La Jolla CA— La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) opens its 65th season with a dynamic program of music that will feature both the familiar and unfamiliar. The Overture to William Tell, Rossini’s celebrated opera, will surely be recognized by many. In 1829, Rossini, then just 37 years old, was on top of the musical world. WIlliam Tell was the most recent of his 39 operas and had just been premiered to immediate critical if not overwhelming popular success. Suddenly, Rossini stopped composing operas, although he lived for another 40 years. For many American audiences, the work is irrevocably remembered for the last three minutes, which came to serve as the theme music for the Lone Ranger in television show and movies.
Next, co-concertmaster Peter Clarke will be the soloist in a performance of the First Violin Concerto of Florence Price, a prolific African-American composer from the 1930-50’s, whose Second Violin Concerto was one of the highlights of last season. Although she gained some moderate celebrity during her life with her performance and compositions, her work has been largely overlooked until more recently. In 2009, a large collection of her scores, papers and notes were found in a dilapidated house on the outskirts of St. Anne, Illinois. This fortuitous discovery saved much of her work from complete obliteration, including the two violin concertos.
The concert will conclude with Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, a truly virtuosic tour-de-force for the musicians. It is written in five movements, and is not a ‘concerto’ in the traditional sense with one soloist being accompanied by the orchestral ensemble. Bartok felt instead that the virtuosic treatment of each instrument earned this title. It is one of his most-performed and accessible works and features elements of Western art music, but also incorporates elements of European folk music, specifically Hungarian. Written by a frail composer during the depths of WWII, it is a ringing statement of faith in life – and a supreme test for every orchestra that performs it.
The performances take place in Mandeville Auditorium at UC San Diego on Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3, 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 $18-$39. Parking is free on weekends. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 858-534-4637 or visit lajollasymphony.com.
A FREE BONUS EVENT will take place as part of this weekend’s program on Friday evening, November 1 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. A family favorite, the Young People’s Concert is an entertaining and inspiring introduction to the orchestra. The program will feature Rossini’s William Tell Overture with commentary by Maestro Schick and audience Q & A. This event is free but reservations are required at EventBrite.com.
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 65th season, Music Director Steven Schick leads the ensemble in music by Rossini, Bartok, Price, Schumann, Adams, Britten, Brahms, Takemitsu, Debussy and more. Founded in 1954, LJS&C has been an affiliate of UC San Diego since 1967.