Times of San Diego
Barry Jagoda
August 24, 2019

La Jolla’s three-week-long, world-renowned summer music festival came to a brilliant finale, with memorable performances of Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi by the SummerFest Chamber Orchestra.

At the finale on Friday night, patrons extended rave applause for violinists James Ehnes, Augustin Hadelich and Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin, who has completed his 18-year tenure as festival music director, but returned to play.

For their presentation of Mozart’s Concerto For Two Pianos and OrchestraInon Barnatan, the world-class pianist, who has just concluded a first, highly successful term as festival music director, was joined by pianist Jonathan Biss.

Biss was back from playing flawlessly earlier last week, accompanying tenor Robin Tritscher in his moving singing of Schumann’s “Poet’s Love” on a night under the umbrella title “Love Stories.”

As a theme of the finale, the Festival Chamber Orchestra, under conductor (and harpsichordist) Nicholas McGegan, played in the “concerto grosso” style music from the 18th century.  In a concerto grosso, a small group of instruments and a larger group play in contrast to each another. The phrase is Italian for “big concerto.”