La Jolla CA— La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) continues a season-long exploration of the theme “Lineage” with its third concert of the 2018-19 series. On February 9-10, Steven Schick will conduct the orchestra in a program that begins with Philip Glass’s Cello Concerto No. 2, featuring as soloist Chicago Symphony cellist Katinka Kleijn, and concludes with Anton Bruckner’s grand Symphony No. 3. In between is the world premiere of an adventurous new work, Community Acoustics, by LJ White, the inaugural recipient of the Brenda and Steven Schick Commission.
Philip Glass’s Cello Concerto No. 2 is a reshaping of music that Glass originally composed for the last installment (Naqoyqatsi) of the “Qatsi Trilogy” by filmmaker Godfrey Reggio. The film version (released in 2002) included a prominent part for solo cello that was written for Yo-Yo Ma, who performed it on the film score. Ten years later, Glass revisited the film score, dropping several segments and reshaping the music to give a more prominent, virtuosic role to the cello soloist. The Second Cello Concerto was premiered March 30, 2012 by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The stylistic features we associate with Glass’s music – pulsing rhythms, rapidly changing meters, clean textures and shifting colors – are very much a part of this score. The concerto is written for large orchestra with an extremely difficult part for the soloist, who must project the dramatic sweep of the music across its forty-minute span. Joining LJS&C is Dutch cellist Katinka Kleijn. Described as “a player of formidable expressive gifts” (NY Times), Kleijn is an in-demand soloist, frequent collaborator with International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
LJ White is a composer whose music serves ideals of direct, focused and socially relevant expression. His newest work, Community Acoustics, is inspired by field recordings from the natural world that display acoustic “niche separation” – how sounds within an ecosystem organize themselves into distinct frequency layers and interlocking patterns that allow for communication and overall ecosystem function. White’s piece explores not only this phenomenon, but also the effect upon it of today’s changing noise-scape. Community Acoustics combines harmonic and linear musical events with material that reminds us of natural sounds, creating a sound ecosystem out of the orchestra, including audience participation at the end. The world premiere of Community Acoustics is supported by the Brenda and Steven Schick Commission, a newly launched annual commission for LJS&C, which will fund new symphonic music that embraces values of social and environmental optimism.
“Brenda and I are thrilled that the wonderful composer LJ White has agreed to compose the first of these commissions,” says LJS&C Music Director Steven Schick of his and his wife’s new endeavor. “His piece, Community Acoustics, is not only beautiful and evocative music, but it reminds us that one of our fundamental goals is to listen carefully to each other and to the world around us.”
Anton Bruckner’s expansive and much-revised Symphony No. 3 includes the hefty textures and grand musical statements associated with his music. At these concerts, Bruckner’s final version of the symphony, completed in 1890, is performed. The music is compact, tuneful and scored modestly (pairs of woodwinds, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, timpani, and strings). Much of its characteristic sound comes from the composer’s love of brass instruments, which have a tremendous part in this symphony. Against their bright, dramatic sound, Bruckner sets a rich, almost cushioned string sonority.
The performances take place in Mandeville Auditorium at UC San Diego on Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10, 2019. Concert times are 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. A pre-concert lecture by Steven Schick is given one hour before concert start. Tickets are $15-$35. Parking is free on weekends. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 858-534-4637 or visit lajollasymphony.com.
About the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus
The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, San Diego’s oldest and largest community orchestra and chorus, is a non-profit musical performing group dedicated to inspiring San Diego with the joy of music. Its 90-person orchestra and 100-person chorus perform groundbreaking orchestral and choral music alongside traditional favorites from the classical repertoire. During the 64th season, Music Director Steven Schick leads the ensemble in music by Bernstein, Beethoven, Handel, Stravinsky, Barber and more. Founded in 1954, LJS&C has been an affiliate of UC San Diego since 1967.