MEDIA ARCHIVE

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 Mendelssohn 2019-05-14T09:37:15+00:00

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 generation 2019-05-10T16:04:29+00:00

ARTICLE: Pink Martini singer Storm Large exactly ‘Crazy Enough’ for her La Jolla-bound musical

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
April 28, 2019

Pink Martini singer Storm Large was understandably delighted when Broadway producers came calling in 2009 after her one-woman musical autobiography, “Crazy Enough,” became a smash hit during its extended, 21-week debut at Portland Center Stage in Oregon.

Alas, those same producers made a major error.

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ARTICLE: Pink Martini singer Storm Large exactly ‘Crazy Enough’ for her La Jolla-bound musical 2019-04-28T08:03:58+00:00

ARTICLE: Chris Thile, ‘genius grant’ winner, is as obsessive about coffee as music

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
April 20, 2019

Chris Thile doesn’t hesitate to spill the beans when it comes to one of the great loves of his life that doesn’t involve his family or music.

“Coffee is pretty big in my life. It shows up in my lyrics a bunch, the same way the ocean does. It’s a constant force,” said Thile, who since 2002 has won four Grammy Awards and — in 2012 — a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” Fellowship.

True to his word, Thile’s songwriting credits as a member of the Grammy-winning bands Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers include several caffeine-referencing songs.

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ARTICLE: Chris Thile, ‘genius grant’ winner, is as obsessive about coffee as music 2019-04-20T15:46:36+00:00

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 era 2019-04-15T12:00:13+00:00

REVIEW: La Jolla Music Society’s Baker-Baum may not be perfect, but Midori and Thibaudet show that it might become the best concert hall in town

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Christian Hertzog
April 14, 2019

LA JOLLA — Classical music in San Diego has had a remarkable growth spurt the past few years.

San Diego Opera almost died five years ago, but under David Bennett reshaped itself into a marvelously vibrant company that mounts excellent traditional productions and provocative smaller-scale works.

After acquiring an inspiring young conductor, Rafael Payare, the San Diego Symphony has launched what promises to be its most exciting era.

The La Jolla Music Society has had setbacks recently. Kristin Lancino was president and artistic director for a little more than two years and then mysteriously resigned in January 2018. After a monthslong national search, a successor, Susan Danis, was named, but weeks after accepting her job offer, she rescinded.

But during these front office difficulties, a state-of-the-art structure was built in La Jolla, a venue the likes of which has not been seen locally since the debut of the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. Last weekend, the $82 million Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center opened, and on Friday evening, brand new CEO Ted DeDee took the stage of the Baker-Baum Concert Hall for introductory comments before a concert by violinist Midori and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

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REVIEW: La Jolla Music Society’s Baker-Baum may not be perfect, but Midori and Thibaudet show that it might become the best concert hall in town 2019-04-15T18:03:20+00:00

ARTICLE: Anoushka Shankar reflects on music, her kids and her legendary father

The San Diego Union-Tribune
George Varga
April 14, 2019

Anoushka Shankar had an unusually sound reason for missing some school days during the fall semester of her 10th grade year in 1996 at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas. She was on tour and making her Carnegie Hall concert debut with her father, iconic Indian composer and sitar master Ravi Shankar.

Her audacious, self-titled debut album came out in 1998, when she was just 17. Her late father wrote all the music for the album and produced it. That same year found Anoushka — a high school honors student who was already fluent in four languages — applying to some of the top universities in the United States. Today, 21 years later, she has yet to enroll in any of them.

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ARTICLE: Anoushka Shankar reflects on music, her kids and her legendary father 2019-04-15T16:53:23+00:00

REVIEW: Jerusalem Quartet Delights in First Performance at La Jolla’s New Conrad

Times of San Diego
Barry Jagoda
April 10, 2019

With a sublime presentation Tuesday evening by the Jerusalem Quartet, it becomes readily apparent why the Baker-Baum Concert Hall inside the new Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center is getting rave reviews as a chamber music venue.

Patrons were obviously thrilled, affording the quartet a standing ovation.

It took only a tiny bit of imagination to think that the string compositions of Haydn, Debussy and Beethoven were created just to be played by these magnificent Israeli musicians. The quartet is comprised of violinists Alexander Pavlovsky and Sergei Bresler, violist Ori Kam and cellist Kyril Zlotnikov.

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REVIEW: Jerusalem Quartet Delights in First Performance at La Jolla’s New Conrad 2019-04-13T16:24:36+00:00

REVIEW: Chamber-Music All-Stars Inaugurate La Jolla’s Deluxe New Concert Hall

San Francisco Classical Voice
Richard S. Ginell
April 9, 2019

For most of the decades of its existence, the La Jolla Music Society held its La Jolla Summerfest chamber music festival in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s Sherwood Auditorium overlooking the Pacific. It was a multipurpose, fan-shaped room with, to put it kindly, non-descript acoustics, a hall not really designed for music. But it was home — and the festival thrived there until one day, seven years ago, it was told to leave. The hall was being demolished to make room for an expansion of the museum, and the Society held its last concert there in March 2017.

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REVIEW: Chamber-Music All-Stars Inaugurate La Jolla’s Deluxe New Concert Hall 2019-04-13T16:12:48+00:00

ARTICLE: The Conrad debuts on a grand scale in La Jolla

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Diane Bell
April 8, 2019

Friday night was The Conrad’s night. Construction dust was swept away. The music hall was tidied up, dressed up and bedecked with flowers like a debutante at her coming-out party ready to step into society.

It was the night generous donors got to see — and hear— the outcome their contributions to the $82 million privately funded concert hall and multi-purpose venue. And it was the night an army of volunteers could finally savor the satisfaction of having helped open a new chapter in La Jolla and San Diego music history.

It was the night the music lived.

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ARTICLE: The Conrad debuts on a grand scale in La Jolla 2019-04-13T16:03:58+00:00