Spring and Summer Promise Excitement for San Diego Classical Music Lovers


Emerson Quartet
The Emerson Quartet at The Conrad. Courtesy La Jolla Music Society

This spring marks a particularly exciting season for San Diego classical and innovative music fans. Already in and around The Conrad, home of the La Jolla Music Society, we have seen world class performance while awaiting SummerFest 2023, set for July 28 through August 26.

In April venues in San Diego have hosted cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and violinist Midori. But spring’s highlight was the fabulous chamber music concert by the Emerson Quartet, now on a worldwide farewell tour.

The foursome presented string quartets by Mendelssohn, Brahms and Dvorak to a packed house at the Conrad, even with patron seats on stage surrounding the performers.

This was a chamber music presentation of the highest order, long to be remembered by enthusiastic audiences.

Asked about maintaining this kind of high quality, La Jolla Music Society Artistic Director, Leah Rosenthal was enthusiastic:

“It’s always hard to top the emotional experience of saying goodbye to old friends, but we know that our upcoming programs will continue to exceed audience expectations,” Rosenthal said.

Leah Rosenthal. Photo courtesy LJMS/Sam Zauscher

Looking ahead to the rest of the spring and summer, she ticked off a number of world class performers.

“In May, we hope our chamber music-loving audiences will return to The Conrad to see the debut of New Century Chamber Orchestra led by the brilliant violin virtuoso Daniel Hope,” she said. “Their program will feature Max Richter’s ‘Vivald Recomposed,’ a fantastic piece and a truly spectacular take on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.”

“On June 1 and 2, BODYTRAFFIC, a beautiful and dynamic Los Angeles-based dance company, will wow our audiences with their glorious technique and innovative choreography. And finally we welcome renowned illusionist, mentalist, and performance artist Scott Silven.”

“Over two nights Scott will take us on a journey of childhood memories growing up near the ancient rivers of Scotland in ‘Wonders,’ an indelible performance far beyond a traditional magic show,” Rosenthal said.

Of further note on the musical front, pianist Inon Barnatan will be performing with the San Diego Symphony and conductor Rafael Payare at the Rady Shell on May 20-21. Barnatan will be playing Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in a program that also includes the world premiere of a new work by Gity Razaz and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7.

Barnatan, of course, is also the music director of SummerFest, which recently announced its upcoming 2023 season. This year’s four-week program, titled “The Great Unknown,” will include the world premiere of a re-imagination of Carnival of the Animals as well as two world premiere by Thomas Adès. Featured artists include Joyce Yang, Alisa Weilerstein, Anthony McGill, Conrad Tao, The Takacs Quartet, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Geneva Lewis and more.

Stay tuned for more classical music excitement in San Diego.


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