A Musical Journey: La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ new season to celebrate ‘Life’

Music Director Steven Schick and the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus in rehearsal. Courtesy

If you go

What: LJS&C season, “Life,” Sept. 2013-June 2014

Saturday concerts: 7:30 p.m.

Sunday concerts: 2 p.m.

Where: Mandeville Auditorium, UCSD campus

Free pre-concert lecture: One hour prior

Subscriptions: Six-concert series $55 students, $139 seniors, $154 adults Single tickets: $15-$29

Box Office: (858) 534-4637

Web: lajollasymphony.com

From Symphony & Chorus Reports

The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ (LJS&C) 2013-2014 season titled, “Life,” will feature a series of music events that will each take a page from the exigencies of being human, culminating in a spring celebration of Choral Director David Chase’s 40th anniversary year with the ensemble.

Highlights of the season include an orchestra reading of five new works by jazz composers, a first Young People’s Concert, choral performances on four of the six subscription concerts, and guest artists including Venezuelan choral conductor Maria Guinand in a shared program with David Chase of music from Latin America, and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), featuring flutist and MacArthur fellow Claire Chase.

“Something that has been common in all of the programs, all of the seasons, is the idea that the boundary between life and music is porous,” said Music Director Steven Schick of the season’s theme.

The premise is actually a sentence-long declaration: Life … is fresh (September concert), sometimes a little scary (November), utterly ecstatic (December), sometimes hidden in plain sight (February), made for sharing (March), and bursting with promise (May); life is for celebrating (June).

“I don’t know how this sentence came to me, but I like the way it plays out in the season. It’s not too serious. It’s a simple wish. It’s a wish that life and music find common cause and a wish of celebration for David,” Schick said.

• Life is fresh.

The season starts with two free special events. The community is invited to hear Schick conduct a performance reading of new works for symphony orchestra written by five jazz composers — Miya Masaoka, Michael Dessen, Daniel Francis Marschak, Alan Chan and Tobin Chodos — 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20 at the Mandeville Auditorium on UCSD campus.

It’s the culmination of a yearlong workshop by the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (JCOI) and an audience Q&A is part of the fun.

The second event is LJS&C’s first Young People’s Concert, 7-8:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1 tailored to young eyes and ears. Works will include movements from Hector Berlioz’ spooky “Symphonie Fantastique,” and an Edgard Varèse’s “Density 21.5,” by flutist Claire Chase.

• Life is sometimes a little scary.

The subscription season opens Nov. 2-3 with music from four different centuries, chosen to reflect this “spooky” time of the year. ICE joins in for a program that ranges from Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante for Winds” through Varèse’s revolutionary “Density 21.5” for solo flute, and on to Dai Fujikura’s “Mina,” inspired by the birth of the composer’s first child. The concert ends with Hector Berlioz’ haunted masterpiece, “Symphonie Fantastique.”

• Life is utterly ecstatic.

On Dec. 7-8, Schick will conduct a program that opens with Aaron Jay Kernis’ ethereal “Musica Celestis” for string orchestra, and ends with a performance of Maurice Ravel’s opulent ballet “Daphnis et Chloe,” scored for orchestra, chorus, wind machine and vast percussion battery. Between them will be the premiere of a work for orchestra, chorus and electronics by Paul Hembree, this year’s Thomas Nee Commission recipient.

• Life is sometimes hidden (in plain sight).

Sarah Cahill will perform the piano concerto of Lou Harrison, Feb. 8-9, framed with music by two classical masters Berlioz’ “Roman Carnival Overture” (which concludes in an explosion of fireworks), and Johannes Brahms’ autumnal final “Symphony No. 4.”

• Life is made for sharing.

Venezuelan choral conductor Maria Guinand will join David Chase on March 15-16 to conduct a program of music by composers form Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela. The concert opens with the swaggering “Malambo” by Alberto Ginastera and concludes as vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra perform Antonio Estévez’s “Cantata Criolla,” a Faustian tale about a singing contest between a landsman and the devil. In between there is Carlos Chavez’s “Sinfonia de Antigona” and “Chôros No. 10” by Heitor Villa-Lobos.

LJS&C Choral Director David Chase will mark his 40th anniversary year with the ensemble at the June concert.

• Life is bursting with promise.

Three 20th-century classics will be presented May 3-4 in a concert shared by Schick and Chase. Young Artists Winner Chika Inoue solos in Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Fantasia for Saxophone and Orchestra,” and then two works about war and peace: Prokofiev’s mighty “5th Symphony,” written on the verge of victory in World War II, and Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” a prayer for peace written for chorus and orchestra.

• Life is for celebrating.

Schick and Chase share the final program, June 7-8, opening with Leos Janacek’s impassioned “Zarlivost,” and closing the first half with the high spirits of Haydn’s “Symphony No. 104.” Chase will conclude his 40th anniversary season by leading a chorus favorite, “Ode to Common Things,” Cary Ratcliff’s expansive setting of Pablo Neruda poems, scored for three vocal soloists, a virtuoso guitarist, chorus and orchestra.

Related posts:

  1. Beethoven and Stravinsky symphonies will be keystones in ‘The Classicist’ concert this weekend
  2. La Jolla Symphony & Chorus to perform some ‘Ancient Noises’
  3. La Jolla Symphony to present concert of 20th-century music
  4. Symphony & Chorus announces a season of contrasts for 2012-13
  5. Next ‘Face the Music’ concert will engage ears, eyes … and noses

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Posted by Staff on Sep 4, 2013. Filed under A & E, Music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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