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ANNOUNCEMENT: La Jolla Music Society will celebrate stellar 50th anniversary season in its new $78.5 million arts center

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
July 8, 2018

Booking the performers and heading the board of directors for one of San Diego’s oldest and most respected arts organizations is serious business.

But Leah Rosenthal and Katherine Chapin have good reason to sound doubly giddy when they discuss the La Jolla Music Society’s upcoming 2018-19 season.

Their excitement stems from more than the star-packed lineup, which ranges from Japanese-born violinist Midori and Russian piano sensation Daniil Trifonov to sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Not only does the new season mark the 50th anniversary of the La Jolla Music Society, it will also usher in the debut of the nonprofit arts organization’s new La Jolla home, the $78.5 million Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center.

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ANNOUNCEMENT: La Jolla Music Society will celebrate stellar 50th anniversary season in its new $78.5 million arts center 2018-07-08T14:21:56+00:00

ARTICLE: SummerFest music director Cho-Liang ‘Jimmy’ Lin will bow out with poise and panache

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
June 10, 2018

La Jolla Music Society SummerFest music director Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin vows to pull out all the stops in August when he concludes his final season as the heart and soul of the La Jolla Music Society’s acclaimed chamber-music celebration.

“I’m kind of ditching the musical parameters I usually have,” said Lin, who has expertly guided SummerFest as its music director for the past 18 years.

“I thought: ‘OK, I’ll just do whatever I want.’ And, hopefully, the audience will walk away happy. Even if they’re not happy, they’ll be rid of me!”

Lin, one of the classical-music world’s most acclaimed violinists since the 1980s, laughed heartily.

“I’m being facetious, of course,” he hastened to add. “I want the audience to be pleased and satisfied every year.”

That’s a goal Lin has handily achieved since becoming SummerFest’s music director in late 2000. He assumed that role 16 years after making his audacious 1985 San Diego concert debut at a La Jolla Music Society-produced concert in Balboa Park…

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ARTICLE: SummerFest music director Cho-Liang ‘Jimmy’ Lin will bow out with poise and panache 2018-06-11T13:26:03+00:00

REVIEW: Schubert’s ‘Pinnacle of Chamber Music’ at La Jolla Music Society

Times of San Diego
Barry Jagoda
May 23, 2018

Inon Barnatan, music director-designate of La Jolla Music Society’s world renowned SummerFest, has curated another wonderful concert program, the third in a series entitled “Schubert’s Swan Song.”

Barnatan was pianist for half of the concert on May 19, and the large audience at Qualcomm Hall was thrilled, delivering a standing ovation for his rendition of the brilliant Schubert Piano Sonata in C minor. This was immediately followed by an even more arousing, glorious violin-piano duet, in which Barnatan was joined by the passionate, award-winning young violinist Benjamin Beilman for Schubert’s Fantasy in C Major.

But perhaps the evening’s highlight, after an intermission, was Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major, for which Barnatan brought together the world-class Dover Quartet, and joined them with Carter Brey, in from his day job as principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic…

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REVIEW: Schubert’s ‘Pinnacle of Chamber Music’ at La Jolla Music Society 2018-06-11T13:25:31+00:00

ARTICLE: Choreographer Mark Morris interprets 50-year-old ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ songs as dance

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Marcia Manna
May 10, 2018

Groundbreaking artists share common attributes, among them the courage to realize their creative vision and to tackle projects that have the potential to please, tease or provoke an audience.

Choreographer Mark Morris does all of that and more with “Pepperland,” an evening of dance that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Presented by the La Jolla Music Society on Saturday at the Civic Theatre, the touring show marries two pioneering art forms: the movement style of Morris, a contemporary, world-renowned dancemaker, and the controversial and culturally relevant music written by The Beatles a half century ago.

“Pepperland” was commissioned last year by the City of Liverpool and showcases the Mark Morris Dance Group, a buoyant troupe of 15 who perform to an original score by Ethan Iverson.

Iverson, a New York-based jazz pianist (formerly with The Bad Plus), was musical director for Morris for five years in the 1990s and Morris chose him to compose his own original Sgt. Pepper-inspired works along with new arrangements of songs such as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Within You Without You” and “Penny Lane.”

Now hold on to your vintage vinyl, folks…

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ARTICLE: Choreographer Mark Morris interprets 50-year-old ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ songs as dance 2018-06-11T13:25:11+00:00

ARTICLE: Mark Morris’s ‘Pepperland’ Invades the Civic Theatre

San Diego Story
Kris Eitland
May 8, 2018

… Morris and his Brooklyn-based group are touring a vivid Beatles tribute to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band across America, with stops in 30 cities before the end of 2019.

“For Pepperland, we do a few stops on every trip,” Morris said from his headquarters in Brooklyn. “This weekend is Santa Barbara and San Diego, then a big six-week tour of Britain next spring. We do other shows in between and are most focused on Pepperland now.”

Pepperland features an original score by Ethan Iverson and arrangements of six songs from the album, such as “With a Little Help from My Friends,” “Penny Lane,” and “When I’m Sixty-Four.”

Morris had to work with lawyers to get rights to use the songs…

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ARTICLE: Mark Morris’s ‘Pepperland’ Invades the Civic Theatre 2018-06-11T13:22:34+00:00

ARTICLE: Joey Alexander, a jazz piano star at 14, counts Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis among his fans

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
April 22, 2018

Like many 14-year-olds, Joey Alexander collects action figures, likes to swim and cites “Black Panther” as his favorite recent movie.

Unlike any other 14-year-olds, he earned Grammy Award nominations in 2016 and 2017 in the Best Improvised Jazz Solo category, plus another in 2016 for Best Jazz Album. That was the same year he duetted with piano icon Chick Corea at the Rochester Jazz Festival and performed at the White House, at age 12, with saxophone legend Wayne Shorter and bassist Esperanza Spalding.

And unlike other 14-year-olds, Alexander has a fan base that includes jazz greats Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock, who began to champion the Indonesian-born pianist after hearing him play in Jakarta in 2011…

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ARTICLE: Joey Alexander, a jazz piano star at 14, counts Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis among his fans 2018-06-11T13:24:41+00:00

REVIEW: In his San Diego debut, tenor Robin Tritschler captivates audience in La Jolla Music Society concert

San Diego Union-Tribune
Christian Hertzog
April 15, 2018

On Saturday evening, San Diegans were introduced to a heavenly sounding Irish tenor named Robin Tritschler. The La Jolla Music Society flew him directly from London to sing Franz Schubert’s song cycle, “Schwanengesang” (“Swan song”), in Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall.

The idea of a “swan song” is powerful: a beautiful, graceful bird with a voice that can only honk and hiss, but in the moment before death magically produces a ravishing melody…

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REVIEW: In his San Diego debut, tenor Robin Tritschler captivates audience in La Jolla Music Society concert 2018-06-11T13:24:12+00:00

REVIEW: New SummerFest Director Inon Barnatan Wows in First Performance

Times of San Diego
Barry Jagoda
April 3, 2018

Fans of La Jolla Music Society’s popular SummerFest have an early opportunity to see and hear the kind of programming that will be brought to the world-class music festival by music director-designate Inon Barnatan, who is curating a three-part series this spring entitled Schubert’s Swan Song.

Based on the first of these concerts, held just before Easter, Barnatan is going to be a huge favorite with La Jolla audiences, including the many who come annually to San Diego for one of the globe’s top musical festivals…

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REVIEW: New SummerFest Director Inon Barnatan Wows in First Performance 2018-06-11T13:21:56+00:00

REVIEW: Inon Barnatan and Garrick Ohlsson deliver masterful performances of late Schubert music

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Christian Hertzog
March 26, 2018

“I am sick. I have eaten nothing for 11 days and drunk nothing, and I totter feebly and shakily from my bed and back again.”

Within his brief lifespan, Schubert produced more than 1,500 compositions. One of classical music’s greatest melodists, his talent for writing small-scale works like songs, dances and marches was evident from his teens. In early 19th century Vienna, however, long, tuneful melodies weren’t easily adapted into four-movement sonata forms like symphonies or string quartets.

Schubert grappled with this challenge throughout his career, and in his last years, he was able to reconcile the two in a series of visionary sonatas, chamber music and his Ninth Symphony. All the more remarkable was that Schubert did this handicapped by illness — believed by many to be syphilis — which he had suffered since the age of 26.

Despite this burden, Schubert produced an astonishing series of masterpieces in his final year. Inon Barnatan and the La Jolla Music Society are showcasing eight of them in a three-part concert series at Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall.

Saturday evening was the first concert and was particularly noteworthy as Barnatan’s first appearance since the announcement that he will succeed Cho-Liang Lin as the musical director of the society’s annual SummerFest.

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REVIEW: Inon Barnatan and Garrick Ohlsson deliver masterful performances of late Schubert music 2018-06-11T13:21:35+00:00

ARTICLE: Schubert Swan Song to salute music composer wrote in final year of his life

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
March 22, 2018

When it came to deciding who would play the high parts and low parts in their four-handed piano performance of Schubert’s famed Fantasy in F Minor, Garrick Ohlsson weighed in with an argument that Inon Barnatan simply couldn’t stand up against.

“I suggested Inon should play the primo, the higher piano part, because — and this will sound silly — I am considerably larger in height, width and weight than him,” Ohlsson recalled with a burst of laughter from his San Francisco home.

“I said to Inon: ‘If I play the primo, you’ll be invisible to the audience! The geeky reason I could give you is that the primo is more difficult, so I let Inon have it!”

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ARTICLE: Schubert Swan Song to salute music composer wrote in final year of his life 2018-03-22T14:40:16+00:00