Welcome to summer: La Jolla Music Society will present 14 concerts during its annual festival

La Jolla Music Society members describe SummerFest 2010 as “one whole season of music crammed into the month of August.” And so it is from Aug. 6 to Aug. 27 when 14 concerts, three enrichment events, and a gala fundraiser will be held in La Jolla — mostly at the Sherwood Auditorium inside the Museum of Contemporary Art.

As The La Jolla Light goes to press, an additional SummerFest Under the Stars free, public concert is tentatively set for Aug. 4 at The Cove, although permit and funding has not yet been approved, according to LJMS staff.

In any case, Festival Music Director (and violinist) Cho-Liang Lin has put together a roster of top-tier performers — a conglomeration of different artists from across the country, including soloists. These musicians will be joined by seven fellowship artists who will participate in master workshops at the Riford Library (open to the public) and special evenings of enrichment at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library.

Each concert will open with a prelude that features a brief lecture, artist Q & A, or soloist performance.

“When seen in its totality, I think there should be a good mixture of standard repertoire alongside less known and brand new works,” Lin said. “The chronological range will be huge going from the music of Bach all the way to works written this year. We will prominently feature the works of Schumann and Chopin — two great composers whose 200th birthdays we will celebrate this year.

“We will open the festival with an orchestral concert featuring music by Haydn, Elgar and Mozart with soloists such as Lynn Harrell, Paul Neaubauer, the Borromeo Quartet and myself. On the familiar side of chamber music, we will hear Schumann’s Piano Quintet, Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio, Tchaikovsky’s Sextet “Souvenir de Florence” and many others. At the same time, beautiful but less heard works, such as Schumann’s song cycle “Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love),”

“Chopin’s Piano Trio and the Reynaldo Hahn Piano Quintet will get their chance to shine. We will also get to premiere works we commissioned from a group of fantastic composers: Pulitzer Prize-winner Christopher Rouse, La Jolla’s own Chinary Ung, MacArthur Genius Award-winner Bright Sheng and Australia’s new superstar, Brett Dean.”

In selecting the works to be performed, Lin said he always asks himself the question: Would I pay to see and hear this concert?

“I find it important to try to imagine how a concert and its contents will be perceived from an audience’s point of view,” he said. “If I were to point out particulars I personally love, I would include the three Tuesday concerts surveying the music of Robert Schumann and the three Wednesday evenings featuring three great pianists — Emanuel Ax, Gabriela Montero and Vladimir Feltsman.”


  • Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m. “String Spectacular” with music director Cho-Liang Lin, the Borromeo String Quartet, cellist Lynn Harrell, SummerFest Chamber Orchestra (works by Elgar, Haydn, Popper, Casals and Mozart)
  • Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. “Age of Enlightenment” (at St. James-by-the-Sea) with keyboardist Anthony Newman, bassist Han Han Cho, percussionist Jason Ginter, the Borromeo String Quartet and the Hausmann Quartet (works by Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Bach)
  • Aug. 8 at 3 p.m. Masterworks and Premières with violinist David Coucheron, pianist Victor Asuncion, Newman, the Borromeo String Quartet and Harrell (works by Newman, Beethoven, Bright Sheng and Rachmaninoff)
  • Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Schumann 1 “A Poet’s Love” with pianist Ken Noda, Paul Neubauer (viola), baritone Kelly Markgraf and violinist Chee-Yun (all Schumann program)
  • Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m. “An Evening With Emanuel Ax” (all-Schubert program)

Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Chopin Celebration “From the Salon to the Opera House” with cellist Carter Brey, pianist Christopher O’Riley and flutist Demarre McGill

  • Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Schumann II “Passionate Fire” with violinist Lin, violist Cynthia Phelps, pianist Joseph Kalichstein and oboist Allan Vogel (works by Schumann and Brahms)
  • Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. “An Evening With Gabriela Montero” (works by Granados, Gershwin, Ginastera and an improvisation from audience requests)
  • Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m. SummerFest Commissions “Premières & Reprises” with Real Quiet, Wu Man, pipa; the Orion String Quartet and the Calder Quartet (works by Chinary Ung, Wu Man, Brett Dean and Christopher Rouse)
  • Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m. “Chopin’s Paris” with mezzo-soprano Charlotte Hellekant, Phelps and the Orion String Quartet (works by Rossini, Chopin, List, Schumann and Mendelssohn)
  • Aug. 22 at 3 p.m. “Debussy’s Paris” pianist John Novacek, John Bruce Yeh on clarinet (works by Debussy, Hahn and Ravel)
  • Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Schumann III “A Triumphant Decade” with pianists Julie Coucheron and Orion Weiss and the Orion String Quartet
  • Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. “An Evening With Vladimir Feltsman” (works by Victor Kissine, Arensky and Chopin)
  • Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. SummerFest Finale “Twin Titans” David Chan, Augustin Hadelich, Gary Hoffman, Cho-Liang Lin, Andrew Shulman, Orion Weiss and Joyce Yang (works by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky)

Encounter Series

Free programs from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Athenaeum Library:

Aug. 12 “Music and Madness: Insights on Schumann”

Aug. 19: Composer’s Forum

Aug. 26: Fellowship artists perform

Summerfest tickets

  • 9-Concert Subscription: $470 and $315
  • Inner Circle 14-Concert Subscription: $620
  • Individual concert tickets: $40-$75
  • Contact: (858) 459-3728,

SummerFest Gala

  • 6 p.m. Aug. 13
  • Scripps Seaside Forum
  • Tickets: (858) 459-3724, ext. 206