REVIEW: A Sumptuous Banquet of Lin’s Favorites at La Jolla SummerFest

San Diego Story
Ken Herman
August 15, 2018

San Diego chamber music lovers could easily come up with a dozen reasons why they will miss Cho-Liang Lin when he leaves the La Jolla Music Society after 18 seasons as the SummerFest Music Director. Reason number one on my list, however, is Lin’s brilliant programming, that keen insight that assembled the complementary variety of styles and exhilarating caliber of music-making displayed on Tuesday’s (Aug. 14) SummerFest concert at UC San Diego’s Prebys Concert Hall.

Lin assembled an embarrassment of riches, each amazing piece raising the bar yet another notch, from the warmth and allure of Joaquin Turina’s Escena Andaluza that opened the concert, to Claude Debussy’s profound yet unsentimental Cello Sonata, to Lei Liang’s extravagantly exciting new commissioned piece “Vis-à-vis” for Pipa and Percussion, to Gustav Mahler’s transcendent Rückert-Lieder song cycle to Alberto Ginestera’s breathtaking String Quartet No. 1.