La Jolla Symphony & Chorus sets 2018-19 program: 64th season to musically explore 'lineage'

An adventurous mix of traditional favorites, premieres and contemporary music are on the program for the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) 2018-2019 season. Themed, "Lineage: A Memory Project," the selections, said LJS&C Music Director Steven Schick, "Consider our connections to the past and the lineage we are creating every day."

He added: "Our 64th season asks questions about lineage. Where do we come from? To what echoes of our history are we bound, and how do we memorialize them. Most importantly we ask, what do we need to do today so that someday we will be remembered by someone who will examine his/her lineage through our lives and be grateful?"

The season opens Nov. 3-4 with Steven Schick conducting the orchestra in the season's namesake piece, "Lineage," a luminous work by Canadian composer Zosha di Castri built on memories of her Italian grandparents. Bookending the program is Stravinsky's "Petrushka," inspired by colorful memories of Russian Shrovetide fairs. In between, Schick steps down from the podium to perform as percussion soloist in Tan Dun's "Water Concerto," with Michael Gerdes conducting.

Other season highlights include the rarely-heard Mozart scoring of Handel's "Messiah" (Christmas portion), Anton Bruckner's powerhouse "Third Symphony," and Philip Glass' "Cello Concerto No. 2," performed by Katinka Kleijn of the Chicago Symphony. The season will feature music by five women composers, including Julia Wolfe's high-octane "Fuel," with film by Bill Morrison, and the too long-overlooked "Second Violin Concerto" of African-American composer Florence Price, with LJS&C co-concertmaster David Buckley as soloist.

The Symphony Chorus will be heard on three of the six concerts, including the March 2019 performances of Leonard Bernstein's extraordinary "Symphony No. 3" (Kaddish), paired with a classical great, Beethoven's "Eighth Symphony."

Young artists will continue to be a thread throughout the season, beginning with the December premiere of this year's Thomas Nee Commission by UCSD graduate student composer Qingqing Wang. Sixteen-year-old pianist Anne Liu, winner of the LJS&C's 2017 Young Artists Competition (YAC), will solo in Camille Saint-Saëns' witty Second Piano Concerto in May, and soprano Eden Tremayne and baritone Anthony Whitson-Martini (2018 and 2014-2015 YAC winners, respectively) solo in the June performances of Ralph Vaughan Williams' choral work, "Dona Nobis Pacem."

— Founded in 1954, La Jolla Symphony & Chorus is San Diego's oldest and largest community orchestra and chorus. Concert weekends are Nov. 3-4; Dec. 8-9; Feb. 9-10; March 16-17; May 4-5; and June 8-9. Performances take place in Mandeville Auditorium at UC San Diego, 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. The six-concert subscription is $195 general, $170 senior (65+), $65 student. Single tickets ($15-$39) go on sale in late August. (858) 534-4637. lajollasymphony.com

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