April 17, 2017
Art Exhibitions Inspire U.S. Premiere and a Perennial Favorite by Mussorgsky on La Jolla Symphony Program

La Jolla, Calif. (April 17, 2017) — The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) presents the fifth concert of its 62nd season. Guest Conductor Michael Gerdes, Director of Orchestras at San Diego State University, leads the orchestra and guest artist Carlos Aguilar, flute, in a colorful program of Carl Nielsen’s Concerto for Flute, the U.S. premiere of Vivian Fung’s Biennale Snapshots, and Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Nielsen’s Flute Concerto, one of the seminal works in the flute repertoire, was written in 1926. In two movements, the 17-minute piece takes the listener and the flutist on a musical journey that showcases the flute’s ability to deliver many tone qualities and personalities, with virtuosic dialogues between the flute and the orchestra. Carlos Aguilar, first-place winner of the LJS&C 2015 Young Artists Competition, solos. The 21-year-old San Diego resident currently studies with Paula Robison at New England Conservatory.

Biennale Snapshots was commissioned by the Vancouver Biennale in celebration of the 2014-2016 Open Air Museum installations, and received its world premiere by Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under Bramwell Tovey on September 26, 2015. Composer Vivian Fung selected five installations from the Open Air Museum exhibition as inspiration. Each of the composition’s five movements serves as an aural “snapshot” of an installation piece--beginning with “Breath Song” (inspired by Sumakshi Singh’s installation of the same name) comprised of whispers, breathing into certain instruments and ambient sounds that reflect the ephemeral nature of the original, to the fifth movement’s triumphant close that reflects the defiant nature of Ai Weiwei’s installation, “F Grass.” The LJS&C performances will be accompanied by an original video montage, depicting the five inspirational artworks from the Vancouver Biennale (vancouverbiennale.com). Fung is a JUNO Award-winning composer known for combining idiosyncratic textures and styles into large-scale works, often assimilating influences of non-Western folk music, Tibetan chant and Brazilian rhythms. Canadian born, she received her doctorate from Julliard and currently resides in California. The composer will join us for the concert weekend.

Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is a suite of 10 pieces composed in 1874 as a remembrance of Viktor Hartmann, artist, architect, and dear friend who died suddenly in 1873. The work began as a piano composition and became well known through Maurice Ravel’s orchestral arrangement. A musical illustration of 10 drawings and watercolors by Hartmann, Pictures was considered by some of Mussorgsky’s fellow composers as radical, novel, as having “gone too far.” Today, it is one of the most popular works in the orchestral repertory.

The performances take place May 6-7, 2017 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. A pre-concert lecture is offered one hour prior to concert times given by the conductor and with composer Vivian Fung. 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 90-person orchestra and 100-person chorus perform groundbreaking orchestral and choral music along with traditional favorites from the classical repertoire. During the 62nd season, maestro Steven Schick shares the podium with David Chase, LJS&C choral director, in his final season, and guest conductor Michael Gerdes, performing works by Barber, Berlioz, Schoenberg, Nielsen, Verdi, Beethoven, Berio, Stravinsky, and more.