La Jolla, Calif. (October 15, 2014) — La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) presents the opening concert of its 60th anniversary season, themed The Nature of Things, on November 8-9, 2014. This first concert explores the nature of sensation and thought, with the world premiere of Nathan Davis’s a Sound uttered, a Silence crossed and one of the mightiest of all symphonies, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Music Director Steven Schick and Choral Director David Chase conduct chorus and orchestra, with guest artist red fish blue fish.
Composer Nathan Davis and librettist Laura Mullen scored the groundbreaking a Sound uttered, a Silence crossed for chorus and four percussionists. Enacting the transitions in our relationship to language over the course of a lifetime, this multi-dimensional work charts the human journey – from the first awareness of sound, to the promise offered by the mastery of skills needed to reach out to others, to the joy in connection, and on to a transformative confrontation with the limits of communication. An extensive battery of percussion, performed by UCSD’s acclaimed percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, buttresses the piece and provides context, and, in a unique collaboration, the libretto is drawn from writings by chorus members and others, as well as poems created for this occasion. Davis is a core member of the internationally renowned contemporary music ensemble ICE and is on the faculty at Dartmouth College. Mullen is a prize-winning poet and director of creative writing at Louisiana State University.
Gustav Mahler composed Symphony No. 5 in 1901–1902, his “middle” period of composition when he was ready for new directions. The structure of the Fifth Symphony is completely original. It opens with a grief-stricken funeral march, lifts out of that darkness to dance with cosmic energy, and concludes in a blaze of triumph. One of its most distinctive features is the trumpet solo that opens the work. The fourth movement, Adagietto, may be Mahler’s most famous composition, said to represent a love song for his wife, Alma. At its 1904 premiere, the five-movement symphony overwhelmed audiences, who were unprepared for the stupendous power and dramatic scope of the work. It has since become one of Mahler’s most popular symphonies, and one critic has gone so far as to call it “one of the seven wonders of the symphonic world.”
The performances take place November 8–9, 2014 in Mandeville Auditorium at UC San Diego. Concert times are 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Individual tickets are $29 general, $27 senior, and $15 student. Group discounts are available. Parking is free on Saturday and Sunday. A pre-concert lecture by David Chase and visiting composer Nathan Davis is offered one hour prior to concert times. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the LJS&C office at (858) 534-4637
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 110-person orchestra and 130-person chorus perform groundbreaking orchestral and choral music along with traditional favorites from the classical repertoire. During the 60th season, maestro Steven Schick shares the podium with David Chase, LJS&C choral director, performing works by Beethoven, Berlioz, Bernstein, Ives, Mahler, Nielsen, Ung, and more.