La Jolla, Calif. (May 12, 2015) — The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) presents the final concert of its 60th anniversary season, The Nature of Things, on June 6 and 7. Choral Director David Chase conducts the orchestra, chorus, and guest artists Annelle Gregory, violin; Priti Gandhi, soprano; Edward Mout, tenor; and San Diego North Coast Singers youth choir in a poetic and uplifting season-ending concert featuring Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and the West Coast premiere of Jonathan Dove’s oratorio, There Was a Child.
Tchaikovsky’s great concerto from 1878 is one of the most difficult pieces ever written for violin. Dedicating it to the famous Russian violinist Leopold Auer, Tchaikovsky received a bad surprise when Auer refused to perform the concerto, reportedly calling it “unplayable.” The concerto, eventually premiered in 1881 by Adolph Brodsky in Vienna, went on to become one of the best-loved concertos in the repertory. Often evoking a fiery, exciting Russian spirit, the very ending of the piece, with the violin soaring brilliantly above the hurtling orchestra, is one of the most exciting moments in any violin concerto. Soloist Annelle Gregory is the 2013 winner of the LJS&C Young Artists Competition. She is a Laureate of the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition and, in 2014, was concertmaster and a featured soloist for the CIM International Festival Orchestra in Germany. She has performed with the San Diego Symphony as well.
There Was a Child, by English composer Jonathan Dove in 2009, is a grand cantata in the spirit of Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams. It was composed as a tribute to a young man who died tragically, but rather than dwelling in darkness, Dove’s oratorio inspires and uplifts. Rosemary Pickering, commissioned the work to celebrate her son Robert’s life. She wrote, “Jonathan has completely captured Robert’s spirit in this modern oratorio, which traces a young life, from birth through childhood to young manhood…[Robert] would have been delighted to have had such a joyous piece of music written to celebrate his life and the lives of all young people taken from us too soon.” Dove set text of several poets ranging from Langston Hughes to Emily Dickinson to Shakespeare that conjure up the different aspects of childhood – naughtiness, carefree playfulness, youthful adventure. The concluding text is Walt Whitman’s There Was a Child went Forth, a radiant vision of a child absorbing everything around him and connecting with the whole world. Priti Gandhi, Edward Mout, and the San Diego North Coast Singers youth choir are featured.
The performances take place June 6-7, 2015 in Mandeville Auditorium at UCSD. 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. A pre-concert lecture by the conductor 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.