MEDIA ARCHIVE

PREVIEW: Musical gumbo due at Balboa Theatre

UT San Diego
By George Varga
May 14, 2013

How easy is it for a savvy pop-music critic to make accurate predictions? Allow me to demonstrate with three examples:

1. Before he kicks off the U.S. leg of his troubled world tour here at Valley View Casino Center on June 22, Justin Bieber will make more headlines regarding a controversy. Said controversy may involve pot, paparazzi, Selena Gomez, Bieber’s errant pet monkey, or some combination thereof.

2. The ongoing “50 and Counting” Rolling Stones’ concert tour will not suddenly add a San Diego date.

3. There will be spontaneous dancing in the aisles at the Balboa Theatre this weekend.

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PREVIEW: Musical gumbo due at Balboa Theatre 2014-01-27T11:08:58+00:00

REVIEW: Poles and Germans Without Conflict for a Change

San Diego Story
By Ken Herman
May 11, 2013

In 2005, the young Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz surprised the world and thrilled his fellow countrymen by winning the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, the first Pole to take top honors at the Chopin Competition in 30 years. Poles have the same relationship to Frédéric Chopin as Americans have to baseball, so this was truly a big thing in Poland.

Blechacz (pronounced BLAY-hahch) made his San Diego debut Friday (May 10) in an exciting and rewarding solo recital in La Jolla’s Sherwood Auditorium.

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REVIEW: Poles and Germans Without Conflict for a Change 2014-01-27T11:08:42+00:00

REVIEW: Ailey Legacy Lives On, Plays it Safe

San Diego Story
By Kris Eitland
April 12, 2013

It’s not easy to preserve the past and appeal to a 21st century audience at the same time. The heirs of Alvin Ailey’s legacy continue to find balance by pairing commissioned new works wtih a golden oldie that has become a cultural phenomenon.

With Robert Battle as artistic director, only the third to head the company since its inception in 1958, Alvin Ailey American Dance theater presented two programs this week at Copley Symphony Hall. Following tradition, both ended with Ailey’s “Revelations,” a dance that was created in 1960, the year of sit-ins at segregated lunch counters, civil rights protests, and John F. Kennedy elected president.

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REVIEW: Ailey Legacy Lives On, Plays it Safe 2014-01-27T11:07:04+00:00

REVIEW: The Roar of the Dance Crowd: Ailey Wows

San Diego Story
By Janice Steinberg
April 10, 2013

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a dance audience roar the way people did last night, when the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed at Copley Symphony Hall. One of the thrills of the show, the first of two Ailey performances here, came from experience the audience-younger and more diverse than at many dance shows, and wildly enthusiastic.

The big thrill was the dance. Long acclaimed for having dancers of extraordinary power, the Ailey company has in recent years built a dazzling repertory. Amoung the works added by Robert Battle, who became artistic director in 2011, is Paul Taylor’s classic “Arden Court,” which kicked off last night’s program.

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REVIEW: The Roar of the Dance Crowd: Ailey Wows 2014-01-27T11:07:44+00:00

REVIEW: Scottish Ensemble Plays with Trumpeter Alison Balsom

San Diego Story
By Ken Herman
April 7, 2013

If you have ever observed the brass section of a typical North American symphony orchestra, you know that the trumpet, trombone and tuba enclave is decidely male-dominated. My own professional experience with trumpet players has reinforced their gentlemanly macho profile.

English trumpet virtuoso Alison Balsom, who performed with the Scottish Ensemble Saturday (April 6) at Sherwood Auditorium, will cause many to re-examine this stereotype. As soloist in a pair of Baroque concertos and Scottish composer James MacMillan’s “Seraph” for trumpet and strings, Balsom demonstrated a fluent, supple technique and the panache we expect from today’s heirs of the fabled medieval trumpet guilds.

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REVIEW: Scottish Ensemble Plays with Trumpeter Alison Balsom 2014-01-27T11:07:24+00:00

JUST IN: Season 45 Announced in Sunday’s UT San Diego

UT San Diego
By James Chute
March 31, 2013

Christopher Beach, the president and artistic director of the La Jolla Music Society, is passionate about the society’s concerts. But his favorite moments are the society’s board meetings. “We meet seven times a year at one of our member’s law offices,” Beach said. “I always get there early to make sure things are set up. And as they come in, the spirit, the sense of common purpose, the camaraderie, starts filling up the room. People greet one another with great warmth and it just feels like wave after wave of good will.” Entering its 45th season, in which it is offering 29 concerts, the most it has ever presented, the La Jolla Music Society is feeling good about itself.

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JUST IN: Season 45 Announced in Sunday’s UT San Diego 2014-01-27T11:06:42+00:00

REVIEW: Cellist Weilerstein Soars with Academy

San Diego Story
By Ken Herman
March 3, 2013

On rare occasions, during a rapturous performance of great music, I am tempted to think that I will never again hear this work played so well. This has happened while hearing Yo-Yo Ma play an entire recital of J.S. Bach’s unaccompanied Cello Suites; Christopher Taylor play Messiaen’s “Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jesus,” and recently when Gil Shaham performed Bach’s E Major Partita for Solo Violin.

Saturday (March 2) at the Balboa Theatre, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and the touring ensemble of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields were only moments into Joseph Haydn’s familiar Cello Concerto in C Major when I came to that same conclusion.

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REVIEW: Cellist Weilerstein Soars with Academy 2014-01-27T11:06:04+00:00

REVIEW: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields charms at Balboa

UT San Diego
By James Chute
March 3, 2013

With the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, you know what you are going to get: clean, crisp, rhythmically buoyant playing with a remarkable unanimity of sound and approach.

As they say, this oft-recorded and well-traveled ensemble is money, and it proved it again Saturday at the Balboa Theatre in a satisfying, well-received concert presented by the La Jolla Music Society.

Although the London-based chamber orchestra gained much of its notoriety under the baton of Neville Marriner, it has long since returned to its roots as a conductorless ensemble.

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REVIEW: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields charms at Balboa 2014-01-27T11:06:20+00:00

PREVIEW: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

UT San Diego
By James Chute
February 27, 2013

During the 1970s and the 1980s, the phrase “Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields” was so ubiquitous in classical music that The New Yorker ran a cartoon with a parrot squawking their names.

But the London-based ensemble is more than a memory, even if Marriner has moved on. Through seemingly constant reinvention, it continues to be a vital musical force, and its upcoming U.S. tour with soloists Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan includes a La Jolla Music Society-sponsored concert at the Balboa Theatre on Saturday.

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PREVIEW: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields 2014-01-27T11:05:40+00:00

JUST IN: SummerFest 2013 season is announced

UT San Diego
By James Chute
February 23, 2013

SummerFest Music Director Cho-Liang Lin is always looking for ways to mix it up a little bit at the La Jolla Music Society’s annual, three-week chamber music extravaganza that is generally considered one of the top summer music festivals in the nation.

This year, he’s inviting SummerFest audiences to join him at UC San Diego’s Loft for a largely contemporary program. But don’t get the wrong idea: Cellist Fred Sherry will be your host, and Lin expects it will be like nothing else the society has ever done.

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JUST IN: SummerFest 2013 season is announced 2014-01-27T11:09:17+00:00