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La Jolla Symphony & Chorus 2020-2021 Season Announcement

La Jolla CA— All of us have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, both personally and economically.  Therefore, in response to this unexpected and unpredictable situation, the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus is offering a radical new subscription plan for our 2020-2021 season.  From now until September 1 we are offering our entire season on a Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) basis! Our patrons will be able to hear all of our bold programs, masterful performances, and loving interpretations of beloved classics for a price that they decide.

Our 2020-2021 season—ON THE HORIZON—is full of hope, inspiration, and celebration: just the beliefs we need right now. We’re calling our season “On the Horizon,” a series of concerts starting in February 2021 built around the theme of a bright future. We’ll begin with the promise of a new age with Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman #6, an anthem for meaningful change, to which we’ll add music of the New World in Carlos Chavez’s Piano Concerto, featuring a local favorite Kyle Blair as soloist, and a true American masterpiece in William Schuman’s 3rd Symphony. March will bring music of great spiritual power: the Brenda and Steven Schick commission this year is a work by the Navajo composer Leon Littlebird and is composer on the theme of coming together. We’ll pair that with Chinary Ung’s masterful Inner Voices and American iconoclast Lou Harrison’s Last Symphony, a retelling with the terrific Ken Anderson as soloist of the Navajo creation story. In May, we invite Jayme Stone and his band Folk Life for new versions, scored for folk band and orchestra, of selected Lomax recordings of American folk music. We’ll round out the program with American concert music by Aaron Copland and George Walker.

Research indicates that choral singing will probably be the last kind of performance to return as the pandemic subsides, so be on the safe side, we’ll start contributions from the stellar La Jolla Symphony Chorus led by the equally stellar Ruben Valenzuela in April. Join us for a truly interstellar program of Bach’s Cantata #106 Gottes Zeit ist die Allerbeste Zeit (God’s Time is the Very Best Time) interspersed with movements of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. This will be bookended by Pauline Oliveros’s Tuning Meditation to make a sublime and evocative program. Ruben Valenzuela, LJSC Chorus Director, and Steven Schick will be creating a special arrangement of the Bach for keyboards and percussion that they will perform together in April.

We’ll finish our season with the greatest portrait of rebirth in the orchestral repertoire, Mahler’s magnificent Symphony #2, “The Resurrection.” Many critics have mentioned that this is a work of heart-breaking in its beauty but in my view, this is music to make the heart whole.

While we have created something very exciting that we very much look forward to being able to deliver, we are also sensitive to the need to be responsive to public health conditions and official guidelines, as they evolve. All scheduled concerts and concert dates are subject to change. We are exploring and experimenting with new ways to deliver safe, high-quality programming to our audiences, as we are committed to providing a season in the most creative, but safest way possible. As we become aware of possible changes needed in the planned season, we will explore new ways to present concerts using creative approaches that incorporate appropriate and safe social distancing for our patrons and performers.

You can take advantage of PWYC until Sept. 1, by subscribing online here, by phoning the Box Office at 858-534-4637 or by writing us at boxoffice@lajollasymphony.com.  After Sept. 1, we will offer our season and individual concert tickets at our usual rates below.


  • Adult: $195
  • Senior & UCSD staff: $185
  • Student: $65


Campus protocols permitting, performances will take place in Mandeville Auditorium at UC San Diego on Saturdays and Sundays. 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. Parking is free in the Osler Parking Structure on weekends.

Again, if we become aware of possible changes needed in these days, times, or location, we are committed to presenting concerts using creative approaches that incorporate appropriate and safe social distancing for our patrons and performers.  To purchase tickets or for more information, call 858-534-4637 or email boxoffice@lajollasymphony.com.

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