It will be a Stravinsky Circus! for La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ upcoming season

By Linda Thompson

Picking his favorite program in the upcoming La Jolla Symphony and Chorus 2011-12 concert season is nearly an impossibility for Maestro Steven Schick. “I can’t say. It’s like saying which is your favorite kidney,” he quipped. Schick is passionate about the entire season ahead, which surveys the works of 20th-century composer Igor Stravinsky and is aptly christened “Stravinsky Circus!”

For Schick, each of the concerts rises to “a life-changing artistic event.” That’s in part because of the intensity of the rehearsals and labor of love that his community musicians put into each performance.

“Stravinsky Circus! will present the many faces of Stravinsky,” Schick said. “You will hear the Stravinsky of the ballets in his ‘The Rite of Spring’ and ‘The Firebird,’ and you will hear some later works of reduced instrumentation of which ‘Les Noces,’ written for pianos, percussion and chorus, is a fabulous example. We will have ‘Symphony in C’ from his neoclassical period and ‘Ebony Concerto,’ in which he embraced jazz in a work written for the Woody Herman band. There is so much to choose from!”

It was two years ago that Schick decided Stravinsky’s compositions should be used for a concert series. “Stravinsky changed the musical world. He was as important to the 20


century as the music of the 19th-century masters was to theirs. In a way, he was the Beethoven of the modern era.”

In addition to Stravinsky, patrons will hear the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Verdi, and Mozart alongside contemporary composers David Lang and John Adams.

“Music belongs to a time and often to a place,” Shick said. “We believe in playing the music of and for our time, in addition to the great classic works.”

Schick, who begins his fifth season with the LJS&C, likens appreciating music to learning a language by listening; those who listen more gain a deeper understanding.

To enrich the LJS&C experience, pre-concert lectures given by program annotator Eric Bromberger, Choral Director David Chase, and Schick give patrons insight into the composers and their music. Audiences are invited to ask questions in these sessions to help bring perspective and understanding to the performances.

“When speaking about the music to a La Jolla Symphony and Chorus audience, I try to give them access — perhaps by providing some concepts or background information — without robbing them of the chance to listen for themselves. We encourage everyone to find their own pathway through the music.”

2011-12 Concert Program

October 29-30

Igor Stravinsky Symphonies of Wind Instruments

Claude Debussy Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane

Maurice Ravel Mother Goose Suite

Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

* Guest Artist: Charissa Barger, harp (2010 Young Artists Winner)

December 3-4

Györgi Ligeti Poème Symphonique

Igor Stravinsky Les Noces

David Lang Grind to a Halt

Béla Bartók Cantata Profana

* Guest Artists: Lux Boreal and Allyson Green dancers, red fish blue fish

February 11-12

Giuseppe Verdi Overture to La Forza del Destino

Nicholas Deyoe still getting rid of

John Adams The Wound Dresser

Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 1 in C Minor

March 17-18

W.A. Mozart Overture to The Marriage of Figaro

Igor Stravinsky Symphony in C

Igor Stravinsky Ebony Concerto

Beethoven Symphony No. 1 in C Major

May 5-6

Edvard Grieg The Last Spring

Robert Schumann Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major “Spring”

Benjamin Britten Spring Symphony

June 9-10

Igor Korneitchouk Tintinnabulation WORLD PREMIERE

Samuel Barber Piano Concerto

Igor Stravinsky The Firebird

* Guest Artist: Aleck Karis, piano

If you go

What: ‘Stravinsky Circus!” La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, 2011-12 season

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays

Where: Mandeville Auditorium, UCSD

Pre-concert lectures: Hour prior to concert times, free for ticket-holders

Six-Concert Series: $58-$152

Single Tickets: $15-$29

Box Office: (858) 534-4637