REVIEW: Mendelssohn Quintet shines in SummerFest’s ‘Music from the Heart’

San Diego Union-Tribune
Marcus Overton
August 8, 2018

Felix Mendelssohn was not content merely to accept music as he found it (and he found it early, composing brilliant string symphonies before he entered his teens, and a masterpiece — the Octet for Strings — before he turned 20). Before his too-early death, at 38 in 1847, he had grabbed music by the throat and decisively changed the course of the art form as a conductor, educator, administrator and performer.

In a way, Mendelssohn is still with us, dropping buzz-bombs of energy wherever a group of dedicated musicians open a window into the past and show us that great art, no matter how old, is always new.

That’s what happened on Tuesday evening at La Jolla Music Society SummerFest’s “Music from the Heart” concert when violinists Paul Huang and Anna Lee, violists Tien Hsien Cindy Wu and Heiichiro Ohyama, and cellist Hai-Ye Ni came onstage in UC San Diego’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall and set the place on fire with Mendelssohn’s Opus 87 String Quintet.