Grand oratorio and beloved violin concerto will close season

The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) will present the final concert of its 60th anniversary season, “The Nature of Things,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 6 and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 7 at Mandeville Auditorium on UC San Diego campus.

The program titled, “On the nature of utterance,” will feature Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto” and Jonathan Dove’s “There Was a Child.”

Choral Director David Chase will conduct the orchestra, chorus and guest artists violinist Annelle Gregory, soprano Priti Gandhi, tenor Edward Mout and San Diego North Coast Singers’ youth choir in a poetic and uplifting concert.

Tchaikovsky’s great concerto from 1878 is one of the most difficult pieces ever written for violin. Dedicating it to the famous Russian violinist Leopold Auer, Tchaikovsky received a bad surprise when Auer refused to perform the concerto, calling it “unplayable.” The concerto, eventually premiered in 1881 by Adolph Brodsky in Vienna, went on to become one of the best-loved concertos in the repertory.

Often evoking a fiery, exciting Russian spirit, the ending of the piece, with the violin soaring brilliantly above the hurtling orchestra, is one of the most exciting moments in any violin concerto.

Soloist Gregory is the 2013 winner of the LJS&C Young Artists Competition. She is a laureate of the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition and, in 2014, was concertmaster and a featured soloist for the CIM International Festival Orchestra in Germany. She has performed with the San Diego Symphony as well.

“There Was a Child,” by English composer Jonathan Dove in 2009, is a grand cantata in the spirit of Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams. It was composed as a tribute to a young man who died tragically, but rather than dwelling in darkness, Dove’s oratorio inspires and uplifts.

Dove set text of several poets ranging from Langston Hughes to Emily Dickinson to Shakespeare that conjure up the different aspects of childhood – naughtiness, carefree playfulness, youthful adventure. The concluding text is Walt Whitman’s “There Was a Child Went Forth,” a radiant vision of a child absorbing everything around him and connecting with the whole world.

A pre-concert lecture by Chase will take place an hour prior to concert times.

Tickets $15-$29 at (858) 534-4637 or lajollasymphony.com

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