Jediah McCourt

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So far Jediah McCourt has created 46 blog entries.

ARTICLE: La Jolla SummerFest Is Back, with a New Director and a ‘New Wave’ Schedule

Times of San Diego
Barry Jagoda
July 30, 2019

La Jolla Music Society is about to launch the 34th annual SummerFest, its internationally respected summer music festival.

The popular event begins with “The Time Traveler’s Suite” on opening night, Friday, Aug. 2, at The Conrad, the superb new performance venue in the heart of La Jolla.

Times of San Diego caught up with the festival’s brand new music director, the virtuoso Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan, just as he was arriving in San Diego July 27.

Barnatan is here on another of his many trips to San Diego, but this time to take hands-on responsibility for the schedule of performances he has planned for the three weeks through Aug. 23.

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ARTICLE: La Jolla SummerFest Is Back, with a New Director and a ‘New Wave’ Schedule2019-08-08T10:13:39-07:00

ARTICLE: SummerFest Music Director Inon Barnatan seeks transformation in La Jolla

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
July 26, 2019

Internationally acclaimed pianist Inon Barnatan loves walking on the beach and swimming, whether it’s during a visit to his native Israel or to San Diego, where he will be spending much of August. So when the La Jolla Music Society invited Barnatan to immerse himself in what he smilingly refers to as the society’s lavish new $82 million “sandbox,” the offer was simply irresistible.

“To be perfectly honest, the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center is one of the main reasons I decided to sign on to this — it was one of the things that tipped the scales for me,” said Barnatan, referring to the nonprofit society’s state-of-the-art new home. It houses both the state-of-the-art Baker-Baum Concert Hall and The JAI, the center’s smaller, cabaret-styled theater.

Located just blocks from the ocean, The Conrad — as it is informally known — opened with great fanfare in April and Barnatan was one of the featured performers. On Friday, he will take to its stage as the new music director of the society’s 34-year-old SummerFest.

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ARTICLE: SummerFest Music Director Inon Barnatan seeks transformation in La Jolla2019-07-28T18:06:21-07:00

ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society sets innovative programs

San Diego Jewish World
Eileen Wingard
July 25, 2019

It must have been a challenging task for the La Jolla Music Society to find a successor for Summerfest’s former director, violinist Cho-Liang Lin. Taiwanese-born Lin was not only a brilliant violinist with a successful career as a performer, but he proved himself to be a gifted administrator and programmer, bringing top-notch talent to the internationally-acclaimed La Jolla Music Society’s annual summer festival.

Now, another outstanding musician, Israeli-born pianist, Inon Barnatan, has taken over the leadership role. The Tel Aviv native, called, “One of the most admired pianists of his generation,” by the New York Times, has lined up three weeks of innovative programming for the three-week Summerfest, which opens Friday, August 2, 8:00 pm, at the new Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center.

Barnatan’s programming has the mark of a creative artist who thinks outside the box, and whose vision encompasses all of the arts. The three-concert “synergy initiative series” produced by Barnatan and Clara W. Tsai, exemplifies his creativity. The first one, Wednesday, August 7, 8:00 pm, will feature jazz singer, Cecile Mclorin Salvant and jazz pianist, Aaron Diehl, as well as Barnatan, himself. The program is entitled, “Intersection,” and will highlight the symbiotic relationship between classical music and jazz.

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ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society sets innovative programs2019-07-28T18:11:13-07:00

ARTICLE: SummerFest preview – La Jolla Music Society to present ‘Transformation’ series with music, dance, art from Aug. 2-23

La Jolla Light
Lonnie Hewitt
July 24, 2019

La Jolla Music Society has a lot going on this season, and its SummerFest — an annual event since 1986 — has a new music director, Inon Barnatan, who is infusing the popular festival with energy and excitement. Appropriately called “Transformation,” this year’s Fest, featuring three weeks of events from Aug. 2-23, 2019 is the first to be based in The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, the Music Society’s impressive new home in The Village of La Jolla at 7600 Fay Ave.

Barnatan, an award-winning pianist who recently completed three seasons as the New York Philharmonic’s artist-in-association, has been called by the music director there “a complete artist: a wonderful pianist, a probing intellect, passionately committed.”

In “Transformation,” he’s addressing questions such as: How do composers transform other composers’ music? How do art forms transform one another? So, this SummerFest will be a multimedia affair, including a Synergy series that combines classical music, jazz, dance, visual art and the many talents of visionary theater and opera director/designer Doug Fitch.

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ARTICLE: SummerFest preview – La Jolla Music Society to present ‘Transformation’ series with music, dance, art from Aug. 2-232019-07-25T16:13:25-07:00

ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society will celebrate 51st year with biggest season ever

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
July 7, 2019

How will the La Jolla Music Society top its recently concluded 50th anniversary season, which featured 34 performances and climaxed with the April opening of the nonprofit arts organization’s eye-popping, $82 million Conrad Prebys Center for the Performing Arts?

By presenting even more performances and expanding the range of programming in its eye-popping new performing arts center.

That expansion includes the debut of a new family concert series and a new lecture series that will be presented in collaboration with National Geographic. In addition, acclaimed classical music guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas will become the society’s first ambassador of education, a role that will see him spend three weeks in San Diego to perform at the center and do community outreach programs.

“This will be the biggest season we’ve ever had, and it will showcase the next step in our evolution,” said Leah Rosenthal, the society’s director of programming.

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ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society will celebrate 51st year with biggest season ever2019-07-07T09:31:33-07:00

ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society Summerfest’s New Music Director, Inon Barnatan

San Diego Jewish Journal
Pat Launer
June 28, 2019

“A musician is like an actor.” That’s one of many thought-provoking ideas espoused by Inon Barnatan, the Israeli-born, internationally-renowned pianist who’s taking the helm as new music director of the La Jolla Music Society’s 34th annual SummerFest.

A nationally recognized classical music festival, SummerFest offers world-class classical concerts, uniting a stellar roster of resident soloists, composers, ensembles and artistic fellows every year during the month of August. The Festival routinely attracts an extensive and diverse audience from Southern California and beyond.

“SummerFest has been one of my very favorite Festivals since the first time I attended. So it’s a huge honor to come back as Music Director,” Barnatan said from his home in New York, where he alights periodically, given his intense schedule of solo, orchestral and chamber music performances.

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ARTICLE: La Jolla Music Society Summerfest’s New Music Director, Inon Barnatan2019-07-10T21:20:23-07:00

REVIEW: In a dazzling recital, two musicians unlock the acoustics at Baker-Baum Concert Hall

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Christian Hertzog
May 21, 2019

Conventional wisdom has it that winning a performance competition will boost visibility — especially for a previously unknown musician — but it’s no guarantee of a long-term career.

The Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis may not have much public recognition outside of violinists, Hoosiers and music presenters, but past gold and silver medal award winners include Pavel Berman, Leonidas Kavakos, Augustin Hadelich and Simone Lamsma (who gave a compelling account of Bernstein’s Serenade last year with the San Diego Symphony.)

The La Jolla Music Society clearly paid attention to the 2018 competition. Taiwanese American violinist Richard Lin won its Gold Medal last year, and LJMS brought him to the Baker-Baum Concert Hall at The Conrad Sunday afternoon. There, he impressed listeners with his beautiful tone and easy virtuosity.

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REVIEW: In a dazzling recital, two musicians unlock the acoustics at Baker-Baum Concert Hall2019-06-25T15:30:35-07:00

REVIEW: David Finckel and Wu Han magical in Debussy and Britten sonatas — and wow the crowd with Mendelssohn

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Christian Hertzog
May 11, 2019

Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han gave the Baker-Baum Concert Hall a satisfying workout Friday evening for the La Jolla Music Society.

Their well-curated program was a chronological survey of sonatas for cello and piano by J.S. Bach (if you consider cello as a substitute for the viola da gamba), Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Debussy and Britten. However, only Mendelssohn’s work conformed to the classical notion of a sonata: four movements, the outer ones in fast tempos, the inner a scherzo and slow movement.

The form of Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G Major for Viola da Gamba and Keyboard, BWV 1017 was a precursor to the 19th-century sonata: slow introductory movement, fast movement, slow movement, fast. Finckel played with minimal vibrato, cleanly enunciating his phrases. Han approached Bach with a soft-toned clarity, and rubato was very sparingly used.

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REVIEW: David Finckel and Wu Han magical in Debussy and Britten sonatas — and wow the crowd with Mendelssohn2019-06-25T15:28:06-07:00

ARTICLE: Anat Cohen is making the clarinet cool for a new generation

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
May 10, 2019

Internationally celebrated clarinet master Anat Cohen is well on her way to making her chosen instrument cool again, be it for fans of jazz, Brazilian choro music or the genre-leaping hybrid she performs with both her quartet and her 10-piece band, the aptly named Tentet.

Never mind that Cohen — who earned 2018 Grammy nominations for Best Latin Jazz Album and Best World Music Album — started off with some doubts about the clarinet herself and instead focused on playing tenor saxophone.

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ARTICLE: Anat Cohen is making the clarinet cool for a new generation2019-06-25T15:31:54-07:00

ARTICLE: Under Inon Barnatan, La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest begins a new era

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Beth Wood
April 14, 2019

It’s a rare occurrence, but venerable arts organizations can sometimes get a fresh start. Witness the La Jolla Music Society, which will launch its 34th SummerFest in its brand new home with its brand new music director.

Led for the first time by pianist and curator Inon Barnatan, the popular monthlong celebration of chamber music will be held at The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla from Aug. 2 to Aug. 23.

SummerFest has long been known to attract top-notch musicians from around the world, and this year is no exception. The lineup includes cellist Alisa Weilerstein, pianist Conrad Tao, soprano Susanna Phillips, violinist Augustin Hadelich, baritone Tyler Duncan, the Mark Morris Dance Group and jazz vocal sensation Cecile McLorin Salvant.

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ARTICLE: Under Inon Barnatan, La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest begins a new era2019-04-15T12:00:13-07:00