EVENTS

EVENTS 2017-11-05T19:47:45+00:00
Aug
23
Tue
VIRTUOSO WINDS
Aug 23 @ 8:00 pm
VIRTUOSO WINDS @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

SUMMERFEST 2016

VIRTUOSO WINDS

The woodwind family moves downstage center for tonight’s performance featuring versatile and diverse works by Haydn, Britten, Fauré and Nielsen.

HAYDN    String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 50, No. 1
NEILSEN    Wind Quintet in A Major, Op. 43 FS100
BRITTEN    Six Metamorphoses for Solo Oboe, Op. 49
FAURÉ    Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15

Buy Tickets
Recommended Listening

RESTAURANT NIGHT:
Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at NINE-TEN.


A little more information…
The woodwind family moves downstage center for tonight’s performance featuring versatile and diverse works by Haydn, Britten, Fauré and Nielsen. Neilsen described his Wind Quintet as “… an attempt to render the characters of the various instruments. At one moment they are all talking at once, at another they are quite alone.”


HAYDNString Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 50, No. 1
Verona Quartet
NIELSENWind Quintet in A Major, Op. 43 FS100
Laura Griffiths, oboe, Catherine Ransom Karoly, flute, John Bruce Yeh, clarinet,
Keith Buncke, bassoon , Erik Ralske, horn
BRITTENSix Metamorphoses for Solo Oboe, Op. 49
Liang Wang, oboe
FAURÉPiano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15
Shai Wosner, piano , Sheryl Staples, violin ,
Cynthia Phelps, viola , Hai-Ye Ni, cello

WATCH!

BRITTEN: Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, for Oboe, Op. 49
Liang Wang, oboe



Click here to view the complete SummerFest 2016 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Virtuoso Winds

by Eric Bromberger

String Quartet in B-flat Major, Opus 50, No. 1

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN
Born March 31, 1732, Rohrau, Austria
Died May 31, 1809, Vienna

During the 1780s, Haydn took a break from writing string quartets–between 1781 and 1787, he wrote only one. This was otherwise a fertile period for the composer (it saw the completion of fifteen symphonies, including the entire set of “Paris” Symphonies), but he was content to let the quartet form rest for awhile. When Haydn returned to it in the summer of 1787 with the six quartets that make up his Opus 50, he was writing with unusual concentration. He had become interested in these years in building his opening sonata-form movements not on the two separate theme-groups of classical form but instead on one principal theme. He would spin secondary material out of some subordinate feature of the theme–a tiny motif or a rhythmic pattern–and the entire sonata-form structure would grow out of that one seminal theme. It makes for a very concentrated–and imaginative–kind of music-making.

The six string quartets of Opus 50 are sometimes known as the “Prussian” Quartets because Haydn dedicated the set to King Friedrich Wilhelm II, the cello-playing monarch in Berlin (this is the same king for whom Mozart is supposed to have written his “King of Prussia” Quartets). This first quartet of Haydn’s set, in B-flat major, is quite attractive music. The opening of the Allegro can seem deceptively simple: over the cello’s steady pulse of quarters (a pulse that will recur throughout much of the movement), the first violin lays out a simple rising-and-falling shape that Haydn’s stresses should be dolce. It hardly seems noteworthy, but this is the seminal shape of the movement, and instantly Haydn transforms it into a shower of triplets, and when the “second” subject arrives, it too is a variation of this shape, even though it has been transformed into something much more lyric. After an active development– much of it in energetic triplets–the movement closes quietly. The slow movement is in variation form, based on the first violin’s long opening melody. As the variations unfold, the music becomes more ornate, but the central theme remains clear, even in the second variation, which moves into the unusual key of E-flat minor.

Haydn returns to the home key of B-flat major for the minuet; noteworthy here is the writing for cello, as it takes up the first violin’s opening line. The trio seems to pick up the same phrases as the minuet, but now with needle-sharp violin attacks, and Haydn creates a nice effect by syncopating the two violin parts as the trio proceeds. The real glory of this quartet, however, is the finale, which is as good-natured a piece as Haydn ever wrote (and that is saying something). It is quite concentrated: the violin’s agreeable opening melody–eight bars long– seems to promise a rondo, but this movement is in sonata form. There are many wonderful little touches here: the way the two violin parts weave together, the use of the opening phrase as the basis for the development, even a brief cadenza for the first violin at the center of the movement–but the principal impression is of the pleasure of making music, and the quartet speeds to its firm close on fragments of the finale’s opening theme.

Wind Quintet in A Major, Opus 43 FS100

CARL NIELSEN
Born June 9, 1865, Nørre Lyndelse, Denmark
Died October 2, 1931, Copenhagen

Carl Nielsen made his living to the age of forty as a violinist, but he had a particular affection for wind instruments. He learned to play cornet, signal horn, and trombone as a boy, and for several years he was a member of a military band. Later he composed a good deal for wind instruments, including the present quintet and distinguished concertos for flute and for clarinet.

Nielsen began his Wind Quintet in 1921 while at work on his conflicted and brutal Fifth Symphony, which critics have inevitably understood as a reaction to World War I. The need to relax while writing the intense symphony may have been one of the motivations for writing the gentle Wind Quintet. Another was hearing the Copenhagen Wind Quintet perform Mozart–Nielsen became good friends with those players and wished to write for them. This friendship inevitably affected the music he composed, since he wrote for the individual players as well as for their instruments. This was also a period when Nielsen was becoming interested in the sound and unique identity of individual instruments. While at work on his Sixth Symphony several years later, Nielsen made a remark about his use of instruments in the symphony that applies just as accurately to the Wind Quintet: “each instrument is like a person who sleeps, whom I have to wake to life.”

The quintet is in three movements. The genial Allegro ben moderato is built on two contrasted ideas: the bassoon’s lyric opening melody and a chattering second theme, full of leaps and grace notes. The second movement is classical in shape, if not in all its details–it is a minuet-and-trio with an eight-bar coda. Much of this movement is given to smaller instrumental combinations: clarinet and bassoon share the opening of the minuet, while flute, oboe, and clarinet launch the trio.

Most memorable of the movements is the finale, which is longer than the first two movements combined. It opens with an ornate Praeludium (marked Adagio) for which the oboist switches to English horn. The main body of the movement, however, is a theme, eleven variations, and brief finale. The theme is Nielsen’s own–he took this poised and noble chorale tune from his “My Jesus, make my heart to love Thee” from his Hymns and Sacred Songs of 1912-16. The variations are concise, imaginative, and often witty: the fifth is a comic duet for clarinet and bassoon, the seventh is for bassoon solo, the ninth for horn solo, and the final variation is a little march. The movement concludes with a restatement of the choral tune, now re-barred in 4/4 (the original statement was in 3/4), and this finale, marked Andantino festivo, drives the quintet to a firm close.

Nielsen completed the Wind Quintet in April 1922, three months after the première of the Fifth Symphony. Its sunny spirits belie the increasingly serious condition of the composer’s health–a few weeks later he was confined to bed with angina pectoris, and the remaining nine years of his life were clouded by heart trouble. The first performance of the Wind Quintet was given by the Copenhagen Wind Quintet on October 9, 1922.

Six Metamorphoses for Solo Oboe, Opus 49

BENJAMIN BRITTEN
Born November 22, 1913, Lowestoft
Died December 4, 1976, Aldeburgh

Britten was one of the best-read of composers. He set texts from the Bible, English writers (Shakespeare, Donne, Blake, Crabbe, Keats, Tennyson, Hardy, Owen), French (Racine, Rimbaud, Hugo, Verlaine), American (Melville and James), continental (Pushkin and Brecht), as well as such classical sources as Virgil, Michelangelo, and the ancient Chinese, to name only a few. His Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, written in 1951, were inspired by one of the greatest of Roman poets. Ovid remains best known today for his Metamorphoses, fifteen books of mythological legends tracing the history of the world from its creation to Julius Caesar, who had been assassinated the year before Ovid was born. A recurrent theme in this massive work is suggested by its title: Ovid was struck by the instability of things and their tendency suddenly to turn into something else.

Britten chose six of Ovid’s mythological tales and set them for solo oboe. He made no attempt to suggest Ovid’s words, and these brief pieces should be regarded as instrumental miniatures that offer character portraits of mythological figures. The idea of transformation is of course a very important concept musically, and the listener may enjoy following the way certain themes are transformed (or metamorphosed) in the course of these brief pieces. In the score Britten prefaces each piece with a line from Ovid.

  1. “PAN who played upon the reed pipe which was Syrinx, his beloved.” This tells of the god Pan and his pursuit of the nymph Syrinx, who fled into a river and prayed to be transformed into a reed. When her prayer was granted, Pan made musical pipes from the reed. The oboe’s music offers an impression of that playing.
  2. “PHAETON who rode upon the chariot of the sun for one day and was hurled into the river Padus by a thunderbolt.” Phaeton was the son of Helios, the sun. He stole his father’s sun-chariot and careened wildly through the sky, scorching Africa before Zeus blasted him with a thunderbolt. The galloping triplets of the beginning echo the pounding hooves. The music grows more dramatic as Phaeton swerves through the sky and finally fades into silence as he falls to his death.
  3. “NIOBE who, lamenting the death of her fourteen children, was turned into a mountain.” Niobe was the queen of Thebes who bragged of her many children and was punished for her pride by the death of all of them. Weeping, she asked Zeus to turn her into a stone on a mountain, and he granted her wish. The flowing triplets mirror Niobe’s grief–Britten marks the music piangendo: “weeping.”
  4. “BACCHUS at whose feasts is heard the noise of gaggling women’s tattling tongues and the shouting out of boys.” This exuberant music, with its pounding dotted rhythms, should remind us that the Romans believed Bacchus a handsome and powerful young man, rather than the fat old reprobate of subsequent legend.
  5. “NARCISSUS who fell in love with his own image and became a flower.” Narcissus was the beautiful youth who pined away while staring at his own image in a pond, and Britten’s languid music mirrors the youth’s indolence. Full of wide melodic skips, it gradually fades into silence.
  6. “ARETHUSA who, flying from the love of Alpheus the river god, was turned into a fountain.” The story is somewhat similar to the opening story of Pan, and the music concludes with another tale of transformation. Arethusa is bathing in a stream when Alpheus appears and tries to seduce her. She flees and is transformed into a fountain. Britten mirrors the sound of the water with trills and arpeggiated ripples of sound.

Piano Quartet in C Minor, Opus 15

GABRIEL FAURÉ
Born May 13, 1845, Pamiers, France
Died November 4, 1924, Paris

Fauré wrote the Piano Quartet in C Minor, one of the masterpieces of his early period, between 1876 and 1879, when he was in his early thirties. Despite the work’s success, the composer was dissatisfied with the final movement and rewrote it in 1883, making it–as he said– “new from top to toe.” In its completed form, the quartet is an extraordinary achievement, both for the range of its expression and for Fauré’s imaginative craftsmanship.

The Allegro molto moderato opens with a sturdy theme in the strings, with off-the-beat accompaniment from the piano. The vigor and drive of this opening continue throughout the movement, and its rhythm–heard almost continuously in the piano–unifies the entire movement; the gentle second subject, announced by the viola and marked espressivo, gracefully sets off the energy of the opening episode. In the development Fauré brings back the opening theme, now slowed down and played gently, and the wonder is that a theme which moments before had moved forward martially can be so transformed and made to sing lyrically. In the coda, this opening theme recurs quietly in the viola as the movement draws to its calm conclusion. Fauré reverses the expected order of the interior movements and places the scherzo, marked Allegro vivo, second. The piano’s opening idea rocks along cheerfully above pizzicato accompaniment in the strings; alert listeners will recognize it as a variant of the espressivo second theme of the first movement. The scherzo reaches a cadence, and then in another pleasing surprise Fauré replaces the expected trio section with a graceful chorale for muted strings.

Because of their many similarities, the final two movements should be considered together. The Adagio is built on the brief dotted phrase first heard in the cello: this rising figure will unify the final two movements. The lyric second episode, introduced by the violin, contains the same rhythm, and the opening theme of the finale–Allegro molto– rushes along on this same rising, dotted theme-shape. The energetic finale seems to be in motion throughout. Even when the viola sings the second theme, marked dolce e espressivo, this graceful melody assumes the rising shape that characterizes the final two movements. It is a measure of Fauré’s achievement in this music that so simple a figure can be made to yield such a range of expression.

Given this music’s popularity today, it comes as a surprise to learn that Fauré had a great deal of trouble getting it published. No publisher wanted to take a chance on a little-known composer. The quartet was rejected by two of France’s major publishing firms and was accepted by a third only on the condition that composer surrender all his rights to it. Desperate to have his work published, Fauré could do nothing but accept those terms. He never made a penny on this music.

SUMMERFEST 2016: Artist Roster

Cho-Liang Lin - SummerFest Music Director

BASSOON:
Keith Buncke
CONDUCTOR:
James Conlon
ENSEMBLES:
Danish String Quartet
      Frederik Øland, violin
      Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin
      Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola
      Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello
Escher String Quartet
      Adam Barnett-Hart, violin
      Aaron Boyd, violin
      Pierre Lapointe, viola
      Brook Speltz, cello
FLUX Quartet
      Tom Chiu, violin
      Conrad Harris, violin
      Max Mandel, viola
      Felix Fan, cello
The Montrose Trio
      Martin Beaver, violin
      Clive Greensmith, cello
      Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Time For Three
      Nicholas Kendall, violin
      Nikki Chooi, violin
      Ranaan Meyer, bass
Zukerman Trio
      Pinchas Zukerman, violin
      Amanda Forsyth, cello
      Angela Cheng, piano
SummerFest Chamber Orchestra
Fellowship Artist Ensembles:
Beacon Street Trio
      Luke Hsu, violin
      Rainer Crosett, cello
      Sophie Scolnik-Brower, piano
Verona Quartet
      Jonathan Ong, violin
      Dorothy Ro, violin
      Abigail Rojansky, viola
      Warren Hagerty, cello
SCHOLARS-IN-RESIDENCE:
Eric Bromberger
Nicolas Reveles
LECTURERS & GUEST SPEAKERS:
Steven Cassedy
Nuvi Mehta
Marcus Overton
Aug
24
Wed
AN EVENING WITH MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN
Aug 24 @ 8:00 pm
AN EVENING WITH MARC-ANDRÉ  HAMELIN @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

SUMMERFEST 2016

AN EVENING WITH MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN

Internationally acclaimed pianist Marc-André Hamelin delivers the third and final An Evening With this SummerFest.

HAMELIN    Four Perspectives – World Première
LISZT    Piano Sonata in B Minor, S.178
TCHAIKOVSKY    Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50

Buy Tickets
Recommended Listening

A little more information…
Internationally acclaimed pianist Marc-André Hamelin delivers the third and final An Evening With this SummerFest. Audiences will experience three aspects of this multi-faceted musician tonight.First “the composer” with the world-première of Mr. Hamelin’s new work for cello and piano. Next “the collaborator” as he plays Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor with violinist Paul Huang and cellist Mischa Maiksy, and finally “the virtuoso” as Mr. Hamelin takes on Liszt’s prolific B Minor Piano Sonata, considered by many to be his greatest work.


HAMELINFour Perspectives
Hai-Ye Ni, cello, Marc-André Hamelin, piano
WORLD PREMIÈRE
LISZTPiano Sonata in B Minor, S.178
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
TCHAIKOVSKYPiano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50
Paul Huang, violin, Mischa Maisky, cello, Marc-André Hamelin, piano

WATCH!

LISZT: Étude Un sospiro S.144 No. 3 in D-flat major for Piano
Marc-André Hamelin, piano



Click here to view the complete SummerFest 2016 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: An Evening With Marc-André Hamelin

Piano Sonata in B Minor, S.178

FRANZ LISZT
Born October 22, 1811, Raiding, Hungary
Died July 31, 1886, Bayreuth

Liszt wrote his Sonata in B Minor in 1852-3 and dedicated it to Robert Schumann. The first public performance took place four years later in Berlin in 1857, when it was played by Liszt’s son-in-law Hans von Bülow. The Sonata in B Minor is in all senses of the word a revolutionary work, for Liszt sets aside previous notions of sonata form and looks ahead to a new vision of what such a form might be. Schumann himself, then in serious mental decline, reportedly never heard the piece but could not have been especially comfortable with the dedication of a piece of music that flew so directly in the face of his own sense of what a sonata should be. Another figure in nineteenth century music, however, reacted rapturously: Wagner wrote to Liszt to say, “The Sonata is beautiful beyond any conception, great, pleasing, profound and noble–it is sublime, just as you are yourself.”

The most immediately distinctive feature of the sonata is that it is in one movement instead of the traditional three. Beyond this, it is built not on long and distinct melodic themes but on short phrases. These phrases undergo a gradual but extensive development–a process Liszt called “the transformation of themes”–and are often made to perform quite varied functions as they undergo these transformations. Despite the one-movement structure, Liszt achieves something of the effect of the traditional three-movement form by giving the sonata a general fast-slow-fast shape. The entire sonata is built on just four brief theme-phrases: the slowly-descending scale heard at the very beginning; the leaping theme in octaves at the Allegro; a powerful theme over repeated eighth-notes marked Grandioso; and a lyric fourth phrase marked cantando espressivo, itself an expanded version of the martial repeated notes of the opening.

The Sonata in B Minor is extremely dramatic music, so dramatic that many guessed that it must have a program, as so much of Liszt’s music does. But Liszt insisted that this is not descriptive or programmatic music. He wanted his sonata accepted as a piece of “pure music,” to be heard and understood for itself.

Piano Trio in A Minor, Opus 50

PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Born May 7, 1840, Votkinsk, Russia
Died November 6, 1893, St. Petersburg

Nikolai Rubinstein, brother of the pianist Anton Rubinstein, had hired Tchaikovsky to teach composition at the Moscow Conservatory and later encouraged him as a composer, conducting and championing his music. When Nikolai died on March 23, 1881, at the age of 46, Tchaikovsky resolved to write a work in his memory, but it was difficult for him to choose the form for such a piece. Nikolai had been a pianist, but a piano concerto did not seem a proper memorial piece. Tchaikovsky disliked the combination of piano and strings in chamber music but eventually overcame this aversion to write the Trio in A Minor as the memorial to Rubinstein; it was the only time Tchaikovsky used a piano in his chamber music. He began work on the trio in December 1881 while living in Rome and completed the score on February 9, 1882. The manuscript is inscribed: “In memory of a Great Artist.”

A particular memory came back to Tchaikovsky as he worked on this music: in 1873, after the première of Tchaikovsky’s The Snow Maiden (which had been conducted by Rubinstein), faculty members from the Moscow Conservatory had gone on a picnic in the sunny, blossom-covered countryside. Here they were surrounded by curious peasants, and the gregarious Rubinstein quickly made friends and had the peasants singing and dancing. As he set to work on the trio, Tchaikovsky remembered how much Rubinstein had liked one of these songs.

The trio as completed has a very unusual form: it is in two massive movements that last a total of almost 50 minutes. The first movement in particular has proven baffling to critics, who have been unable to decide whether it is in sonata or rondo form. It is built on two sharply contrasted themes: the cello’s somber opening melody–which Tchaikovsky marks molto espressivo–and a vigorous falling theme for solo piano, marked Allegro giusto. Tchaikovsky alternates these themes through this dramatic movement, which closes with a quiet restatement of the cello’s opening theme, now played in octaves by the piano.

The second movement is a huge set of variations. The theme of these variations is the peasant melody Rubinstein had liked so much on the picnic in 1873, and Tchaikovsky puts this simple tune through eleven quite different variations. Particularly striking are the fifth, in which the piano’s high notes seem to echo the sound of sleigh bells; the sixth, a waltz introduced by the cello; the eighth, a powerful fugue; and the tenth, a mazurka introduced by the piano. So individual and dramatic are these variations that several critics instantly assumed that each must depict an incident from Rubinstein’s life and set about guessing what each variation was “about.” Tchaikovsky was dumbfounded when this was reported to him; to a friend he wrote: “How amusing! To compose music without the slightest desire to represent something and suddenly to discover that it represents this or that, it is what Moliere’s Bourgeois Gentilhomme must have felt when he learnt that he had been speaking in prose all his life.”

The trio concludes with a final variation so huge that many have considered it a separate movement. It comes to a somber end: Tchaikovsky marks the final page Lugubre (“lugubrious”), and over a funeral march in the piano come fragments of the cello’s theme from the very beginning of the first movement, now marked piangendo: “weeping.” This theme gradually dissolves, and the piano marches into silence.

PRELUDE 7 PM

Join us for tonight’s Prelude with Eric Bromberger

SUMMERFEST 2016: Artist Roster

Cho-Liang Lin - SummerFest Music Director

BASSOON:
Keith Buncke
CONDUCTOR:
James Conlon
ENSEMBLES:
Danish String Quartet
      Frederik Øland, violin
      Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin
      Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola
      Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello
Escher String Quartet
      Adam Barnett-Hart, violin
      Aaron Boyd, violin
      Pierre Lapointe, viola
      Brook Speltz, cello
FLUX Quartet
      Tom Chiu, violin
      Conrad Harris, violin
      Max Mandel, viola
      Felix Fan, cello
The Montrose Trio
      Martin Beaver, violin
      Clive Greensmith, cello
      Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Time For Three
      Nicholas Kendall, violin
      Nikki Chooi, violin
      Ranaan Meyer, bass
Zukerman Trio
      Pinchas Zukerman, violin
      Amanda Forsyth, cello
      Angela Cheng, piano
SummerFest Chamber Orchestra
Fellowship Artist Ensembles:
Beacon Street Trio
      Luke Hsu, violin
      Rainer Crosett, cello
      Sophie Scolnik-Brower, piano
Verona Quartet
      Jonathan Ong, violin
      Dorothy Ro, violin
      Abigail Rojansky, viola
      Warren Hagerty, cello
SCHOLARS-IN-RESIDENCE:
Eric Bromberger
Nicolas Reveles
LECTURERS & GUEST SPEAKERS:
Steven Cassedy
Nuvi Mehta
Marcus Overton
Aug
26
Fri
FINALE WITH JAMES CONLON & GIL SHAHAM
Aug 26 @ 8:00 pm
FINALE WITH JAMES CONLON & GIL SHAHAM @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

SUMMERFEST 2016

SUMMERFEST FINALE
WITH JAMES CONLON & GIL SHAHAM

End SummerFest on a Musical High!

Join La Opera’s Music Director, Maestro James Conlon, violin virtuoso Gil Shaham and the SummerFest Chamber Orchestra for a joyous evening celebrating a month fabulous performances and musical exploration.

SCHUBERT    Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D.485
PROKOFIEV    Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63
MOZART    Symphony No. 34 in C Major, K.338

Buy Tickets
Recommended Listening

A little more information…
End SummerFest on a Musical High! Join La Opera’s Music Director, Maestro James Conlon, violin virtuoso Gil Shaham and the SummerFest Chamber Orchestra for a joyous evening celebrating a month fabulous performances and musical exploration. We open with Schubert’s elegant Symphony No. 5, completed when the composer was just 19 years old, the only one of Schubert’s complete symphonies scored for Chamber Orchestra. Next, violinist Gil Shaham takes to the stage to perform Prokofiev’s lyrical and dramatic Violin Concerto No. 2. Mozart’s assured Symphony No. 34 in C Major, from its opening flourishing fanfare to its tarantella-style final movement, will bring our month-long journey to a joyous and satisfying conclusion.


SCHUBERTSymphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D.485
PROKOFIEVViolin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63
MID-PERFORMANCE ENCORE
BARTÓK44 Duos for Violin, No. 43 “Pizzicato”
MOZARTSymphony No. 34 in C Major, K.338
James Conlon, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin
SummerFest Chamber Orchestra


WATCH!

PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63
Gil Shaham, violin



Click here to view the complete SummerFest 2016 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Finale with James Conlon & Gil Shaham

Piano Sonata in B Minor, S.178

FRANZ SCHUBERT
Born January 31, 1797, Vienna
Died November 19, 1828, Vienna

Schubert composed his Fifth Symphony in September and October 1816 under very particular conditions, and those conditions did much to shape how this music sounds. Schubert wrote the symphony for a tiny informal orchestra that played in the homes of a group of music lovers in Vienna. That orchestra had begun as the Schubert family string quartet, to which a few winds and extra string players were added, and the modest scoring of the Fifth reflects this: one flute, pairs of oboes, bassoons, horns, and strings. Schubert omits clarinets, trumpets, and timpani, and their absence gives the music an unusually gentle character and makes for a very particular sonority, almost chamber-like in its textures. Schubert often sets the two violin sections in octaves (further contributing to the transparency of textures) and writes with great clarity for solo winds. In particular, the glowing, silvery sound of the single flute gives this symphony much of its clear, pure sound, a sonority quite appropriate to a piece of music conceived for performance in a living room rather than a 3000-seat concert hall.

The intimacy of the Fifth Symphony may come from a further reason as well: earlier that same year, under the strong influence of Beethoven, Schubert had written his Fourth Symphony, which he gave the somewhat inflated nickname “Tragic.” But several months later Schubert had come to feel that Beethoven’s style–however right it may have been for Beethoven–was not right for him, and now he turned away sharply from that dramatic manner. Perhaps in the effort to cleanse his palate of that taste, he went back to an earlier style for his model: the spirit of Mozart hovers over this gentle symphony.

At first glance, Schubert’s Fifth Symphony certainly seems to be of Mozartean proportion and manner: it is built on the outlines of the classical symphony, which are here wed to Schubert’s lyric gift and sometimes to his penchant for unexpected harmonic shifts. A four-bar introduction, full of glowing woodwind sound and scurrying violins, alights gracefully on the buoyant, dancing main idea in the violins, which also have the sprightly second subject. This sonata-form movement, full of youthful energy and bright spirits, proceeds normally until near the end, where the 19-year-old composer is willing to break the rules and start that recapitulation in the “wrong” key of E-flat major instead of the home key of B-flat. The Andante con moto sings throughout, from its melting opening violin phrase through the broader, chorale-like second subject. Schubert almost certainly turned to Mozart for his model in the minuet: its key-structure and theme-shape come directly from the third movement of Mozart’s great Symphony No. 40 in G Minor. Schubert wears these influences lightly, and this movement does not sound nearly so implacable as its predecessor; both composers move to sunny G major for the trio section. Schubert defies expectations slightly in the finale, offering another sonataform movement instead of the customary rondo (the model may again have been the Mozart Symphony No. 40). Here Schubert offers a series of irresistible tunes, of which the flowing second is a real beauty.

A teenaged composer could do worse than choose Mozart as his model, but one of the great pleasures of the Fifth Symphony is that–despite the model–it sounds like Schubert in every bar. The young man who wrote this symphony– and who was still feeling his way with symphonic form– was already a sophisticated composer of lieder. In fact, at exactly the same time he wrote this symphony Schubert composed a series of magnificent songs on texts by Goethe: Sehnsucht and the three Harfenspieler songs on texts from Wilhelm Meister. If the Fifth Symphony does not reach the same heights as those songs, its glowing melodies and youthful charm have nevertheless made it the popular favorite among Schubert’s early symphonies.

Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Opus 63

SERGEI PROKOFIEV
Born April 23, 1891, Sontsovka, Ukraine
Died March 5, 1953, Moscow

Like many other Russian musicians, Prokofiev fled to the West in the aftermath of the Communist Revolution of 1917, and he eventually made his home in Paris, where he wrote brilliant–and often abrasive–music. The young composer appeared to take delight in assaulting audiences: when one of his early premières was roundly booed, Prokofiev walked onstage, bowed deeply to the jeering audience, and sat down and played an encore of equally assaultive music. As the years went by, though, Prokofiev began to feel homesick for Russia. He made the first of many return visits in 1927, and after 1933 he kept an apartment in Moscow and divided his time between that city and Paris. Prokofiev knew that if he returned to Russia, he would have to relax his style. Socialist Realism demanded music that was lyric and attractive to a mass audience, and the Soviet government would not for an instant have tolerated some of the music he had written in the West. Perhaps Prokofiev himself was ready to relax his style, but as the composer made the decision to return to Russia (which he did in 1936), his music grew more lyric and accessible: among the first works he wrote after his return were Peter and the Wolf and the ballet Romeo and Juliet.

The Second Violin Concerto also dates from these years and from this evolution toward a more lyric style. In 1935 friends of the French violinist Robert Soetens asked Prokofiev to write a violin concerto for him. Prokofiev had already been thinking of writing a new work for the violin when the commission arrived, and he noted how the unsettled circumstances of his life caused this music to be written in many different places: “the principal theme of the first movement was written in Paris, the first theme of the second movement in Voronezh, the orchestration I completed in Baku, while the first performance was given in Madrid, in December 1935.” Prokofiev and Soetens then took the concerto on an exotic tour, performing it in Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Prokofiev had at first not planned to write a concerto and intended instead to compose a smaller-scaled work, which he described as a “concert sonata for violin and orchestra.” As completed, though, the work is clearly a violin concerto, though one conceived on a somewhat intimate scale: Prokofiev scores it for what is essentially Mozart’s orchestra (pairs of woodwinds, horns, and trumpets, plus strings), but that classical sound is enlivened by some unusual percussion instruments, including castanets and a variety of drums.

The intimate scale and lyric nature of this concerto are evident from the first instant of the Allegro moderato, where the solo violin–all alone–lays out the opening theme. This concerto veers between extremes–it can be murmuring and muted one instant, full of steely energy the next–and such a contrast arrives with the bittersweet second subject, also announced by solo violin. The development of this sonata-form movement is extremely energetic, and the movement finally snaps into silence on abrupt pizzicatos.

Pizzicato strings also open the second movement, where they provide a pointillistic accompaniment to the violin’s long cantilena. This melody, which changes meters smoothly between 12/8 and 4/4, evolves through a series of variations until a pair of clarinets introduces the singing central episode. The opening material returns, and Prokofiev closes with an imaginative touch: he has the solo violin take over the pizzicato figure from the opening and “accompany” the orchestra to the quiet close.

Briefest of the movements, the concluding Allegro ben marcato demands virtuoso playing from both soloist and orchestra, who must solve complex problems of coordination and balance. This is the most exotic-sounding of the movements, for here Prokofiev makes distinctive use of his percussion instruments, particularly the castanets. The closing pages–which alternate measures of 7/4, 5/4, 2/2, and 3/2 with the basic pulse of 3/4–are particularly exciting.

Symphony No. 34 in C Major, K.338

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna

Mozart completed his Symphony No. 34 on August 29, 1780. The previous year he had returned to Salzburg from an extended–and utterly unsuccessful–effort to find a position in Mannheim or Paris, and in the following year would come his violent rupture from the Archbishop of Salzburg and his move to Vienna. But now the 24-yearold composer settled into the routine of serving as court organist to an employer he hated in a city he hated. The symphony as a form did not interest Mozart much in these years, but the key he chose for this symphony–C major–is the one he reserved for his most ceremonial music, and it may well be that this symphony was written for some grand occasion in Salzburg.

This symphony is remarkable for the sharp contrasts between its three movements–each has a quite distinct character. The Allegro vivace gets off to a brilliant beginning, ringing with the sound of trumpets and drums and martial fanfares, and this energy–borne along by trills, syncopations, and long crescendos–propels the entire movement. Alfred Einstein has shown how this movement depends for much of its power on Mozart’s use of differing keys to highlight the music’s C-major brilliance. Only in the recapitulation does the opening material return, and the movement drives to a dramatic close on the bright spirits of the very beginning.

The Andante di molto takes us into a completely different world. Gone are the festive fanfares of the opening movement, and now Mozart writes only for strings and bassoons, though he enriches the texture by dividing the violas and marking all parts sotto voce. In its endless lyricism, this movement sounds very much like an opera aria. The first violins sing the opening melody, full of graceful turns, and also have the flowing second idea, heard above chirping accompaniment from the second violins.

The Allegro vivace finale returns to the C-major tonality of the opening. It explodes to life with a great orchestral attack, and off the music goes, sparkling and dancing along on its 6/8 meter. Mozart calls for a repeat of the entire opening section before this music sails home on the infectious and propulsive energy that bursts out of each measure.

PRELUDE 7 PM

For tonight’s Prelude, join conductor James Conlon in a conversation hosted by Eric Bromberger

SUMMERFEST 2016: Artist Roster

Cho-Liang Lin - SummerFest Music Director

BASSOON:
Keith Buncke
CONDUCTOR:
James Conlon
ENSEMBLES:
Danish String Quartet
      Frederik Øland, violin
      Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin
      Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola
      Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello
Escher String Quartet
      Adam Barnett-Hart, violin
      Aaron Boyd, violin
      Pierre Lapointe, viola
      Brook Speltz, cello
FLUX Quartet
      Tom Chiu, violin
      Conrad Harris, violin
      Max Mandel, viola
      Felix Fan, cello
The Montrose Trio
      Martin Beaver, violin
      Clive Greensmith, cello
      Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Time For Three
      Nicholas Kendall, violin
      Nikki Chooi, violin
      Ranaan Meyer, bass
Zukerman Trio
      Pinchas Zukerman, violin
      Amanda Forsyth, cello
      Angela Cheng, piano
SummerFest Chamber Orchestra
Fellowship Artist Ensembles:
Beacon Street Trio
      Luke Hsu, violin
      Rainer Crosett, cello
      Sophie Scolnik-Brower, piano
Verona Quartet
      Jonathan Ong, violin
      Dorothy Ro, violin
      Abigail Rojansky, viola
      Warren Hagerty, cello
SCHOLARS-IN-RESIDENCE:
Eric Bromberger
Nicolas Reveles
LECTURERS & GUEST SPEAKERS:
Steven Cassedy
Nuvi Mehta
Marcus Overton
Oct
6
Thu
JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA WITH WYNTON MARSALIS
Oct 6 @ 8:00 pm
JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA WITH WYNTON MARSALIS @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
with Wynton Marsalis

Under the leadership of nine-time Grammy® Award-winner Wynton Marsalis, this world-renowned orchestra opens La Jolla Music Society’s 2016-17 Season. Combining the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players, Jazz at Lincoln Center returns to San Diego for a celebratory opening to La Jolla Music Society’s 48th Season.

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HAPPY HOUR:
Prior to the performance please join us for Happy Hour at The Westgate Hotel.


Click here to view the complete October 2016 Program Book


Program to be Announced from the Stage
There will be No Intermission


Wynton Marsalis, music director, trumpet
Greg Gisbert, trumpet
Kenny Rampton, trumpet
Marcus Printup, trumpet
Vincent Gardner, trombone
Chris Crenshaw, trombone
Elliot Mason, trombone
Sherman Irby, alto & soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet
Ted Nash, alto & soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet
Victor Goines, tenor & soprano saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet
Walter Blanding, tenor & soprano saxophones, clarinet
Paul Nedzela, baritone & soprano saxophones, bass clarinet
Dan Nimmer, piano
Carlos Henriquez, bass
Ali Jackson, drums

WyntonMarsalisWynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz. By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Wynton has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

Wynton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 18, 1961, to Ellis and Dolores Marsalis, the second of six sons. At age eight Wynton performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band and at 14 he performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic, New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet, New Orleans Community Concert Band, New Orleans Youth Orchestra, New Orleans Symphony, various jazz bands and with the popular local funk band, the Creators.

At age 17 Wynton became the youngest musician ever to be admitted to Tanglewood’s Berkshire Music Center. Despite his youth, he was awarded the school’s prestigious Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. Wynton moved to New York City to attend Juilliard in 1979. In 1980 Wynton seized the opportunity to join the Jazz Messengers to study under master drummer and bandleader Art Blakey. It was from Blakey that Wynton acquired his concept for bandleading and for bringing intensity to each and every performance. In the years to follow Wynton performed with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and countless other jazz legends. Wynton assembled his own band in 1981 and hit the road, performing over 120 concerts every year for 15 consecutive years. With the power of his superior musicianship, the infectious sound of his swinging bands and an exhaustive series of performances and music workshops, Marsalis rekindled widespread interest in jazz throughout the world. Students of Marsalis’ workshops include: James Carter, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Harry Connick Jr., Nicholas Payton, Eric Reed and Eric Lewis, to name a few.

At the age of 20, Wynton recorded the Haydn, Hummel and Leopold Mozart trumpet concertos. His debut recording received glorious reviews and won the Grammy Award® for “Best Classical Soloist with an Orchestra.” Marsalis went on to record 10 additional classical records, all to critical acclaim. Wynton performed with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and London’s Royal Philharmonic, working with an eminent group of conductors including: Leppard, Dutoit, Maazel, Slatkin, Salonen and Tilson-Thomas. Famed classical trumpeter Maurice André praised Wynton as “potentially the greatest trumpeter of all time.”

To date Wynton has produced over 70 records which have sold over seven million copies worldwide including three Gold Records. Marsalis’ rich and expansive body of music places him among the world’s most significant composers. He has been commissioned to create new music for several dance companies including: Garth Fagan, Peter Martins at the New York City Ballet, Twyla Tharp with the American Ballet Theatre, Judith Jamison at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and Savion Glover. Marsalis collaborated with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society in 1995 to compose the string quartet At The Octoroon Balls, and again in 1998 to create a response to Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale with his composition A Fiddler’s Tale. With his collection of standards arrangements (Standard Time Volumes I-VI), Wynton reconnected audiences with the beauty of the American popular song. He re-introduced the joy in New Orleans jazz with his recording The Majesty Of The Blues. He extended the jazz musician’s interplay with the blues in Levee Low Moan, Thick In The South and other blues recordings. With Citi Movement, In This House On This Morning and Blood On The Fields, Wynton invented a fresh conception for extended form compositions. His inventive interplay with melody, harmony and rhythm, along with his lyrical voicing and tonal coloring assert new possibilities for the jazz ensemble. The New York Times Magazine said Blood On The Fields marked the symbolic moment when the full heritage of the line, Ellington through Mingus, was extended into the present.”

The San Francisco Examiner stated, “Marsalis’ orchestral arrangements are magnificent. Duke Ellington’s shadings and themes come and go but Marsalis’ free use of dissonance, counter rhythms and polyphonics is way ahead of Ellington’s mid-century era.” Wynton extended his achievements in Blood On The Fields with All Rise, an epic composition for big band, gospel choir, and symphony orchestra which was performed by the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Kurt Masur along with the Morgan State University Choir and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (December 1999). Marsalis collaborated with Ghanaian master drummer Yacub Addy to create Congo Square, a groundbreaking composition combining elegant harmonies from America’s jazz tradition with fundamental rituals in African percussion and vocals (2006). For the anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church’s 200th year of service, Marsalis blended Baptist choir cadences with blues accents and big band swing rhythms to compose Abyssinian 200: A Celebration, which was performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Abyssinian’s 100 voice choir before packed houses in New York City (May 2008). In the fall of 2009 the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra premiered Marsalis’ composition Blues Symphony. Marsalis further expanded his repertoire for symphony orchestra with Swing Symphony, premiered by the renowned Berlin Philharmonic in June 2010. The New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Barbican have all signed on to perform Swing Symphony.

In the fall of 1995 Wynton launched two major PBS broadcast events: Marsalis On Music, an educational television series on jazz and classical music, and the 26-week series entitled Making the Music. These entertaining and insightful radio shows were the first full exposition of jazz music in American broadcast history. Wynton’s radio and television series were awarded the most prestigious distinction in broadcast journalism, the George Foster Peabody Award. Marsalis has also written five books: Sweet Swing Blues on the Road, Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life, To a Young Musician: Letters from the Road, Jazz ABZ, and his most recent release Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life.

Wynton Marsalis has won nine Grammy Awards® and in 1983 he became the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards® for both jazz and classical records. He repeated the distinction by winning jazz and classical Grammy Awards® again in 1984. Today Wynton is the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards® in five consecutive years (1983-1987). Honorary degrees have been conferred upon Wynton by over 25 of America’s leading academic institutions including Columbia, Harvard, Howard, Princeton and Yale. Time magazine selected Wynton as one of America’s most promising leaders under age 40 in 1995, and in 1996 Time celebrated Marsalis as one of America’s 25 most influential people. In November 2005 Wynton Marsalis received The National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States Government. In 1997 Wynton Marsalis became the first jazz musician ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his epic oratorio Blood On The Fields. During the five preceding decades the Pulitzer Prize jury refused to recognize jazz musicians and their improvisational music, reserving this distinction for classical composers. In the years following Marsalis’ award, the Pulitzer Prize for Music has been awarded posthumously to Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane.

Wynton’s creativity has been celebrated throughout the world. He won the Netherlands’ Edison Award and the Grand Prix Du Disque of France. The Mayor of Vitoria, Spain, awarded Wynton with the city’s Gold Medal – its most coveted distinction. Britain’s senior conservatoire, the Royal Academy of Music, granted Mr. Marsalis Honorary Membership, the Academy’s highest decoration for a non-British citizen (1996). The city of Marciac, France, erected a bronze statue in his honor. The French Ministry of Culture appointed Wynton the rank of Knight in the Order of Arts and Literature and in the fall of 2009 Wynton received France’s highest distinction, the insignia Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, an honor that was first awarded by Napoleon Bonaparte.

In 1987 Wynton Marsalis co-founded, and became Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Music Director for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In July 1996, due to its significant success, Jazz at Lincoln Center was installed as new constituent of Lincoln Center, equal in stature with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet - a historic moment for jazz as an art form and for Lincoln Center as a cultural institution. In October 2004, with the assistance of a dedicated Board and staff, Marsalis opened Frederick P. Rose Hall, the world’s first institution for jazz. Under Wynton’s leadership, Jazz at Lincoln Center has developed an international agenda presenting rich and diverse programming that includes concerts, debates, film forums, dances, television and radio broadcasts, and educational activities.

Wynton Marsalis has devoted his life to uplifting populations worldwide with the egalitarian spirit of jazz. Immediately following Hurricane Katrina, Wynton organized the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Concert and raised over $3 million for musicians and cultural organizations impacted by the hurricane. At the same time, he assumed a leadership role on the Bring Back New Orleans Cultural Commission where he was instrumental in shaping a master plan that would revitalize the city’s cultural base. Wynton Marsalis has selflessly donated his time and talent to non-profit organizations throughout the country to raise money to meet the many needs within our society. From My Sister’s Place (a shelter for battered women) to Graham Windham (a shelter for homeless children), the Children’s Defense Fund, Amnesty International, the Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute, Food For All Seasons (a food bank for the elderly and disadvantaged), Very Special Arts (provides experiences in dance, drama, literature, and music for individuals with physical and mental disabilities) to the Newark Boys Chorus School (an academic music school for disadvantaged youths) and many, many more. It is Wynton Marsalis’ commitment to the improvement of life for all people that portrays the best of his character and humanity.

Wynton Marsalis last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Jazz Series on March 15, 2014


Jazz at Lincoln Center OrchestraThe Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is comprised of 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today. This remarkably versatile orchestra performs and leads educational events in New York, across the U.S. and around the globe. Under Music Director Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra spends over a third of the year on tour. The big band performs a vast repertoire, from rare historic compositions to Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned works, including compositions by Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie.

Over the last few years, the orchestra has performed collaborations with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Television broadcasts of Jazz at Lincoln Center programs have helped broaden the awareness of its unique efforts in the music. The orchestra was featured in a production of Great Performances entitled “Swingin’ with Duke: Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis,” which aired on PBS in 1999.

The Orchestra of Jazz at Lincoln Center last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Jazz Series on March 15, 2014

Oct
7
Fri
OMARA PORTUONDO 85 TOUR
Oct 7 @ 8:00 pm
OMARA PORTUONDO 85 TOUR @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

From Buena Vista Social Club:
Omara Portuondo 85th Anniversary Tour

Special Guests Roberto Fonseca,
Anat Cohen & Regina Carter

Embodying the musical spirit of the original Havana club and encapsulating Cuba’s “musical golden age,” Buena Vista Social Club’s leading lady Omara Portuondo headlines this 85th Anniversary Tour. A legendary vocalist who has been singing professionally for an incredible 70 years, the great Cuban Diva Omara Portuondo’s voice reflects a long, creative life and passion for music.

Buy Tickets

Click here to view the complete October 2016 Program Book


Program to be Announced from the Stage
There will be No Intermission


Omara Portuondo, vocals
Roberto Fonseca, piano, keyboards, vocals
Anat Cohen, clarinet & saxophone
Regina Carter, violin
Ramses “Dinamite” Rodriguez, drums
Andras Coayo, percussion
Yandy Martinez, bass

As Cuban revolutions go, it was an entirely peaceable uprising – but its impact could not have been more profound. On the release of the Buena Vista Social Club™ album in 1997, few outside the specialist world music audience initially took much notice of the record’s elegantly sculpted tunes and warm, acoustic rhythms. Then something extraordinary occurred. The album was spectacularly reviewed by a few discerning critics, but although their words of praise did Buena Vista’s cause no harm, they cannot explain what subsequently happened. Good reviews create an early surge in sales, but unless it’s a big pop release sustained by an expensive TV advertising campaign, the established pattern is that interest then slowly tails off. Instead, Buena Vista’s sales figures kept steadily rising week by week, building almost entirely by word-of-mouth until it achieved critical mass: all who heard the record not only fell in love with Buena Vista’s irresistible magic, but were then inspired to play or recommend the album to everyone they knew. It was one of those rare records that transcended the vagaries of fad and fashion to sound timeless but utterly fresh. Once you heard it, you had to have a heart of stone not to be swept away by the music’s romantic impulses and uninhibited exuberance.


Omara PortuondoAs a result of this renewed popularity, Omara Portuondo experienced one of her most fertile and successful periods. After a solo world tour in 2002, in the autumn of the same year, she performed at the Japan Jazz Festival, accompanied by Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, John Patitucci, Wayne Shorter and Danilo Pérez. In 2003, she returned to European soil to take part in the legendary Glastonbury Festival before going on to perform in Canada and the USA in autumn, leading a band which included such heavyweights as Papi Oviedo on the Tres, Rolando Baro on piano and Fabián García on the double-bass.

That same year, Omara went back to the studio to record her second solo album for World Circuit. The producers were Nick Gold and Alê Siquiera, a respected Brazilian producer well-known for his work with Carlinhos Brown, Caetano Veloso and Tribalistas, winners of a Latin GrammyTM . The technical team was complemented by two renowned professionals, engineer Jerry Boys and Cuban musician and arranger Demetrio Muñiz.

Flor de Amor (World Circuit) signals a change in direction in Omara Portuondo’s career: it is an album marked by a more subtle sound and a richness of texture. Omara brought in a mixture of Cuban and Brazilian musicians for this album, and it is this factor which influences the particular style of the music. Never one to sleep on laurels, Omara returned to Europe in 2004 to promote this album, which she performed at such illustrious venues as the North Sea Jazz Festival, Marble Hill House in London, Olympia in Paris and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. That same summer, Omara gave the first concert at Berlin’s legendary Gendarmenmarkt, within the series of concerts “Open-air Classics”. Before an audience of 7,000 people and accompanied by 68 musicians – among whom were members of the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Scott Lawton – and escorted by such a special guest and friend as Ibrahim Ferrer, it was an unforgettable night which signalled the start of a new, ambitious world tour, the Projecto Especial Sinfónico, which in 2006 led to performances in the most important classical music festivals and theatres.

Before 2004 had come to a close, Omara received two great surprises: in Montreaux, the International Red Cross appointed her International Ambassador, making her the first Cuban artist to achieve such a distinction; and Flor de amor was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Traditional Tropical Record category. This was not, however, the only accolade that the record was to receive. In the 16th edition of theBillboard Latin Music Awards, in 2005, Flor de amor obtained the Tropical Record of the Year award in the female category.

In 2006, Omara continued along the same lines that have characterized her work in recent years. Indeed, her deep-rooted social conscience led her to establish the Fundación de Amigos de Omara in Cancun to provide support to women from all over the world who are the victims of the social and economic circumstances that affect developing countries. Moreover, she kept up her intense musical activity with concerts in Latin America, Asia and Europe, among these one of very special significance for her: the performance in Barcelona which brought her together with Mayte Martín and Martirio in the show “Entre Amigas” and in which she paid tribute to her idol, Ibrahim Ferrer, whom she also honored with the songs “Casablanca” and “Killing Me Softly”, songs which she and Ferrer sang together on Rhythms del Mundo (Universal) and in which several Cuban artists joined rock groups to play numbers by Radiohead, U2 or Sting, to name a few.

And, while in 2006 she was able to work with two figures of the Spanish music scene, 2007 was the year in which she joined forces with one of the legends of Brazilian music, the singer Maria Bethânia. The two of them worked on recordings in Rio de Janeiro, with both Cuban and Brazilian musicians such as pianist Roberto Fonseca and the Brazilians Carlos Baia and Jorge Hélder, and under the close attention of producers Swami Jr (Omara’s current musical director) and Jaime Alem (Bethânia’s current music director).

Finally, we come to 2008, a year which Omara started with a tour alongside Bethânia and continued with Gracias (Montuno Producciones), the record marked her sixtieth year in the music business. Recorded in Havana and produced by the Brazilians Alê Siquiera (who also produced her last record) and Swami Jr, what better way to celebrate such an auspicious occasion than to recruit a first-class quintet? Indeed, Omara’s career is one full of exceptional talent and the careers of the musicians that are to take part in this celebration are no less impressive: the three musicians that Omara has worked with in the past – pianist Roberto Fonseca, guitarist and musical director Swami Jr and percussionist Andrés Coayo – and the two musicians who will be debuting alongside “the girlfriend of feeling”, the Israeli double bassist Avishai Cohen and the Hindu percussionist Trilok Gurtu.

With Gracias, Omara’s aim is to relive the numbers that she has found most moving and to work with the songwriters she most admires, such as Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés and Jorge Drexler, the latter being the composer of the record’s title song, specially dedicated to Omara. These are not, however, the only star guests at this event. If the list were not already impressive enough, other great names will also be present: Chucho Valdés, who performs a number composed by Omara’s son; the brilliant African musician, Richard Bona; and the Brazilian maestro, Chico Buarque. In 2009, Omara performed Gracias on stage in a series of concerts in which she reviewed her singing career, accompanied by six musicians.

This performance makes Omara Portuondo's La Jolla Music Society debut


Anat CohenClarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. Reviewing one of Anat’s headlining sets with her quartet at the North See Jazz Festival, DownBeat said: “Cohen not only proved to be a woodwind revelation of dark tones and delicious lyricism, but also a dynamic bandleader who danced and shouted out encouragement to her group – whooping it up when pianist Jason Lindner followed her clarinet trills on a Latin-flavored number. . . With her dark, curly, shoulder-length hair swaying to the beat as she danced, she was a picture of joy.”

The Jazz Journalists Association has voted Anatas Clarinetist of the Year nine years in a row, and she has topped both the Critics and Readers Polls in the clarinet category in DownBeat magazine every year since 2011. That’s not to mention years of being named Rising Star in the soprano and tenor saxophone categories in DownBeat, as well as for Jazz Artist of the Year. In 2009, ASCAP awarded Anat a Wall of Fame prize for composition and musicianship, among other honors. Earning this acclaim, Anat has toured the world with her quartet, headlining at the Newport, Umbria, SF Jazz and North Sea jazz festivals as well as at such hallowed clubs as New York’s Village Vanguard and at Columbia University’s prestigious Miller Theatre. In March 2015, Anzic Records releases Luminosa, her seventh album as a bandleader. Luminosa sees Anat play singing, dancing originals, interpret Brazilian classics by the likes of Milton Nascimento, and even re-imagine electronica as acoustica with an ingenious arrangement of a Flying Lotus tune. Members from Anat’s touring quartet – keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin, drummer Daniel Freedman – appear on the album, as do guest guitarists Romero Lubambo and Gilad Hekselman, percussionist Gilmar Gomes and the Brazilian players of her new band Choro Aventuroso.

Luminosa encapsulates the description Jazz Police offered of Anat in full flight: “She becomes a singer, a poet, a mad scientist, laughing – musically – with the delight of reaching that new place, that new feeling, with each chorus.” Along with interpreting several Brazilian numbers – two choro pieces and a trio of Nascimento songs –the album features multiple originals by Anat, including compositional tributes to Brazilian guitar great Baden Powell and the inspirational founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, George Wein.“The sound of Luminosa reflects my musical life in New York City,” she explains. “I flow between modern and traditional jazz, between samba and choro– all maybe in a week’s time. The title is Portuguese for luminous – something shining, especially in the dark. To me, music is a luminous experience. Whenever I’m immersed in it, life lights up for me, no matter what else is going on.”

The new Luminosa follows Anat’s acclaimed Anzic release from 2012, Claroscuro, which takes its title from the Spanish word describing the play of light and shade (chiaroscuro in Italian). The album showcased Anat’s fluency in a global set of styles, from creolized New Orleans chanson and the evergreen swing of an Artie Shaw tune to African grooves and Brazilian choro, samba and more. Playing clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor and soprano saxophones, she was joined in the studio by her quartet, plus such special guests as trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon and star clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera. Reflecting on the naturally communicative, one-take spontaneity of the album, Anat said: “I was playing with some of my favorite musicians in the world, and we all speak a common language, no matter where we come from.” DownBeat gave Claroscuro four-and-a-half stars out of five, praising its “effervescence” and “deeply resonant” qualities, with the review concluding that “this multifaceted woodwind player only gets better.” Also taken by the record’s ebullient, irresistible variety, All About Jazz declared about Anat: “She’s one of a kind.”

Anat was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and raised into a musical family. She attended the Tel Aviv School for the Arts, the "Thelma Yellin" High School for the Arts and the Jaffa Music Conservatory. Jazz captured the youngster’s imagination, and she thrilled to recordings by Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet, Benny Goodman and Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Anat began clarinet studies at age 12 and played jazz on clarinet for the first time in the Jaffa Conservatory’s Dixieland band. At 16, she joined the school’s big band and learned to play the tenor saxophone; it was this same year that Anat entered the prestigious “Thelma Yellin” school, where she majored in jazz. After graduation, she discharged her mandatory Israeli military service duty from 1993-95, playing tenor saxophone in the Israeli Air Force band.

Through the World Scholarship Tour, Anat was able to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she not only honed her jazz chops but also expanded her musical horizons, developing a deep love and facility for various Latin music styles. Fellow Berklee students who hailed from Latin and South American countries were inspirational for the young musician: “Hearing them play the samba of Brazil, chacarrera of Argentina and cumbia of Colombia, I loved those rhythms immediately and was drawn to playing them myself,” Anat says. “The flowing Latin rhythms opened up a whole world of groove to me – and added new layers of expressivity in my jazz playing.”During her Berklee years, Anat visited New York City during semester breaks, making a beeline for the West Village club Smalls to soak up a melting pot of jazz, contemporary grooves and world music in a scene that included such future collaborators as Jason Lindner, Omer Avital and Daniel Freedman. Back in Boston, she played in myriad contexts and bands, including Afro-Cuban, Argentinean, klezmer, contemporary Brazilian music and classic Brazilian choro.

Moving to New York in 1999 after graduating from Berklee, Anat spent a decade touring with Sherrie Maricle’s all-woman big band, The Diva Jazz Orchestra; she also worked in such Brazilian groups as the Choro Ensemble and Duduka Da Fonseca’s Samba Jazz Quintet, along with performing the music of Louis Armstrong with David Ostwald’s “Gully Low Jazz Band.”Anat soon began to bend ears and turn heads; whether playing clarinet, soprano saxophone or tenor saxophone, she won over the most knowing of jazz sages: Nat Hentoff praised her “bursting sound and infectious beat,” Dan Morgenstern her “gutsy, swinging” style, Ira Gitler her “liquid dexterity and authentic feeling,” and Gary Giddins her musicality “that bristles with invention.”

Establishing her own Anzic Records label in 2005, Anat kicked off her discography as a bandleader with Place & Time, a small-combo session of mostly original tunes that was named one of the year’s best debuts by All About Jazz. Her two ambitious releases of 2007 –Noir (presenting Anat with a jazz orchestra) and Poetica (a chamber-jazz feature for her clarinet) – led The New York Times to enthuse over her “warm, singing tone.”Beautifully arrangedby Oded Lev-Ari, Noir saw Anat front a large ensemble in numbers from “Cry Me a River” to a medley of “Samba de Orfeu” / “Strutting with Some Barbecue”to the Sun Ra ballad “You Never Told Me That You Care.”Poetica drew from a world of music – popular melodies from Israel, a Jacques Brel song and John Coltrane’s “Lonnie’s Lament,” with a mix of jazz quartet settings and pieces arranged for Anat with string quartet by Omer Avital. Both albums appeared on many year-end best of 2007 lists, including those of JazzTimes, Slate and Paste magazines. The Village Voice spoke of Anat’s “enviable insouciance” and how “she alludes to the mystical in a merry way,” while DownBeat declared: “Noir could be a classic” and added that Anat’s “unforced elegance on clarinet could take her to the top.” The Washington Post said: “Cohen has emerged as one of the brightest, most original young instrumentalists in jazz. . . with a distinctive accent of her own.”

Anat’s 2008 release, Notes from the Village, was a showcase for her multi-reed talents in quartet and quintet settings, with the album featuring such original Cohen compositions as the one-world tribal dance “Washington Square Park” and sweetly, gorgeously playful “Lullaby for the Naïve Ones” alongside interpretations that again reflect the leader’s wide enthusiasms– from Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz” and John Coltrane’s “After the Rain” to Ernesto Lecuona’s “Siboney” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” In its review, The New York Times said: “Notes From The Village is a resounding confirmation – yes, she is the real deal.” DownBeat awarded the album four stars, stating that “Cohen makes it seem easy, mixing a gift for melody with an improvisational fluidity that has few peers today.” And All Music Guide pointed out: “What makes Cohen’s music so special, aside from the high level of musicianship, is her fertile imagination. Through all of her efforts as a leader, there's hardly a speck of filler, but rather a wealth of ideas and the desire to expand the purview of her instrument beyond putative traditional swing.”

In 2007, Anat became the first Israeli to headline at the Village Vanguard, the setting for perhaps the most celebrated live recordings in jazz history; the occasion yielded the 2010 release Clarinetwork: Live at the Village Vanguard, which captured the leader paying tribute to Benny Goodman and leading a hard-swinging combo with all-stars Benny Green, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash. Calling Anat “one to watch,” National Public Radio underscored the contemporary approach the group took to the Goodman book: “Cohen and company treat 1920s and ‘30s material with a relatively free hand; when they get rolling in `Sweet Georgia Brown,’ her rhythm section echoes the thunder of John Coltrane’s quartet.” In its glowing review, All About Jazz singled out the performance of “St. James Infirmary,” saying: “Cohen reaches a state of musical ecstasy... as her clarinet moans, sighs, soars and wails with passion and emotion.”

Anat has also recorded four acclaimed albums as part of the3 Cohens Sextet with her brothers, saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai: 2003’s One, 2007’s Braid, 2011’s Familyand 2013’s Tightrope(with the last three released by Anzic). Declared All About Jazz: “To the ranks of the Heaths of Philadelphia, the Joneses of Detroit and the Marsalises of New Orleans, fans can now add the 3 Cohens of Tel Aviv.” The 3 Cohens band has toured from across the U.S. and Europe to Brazil and Australia, including headlining the Village Vanguardand Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. The three siblings – with Anat the middle child to the elder Yuval and younger Avishai – graced the cover of the January 2012 issue of DownBeat, and among the international acclaim for the recent Tightrope was the Financial Times marveling over its “emotional sweep.” The album features the 3 Cohens improvising as an a cappella horn choir as well as teaming with such special guests as Fred Hersch and Christian McBride. About the special rapport she has with her brothers, Anat says: “We can talk without talking. Often, we don't even have to look at each other onstage. We have such history together that we feel each other through the music.”

Several recordings by the Choro Ensemble feature Anat’s clarinet as a key solo voice, including the 2007 Anzic album Nosso Tempo. She has added solos to albums by guitarist Howard Alden (I Remember Django), drummer Teri Lynne Carrington (The Mosaic Project), singer Ann Hampton Callaway (Blues in the Night), percussionist Cyro Baptista (Beat the Donkey and Infinito), trombonist-vocalist Wycliffe Gordon (Hello, Pops!), singer Lila Downs (Shake Away/Ojo de Culebra), pianist Jason Lindner (Now vs. Now and Live at the Jazz Gallery, both on Anzic), the Duduka Da Fonseca Quintet (Samba Jazz in Black and White), Sherrie Merricle’s Diva Jazz Orchestra (Live in Concert), pianist Jovino Santos Neto (Veja o Som), singer Amy Cervini (Digging You, Digging Me: A Tribute to Blossom Dearie and Jazz Country, both Anzic) and singer Melissa Stylianou (Silent Movie and No Regrets, both Anzic), among many others. With Anat as executive producer, Anzic has also released albums by the 3 Cohens, Avishai Cohen, Yuval Cohen, Third World Love, Duchess, Hilary Gardner, Joel Frahm, Joe Martin, Omer Avital, Daniel Freedman, Eli Degibri, Duduka Da Fonseca, Ernesto Cervini and the Waverly Seven.

Anat collaborates regularly with one of her heroes, Cuban-American clarinetist-saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, who introduced her onstage at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in the Jazz at Lincoln Center complex as “one of the greatest players ever of the clarinet.”Having first appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2007, she had the honor of being the music director for the Newport Jazz Festival Now 60! all-star band that toured the U.S. on the occasion of the festival’s 60th anniversary in 2014. Anat is a fixture on the New York scene at such clubs as Birdland, starring in a recent tribute to the music of Django Reinhardt there, among much else. Anat has also appeared in New York at the Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, Blue Note, Iridium, Joe’s Pub, Greenwich House and the Jazz Gallery, as well as other top clubs across the country and around the world – Yoshi’s in San Francisco, Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., Regatta Bar in Boston, the Sunset in Paris, Bimhuis in Amsterdam, Jazzclub Fasching in Stockholm, A Trane in Berlin and Zappa in Tel Aviv. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Symphony Space in New York, along with Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Boston’s Berklee Performance Center, the ORF-Kulturhaus in Vienna and Belgrade’s Kolarac Hall in Serbia.

The world’s great jazz festivals have invited Anat to perform, including the JVC, Newport, Chicago, Monterey, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, SF Jazz (San Francisco), Playboy (Los Angeles), Duke Ellington (Washington, D.C.), Montreal, Copenhagen, Jazz a Vienne, Umbria, North Sea (Netherlands), Tudo e Jazz (Brazil), Caesaria (Israel) and Zagreb Jazzarella festivals. Her performances have been broadcast internationally, including by WBGO, WFUV, WNYC and NPR in the U.S. and Radio Netherlands, ORF (Austrian Radio), SR (Swedish Radio) and Radio Bremen (Germany).

As the Chicago Tribune says about Anat, “The lyric beauty of her tone, easy fluidity of her technique and extroverted manner of her delivery make this music accessible to all.” Leading up to the March 17, 2015, release of Luminosa and beyond, Anat will be bringing her charismatic stage performances again to music lovers around the globe, including a five-night March 4-8 stand at New York City’s Jazz Standard. She says: “Any day when I get to share music with people – other musicians, an audience–feels like a celebration to me.”

This performance marks Anat Cohen's La Jolla Music Society debut

For more information visit www.anatcohen.com


Regina CohenViolin virtuoso Regina Carter is considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation. Winner of a coveted 2006 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship, she is also a Resident Artistic Director at SF JAZZ.

In 1987, she joined the all-female pop-jazz quintet Straight Ahead and appeared on their first three albums before leaving the band in 1991 and moving to New York, where she picked up session work with artists including Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton, Max Roach and Oliver Lake. She released her self-titled solo album on Atlantic in 1995, followed by Something for Grace, an album dedicated to her mother and released in 1997. Carter also toured with Wynton Marsalis that same year, then switched to the Verve label where she released Rhythms of the Heart in 1999. Motor City Moments, a tribute to her hometown, followed in 2000.

In December 2001, she traveled to Genoa, Italy, and made musical history by being the first jazz musician and the first African American to play the legendary Guarneri Del Gesu violin, made in 1743 and owned by classical music virtuoso and composer Niccolo Paganini. This encounter inspired her 2003 album, Paganini: After a Dream, which featured works by Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy and Italian film composer Ennio Morricone. She recorded I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey in 2006 as a tribute to her late mother. That same year Carter was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, given to a highly select group who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work.”

Reverse Thread, released in May 2010, was a celebration of traditional African music via a contemporary perspective. Carter also took her pioneering spirit on the road in the late summer and fall of 2012 for a two-month world tour with rock icon Joe Jackson’s stellar ensemble in support of his release The Duke, a collection of interpretations of Duke Ellington’s work .

Carter continues her musical quest for beauty and history with her SONY Music Masterworks debut Southern Comfort, in which she investigates her family history and explores the folk tunes her paternal grandfather, a coalminer, would have heard as he toiled in Alabama. The expanded project includes a blend of folk songs and spirituals, serving as Carter’s interpretation of her roots through a modern lens.

Said Chuck Mitchell, Senior Vice President of SONY Masterworks, "We're tremendously pleased to have the incomparable Regina Carter with us at Masterworks. Her musical odyssey has been charted through a series of unforgettable recordings over the years and Southern Comfort is the latest and perhaps the most eloquent expression of her deep and profoundly enlightening musical humanity.”

Regina’s new album, Ella: Accentuate the Positive, marks the 100th birthday of a musical legend. The album celebrates the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald – THE source of Regina’s musical inspiration. An influence she has cherished throughout her life, Regina describes her visceral connection to Ella’s music:

“Growing up in Detroit, there was always music playing in our home. While there was a variety of music I enjoyed, there were a few recordings and artists I found consistently captivating. Ella Fitzgerald was one of these exceptions. To this very day, whenever I hear an Ella recording it grabs me at my core. I’m entranced by her voice, her melodic improvisations and the passion and artfulness with which Ella sings a song. She helps me understand a song by providing a window to its essence. In a word, Ella is sublime, and she is at the top of my go-to list when learning a jazz tune. Perhaps Jimmy Rowles said it best, “Music comes out of her. When [Ella] walks down the street…she leaves notes.” I’m so excited to celebrate Ella Fitzgerald, an artist who has meant so much to all the notes in my musical life.”

For Regina Carter, the violin isn’t merely an improvisational vehicle. It’s a passport to unexpected realms, a Rosetta stone that unlocks the door to a myriad of cultures and worlds.

This last performed with La Jolla Music Society in the Jazz Series on October 7, 2016


Guitarist and composer Marvin Sewell was born and raised in Chicago. He learned how to play the guitar by hanging out with many Chicago basement bands, and was exposed to a variety of styles of music. In high school, he started playing with the Malcolm X Community College Big Band, and from there started playing with many famous local Chicago musicians such as Von Freeman, Ramsey Lewis, Billy Branch, Jody Christian, Big Time Sarah, and Barbara La Shore. He moved to New York in 1990, began working with his first major jazz group, Jack Dejohnette’s Special Edition, in 1992. At that same time, he was playing with jazz cellist Diedre Murray and jazz bassist Fred Hopkins. The following year he recorded albums with Jack Dejohnette, Diedre Murray, and Gary Thomas, and played in Hannibal Peterson’s composition African Portraits, an opera in which he played blues slide guitar in collaboration with the St. Louis Symphony, New Music Symphony, and the Westchester Symphony Orchestra. In 1995, he began playing with Cassandra Wilson with whom he played a variety of string instruments for six years. On Wilson’s album Traveling Miles, Sewell co-wrote the song, “Right Here, Right Now” with Wilson. In 2002, Sewell did a tour of eastern Africa with the Newsoeme, Sewell, and Harris Trio, performing in Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, and Mauritius. Today, he spends most of his time writing music for his own band, The Marvin Sewell Group. Additionally, Sewell has performed and recorded with Ani DiFranco, David Sandborn, Marcus Miller, Jorge Sylvester, Greg Osby, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Sekou Sanidiata, Peter Herborn, and a host of many other esteemed musicians.

This performances marks Marvin Sewell's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Born and raised in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Chris Lightcap played violin and piano before taking up the electric bass at fourteen. As a senior in high school he started to study the upright bass and the following year he enrolled at Williams College. During this period he studied bass, composition and improvisation with Milt Hinton, Cameron Brown, Robert Suderburg, Alvin Lucier, and Bill Dixon. Upon graduating from Williams with the school’s Hutchinson Arts Grant, he moved to his current home, New York City. He began performing weekly with the Cecil Taylor Big Band in 1995, and was invited to perform in a trio with Archie Shepp and Sunny Murray in Paris the following year. For the next two years he worked regularly throughout New York City in a trio led by a saxophonist George Garzone. In 2000, Lightcap joined the ensemble of Regina Carter. He has performed and recorded extensively with Carter on four continents and has been featured alongside her group with the Boston, Atlanta and Minnesota Symphonies. He has also toured and played major festivals with such bandleaders as Mark Turner, Tomasz Stanko, Ravi Coltrane, Joe Morris, Ben Monder, Terrel Stafford, Ralph Alessi, and Rob Brown. In 1998 he began to write for his own group, a quartet featuring Gerald Cleaver on drums and Tony Malaby and Bill McHenry on tenor saxophones. Lightcap’s two recordings with this group, Lay-Up (2000) and Bigmouth (2003) were on CMJ’s top 10 radio chart and received critical acclaim in The New York Times, Jazztimes, Cadence, Village Voice, and All About Jazz. In 2005, Lightcap expanded the band to include Craig Taborn on keyboards and named the group Bigmouth. In 2010, he released his third album, Deluxe, and it was named one of the year’s top albums by NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Jazz Times, Village Voice and Time Out New York. In 2011, Chamber Music America awarded Lightcap a New Jazz Works commission grant. The result, New York: Lost and Found was premiered by Bigmouth at the 2012 Earshot Festival and featured on NPR’s Jazzset with Dee Dee Bridgewater. This music, along with a cover of Lou Reed’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties” was released under the title Epicenter on Bigmouth’s 2015 album Clean Feed. He has also appeared on recordings with Tom Harrell, Dianne Reeves, Marc Ribot, Anthony Coleman, Steve Bernstein, Roy Campbell, Mat Maneri and Joshua Bell.

This performances marks Chris Lightcap's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Drummer Alvester Garnett was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1970. He began his formal studies in percussion at the age of 14, and was first introduced to jazz at the age of 16. While still a junior in high school and participating in an all-county high school jazz band, he met Ellis Marsalis, who advised him to obtain the famed jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis recordings of Max Roach and many others, including “Papa” Jo Jones, “Philly” Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Billy Higgins, James Black, and Ed Blackwell. During the following summer, Garnett again studied with Marsalis in a summer program for gifted musicians at Virginia Commonwealth University. He later joined the Malden Diplomats Drum and Bugle Corp in Boston, and the summer after graduating high school attended Gunther Schuller’s music training program at The Festival at Sandpoint in Sandpoint, Idaho. It was here that he first met and studied with master drummer Max Roach, leading trumpeter and educator Wynton Marsalis, and jazz historian Martin Williams. Garnett graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1993. During his undergraduate career, he won third place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drum Competition. After college, he relocated to New York, where he worked with Betty Carter’s trio and became a member of Abbey Lincoln’s quartet. He was also a member of Cyrus Chestnut’s trio, and in 1998 began touring extensively with both Regina Carter and James Carter. Among his numerous appearances and accomplishments, he has appeared on PBS’s Great Performances in a tribute to Kurt Weill along with Betty Carter; performed on a live record with saxophonist Teddy Edwards, as well as the albums Earth Stories with Cyrus Chestnut and Who Used To Dance with Abbey Lincoln. He has also continued working with numerous artists including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Clark Terry, Dr. Michael White and the Richmond Symphony.

This performances marks Alvester Garnett's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Regina CohenSince the beginning of his musical career in the early 1990s, Cuban-born multi-instrumentalist Roberto Fonseca has stated his mission clearly: “I want my music to reach people who don’t know me, and I dream of one day becoming a point of reference for my audience.” Although still very young – by the standards of jazz, hip-hop, world music or any other genre – Fonseca has maintained a sharp focus on his mission that has already garnered him global recognition.

The UK Guardian is just one of the many voices in both the music and mainstream press worldwide to have recognized Fonseca’s immense talent by heralding him as “a fabulously gifted pianist, composer and bandleader with a gift for melody that outshines more celebrated peers.” The Guardian further proclaimed him as “one of a new breed who can transcend musical boundaries through sheer quality.”

Born into a musical family in Havana, Cuba, in 1975, young Roberto originally gravitated to percussion, but started playing the piano at age 8 (the interest in percussion would eventually enhance his piano style). His first musical performances was playing drums for a band that covered Beatles songs.

He began composing at age 14, drawing inspiration from Afro-Cuban music. “In school, we used to regard American jazz as a point of reference,” Fonseca recalls. “I felt that my music would be a fusion of both genres. I liked lots of jazz musicians, such as Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett, but also old American funk and soul classics.”

His appearance at Havana’s International Jazz Festival at the tender age of 15 was not only a revelation to audiences, but the launching pad for a musical education that resulted in a degree in musical composition from the Instituto Superior de Arte. But the degree was only the beginning of his education process. He saw every road after college as an opportunity to merge his style with other styles and create something greater than the sum of its parts. At 21, he embarked on a tour through Italy with singer Augusto Enriquez, which included performances on RAI, the state TV channel, which introduced him to audiences well beyond his Cuban origins.

Shortly after the Italian tour, Fonseca joined saxophonist Javier Zalba to form Temperamento, a group that became his creative platform for the next 15 years, beginning with the release of En el Comienzo in 1998. The album won the award for Best Jazz Album at the Cubadisco 1999 festival.

En el Comienzo was followed by three solo albums in rapid succession – Tiene Que Ver (1999), No Limit (2000) and Elengó (2001). In between these projects, he also composed the soundtrack for Black, a film by French director P. Maraval, and produced Un montón de cosas, an album by the hip-hop group Obsesión.

In 2001, he joined the Orquestra de Ibrahim Ferrer for a world tour that logged more than 400 performances throughout Europe, the UK, South America, Australia, Asia and just about every other corner of the globe. Led by Ferrer – an alumni of the Buena Vista Social Club™, the legendary Cuban collective that had taken the world by storm some five years earlier – the tour with the Orquestra positioned Fonseca alongside legendary figures like Cachaíto López, Guajiro Mirabal, Manuel Galbán and many others. The tour marked the beginning of an ongoing and fruitful relationship with various members of BVSC.

Fonseca’s relationship with Ferrer strengthened in the years following the tour. When Ferrer set out to record his treasured collection of boleros, he tapped Fonseca to arrange the compositions and co-produce the recording. Mi Sueño: A Bolero Songbook was released in early 2005, and a world tour followed later in the year. The project was Ferrer’s last – and arguably one of his greatest – before his death in August 2005.

Despite the heartbreaking loss, Fonseca had established his reputation as a creative bridge between traditional Cuban music and the sound of a new era. As such, he drew the attention of not just enthusiastic audiences but seasoned musicians as well. Omara Portuondo, another Buena Vista alumni also invited him to join her on tour.

The intensive touring and multicultural exposure planted the seeds for Zamazu, Fonseca’s monumental 2007 recording that assembled more than 20 musicians and integrated elements of his various influences: Afro-Cuban, jazz, classical and traditional Cuban music. Among the musicians on this diverse and ambitious recording were Portuondo, Zalba, Carlinhos Brown, Vincente Amigo, Ramsés Rodríguez and many others. Following the release of Zamazu, Fonseca showcased generous portions of the recording at some of the most prestigious festivals in the world in front of spellbound audiences.

“Llegó Cachaíto,” one of the tracks from Zamazu, appeared in Hancock, the 2008 film starring Will Smith. That same year, Fonseca also played on Portuondo’s Gracias, a recording that won a Latin Grammy for Best Contemporary Tropical Album.

Zamazu was a tough act to follow, but Fonseca found a way to bring the magic and energy of his live show into the studio for his 2009 release, Akokan. The album featured his quartet with guest performances by Cape Verdean vocalist Mayra Andrade and American guitarist Raul Midón.

The following year, 2010, was no less hectic and ambitious for Fonseca. He collaborated with director Jorge Fuentes in the filming of Temperamento, a documentary chronicling the history of the band that Fonseca had co-founded more than a decade earlier. Fonseca also arranged and co-produced Havana Cultura with British DJ Gilles Peterson. The two-disc album released in 2010 assembles the best of a new generation of Cuban musicians – more than 60 in all – specializing in Afro-jazz, hip-hop, funk, reggaeton and R&B. Later that same year, he also released Live at Marciac, a CD-DVD set that captures Fonseca and his band at a 2009 festival date in France.

Along the way, Fonseca has developed an aesthetic sense that extends beyond music. This became most evident when he developed a professional relationship with French fashion designer Agnes B. Their rapport first emerged when he began wearing her creations for all of his performances, and deepened when he played live for the Agnes B fashion show in Paris in 2006. In addition, Fonseca’s music has been used in Marie Claire’s internet advertising and marketing campaigns.

His latest studio effort Yo, was recently nominated for a GRAMMY® in the category of Best Latin Jazz Album. Recorded in Paris, Yo draws its simple but appropriate title from the Spanish word for “I” or “me.” Fonseca is clearly the focal point of the recording, but his multidimensional and multicultural sound exists within an intricate mosaic made up of a total of 15 fifteen musicians from Cuba, Africa, the U.S. and elsewhere. All of these valuable partners help Fonseca down new paths that continue to explore countless directions and ideas.

Fonseca and his crew have already touring worldwide in support of Yo, with more than 100 concerts since April 2012. In the midst of this ambitious schedule, he has also managed to remix a new recording by the French alternative rock band Mensch.

The live shows have been stunning audiences across Europe, North America and Japan. The Guardian said “A rousing demonstration of what can happen when a great Cuban pianist becomes obsessed with Africa. Fonseca is the finest fusion exponent in Cuba.” The Arts Desk said of Roberto, “The sense was that Fonseca has music hard-wired into every cell, pouring out of his body and soul.” The album has also received positive accolades, topping the Best of 2012 album lists in The Sunday Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, Vibrations, Telerama and after his release in the U.S.A continuing the tradition with the Best of 2013 in The Washington Post, “Songs of 2013″ on NPR.

As always with Fonseca, there are new creative worlds to explore, and new artistic bridges to build between the traditional and the modern-day. “This album unveils the beginning of a new phase more than the closure of an old one,” he says. “I want to delve deep into my roots in light of my experiences and show the diversity of my musical universe, all these ideas which I had out aside, unable to use until now.”

In 2014 Roberto Fonseca combined solo performances, robertoSOLOfonseca in France and Rusia. He briefly toured in the U.S. with a trio format and performed last summer with Mali singer Fatoumata Diawara.

From that encounter, Roberto released the new album At Home (Jazz Village).

This performance marks Roberto Fonseca's La Jolla Music Society debut

Oct
22
Sat
TWYLA THARP DANCE
Oct 22 @ 8:00 pm
TWYLA THARP DANCE @ Spreckels Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Twyla Tharp Dance
50th Anniversary Tour

Tony Award-winning choreographer and Kennedy Center Honoree Twyla Tharp celebrates fifty years of dance making with her hand-chosen, fierce band of dancers who bring her choreography to life. Turning her decades of experience into proof that time is her partner as she continues to deepen and expand the singular imagination which makes her one of the century’s most treasured artists.

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Click here to view the complete October 2016 Program Book


PROGRAM NOTES: Twyla Tharp Dance

COUNTRY DANCES

Premièred 1976 in Edinburgh, Scotland

Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Costumes: Santo Loquasto
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton
Music recorded by:
The Hired Hands,
The Kessinger Brothers,
The Skillet Lickers, Charlie Poole and
the North Carolina Ramblers,
Johnny and Albert Crockett
Dancers: Daniel Baker, Ramona Kelley, Amy Ruggiero, Kaitlyn Gilliland

Texas Quickstep (The Hired Hands)
Fifty Year Ago Waltz (The Hired Hands)
Rat Cheese Under The Hill (The Kessinger Brothers)
Cacklin’ Hen And A Rooster Too (The Skillet Lickers)
Took My Gal A-Walkin’ (Charlie Poole and The North Carolina Ramblers)
Fresno Blues (Johnny and Albert Crockett)
Alabama Jubilee (The Hired Hands)
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

BEETHOVEN OPUS 130

Premièred 2016 in Saratoga Springs, New York
Performed to String Quartet in B-flat Major, Opus 130
by Ludwig van Beethoven

Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Costumes: Norma Kamali
Lighting: Stephen Terry
Dancers: Matthew Dibble with Kaitlyn Gilliland, Ron Todorowski, Daniel Baker, Ramona Kelley, Amy Ruggiero, Reed Tankersley, Ashlee Dupré
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

BRAHMS PAGANINI

Premièred 1980 in Dayton, Ohio
Performed to Variations on a Theme by Paganini,
Opus 35
by Johannes Brahms

Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Costumes: Ralph Lauren
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton
Dancers: Reed Tankersley, Matthew Dibble, Daniel Baker, Ramona Kelley, Amy Ruggiero with Kaitlyn Gilliland

Book I Reed Tankersley Book II Matthew Dibble, Daniel Baker, Ramona Kelley, Amy Ruggiero with Kaitlyn Gilliland
Approximate Duration: 23 minutes


ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
Executive Director Jesse Huot
Company Manager Alexander Brady
Archivist Rika Okamoto
Administrative Assistant Chelsea Keys

Lighting Supervisor/Production Manager, Stage Manager Stephen Terry
Wardrobe Supervisor Sydney de Briel

Additional thanks to David Kahne, Shelley Washington, Sean Kelleher, Amy Lehman, Joe Mizrahi, Lisa Egan, Twanette Tharp, and Norma Stevens.

Country Dances shoes handcrafted by Capezio

This program was made possible by support from Pathways to Dance and the New York State Council on the Arts. The Joyce Theater Foundation’s Artist in Residence program helped realize rehearsals of this evening’s repertory.

The Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation thanks Jay Franke and David Herro, Bill and Catherine Miller, Patsy and Jeff Tarr, Stephen and Cathy Weinroth and Vicente Wolf for their generous support with special thanks to Tam O’Shaughnessy for underwriting Twyla Tharp and Three Dances.


PRELUDE 7 PM
Marcus Overton will host a conversation with Malashock Dance’s Artistic Director John Malashock, a San Diego-born-and-based dancer and choreographer who danced for many years with Twyla Tharp and was one of the original dancers on which Brahms-Paganini was created.

Twyla TharpSince graduating from Barnard College in 1963, Ms. Tharp has choreographed more than one hundred sixty works: one hundred twenty-nine dances, twelve television specials, six Hollywood movies, four full-length ballets, four Broadway shows and two figure skating routines. She received one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, nineteen honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President's Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts, the 2008 Jerome Robbins Prize, and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor. Her many grants include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1965, Ms. Tharp founded her dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance. Her dances are known for creativity, wit and technical precision coupled with a streetwise nonchalance. By combining different forms of movement – such as jazz, ballet, boxing and inventions of her own making – Ms. Tharp’s work expands the boundaries of ballet and modern dance.

In addition to choreographing for her own company, she has created dances for The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Boston Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Martha Graham Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Today, ballet and dance companies around the world continue to perform Ms. Tharp’s works.

In 1992, Ms. Tharp published her autobiography PUSH COMES TO SHOVE. She went on to write THE CREATIVE HABIT: Learn it and Use it for Life, followed by THE COLLABORATIVE HABIT: Life Lessons for Working Together.

Today, Ms. Tharp continues to create.

This performance marks Twyla Tharp Dance's La Jolla Music Society debut.

Dec
2
Fri
SDYS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Dec 2 @ 8:00 pm
SDYS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

SDYS Chamber Orchestra

Jeff Edmons, music director & conductor
Richard O’Neill, viola

Returning for the second year as resident artists through our deepening Education Partnership, La Jolla Music Society showcases the incredibly talented young musicians of SDYS’ Chamber Orchestra featuring violist Richard O’ Neill
playing Alexander Tchaikovsky’s arrangement of the Shostakovich Sinfonia for Solo Viola and Strings.

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FALLARitual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo
SHOSTAKOVICHSinfonia for Solo Viola and Strings
(arr. Tchaikovsky)
DEBUSSYClair de Lune
(Orchestrated by André Caplet)
MOZARTSymphony No. 31 in D Major, K.297 "Paris"

Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: SDYS Chamber Orchestra with Richard O'Neill, viola

by Eric Bromberger

Ritual Fire Dance from El amor brujo

MANUEL DE FALLA
Born November 23, 1876, Cádiz, Spain
Died November 14, 1946, Alta Gracia, Argentina
Approximate Duration: 4 minutes

Falla went to Paris to study in 1907 and remained there for seven years, but with the outbreak of World War I he returned to Madrid and–not surprisingly–wished to write something specifically Spanish. Through his friend Martinez Sierra, he met the Andalusian singer-dancer Pastora Imperio, and from her mother, the gypsy Rosario la Mejorana, they heard the old Andalusian gypsy tale that became the basis for a ballet entitled El amor brujo. Sierra adapted a scenario, and Falla composed the music between November 1914 and April 1915, when it was premièred in Madrid.

El amor brujo tells of the young gypsy woman Candelas who loved a passionate but dissolute gypsy, now dead. Candelas is being pursued by the handsome Carmelo, but she is haunted by the ghost of her former lover: whenever she and Carmelo are about to exchange “the perfect kiss” that will symbolize their love, the ghost appears and prevents it. Carmelo devises a plan: remembering the dead gypsy’s fondness for all beautiful young women, he asks his friend Lucia to accompany them. The ghost appears and begins to flirt with Lucia, freeing Candelas and Carmelo to exchange “the perfect kiss.” Vanquished, the ghost disappears forever and triumphant bells ring out.

The Ritual Fire Dance depicts Candelas’ final attempt to exorcise the demon of the gypsy. Midnight arrives on its twelve quiet strokes, and now Candelas dances this “fire” dance in the effort to banish the spirit of her dead lover. Swirling trills over a walking bass line lead to the famous main theme of this dance, with its characteristic triplets; the dance grows increasingly animated and ends brilliantly. Though the Ritual Fire Dance fails to chase off the dissolute ghost, it has become famous on its own and has been heard in many arrangements (it was one of Arthur Rubinstein’s most successful encore pieces).

Sinfonia for Viola and String Orchestra (arr. by Alexander Tchaikovsky of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Minor, Opus 138)

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Born September 25, 1906, St. Petersburg
Died August 9, 1975, Moscow
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

In 1923, four young string players at the Moscow Conservatory formed a quartet that would eventually become known as the Beethoven Quartet, and they quickly became good friends with the star composition student at the rival St. Petersburg Conservatory, Dmitri Shostakovich. The Beethoven Quartet’s close relation with the composer would last for over half a century, and they gave the premières of thirteen of his quartets (all but the first and last). By the late 1960s, however, the effect of time was becoming all too clear: Shostakovich suffered from debilitating illness over the final decade of his life, and the quartet lost two of its original members–second violinist Vasily Shirinsky died and violist Vadim Borisovsky retired. As a gesture of lifelong respect and gratitude, Shostakovich dedicated each of his String Quartets Nos. 11 through 14 to a different member of the quartet. He composed the String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Minor during the summer of 1970, completing it on August 10, and dedicated it to violist Borisovsky on the occasion of his seventieth birthday (Borisovsky had at that point already retired from the quartet). With its new members, the Beethoven Quartet gave the quartet several private hearings before the official première on December 13, 1970, in Leningrad.

The Thirteenth Quartet is heard at this concert in an arrangement for solo viola and string orchestra made by the Russian composer Alexander Tchaikovsky (born 1946). In this arrangement, titled Sinfonia for Viola and String Orchestra, Tchaikovsky transforms the quartet into a sort of concerto for viola and string orchestra by assigning to the solo viola the quartet’s leading melodic line, whether it was for the two violins, the viola, or the cello in the original. The effect is to re-cast Shostakovich’s quartet in a way that gives the viola a concerto-like solo part and enriches the overall sound of the original.

This music may have been written to commemorate a birthday, but there is nothing festive about it. It’s one movement is in a broad ternary form: the opening Adagio gives way to a long central episode at twice that tempo before the final section returns to the opening tempo.

Set in the dark key of B-flat minor, the Sinfonia opens with a spare viola solo marked espressivo. Gradually the other voices enter, the music rises to a dissonant outburst, and the opening section gives way to the central section, marked Doppio movimento and announced by chirping threenote patterns. These patterns of three-note attacks gradually build to a strident climax in which three-note patterns are hammered out by the entire ensemble. Then the music launches into an eerie dance that skitters along triplet rhythms and is punctuated by the sound of the players tapping their bows on their instruments. This unsettled music–wild in its hard-edged energy and strange sounds–is the most Bartókian moment in the entire cycle of Shostakovich’s quartets.

Gradually this dance winds down, and ominous trills and a recall of the three-note patterns lead to a return to the opening tempo. But now that opening music has become even darker. In the course of this closing section, for which Shostakovich mutes all the instruments, there is a long duet– murmuring and subdued–for viola and cellos, and then the cellos vanish. The final word is left to the viola, whose bleak soliloquy (sometimes set at the extreme upper limit of that instrument’s range) leads to the jolting cadence: on its final note, the viola is rejoined by the (unmuted) violins, and these instruments shriek out the concluding B-flat.

Clair de lune (orch. André Caplet)

CLAUDE DEBUSSY
Born August 22, 1862, Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Died March 25, 1918, Paris
Approximate Duration: 5 minutes

Clair de lune, Debussy’s seductive invitation into a world of moonlit possibility, has become one of his most famous compositions, so it may come as a surprise to learn that in its earliest version this music had nothing at all to do with moonlight. Debussy originally composed it around 1890 under the title Promenade sentimentale, and the 28-year-old composer intended it as one of the movements of a suite of pieces for piano. Debussy sketched that suite in 1890, but he was in no hurry to finish it–not until fifteen years later, in 1905, did he come back to these pieces, revise them, and publish the set under the title Suite bergamasque.

But there had been some important changes along the way. The movement originally titled Promenade sentimentale now had a new name, Clair de lune, which Debussy had taken from the title of a poem by Paul Verlaine. Verlaine (1844-1896) is remembered as one of the symbolist poets, that school of poetry centered in France at the end of the nineteenth century that reacted against realism and in favor of an exploration of the internal consciousness–a setting suffused with the half tones of soft moonlight was perfect for that imagination.

Debussy’s Clair de lune fully deserves its popularity. No matter how over-familiar this music may have become, Debussy’s fluid rhythms, haunting melodies, and muted, silvery colors continue to work their hold on listeners (and performers). Clair de lune has been arranged for many different instrumental combinations, and arrangements for orchestra offer a palette of sound that can evoke the subtle textures of Debussy’s music more fully than a solo piano. Clair de lune is heard at this concert in an orchestration by the French composer André Caplet (1878-1925), who is best-remembered today for his arrangements of Debussy’s piano pieces.

Symphony No. 31 in D Major, K.297 “Paris”

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Born January 27, 1756, Salzburg
Died December 5, 1791, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 20 minutes

In the years 1777-78 Mozart and his mother set out on a long trip through the musical capitals of Europe in search of a position for the young man. Mozart found no position, but the trip did let him hear the two finest orchestras in Europe: those of Mannheim and Paris. He was very impressed by the Mannheim orchestra, renowned for its virtuosity and long crescendos, but he was distinctly less impressed with the situation in Paris, where he found the orchestra subpar and the audiences shallow. The Paris orchestra was famous for its unison attacks, called there coup d’archet, but Mozart was underwhelmed. To his father back in Salzburg, he wrote: “The oxen here make such a fuss of this!–the devil!–they all begin together–just like in other places.” In Paris, Mozart was asked by Joseph LeGros, director of the Concerts Spirituels, to write a symphony, and early in June 1778 he composed a symphony tailored specifically for Paris. He wrote for the large Paris orchestra, which meant a full complement of winds (including the first appearance of clarinets in a Mozart symphony); he left out the minuet movement typical only of the Viennese symphony; and he tried to appeal to current Parisian fashions. This is most evident in Mozart’s conscious use of the coup d’archet: the first movement opens with a massive attack for full orchestra and then a brisk run up the D-major scale. This flourish, clearly aimed at Parisian taste, returns at key points throughout the movement. Scholars have noted the influence of the baroque concerto on this movement, which features themes tossed between strings and solo winds, but there is also a touch of Mannheim influence in the long crescendos. In a letter to his father, Mozart made clear just how consciously he was trying to please his audience: “Right in the middle of the first Allegro, there was a passage that I knew must please, all the hearers were quite carried away and there was a great burst of applause–but I had known, when I wrote it, what kind of effect it would make, so I brought it back again at the close–when there were shouts of Da capo.”

While the audience liked the slow movement at the première, LeGros did not and asked Mozart to rewrite it for a second performance of the symphony in August. This Mozart did, and the movement exists in two versions–as an Andantino in 6/8 and as an Andante in 3/4–but the problem now is that no one knows which is the original and which is the replacement! At the present concert, the Andantino is performed. This is songful and elegant music, and while Mozart introduces a second subject, he does not develop either of his main ideas. The scoring is somewhat unusual: after the huge orchestral effects of the first movement, Mozart uses the winds very sparingly here, and most of the thematic interest is in the strings.

The concluding Allegro returns to the manner of the opening movement and is notable for its virtuosity and brilliant effects, which include some accomplished fugal writing in the development. For the best description of this music, though, we should turn to the composer himself, who wrote to his father after the première: “as I had heard that all the last Allegros here, like the first, begin with all the instruments together, usually in unison, I began mine with the two violins alone, piano for the first eight bars–after which came a forte–this made the audience, as I expected, say ‘Ssh’ at the piano–and then came the forte–when they heard the forte they at once began to clap their hands–I went as soon as the symphony was over to the Palais Royal–I had a large ice–and I said the Rosary as I had vowed.”

On a final note, Mozart may have sneered at French tastes and consciously catered to them, but this does not mean that he undervalued this music. On the contrary: he took this symphony with him when he moved to Vienna in 1781 and performed it there several times, something he rarely did with his “old” music.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Arrive early for a pre-performance interview with Richard O’Neill hosted by Marcus Overton.

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 www.sdys.org


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 www.sdys.org


Richard-ONeillEMMY® Award Winner, two-time GRAMMY® nominee and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Richard O'Neill has appeared as soloist with the London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Euro-Asian Philharmonics, the BBC, KBS and Korean Symphony Orchestras, the Moscow and Württemburg Chamber Orchestras and Alte Musik Köln with conductors Andrew Davis, Vladimir Jurowski, Yannick Nezet-Sequin, Vassily Sinaisky, Miguel Harth-Bedoya and François Xavier Roth. As recitalist he has performed at Carnegie, Avery Fisher, Alice Tully, Kennedy Center, Wigmore, the Louvre, Salle Cortot, Madrid’s National Concert Hall, Tokyo’s International Forum and Opera City, Osaka Symphony Hall and Seoul Arts Center. A UNIVERSAL/DG recording artist, he has made eight solo albums that have sold more than 150,000 copies. An Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and resident violist of Camerata Pacifica, he frequently collaborates with the world’s greatest artists. Dedicated to the music of our time, composers Elliot Carter, John Harbison, Huang Ruo and Paul Chihara have written works dedicated to him. In his ninth season as Artistic Director of DITTO (his South Korean chamber music initiative) he has introduced tens of thousands to chamber music in South Korea and Japan and will collaborate with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica this October. The first violist to receive the Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School, he was honored with a Proclamation from the New York City Council for his achievement and contribution to the Arts. He serves as Goodwill Ambassador for the Korean Red Cross and UNICEF, runs marathons for charity and teaches at UCLA.

Richard O’Neill last performed for La Jolla Music Society in SummerFest 2014.

For more information visit www.chambermusicsociety.org

Dec
9
Fri
TAKÁCS QUARTET
Dec 9 @ 8:00 pm
TAKÁCS QUARTET @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

Takács Quartet

Recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, the Takács Quartet
returns to La Jolla Music Society to play their unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire. They bring
an all-Beethoven program featuring three quartets from different decades in chronological order, highlighting the development of Beethoven’s writing
for the quartet.

“The Takács might play Beethoven better than any other quartet in the past or the present.”
– The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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HAPPY HOUR:
Prior to the performance please join us for Happy Hour at The LOT.


BEETHOVENString Quartet in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5
BEETHOVENString Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95 "Serioso"
BEETHOVENString Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127

Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: TAKÁCS QUARTET

by Eric Bromberger

String Quartet in A Major, Opus 18, No. 5

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Born December 16, 1770, Bonn
Died March 26, 1827, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 28 minutes

Beethoven’s first string quartets, a set of six written in Vienna during the years 1798-1800, inevitably show the influence of Haydn and Mozart, who had made the form a great one. Scholars have been unanimous in believing that the fifth quartet of Beethoven’s set had a quite specific model: Mozart’s String Quartet in A Major, K.464, composed in 1785. Beethoven greatly admired this particular quartet and had copied out the last two movements as a way of studying them. Carl Czerny reported that Beethoven once took up the Mozart score and exclaimed: “That’s what I call a work! In it, Mozart was telling the world: Look what I could create if the time were right!” For his own quartet, Beethoven took both the key and general layout of Mozart’s quartet: a sonata-form first movement, a minuet movement that comes second, a theme-and-variation third movement, and a sonata-form finale that–like Mozart’s–ends quietly.

But it is unfair to Beethoven to see his Quartet in A Major as just an imitation of Mozart’s masterpiece. Though the two composers were the same age when they wrote these quartets (29), Beethoven was still feeling his way with a form Mozart had mastered, and though he may have chosen Mozart as a model, this music sounds in every measure like young Beethoven. The opening Allegro is built on two nicely-contrasted ideas–a soaring opening theme and a darker, more melodic second idea–and Beethoven asks for a repeat of both exposition and development. The opening of the minuet belongs entirely to the violins, with the second violin gracefully following and commenting on the first’s theme; the trio section–with the theme in the middle voices under the first violin’s drone–is surprisingly short.

Longest of the movements, the Andante cantabile offers five variations on the simple falling-and-rising idea announced at the beginning; particularly effective are the fugal first variation, the first violin’s staccato triplets in the second, the expressive fourth (which Beethoven marks sempre pp), and the exuberant fifth. A long coda leads to a restatement of the theme and a quiet close. The energetic and good-natured finale is in sonata (rather than the expected rondo) form. The opening melody leaps smoothly between instruments, and Beethoven offers a quiet chorale as the second theme. The writing for all four voices is extremely accomplished here, and on the energy of the opening idea the music rushes to its close, which brings a sudden and surprisingly quiet concluding chord.

String Quartet in A Major, Opus 18, No. 5
Approximate Duration: 21 minutes

Beethoven’s manuscript for the Quartet in F Minor is dated October 1810, but almost certainly he continued to work on this quartet for some years after that, and it was not published until 1816. This quartet has a nickname, “Quartetto Serioso,” that–unusually for a musical nickname–came from the composer himself. Well aware of the music’s extraordinary character, Beethoven described the quartet as having been “written for a small circle of connoisseurs and . . . never to be performed in public.” Joseph Kerman has described it as “an involved, impassioned, highly idiosyncratic piece, problematic in every one of its movements, advanced in a hundred ways” and “unmatched in Beethoven’s output for compression, exaggerated articulation, and a corresponding sense of extreme tension.” Yet this same quartet–virtually the shortest of Beethoven’s string quartets–comes from the same period as the easily accessible “Archduke” Trio, the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies, and the incidental music to Goethe’s Egmont, and this music’s extraordinary focus and tension seem sharply at odds with those scores. In fact, this quartet in many ways prefigures Beethoven’s late style and the great cycle of quartets written during his final years.

The first movement is extraordinarily compressed (it lasts barely four minutes), and it catapults listeners through an unexpected series of key relationships. The unison opening figure is almost spit out, passing through and ending in a “wrong” key and then followed by complete silence. Octave leaps and furious restatements of the opening figure lead to the swaying second subject, announced in flowing triplets by the viola. The development section of this (highly modified) sonata-form movement is quite short, treating only the opening theme, before the movement exhausts itself on fragments of that theme.

The marking of the second movement, Allegretto ma non troppo, might seem to suggest some relief, but this movement is even more closely argued than the first. The cello’s strange descending line introduces a lovely opening melody, but this quickly gives way to a long and complex fugue, its sinuous subject announced by the viola and then taken up and developed by the other voices. A quiet close (derived from the cello’s introduction) links this movement to the third, a violent fast movement marked Allegro assai vivace ma serioso. The movement is in ABABA form, the explosive opening section alternating with a chorale-like subject for the lower three voices which the first violin decorates. Once again, Beethoven takes each section into unexpected keys. The last movement has a slow introduction–Larghetto espressivo–full of the darkness that has marked the first three movements, and this leads to a blistering finale that does much to dispel the tension. In an oft-quoted remark about the arrival of this theme, American composer Randall Thompson is reported to have said: “No bottle of champagne was ever uncorked at a better moment.” In contrast, for example, to the near-contemporary Seventh Symphony, which ends in wild celebration, this quartet has an almost consciously anti-heroic close, concluding with a very fast coda that Beethoven marks simply Allegro.

Some have felt that the Quartet in F Minor is composed with the same technique as the late quartets but without their sense of spiritual elevation, and in this sense they see the present quartet as looking ahead toward Beethoven’s late style. But it is unfair to this music to regard it simply as a forerunner of another style. This quartet may well be dark, explosive, and extremely concentrated. But it should be valued for just those qualities.

String Quartet in E-flat Major, Opus 127
Approximate Duration: 37 minutes

When Russian prince Nikolai Golitsyn wrote to Beethoven in the fall of 1822 to commission three string quartets, his request met a sympathetic response: the composer had been thinking about writing string quartets for some time and promised to have the first done within a month or two. After seven years of intermittent activity he had resumed sustained composing in 1820 with a set of three piano sonatas, but other projects now intervened, and despite the prince’s frequent inquiries Beethoven had to complete the Missa Solemnis, Diabelli Variations, and Ninth Symphony before he could begin work on the first of the three quartets in the summer of 1824. This quartet–in E-flat major–was not complete until February 1825. Performed immediately by the string quartet of Ignaz Schuppanzigh, the music was a failure at its première on March 6, 1825. Furious, Beethoven quickly had it rehearsed and performed by a quartet led by Joseph Böhm. The composer attended their rehearsals and supervised their interpretation (though deaf, he could follow their performance by watching the movement of their bows). The second performance was successful, and this quartet was performed publicly at least ten more times in 1825–an extraordinary number of performances for a new work–and always to great acclaim.

That fact is important because it undercuts the notion that Beethoven’s late quartets were far ahead of their time. Certain features of the late quartets did defy quick comprehension, but this was not true of the Quartet in E-flat Major. At first glance, this is the most traditional of Beethoven’s late quartets. It has a relatively straightforward structure: a sonataform first movement, a variation-form slow movement, a scherzo in ABA form, and a dance-finale. But to reduce this music to such simplicity is to miss the extraordinary originality beneath its appealing and gentle surface.

In the first movement, Beethoven seems to set out intentionally to blur the outlines of traditional sonata form, which depends on the opposition of material. Contrast certainly seems to be implied at the beginning, which opens with a firm chordal Maestoso, but this Maestoso quickly melts into the flowing and simple main theme, marked Allegro (Beethoven further specifies that he wants this melody performed teneramente–“tenderly”–and sempre piano e dolce). The powerful Maestoso returns twice more, each time in a different key, and then drops out of the movement altogether; Beethoven builds the movement almost exclusively out of the opening melody and an equally-gentle second subject. Here is a sonata-form movement that does not drive to a powerful climax but instead remains understated throughout: the movement evaporates on a wisp of the opening Allegro theme.

Two softly-pulsing measures lead to the main theme of the Adagio, a gently-rocking and serene melody introduced by the first violin and repeated by the cello. There follow six melodic variations, each growing organically out of the previous one until the music achieves a kind of rhapsodic calm–and the original theme has been left far behind. Four sharp pizzicato chords introduce the scherzo, and these four chords then vanish, never to reappear. The fugue-like opening section, built on a dotted figure and its inversion, leads to a brief–and utterly different–trio section. In E-flat minor, this trio whips past in a blistering blur: Beethoven’s phrase markings here stretch over twenty measures at a time. Beethoven brings back the opening section, then offers a surprise at the ending by including a quick reminiscence of the trio just before the cadence.

The last movement has proven the most difficult for commentators, perhaps because of its apparent simplicity. Marked only Finale (there is no tempo indication), it opens with a four-measure introduction that launches off in the wrong direction before the true main theme appears in the first violin. Of rustic simplicity, this melody has been compared to a country-dance, and the second theme–a jaunty march-tune decorated with grace notes–preserves that atmosphere. The tunes may be innocent, but Beethoven’s treatment of them in this sonata-form movement is quite sophisticated, particularly in matters of modulation and harmony. The ending is particularly striking. At the coda Beethoven re-bars the music in 6/8, moves to C major, and speeds ahead on violin trills, chains of triplets, and shimmering textures. The very end, back in E-flat major, is calm, resounding–and perfect.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Lecture by James Chute
In the Takács Quartet’s illuminating, all-Beethoven program, we’ll hear Beethoven learning the principles of the string quartet genre in the String Quartet No. 5, expanding those principles in No. 11, and transcending them in No. 12, the first of his five celebrated late string quartets. We’ll talk about some of basics that Beethoven mastered, the rules that had been perfected by Haydn and Mozart, and how Beethoven broke them to go beyond any other composer of his era, and some would say any era, in his string quartets.

Takacs QuartetRecognized as one of the world's great ensembles, the Takács Quartet plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, combining four distinct musical personalities to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire.

In 2012, Gramophone announced that the Takács was the only string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame, along with such legendary artists as Jascha Heifetz, Leonard Bernstein and Dame Janet Baker. The ensemble also won the 2011 Award for Chamber Music and Song presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London. Based in Boulder at the University of Colorado, the Takács Quartet performs ninety concerts a year worldwide, in North America, throughout Europe as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

Appointed in 2012 as the first-ever Associate Artists at Wigmore Hall in London, the Takács will present six concerts per season there. Other European engagements include performances in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, and the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

In 2013-2014, the Takács returns to Japan and Singapore, and will also perform Bartók Cycles throughout the U.S., including performances at Ravinia, Carnegie Hall, Princeton, Kennedy Center, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Boston, and Cleveland. The Quartet recently toured in North America with pianists Marc-Andre Hamelin and Garrick Ohlsson, including concerts at New York's Lincoln Center.

The Quartet's award-winning recordings include the complete Beethoven Cycle on the Decca label. In 2005 the Late Beethoven Quartets won Disc of the Year and Chamber Award from BBC Music Magazine, a Gramophone Award and a Japanese Record Academy Award. Their recordings of the early and middle Beethoven quartets collected a Grammy, another Gramophone Award, a Chamber Music of America Award and two further awards from the Japanese Recording Academy. Of their performances and recordings of the Late Quartets, the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote "The Takács might play this repertoire better than any quartet of the past or present."

In 2006 the Takács Quartet made their first recording for Hyperion Records, of Schubert's D804 and D810. A disc featuring Brahms' Piano Quintet with Stephen Hough was released to great acclaim in November 2007 and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy. Brahms' Quartets Op. 51 and Op. 67 were released in the fall of 2008 and a disc featuring the Schumann Piano Quintet with Marc-Andre Hamelin was released in late 2009. The complete Haydn "Apponyi" Quartets, Op. 71 and 74 were subsequently released, followed in 2012 by the Schubert Quintet CD with Ralph Kirshbaum. The three Britten Quartets will be released in 2013.

The Quartet has also made sixteen recordings for the Decca label since 1988 of works by Beethoven, Bartók, Borodin, Brahms, Chausson, Dvořák, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Smetana. The ensemble's recording of the six Bartók String Quartets received the 1998 Gramophone Award for chamber music and, in 1999, was nominated for a Grammy. In addition to the Beethoven String Quartet cycle recording, the ensemble's other Decca recordings include Dvořák's String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 51 and Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81 with pianist Andreas Haefliger; Schubert's Trout Quintet with Mr. Haefliger, which was nominated in 2000 for a Grammy Award; string quartets by Smetana and Borodin; Schubert's Quartet in G Major and Notturno Piano Trio with Mr. Haefliger; the three Brahms string quartets and Piano Quintet in F Minor with pianist András Schiff; Chausson's Concerto for violin, piano and string quartet with violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet; and Mozart's String Quintets, K515 and 516 with Gyorgy Pauk, viola.

The quartet is known for innovative programming. In 2007 it performed, with Academy Award–winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Everyman" in Carnegie Hall, inspired by the Philip Roth novel. The group collaborates regularly with the Hungarian folk ensemble Muzsikas, performing a program that explores the folk sources of Bartók's music. The Takács performed a music and poetry program on a fourteen city US tour with the poet Robert Pinsky. In 2010 the Takács collaborated with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and David Lawrence Morse on a drama project that explored the composition of Beethoven's last quartets. The members of the Takács Quartet are Christoffersen Faculty Fellows at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Quartet has helped to develop a string program with a special emphasis on chamber music, where students work in a nurturing environment designed to help them develop their artistry. The Quartet's commitment to teaching is enhanced by summer residencies at the Aspen Festival and at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara. The Takács is a Visiting Quartet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

The Takács Quartet was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér, while all four were students. It first received international attention in 1977, winning First Prize and the Critics' Prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. The Quartet also won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and First Prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition in 1978 and the Bratislava Competition in 1981. The Quartet made its North American debut tour in 1982. Violinist Edward Dusinberre joined the Quartet in 1993 and violist Roger Tapping in 1995. Violist Geraldine Walther replaced Mr. Tapping in 2005. In 2001 the Takács Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight's Cross of the Republic of Hungary, and in March of 2011 each member of the Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit Commander's Cross by the President of the Republic of Hungary.

The Takács Quartet last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Revelle Chamber Music Series on January 17, 2015.

For more information visit www.takacsquartet.com

Dec
16
Fri
THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN
Dec 16 @ 8:00 pm
THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

Event Info

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
“Holiday Show”

This Holiday Season come and enjoy The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain with bells on!

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has entertained British Royalty, jammed with George Harrison, performed with Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) and rocked out at Glastonbury Festival! See and hear for yourself why their hilarious, entertaining dash through all genres of music has led to sold out shows all over the world from the Royal Albert Hall to Sydney Opera House via Carnegie Hall.

This holiday season, The Ukulele Orchestra will ask the audience to add to the music by inviting them to play ukuleles and sing from their seats in the hall.

Buy Tickets
Audience Play-Along Pieces
Great Opportunities for Ticket Holders



Program

Learn more about the Ukulele Orchestra play-a-long pieces
The Ukulele Orchestra are asking you, the audience, to add to the music and the festive merriment by inviting you to play ukuleles and sing from your seats in the hall. This page is here to make it easy for you to be prepared and practice the music in advance of the performance. Click to download sheet music and watch video tutorials for three Holiday pieces: Good King Wenceslas, Jingle Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Download
Sheet Music

Video Tutorials



Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN

HOLIDAY SHOW

Back by popular demand, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain returns for two special Holiday Shows. When The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is in town, audiences can look forward to lots of catchy, foot-stomping tunes, a bit of comedy and, at this time of year, good old-fashioned holiday cheer!

PERFORMERS
George Hinchliffe
Jonty Bankes
Peter Brooke Turner
Will Grove-White
Leisa Rea
Ben Rouse
Dave Suich
Richie Williams

The program will be announced from the stage and will include songs where the orchestra will invite you to play along.

There will be 20-minute intermission.


Artist Bio

Ukulele-Orchestra-of-Great-Britain

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, that’s the one featuring founders George Hinchliffe and Kitty Lux, has already enjoyed touring in the United States several times. For those who have not yet encountered it, the essential point is that it is an original musical ensemble featuring only ukuleles of various sizes and registers, accompanied by just the natural voices of the performers. Harsher critics have stated the opinion that the Ukulele Orchestra formed their repertoire based on any music considered inappropriate for the instrument, with a “shopping trolley dash through genres” and musical history. For this USA tour the original Ukes chose from their exploration of American folk and blues, heavy metal, bebop and jazz, punk, reggae, electronic dance music and even Chinese melodies gleaned from their 2014 tour of China.

In Europe and America the Orchestra are best known for playing versions of famous rock songs and film themes, sometimes changing these so that the expectations of the audience are subverted. Sometimes a rock song will be changed into a jazz idiom, or sometimes several songs which are known from different genres are combined in one “soup of contrasts.”

The founding brief for the group was to have fun and “not to lose money.” Incredibly, throughout its thirty year career, the group has succeeded in both not losing money AND incidentally making millions of dollars. It has been seen worldwide by audiences including members of the British Royal Family and other crowned heads of Europe, at the Houses of Parliament in London, and by many millions of television and online viewers. In one territory, the Orchestra has played to audiences which comprise sixty percent of the population!

When The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain began in 1985, the public opinion was that an orchestra consisting entirely of ukuleles in different sizes was a strange concept. This was something that attracted the founders. The Orchestra members at that time had experience of many kinds of music and yet had become tired of the conventions of the music business world as well as the conventions of performance and genre stereotyping which were prevalent at that time.

The idea was to make something fresh and entertaining, both modern and old-fashioned, in a different style which deviated from the current performance fashion. People liked the result.

Today, after many years, the Orchestra finds that wherever they go, people are now playing ukuleles, often in groups. Many of these enthusiasts tell the Orchestra that they were inspired to play the instrument after seeing and hearing this, the original Ukulele Orchestra. And now there are many ukulele orchestras, some acknowledging the pioneering work of the UOGB, others claiming ignorance of this rich history, but none of them existing before this, the original Ukulele Orchestra.

In 2015 The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will celebrate sixteen million minutes of “ukuleleation,” having been “on the road” for thirty years and counting.

While it is not normally in the nature of these artists from Britain to “blow their own trumpets,” or in this case to “pluck their own ukuleles,” it is undeniably a fact that The Ukulele Orchestra of Great

Britain has become not only a national institution, but also a worldwide phenomenon. Among their many international concerts and festival appearances, they have “Sold Right Out” twice at Carnegie Hall in New York, twice at The Royal Albert Hall in London, and also at Sydney Opera House in Australia.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has been featured in a CNN report in 2012 and featured on CBS This Morning in 2013. The Orchestra has been invited by the British Broadcasting Corporation to play live on air for BBC Radio 3 (the classical music channel) as well as for BBC Radio 1 (the rock, Electronic Dance Music and youth music channel) and live on other BBC channels many times. They have taken part in “The Electric Proms” (in a collaboration with The Kaiser Chiefs), and the BBC Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London (“The Proms”), where they were the “fastest selling late night prom in history,” selling many thousands of tickets for the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London very quickly.

At this concert the Ukulele Orchestra performed “Jerusalem” and other classics of the “Last Night of the Proms,” the celebrated 120 year old concert series which launched in 1895. Around 2,000 ukulele players in the audience joined the Orchestra in playing passages from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. A DVD of this 2010 BBC Prom concert at The Royal Albert Hall is available to order from the website, www.ukuleleorchestra.com. For those who wish to perform with the Orchestra in the comfort of their own homes, chords and words to accompany the Ukes during their 2012 Sydney Opera House concert are available on this DVD.

The Orchestra has recorded and released records, CDs and DVDs on its own independent label, as well as with CBS, Sony, Discethnique, Longman, Volume, Tachyon and The Ministry of Sound, as well as appearing on Jools Holland’s Hootenany.

Original compositions and songs by the Orchestra have been used on television on film, and in radio plays, as well as in performance by other musicians. They have collaborated with the British Film Institute in providing music for silent films and also musically with Madness, Robbie Williams, Ant & Dec, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Stefan Raab, Rainer Hersch and a full symphony orchestra performing at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Beatle George Harrison was a well known fan who established contact and played with the orchestra.

In addition to performing at theatres and concert halls, the orchestra has also packed the crowds in at rock festivals such as Glastonbury, The Big Chill, WOMAD, The Electric Picnic, and before 170,000 people in Hyde Park, as well as playing in seven cathedrals in England and Wales. The group has been commissioned to write commemorative concerts, eg. The Cecil Sharp 100 Year Memorial Concert in 2012 and The 100 Year World War One Memorial Concert in 2014 for Birmingham Town Hall.

One unique feature of this, the original Ukulele Orchestra, is that although there are many examples of collaboration, they have remained a determinedly independent concern. Relying on their own resources and an email list of tens of thousands they continue to run their own recording, publishing and to eschew mainstream advertising and record companies.

Celebrity fans include Sir Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Monty Python’s Michael Palin, Brian Eno, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, George Benson, Joe Brown and Bette Midler.

The orchestra has many “catch phrases” which audiences find entertaining. “A world tour with only hand luggage,” for example, referring to the fact that ukuleles are small instruments. Every concert from the first to the present day, has begun with the announcement: “Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, we ARE the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.” For English speakers, the stress on the word “Are” is a little amusing, suggesting as it does that the orchestra is politely explaining to someone who perhaps thought that a different group was on stage, and that in order to clear up any confusion, they are confirming that they truly are the members of the orchestra.

A typical ukulele orchestra concert will feature songs sung by each member of the orchestra so that the audience can get to know each person on stage. Often a fast piece will be followed by a slow piece in order to maintain variety, and a rock song will perhaps be followed by classical music. The concept is that if a “level field” is maintained by playing only the one kind of instrument, then all kinds of music can be played quite easily without the variety appearing to be chaotic. One important task of any musical group is maintain unity with variety, integrity with difference, many voices all working in the same direction. This orchestra is made up of performers who are different from each other, and with very different musical backgrounds, experiences and performing styles. The ukulele brings them all together. Mr Hinchliffe says that the work of the orchestra is like a pencil line drawing rather than a multi-colored painting. The palate is limited but the possibilities are endless. The ukulele in the hands of the orchestra is said to be like an iceberg; visible above the water, but with much more hidden beneath; there are spiritual dimensions which are far larger and which are not immediately seen. Within the limitations and the simplicity of the humble starting point of the orchestra, there are many possibilities for exploration and variation. It may be the case that the very nature of limitation (in this case to the sounds of the ukulele) enables wider variations to be pursued (which might seem too extreme in a less limited context). Perhaps the limitation stimulates freedom within a defined context. Too much variety could be confusing, too many limitations could become tiresomely familiar. With their combination of “unity and variety, and simultaneous individualism and collectivism” the orchestra is able to make the best of the over-riding vision as well as the individual talents and personalities in the orchestra.

Because the music is played on only ukuleles in different sizes, the conventions of any given genre might not be present. Sometimes the music sounds like folk music, sometimes, like a music without a tradition. The sounds of the instruments are not typical for most of the music played.

The arrangements of the music are specially made, often by the Director and Founder, George Hinchliffe, or by other members of the group. The focus is to bring out the spirit of the music, to be faithful to the musical notes, while actually changing the style or genre of the music by the mere fact of playing it on ukuleles. Audiences have reported that the music of the orchestra is variously, moving, funny, stomping, thought provoking, surprising, or inducing the audience by sheer infectious spirit to “tap their toes” along with the beat.

Fun facts: The orchestra was asked to provide music for broadcasts about the World Cup. The orchestra has played WOMAD festivals in two continents and in two different centuries. The orchestra has performed many times at London’s 100 Club, joining the venue’s history with The Sex Pistols, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Glen Miller, BB King, Muddy Waters, The Who, The Kinks, Metallica and The Rolling Stones. The orchestra maintains its independence, in relation to record companies, management, publishing and touring and has its own CDs, DVDs, mailing list of tens of thousands, Youtube channel etc. The orchestra has been a crossword clue in the New Musical Express, the newspaper which was for many years the key publication for popular music in the UK. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall in New York on more than one occasion, the orchestra has performed at The Carnegie Hall in Shetland, the islands midway between Scotland and Norway. The orchestra has performed in the arctic, at the Polar Jazz Festival in Svalbard, but also in Tasmania, North and South Islands of New Zealand, and on both the east and west coasts of Australia. The performers in The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are: George Hinchliffe, Jonty Bankes, Peter Brooke Turner, Will Grove-White, Leisa Rea, Dave Suich, and Richie Williams

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain last performed for La Jolla Music Society as a Special Event on January 23, 2015.

For more information visit www.ukuleleorchestra.com


 

Dec
17
Sat
THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN
Dec 17 @ 8:00 pm
THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
“Holiday Show”

This Holiday Season come and enjoy The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain with bells on!

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has entertained British Royalty, jammed with George Harrison, performed with Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) and rocked out at Glastonbury Festival! See and hear for yourself why their hilarious, entertaining dash through all genres of music has led to sold out shows all over the world from the Royal Albert Hall to Sydney Opera House via Carnegie Hall.

This holiday season, The Ukulele Orchestra will ask the audience to add to the music by inviting them to play ukuleles and sing from their seats in the hall.

Buy Tickets
 
Audience Play-Along Pieces
Great Opportunities for Ticket Holders

Learn more about the Ukulele Orchestra play-a-long pieces
The Ukulele Orchestra are asking you, the audience, to add to the music and the festive merriment by inviting you to play ukuleles and sing from your seats in the hall. This page is here to make it easy for you to be prepared and practice the music in advance of the performance. Click to download sheet music and watch video tutorials for three Holiday pieces: Good King Wenceslas, Jingle Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Download
Sheet Music

Video Tutorials



Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN

HOLIDAY SHOW

Back by popular demand, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain returns for two special Holiday Shows. When The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is in town, audiences can look forward to lots of catchy, foot-stomping tunes, a bit of comedy and, at this time of year, good old-fashioned holiday cheer!

PERFORMERS
George Hinchliffe
Jonty Bankes
Peter Brooke Turner
Will Grove-White
Leisa Rea
Ben Rouse
Dave Suich
Richie Williams

The program will be announced from the stage and will include songs where the orchestra will invite you to play along.

There will be 20-minute intermission.

Ukulele-Orchestra-of-Great-Britain

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, that’s the one featuring founders George Hinchliffe and Kitty Lux, has already enjoyed touring in the United States several times. For those who have not yet encountered it, the essential point is that it is an original musical ensemble featuring only ukuleles of various sizes and registers, accompanied by just the natural voices of the performers. Harsher critics have stated the opinion that the Ukulele Orchestra formed their repertoire based on any music considered inappropriate for the instrument, with a “shopping trolley dash through genres” and musical history. For this USA tour the original Ukes chose from their exploration of American folk and blues, heavy metal, bebop and jazz, punk, reggae, electronic dance music and even Chinese melodies gleaned from their 2014 tour of China.

In Europe and America the Orchestra are best known for playing versions of famous rock songs and film themes, sometimes changing these so that the expectations of the audience are subverted. Sometimes a rock song will be changed into a jazz idiom, or sometimes several songs which are known from different genres are combined in one “soup of contrasts.”

The founding brief for the group was to have fun and “not to lose money.” Incredibly, throughout its thirty year career, the group has succeeded in both not losing money AND incidentally making millions of dollars. It has been seen worldwide by audiences including members of the British Royal Family and other crowned heads of Europe, at the Houses of Parliament in London, and by many millions of television and online viewers. In one territory, the Orchestra has played to audiences which comprise sixty percent of the population!

When The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain began in 1985, the public opinion was that an orchestra consisting entirely of ukuleles in different sizes was a strange concept. This was something that attracted the founders. The Orchestra members at that time had experience of many kinds of music and yet had become tired of the conventions of the music business world as well as the conventions of performance and genre stereotyping which were prevalent at that time.

The idea was to make something fresh and entertaining, both modern and old-fashioned, in a different style which deviated from the current performance fashion. People liked the result.

Today, after many years, the Orchestra finds that wherever they go, people are now playing ukuleles, often in groups. Many of these enthusiasts tell the Orchestra that they were inspired to play the instrument after seeing and hearing this, the original Ukulele Orchestra. And now there are many ukulele orchestras, some acknowledging the pioneering work of the UOGB, others claiming ignorance of this rich history, but none of them existing before this, the original Ukulele Orchestra.

In 2015 The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will celebrate sixteen million minutes of “ukuleleation,” having been “on the road” for thirty years and counting.

While it is not normally in the nature of these artists from Britain to “blow their own trumpets,” or in this case to “pluck their own ukuleles,” it is undeniably a fact that The Ukulele Orchestra of Great

Britain has become not only a national institution, but also a worldwide phenomenon. Among their many international concerts and festival appearances, they have “Sold Right Out” twice at Carnegie Hall in New York, twice at The Royal Albert Hall in London, and also at Sydney Opera House in Australia.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has been featured in a CNN report in 2012 and featured on CBS This Morning in 2013. The Orchestra has been invited by the British Broadcasting Corporation to play live on air for BBC Radio 3 (the classical music channel) as well as for BBC Radio 1 (the rock, Electronic Dance Music and youth music channel) and live on other BBC channels many times. They have taken part in “The Electric Proms” (in a collaboration with The Kaiser Chiefs), and the BBC Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London (“The Proms”), where they were the “fastest selling late night prom in history,” selling many thousands of tickets for the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London very quickly.

At this concert the Ukulele Orchestra performed “Jerusalem” and other classics of the “Last Night of the Proms,” the celebrated 120 year old concert series which launched in 1895. Around 2,000 ukulele players in the audience joined the Orchestra in playing passages from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. A DVD of this 2010 BBC Prom concert at The Royal Albert Hall is available to order from the website, www.ukuleleorchestra.com. For those who wish to perform with the Orchestra in the comfort of their own homes, chords and words to accompany the Ukes during their 2012 Sydney Opera House concert are available on this DVD.

The Orchestra has recorded and released records, CDs and DVDs on its own independent label, as well as with CBS, Sony, Discethnique, Longman, Volume, Tachyon and The Ministry of Sound, as well as appearing on Jools Holland’s Hootenany.

Original compositions and songs by the Orchestra have been used on television on film, and in radio plays, as well as in performance by other musicians. They have collaborated with the British Film Institute in providing music for silent films and also musically with Madness, Robbie Williams, Ant & Dec, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Stefan Raab, Rainer Hersch and a full symphony orchestra performing at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Beatle George Harrison was a well known fan who established contact and played with the orchestra.

In addition to performing at theatres and concert halls, the orchestra has also packed the crowds in at rock festivals such as Glastonbury, The Big Chill, WOMAD, The Electric Picnic, and before 170,000 people in Hyde Park, as well as playing in seven cathedrals in England and Wales. The group has been commissioned to write commemorative concerts, eg. The Cecil Sharp 100 Year Memorial Concert in 2012 and The 100 Year World War One Memorial Concert in 2014 for Birmingham Town Hall.

One unique feature of this, the original Ukulele Orchestra, is that although there are many examples of collaboration, they have remained a determinedly independent concern. Relying on their own resources and an email list of tens of thousands they continue to run their own recording, publishing and to eschew mainstream advertising and record companies.

Celebrity fans include Sir Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Monty Python’s Michael Palin, Brian Eno, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, George Benson, Joe Brown and Bette Midler.

The orchestra has many “catch phrases” which audiences find entertaining. “A world tour with only hand luggage,” for example, referring to the fact that ukuleles are small instruments. Every concert from the first to the present day, has begun with the announcement: “Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, we ARE the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.” For English speakers, the stress on the word “Are” is a little amusing, suggesting as it does that the orchestra is politely explaining to someone who perhaps thought that a different group was on stage, and that in order to clear up any confusion, they are confirming that they truly are the members of the orchestra.

A typical ukulele orchestra concert will feature songs sung by each member of the orchestra so that the audience can get to know each person on stage. Often a fast piece will be followed by a slow piece in order to maintain variety, and a rock song will perhaps be followed by classical music. The concept is that if a “level field” is maintained by playing only the one kind of instrument, then all kinds of music can be played quite easily without the variety appearing to be chaotic. One important task of any musical group is maintain unity with variety, integrity with difference, many voices all working in the same direction. This orchestra is made up of performers who are different from each other, and with very different musical backgrounds, experiences and performing styles. The ukulele brings them all together. Mr Hinchliffe says that the work of the orchestra is like a pencil line drawing rather than a multi-colored painting. The palate is limited but the possibilities are endless. The ukulele in the hands of the orchestra is said to be like an iceberg; visible above the water, but with much more hidden beneath; there are spiritual dimensions which are far larger and which are not immediately seen. Within the limitations and the simplicity of the humble starting point of the orchestra, there are many possibilities for exploration and variation. It may be the case that the very nature of limitation (in this case to the sounds of the ukulele) enables wider variations to be pursued (which might seem too extreme in a less limited context). Perhaps the limitation stimulates freedom within a defined context. Too much variety could be confusing, too many limitations could become tiresomely familiar. With their combination of “unity and variety, and simultaneous individualism and collectivism” the orchestra is able to make the best of the over-riding vision as well as the individual talents and personalities in the orchestra.

Because the music is played on only ukuleles in different sizes, the conventions of any given genre might not be present. Sometimes the music sounds like folk music, sometimes, like a music without a tradition. The sounds of the instruments are not typical for most of the music played.

The arrangements of the music are specially made, often by the Director and Founder, George Hinchliffe, or by other members of the group. The focus is to bring out the spirit of the music, to be faithful to the musical notes, while actually changing the style or genre of the music by the mere fact of playing it on ukuleles. Audiences have reported that the music of the orchestra is variously, moving, funny, stomping, thought provoking, surprising, or inducing the audience by sheer infectious spirit to “tap their toes” along with the beat.

Fun facts: The orchestra was asked to provide music for broadcasts about the World Cup. The orchestra has played WOMAD festivals in two continents and in two different centuries. The orchestra has performed many times at London’s 100 Club, joining the venue’s history with The Sex Pistols, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Glen Miller, BB King, Muddy Waters, The Who, The Kinks, Metallica and The Rolling Stones. The orchestra maintains its independence, in relation to record companies, management, publishing and touring and has its own CDs, DVDs, mailing list of tens of thousands, Youtube channel etc. The orchestra has been a crossword clue in the New Musical Express, the newspaper which was for many years the key publication for popular music in the UK. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall in New York on more than one occasion, the orchestra has performed at The Carnegie Hall in Shetland, the islands midway between Scotland and Norway. The orchestra has performed in the arctic, at the Polar Jazz Festival in Svalbard, but also in Tasmania, North and South Islands of New Zealand, and on both the east and west coasts of Australia. The performers in The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are: George Hinchliffe, Jonty Bankes, Peter Brooke Turner, Will Grove-White, Leisa Rea, Dave Suich, and Richie Williams

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain last performed for La Jolla Music Society as a Special Event on January 23, 2015.

For more information visit www.ukuleleorchestra.com

Jan
20
Fri
KRONOS QUARTET
Jan 20 @ 8:00 pm
KRONOS QUARTET @ MCASD Sherwood Auditorium | San Diego | California | United States

Kronos Quartet

Synonymous with musical innovation, the Kronos Quartet is known for its unique artistic vision and fearless dedication to experimentation. For more than 40 years, this Grammy® Award-winning ensemble has been at the forefront of contemporary classical music, building an eclectic repertoire for string quartet through its collaborations with contemporary composers and genre-defying artists. For their La Jolla Music Society debut, Kronos Quartet bring a program of contemporary works by Ali-Zadeh, Terry Riley, Sofia Gubaidulina, Garth Knox and Wu Man, some of which were written especially for them.

Buy Tickets

RESTAURANT NIGHT:
Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at The MED at La Valencia Hotel.


FRABGHIZ ALI-ZADEHRəqs (Dance)
Composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire
NICOLE LIZEÉDeath to Kosmische
N. RAJAMDadra in Raga Bhairavi (arr. Reena Esmail)
TERRY RILEYOne Earth, One People, One Love from Sun Rings
TANYA TAGAQSivunittini (arr. Jacob Garchik)
Composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire
SOFIA GUBAIDULINAQuartet No. 4
GARTH KNOXSelections from Satellites:
I. Geostationary
II. Dimensions
Composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire
WU MAN
(arr. Danny Clay)
Selections from Four Chinese Paintings:
III. Ancient Echo
IV. Silk and Bamboo
Composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire
ALEXANDRA VREBALOVMy Desert, My Rose
Composed for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire

LISTEN!



Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: Kronos Quartet

by Eric Bromberger

FIFTY FOR THE FUTURE Franghiz Ali-Zadeh’s Rǝqs (Dance), Tanya Tagaq’s Sivunittinni, Garth Knox’s Satellites, Wu Man’s Four Chinese Paintings and Aleksandra Vrebalov’s My Desert, My Rose were commissioned as part of the Kronos Performing Arts Association’s Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, which is made possible by a group of adventurous partners, including Carnegie Hall and many others..

Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association launched, in the 2015/16 season, an exciting new commissioning initiative—Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. Fifty for the Future will commission 50 new works—10 per year for five years— devoted to contemporary approaches to the quartet and designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals. The works will be created by an eclectic group of composers—25 men and 25 women. Kronos will première each piece and create companion digital materials, including scores, recordings, and performance notes, which will be distributed online for free. Kronos’ Fifty for the Future will present string quartet music as a living art form. Kronos, Carnegie Hall, and an adventurous list of project partners join forces to support this exciting new commissioning, performance, education, and legacy project of unprecedented scope and potential impact.

Rǝqs (Dance)

FRANGHIZ ALI-ZADEH
Born 1947, Baku, Azerbaijan

Composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh was born in Azerbaijan,a republic of the Soviet States. She first came to prominence as a composer and performer while still a student of the celebrated composer Kara Karayev. Ali-Zadeh is highly regarded for her creativity and distinctive style. Her compositions draw from the vocabulary of modern European classical music, including the Second Viennese School, and incorporate the sounds of mugham (the main modal unit of Arabic music), music traditional to Azerbaijan.

About Rǝqs, Ali-Zadeh writes:

Rǝqs means ‘dance’ in Azerbaijani as well as in all other Turkic languages. In Azerbaijan, many different dances have existed since time immemorial: for men and women, heroic and lyric, fast and slow. And the tradition of accompanying all important life events with all kinds of dances has been preserved to the present day: engagements and weddings, harvest and farewells, birthdays and even dates of death. There are also burial dances that accompany the farewell to the deceased person. In this respect, the dance tradition remains very strong and current in Azerbaijan today, especially in rural areas. In my new piece for the Kronos Quartet, I have attempted to reflect some of the rhythms and configurations of Azerbaijani dances.”

Death to Kosmische

NICOLE LIZÉE
Born 1947, Baku, AzerbaijanBorn 1973, Gravelbourg, Canada

Nicole Lizée is a composer, sound artist and keyboardistbased in Montreal, Quebec. Her compositions range from works for large ensemble and solo turntablist featuring DJ techniques fully notated and integrated into a concert music setting, to other unorthodox instrument combinations that include the Atari 2600 video game console, Simon and Merlin handheld games, and karaoke tapes.

About Death to Kosmische, Lizée writes:

Death to Kosmische is a work that reflects my fascination with the notion of musical hauntology and the residual perception of music, as well as my love/hate relationship with the idea of genres. The musical elements of the piece could be construed as the faded and twisted remnants of the Kosmische style of electronic music. To do this, I have incorporated two archaic pieces of music technology (the Stylophone and the Omnichord) and have presented them through the gauze of echoes and reverberation, as well as through imitations of this technology as played by the strings. I think of the work as both a distillation and an expansion of one or several memories of music that are irrevocably altered by the impermanence of the mind. Only ghosts remain.”

Nicole Lizée’s Death to Kosmische was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by Margaret Dorfman and the Ralph I. Dorfman Family Fund.

Dadra in Raga Bhairavi (arr. Reena Esmail)

N. RAJAM
Born 1938, Chennai, India

Indian-American composer, Reena Esmail is a graduate of Juilliard and the Yale School of Music, and a 2011–12 Fulbright grantee to India. Her work draws elements from both Western and Hindustani (North Indian) classical music.

About Dadra in Raga Bhairavi, Esmail writes:

“Hindustani (North Indian) violinist N. Rajam occupies a rare and unique position in Indian music. While initially trained as a Carnatic (South Indian) violinist, she later adapted Carnatic violin technique to the performance of Hindustani music. N. Rajam plays in what is called the gakayi ang, the singing style, having trained on her instrument with such vocal legends as Omkarnath Thakur. Her melodies are direct and yet subtle: they seem, at once, guileless and ephemeral.

“This arrangement of N. Rajam’s Dadra in Raga Bhairavi sets her improvised violin solo into the medium of string quartet. Raga Bhairavi, normally rendered in the late morning hours, is often used throughout the day in its semi classical form (as heard here) in shorter, lighter pieces that come towards the end of a Hindustani classical performance. The metric cycle, Dadra, is also characteristic of a lighter piece of music. In this arrangement, the Dadra taal (metric cycle) is rendered on the body of the cello, as it imitates the strokes of the tabla (Hindustani percussion).”

Reena Esmail’s arrangement of N. Rajam’s Dadra in Raga Bhairavi was commissioned for Kronos Quartet by the David Harrington Research & Development Fund.

One Earth, One People, One Love from Sun Rings

TERRY RILEY
Born 1935, Colfax, California

Terry Riley’s evening-length composition Sun Rings includes sounds harvested from our solar system—the crackling of solar winds, the whistling of deep-space lightning, and other cosmic events. The NASA Art Program offered Kronos a commission to take these tones from outer space and create a musical work from them. Kronos’ David Harrington turned to longtime collaborator Riley to serve as the project’s composer.

The Sun Rings project was nearly de-railed by the tragic events of September 11, 2001, after which all parties concerned questioned Sun Rings’ relevance in the wake of the terrorist attacks and the impending war in Afghanistan. But then, as the Los Angeles Times put it: “Riley heard poet and novelist Alice Walker on the radio talking about how she had made up a September 11 mantra—‘One Earth, One People, One Love.’ It suddenly occurred to him that contemplating outer space could be a way to put the problems on Earth into perspective.” Alice Walker’s mantra provided a title and focal point for Sun Rings’ concluding movement. Furthermore, the sound of Walker’s voice intoning the words “One Earth, One People, One Love” became an integral component of the movement itself.

As Riley describes his fully realized, post-September 11 conception of Sun Rings: “This work is largely about humans as they reach out from Earth to gain an awareness of their solar system neighborhood….Space is surely the realm of dreams and imagination and a fertile feeding ground for poets and musicians. Do the stars welcome us into their realms? I think so or we would not have made it this far. Do they wish us to come in Peace? I am sure of it.”

Sun Rings was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by the NASA Art Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Multi-Arts Production Fund, Hancher Auditorium/University of Iowa, Society for the Performing Arts, Eclectic Orange Festival/Philharmonic Society of Orange County, SFJAZZ, Barbican, London, U.K., and University of Texas Performing Arts Center, Austin (with the support of the Topfer Endowment for Performing Arts). Additional contributions from Stephen K. Cassidy, Margaret Lyon, Greg G. Minshall, and David A. and Evelyne T. Lennette made this work possible

Sivunittinni (arr. Jacob Garchik)

TANYA TAGAQ
Born 1975, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada

Tanya Tagaq’s unique vocal expression is rooted in Inuit throat singing, but her music has as much to do with electronica, industrial and metal influences as it does with traditional culture. Her contribution to Kronos Quartet’s Fifty for the Future project marks another chapter in a longstanding creative association with the group. Appearances with Kronos have included a performance at the Big Ears Festival (Knoxville, Tennessee) in 2015 and work on the album Tundra Songs. Tagaq’s album Animism won the Polaris Music Prize in 2014 and a Juno Award in 2015. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from her alma mater, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax.

About Sivunittinni, Tagaq writes:

Sivunittinni, or ‘the future ones,’ comes from a part of a poem I wrote for my album, and is the perfect title for this piece. My hope is to bring a little bit of the land to future musicians through this piece. There’s a disconnect in the human condition, a disconnect from nature, and it has caused a great deal of social anxiety and fear, as well as a lack of true meaning of health, and a lack of a relationship with what life is, so maybe this piece can be a little bit of a wake-up.

“Working with the Kronos Quartet has been an honour. We have a symbiosis that allows a lot of growth musically. They teach me so much, I can only hope to reciprocate. Kronos has gifted me the opportunity to take the sounds that live in my body and translate them into the body of instruments. This means so much because the world changes very quickly, and documenting allows future musicians to glean inspiration from our output.”

String Quartet No. 4

SOFIA GUBAIDULINA
Born 1931, Chistopol, Soviet Union

Sofia Gubaidulina was born in Chistopol in the Tatar Republic of the Soviet Union. Until 1992, she lived in Moscow. Since then, she has made her primary residence in Germany, outside Hamburg. Gubaidulina’s compositional interests have been stimulated by the tactile exploration and improvisation with rare Russian, Caucasian, and Asian folk and ritual instruments collected by the “Astreia” ensemble, of which she was a co-founder.

Of String Quartet No. 4, Gubaidulina writes:

“What interested me especially with this piece was how the ‘real’ arises from the ‘unreal’: the ‘real’ normal play of arco or pizzicato arising from the ‘unreal’ transparent sounds of rubber balls on the strings; the ‘real’ on-stage playing of the quartet arising from the ‘unreal’ playing by the same musicians on a pre-recorded tape; the ‘real’ colored lights arising from the ‘unreal’ white and black (white and black, after all, represent the absence of light; color becomes ‘unreal’ within them).

“As such, three trinities unfold: the sound of the quartet and its two recorded hypostases; the real form and its two recorded satellites; and the creative reality of the play of light and its two unreal protagonists of complete light and complete darkness.

“All the details of the piece—both its material essence and its compositional design—are derived from the basic idea that ‘real genuine’ is born of the ‘unreal artificial’ (and not the reverse). For me, this idea was best expressed in T. S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets.’ I would be pleased if my composition were to be heard and perceived as a musical response to the creative world of that great poet.”

Sofia Gubaidulina’s String Quartet No. 4 was commissioned for Kronos by Mrs. Ralph I. Dorfman, the Barbican (London), and Théâtre de la Ville (Paris). Kronos’ recording of String Quartet No. 4 can be found on the Nonesuch recordings Night Prayers and Kronos Quartet: 25 Years.

Satellites

GARTH KNOX
Born 1956, Dublin, Ireland

Garth Knox is one of today’s leading performers of contemporary music, and his formative experience as a member of Pierre Boulez’s Ensemble InterContemporain and then as violist of the Arditti Quartet has given him a very comprehensive grasp of new music. Stimulated by the practical experience of working on a personal level with composers such as Boulez, Ligeti, Berio, Xenakis, and many others, he channels and expands this energy when writing his own music.

Tonight’s performance features the first and third movements of Satellites, about which Knox writes:

“In space, the seemingly simple idea of standing still becomes a complex notion, demanding great precision and enormous effort, and is achievable only by travelling at great speed. In ‘Geostationary’, I wanted to capture this paradox in music, with always at least one instrument (usually the viola) in perpetual mechanical motion while the violins try to float their static melody, which never succeeds in leaving the starting note behind and falls back each time into the vacuum. At regular intervals their stationary orbit sweeps our four astronauts through a meteor shower where they are bombarded by high-energy micro-particles scattering in every direction.

“‘Dimensions’ deals with the many possible dimensions which surround us, represented by the physical movements of the bow through space. In the first dimension, only vertical movement is possible. In the second, only horizontal movement along the string is possible. Then only circular motion, then alternating between the two sides of the bow (the stick and the hair). The fun really starts when we begin to mix the dimensions, slipping from one to another, and the piece builds to a climax of spectacular bow techniques including the ‘whip’ and the ‘helicopter’, producing a huge range of otherworldly sounds.”

Four Chinese Paintings (arr. Danny Clay)

WU MAN
Born 1963, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Grammy® Award– nominated musician Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist, educator, and composer giving her lute-like instrument—which has a history of over 2,000 years in China—a new role in both traditional and contemporary music.

Tonight’s performance features two final movements of Four Chinese Paintings, about which Wu Man writes:

“After two decades of collaborating with the Kronos Quartet, I am finally beginning to understand Western string instruments. With the group’s encouragement and support, I was able to write this—my first composition for string quartet.

Four Chinese Paintings is a suite consisting of four short pieces. In traditional Chinese music, there is often a poetic title that serves as a prompt foundation for musical content and style. I decided to continue this traditional form in this piece by presenting four traditional Chinese paintings.

“The inspiration for these paintings came from several styles of Chinese folk music, including Uyghur music (western China, border of Central Asia) and tea-house music from my hometown of Hangzhou. My wish is for the audience to experience—to ‘see’—the Chinese landscapes, and to hear each of the four stories in their local dialects. More important, listeners will experience Chinese culture.

“Writing a piece for string quartet was a great challenge for me. Though I have written and improvised countless works for the pipa, composing for Western string instruments was a brand new experience. My creative process began with improvising on the pipa, building layer upon layer until I had all four instrumental parts composed. I then worked with Danny Clay to arrange the piece.

“I’d like to thank Kronos for their trust and encouragement, for letting me be a part of their Fifty for the Future project, and for giving me this opportunity to share my musical culture with young string quartets around the world!”

My Desert, My Rose

ALEKSANDRA VREBALOV
Born 1970, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia

Aleksandra Vrebalov, a native of the former Yugoslavia, left Serbia in 1995 and now lives in New York City. She has written more than 60 works, ranging from concert music, to opera and modern dance, to music for film. Her works have been commissioned and/or performed by the Kronos Quartet, Serbian National Theater, Carnegie Hall, Moravian Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic and Providence Festival Ballet.

About My Desert, My Rose, Vrebalov writes:

My Desert, My Rose consists of a series of patterns open in length, meter, tempo, and dynamics, different for each performer. The unfolding of the piece is almost entirely left to each performer’s sensibility and responsiveness to the parts of other members of the group. Instinct and precision are each equally important in the performance of the piece. The patterns are (notated as) suggested rather than fixed musical lines, so the flow and the length of the piece are unique to each performance. The lines merge and align to separate and then meet again, each time in a more concrete and tighter way. The piece ends in a metric unison, like a seemingly coincidental meeting of the lines predestined to reunite. It is like a journey of four characters that start in distinctly different places, who, after long searching and occasional, brief meeting points, end up in the same space, time, language.

“The writing of this piece, in a form as open and as tightly coordinated at the same time, was possible thanks to 20 years of exposure to rehearsal and performance habits of the Kronos Quartet, a group for which I have written 13 out of 14 of my pieces involving string quartet.”


FOR THE KRONOS QUARTET/KRONOS PERFORMING ARTS ASSOCIATION:
Managing Director Janet Cowperthwaite
Artistic Administrator Sidney Chen
Development Manager Mason Dille
Production & Tour Associate Sarah Donahue
Development Associate Lauren Frankel
Sound Designer Scott Fraser
Communications Manager Sasha Hnatkovich
Production & Artistic Services Director Gregory T. Kuhn
Communications & Marketing Associate Reshena Liao
Office Manager Nikolás McConnie-Saad
Strategic Initiatives Director Kären Nagy
Business Operations Manager Lucinda Toy

PRELUDE 7 PM
Lecture by James Chute
It’s hard to think of a greater contrast to the Takács Quartet’s series-opening all-Beethoven concert than this extraordinary program by the Kronos Quartet. Encompassing nine works by composers from Ireland to Azerbaijan to China (by way of Escondido), many of them women, all living in the 21st century, using sources ranging from folk song (composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh) to “MTV videos, rave culture, Hitchcock…” (composer Nicole Lizée), this program promises a journey in every sense of the word. We’ll explore some of the common elements between these diverse composers, and in the process confront a more basic question: What makes music, music?

Kronos QuartetFor more than 40 years, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 50 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 850 works and arrangements for string quartet. A Grammy winner, Kronos is also the only recipient of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize.

Since 1973, Kronos has built a compellingly eclectic repertoire for string quartet, performing and recording works by 20th-century masters (Bartók, Webern, Schnittke), contemporary composers (John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Aleksandra Vrebalov), jazz legends (Ornette Coleman, Maria Schneider, Thelonious Monk), rock artists (guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, Brazilian electronica artist Amon Tobin, Icelandic group Sigur Rós), and artists who defy genre (performance artist Laurie Anderson, composer/sound sculptor/inventor Trimpin, and singer-songwriter/poet Patti Smith).

Integral to Kronos’ work is a series of long-running, in-depth collaborations with many of the world’s foremost composers, including: “Father of Minimalism” Terry Riley, on projects such as the NASA-commissioned Sun Rings (2002) and The Serquent Risadome (2014); Philip Glass, including an all-Glass CD in 1995 and the premiere of String Quartet No. 6 in 2013; Azerbaijan’s Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, featured on the 2005 CD Mugam Sayagi; Steve Reich, including Kronos’ recording of the Grammy-winning composition Different Trains (1989) and WTC 9/11 (2011); and many more.

Kronos has also collaborated with performers from around the world, including the Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man; Azeri vocalist Alim Qasimov, legendary Bollywood “playback singer” Asha Bhosle; Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq; and the Romanian gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks. Kronos has also performed live and/or recorded with artists such as Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, Zakir Hussain, Rokia Traoré, Tom Waits, Rhiannon Giddens, Howard Zinn, Betty Carter, David Bowie, and rock bands The National, Nine Inch Nails, and Sigur Rós. In dance, the famed choreographers Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Eiko & Koma, and Paul Lightfoot and Sol León (Nederlands Dans Theater) have created pieces with Kronos’ music.

Kronos’ work has been featured prominently in film, including two recent Academy Award–nominated documentaries: the AIDS-themed How to Survive a Plague (2012) and Dirty Wars (2013), an exposé of covert warfare. Kronos also recorded full scores by Philip Glass (for Mishima and Dracula) and by Clint Mansell (Noah, The Fountain, and Requiem for a Dream) and has contributed music to 21 Grams, Heat, and other films.

The quartet tours extensively each year, appearing in concert halls, clubs, and festivals including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Big Ears, BAM Next Wave Festival, the Barbican in London, WOMAD, UCLA’s Royce Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Shanghai Concert Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. Kronos is equally prolific and wide-ranging on recordings, including the Nonesuch releases Pieces of Africa (1992), a showcase of African-born composers that simultaneously topped Billboard’s Classical and World Music lists; Nuevo (2002), a Grammy- and Latin Grammy–nominated celebration of Mexican culture; and the 2004 Grammy-winner, Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite, featuring renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw. Among the group’s recent releases are Aheym: Kronos Quartet Plays Music by Bryce Dessner (Anti-, 2013) and two 2014 Nonesuch releases: Kronos Explorer Series, a five-CD retrospective boxed set; and the single-disc A Thousand Thoughts, featuring mostly unreleased recordings from throughout Kronos’ career. 2015 brought the release of Tundra Songs by Derek Charke as well as a boxed set of Terry Riley’s music written for and performed by Kronos. Music publishers Boosey & Hawkes and Kronos have released two editions of Kronos Collection sheet music: Volume 1 (2006) and the new Volume 2 (2014), featuring six Kronos-commissioned arrangements by composer Osvaldo Golijov.

With a staff of 11 based in San Francisco, the non-profit Kronos Performing Arts Association (KPAA) manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert toursand home-season performances, and educational program. KPAA’s Kronos: Under 30 Project, features a unique commissioning and residency program for composers under age 30. KRONOS PRESENTS is a new presenting program showcasing Kronos’ commissioned works, artistic projects, and musical collaborations through an annual festival, education and community activities, and other events in the Bay Area and beyond.

In 2015 KPAA launched a new commissioning and education initiative – Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire. With Carnegie Hall as lead partner, KPAA is commissioning 50 new works – by 5 women and 5 men each year for five years – devoted to contemporary approaches to the quartet and designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals. The quartet will premiere each piece and create companion materials, including scores and parts, recordings, videos, performance notes, and composer interviews, to be distributed online for free. Through this model, Kronos’ Fifty for the Future will providing young musicians with both an indispensable library of learning and a blueprint for their own future collaborations with composers. Kronos, Carnegie Hall, and an adventurous list of project partners that includes presenters, academic institutions, foundations and individuals, have joined forces to support this exciting new initiative of unprecedented scope and potential impact.

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

Jan
25
Wed
PKF – PRAGUE PHILHARMONIA
Jan 25 @ 8:00 pm
PKF - PRAGUE PHILHARMONIA @ Jacobs Music Center-Copley Symphony Hall | San Diego | California | United States

PKF – Prague Philharmonia

Emmanuel Villaume, music director
Gautier Capuçon, cello

Making their La Jolla Music Society debut, PKF – Prague Philharmonia ranks among the most respected Czech orchestras in Europe and around the world.

Lead by Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, PKF – Prague Philharmonia bring a Czech-centric program including Smetana’s popular The Moldau from Má vlast (“My homeland,”) and Dvořák’s dramatic Symphony No. 8 alongside his evocative and passionate Cello Concerto, with French cellist Gautier Capuçon, considered to one of the greatest works of the cello repertoire.

Buy Tickets

SMETANAThe Moldau (Vltava)
DVOŘÁKConcerto in B Minor for Violoncello and Orchestra, Op. 104
DVOŘÁKSymphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88

Click here to view the complete December 2016 - January 2017 Program Book

PROGRAM NOTES: PKF - Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

by Eric Bromberger

The Moldau (Vltava)

BEDŘICH SMETANA
Born March 2, 1824, Litomyšl, Czech Republic
Died May 12, 1884, Prague
Approximate Duration: 12 minutes

Two quite different forces combined to help create Smetana’s Moldau, one of the most popular orchestral works ever written. The first of these was Smetana’s own intense Czech nationalism. After three hundred years of German domination, Smetana and his fellow Czechs longed for their own homeland, an independent nation with its own language, customs, and heritage. That longing fired Smetana’s music, just as it would later shape the music of his countrymen Dvořák and Janáček. The other force was the music of Franz Liszt. Smetana was a friend of Liszt, and he particularly admired the Hungarian composer’s symphonic poems, brief orchestral works that set out to tell a tale in music. Smetana tried his hand at several symphonic poems based on literary topics (Shakespeare’s Richard III, Schiller’s Wallenstein, and others), but it was not until he turned to his own Czech heritage that the form came to memorable life for him. Between 1872 and 1879, when he was in his sixties, Smetana composed a cycle of six symphonic poems on Czech subjects–its landscape, heroic past, and legends–and collected them under the title Má Vlast: “My Fatherland.”

This was a miserable time for Smetana personally. He had fallen into his horrifying final illness and found himself assailed by buzzing in his ears, skin rashes, disorientation, throat and ulcer problems, and–devastating to a composer– deafness. In the fall of 1874, while working on The Moldau (which would be the second of the symphonic poems that make up Má Vlast), Smetana went completely deaf in his right ear and asked to be removed from his position as director of the Prague Provisional Theatre. His condition did not improve, and he gradually sank into complete deafness and insanity, dying in poverty ten years later. Yet there is not a trace of what must have been personal agony in Má Vlast, which rings with a pride in his Czech identity. Smetana pressed on in the face of increasing deafness and disorientation to complete The Moldau on November 18, 1874, and the first performance took place in Prague on April 4, 1876.

Some of the movements of Má Vlast focus on historical figures or settings, but The Moldau is a portrait of the great river that begins in the Bohemian forests southwest of Prague, runs north through that city, and eventually joins the Elbe and flows to the sea at Hamburg. The Czech name for this river is the Vltava (pronounced as three even syllables: “Vol-ta-vah”), and the irony of course is that a piece of music written expressly to help encourage the cause of Czech independence from Germany is best known under the German name for that river, Moldau.

Smetana left a detailed program note that explains what each of the eight sections of The Moldau depicts, and these events can be easily followed. Legend has it that the Moldau begins deep in the forest as two rivulets–one cold, one warm– flow together to form the headwaters of the mighty river. The Moldau opens with these two delicate rivulets (the flute is the cold source, the clarinet the warm), which gradually intertwine and begin to flow. Smetana marks this beginning lusingando, an Italian term that does not translate easily into English: “charming, coaxing”–the literal translation– catches only some of what Smetana wants from this delicate beginning. The rivulets combine, and now Smetana gives us the theme of the river itself, a great soaring melody in E minor for the violins that will become the backbone of this music. As the river flows toward Prague, it passes different scenes, and Smetana describes these in detail: a hunt in the woods, with the sound of hunting horns ringing out, is followed by a peasant wedding with its charming folk-dance. The opening rivulets return to introduce a quiet episode as nymphs play on the moonlit waters of the Moldau; muted strings cast a mist over the water, and Smetana makes another nod to his homeland’s past when he notes that in the water “many fortresses and castles are reflected as witnesses to the past glories of knighthood and the vanished warlike fame of bygone ages”–these heroic echoes are heard as distant fanfares for the horns. Next, the river smashes its way through the St. John’s Rapids and proceeds grandly out on the plain toward Prague, with the Moldau theme now transformed into E major. The music reaches a climax as the river flows past Vyšehrad, the site of a fortress established in the ninth century and regarded as the birthplace of Prague. Its heroic journey complete, the river flows on, and it is worth quoting Smetana on the ending: “Welcomed by the time-honored fortress, Vyšehrad, it sweeps past the quais and under the bridges of the city, to vanish in the dim distance where the poet’s gaze can no longer follow.

Concerto in B Minor for Violoncello and Orchestra, Opus 104

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK
Born September 8, 1841, Nelahozeves, Czech Republic
Died May 1, 1904, Prague
Approximate Duration: 38 minutes

Dvořák’s Cello Concerto is the greatest ever written for that instrument, and so it comes as a surprise to learn that Dvořák had been reluctant to write a concerto for cello. He had sketched a cello concerto when he was only 24 and had been so dissatisfied that he did not even bother to orchestrate it. He came away from that experience with reservations about what he considered the cello’s “limitations”: a somewhat indistinct sound in its lowest register and a thin sound in its highest, as well as the problem of making a lowpitched instrument cut through the weight of a full orchestra. But–encouraged by his cellist friend Hanuš Wihan and by hearing Victor Herbert play his own Second Cello Concerto in New York in 1894–Dvořák wrote this concerto very quickly during his final year in the United States. He began work on November 8, 1894, just after resuming his teaching duties at the National Conservatory of Music in New York, and completed the draft of the score the following February 9, two months before he returned for good to his Czech homeland.

Dvořák’s solutions to the problems posed by a cello concerto are ingenious. Rather than scaling back the orchestra to balance it more equitably with the soloist, he instead writes for a huge orchestra, adding three trombones and tuba to the texture, as well as such “exotic” instruments as piccolo and triangle. He then scores the concerto with great imagination, alternating grand gestures that use all his forces with leanlyscored passages in which only a handful of instruments accompany the soloist. The concerto was a triumph at its première in London on March 19, 1896, and it has justly remained the most popular of cello concertos ever since. When Brahms, then only a year from his death, examined the score to Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, he exclaimed: “Why on earth didn’t I know one could write a violoncello concerto like this? If I had only known I would have written one long ago!”

The lengthy opening Allegro is in sonata form, and Dvořák follows custom by introducing both main themes before the soloist enters: the quiet opening tune, a dark, march-like figure for clarinets, soon builds up to Grandioso restatement, preparing the way for the glorious second subject, a soaring melody perfectly suited to the solo horn that announces it (Dvořák’s biographer John Clapham reported that the composer always grew emotional when playing over this theme). The solo cello makes an impressive entrance on the opening march theme, and Dvořák exploits fully the lyric and dramatic possibilities of the instrument in this movement. There is, however, no empty brilliance here (the concerto significantly has no cadenza), and the virtuosity of the solo part is central to the music rather than an end in itself. After so much inspired lyricism, the movement drives–surprisingly–to a ringing, heroic close.

The Adagio ma non troppo is in ABA form, with woodwinds introducing the gentle opening section in G major before the soloist takes it up. The G-minor central episode quotes from Dvořák’s own song “Leave me alone with my dreams,” originally composed in 1887-88. This song had been a favorite of one of Dvořák’s pupils, Josefina Čermáková Kaunitzova, with whom he had fallen in love while he was a young man. She had not responded to that love, and Dvořák later married her sister. Now, as he was writing this concerto in New York City, he learned that Josefina was seriously ill with heart disease in Prague and–remembering her fondness for this song–included its wistful melody in this movement. The end of the movement is extended, and Dvořák scores this very carefully, sometimes reducing the orchestra to just a few instruments. Matters rise to a menacing climax in C minor before the music falls away to end peacefully in G major.

Over a steady pulse from lower strings, horns announce the main subject of the rondo-finale, which the soloist quickly picks up. This rondo is both lively and lyric, and its episodes are varied. Near the close comes the most remarkable passage in the entire concerto. Shortly after Dvořák returned to Prague in 1895, Josefina died. Stunned, the composer returned from her funeral and rewrote the ending of the concerto, adding a quiet sixty-measure section that recalls the main theme of the first movement and the song-theme from the second movement that Josefina had loved so much. This makes the ending of the concerto particularly moving, and it was crucially important to its creator. When Hanuš Wihan tried to add a cadenza at just this point, Dvořák erupted, writing to his publisher: “The finale concludes gradually, diminuendo– like a faint breath–with reminiscences of the first and second movement–the solo fades away in a pp–then the orchestra surges up and ends in a turbulent tone. This was my idea and I cannot abandon it.”

It is an effective ending. Dvořák recalls his sister-in-law one final time as the cello sings this sad melody, its final measures trailing off over quiet timpani accompaniment, and then–with this behind him–he winds the music up and rushes it suddenly to the smashing close.

Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Opus 88 Approximate Duration: 36 minutes

The summer of 1889 was an unusually happy and productive time for Dvořák. At age 48, he found himself a successful composer with a large and devoted family. Earlier that year, his opera The Jacobin had been premièred, and now he took his family to their summer retreat at Vysoka in the countryside south of Prague. There, amid the rolling fields and forests of his homeland, Dvořák could escape the pressures of the concert season, enjoy the company of his wife and children, and indulge one of his favorite pastimes–raising pigeons.

Dvořák also composed a great deal that summer. He completed his Piano Quartet in E-flat Major on August 10, writing to a friend that “melodies pour out of me” and lamenting “If only one could write them down straight away! But there–I must go slowly, only keep pace with my hand, and may God give the rest.” A few weeks later, on August 25, he made the first sketches for a new symphony, and once again the melodies poured out of him: he began the actual composition on September 6, and on the 13th the first movement was done. The second took three days, the third one day, and the entire symphony had been sketched by September 23. The orchestration was completed on November 8, and Dvořák himself led the triumphant première of his Eighth Symphony in Prague on February 2, 1890. From the time Dvořák had sat down before a sheet of blank paper to the completion of the full score, only 75 days had passed.

From the moment of the première, audiences have loved this symphony (including one very unusual audience: Dvořák conducted this symphony before 30,000 Czechs on an all-Czech program at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893). Surprisingly, the Eighth Symphony has come in for a tough time from certain critics, who find much to complain about. One finds the music plain and claims to hear signs of haste in its composition, another criticizes the music’s harmonic sequences, while yet another calls the finale a “not altogether satisfactory design.” All seem baffled by the structure of the movements.

Listening to these charges, one might conclude that Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony is a disaster. Actually, this is one of the loveliest pieces of music ever written. It is quite true that Dvořák went his own way in writing this symphony rather than attempting to compose a “correct” symphony, and that may be what bothered those critics; Dvořák’s biographer Otakar Šourek noted that the composer himself felt that in this music he was trying to write “a work different from his other symphonies, with individual thoughts worked out in a new way.” One can love the Eighth Symphony without knowing any of this, but there is a fierce pleasure in watching Dvořák go his own way.

We feel this from the first instant. “Symphony in G Major,” says the title page, but the beginning is firmly in the “wrong” key of G minor, and this will be only the first of many harmonic surprises. It is also a gorgeous beginning, with the cellos singing their long wistful melody. But–another surprise: this theme will have little to do with the actual progress of the first movement. We soon arrive at what appears to be the true first subject, a flute theme of an almost pastoral innocence (commentators appear unable to resist describing this theme as “birdlike”), and suddenly we have slipped into G major. There follows a wealth of themes–someone counted six separate ideas in the opening minutes of this symphony. Dvořák develops these across the span of the opening movement, and the cellos’ somber opening melody returns at key moments: quietly to begin the development and then blazed out triumphantly by the trumpets at the stirring climax.

The two middle movements are just as free. The Adagio is apparently in C Minor, but it begins in E-flat major with dark and halting string phrases; the middle section flows easily on a relaxed woodwind tune in C major in which some have heard the sound of cimbalon and a village band. A violin solo leads to a surprisingly violent climax before the movement falls away to its quiet close. The Allegretto grazioso opens with a soaring waltz in G minor that dances nimbly along its 3/8 meter; the charming center section also dances in 3/8 time, but its dotted rhythms produce a distinctive lilt here. The movement concludes with some nice surprises: a blistering coda (Molto vivace) whips along a variant of the lilting center section tune, but Dvořák has now transformed its triple meter into a propulsive 2/4. The movement rushes on chattering woodwinds right up to its close, where it concludes suddenly with a hushed string chord.

The finale is a variation movement–sort of. It opens with a stinging trumpet fanfare, but this fanfare was an afterthought on Dvořák’s part, added after the rest of the movement was complete. Cellos announce the noble central theme (itself derived from the flute theme of the first movement), and a series of variations follow, including a spirited episode for solo flute. But suddenly the variations vanish: Dvořák throws in an exotic Turkish march full of rhythmic energy, a completely separate episode that rises to a great climax based on the ringing trumpet fanfare from the opening. Gradually things calm down, and the variations resume as if this turbulent storm had never blown through. Near the end comes some lovely writing for strings, and a raucous, joyous coda–itself one final variation of the main theme–propels this symphony to a rousing close.

Are the critics’ charges about this symphony true? For the most part, probably yes. Do they matter? No. In this music, Dvořák followed his own instincts–“with individual thoughts worked out in a new way”–and audiences find the Eighth Symphony as lovely and exciting today as they did when it was premièred over a century ago.

PRELUDE 7 PM
Bohemian Rhapsodies: Lecture by Michael Gerdes
Can music really sound like a specific place? Antonin Dvořák’s works are often labeled as nationalistic, but what is it about this evening’s music that makes it sound so quintessentially Czech? In this prelude presentation, we’ll follow Smetana’s journey down the Moldau and explore the Bohemian inspirations for Dvořák’s 8th symphony.

Prague PhilharmoniaThe PKF-Prague Philharmonia, originally called the Prague Philharmonia, was founded in 1994 at the initiative of the world-famous conductor Jiří Bělohlávek to bring a breath of fresh air to the Czech and the global music scene in the form of a contagious élan and a drive to achieve superior performance of every detail of the score.

Soon after its founding, the PKF – Prague Philharmonia joined the ranks of the most respected Czech orchestras and established great renown in Europe and elsewhere in the world.

In its “manifesto”, the orchestra highlighted vigour, energy, and perfectionism, as well as a tremendous love for the music, with which it imbues each and every concert.

The PKF – Prague Philharmonia is beloved for its characteristic sound, created in large part by the key focus of its repertoire: Viennese Classicism, pieces by Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven. This area is the ensemble's primary domain, and an area at which it excels. The spirit of the art from this historical period is perfectly reflected in the PKF – Prague Philharmonia credo: to play with crystal-clear purity and a straightforward, sparkling passion that will ensure that every listener, regardless of age or profession, may understand every detail of the music performed and return home from its concerts full of joie de vivre. The art presented by the PKF – Prague Philharmonia is both exceptional and accessible to everyone.

The repertoire also includes Romance compositions, as well as modern and contemporary music, performed within a Special Concert series unique among the selections of Czech orchestras. Since the beginning of the 2008–2009 season, the orchestra has been headed by Chief Conductor and Music Director Jakub Hrůša, whodespite his young age already enjoys great international renown. The ensemble's founder, the globally celebrated Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, was at its helm until 2005, when he was named the orchestra's Conductor Laureate. From 2005 to 2008, the Chief Conductor of the PKF – Prague Philharmonia was the Swiss conductor and flautist Kaspar Zehnder. Since the beginning of the 2015–16 season, the post of Music Director and Chief Conductor will take the distinguished French conductor Emmanuel Villaume.

The PKF – Prague Philharmonia is a regular guest at international music festivals, frequently performs at prestigious world concert halls, and is a regular partner of world-famous conductors and soloists including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Milan Turković, Jefim Bronfman, András Schiff, Shlomo Mintz, Sarah Chang, Isabelle Faust, Mischa Maisky, Magdalena Kožená, Anna Netrebko, Natalie Dessay, Rolando Villazón, Plácido Domingo, Elina Garanča, Juan Diego Flórez, Radek Baborák, Thomas Hampson, and many others.

To date the orchestra has recorded more than 60 CDs for prominent Czech and foreign labels, including Deutsche Grammophon, Decca,Supraphon, EMI, Warner Music, and Harmonia Mundi. Some of its albums have received such prestigious accolades as the RAC Canada Gold Disc (2000), the Harmonie Award (2001), and the Diapason d'Or (September 2007). Guest artists featured on the PKF – Prague Philharmonia's recordings include Anna Netrebko, Eva Urbanová, Magdalena Kožená, Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Iva Bittová, Peter Dvorský, Dagmar Pecková, and many others. The most critically acclaimed album is the live recording of the orchestra's performance of Smetana's My Country at Prague Spring 2010, conducted by Jakub Hrůša.

This performance marks Prague Philharmonia's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Emmanuel VillaumeFrench-born conductor Emmanuel Villaume has led captivating performances with the most prominent opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world. Currently in his second season as Music Director of The Dallas Opera, Maestro Villaume opens the 2014-2015 season with Le nozze di Figaro and returns to lead Tchaikovsky's rarely performed Iolanta. He embarks upon a European concert tour of Iolanta in June of 2015 with performances in Lucerne, Copenhagen, Monte Carlo, and London's Royal Albert Hall, featuring soprano Anna Netrebko. The current season also features Mo. Villaume's highly anticipated return to New York's Metropolitan Opera House for performances of Manon. His performances of Manon last season at London's Royal Opera House led the Financial Times to proclaim, "The best thing about this Manon is the conducting. Emmanuel Villaume maintains spruce tempi while illuminating the opera’s soft, sensuous core."

In October Mo. Villaume was appointed as the new Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Prague Philharmonia (PKF), beginning in September, 2015. Recent projects with the PKF include a Deutsche Grammophon recording with Anna Netrebko, a Warner Classics release with Bryan Hymel, seasonal concerts and several European tours. He leads the orchestra this season in a special New Year's concert at the Royal Opera House Muscat. Villaume returns to New York's Avery Fisher Hall in October to conduct the 2014 Richard Tucker Gala, featuring today's greatest opera stars. Following his triumph with the Juilliard Opera last season with Cendrillon, he returns to conduct the Juilliard Orchestra in concert at Alice Tully Hall in February of 2015.

A frequent collaborator with major opera houses in the United States, Maestro Villaume has performed with the Metropolitan Opera for Madama Butterfly, Samson et Dalila, and Carmen; Lyric Opera of Chicago for La Bohème, Manon, The Merry Widow and Samson et Dalila; and the Washington National Opera for La Rodine, Norma, Le Cid, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann. He has conducted Madama Butterfly and Werther with the San Francisco Opera; Les Contes d’Hoffmann, La Rondine, and La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein with the Los Angeles Opera; La Rodine and Faust with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and Les Pêcheurs de Perles and The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein with Santa Fe Opera. Prior to his new position as Music Director of The Dallas Opera, Mo. Villaume conducted highly acclaimed performances of TDO’s Faust and Le Nozze di Figaro. His participation in music festivals is equally exemplary, highlighted by numerous performances with the prestigious Spoleto Festival USA, where he served as Music Director from 2001 to 2010.

On the international stage, Maestro Villaume has appeared with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Manon, Les Contes d’HoffmannI, and La Rondine; Montreal Opera for La Vie Parisienne; Tokyo Bunka Kaikan for Der Rosenkavalier; Teatro Colón for Pelléas et Mélisande; and Bastille Opera for Rigoletto. Other performances in France include: Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse for Mignon; Opéra de Nice for Faust; and Opéra Marseilles for Pelléas et Mélisande, Samson et Dalila, Carmen, and Norma. Maestro Villaume has conducted for several opera companies in Germany, including the Bayerische Staatsoper for Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Deutsche Oper Berlin for Tosca; Hamburg Staatsoper for Der Fliegende Holländer; Bonn Opera for La Fanciulla del West; and Cologne Opera for La Bohème and Werther. Other lauded performances in Europe took place at Teatro La Fenice for Thaïs, Il Crociato, and L'Africaine; Teatro Regio di Torino for Ariane et Barbe-bleue and Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Martina Franca Opera for La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein; Teatro Real in Madrid for Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Werther; Opéra de Monte-Carlo for La Périchole and Werther; and the Klangbogen Festival in Vienna for Don Quichotte and Menotti's Goya with Plácido Domingo.

Emmanuel Villaume has led a distinguished career leading renowned symphonies in the U.S. and abroad. He has made an outstanding contribution as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the National Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and in his ongoing role as Chief Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. In North America, he has conducted the Quebec Symphony, the Montreal Symphony in both Montreal and at Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Symphony, and the Julliard Orchestra. He also led the San Francisco Symphony, the Houston Symphony, and the Boston Symphony at both Symphony Hall and the Tanglewood Festival. His performances with music organizations abroad include: the Royal Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn, the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Kungliga Filharmonikerna, and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. In Australia, Mo. Villaume has conducted concerts with the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane orchestras, and in Asia he has appeared with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and the China National Opera Orchestra for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Born in Strasbourg in 1964, Emmanuel Villaume studied music at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg. He continued his education at Khâgne and the Sorbonne in Paris, where he received degrees in literature, philosophy, and musicology. As author of noted articles of musicology, Mo. Villaume was appointed Dramaturg of the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg at the age of 21. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Indianapolis. Maestro Villaume makes his home in Paris and Dallas.

This performance marks Emmanuel Villaume's La Jolla Music Society debut.


Gautier CapuconGautier Capuçon is widely recognised as one of the foremost cellists of his generation and has received consistently high critical praise for his recordings and performances. Born in Chambéry in 1981, Capuçon began playing the cello at the age of five. He studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris with Philippe Muller and Annie Cochet-Zakine, and later with Heinrich Schiff in Vienna. The winner of various first prizes in many leading international competitions, including the International André Navarra Prize, Capuçon was named ‘New Talent of the Year’ by Victoires de la Musique (the French equivalent of a Grammy) in 2001; in 2004 he received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award since which time he has received several Echo Klassik awards.

Capuçon performs regularly as a soloist with the major orchestras worldwide, and is a favourite of conductors at the highest level, including Gergiev, Bychkov, Haitink, Eschenbach, Nézet-Seguin. In recent seasons he has performed with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Mariinsky Orchestra, Tonhalle, Munich Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and New York Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as all of the major orchestras across France. Highlights of his14/15 season include European tours with the London Symphony Orchestra/Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Oslo Philharmonic/ Petrenko, and concerts with Leipzig Gewandhaus/Krivine, Vienna Philharmonic/Orozco-Estrada, Los Angeles Philharmonic/Dudamel, Cleveland Orchestra/Bringuier, San Francisco Symphony/ Dutoit and Boston Symphony/Nelsons.

In 2015/16 highlights include a European trio tour with Leonidas Kavakos and Nikolai Lugansky, a Japanese recital tour, and recitals and chamber performances at the Vienna Musikverein, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Cité de la musique (Paris), Tonhalle Zurich, Wigmore Hall and the Schubertiade festival.

This performance marks Gautier Capuçon's La Jolla Music Society debut

Feb
10
Fri
BRANFORD MARSALIS QUARTET
Feb 10 @ 8:00 pm
BRANFORD MARSALIS QUARTET @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Branford Marsalis Quartet
with Special Guest Kurt Elling

The Branford Marsalis Quartet will be joined by guest-vocalist Kurt Elling in a singular collaboration of musical forces. The tight-knit working band featuring Marsalis on saxophones, Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums rarely invites other musicians into the folds of their nearly telepathically cohesive unit, and Elling’s deep jazz vocabulary, technical versatility, and outstanding intonation will enable the band to perform a variety of material in new ways. Energized by the artistic promise of this collaboration, the band members have all contributed new arrangements to perform with this special line-up and will be looking beyond the Great American Songbook. Although following the format of a standard jazz quartet with vocals, the collaboration between jazz’s most intense band and one of jazz’s foremost singers should prove to be anything but standard.

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RESTAURANT NIGHT:
Prior to the performance please join us for dinner at The Westgate Hotel.


Branford MarsalisBranford Marsalis has stayed the course. From his early acclaim as a saxophonist bringing new energy and new audiences to the jazz art, he has refined and expanded his talents and his horizons as a musician, composer, bandleader and educator – a 21st Century mainstay of artistic excellence.

Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. His first instrument, the clarinet, gave way to the alto and then the tenor and soprano saxophones when the teenage Branford began working in local bands. A growing fascination with jazz as he entered college gave him the basic tools to obtain his first major jobs, with trumpet legend Clark Terry and alongside Wynton in Art Blakey’s legendary Jazz Messengers. When the brothers left to form the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, the world of uncompromising acoustic jazz was invigorated. Branford formed his own quartet in 1986 and, with a few minor interruptions in the early years, has sustained the unit as his primary means of expression. Known for the telepathic communication among its uncommonly consistent personnel, its deep book of original music replete with expressive melodies and provocative forms, and an unrivaled spirit in both live and recorded performances, the Branford Marsalis Quartet has long been recognized as the standard to which other ensembles of its kind must be measured. Its most recent recording, Four MFs Playin’ Tunes, was named Best Instrumental Jazz Album in 2012 by iTunes.

Branford has not confined his music to the quartet context. In addition to guest turns with a legion of giants including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins, he has excelled in duets with several major pianists, including his boyhood friend Harry Connick, Jr. and the longtime pianist in his quartet, Joey Calderazzo. Branford’s first solo concert, at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, is documented on his latest recording, In My Solitude.

Classical music inhabits a growing portion of Branford’s musical universe. With a repertoire including works by Copland, Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem, Vaughan Williams, Villa-Lobos and Sally Beamish (who reconceived a work in progress, “Under the Wing of the Rock,” to feature Branford’s saxophone after hearing him perform one of her earlier pieces), Branford is frequently heard with leading symphony orchestras including those in Chicago, Detroit, Dusseldorf and North Carolina as well as the New York Philharmonic. He also served as Creative Director for the Cincinnati Symphony’s Ascent series in 2012-13.

Broadway has also welcomed Branford’s contributions. His initial effort, original music for a revival of August Wilson’s Fences, garnered a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Play and a Tony nomination for Best Original Score Written for the Theater.

Branford also provided music for The Mountaintop, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, and served as musical curator for the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun. Branford’s screen credits include the original music for Mo’ Better Blues and acting roles in School Daze and Throw Momma from the Train.

ranford formed the Marsalis Music label in 2002, and under his direction it has documented his own music, talented new stars such as Miguel Zenón, and un-heralded older masters including one of Branford’s teachers, the late Alvin Batiste. Branford has also shared his knowledge as an educator, forming extended teaching relationships at Michigan State, San Francisco State and North Carolina Central Universities and conducting workshops at sites throughout the United States and the world.

As for other public stages, Branford spent a period touring with Sting, collaborated with the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby, served as Musical Director of The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno and hosted National Public Radio’s widely syndicated Jazz Set. The range and quality of these diverse activities established Branford as a familiar presence beyond the worlds of jazz and classical music, while his efforts to help heal and rebuild New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina mark him as an artist with an uncommonly effective social vision. Together with Harry Connick, Jr. and New Orleans Habitat for Humanity, Branford conceived and helped to realize The Musicians’ Village, a community in the Upper Ninth Ward that provides homes to the displaced families of musicians and other local residents. At the heart of The Musicians’ Village stands the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a community center dedicated to preserving the rich New Orleans musical legacy containing state-of-the art spaces for performance, instruction and recording.

Some might gauge Branford Marsalis’s success by his numerous awards, including three Grammys and (together with his father and brothers) his citation as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. To Branford, however, these are only way stations along what continues to be one of the most fascinating and rewarding journeys in the world of music. Brandord Marsalis last performed for La Jolla Music Society as a Special Event in October, 2014.

For more information visit www.branfordmarsalis.net


Kurt EllingGrammy® winner Kurt Elling is among the world's foremost jazz vocalists. He has won every DownBeat Critics Poll for the last fourteen years and has been named "Male Singer of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association on eight occasions. An interntional jazz award winner, he has also been GRAMMY nominated a dozen times.

Elling's rich baritone spans four octaves and features both astonishing technical mastery and emotional depth. His repertoire includes original compositions and modern interpretations of standards, all of which are springboards for inspired improvisation, scatting, spoken word, and poetry.

The New York Times declared, "Elling is the standout male vocalist of our time." The Washington Post added, "Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz." Elling was the Artist-in-Residence for the Singapore and Monterey Jazz Festivals. He has also written multi-disciplinary works for The Steppenwolf Theatre and the City of Chicago. The Obama Administration's first state dinner featured Elling in a command performance.

Elling is a renowned artist of vocalese—the writing and performing of words over recorded improvised jazz solos. The natural heir to jazz pioneers Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Jon Hendricks, Elling has set his own lyrics to the improvised solos of Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny. He often incorporates images and references from writers such as Rilke, Rumi, Neruda and Proust into his work. The late poet and Bollingen Prize winner Robert Creeley wrote, "Kurt Elling takes us into a world of sacred particulars. His words are informed by a powerful poetic spirit." Said Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States, "In Kurt Elling's art, the voice of jazz gives a new spiritual presence to the ancient, sweet and powerful bond between poetry and music."

Kurt Elling has toured vigorously throughout his career, thrilling audiences throughout the world. In that time he has led his own ensemble and has collaborated with many of the world's finest orchestras. Passion World, Kurt Elling's latest recording, culminates nearly five years of collecting and honing songs – and in some cases writing new lyrics – that express love, romance and heartbreak around the world. Throughout his travels, Elling has observed how deeply-felt passions are shaped in countless ways be each unique culture. Those insights hve guided the creation of Passion World, a tour-de-force project that is vibrant with diversity, celebrating what makes us all human. In concert Elling tells rich stories about exotic places, cultures and times. Passion World is a musical magic carpet taking you on a fascinating journey through the realms of romance.

Feb
11
Sat
LEONIDAS KAVAKOS, violin & YUJA WANG, piano
Feb 11 @ 8:00 pm
LEONIDAS KAVAKOS, violin & YUJA WANG, piano @ Balboa Theatre | San Diego | California | United States

Leonadis Kavakos, violin &
Yuja Wang, piano

Two extraordinary stars unite for a scintillating evening of duets. For this duo recital, dynamic partners Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang embark on a nocturnal fantasy performing Janáček’s Violin Sonata, Schubert’s moving Fantasy in C Major, and contrasting violin and piano sonatas from Debussy and Bartók.

“She seems to have everything: speed, flexibility, pianistic thunder and interpretive nuance.”
The New York Times

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JANÁČEK Sonata for Violin and Piano
SCHUBERTFantasy in C Major for Violin and Piano, D.934
DEBUSSYSonata for Violin and Piano in G Minor
BARTÓKSonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, Sz.75
ENCORE
SCHUBERTScherzo from Violin Sonata in A Major D.574

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

PROGRAM NOTES: Leonidas Kavakos, violin & Yuja Wang, piano

by Eric Bromberger

Violin Sonatas from World War I
With the exception of the Schubert Fantasy, all the works on this program were composed during World War I or immediately afterward, and each reflects–in quite a different way–the violence and artistic ferment of that wrenching moment in human history. Leos Janáček, throughout his life a passionate Czech nationalist, hoped that the war would free his homeland from the yoke of Austro Hungarian rule. Specifically, Janáček hoped that the Russian army would liberate his homeland, and some have felt that, in the ecstatic climax of the finale of his Violin Sonata, Janáček looked forward to that hoped-for invasion by the Russians. Debussy, violently anti-German in both politics and art, was deeply depressed by the destruction wrought by the war (and on the day Debussy died in Paris, that city was being shelled by the Germans). He set out to make his Violin Sonata as consciously non- Germanic as he could, stressing that it was above all else a “French” sonata. Béla Bartók spent the war years in artistic isolation in Budapest. The war cut off musical life in Europe, and it was not until after the armistice that he was able to hear the latest developments in music, particularly Schoenberg’s new ideas about harmony. Those ideas profoundly influenced the two violin sonatas Bartók composed right after the war. Hearing these three violin sonatas on the same program reminds us how difficult those years were and how three supremely sensitive artists responded in such different ways.

Sonata for Violin and Piano

LEOŠ JANÁČEK
Born July 3, 1854, Hukvaldy, Czech Republic
Died August 12, 1928, Moravska Ostrava, Czech Republic
Approximate Duration: 17 minutes

Over the last several decades, Czech composer LeoŠ Janáček has escaped his reputation as an interesting minor composer and been recognized for what he was: one of the great composers of the first part of the twentieth century. Born only thirteen years after Dvořák, Janáček might seem to belong more properly to the nineteenth century than the twentieth, but his reputation rests largely on the extraordinary body of work he created after his sixtieth birthday. Over the final fourteen years of his life, Janáček wrote the operas Katya Kabanova, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Makropoulos Affair, and The House of the Dead; orchestral works like the Sinfonietta and Taras Bulba; the Glagolitic Mass; and an array of chamber works, including two string quartets and the Violin Sonata.

The Violin Sonata is unfamiliar to most audiences today, but here is an instance where familiarity breeds respect, for this is original and moving music. Janáček originally wrote the sonata in 1914 but could find no violinist interested in performing it; after complete revision, it was first performed in 1922, when the composer was 68. Listeners unfamiliar with Janáček’s music will need to adjust to the distinctive sound of this sonata: Janáček generates a shimmering, rippling sonority in the accompaniment, and over this the violin has jagged melodic lines, some sustained, but some very brief, and in fact these sometimes harsh interjections are one of the most characteristic aspects of this music. Janáček also shows here his fondness for unusual key signatures: the four movements are in D-flat minor, E major, E-flat minor, and G-sharp minor.

The opening movement, marked simply Con moto, begins with a jagged recitative for violin, which immediately plays the movement’s main subject over a jangling piano accompaniment reminiscent of the cimbalom of Eastern Europe. Despite Janáček’s professed dislike of German forms, this movement shows some relation to sonata form: there is a more flowing second subject and an exposition repeat, followed by a brief development full of sudden tempo changes and themes treated as fragments. A short recapitulation leads to the quiet close.

The Balada was originally written as a separate piece and published in 1915, but as Janáček revised the sonata he decided to use the Balada as its slow movement. This is long lined music, gorgeous in its sustained lyricism as the violin sails high above the rippling piano; it has a broad second subject. At the climax, Janáček marks both parts ad lib, giving the performers a wide freedom of tempo before the music falls away to its shimmering close.

The Allegretto sounds folk-inspired, particularly in its short, repeated phrases (Janáček interjects individual measures in the unusual meters of 1/8 and 1/4). The piano has the dancing main subject, accompanied by vigorous swirls from the violin; the trio section leads to an abbreviated return of the opening material and a cadence on harshly clipped chords.

The sonata concludes, surprisingly, with a slow movement, and this Adagio is in many ways the most impressive movement of the sonata. It shows some elements of the dumka form: the rapid alternation of bright and dark music. The piano opens with a quiet chordal melody marked dolce, but the violin breaks in roughly with interjections that Janáček marks feroce: “wild, fierce.” A flowing second theme in E major offers a glimpse of quiet beauty, but the movement drives to an unexpected climax on the violin’s Maestoso declarations over tremolandi piano. And then the sonata comes to an eerie conclusion: the declamatory climax falls away to an enigmatic close, and matters end ambiguously on the violin’s fierce interjections.

Janáček’s Violin Sonata is extraordinary music, original in conception and sonority and finally very moving, despite its refusal ever to do quite what we expect it to. For those unfamiliar with Janáček’s late music, this sonata offers a glimpse of the rich achievement of his remarkable final fourteen years.

Fantasy in C Major for Violin and Piano, D.934

FRANZ SCHUBERT
Born January 31, 1797, Vienna
Died November 19, 1828, Vienna
Approximate Duration: 24 minutes

Schubert wrote the Fantasy for Violin and Piano in December 1827, only eleven months before his death at age 31. The music was first performed in public on January 20, 1828, by violinist Joseph Slavik and pianist Karl von Bocklet, one of Schubert’s close friends. That première was a failure. The audience is reported to have begun to drift out during the performance, reviewers professed mystification, and the Fantasy was not published until 1850, twenty-two years after Schubert’s death.

Hearing this lovely music today, it is hard to imagine how anyone could have had trouble with it, for the only thing unusual about the Fantasy is its structure. About twenty minutes long, it falls into four clear sections that are played without pause. Though it seems to have some of the shape of a violin sonata, the movements do not develop in the expected sonata form–that may have been what confused the first audience–and Schubert was quite correct to call this piece a “fantasy,” with that term’s implication of freedom from formal restraint.

Melodic and appealing as the Fantasy may be to hear, it is nevertheless extremely difficult to perform, and it demands players of the greatest skill. The first section, marked Andante molto, opens with shimmering ripples of sound from the piano, and the lovely violin line enters almost unnoticed. Soon, though, it rises to soar high above the accompaniment before brief cadenza-like passages for violin and then piano lead abruptly to the Allegretto. Here the violin has the dancelike opening idea, but the piano immediately picks this up, and quickly the instruments are imitating and answering each other. The violin writing in this section, full of wide skips and string-crossings, is particularly difficult. The third section, marked Andantino, is a set of variations. The piano alone plays the melody, which comes from Schubert’s song Sei mir gegrüsst (“Greetings to Thee”), written in 1821. Some of Schubert’s best-known compositions–the “Death and the Maiden” Quartet and the “Trout” Quintet–also build a movement out of variations on one of the composer’s own songs, and in the Fantasy Schubert offers four variations on Sei mir gegrüsst. These variations grow extremely complex– some have felt that they grow too complex–and once again the music makes great demands on its performers. At the conclusion of the variations, the shimmering music from the beginning returns briefly before the vigorous final section, marked Allegro vivace. Schubert brings the Fantasy to a close with a Presto coda, both instruments straining forward before the violin suddenly flashes upward to strike the concluding high C.

Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Minor

CLAUDE DEBUSSY
Born August 22, 1862, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Died March 25, 1918, Paris
Approximate Duration: 12 minutes

Debussy’s final years were wretched. He developed colon cancer in 1909 and underwent a painful operation, radiation therapy, and drug treatment. It was all to no avail, and the disease took its steady course. The onslaught of World War I in 1914 further depressed him, but it also sparked a wave of nationalistic fervor, and he set about writing a set of six sonatas for different combinations of instruments. It may seem strange that the iconoclastic Debussy would return in his final years to so structured a form as the sonata, but he specified that his model was the French sonata of the eighteenth century and not the classical German sonata. To make his point–and his nationalistic sympathies–even more clear, Debussy signed the scores of these works “Claude Debussy, musicien français.”

Debussy lived to complete only three of the projected six sonatas: a Cello Sonata (1915); a Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp (1916); and the Violin Sonata, completed in April 1917. It was to be his final work, and it gave him a great deal of difficulty. From the depths of his gloom, he wrote to a friend: “This sonata will be interesting from a documentary viewpoint and as an example of what may be produced by a sick man in time of war.” Debussy played the piano at the première on May 5, 1917, and performed it again in September at what proved to be his final public appearance. His deteriorating health confined him to his room thereafter, and he died the following March.

For all Debussy’s dark comments, the Violin Sonata is a brilliant work, alternating fantastic and exotic outbursts with more somber and reflective moments. In three concise movements, the sonata lasts only about thirteen minutes. Debussy deliberately obscures both meter and key over the first few measures of the Allegro vivo, and only gradually does the music settle into G minor. The haunting beginning of the movement feels subdued, almost ascetic, but the dancing middle section in E major is more animated. Debussy brings back the opening material and rounds off the movement with a con fuoco coda.

The second movement brings a sharp change of mood after the brutal close of the first. Debussy marks it fantasque et léger (“Fantastic [or fanciful] and light”), and the violin opens with a series of leaps, swirls, and trills before settling into the near-hypnotic main idea. The second subject, marked “sweet and expressive,” slides languorously on glissandos and arpeggios, and the movement comes to a quiet close. Over rippling chords, the finale offers a quick reminiscence of the very opening of the sonata, and then this theme disappears for good and the finale’s real theme leaps to life. It is a shower of triplet sixteenths that rockets upward and comes swirling back down: the composer described it as “a theme turning back on itself like a serpent biting its own tail.” There are some sultry interludes along the way, full of glissandos, broken chords, rubato, and trills, but finally the swirling energy of the main theme drives the music to its animated close.

Debussy may have been unhappy about this music while working on it, but once done he felt more comfortable with it, writing to a friend: “In keeping with the contradictory spirit of human nature, it is full of joyous tumult . . . Beware in the future of works which appear to inhabit the skies; often they are the product of a dark, morose mind.”

Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, Sz.75

BÉLA BARTÓK
Born March 25, 1881, Nagyszentmiklós, Hungary
Died September 26, 1945, New York City
Approximate Duration: 37 minutes

The period of World War I was difficult for Bartók. Musical life throughout Europe had gone dormant, and–depressed by adverse criticism and a failure to find audiences–Bartók had almost stopped composing. But as he approached his fortieth birthday in 1921, his fortunes changed. He had a number of successful premières, Universal Edition agreed to publish his works, and he began to make recital tours as a pianist throughout Europe. He was warmly received by audiences and critics in London, Berlin, Paris, and many other cities.

He also began to hear music he had been unable to hear during the war, in particular the music of Schoenberg. The influence of Schoenberg can be felt in the music Bartók composed in the early 1920s, particularly in its intense chromaticism and expressionistic character. Bartók’s biographer Halsey Stevens has noted that the two violin sonatas, composed in 1921-2, are “farther from traditional standards of tonality than anything else Bartók wrote.” Bartók was aware of the influences, yet he later insisted that “it is an unmistakable characteristic of my works of that period that they are built upon a tonal base.”

The Violin Sonata No. 1 should be enjoyed as the music of Bartók and not valued for the appearance of influences from other composers. This is very dramatic music, and it is an unusually big sonata–at nearly 35 minutes, it is one of Bartók’s longest compositions. It also makes a splendid sound. Bartók writes entirely different music for the two instruments here, for they share no thematic material: the piano’s music is vertical (chords or arpeggiated chords), while the violin’s is linear–Bartók rarely has it play in doublestops. The score is scrupulously annotated. Bartók specifies exact metronome markings and changes them frequently, minutely gradates dynamics, and achieves a varied sonority: at times the piano is made to sound like the old Hungarian cimbalom or the percussive gamelan. Even individual phrases are shaped exactly. Bartók gives one passage the unique marking risvegliandosi: “waking up.” Perhaps the best way to approach this sonata is to enjoy its sweep, its extraordinary sound, and the drive that propels the music across two huge movements to one of Bartók’s most exciting finales.

The opening movement, aptly titled Allegro appassionato, takes the general shape of sonata form: an exposition that lays out a wealth of themes and brief motifs, an extended development (introduced by quietly-tolling arpeggiated piano chords), and a lengthy recapitulation that brings back the themes not literally but radically transformed. Throughout the movement (and the entire sonata) the writing for both instruments is of a concerto-like virtuosity. The opening of the movement is of unusual harmonic interest. Bartók felt that this sonata was in C-sharp minor, but while the piano seems to begin in that key, the violin enters in C major, and that bitonal clash presages the harmonic ambiguity of the entire sonata. This music is so chromatic that a firm sense of these keys quickly vanishes, and even the conclusion of the sonata states C-sharp minor only ambiguously. The Adagio, in ternary form, opens with a lengthy passage for unaccompanied violin; the quiet opening section gives way to a slower and more ornate middle before the movement concludes with a return of the quiet opening material, once again radically transformed. The finale is a wildly-dancing rondo based on its gypsy-flavored opening idea, a sort of moto perpetuo for violin. Tempo changes are frequent here as Bartók varies the mood with sharply-contrasted episodes before the sonata rushes to its bravura close.

Composed between October and December 1921, the sonata had its première in London on March 24, 1922, by the composer and violinist Jelly d’Aranyi, and they then played it throughout Europe. One might guess that early reviews would have been uncomprehending, but in fact they were quite positive. Bartók’s First Violin Sonata is a massive work– tough, demanding, and uncompromising. It is also some of the most bracing, exhilarating, and exciting music he ever wrote.

Leonidas KavakosThe three important mentors in his life are Stelios Kafantaris, Josef Gingold and Ferenc Rados. By the age of 21, Leonidas Kavakos had already won three major competitions, the Sibelius Competition in 1985, and the Paganini and Naumburg competitions in 1988. This success led to his recording the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903/4), the first recording of this work in history. It won Gramophone Concerto of the Year Award in 1991. The orchestras with whom Kavakos has developed close relationships include the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Eschenbach/Chailly) Berliner Philharmoniker (Rattle), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Jansons/Gatti), London Symphony Orchestra (Gergiev/Rattle) and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (Chailly). Kavakos also works closely with the Dresden Staatskapelle and Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and, in the USA, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras. This season, he tours with the London Philharmonic Orchestra to Spain, with the Bayerischer Rundfunk to the USA and plays at the Verbier, White Nights, Edinburgh International, Tanglewood and Annecy Classic festivals, as well as a cycle of Beethoven Sonatas at the Dresdner Musikfestspiele.

Latterly, Leonidas Kavakos has built a strong profile as a conductor, working with the London and Boston symphony orchestras, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Wiener Symphoniker (VSO) and Budapest Festival orchestras. This season, Kavakos returns as conductor to the VSO, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and, for the first time, the Bamberger Symphoniker, Danish National Symphony, Netherlands Radio Symphony and Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestras and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. His first release on Decca Classics, the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas with Enrico Pace (January 2013), resulted in the ECHO Klassik award ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’, followed by the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Riccardo Chailly (October 2013), and Brahms Violin Sonatas with Yuja Wang, (March 2014). He was awarded Gramophone Artist of the Year 2014. His earlier discography includes recordings for BIS, ECM, and subsequently, for Sony Classical, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (ECHO Klassik ‘Best Concerto Recording’) and Mozart’s Violin Concertos, conducting and playing with Camerata Salzburg.

Born and brought up in a musical family in Athens, he curated a chamber music cycle 15 years at the Megaron Athens Concert Hall, featuring Mstislav Rostropovich, Heinrich Schiff, Menahem Pressler, Emanuel Ax, Nikolai Lugansky, Yuja Wang and Gautier Capuçon, among others. Kavakos curates an annual violin and chamber-music masterclass in Athens, attracting violinists and ensembles from all over the world and reflecting his deep commitment to the handing on of musical knowledge and traditions. The art of violin- and bow-making is considered by Kavakos a great mystery and, to our day, an undisclosed secret. He plays the ‘Abergavenny’ Stradivarius violin of 1724 and owns modern violins made by F. Leonhard, S.P. Greiner, E. Haahti and D. Bagué.

Leonidas Kavakos last performed with La Jolla Music Society in a Special Event on february 11, 2017.

For more information visit www.leonidaskavakos.com


YujaWangPianist Yuja Wang is widely recognized as one of the most important artists of her generation. Regularly lauded for her controlled, prodigious technique, Yuja has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the repertoire, the depth of her musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and charismatic stage presence.

Yuja is an exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon. Following her debut recording, Sonatas & Etudes, Gramophone magazine named Yuja the Classic FM 2009 Young Artist of the Year. For her second recording, Transformation, Yuja received an Echo Klassik award as “Young Artist of the Year”. Yuja next collaborated with Maestro Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra to record her first concerto album featuring Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and his Concerto No. 2 in C minor which was nominated for a Grammy as “Best Classical Instrumental Solo.” This was followed by, Fantasia, a collection of encore pieces by Albéniz, Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saëns, Scriabin and others. Yuja next collaborated with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra on a live recording of Prokofiev's Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3. Most recently, Yuja joined violinist Leonidas Kavakos to record the complete Brahms Violin and Piano sonatas for Decca Records.

In the years since her 2005 debut with the National Arts Center Orchestra led by Pinchas Zukerman, Yuja has already performed with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras including those of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, in the U.S., and abroad with the Berlin Staatskapelle, China Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Israel Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orquesta Nacional de España, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Mozart and Santa Cecilia, among others. In 2006 Yuja made her New York Philharmonic debut at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and performed with the orchestra the following season under Lorin Maazel during the Philharmonic’s Japan/Korea visit. In 2008 she toured the United States with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields led by Sir Neville Marriner, and in 2009 Yuja performed as soloist with the You Tube Symphony Orchestra led by Michael Tilson Thomas at Carnegie Hall. That summer Yuja joined Abbado at the Lucerne Music Festival performing and recording Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3, and went on to perform with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Abbado on tour in China.

Yuja regularly gives recitals in major cities throughout Asia, Europe and North America. She is a dedicated performer of chamber music appearing at summer festivals throughout the world including annual appearances at Switzerland's Verbier Festival. In March 2011 Yuja performed in a three-concert chamber series at the Salle Pleyel in Paris with principal players from the Berlin Philharmonic. She made her Carnegie Hall recital debut at Stern Hall in October 2011.

Many of the world's esteemed conductors have collaborated with Yuja including Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Mikko Franck, Manfred Honeck, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yuri Temirkanov and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Last season the London Symphony Orchestra invited Yuja to be their featured artist in the LSO Artist Portrait series for 2014 which included performing three concertos, and recitals in London, followed by a tour of China with Daniel Harding conducting. She made her debut with the Hungarian National Philharmonic conducted by Zoltan Kocsis performing Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 2. Yuja's frequent summer collaborations with violinist Leonidas Kavakos extended further as they undertook multiple tours of Europe focusing on the great violin and piano sonatas of Brahms. She returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for subscription concerts and on tour in the U.S. with Dudamel conducting. Yuja also returned to the Boston Symphony, Sir Andrew Davis conducting, and the Cleveland Orchestra, Giancarlo Guerrero conducting.

In 2014-15 Yuja returns to the Concertgebouw to perform Shostakovich Concerto No. 1, Mariss Jansons conducting. She is featured as Artist-in-Residence with Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, appearing three times over the course of the season. Yuja continues her collaboration with Leonidas Kavakos, touring North America and Europe. In spring 2015, the London Symphony Orchestra will tour to the US with Yuja as soloist, Tilson Thomas conducting. She makes her concerto debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in spring of 2015.

At a young age Yuja entered the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing to study under Ling Yuan and Zhou Guangren. From 1999 to 2001 she participated in the Morningside Music summer program at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, an artistic and cultural exchange program between Canada and China, and began studying with Hung-Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone at the Mount Royal College Conservatory. Yuja then moved to the U.S. to study with Gary Graffman at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she graduated in 2008. In 2006 she received the Gilmore Young Artist Award, and in 2010 was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Yuja is a Steinway Artist.

Yuga Wang last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Celebrity Orchestra Series on March 29, 2015.

For more information visit www.yujawang.com

Feb
18
Sat
BAMBERG SYMPHONY
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"
ENCORE
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

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
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

MAX BRUCH
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”

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
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.

PRELUDE 7 PM
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.

Mar
3
Fri
SDYS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
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.

Buy Tickets

There are two opportunities to enhance your evening and enjoyment of this performance, both before and after the program:
HAPPY HOUR:
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

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
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

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
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

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
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.

PRELUDE 7 PM
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.

For more information visit www.sdys.org


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 www.sdys.org


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
10
Fri
TAFELMUSIK BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
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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SoundsOfTheBaroqueLogo
 
 
 
 
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.

PRELUDE 7 PM
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
Sat
MALANDAIN BALLET BIARRITZ: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
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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GALA AFTER PARTY
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!
JOIN THE PARTY>>>


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


PROGRAM NOTES:
MALANDAIN BALLET BIARRITZ: Beauty & The Beast

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

SYNOPSIS

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.

PRELUDE 7 PM
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.

For more information visit malandainballet.com


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.”

THIERRY MALANDAIN IN A FEW DATES

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
Thu
DANISH NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
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

CARL NIELSEN
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

RICHARD WAGNER
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

GUSTAV MAHLER
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

PRELUDE 7 PM
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 fabioluisi.net


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

For more information visit www.deborahvoigt.com

Mar
31
Fri
MAX RAABE & PALAST ORCHESTER
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

Buy Tickets

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


PROGRAM NOTES: MAX RAABE & PALAST ORCHESTER: Let's Do It

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

For more information visit www.palast-orchester.de

Apr
8
Sat
BLACK GRACE
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.

Buy Tickets


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

PROGRAM NOTES: Black Grace


MINOI
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.


PATI PATI
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.


CRYING MEN – EXCERPT
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”.


MOTHER MOTHER
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


AS NIGHT FALLS – ABRIDGED
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

PRELUDE 7 PM
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
Sat
EMERSON STRING QUARTET
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.

RESTAURANT NIGHT:
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

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
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

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
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

ANTONIN DVOŘÁK
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
Sat
NIKOLAY KHOZYAINOV, piano
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
ENCORE
RACHMANINOFFÉtudes-Tableaux
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

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
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

IGOR STRAVINSKY
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

ROBERT SCHUMANN
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.

For more information visit www.nikolaykhozyainov.com

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

Free to the Public
SUMMERFEST OUTDOOR CONCERT & MOVIE

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.


PROGRAM

SCHUBERTQuartettsatz
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
MOVIE SCREENING La La Land
Sponsored by THE LOT
Aug
4
Fri
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

SUMMERFEST 2017

OPENING NIGHT: Fiddles vs. Pianos

FRIDAY, AUGUST 4 at 8 PM
UC SAN DIEGO DEPT. OF MUSIC’S CONRAD PREBYS CONCERT HALL

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

WATCH!

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


PRELUDE 7 PM

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
Sat
FROM PRAGUE WITH LOVE