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It is with mixed emotions that I write this post, my last as the official blogger of the La Jolla Music Society (LJMS). There is some relief as the grind of a weekly deadline ends. (I have written 45 posts and cajoled five guest posts out of others since July 15, 2010.) But there is also sadness that this is an end to a fulfilling collaboration with the Marketing team. Lead by Kristen Sakamoto, Marketing Director, managed by Travis Maril, Web Master and professional violist, and reviewed by M [...]

5 years ago | |
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Here are some of the best behind-the-scenes tidbits I heard at SummerFest. Most are paraphrased because I didn't have a pen at the time, but I think I captured the essence of the comments.

"Much better than we expected. We expected it to be great, but it is even better than that. To be included in a festival with all of these great musicians is amazing."
-Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, fellowship artist, violist

"I memorize the music when I can bec [...]
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Matthew GeamanMy name is Matthew Geaman, and I am proud to be a SummerFest Spouse. I have been married to a member of the LJMS staff for a little over a year (my wife Leah Rosenthal is the Artistic Administrator). Living with an LJMS staff member during SummerFest can be a little stressful at times, but exciting as well. As the festival approaches, I can see the line [...]

5 years ago | |
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Curious Listener Note: this is a guest post from Nancy Reeves Manzur, SummerFest Artist Liaison.

Nancy Reeves Manzur

Waiting for a performance to begin is always exciting. From the audience, after one finds their seat and turns off their cellphone, their eyes focus on the LJMS SummerFest 25th [...]

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The Serenades and Romance SummerFest concert on Friday, August 12,  is the epitome of why I love La Jolla Music Society's SummerFest - because the musicians are an amazing variety of people, all of whom excel at what they do. The musicians in this concert are a compendium of experienced and new, competition winners, soloists and concertmasters .

Take DaXun Zhang, double bass. I looked at his website and immediately liked him. How could you not when h [...]

5 years ago | |
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"Our SummerFest Chamber Orchestra will make our little, intimate Sherwood Hall boom!", said Christopher Beach, President and Artistic Director, when I asked him why we have a chamber orchestra at SummerFest. As soon as he said it, I knew what he meant. Usually people have a preference between chamber music and orchestra. They either like the intimate sounds of one or the explosive sound of the other. But Christopher (he uses his first name with all La Jolla Music Society devotees) a [...]

5 years ago | |
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The first Sunday concert of SummerFest includes a World Premiere written by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. La Jolla Music Society is one of the commissioners of the piece. That peaked my interest; so, I started my research and quickly found that Ms. Zwilich wrote this piece specifically for the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson (KLR) trio, Michael Tree, and Harold Robinson, who will be playing it for the first time, for us!

K-L-R and Zwilich have a long history together. This is the fourth compositi [...]

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 Does the conductor matter? What more is required except good baton technique to keep the musicians together? While researching Nicholas McGegan, one of SummerFest's conductors, I have discovered great performances require a great conductor. A conductor must have his own interpretation of the music which thrills us, even though we have heard it many times. And, to motivate all 80 or so musicians to embrace his interpretation requires skillful leadership. The minute the conductor los [...]

5 years ago | |
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My friend, Robert F. Ellsworth, died on May 9th. I was lucky enough to see him the week before - what a gentleman. At that meeting, he introduced me to someone by recounting my history and successes at length. That in and of itself makes him stand out as a gentleman, but it means far more after I read his obituary in the New York Times. His successes were on the world's stage. He was so very accomplished, but he spoke only of others' accomplishments, keeping his own to himself.

[...]

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When my friend, Jim Banham, told me that he joined a classical music group that allows musicians to play to and with live audiences,I had to learn more.

I did an admittedly-perfunctory search on the internet and found these other amateur music clubs:

Amateur Pianists San DiegoAmerica's Finest City Dixieland Jazz SocietyMission Hills Folk Song Circle

I also read that there are many choral groups and some amateur orchestras in San Diego; but Scripps Ranch Music Club is unique [...]

5 years ago | |
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