La Jolla, Calif. (March 24, 2011) — The La Jolla Symphony " Chorus (LJS"C) announces its 2011-2012 season themed: “Stravinsky Circus.” Offering a varied retrospective of this 20th century master through six works threaded throughout the season, concerts will also highlight the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Verdi, Mozart, Schumann, and contemporary composers, including David Lang and John Adams.
“’Stravinsky Circus’ presents the many faces of Stravinsky: he’s a Russian composer, he’s a French composer, he’s a classicist, he’s a populist,” says LJS&C Music Director and Conductor Steven Schick. “You will hear the Stravinsky of the ballets in his The Rite of Spring and The Firebird. And you will hear some later works of reduced instrumentation of which Les Noces, written for piano, percussion and chorus, is a fabulous example. We will have Symphony in C from his neoclassical period and Ebony Concerto, in which he embraced jazz via a work written for the Woody Herman band. Stravinsky changed the musical world. He is as important to our time as the music of the 19th century masters was to his. In a way, he is our Beethoven.”
The season opens the weekend of October 29-30 with Maestro Schick conducting a program of music from Paris. Stravinsky’s moving memorial for Claude Debussy, Symphonies of Wind Instruments, is followed by music of Debussy himself: LJS&C 2010 Young Artist Winner, Charissa Barger, is soloist in his Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane for harp and string orchestra. The program concludes with the sharpest of contrasts: Maurice Ravel’s charming tales of childhood innocence Mother Goose Suite followed by Stravinsky’s savage (and world-changing) The Rite of Spring.
December 3-4 offers two brilliant folk-tales from the early twentieth century: Stravinsky’s portrait of a folk wedding in pagan Russia, Les Noces -- choreographed by Allyson Green with dancers, four pianos and percussion ensemble red fish, blue fish -- and Béla Bartók’s magical story of nine young hunters transformed into wild stags. Two much more recent pieces complete the program: György Ligeti’s daring work for 100 metronomes, each at a different tempo, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang’s rambunctious Grind to a Halt, originally commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony.
On February 11-12, we present a program of stark – and very beautiful -- drama. Guiseppi Verdi’s searing Overture to La Forza del Destino, a tale of bloody revenge, opens the program, which is bookended by Brahm’s Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. In between comes John Adams’ The Wound Dresser, a setting of Walt Whitman poems about tending the wounded of the Civil War, and this season’s Nee Commission by Nicholas Deyoe – still getting rid of.
The March 17-18 concert explores Stravinsky’s classical roots. We open with Mozart’s famous Overture to The Marriage of Figaro followed by Stravinsky’s Symphony in C, which was modeled on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C Major. The program ends with Beethoven’s influential symphony. Along the way, a very different Stravinsky is heard in Ebony Concerto written for clarinet soloist and jazz orchestra.
The May 5-6 program is inspired by the many faces of spring. Edvard Grieg’s beautiful lament, The Last Spring, for string orchestra is a perfect introduction to Robert Schumann’s robust Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major (“Spring”). Then chorus and soloists join the orchestra for quite a different Spring Symphony in Benjamin Britten’s setting of 14 poems about the coming of spring – a preview of the chorus’ upcoming Carnegie Hall debut.
The season ends the weekend of June 9-10 with Stravinsky’s most popular work, The Firebird. Starting off the concert is the world premiere of Tintinnabulation by Igor Korneitchouk, professor of music at Mesa College and longtime LJS&C violinist. And UCSD faculty member Aleck Karis is soloist in Samuel Barber’s magnificent Piano Concerto, which won the Pulitzer Prize exactly 50 years ago.
Performances take place in Mandeville Auditorium at University of California, San Diego. Saturday concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday concerts begin at 2:00 p.m. A free pre-concert lecture is offered one hour prior to concert times.
Subscriptions to the six-concert series range from $58 to $152, with discounts offered to “early-bird” subscribers before June 10, 2011. Subscriptions are available through the LJS&C office by calling (858) 534-4637 or online by clicking here. Single tickets go on sale in August.
Rooted in San Diego for over 50 years, the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus enriches our lives through affordable concerts of ground-breaking, traditional and contemporary classical music. Music Director Steven Schick shares the podium with Choral Director David Chase during the 2011-2012 season.