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Joffrey Ballet among performers set for La Jolla Music Society’s 2021-22 season

Yuja Wang, shown
Yuja Wang, shown in concert at the Hollywood Bowl, will perform a Nov. 10 La Jolla Music Society concert at the Balboa Theatre in downtown San Diego. Her duo concert will team her with Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Other confirmed artists include Wynton Marsalis, Yuja Wang, Lila Downs and Arturo Sandoval.

Chinese piano superstar Yuja Wang, the Joffrey Ballet, jazz great Wynton Marsalis and 22-year-old English cello sensation Sheku Kanneh-Mason are among the record number of artists set to perform during La Jolla Music Society’s 2021-22 season.

The season opens with an Oct. 15 performance by the Takács Quartet and ends June 3 with quadruple-Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and his band. The lineup also includes violin star Joshua Bell, the multinational Silk Road Ensemble and Mexican American troubadour Lila Downs.

“Our goal is to serve as many communities as we can,” said La Jolla Music Society President and Chief Executive Todd Schultz. “By offering a broad range of genres and artists, my hope is we can do that, as well as serving the art itself.”

The upcoming 43 confirmed performances include 27 debuts. Both numbers mark record highs for the Music Society. The 53-year-old nonprofit is eager to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted an abrupt halt to the second half of the 2019-20 season.

The society pivoted to online-only performances for the majority of its truncated 2020-21 season.

Sister-and-brother duo Isata and Sheku Kanneh-Mason
British sister-and-brother piano and cello duo Isata and Sheku Kanneh-Mason will perform as part of the La Jolla Music Society’s 2021-22 season.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

The society recently concluded its 15-concert 2021 SummerFest that was attended by in-person audiences. (One of the 16 scheduled shows fell through at the last minute because of a COVID-related scare after cello star Alisa Weilerstein tested positive for the coronavirus that causes the disease.)

Because of the pandemic, at least 15 artists in the upcoming season had their scheduled performances from the previous two seasons canceled or postponed.

“I’m very excited about our new season, but putting it all together was really hard,” said Leah Rosenthal, the society’s artistic director.

“We use a software program called ArtsVision and multiple Excel spreadsheets to keep track of which artists’ performances had been moved from which month and which year. It has been like a moving target for the past three seasons, and we are holding some dates for our 2022-23 season for artists we haven’t been able to reschedule yet. I can’t wait to see them all onstage again.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to have a job through all this. But a lot of the artists have really struggled, and you can’t imagine what they’ve gone through,” Rosenthal added. “There are still challenges we all have to navigate ahead. But I think there will be a real renaissance in the music and arts world in the next few years as we come out of this.”

La Jolla Music Society's Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center opened in April 2019.
(Darren Bradley)

Health protocols

The society is forging ahead with new health protocols implemented for the upcoming concerts at the 513-seat Baker-Baum Concert Hall at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center and at the center’s adjacent venue, The JAI, whose capacity can vary from 116 to 300.

“What we have determined is that we will be requiring face masks to be worn indoors and during all of our concerts for the upcoming season,” Schultz said. “As per state requirements, we will also require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results within the past 72 hours. We’ll have the same health protocols for the concerts we present in downtown San Diego at the Balboa Theatre and the Civic Theatre.

“Our goal was to create a policy that’s absolutely consistent across the entire season, which will make it easier for our attendees to know what to expect.”

Diverse lineup

What also can be expected is what appears to be the most diverse roster of artists in the society’s history.

“Leah is extremely knowledgeable about classical, jazz, dance, Latin, bluegrass, world music and more,” Schultz said. “And she really keeps abreast of interesting new artists. So we have consistency and surprises from year to year, even with the pandemic, which is critical to sustaining our subscriber base and to drawing new audiences.”

Grammy Award-winning musician Lila Downs
Grammy Award-winning musician Lila Downs will appear May 4 at San Diego’s Balboa Theatre as part of the 2021-22 La Jolla Music Society season.
(Agencia Reforma )

La Jolla Music Society 2021-22 season schedule

Friday, Oct. 15: Takács Quartet. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $28-$72.

Friday, Oct. 22: Les Violons Du Roy, with Avi Avital. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $28-$72.

Sunday, Oct. 31: Alexander Malofeev. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 3 p.m. $38.

Saturday, Nov. 6: Jazzy Ash & the Leaping Lizards. The JAI. 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. $15-$25.

Wednesday, Nov. 10: Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang. Balboa Theatre. 8 p.m. $41-$88.

Friday, Nov. 12: Avi Avital and Milos Karadaglić. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $28-$72.

Saturday, Nov. 13: Bria Skonberg. The JAI. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. $45-$65.

Thursday, Dec. 9: Nat Geo Live, “Skiing the Dream Line,” with Hilaree Nelson. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 7 p.m. $33-$67.

Saturday, Dec. 11: The Queen’s Cartoonists holiday concert. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 3 and 8 p.m. $28-$72.

Thursday, Dec. 16: Béla Fleck, “My Bluegrass Heart.” Balboa Theatre. 8 p.m. $28-$78.

Friday, Jan. 7: Emanuel Ax. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $41-$92.

Sunday, Jan. 16: Zoltán Fejérvári. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 3 p.m. $38.

Thursday, Jan. 20: Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Civic Theatre. 8 p.m. $25-$85.

Saturday, Jan. 22: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, with Wynton Marsalis. Balboa Theatre. 8 p.m. $33-$102.

Monday, Jan. 24: Jazz at Lincoln Center ensembles, with Wynton Marsalis. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $41-$115.

Saturday, Jan. 29: Trey McLaughlin and Sounds of Zamar. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $28-$72.

Friday, Feb. 4: Counterpoint, with Conrad Tao and Caleb Teicher. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $28-$72.

Wednesday, Feb. 9: Dreamers’ Circus. The JAI. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. $45-$65.

Thursday, Feb. 10: Nat Geo Live, “Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous,” with Nizar Ibrahim. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 7 p.m. $33-$67.

Saturday, Feb. 12: 123 Andrés. The JAI. 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. $15-$25.

Friday, Feb 25: Goitse. The JAI. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. $45-$65.

Saturday, Feb. 26: Dover Quartet, with Escher String Quartet. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $28-$72.

Sunday, Feb. 27: Xavier Foley and Kelly Lin. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 3 p.m. $38.

Friday, March 4: Beatrice Rana. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $41-$92.

Thursday, March 10: Avi and Omar Avital. The JAI. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. $45-$65.

Monday, March 14: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with Joshua Bell. Civic Theatre. 8 p.m. $35-$95.

Friday, March 18: Lang Lang, WinterFest Gala. Copley Symphony Hall. 8 p.m. $33-$102.

Sunday, March 20: Arod Quartet. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 3 p.m. $38.

Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26: Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. March 25; 3 and 8 p.m. March 26. $28-$72.

Thursday, March 31: Nat Geo Live, “Ocean Soul,” with Brian Skerry. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 7 p.m. $33-$67.

Sunday, April 3: Silk Road Ensemble, “A Home Within.” Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 7 p.m. $28-$72.

Thursday, April 7: Matthias Goerne and Seong-Jin Cho. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $28-$72.

Friday, April 8: Chris Botti. Balboa Theatre. 8 p.m. $33-$102.

Saturday, April 23: Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $28-$72.

Sunday, April 24: DakhaBrahka, Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 7 p.m. $28-$72.

Thursday, April 28: Gunhild Carling. The JAI. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. $45-$65.

Wednesday, May 4: Lila Downs. Balboa Theatre. 8 p.m. $33-$78.

Saturday, May 7: Okee Dokee Brothers. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 3 p.m. $15-$25.

Saturday, May 14: Joffrey Ballet. Civic Theatre. 8 p.m. $35-$95.

Sunday, May 15: Behzod Abduraimov. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 3 p.m. $41-$92

Thursday, May 19: Roberto Fonseca. The JAI. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. $45-$65.

Thursday, May 26: Spektral Quartet, “Letters From Home.” Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $28-$72.

Friday, June 3: Arturo Sandoval. Baker-Baum Concert Hall. 8 p.m. $41-$92.

Tickets: New subscription packages and renewals are on sale. Single tickets go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 22.

Information: (858) 459-3728, ljms.org. All event times and prices are subject to change. ◆