Dvořák. Should he remain true to his own impulses and write the kind of music he wanted, full of Czech melodies, rhythms, and dances? Or should he write in a more classical–a more Viennese– manner? Viennese audiences, he knew, tended to sneer at local color (particularly foreign local color) in music. Critics have been unanimous in their belief that Dvořák–faced with an important commission from Vienna–capitulated, erasing Czech elements from this quartet and attempting to write in the style of the Viennese masters. One critic hears echoes of Beethoven in the first movement, another hears Schubert in the scherzo, and so on.

Actually, this quartet sounds like Dvořák throughout. True, one does not hear the rhythms and national dances typical of much of Dvořák’s Czech music, but no one would guess that the Quartet in C Major is the work of any composer but Dvořák. He creates memorable themes, the music is full of harmonic adventures, there are surprising thematic links between movements, and this quartet bristles with energy–for this exciting music to make its full effect, it needs a real virtuoso performance.

The extended first movement is in sonata form; Dvořák supplies an extremely dramatic coda which–surprisingly–gives way to a gentle close. The marking for the second movement–Poco adagio e molto cantabile–is crucial, for this intense music sings throughout. The haunting main theme grows more florid and ornate as it develops, and the music is full of chromatic figurations and spiky accompaniment figures. The main theme of the Scherzo is derived from the main theme of the opening movement, and suddenly we are back in that same world of furious energy, with the music racing along on triplet rhythms; the scherzo section itself is in the expected 3/4 meter, but Dvořák sets the trio in 2/4. The rondo-like finale, marked Vivace, is the most impressive movement of the quartet: the main theme sounds unmistakably like a Czech dance, and it is on the energy of this music that Dvořák brings his most “Viennese” composition to a sparkling close.

Emerson String QuartetThe Emerson String Quartet has amassed an unparalleled list of achievements over three decades: more than thirty acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys® (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s "Ensemble of the Year" and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time. The arrival of Paul Watkins in 2013 has had a profound effect on the Emerson Quartet. Mr. Watkins, a distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and devoted chamber musician, joined the ensemble in its 37th season, and his dedication and enthusiasm have infused the Quartet with a warm, rich tone and a palpable joy in the collaborative process. The reconfigured group has been praised by critics and fans alike around the world. “The Emerson brought the requisite virtuosity to every phrase. But this music is equally demanding emotionally and intellectually, and the group’s powers of concentration and sustained intensity were at least as impressive." The New York Times The 2016-17 season marks the Emerson Quartet’s 40th Anniversary, and highlights of this milestone year reflect all aspects of the Quartet’s venerable artistry with high-profile projects and collaborations, commissions and recordings. Universal Music Group has reissued their entire Deutsche Grammophon discography in a 52-CD boxed set. After recent engagements together at the Kennedy Center and Tanglewood, illustrious soprano Renée Fleming joins the Emerson at Walt Disney Concert Hall, performing works by Alban Berg and Egon Wellesz from their first collaborative recording, released by Decca in fall of 2015. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center has programmed celebratory concerts at Alice Tully Hall, as well as in Chicago and Purchase, NY, in October: the Calidore Quartet teams up with the Emerson for the Mendelssohn Octet, and the Emerson gives the New York premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Shroud (co-commissioned by CMS). Former Emerson cellist David Finckel appears as a special guest for Schubert’s Quintet in C Major. In May 2017, legendary pianist Maurizio Pollini will join the Quartet for a performance of the Brahms Quintet at Carnegie Hall. Additional highlights include a concert with clarinetist David Shifrin as part of the Quartet’s season-long residency at Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon, as well as a collaboration with cellist Clive Greensmith for the Schubert Quintet at the Soka Performing Arts Center in California. The Emerson continues its series at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC for its 38th season, and the quartet members have been selected as Artistic Advisors for Wolf Trap’s Chamber Music at The Barns in Virginia, curating the series in celebration of its 20th season. Multiple tours of Europe comprise dates in Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom (including Wigmore Hall for a 40th Anniversary Gala); the Quartet also visits Mexico for the Festival Internacional Cervantino. Formed in 1976 and based in New York City, the Emerson was one of the first quartets whose violinists alternated in the first chair position. In 2002, the Quartet began to stand for most of its concerts, with the cellist seated on a riser. The Emerson Quartet, which took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, is Quartet-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. During the spring of 2016, full-time Stony Brook faculty members Philip Setzer and Lawrence Dutton received the honor of Distinguished Professor, and part-time faculty members Eugene Drucker and Paul Watkins were awarded the title of Honorary Distinguished Professor. In January 2015, the Quartet received the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America’s highest honor, in recognition of its significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field.

The Emerson String Quartet last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Revelle Chamber Music Series on October 23, 1999

Apr 29 @ 8:00 pm
NIKOLAY KHOZYAINOV, piano @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States

Nikolay Khozyainov, piano

At only 24 years old, Russian pianist Nikolay Khozyainov has performed on many
of the world’s most prestigious concert hall stages and with many orchestras of note. Renowned for his spellbinding technique and supreme artistry, this multi-award winning musician makes a much anticipated return to La Jolla Music Society. Mr. Khozyainov’s program opens with Beethoven’s fiery and dramatic Piano Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110 followed by Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrushka. In Mr. Khozyainov’s own words “This piece is very emotional, there are many Russian folk melodies, rhythms. Its music is very expressive, bright and colorful.” Of his closing work, Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17 by Schumann, Mr. Khozyainov states “Schumann Fantasie is a very passionate composition, from the first until its last sound it is filled with a romantic breath, this piece will leave no one indifferent. This Fantasie astounds you to the depth of your soul, I forget everything in the world, playing this masterpiece.”

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BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata in A-flat Major, Opus 110
STRAVINSKYThree Movements from Petrushka
SCHUMANN Fantasie in C Major, Opus 17
RAVELPavane Pour Une Infante Defunte
LISZTVariations on Marriage of Figaro
Yankee Doodle (arr. Nikolay Khozyainov)

Click here to view the complete March 2017 - May 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Nikolay Khozyainov, piano

by Eric Bromberger

Piano Sonata in A-flat Major, Opus 110

Born December 16, 1770, Bonn
Died March 26, 1827, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

The years 1813 through 1820 were exceptionally difficult for Beethoven, who virtually stopped composing in these years. There were several reasons for this: his deafness was now nearly complete, he suffered periods of poor health, and much of his energy was consumed with his struggle for legal custody of his nephew Karl. And–perhaps most important–he had reached a creative impasse brought on by the exhaustion of his Heroic Style. Where the previous two decades had seen a great outpouring of music, now his creative powers flickered and were nearly extinguished. Not until 1820 was he able to put his troubles, both personal and creative, behind him and marshal his energy as a composer. At the end of May 1820 he committed himself to writing three piano sonatas for the Berlin publisher Adolph Martin Schlesinger; these would be Beethoven’s final sonatas. Although he claimed he wrote them “in one breath,” their composition was actually spread out over a longer period than he expected when he agreed to write them.

The Sonata in A-flat Major, completed in December 1821, shows some of the most original touches in a group of sonatas that are all distinguished for their originality. The first movement, Moderato cantabile molto espressivo, is remarkable for its lovely and continuous lyricism. Beethoven notes that the opening is to be played con amabilita, and that spirit hovers over the entire movement. The essentially lyric quality of this movement is underlined by the fact that the second theme grows immediately out of the first: the opening idea has barely been stated when the second seems to rise directly out of it. By contrast, the bluff Allegro molto is rough and ready: it is a scherzo with a brief trio section full of energy and rhythmic surprises.

The long final movement is of complex structure: it performs the function of both adagio and finale, yet even these elements are intermixed with great originality. The main theme of the Adagio, marked Arioso dolente, arches painfull over a steady chordal accompaniment before Beethoven introduces a fugue marked Allegro, ma non troppo. After a brief working-out, the fugue comes to a halt and the Arioso theme returns. This time, however, Beethoven has marked it Ermattet, klagend (exhausted, grieving), and here the music seems almost choked and struggling to move. Yet gradually the music gathers strength and the fugue returns, but this time Beethoven has inverted the theme and builds the fugue on this inversion. The sonata ends with a great rush upward across five octaves to the triumphant final chord.

Three Movements from Petrushka

Born June 17, 1882, Oranienbaum, Russia
Died April 6, 1971, New York City
Approximate Duration: 16 minutes

In the early 1920s, Igor Stravinsky–one of the greatest orchestrators in history and creator of some of the finest music ever written for orchestra–began to write for solo piano. In the aftermath of World War I, Stravinsky discovered that orchestras that could play huge and complex scores were rare (and expensive). And in any case Stravinsky did not wish to go on repeating himself by writing opulent ballets. But the real factor that attracted Stravinsky to the piano was that he was a pianist and so could supplement his uncertain income as a composer by appearing before the public as both creator and performer; this was especially important during the uncertain economic situation following the war.

While not a virtuoso pianist, Stravinsky was a capable one, and over the next few years came a series of works for piano that Stravinsky introduced and then played on tour. The impetus for all this piano music may well have come from Artur Rubinstein, who asked the composer to prepare a version of the ballet Petrushka for solo piano, which Stravinsky did during the summer of 1921. Rubinstein paid Stravinsky what the composer called “the generous sum of 5,000 francs” for this music, but Stravinsky made clear that his aim was not to cash in on the popularity of the ballet: “My intention was to give virtuoso pianists a piece of a certain breadth that would permit them to enhance their modern repertory and demonstrate a brilliant technique.” Stravinsky stressed that this was not a transcription for piano, nor was he trying to make the piano sound like an orchestra; rather, he was re-writing orchestral music specifically as piano music.

The ballet Petrushka, with its haunting story of a pathetic puppet brought to life during a Russian fair, has become so popular that it easy to forget that this music had its beginning as a sort of piano concerto. Stravinsky said: “I had in my mind a distinct picture of a puppet, suddenly endowed with life, exasperating the patience of the orchestra with diabolical cascades of arpeggi.” That puppet became Petrushka, “the immortal and unhappy hero of every fair in all countries,” as the story of the ballet took shape, but the piano itself receded into the background of the ballet. Perhaps it was only natural that Stravinsky should remember the ballet’s origins when Rubinstein made his request for a piano version.

Stravinsky drew the piano score from three of the ballet’s four tableaux. The opening movement, Russian Dance, comes from the end of the first tableau: the aged magician has just touched his three puppets–Petrushka, the Ballerina, and the Moor with his wand, and now the three leap to life and dance joyfully. Much of this music was given to the piano in the original ballet score, and here this dance makes a brilliant opening movement. The second movement, In Petrushka’s Cell, is the ballet’s second tableau, which introduces the hapless Petrushka trapped in his room and railing against fate and shows the entrance of the ballerina. The third movement, The Shrovetide Fair, incorporates most of the music from the ballet’s final tableau, with its genre pictures of a St. Petersburg square at carnival time: various dances, the entrance of a peasant and his bear, gypsies, and so on. Here, however, Stravinsky excises the end of the ballet (where Petrushka is murdered and the tale ends enigmatically) and replaces it with the more abrupt ending that he wrote for concert performances of the ballet suite.

Fantasie in C Major, Opus 17

Born June 8, 1810, Zwickau, Germany
Died July 29, 1856, Endenich, Germany
Approximate Duration: 32 minutes

In 1835, the 25-year-old Robert Schumann learned of plans to create a Beethoven monument in Bonn and–fired with enthusiasm for the project–resolved to compose a piano sonata and donate all receipts from it to support the monument. He wrote to his publisher, suggesting an elaborate publication in which the score would be bound in black and trimmed with gold, and he proposed a monumental inscription for that cover:

Ruins. Trophies. Palms.
Grand Piano Sonata
For Beethoven’s Monument

Yet when Schumann began composing this music the following year, his plans had changed considerably. He had fallen in love with the young piano virtuosa Clara Wieck, and her father had exploded: Friedrich Wieck did everything in his power to keep the lovers apart, forbidding them to see each other and forcing them to return each other’s letters. The dejected Schumann composed a three-movement sonata-like piece that was clearly fired by his thwarted love: he later told Clara that the first movement was “the most passionate thing I have ever composed–a deep lament for you.” Yet the score, published under the neutral title Fantasie in 1839, contains enough references to Beethoven (quotations from the song cycle An die ferne Geliebte at the end of the first movement and from the Seventh Symphony in the last) to suggest that some of Schumann’s original plans for a Beethoven sonata remained in this music. And finally, to complicate matters even further, Schumann dedicated the score not to Clara but to Franz Liszt, who would become one of its great champions.

If the inspiration for this music is in doubt, its greatness is not: the Fantasie in C Major is one of Schumann’s finest compositions, wholly original in form, extremely difficult to perform, and haunting in its emotional effect. Schumann was right to call this music a Fantasie–it may seem like a piano sonata on first appearance, but it refuses to conform exactly to the rules of sonata form. The first movement, marked “Fantastic and passionate throughout,” begins with an impassioned falling figure that Schumann associated with Clara. In the quiet middle section, which Schumann marks “In the manner of a legend,” the music moves to C minor; yet the conclusion does not recapitulate the opening material in the correct key–the music returns to C major only after the reference to Beethoven’s song from An die ferne Geliebte.

The second movement is a vigorous march full of dotted rhythms; Schumann marks it “Energetic throughout.” Curiously, Clara–the inspiration for the first movement–liked this movement the best; she wrote to Schumann: “The march strikes me as a victory march of warriors returning from battle, and in the A-flat section I think of the young girls from the village, all dressed in white, each with a garland in her hand crowning the warriors kneeling before them.” Schumann concludes with a surprise: the last movement is at a slow tempo–it unfolds expressively, and not until the final bars does Schumann allow this music to arrive–gently and magically–in the home key of C major.

The Fantasie in C Major is one of Schumann’s finest works, yet within years of its composition, Schumann himself was hard on this music, calling it “immature and unfinished… mostly reflections of my turbulent earlier life.” By this time, he was happily married to Clara and may have identified the Fantasie with a painful period in his life, yet it is precisely for its turbulence, its pain, and its longing that we value this music today.

Nikolay KhozyainovNikolay Khozyainov is one of the most remarkable pianists of his generation. His musicality and formidable technique have thrilled audiences around the world. Still in his early twenties, his featured recitals and concerto engagements have already included sold out performances at some of the world’s foremost stages such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington, Wigmore Hall in London, The Louvre and Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

“21-year-old Russian Nikolay Khozyainov, opened his recital with a meltingly beautiful Pavane by Ravel in which the piano seemed to have acquired a bow to draw out the melody with seamless legato while the accompaniment floated around it like incense. This young man is a master of romantic tone, amply displayed in Rachmaninoff’s First Sonata as well. “ - Timothy Gilligan, New York Concert Review

Khozyainov has performed with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, The Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland among many others.

Born in Blagoveshchensk, a city in the Russian Far East, Khozyainov began to play the piano at the age of five and his musical talent was discovered immediately. He moved to the capital to continue his studies at the Central Musical School and at the age of seven he made his public debut with the Handel Piano Concerto at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. He continued his Graduate Studies at the Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory until May 2015. At the present time he lives in Germany where he is pursuing an Advance Degree studying at the Hannover Hochschule fur Music under the guidance of Professor Arie Vardi. Khozyainov’s growing list of awards includes being the youngest finalist of the XVI International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland in October 2010. For the occasion, critics hailed Khozyainov as “an amazing artist of an incredibly large scale. One can feel he is a continuation of the great Russian tradition of piano playing. Khozyainov was the closest one in the competition to Chopin’s sensitivity. His performance had a spiritual sound.”

In 2012 he was awarded in the same year 1st prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition and 2nd prize at the Sydney International Piano Competition. He additionally received the following special prizes: “Best performance of both Concertos voted by members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra”, “Best performance of a work by Liszt”, “Best performance of a work by Schubert”, “Best performance of a virtuoso study” and “Youngest finalist”.

“He has everything: a big sound, splendid technique, and a musicality far beyond his years. This CD would do credit to any pianist...” - Dave Saemann, Fanfare

In 2011 Accord released Khozyainov’s debut CD consisting of works by Chopin and Liszt with worldwide distribution by Naxos. In 2012 he recorded his second album featuring Chopin works released by the Chopin Institute in Warsaw, followed by a double CD recording with JVC Victor featuring works of Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Liszt recorded in Japan. His latest album released in 2014 includes a unique selection of pieces by Ravel, Chopin and Liszt.

“The last piece left the audience clamoring for more” - Andrew Larkin, Bachtrack

Nikolay Khozyainov last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Piano Series on January 21, 2015.

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May 12 @ 7:30 pm
JEREMY DENK @ La Jolla Presbyterian Church | San Diego | California | United States


“What Mr. Denk’s playing conveys most is an inclusive consideration of where each piece came from, what it reflects about its composer and how music connects to a life’s broader concerns … Mr. Denk, clearly, is a pianist you want to hear, no matter what he performs” – The New York Times

The stunning pianist, erudite writer, and MacArthur Fellow returns to La Jolla Music Society for what will be a fascinating recital.

Jeremy Denk’s exceptionally eclectic program ranges from Renaissance and contemporary classical music to ragtime and jazz. In juxtaposing works that represent a wide array of styles and idioms, it reminds us that J. S. Bach and Paul Hindemith were no less attuned to the popular music of their time than Scott Joplin.

Franz Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat Major transports the listener into a rarefied realm where one idea flows into another and time seems almost suspended. Like the other two piano sonatas that Schubert wrote in the months leading up to his untimely death, D. 960 is notable for the grandeur of its conception.

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*Please note that the venue and time of this performance has been updated.

Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at Catania.

J.S. BACH English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808
BYRDThe Passing Mesures: the Nynthe Pavian from My Ladye Nevells Booke of Virginal Music
BOLCOMGraceful Ghost Rag
JOPLIN/HAYDENSunflower Slow Drag
HINDEMITHRagtime from Suite: "1922"
IVESRagtime Dance Nos. 3 and 4 from Four Ragtime Dances
LAMBERT"Pilgrim’s Chorus" from Tannhäuser (after Wagner)
SCHUBERTPiano Sonata in B-flat Major, D.960

Click here to view the complete March 2017 - May 2017 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Jeremy Denk, piano

by Eric Bromberger

English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808

Born March 21, 1685, Eisenach, Germany
Died July 28, 1750, Leipzig, Germany
Approximate Duration: 18 minutes

Among Bach’s works for keyboard are two sets bearing national titles: French Suites and English Suites. Neither of these titles appears to have originated with Bach himself, and scholars have for two centuries debated their source and meaning. The situation with the English Suites is particularly confusing, for there is nothing specifically “English” about this music. Some have attempted to find similarities between these suites and contemporary English music, while others point to a manuscript in the possession of one of Bach’s sons that is reportedly inscribed “fait pour les anglais.” The one conclusion that can be drawn is that no one knows the significance of the title–it serves as a convenient handle rather than as a name that tells us anything about the music itself.

The six English Suites date from about 1715. Bach, then 30, was still living in Weimar, where he was organist for the Duke of Saxe-Weimar. All six suites are in the same sequence of six movements: an opening Prelude followed by five dance movements. The only variation comes in the fifth movement, where Bach uses a variety of dance forms. Bach launches each of these suites with an animated Prelude, and the Suite in G Minor bursts to life with a Prelude that rushes along its propulsive 3/8 meter. The second movement is an Allemande, which–as its name suggests–is of German origin; this one, delicate and poised, is in binary form and not especially fast. The third movement, a Courante, is faster (that title means “running” in French) and sometimes combines duple and triple meters, though in this case the movement dances along the generous span of its 3/2 meter. The fourth movement is a Sarabande, a slow dance in triple time and of Latin origin. The Sarabande of the Suite in G Minor is remarkable music, stark and sometimes dissonant. Bach follows it with a movement called Les agréments de la même Sarabande; that title suggests that it is an “embellishment” of the Sarabande, and in fact it is a double, a highly-embellished second version of the same movement. The fifth movements of the English Suites vary, for Bach uses a variety of short dance forms here; in the Suite No. 3, he employs a pair of Gavottes. Gavotte I dances lightly, while Gavotte II is a musette, a movement that dances above a constantly-held drone; listeners will recognize this as the most-familiar music of the Suite in G Minor, for it is often heard in arrangements. The sixth and concluding movement of each suite is a Gigue, a quick dance related–as its title suggests–to the jig. This one, in 12/8, is fugal in construction, and Bach inverts its principal theme in the second half.

The Passing Mesures: the Nynthe Pavian from My Ladye Nevells Booke of Virginal Music

Born March 21, 1685, Eisenach, Germany
Died July 28, 1750, Leipzig, Germany
Approximate Duration: 18 minutes

One of the first great English composers, William Byrd lived a remarkable life that spanned more than eighty years–born two decades before Shakespeare, he outlived the playwright by almost another decade. Byrd’s life was eventful: he was a devout Roman Catholic at a moment when it was dangerous to be Catholic in England, and though he was under suspicion by the police, he enjoyed the personal protection of Elizabeth I, who granted him the sole right to publish music in London. Byrd trained originally as an organist in Lincoln, but spent much of his career in London, eventually retiring to Essex, where he was involved in a good deal of litigation–he was apparently not a man to walk away from a fight.

Byrd is remembered today primarily for his sacred music–he wrote with equanimity for both Anglican and Catholic services–and for his keyboard music. The keyboard music was probably composed for virginal, a type of small harpsichord with one keyboard and strings running parallel to that keyboard (rather than away from it). Byrd’s most famous keyboard works were collected under the curious title My Ladye Nevells Booke. This collection has a complex history, but it appears to date from 1591, when John Baldwin of Windsor gathered 42 virginal pieces that Byrd had written over the previous decade and had them bound for a “Ladye Nevell.” Her identity has been debated, but evidence suggests that she was Rachel, wife of Sir Edward Nevill, a member of parliament from Windsor.

This music was intended for the enjoyment of skilled amateur performers, and the pieces in My Ladye Nevells Booke take many forms: most are dances, some are descriptive battle pieces (perhaps inspired by Drake’s defeat of the Spanish Armada three years earlier), and some are arrangements of songs. This program offers The Passing Mesures: the Nynthe Pavian from Lady Nevell’s Book in its original form, a pavane was a stately dance of Italian origin This music carries us back across more than three centuries–as we listen to this pavane, we hear music that the young Shakespeare (still in his twenties and unknown) might have heard as worked on Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Taming of the Shrew.

Works by

Approximate Duration: 22 minutes

Antonín Dvořák said that American “classical” music would develop out of African-American music and the music of Native American tribes, and the music Dvořák himself wrote in this country shows both those influences. But it was Afro-American music that became the more powerful force in American–and European–music. Near the end of the nineteenth century, while Dvořák was still active in New York City, Afro-American pianists developed a style of piano music based on a sharply-syncopated melody in the right hand over steady accompaniment in the left. The syncopated (hence, “ragged”) right-hand rhythm earned this style the name “ragtime,” and in the hands of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Eubie Blake, and others ragtime became a popular feature of American musical life (Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag of 1899 sold a million copies). The style remained popular until about World War I, when it was supplanted by jazz. Ragtime influenced composers on both sides of the Atlantic (Debussy’s Golliwog’s Cakewalk is an example), and on this program Jeremy Denk offers a selection of ragtime pieces– and pieces influenced by ragtime–composed over the last century by American and European composers.

The set opens with one of the most popular recent examples, the Graceful Ghost Rag, composed in 1970 by WILLIAM BOLCOM (b. 1938). Bolcom has been a powerful advocate of music from the ragtime era, not only piano music but also popular songs of that period. The Graceful Ghost Rag offers the best possible introduction to ragtime music: Bolcom marks the opening both cantabile and smoothly, and this evocative music sings a wistful song that is enlivened by its sunnier central episode.

SCOTT HAYDEN (1882-1915) was related by marriage to SCOTT JOPLIN (1867/8-1917), and they collaborated on four rags, though the Sunflower Slow Drag appears to be primarily the work of Hayden. This quintessentially “happy” music dates from 1901.

F. Scott Fitzgerald called the 1920’s “the Jazz Era,” and in the years after the war jazz elements began to appear in the music of European composers. PAUL HINDEMITH (1895- 1963) composed his Suite: “1922,” during the difficult years of the Weimar Republic, and many have detected a bitter tone in this five-movement suite based largely on dance forms. The last movement is titled Ragtime, though this furious music lacks the steady left-hand accompaniment we associate with the form. Hindemith’s quite specific performance instructions for this movement set the mood. He instructs the pianist: “Play this piece very wildly but always strictly in time, like a machine” and further specifies that the performer should “regard the piano here as an interesting percussion instrument.”

Always keenly attuned to new developments in music, IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) became aware of ragtime and jazz during World War I: in 1918 he included a Ragtime movement in his L’histoire du soldat and also composed a Ragtime for Eleven Instruments. The following year Stravinsky composed a short work that he titled Piano-Rag- Music, dedicating it to Artur Rubinstein (who never played it). Piano-Rag-Music is not in the steady duple meter of most ragtime, and the most remarkable thing about this music is Stravinsky’s metric freedom: he changes meter constantly, and long passages are without any bar-lines at all. The composer’s performance instruction is succinct: trés fort (“very strong”).

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954) knew ragtime long before Stravinsky: he heard it in the theaters and clubs of New York City as it was being created. Ives was unsure about ragtime. He wrote: “Ragtime has its possibilities . . . Perhaps we know it now as an ore before it has been refined into a product. It may be one of nature’s ways of giving art new material.” But he was willing to mine this ore, and ragtime elements appear in a number of his works. In 1902 he composed Four Ragtime Dances, scoring them first for small orchestra and later for piano. Both Nos. 3 and 4 are marked Allegro, both feature complex textures through which the characteristic syncopated rhythms can be heard, and both incorporate snatches of the popular melodies Ives heard around him at the turn of the century.

CONLON NANCARROW (1912-1997) studied with Sessions, Piston, and Slonimsky, then joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Returning to the United States after the Loyalist defeat, Nancarrow–who had joined the Communist Party in 1934–faced the loss of his visa because of his political affiliations, and so he moved to Mexico City, where he lived for the rest of his life. Before his departure, Nancarrow had become fascinated with complex rhythms, and this led him to an unusual musical decision: he composed almost exclusively for player piano, on which he could achieve a level of rhythmic complexity and accuracy impossible with mortal performers. Nancarrow once said that “ever since I’d been writing music I was dreaming of getting rid of the performers.”

Nancarrow’s rhythmic complexity fascinated other musicians (Copland commented: “You have to hear it to believe it”), and there have been a handful of pianists willing to master the complexities of music originally conceived for a mechanical player. Late in his long life, Nancarrow began once again to write for live performers: in 1988–when he was 76–Nancarrow composed a set of three canons for piano for Ursula Oppens, and Jeremy Denk performs one of these on the present recital.

DONALD LAMBERT (1904-1962) was a jazz stride pianist. The term “stride” refers to the wide leaps required from the pianist’s left hand (thus, “stride”), while the right hand has the melody. Lambert was active largely in the 1920s and 1930s. The present piece, perhaps his most famous work, uses the “Pilgrims Chorus” from Wagner’s Tannhäuser as its starting point. Lambert offers a brief statement of the theme of that chorus (though one already slightly squared-off), then proceeds into a virtuoso piano piece based on that theme. Part of the fun of this piece is watching the pianist’s left hand, but the right has an absolutely exhilarating romp, through which the chorus of Wagner’s pilgrims can occasionally be heard. Those interested in this music should know that Lambert himself made a terrific recording in 1941.

Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D.960

Born January 31, 1797, Vienna
Died November 19, 1828, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 44 minutes

Schubert’s final year was dreadful. Ill for years, he went into steady decline in 1828 and died in November at 31. Yet from those last months came a steady stream of masterpieces, and few of the achievements of that miraculous, agonizing year seem more remarkable than the composition of three large-scale piano sonatas in the month of September, barely eight weeks before his death. In the years following Schubert’s death, many of the works from this final year were recognized as the masterpieces they are, but the three piano sonatas made their way much more slowly. When they appeared in 1838, a decade after Schubert’s death, the publisher dedicated them to Schumann, one of Schubert’s greatest admirers, but even Schumann confessed mystification, noting with a kind of dismayed condescension that “Always musical and rich in songlike themes, these pieces ripple on, page after page . . .” Even as late as 1949, Schubert’s adoring biographer Robert Haven Schauffler could rate them “considerably below the level of the last symphonies and quartets, the String Quintet, and the best songs.” It took Artur Schnabel’s championing these sonatas to rescue them from obscurity, and today the last of them, the Sonata in B-flat Major, has become one of the best-loved of all piano sonatas: the current catalog lists over forty recordings.

It is dangerous to assume that a composer’s final works must be haunted–as were Mahler’s and Shostakovich’s–by premonitions of death. And in fact, Schubert’s final works do not agonize in the way the Mahler Tenth or Shostakovich Fourteenth Symphonies do. But it remains true that as Schubert’s condition worsened across the span of that final year, his music took on a depth and poignance rare in his works. And it is hard not to hear in the beginning of the Sonata in B-flat Major a direct premonition of mortality. The Molto moderato begins simply with a flowing chordal melody of unusual expressiveness. But in the eighth measure comes a discordant trill deep in the left hand, and the music glides to a complete stop. The silence that follows–Schubert marks it with a fermata to be sure that it is prolonged–is one of the few genuinely terrifying moments in music. It is as if a moment of freezing terror has crept into this flow of gentle song. Out of the silence the theme resumes. Again the deep trill intrudes, but this time the music rides over it and continues. Claudio Arrau has spoken of this movement as one written “in the proximity of death,” and while this music is never tortured, it is some of the most expressive Schubert ever wrote. This is a long movement, full of the harmonic freedom that marks Schubert’s best music; it ends quietly in B-flat major with a chorale-like restatement of the main theme.

The Andante sostenuto is as moving as the first movement. The somber opening melody, in the unexpected key of C-sharp minor, proceeds darkly in the right hand, while the left hand offers an unusual accompaniment that skips–almost dances–through a four-octave range, reaching up above the right hand’s melody. The middle section is of a nobility that might almost be called Brahmsian, were that not absurd; perhaps it suggests why, a half-century later, Brahms admired Schubert’s music so much. By contrast, the quicksilvery Scherzo flashes across the keyboard with a main theme that moves easily between the pianist’s hands; at times the rhythms and easy flow make this seem more like a waltz than a scherzo. Schubert specifies that it should be played con delicatezza, and certainly its smooth modulations between A major and B-flat major are accomplished most delicately; the brief trio is enlivened by off-the-beat accents. The finale– Allegro, ma non troppo–dances along its two main ideas. The writing is brilliant and once again full of harmonic surprises, but in the midst of all this sparkle one hears a wistfulness, an expressive depth that stays to haunt the mind long after the music has ended.

Jeremy DenkJeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists – an artist The New York Times hails as someone ‘you want to hear no matter what he performs’. Winner of a 2013 MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, the 2014 Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year award, he has recently appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and London.

Last season, he launched a four-season tenure as an Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and performed Bach concertos with Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and on tour throughout the US. He also appeared with the New York Philharmonic and LA Philharmonic, conducted by Esa Pekka Salonen, and made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as at the BBC Proms, both in recital and with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas. Following the release of his disc of the Golberg Variations--which reached number one on Billboard’s Classical Chart--he performed the piece throughout Europe, including his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and at London’s LSO St. Luke’s.

Denk’s 2015-16 engagements include a fourteen-city recital tour of the US - including performances in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, San Francisco, and Miami - and culminating in his return to Carnegie Hall. He will return to the Chicago Symphony performing Bartok’s Second Piano Concerto, and to the San Diego, Detroit, and Baltimore Symphonies in performances of Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto. He makes his debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony, and in the UK, appears on tour in recital, including a return to the Wigmore Hall, and on tour with the Britten Sinfonia in Cambridge, Norwich, Southampton and London. In a specially curated program of the Ives Violin Sonatas, he also performs in North America with Stefan Jackiw and vocal ensemble New York Polyphony. In 2014 Denk served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival, for which, besides performing and curating, he wrote the libretto for a comic opera. The opera was presented by Carnegie Hall last season. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its “arresting sensitivity and wit.” The pianist’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New Republic, The Guardian, and on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a memoir for future publication by Random House in the US, and Macmillan in the UK. Recounting his experiences of touring, performing, and practicing, his blog, Think Denk, was recently selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress web archives. In 2012, Denk made his Nonesuch debut with a pairing of masterpieces old and new: Beethoven’s final Piano Sonata, Op. 111, and Ligeti’s Études. The album was named one of the best of 2012 by the New Yorker, NPR, and the Washington Post, and Denk’s account of the Beethoven sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as the best available version recorded on modern piano. Denk has a long-standing attachment to the music of American visionary Charles Ives, and his recording of Ives’s two piano sonatas featured in many “best of the year” lists. In March 2012, the pianist was invited by Michael Tilson Thomas to appear as soloist in the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks festival, and he recorded Henry Cowell’s Piano Concerto with the orchestra. Having cultivated relationships with many living composers, he currently has several commissioning projects in progress.

Denk has toured frequently with violinist Joshua Bell, and their recently released Sony Classical album, French Impressions, won the 2012 Echo Klassik award. He also collaborates regularly with cellist Steven Isserlis, and has appeared at numerous festivals, including the Italian and American Spoleto Festivals, and the Verbier, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen Music, and Mostly Mozart Festivals. Jeremy Denk graduated from Oberlin College, Indiana University, and the Juilliard School. He lives in New York City, and his web site and blog are at

Jeremy Denk last performed for La Jolla Music Society in SummerFest 2012.

Aug 2 @ 6:30 pm
SUMMERFEST OUTDOOR CONCERT & MOVIE @ Ellen Browning Scripps Park | San Diego | California | United States

Free to the Public

The ever-popular Outdoor Concert returns.
Join SummerFest Music Director Cho-Liang Lin, festival artists and special guests for an extraordinary evening of music set against a stunning ocean backdrop.

We invite you to pack a picnic and join us for this wonderful, family-friendly SummerFest tradition. Stay after the concert and enjoy the movie LA LA LAND sponsored by THE LOT.


Ulysses Quartet
  Christina Bouey, Rhiannon Banerdt, violins;
  Colin Brookes, viola; Grace Ho, cello
MASSENET/MILONEMeditation from Thais for Two Violins
David Chan, Cho-Liang Lin, violins
MOZART/MILONEDon Giovanni for Four Violins and Bass
Cho-Liang Lin,David Chan, Philip Marten, Isaac Allen,
violins; DaXun Zhang, bass
PIAZZOLLA/MILONE Oblivion for Four Violins and Bass
David Chan, Cho-Liang Lin, Philip Marten, Isaac Allen,
violins; DaXun Zhang, bass
JOPLIN/MILONEThree Rags for Four Violins and Bass
David Chan, Philip Marten, Cho-Liang Lin, Isaac Allen,
violins; DaXun Zhang,bass
TCHAIKOVSKYPolonaise from Eugene Onegin
San Diego Youth Symphony International Youth Symphony;
Jeff Edmons, conductor
KABALEVSKYSelections from The Comedians, Opus 26
San Diego Youth Symphony International Youth Symphony;
Jeff Edmons, conductor
J.S. BACH Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043
Cho-Liang Lin, Philip Marten, violins;
San Diego Youth Symphony International Youth Symphony
Sponsored by THE LOT
OPENING NIGHT: Fiddles vs. Pianos
Aug 4 @ 8:00 pm
OPENING NIGHT: Fiddles vs. Pianos @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States


OPENING NIGHT: Fiddles vs. Pianos


An evening of musical fireworks and spectacular artistry as world-renowned violinists and celebrated pianists strut their stuff. Will there be a winner?

Be there to find out!

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PROKOFIEV Sonata in C Major for Two Violins, Opus 56
Chee-Yun, David Chan, violins
SARASATENavarra, Opus 33
Chee-Yun, Ray Ushikubo, violins; Scott Cuellar, piano
SHOSTAKOVICH Galop from Moskva,Cheryomushki , Opus 105
David Chan, Cho-Liang Lin, Chee-Yun, Ray Ushikubo, violins; DaXun Zhang, bass
BIZET/MILONEFantasy on Bizet's Carmen for Four Violins and Doublebass
David Chan, Chee-Yun, Ray Ushikubo, violins; DaXun Zhang, bass
SCHOENFIELD Boogie for Piano, Four-Hands
Christina Naughton, Michelle Naughton, piano
MENDELSSOHNAndante et Allegro Brillant for Piano, Four-Hands, Opus 92
Christina Naughton, Michelle Naughton, piano
RACHMANINOFFSuite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Opus 17
Olga Kern, Inon Barnatan, pianos
Program Notes


BIZET/MILONE: Carmen Fantasy for Four Violins and Double Bass


Conversation with SummerFest Music Director,Cho-Liang Lin, hosted by Scholar-in-Residence Eric Bromberger
This year brings the 32nd SummerFest, and it also marks Jimmy Lin’s 16th summer as Music Director. SummerFest as come a long way since 1986, evolving from what was a tentative experiment into one of the leading chamber music festivals in the country. Join Lin and program annotator Eric Bromberger as they discuss the current state of the festival and how it might develop over the next few years.

Festival Roster

Aug 5 @ 8:00 pm
FROM PRAGUE WITH LOVE @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States




Parisian glamour meets Eastern Europe’s romantic mysticism in this luscious program of Chopin, Dvořák and Lutoslawski’s Variations on Theme of Paganini for Two Pianos, played by piano duo sensations, twin sisters, Christina and Michelle Naughton.

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RACHMANINOFFPrelude in C Major, Opus 32, No. 1
Prelude in G Major, Opus 32, No. 5
Prelude in G Minor, Opus 23, No. 5
Olga Kern, piano
SCRIABINÉtude in F-sharp Minor, Opus 42, No. 4
Étude in C-sharp Minor, Opus 42, No. 5
Olga Kern, piano
Olga Kern, piano
DVOŘÁK Cigánské Melodie (Gypsy Songs), Opus 55
Lyubov Petrova, soprano; Olga Kern, piano
CHOPINRondo for Two Pianos in C Major, Opus 73
Christina Naughton, Michelle Naughton, pianos
LUTOSLAWSKIVariations on a Theme of Paganini for Two Pianos
Christina Naughton, Michelle Naughton, pianos
DVOŘÁK Piano Quintet in A Major, Opus 81
Inon Barnatan, piano; Miró Quartet
Program Notes


DVOŘÁK: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81
From LJMS SummerFest 2006
Lindsay Deutsch and Bei Zhu, violins; Paul Neubauer, viola; Gary Hoffman, cello; and Weiyin Chen, piano


Conversation with Christina and Michelle Naughton hosted by Scholar-in-Residence
Eric Bromberger

A couple of generations ago, duo-pianist teams were a feature of concert life in America, as Gold & Fizdale and Vronsky & Babin brought the two-piano literature to life. The form then seemed to fall into the shade, but it has been resurrected recently by the Labeque sisters and by the Naughton sisters, Christina and Michelle. This evening the Naughtons discuss the trials, tribulations, and rewards of being part of a duo-piano team.

Festival Roster
Aug 6 @ 3:00 pm
GENIUS FROM FINLAND: Olli Mustonen @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States




Evoking the era of virtuoso composer-pianists Liszt and Rachmaninoff, Finnish genius Olli Mustonen spans two centuries in this scintillating program of Beethoven and his own brilliant quintet.

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MUSTONEN    Nonetto II
Chee-Yun, David Chan, violins; Toby Hoffman, viola; Robert deMaine,
cello; DaXun Zhang, bass; Ulysses Quartet
BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata in F Minor, Opus 57 "Apassionata"
Piano Sonata in A Major, Opus 2, No. 2
Olli Mustonen, piano
MUSTONEN    Piano Quintet
Olli Mustonen, piano; Miró Quartet
Program Notes


IV. Vivacissimo · Tapiola Sinfonietta


Conversation with Olli Mustonen hosted by Scholar-in-Residence Eric Bromberger
SummerFest’s featured guest, Olli Mustonen has carved out a distinguished career as both pianist and composer, and we’ll hear him in both roles on this concert. How does one balance those two quite different career paths? Mustonen and Eric Bromberger discuss the complicated identity of being both creator and re-creator.

Festival Roster
Aug 8 @ 8:00 pm
IN THE HEART OF HUNGARY @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



Tuesday, August 8 at 8 PM

Plush – Liszt’s Grand Duo
Earthy – Kodály’s Duo for Violin and Cello
Profound – Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4

Music to salute the heart and spirit of an enchanted place.

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LISZT Grand Duo Concertant sur la romance de M. Lafont le "Le marin", S.128
David Chan, violin; Olga Kern, piano
KODÁLY Duo for Violin and Cello, Opus 7
Glenn Dicterow, violin; Robert deMaine, cello
BARTÓKFalun, Village Scenes, Sz.78
Lyubov Petrova, soprano; Michelle Naughton, piano
BARTÓK String Quartet No. 4, Sz.91
Miró Quartet
Program Notes


BARTÓK: String Quartet No. 4
Pacifica Quartet c.o MediciTV


Lecture by Scholar-in-Residence Eric Bromberger
Hungary may be a small nation, but musically it is a superpower, and the impact of Hungary on musical life in America has been profound. This program of music by that nation’s three greatest composers–Liszt, Kodály, and Bartók–will bring a wide range of Hungarian music, from folk melodies to blistering virtuosity to what is perhaps the twentieth century’s finest string quartet.

Festival Roster
Aug 9 @ 8:00 pm
THE POWER OF FIVE @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



Wednesday, August 9 at 8 PM
UC San Diego Dept. of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall

One night, three quintets spanning centuries, that will broaden sonic frontiers. Beethoven’s sole string quintet is operatic in its scope. Dvoŕák adds a string bass for a beautiful new sonority. Xiaogang Ye’s West Coast Première combination of pipa and string quartet is a lyric breakthrough.

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BEETHOVEN String Quintet in C Major, Opus 29
Cho-Liang Lin, Kristin Lee, violin; Toby Hoffman, John Largess, violas; Robert deMaine, cello
XIAOGANG YE Gardenia for Pipa and String Quartet
West Coast Première
Wu Man, pipa; Miró Quartet
DVOŘÁKQuintet for Strings and Bass in G Major, Opus 77
Glenn Dicterow, Chee-Yun, violins; Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, viola; Edward Arron, cello; DaXun Zhang, viola
Program Notes


WU MAN: Playing the Pipa
c/o CalPerformances


Conversation with Lei Liang hosted by Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres
Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres, Chinese art historian and curator hosts a conversation with composer and UC San Diego professor Lei Liang to explore the development of Chinese contemporary music. They will discuss how these new compositions are able to engage Asian musical heritage with Western traditions in a dynamic musical dialogue, and what it means to be a Chinese composer working today.

Festival Roster
Aug 11 @ 8:00 pm
CELEBRATING STRINGS @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



Friday, August 11 at 8 PM
UC San Diego’s Dept. of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall

Reach the mountaintop summit of Mendelssohn’s Octet on an invigorating excursion via Kodály’s meltingly romantic serenade, and the power of Spohr’s Double String Quartet – written in Leipzig in 1825, the same year Mendelssohn completed his own octet masterwork at the age of 16!

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SPOHRDouble String Quartet No.1 in D Minor, Opus 65
Kristin Lee, Cho-Liang Lin, violins; Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, viola; Edward Arron, cello;
Miró Quartet
KODÁLY Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, Opus 12
Margaret Batjer, Kristin Lee, violins; Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, viola
MENDELSSOHN Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Opus 20
Yura Lee, Margaret Batjer, violins; Toby Hoffman, viola; Robert deMaine, cello;
Ulysses Quartet
Program Notes


MENDELSSOHN: String Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20
IV: Presto
Musique del Tempo Quartet and Akadem Quartet in concert at the State Historical Museum

Festival Roster
Aug 13 @ 3:00 pm
KALICHSTEIN-LAREDO-ROBINSON TRIO: 40th Anniversary @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



Wish a happy 40th anniversary to America’s internationally-lauded piano trio, as they gift SummerFest with the new work written for them by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, as well as profoundly moving trios by Mendelssohn and Brahms.

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ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH Pas de Trois (2016)
MENDELSSOHN Piano Trio No. 2 in C Minor, Opus 66
BRAHMS Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Opus 8
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Program Notes


BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio in G Major Op.1 No.2
IV. Finale. Presto
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio


Ulysses Quartet performs Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10

Aug 15 @ 8:00 pm
BEETHOVEN'S VIOLIN SONATAS I @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



Tuesday, August 15 at 8 PM

Violinist (and SummerFest Music Director) Cho-Liang Lin and pianist Jon Kimura Parker inaugurate a four-concert journey through some of the most profound
and beautifully-moving music written by Beethoven, history’s
most-acclaimed composer.

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BEETHOVENViolin Sonata No. 8 in G Major, Opus 30 , No. 3
BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major, Opus 30, No. 1
BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 7 in C Minor, Opus 30, No. 2
Cho-Liang Lin, violin; Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Program Notes


CHO-LIANG LIN: MEET THE PROS – The Juilliard School, VC 20 Questions

Lecture by Nuvi Mehta
In the first of two lectures, Nuvi Mehta – himself a gifted violinist as well as music scholar – explores three of Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas, examining the astonishing freedom and spontaneity with which Beethoven developed a revolutionary compositional language that was to change music forever afterward.

Aug 16 @ 8:00 pm
BEETHOVEN'S VIOLIN SONATAS II @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



Wednesday, August 16 at 8 PM

The sublime “Kreutzer” sonata is the capstone for the second stop on this four-concert journey through Beethoven’s genius, performed violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Shai Wosner.

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BEETHOVENViolin Sonata No. 1 in D Major, Opus 12, No. 1
BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Opus 12, No. 2
BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Opus 47 “Kreutzer”
Jennifer Koh, violin; Shai Wosner, piano
Program Notes


JENNIFER KOH: Violinist Jennifer Koh discusses her process for preparing a new piece


Lecture by Nuvi Mehta
The composition of Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas spans only fifteen years. Nuvi Mehta outlines the development of the characteristics that propelled Beethoven’s work toward the powerful combination of mastery and mystery found in the famous Opus 47 “Kreutzer” Sonata, a work that broke boundaries in both beauty and bravado.

Aug 18 @ 8:00 pm
BEETHOVEN'S VIOLIN SONATAS IV @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



Friday, August 18 at 8 PM

SummerFest favorite, violinist Yura Lee, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center pianist Gilles Vonsattel complete this SummerFest first-ever performance
of the complete Beethoven violin-piano sonatas.

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BEETHOVENViolin Sonata No. 3 in E-flat Major, Opus 12, No. 3
BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, Opus 23
BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Opus 96
Yura Lee, violin, Gilles Vonsattel, piano
Program Notes


YURA LEE: Violinist/violist Yura Lee, recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2007, is enjoying a career that spans almost two decades and takes her all over the world.

Aug 19 @ 8:00 pm
AN EVENING WITH THE REGINA CARTER QUARTET @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



Regina Carter is an extraordinary violinist, a certified genius. The Los Angeles Times calls her “a talented, charismatic player who is almost single-handedly reviving interest in the violin as a jazz instrument.” Wherever this Grammy® nominated violinist performs, she takes her audiences with her on a journey through tradition and creativity.

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A little more information…
Regina Carter is an extraordinary violinist, a certified genius. The Los Angeles Times calls her “a talented, charismatic player who is almost single-handedly reviving interest in the violin as a jazz instrument.” Wherever this Grammy® nominated violinist performs, she takes her audiences with her on a journey through tradition and creativity.

Program to be announced from stage.Regina Carter Quartet


REGINA CARTER: ‘I’m Going Home,’ Live On Soundcheck


Join us for an interview with Regina Carter hosted by Marcus Overton

Aug 20 @ 3:00 pm
SUMMER SERENADES @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



Wind virtuosi will take you on a musical journey. From the British genteel and aristocratic atmosphere of Elgar to the rarely heard Gemini Variations by Britten. This program brims with disarming quirks and unexpected charms, concluding with Dvořák Serenade for Winds, one of the greatest works for winds since the Mozart Serenade.

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BRITTEN Gemini Variations for Flute, Violin and Piano 4- Hands, Opus 73
Catherine Ransom Karoly, flute; Michelle Kim, violin; Haochen Zhang, Scott Cuellar, piano
ELGARPiano Quintet in A Minor, Opus 84
Haochen Zhang, piano; Cho-Liang Lin, Michelle Kim, violins; Paul Neubauer, viola; Clive Greensmith, cello
DVOŘÁK Serenade for Winds and Strings in D Minor, Opus 44
Nathan Hughes, Laura Griffiths, oboes; Anthony McGill, Sheryl Renk, clairinets; Keith Buncke, Ryan Simmons, bassoons; Leyla Zamora, contrabassoon; Keith Popejoy, Tricia Skye, Mike McCoy, horns; Joshua Halpern, cello; Nico Abondolo, bass
Program Notes


DVOŘÁK: Serenade in D Minor for Wind, Cello and Bass, Op. 44
1. Moderato quasi marcia
Orchestra Academy Ossiach and Ensemble Berlin

Rodin Trio performs Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1

Aug 22 @ 8:00 pm
MOZART'S ENCHANTMENT @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



Mozart – the very word embodies the experience of sublime beauty. The Quintet for Winds and Piano is an astonishing rarity; few composers tackled this combination. The Divertimento for string trio – a pinnacle of human creativity. The Flute Quartet, featuring SummerFest veteran Catherine Ransom Karoly, an immersion in sheer pleasure.

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MOZARTFlute Quartet No. 3 in C Major, K. 285b
Catherine Ransom Karoly, flute; Michelle Kim, violin; Colin Brookes, cello
MOZARTQuintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat Major, K.452
Haochen Zhang, piano; Nathan Hughes, oboe; Anthony McGill, clarinet; Keith Buncke, bassoon; Jennifer Montone, horn
MOZARTDivertimento in E-flat Major, K.563
Eugene Drucker, violin; Paul Neubauer, viola; Clive Greensmith, cello
Program Notes


MOZART: Quintet for Piano and Winds in E flat K452
Caspar Frantz, piano; Chris Richards, clarinet; Joost Bosdijk, bassoon; Katy Woolley, horn; Olivier Stankiewic, oboe
recorded live during the Whittington International Chamber Music Festival (Shropshire UK) May 2016 supported using public funding by Arts Council England

Aug 23 @ 8:00 pm
AN EVENING WITH ALISA WEILERSTEIN @ UC San Diego Department of Music’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | San Diego | California | United States



One of today’s reigning instrumental soloists world-wide, cellist Alisa Weilerstein returns to SummerFest. Clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Inon Barnatan join Alisa for the shimmering autumnal profundities of the Brahms’ Clarinet Trio and the brooding power of Brahms’ Piano Quintet.

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J.S.BACHCello Suite No.3 in C Major, BWV 1009
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
BRAHMSClarinet Trio in A Minor, Opus 114
Anthony McGill, clarinet; Alisa Weilerstein, cello; Inon Barnatan, piano
BRAHMSPiano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34
Eugene Drucker, Michelle Kim, violins; Paul Neubauer, viola; Alisa Weilerstein, cello; Inon Barnatan, piano
Program Notes


J.S. BACH: Cello Suite No.3 in C Major, BWV 1009, Gigue
Alisa Weilerstein

Aug 25 @ 8:00 pm
FINALE WITH DAVID ZINMAN @ Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall  | San Diego | California | United States



An All-Star SummerFest chamber orchestra led by American conductor, David Zinman, whose career has embodied the style-spanning virtuosity and propulsive energy that are our country’s artistic trademark brings SummereFest’s 31st season to a close – and a fitting occasion to look forward to a transformed future.

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STRAVINSKY"Dumbarton Oaks" Concerto
HAYDNSinfonia Concertante
Michelle Kim, violin; Clive Greensmith, cello; Nathan Hughes, oboe; Keith Buncke, bassoon
BEETHOVENSymphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
Michelle Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, concertmasters; Rhiannon Banerdt, Christina Bouey, Armen Dekevorkian, Bridget Dolkas, Kathryn Hatmaker, Joanna Lee, Philip Marten, Alyssa Park, Jeanne Skrocki, Roger Wilkie, violins; Paul Neubauer, Colin Brookes, Caterina Longhi, Travis Maril, violas; Clive Greensmith, Chia-Ling Chien, Alex Greenbaum, Joshua Halpern, Grace Ho, cellos; Nico Abondolo, Samuel Hager, basses; Catherine Ransom Karoly, Pamela Vliek Marchev, flutes; Nathan Hughes, Laura Griffiths, Andrea Overturf, oboes; Anthony McGill, Sheryl Renk, clarinets; Keith Buncke, Ryan Simmons, Leyla Zamora,
; Jennifer Montone, Keith Popejoy, horns; David Washburn, Jennifer Marotta, trumpets; Jason Ginter, timpani
Program Notes


Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
David Zinman, conductor; Berliner Philharmoniker


Join us for an interview with Maestro David Zinman hosted by Music Director Cho-Liang Lin

Oct 18 @ 1:00 pm

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Riccardo Muti, Zell Music Director
Stephen Williams, clarinet

Hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world, the multi Grammy® Award-winning Chicago Symphony Orchestra returns to San Diego for an extraordinary evening of music making led by celebrated Italian maestro Riccardo Muti.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
Jacobs Music Center – Copley Symphony Hall
750 B St, San Diego, CA 92101

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

© Todd Rosenberg Photography


SCHUBERTSymphony No. 8 in B Minor, D.759 “Unfinished”
MOZARTClarinet Concerto in A Major, K.622
       Stephen Williamson, clarinet
SCHUMANNSymphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61

PRELUDE @ 7:00 pm
Arrive early for a pre-performance lecture by Michael Gerdes

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Its music director since 2010 is Riccardo Muti, one of the preeminent conductors of our day. Founded in 1891 by its first music director, Theodore Thomas, the CSO’s other illustrious music directors include Frederick Stock, Désiré Defauw, Artur Rodzinski, Rafael Kubelík, Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, Sir Georg Solti, and Daniel Barenboim. From 2006 to 2010, Bernard Haitink served as principal conductor, the first in CSO history. Pierre Boulez was appointed principal guest conductor in 1995 and then named Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus in 2006, a position he held until his death in January 2016. Celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma was appointed the CSO’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant in 2010. Samuel Adams and Elizabeth Ogonek were appointed the CSO’s Mead Composers-in-Residence in 2015.
The renowned musicians of the CSO command a vast repertoire that spans from baroque to new music. They annually perform more than 150 concerts, most at Symphony Center in Chicago, and, since 1936, in the summer at the Ravinia Festival. The CSO also tours nationally and internationally. Since its first tour to Canada in 1892, the Orchestra has performed in 29 countries on five continents during 60 international tours.

Since 1916, recording has been significant in establishing the Orchestra’s international reputation, with recordings by the CSO earning a total of 62 Grammy awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In 2007, the CSO launched an independent label, CSO Resound. The 2010 release of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem was recognized with two Grammy awards. Listeners and fans around the world can hear the CSO in weekly airings of the CSO Radio Broadcast Series, which is syndicated on the WFMT Radio Network and online at In addition, the CSO’s YouTube video of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, conducted by Muti, has received over seven million views.

Annually, the CSO engages more than 200,000 people of diverse ages, incomes, and backgrounds through the innovative programs of the Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO. The Institute also manages the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the only pre-professional training ensemble of its kind affiliated with a major American orchestra.

The parent organization for the CSO is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA), which also includes the acclaimed Chicago Symphony Chorus, directed by Duain Wolfe. Under the banner of its presentation series, entitled Symphony Center Presents, the CSOA annually presents dozens of prestigious guest artists and ensembles from a variety of musical genres—classical, jazz, pop, world, and contemporary.

Thousands of patrons, volunteers, and donors—corporations, foundations, government agencies and individuals—support the CSOA each year. The CSO’s music director position is endowed in perpetuity by a generous gift from the Zell Family Foundation. The Negaunee Foundation provides generous support in perpetuity for the work of the Negaunee Music Institute.

Bank of America is the Global Sponsor of the CSO.

Nov 5 @ 7:00 am
2017 VAN CLIBURN GOLD MEDALIST @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States

2017 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist

Yekwon Sunwoo (South Korea) was announced as the Gold Medalist on June 10, 2017 at the Van Cliburn Competition Awards Ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas

Sunday, November 5, 2017 @ 3:00 pm
The Auditorium at TSRI
10620 John J Hopkins Dr
San Diego,CA 92121


RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 3
Yekwon Sunwoo (South Korea) – Final Concerto Performance

Catch all the medalists’ Competition performances as well as interviews and profiles, and other behind the scenes looks at:

MOZARTRomance in A-flat Major, KAnh.205
Rondo in A Minor, K.511
Pinao Sonata in C Major, K.330
SCHUBERTMoments musicaux, D.780
RAVELLa valse
View Program Book

Musical Prelude 2 PM

Artists from the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory will perform.


Nov 11 @ 8:00 pm
RICHARD GOODE @ Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall | San Diego | California | United States


Legendary pianist Richard Goode brings a virtuosic program of works by J.S. Bach, Chopin, Beethoven and Schoenberg. He has been hailed for music-making of tremendous emotional power, depth and expressiveness, and has been acknowledged worldwide as one of today’s leading interpreters of Classical and Romantic music.

“Every time we hear him, he impresses us as better than we remembered, surprising us, surpassing our expectations and communicating perceptions that stay in the mind” — Gramophone

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J.S. BACH Four Preludes and Fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier
SCHOENBERGSix Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19
BEETHOVENSonata in E-flat Major, Op. 81a
CHOPINSelection of Nocturnes, Mazurkas and Preludes
CHOPINBarcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60

Dec 2 @ 8:00 pm
SOME OF A THOUSAND WORDS @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Some of a Thousand Words
Wendy Whelan / Brian Brooks / Brooklyn Rider

Choreographer Brian Brooks is beloved for his “kinetic thrill and visual power” (The Washington Post), while former New York City Ballet star and principal dancer Wendy Whelan is “riveting, interesting, unusual, intelligent” (The New York Times). LJMS audiences will remember Restless Creature, their winning collaboration in 2015. This Season they return with new solos and duets, full of elegance and electricity, amplified by the remarkable live music of string quartet Brooklyn Rider, hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings Magazine).

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Program Notes will be available from December 1, 2017

POSTLUDE – Immediately following the performance Marcus Overton hosts a discussion with Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks and members from Brooklyn Rider

Wendy-WhelanWendy Whelan was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where at the age of three she began taking dance classes with Virginia Wooton, a local teacher. At age eight she performed as a mouse with the Louisville Ballet in its annual production of The Nutcracker. Joining the Louisville Ballet Academy that year, she began intense professional training. In 1981 she received a scholarship to the summer course at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet and a year later she moved to New York to become a full-­‐time student there. She was invited to become a member of the New York City Ballet corps de ballet in 1986 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1991. Whelan has performed a wide spectrum of the Balanchine repertory and worked closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets. She has originated featured roles in 13 ballets for Christopher Wheeldon, as well as in the ballets of William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky, Wayne McGregor, Jorma Elo, Shen Wei, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp. In 2007, Whelan was nominated for an Olivier Award and a Critics Circle Award for her performances with Morphoses/Wheeldon Company. She has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and with the Kirov Ballet. She received the 2007 Dance Magazine Award, and in 2009 was given a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011, she was honored with both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for her Sustained Achievement in Performance.

In 2012, Whelan began developing new collaborative projects. Her inaugural project, Restless Creature, which premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in August of 2013, is a suite of four duets, created by and danced with four of todays most cutting edge contemporary dancer/choreographers, Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks and Alejandro Cerrudo. Restless Creature will travel to London and Vail in 2014 and will tour in the US starting in January 2015. Whelan was recently appointed an Artistic Associate at New York's City Center and for two years beginning November 1, 2014, City Center will be her home for developing future projects. She resides in New York City with her husband, the artist David Michalek.

Wendy Whelan last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Dance Series on January 30, 2015

For more information visit

Choreographer Brian Brooks was awarded with a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a proud recipient of the NY City Center Fellowship (2012-2013), the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works grant (2013), and the Joyce Theater’s Artist Residency (2013-2014).

His interest in choreography emerged at a young age while growing up in Hingham, MA, and was supported with a scholarship to train at Boston’s Jeannette Neill Dance Studio when he was 17. Since moving to New York City in 1994, he has danced with numerous choreographers, including three years with daredevil Elizabeth Streb.

His dance group, the Brian Brooks Moving Company, has been presented throughout the US, South Korea and in Germany, and was presented by BAM in their 2013 Next Wave Festival. The company will be presented by The Joyce Theater in June 2015. Other NYC presentations have included repeat engagements at Dance Theater Workshop (currently NYLiveArts), a world premiere at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, as well as presentations in the Fall for Dance festival at NY City Center and performances in the Works and Process series at the Guggenheim Museum. For three consecutive years, Brooks has been commissioned by Damian Woetzel at the Vail International Dance Festival to create new works featuring dancers from NYC Ballet. Brooks choreographed director Julie Taymor’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), which was the inaugural performance at Theatre for a New Audience’s Brooklyn home. As a guest artist, Brooks has created new dances at schools including The Juilliard School, The Boston Conservatory, Skidmore College, Barnard College of Columbia University, Alfred University, and the University of Maryland at College Park. He has served as parttime faculty at both Rutgers University and Princeton University, and was a Teaching Artist at the Lincoln Center Institute from 1999 to 2012.

Brian Brooks last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Dance Series on January 30, 2015.

Brooklyn Rider Check the artist website for more information. Biography coming soon.

DIANNE REEVES: Christmas Time Is Here
Dec 17 @ 8:00 pm
DIANNE REEVES: Christmas Time Is Here @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Christmas Time Is Here


The pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world, Grammy® Award-winning singer Dianne Reeves rings in the holiday season with music from her celebrated album, Christmas Time Is Here. Renowned for her breathtaking
virtuosity, improvisational prowess, and unique jazz and R&B stylings, she melds her timeless grace, elegance, and charisma into unforgettable jazz renditions of holiday favorites such as “Little Drummer Boy”, “Carol of the Bells”, “Christmas Waltz”, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, “Let It Snow” and many more. “Fascinating… A bygone era evoked!” – The New York Times

“Ms. Reeves, a jazz singer of astonishing skill”, takes the assignment seriously; this is one of the best jazz Christmas CD’s I’ve ever heard.” – The New York Times

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Program Notes will be available from December 16, 2017

Dianne ReevesDianne Reeves is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world today — her arsenal of talents is richly on display in each and every song of her limitless repertoire. As a result of her virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings, Dianne has received five Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album and an honorary doctorate of music from Julliard. Dianne’s magical, timeless voice, exceptional personality and the sheer force of her performance mark her as a captivating world-class artist. Wynton Marsalis exclaims, “She has one of the most powerful, purposeful, and accurate voices of this or any time.” Dianne’s recent Grammy Award winning album, Beautiful Life, epitomizes the spirit of her storied and extraordinary career, traversing many genres and collaborating with a diverse collection of artists. Adored by audiences and critics alike throughout the world, Dianne Reeves is a natural wonder not to be missed. This performance marks Dianne Reeves La Jolla Music Society debut.

Jan 7 @ 6:00 pm
IGOR LEVIT @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States


Hailed by The New York Times as “One of the essential artists of his generation,” Russian pianist Igor Levit makes his La Jolla Society debut.

Winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Recording of the Year and one of the most sought-after young artists of this generation, he brings a program featuring diverse works that include Brahms’ virtuosic Chaconne in D Minor for the Left Hand (after Bach’s Partita for Solo Violin, BWV 1004), Wagner’s Solemn March to The Holy Grail transcribed from his opera, Parsifal and Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues for Piano.

“He is set to be one of this century’s big names.” — The Telegraph, London

“…one of the most probing, intelligent and accomplished artists of the new generation.” — The New York Times

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BRAHMS Chaconne in D Minor for the Left Hand (after Bach’s Partita for Solo Violin, BWV 1004)
SHOSTAKOVICHPreludes and Fugues for Piano, Op. 87
SCHUMANNGeistervariationen, WoO 24
WAGNERSolemn March to The Holy Grail from Parsifal, S.450
LISZTFantasy and Fugue on the Chorale “Ad nos ad salutarem undam”

Program Notes will be available from January 6, 2018

Arrive early for a pre-performance lecture

Igor Levit Winner of Gramophone’s ‘Recording of the Year 2016” award, Igor Levit manifests his position as one of the most relevant pianists of his generation – as an artist “built to last” (The Guardian).

The 2016-17 season marks Igor Levit’s debuts with the Staatskapelle Dresden (Christian Thielemann), the Bavarian State Orchestra (Kirill Petrenko) and London Symphony Orchestra (Fabio Luisi) and reunites him amongst others with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Sondergard), NDR Elphilharmonie Orchestra (Thomas Hengelbrock), Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich (Lionel Bringuier) and San Francisco Symphony (Fabio Luisi).

Major recital debuts await at Carnegie Hall (Zankel Hall), Chicago’s Symphony Center, Boston’s Celebrity Series as well as at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and with Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Foundation. Also in recital, Igor Levit returns to the Lucerne Festival, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Laeiszhalle Hamburg and Cologne Philharmonie. The season will further see the start of full Beethoven sonata cycles at London’s Wigmore Hall and at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He will perform the trias of variation works, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated, in his home town Hannover as well as in his adoptive home town at the Berlin Philharmonie. In October 2015, Sony Classical released Igor Levit’s third solo album for the label featuring all three variation works in cooperation with the Festival Heidelberger Frühling. The album has been voted Gramophone’s Instrumental Award winner 2016.

Highlights of past seasons included orchestral debuts with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Lionel Bringuier), Berliner Philharmoniker (Riccardo Chailly), Cleveland Orchestra (Franz Welser-Möst) and National Symphony Orchestra (Jiří Bělohlávek). In spring 2014, Igor Levit celebrated both his recital and orchestral debut on the main stage of Vienna’s Musikverein to great critical acclaim: jumping in for Maurizio Pollini in June 2014 and for Hélène Grimaud (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons) respectively in March 2014. Only four days earlier on 12 March 2014, Igor Levit made his New York City recital debut at the Park Avenue Armory to unsurpassed critical acclaim by both The New Yorker and The New York Times.

An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, Igor Levit’s debut disc of the five last Beethoven Sonatas won the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer of the Year 2014 Award, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award 2014 and the ECHO Klassik 2014 for Solo Recording of the Year (19th Century Music/Piano). Born in Nizhni Nowgorod in 1987, Igor Levit at age eight moved with his family to Germany where he completed his piano studies at Hannover Academy of Music, Theatre and Media in 2009 with the highest academic and performance scores in the history of the institute. Igor Levit has studied under the tutelage of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, Bernd Goetze, Lajos Rovatkay and Hans Leygraf.

As youngest participant in 2005 Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, Igor Levit won the Silver Prize, the Prize for Best Performer of Chamber Music, the Audience Favorite Prize and the Prize for Best Performer of Contemporary Music. Previously, he had won the First Prize of the International Hamamtsu Piano Academy Competition in Japan. Since 2003 Igor Levit has been a scholarship student at Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes as well as at Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

In Berlin, where he makes his home, Igor Levit is playing on a Steinway D Grand Piano kindly lent to him by the Trustees of Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells.

This performance marks Igor Levit's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Jan 13 @ 7:00 pm
SDYS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA @ Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall | San Diego | California | United States



La Jolla Music Society is proud to feature the gifted young musicians of SDYS’ Chamber Orchestra joined by guest soloist, guitarist Celino Romero, part of The Royal Family of Guitar, The Romeros. This multiyear collaboration highlights LJMS’ long-standing commitment to education and SDYS’ tradition of excellence and innovative programming.

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Program Notes will be available from January 13, 2017

SDYSChamber3Under the leadership of President and CEO Dalouge Smith and Music Director Jeff Edmons, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) instills excellence in the musical and personal development of students ages 8 to 23 through rigorous and inspiring musical training experiences. Since 1945, SDYS has given thousands of musicians the opportunity to study and perform classical repertoire at a highly advanced level. SDYS attracts student musicians from throughout San Diego, Imperial and Riverside counties and serves over 600 students annually through its 12 ensembles.

The organization’s preeminent ensemble, the SDYS Chamber Orchestra is comprised of the principal and assistant principal musicians from the advanced level Ovation Program and rehearses at an extraordinarily proficient level for a youth program. Provided the finest training, the Chamber Orchestra is given the opportunity to perform professional level repertoire from multiple historic periods for both string orchestra and full chamber orchestra on a national and international stage. Most recently, select students of the San Diego Youth Symphony participated in SDYS’s 70th Anniversary tour to China and performed in Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, San Diego’s sister city Yantai’s Poly Grand Theatre and the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai in June 2015.

SDYS Chamber Orchestra last performed at La Jolla Music Society in the San Diego Youth Symphony Series on December, 11 2015 San Diego Youth Symphony enjoys a successful partnership with LJMS.

For more information visit

Jeff-EdmondUnder Jeff Edmons' direction, the Youth Symphony has experienced tremendous growth, both in enrollment and in level of musical achievement. Performing the most difficult works in classical repertoire, SDYS achieves the highest standard attainable by a youth orchestra. SDYS' exemplary standards of skill and musicianship have afforded it the opportunity to participate in the most prestigious international festivals and perform with eminent guest artists and musicians from around the world.

Under Mr. Edmons direction, the Youth Symphony boasts a strong international presence as well as setting a benchmark for excellence in the United States. San Diego Magazine named Jeff Edmons as "50 People to Watch in 1997."

Mr. Edmons has dedicated himself to promoting youth music and youth education. He has led youth, collegiate and professional orchestras in critically acclaimed performances throughout the United States, as well as Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Switzerland. He has received numerous local and national invitations and awards for his achievements in music education. Mr. Edmons has also been featured in articles and journals honoring his work and has been the subject of documentaries on CNN, Fox Television, National Public Radio and many more.

He studied violin performance with Michael Davis, former Concertmaster of the Scottish National Orchestra, String Pedagogy with renown Pedagogue Dr. Robert Gillespie, and he studied Wind, Brass,Percussion Pedagogy and Wind Ensemble conducting with Craig Kirchoff, Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Wind Orchestra and past President and Chair of the National College Band Director's Association.

Jeff Edmons and the San Diego Youth Symphony enjoy a successful partnership with LJMS.

For more information visit

Celino Romero

Check the artist website for more information. Biography coming soon.

Jan 20 @ 8:00 pm
PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY @ Spreckels Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Paul Taylor Dance Company


A national treasure, Paul Taylor Dance Company has been described as a stunning burst of momentum and a cascade of emotion, moving powerfully and powerfully moving. Paul Taylor’s enduringly popular works are a brilliant fusion of bravura dancing, profound emotional insight and glorious musicality that have brought audiences around the world equal measures of message and mastery.

Cloven Kingdom is set to John Herbert McDowell’s freewheeling arrangement – or disarrangement – of music by Arcangelo Corelli, Henry Cowell and Malloy Miller. Cloven Kingdom’s stunning Men’s Quartet will feature a special live percussion performance by Steven Schick and members of red fish blue fish as part of It’s About Time: A Festival of Rhythm. Sound. And Place.

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Program Notes will be available from January 19, 2018


Paul Taylor Dance Company

The Paul Taylor Dance Company, established in 1954, is one of the world’s most highly respected and sought-after ensembles. Dance maker Paul Taylor first presented his choreography with five other dancers in Manhattan on May 30, 1954. That modest performance marked the beginning of 60 years of unrivaled creativity, and in the decades that followed, Mr. Taylor became a cultural icon and one of history’s most celebrated artists, hailed as part of the pantheon that created American modern dance.

In 2014, Mr. Taylor announced the creation of a new initiative, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, of which the Paul Taylor Dance Company is the major component. Mr. Taylor will curate the present great modern dances of the past and present alongside his own works at Lincoln Center and other prominent venues throughout the world, and commission a new generation of choreographers so that modern dance flourishes long into the future.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company and Taylor 2, created in 1993, have traveled the globe many times over, bringing Mr. Taylor’s ever-burgeoning repertoire to theatres and venues of every size and description in cultural capitals, on college campuses and in rural communities—and of ten to places modern dance has never been before. The Taylor Company has performed in more than 525 cities in 62 countries, representing the United States at arts festivals in more than 40 countries and touring extensively under the aegis of the U.S. Department of State. In 1997 the Company toured throughout India in celebration of that nation’s 50th Anniversary. Its 1999 engagement in Chile was named the Best International Dance Event of 1999 by the country’s Art Critics’ Circle. In the summer of 2001 the Company toured in the People’s Republic of China and performed in six cities, four of which had never seen American modern dance before. In the spring of 2003 the Company mounted an award-winning four-week, seven-city tour of the United Kingdom. The Company’s performance in china in November 2007 mark its fourth tour there.

While continuing to garner international acclaim, the Paul Taylor Dance Company performs more than half of each touring season in cities throughout the United States. The Company’s New York City season in 2005, marking its Anniversary, was attended by more than 25,000 people. In celebration of the Anniversary and 50 years of creativity y one of the most extraordinary artists the world has ever known, the Taylor Foundation presented Mr. Taylor’s work in all 50 states between March 2004 and November 2005. That tour underscored the Taylor Company’s historic role as one of the early touring companies of American modern dance. The 50th Anniversary celebration also featured a quartet of new dances. In 2012 the Company enjoyed a triumphant three-week season in its ne New York City performance venue, the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center.

Beginning with its first television appearance for the Dance in America series in 1978, the Paul Taylor Dance Company has appeared on PBS in nine different programs, including the 1992 Emmy Award-winning Speaking in Tongues and The Wrecker’s Ball—including Company B, Funny Papers, and A Field of Grass—which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1997. In 1999 the PBS American Masters series aired Dancemaker, the Academy Award-nominated documentary about Mr. Taylor and his Company. In 2004, PBS aired Acts of Ardor, featuring Black Tuesday and Promethean Fire. IN 2013 PBS aired Paul Taylor Dance Company in Paris, featuring Beloved Renegade and Brandenburgs. Dancemaker and Paul Taylor Dance Company in Paris are still available on DVD.

To learn more about Paul Taylor, please visit

PAUL TAYLOR, choreographer
Dancemaker Paul Taylor, one of the seminal artists of the 20th and 21st Centuries, continues to shape the homegrown American art of modern dance that he has helped define since he became a professional dancer and pioneering choreographer in 1954. After 60 years as Artistic Director of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, he blazed a new trail in 2014 by establishing an institutional home for the art form: Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance. Mr. Taylor is curating and presenting great modern dances of the past and present alongside his own works at Lincoln Center and other preeminent venues throughout the world, and commissioning a new generation of choreographers to make dances on his own Company so that modern dance flourishes long into the future.

At an age when most artists’ best work is behind them, Mr. Taylor continues to win public and critical acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his dances. He offers cogent observations on life’s complexities while tackling some of society’s thorniest issues. While he may propel his dancers through space for the sheer beauty of it, he more frequently uses them to illuminate such profound issues as war, piety, spirituality, sexuality, morality and mortality. If, as George Balanchine said, there are no mothers-in-law in ballet, there certainly are dysfunctional families, disillusioned idealists, imperfect religious leaders, angels and insects in Mr. Taylor’s dances.

Paul Taylor was born on July 29, 1930 – exactly nine months after the stock market crash that led into the Great Depression – and grew up in and around Washington, DC. He attended Syracuse University on a swimming scholarship in the late 1940s until he discovered dance through books at the University library, and then transferred to The Juilliard School. In 1954 he assembled a small company of dancers and began to choreograph. A commanding performer despite his late start in dance, he joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1955 for the first of seven seasons as soloist while continuing to choreograph on his own troupe. In 1959 he was invited to be a guest artist with New York City Ballet, where Balanchine created the Episodes solo for him.

Mr. Taylor has made 142 dances since 1954, many of which have attained iconic status. He has covered a breathtaking range of topics, but recurring themes include life and death; the natural world and man’s place within it; love and sexuality in all gender combinations; and iconic moments in American history. His poignant looks at soldiers, those who send them into battle, and those they leave behind prompted the New York Times to hail him as “among the great war poets” – high praise indeed for an artist in a wordless medium. While some of his dances have been termed “dark” and others “light,” the majority of his works are dualistic, mixing elements of both extremes. And while his work has largely been iconoclastic, he has also made some of the most purely romantic, most astonishingly athletic, and downright funniest dances ever put on stage.

Mr. Taylor first gained notoriety as a dance maker in 1957 with Seven New Dances; its study in non-movement famously earned it a blank newspaper review, and Graham subsequently dubbed him the “naughty boy” of dance. In 1962, with his first major success – the sunny Aureole – he set his trailblazing modern movement not to a contemporary score but to music composed 200 years earlier, and then went to the opposite extreme a year later with a view of purgatory in Scudorama. He inflamed the establishment in 1965 by lampooning some of America’s most treasured icons in From Sea To Shining Sea, and created more controversy in 1970 by putting incest center stage in Big Bertha. After retiring as a performer in 1974, he created an instant classic, the exuberant Esplanade (1975), which remains his signature work. In Cloven Kingdom (1976) he examined the primitive nature that lurks just below man’s veneer of sophistication and gentility. He looked at intimacy among men at war in 1983 – long before “Don’t ask, don’t tell” became official policy – in Sunset; pictured Armageddon in Last Look (1985); and peered unflinchingly at religious hypocrisy and marital rape in Speaking In Tongues (1988). In Company B (1991) he used popular songs of the Andrews Sisters to juxtapose the high spirits of Americans during the 1940s with the sacrifices so many of them made during World War II. In The Word (1998), he railed against religious zealotry and blind conformity to authority. In the first decade of the new millennium he condemned American imperialism in Banquet of Vultures, poked fun at feminism in Dream Girls and stared death square in the face in the Walt Whitman-inspired Beloved Renegade. Brief Encounters (2009) and The Uncommitted (2011) each examined the inability of many men and women in contemporary society to form meaningful, lasting relationships.

Hailed for uncommon musicality and catholic taste, Mr. Taylor has set movement to music so memorably that for many people it is impossible to hear certain orchestral works and popular songs and not think of his dances. He has set works to an eclectic mix that includes Medieval masses, Renaissance dances, baroque concertos, classical symphonies, and scores by Debussy, Cage, Feldman, Ligeti and Pärt; Ragtime, Tango, Tin Pan Alley, Barbershop Quartets and The Mamas and The Papas; and telephone time announcements, loon calls, and laughter.

Mr. Taylor has influenced dozens of men and women who have gone on to choreograph – many on their own troupes – and many others have gone on to become respected teachers at colleges and universities. And he has worked closely with such outstanding artists as James F. Ingalls, Jasper Johns, Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, William Ivey Long, Santo Loquasto, Gene Moore, Tharon Musser, Robert Rauschenberg, John Rawlings, Thomas Skelton and Jennifer Tipton.

As the subject of Matthew Diamond’s documentary, Dancemaker, and author of the autobiography Private Domain and Wall Street Journal essay Why I Make Dances, Mr. Taylor has shed light on the mysteries of the creative process as few artists have. Dancemaker, which received an Oscar nomination, was hailed by Time as “perhaps the best dance documentary ever.” His autobiography, Private Domain, originally published by Alfred A. Knopf and re-released by North Point Press and later by the University of Pittsburgh Press, was nominated by the National Book Critics Circle as the most distinguished biography of 1987. A documentary on the making of Three Dubious Memories, entitled Creative Domain, has been made, and a new collection of his essays, Facts and Fancies, was published in February 2013.

Mr. Taylor has received nearly every important honor given to artists in the United States. In 1992 he was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and received an Emmy Award for Speaking in Tongues, produced by WNET/New York the previous year. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton in 1993. In 1995 he received the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts and was named one of 50 prominent Americans honored in recognition of their outstanding achievement by the Library of Congress’s Office of Scholarly Programs. He is the recipient of three Guggenheim Fellowships and honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from California Institute of the Arts, Connecticut College, Duke University, The Juilliard School, Skidmore College, the State University of New York at Purchase, Syracuse University and Adelphi University. Awards for lifetime achievement include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship – often called the “genius award” – and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award. Other awards include the New York State Governor’s Arts Award and the New York City Mayor’s Award of Honor for Art and Culture. In 1989 Mr. Taylor was elected one of ten honorary members of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Having been elected to knighthood by the French government as Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1969 and elevated to Officier in 1984 and Commandeur in 1990, Mr. Taylor was awarded France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur, in 2000 for exceptional contributions to French culture.

Mr. Taylor’s dances are performed by the Paul Taylor Dance Company, the six-member Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company (begun in 1993), and companies throughout the world including the Royal Danish Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He remains among the most sought-after choreographers working today, commissioned by presenting organizations the world over.

Continuing to embrace new challenges, in 2012 Mr. Taylor moved the Paul Taylor Dance Company’s performances to a new home at Lincoln Center, where it has attracted larger audiences than ever before. And in 2014 he established Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance. Noted dance writer Robert Johnson applauded the creation of the new initiative, writing, “Any serious effort to preserve our fragile dance inheritance deserves a rousing ‘Hosanna!’ and ‘Amen!’”. Check the artist website for more information.

redfishbluefishThe New York Times calls red fish blue fish a "dynamic percussion ensemble from the University of California." Founded twenty years ago by Steven Schick, the San Diego-based ensemble performs, records, and premieres works from the last 85 years of western percussion's rich history. The group works regularly with living composers from every continent. Recent projects include a world premiere of a Roger Reynolds' Sanctuary and the American premiere of James Dillon's epic Nine Rivers cycle with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). In the Summer of 2011, red fish blue fish collaborated with George Crumb, Dawn Upshaw, and Peter Sellars to premiere the staged version of The Winds of Destiny. Eighth Blackbird invited red fish blue fish to join them in performances of works by American icons such as John Cage and Steve Reich at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. The New York Times called their "riveting" performance of John Cage the "highlight" of the program. Recordings of the percussion chamber music of Iannis Xenakis and Roger Reynolds on Mode Records have been praised by critics around the world. Recordings released in the 2012-13 season included the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Giacinto Scelsi, and rare works of Iannis Xenakis.

In 2012, red fish blue fish presented four concerts of percussion music alongside Percussion Group Cincinnati at the John Cage Centennial Festival in Washington D.C. where they performed highlights from the 10-disc box set of the complete percussion works of John Cage to be released on Mode Records.

red fish blue fish last performed with La Jolla Music Society in SummerFest 2015.

Jan 21 @ 3:00 pm
ROLSTON STRING QUARTET @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States

Rolston String Quartet

2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition Winner

This award-winning quartet bring a program of works by Beethoven, Schumann and contemporary Canadain composer, Sophia di Castri.

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BEETHOVEN String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 3
DI CASTRIString Quartet No. 1
SCHUMANNString Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3

Program Notes will be available from January 20, 2018

Musical Prelude 2 PM
Artists from the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory will perform.

Check the artist website for more information. Biography coming soon.

This performance marks Rolston String Quartet's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Feb 25 @ 3:00 pm
PAUL HUANG, VIOLIN @ The Auditorium at TSRI | San Diego | California | United States

Paul Huang, violin

2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant Winner

Award-winning violinist Paul Huang returns to La Jolla Music Society after an acclaimed SummerFest debut in 2016, with a virtuosic program of works by Prokofiev, Kreisler and more.

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Paul Huang, violin
Helen Huang, piano

DVOŘÁK Sonatina, Op. 100
PROKOFIEVSonata in F Minor, Op. 80
SCOTT/KREISLERLotus Land, Op. 47, No. 1
SARASATERomanza Andaluza, Op. 22, No. 1
SAINT-SAËNSSonata in D Minor, Op. 75

Program Notes will be available from February 24, 2018

Musical Prelude 2 PM
Artists from the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory will perform.

Paul HuangRecipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Taiwanese-American violinist Paul Huang is already recognized for his intensely expressive music making, distinctive sound, and effortless virtuosity. Following his Kennedy Center debut, The Washington Post proclaimed: “Huang is definitely an artist with the goods for a significant career.” In 2013, The New York Times praised his “masterly account of Barber’s Violin Concerto” with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall.

Upcoming engagements include debuts with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Brevard Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, as well as return engagements with the Detroit Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Hilton Head Symphony, Bilbao Symphony, National Symphony of Mexico, and National Taiwan Symphony. In addition, Mr. Huang will appear in recitals at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., Herbst Theatre in San Francisco (San Francisco Performances), Barre Opera House in Vermont, Symphony Hall in Detroit (Pro Musica Detroit), the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, and Caramoor Festival Rising Stars series.

Last season, Mr. Huang stepped in for Midori to appear with the Detroit Symphony under the baton of Leonard Slatkin performing the Siblieus concerto to critical acclaim. He also appeared with the Alabama Symphony on short notice to perform the Walton concerto. Other season highlights included his concerto debut performing the Barber concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, as well as his sold-out solo recital debut on Lincoln Center's "Great Performers" Series.

Mr. Huang's recent recital appearances included Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, University of Georgia Performing Arts, University of Florida Performing Arts, the Strathmore Center, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Jordan Hall, the Louvre in Paris, Seoul Arts Center, and National Concert Hall in Taiwan.

His first solo CD, Intimate Inspiration, was released on the CHIMEI label. In association with the Camerata Pacifica, he also recorded "Four Songs of Solitude" for solo violin for their album of John Harbison works. The album was released on Harmonia Mundi in fall 2014.

An acclaimed chamber musician, Mr. Huang appears as a member of the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program for 2015–2018. A frequent guest artist at music festivals worldwide, he has performed at the CHANEL Music Festival in Tokyo, Chelsea Music Festival in New York, the Moritzburg Festival in Germany, the Sion Music Festival in Switzerland, the Great Mountains Music Festival in Korea, and with Camerata Pacifica in Santa Barbara and throughout California. His collaborators have included artists such as: Shlomo Mintz, Gil Shaham, Nobuko Imai, Maxim Rysanov, Roberto Diaz, Myung-Wha Chung, and Frans Helmerson.

Winner of the 2011 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Huang made critically acclaimed recital debuts in New York at Merkin Concert Hall and in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center. Other honors include First Prize at the 2009 International Violin Competition Sion-Valais in Switzerland, the 2009 Chi-Mei Cultural Foundation Arts Award for Taiwan’s Most Promising Young Artists, the 2013 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and 2014 Classical Recording Foundation Young Artist Award.

Born in Taiwan, Mr. Huang began violin lessons at the age of seven. Since entering the Juilliard Pre-College at fourteen, he has continued studies at the school with Hyo Kang and I-Hao Lee. Paul Huang is a proud recipient of the inaugural Kovner Fellowship at The Juilliard School, where he earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees. He plays on the 1742 ex-Wieniawski Guarneri del Gesù on loan through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Paul Huang last performed with La Jolla Music Society in SummerFest 2016.

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Mar 1 @ 8:00 pm
PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States


Winner of the 2017 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, an award which is given to artists for a life devoted to the service of music, the Grammy Award-winning French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard makes his La Jolla Music Society debut at San Diego’s inspiring Balboa Theatre. Described by The Washington Post as ” a thinker at the piano and a champion of contemporary music, Mr. Aimard opens his program with the 1915 work Revelation by Russian mystic Nikolai Obukhov, paired with Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 35 “Marche Funèbre” (Funeral March) and Beethoven’s powerful and colossal Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106, the “Hammerklavier.” This will be a powerful and passionate performance.

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OBUKHOV Revelation
CHOPINPiano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 35 “Marche Funèbre”
BEETHOVENPiano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106 “Hammerklavier”

Program Notes will be available from February 28, 2018

Pierre-Laurent Aimard Widely acclaimed as a key figure in the music of our time and as a uniquely significant interpreter of piano repertoire from every age, Pierre-Laurent Aimard enjoys an internationally celebrated career.

He performs throughout the world each season with major orchestras under conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Peter Eötvös, Sir Simon Rattle and Vladimir Jurowski. He has been invited to curate, direct and perform in a number of residencies, with projects at Carnegie Hall, New York's Lincoln Center, Vienna's Konzerthaus, Berlin's Philharmonie, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, the Lucerne Festival, Mozarteum Salzburg, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Tanglewood Festival and London's Southbank Centre. Aimard was the Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 2009 to 2016, his final season was marked by a performance of Messiaen’s Catalogue d’oiseaux with the concerts programmed from dawn to midnight.

This season sees Pierre-Laurent continue his trio partnership with Mark Simpson and Antoine Tamestit, and the development of an innovative programme of concerts for Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. He performs with The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi in Taiwan, and returns to the orchestra in spring 2017 for concerts in Germany. As well as engagements with Los Angeles Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra, Aimard joins the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen for a series of concerts, entitled ‘Inspirations’. He continues his life-long association with the music of Messiaen, performing his works in Switzerland, Cambridge, Seoul, Prague, London, The Netherlands, Montreal, Munich, Salzburg, Tanglewood and Ravinia and in 2016 he was awarded the prestigious Helpmann award for Best Individual Classical Performance for his recitals of Messiaen’s Vingt Regards in Sydney and Melbourne.

Born in Lyon in 1957, Pierre-Laurent Aimard studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Yvonne Loriod and in London with Maria Curcio. Early career landmarks included winning first prize in the 1973 Messiaen Competition at the age of 16 and being appointed, three years later, by Pierre Boulez to become the Ensemble intercontemporain's first solo pianist.

Aimard has had close collaborations with many leading composers including Kurtág, Stockhausen, Carter, Boulez and George Benjamin and had a long association with Ligeti, recording his complete works for piano. Most recently he performed the world premiere of piano works by Kurtág at a celebration of the composer’s 90th birthday. Recent seasons have included the world premieres of Harrison Birtwistle’s piano concerto Responses; Sweet disorder and the carefully careless, as well as Carter’s last piece Epigrams for piano, cello and violin, which was written for Pierre-Laurent. Through his professorship at the Hochschule Köln as well as numerous series of concert lectures and workshops worldwide, he sheds an inspiring and very personal light on music of all periods.

During the 2008/09 season Aimard was an Associate Professor at the College de France, Paris and he is a member of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste. He was the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award in spring 2005 and was named ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ by Musical America in 2007. In 2015 he launched a major online resource centred on the performance and teaching of Ligeti’s piano music with filmed masterclasses and performances of the Études and other works by Ligeti in collaboration with Klavier-Festival Ruhr. (

Pierre-Laurent has made many highly successful recordings. His first Deutsche Grammophon release, Bach's Art of Fugue, received both the Diapason d'Or and Choc du Monde de la Musique awards, debuted at No.1 on Billboard's classical chart and topped iTunes’ classical album download chart. In recent years Pierre-Laurent has been honoured with ECHO Klassik Awards, most recently in 2009 for his recording of solo piano pieces, 'Hommage à Messiaen', a Grammy award in 2005 for his recording of Ives’ Concord Sonata and Songs and he was also presented with Germany’s Schallplattenkritik Honorary Prize in 2009. Further releases for DG – ‘The Liszt Project’ in 2011 and Debussy Préludes in 2012 – were joined by a new recording of Bach’s Das wohltemperierte Klavier Book 1 in 2014.

This performance marks Pierre-Laurent Aimard's La Jolla Music Society debut.