Mainly Mozart: Spotlight series is interactive experience with concerts in various San Diego-area venues, La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe


Mainly Mozart is launching its new season of Spotlight Chamber Music concerts this year with innovative ways to make them more interactive and social — concert-goers will be treated to both a social hour and a musical program all in one evening.

“Rather than seeing ourselves as producing just concerts, we’re trying to create experiences for our audiences,” explains Nancy Laturno, executive director.

Each chamber music concert will begin with an hour-long hosted reception where guests can mingle and enjoy an hors d’oeuvres buffet with various wines. The Mainly Mozart staff will greet guests as they enter to make them feel welcome. After the social hour, the artists will address the audience before delivering their performances, to further promote that sense of connection.

Intermissions have been eliminated, based on feedback back from both audience members and musicians. And after some concerts, Mainly Mozart hosts dinners or receptions with the artists. “We try to connect our concert-goers to the music and the musicians, as well as to one another,” Laturno insists.

Twenty years ago, she said, there was only a small handful of groups producing chamber music in San Diego and, more specifically, La Jolla . “There is so much chamber music offered now that in 2012, Mainly Mozart made the decision to change the format of our series,” she explained. “We introduced New York-based pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, who has performed with Mainly Mozart since 1996, as curator of our music programming.” Mainly Mozart has always focused its programs around the works of Mozart and his contemporaries.

Another distinguishing feature of the Spotlight series is that all concerts are performed in intimate venues. Concerts have taken place at the Auditorium at TSRI in La Jolla since 1996, the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club, and St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Carlsbad since 2004. The first concert performed at the church was in memory of Laturno’s mother who was a parishioner there. “It was such an amazing venue and loyal audience that we’ve been back every year since,” she says.

All locations have lots of free parking and roomy reception areas.

The next concert takes place (beginning with a 6:30 p.m. reception) Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at the Auditorium at TSRI, 10620 John Jay Hopkins Drive in La Jolla. There’s another at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3 at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club. Morgan Run Club & Resort will host a concert, 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9. For ticket prices and performers bios, visit The Spotlight series runs through June 2019.

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