La Jolla Music Society’s (LJMS) SummerFest turns 30 this year and is celebrating its pearl anniversary. Fittingly, the lineup of musicians performing Aug. 3-26 is studded with gems. In the meantime, SummerFest 2016 begins with its free “SummerFest Under the Stars” program 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3 at La Jolla Cove. The concert will include the San Diego Youth Symphony’s International Youth Symphony and the unpredictable string trio Time for Three, which performs everything from classical to hip-hop.
Altogether, more than 65 musicians will perform at SummerFest 2016. As usual, the festival is curated by Music Director Cho-Liang (Jimmy) Lin, whose own violin artistry will be heard throughout the three-plus weeks including on Aug. 5’s “A Bohemian Rhapsody” program. Concert venues will again be Sherwood Auditorium at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library.
Among the Festival glitterati is violin virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman, whose Zukerman Trio also featuring cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Angela Cheng will perform (Aug. 9) selections by Brahms, Dvorak, Gliere and Mendelssohn. Other luminaries include Latvian-born Mischa Maisky, making his SummerFest debut over two nights (Aug. 19-20) and performing all six of Bach’s cello suites, and Canadian pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, who’s also appearing at the seaside festival for the first time, on Aug. 24.
In addition to the musicians new to the festival this year, 2016 will mark the first SummerFest for LJMS’s new president and artistic director, Kristin Lancino. The former artistic director for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and director of artistic planning at Carnegie Hall, Lancino calls overseeing SummerFest “a huge privilege.”
Lancino last fall succeeded Christopher Beach, now LJMS’s Theatre & Development consultant, closely involved with the ambitious Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center project on Fay Avenue. The future home of SummerFest and other LJMS concerts and events is slated to open by summer of 2018.
Mingling musical genres is a SummerFest tradition, and 2016 is no exception. Consider Aug. 17, when Cuban clarinetist/saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera takes the Sherwood Auditorium stage accompanied by violinist Andrew Wan, pianist Alex Brown, bassist Pablo Aslan, cellist Brook Speltz and New York City’s Escher String Quartet for a night when “Jazz Meets the Classics.”
The repertoire will feature two works by D’Rivera in addition to one composed by Aslan and Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 34.
Among concerts Lancino said she’s looking forward to is “An Evening with Marc-Andre Hamelin,” whom she calls “a monster pianist who also composes.” This performance will be highlighted by the world premiere of Hamelin’s “New Work for Cello and Piano.”
The SummerFest grand finale is always a highlight, and this year’s features violinist Gil Shaham and James Conlon conducting the SummerFest Chamber Orchestra. That’ll be Aug. 26 in Sherwood Auditorium.
— To view the complete SummerFest 2016 lineup and accompanying programming, visit ljms.org
La Jolla Music Society SummerFest 2016
Aug. 3: Free SummerFest Under the Stars community concert 6:30 p.m. at La Jolla Cove
Aug. 3-26: Chamber music performances at locations in La Jolla, including Sherwood Auditorium at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (700 Prospect St.) and Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall St.)
Tickets: Single events $45-$75; season subscriptions $446-$860
Box Office: (858) 459-3728
Coaching workshops: 10 a.m. to noon, Aug. 3-22 at La Jolla Library, 7555 Draper Ave. Masters work with students, free to watch!
Open rehearsals: Aug. 2, 9, 13, 15 and 20 at Sherwood Auditorium, 700 Prospect St. Limited free seats. Times vary, see ljms.org
Encounters: Featured musician presentations, 12:30 p.m., Aug. 11, 18 and 25 at Athenaeum Library, 1008 Wall St. Limited free seats.