Emmy Win for Philip Glass, La Jolla Symphony Documentary

(PRESS RELEASE) LA JOLLA, CA— UCSD-TV took home the Emmy Award in the Entertainment-Program or Special category for “La Jolla Symphony & Chorus: Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto.” UCSD-TV’s Arts and Humanities producer John Menier accepted the award — his fifth career Emmy win and UCSD-TV’s thirteenth — at the June 13 ceremony in downtown San […]

(PRESS RELEASE) LA JOLLA, CA— UCSD-TV took home the Emmy Award in the Entertainment-Program or Special category for “La Jolla Symphony & Chorus: Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto.” UCSD-TV’s Arts and Humanities producer John Menier accepted the award — his fifth career Emmy win and UCSD-TV’s thirteenth — at the June 13 ceremony in downtown San Diego.

The award-winning program features La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ North American premiere of Glass’ “Cello Concerto” and interviews with renowned cellist Wendy Sutter, conductor Steven Schick, and the composer himself.

UCSD-TV and La Jolla Symphony & Chorus have created an ongoing partnership to produce programs that showcase performances and behind-the-scenes interviews with the artists. Two new programs will debut on UCSD-TV in July, including Evan Ziporyn’s “Frog’s Eye” with Tijuana-based dance troupe Lux Boreal, and “Passion,” featuring Elgar’s “Cello Concerto” with guest cellist Maya Beiser. Broadcast information is available at www.ucsd.tv/lajollasymphony.

Watch the Entire Program:

Interview with Christopher Beach, President and Artistic Director, La Jolla Music Society from the 2008 Season of SummerFest

UCSD-TV: What sparked your love of chamber music?

CHRISTOPHER BEACH: My grandparents and great grandmother would have dinner parties where they and their friends would play chamber music, so as a child it was the very first music I heard. I have loved it since before I could remember.

UCSD-TV: Do you have a favorite composer?

CB: Every day my favorite composer changes, sometimes two or three times a day. The Goldberg Variations is always one of the pieces at the top. A month ago I was fixated by John Ireland. Elgar reminds me of my grandfather. Liszt and Chopin remind me of my great grandmother and my mother loved Sibelius. Grieg and I share a birthday (June 15th). And then there is opera. I worked for various opera companies for more than 15 years and Rigoletto, all Verdi, Strauss, Strauss, Strauss…you see, it is impossible to answer this question.

UCSD-TV: What piece of music could you listen to over and over?

CB: All of the above, but I love the three Mozart/DaPonte operas. They tell the story of life. Having just heard again the Vingt regards sur L’Enfant Jesus by Messian, I know it is one of the great works of the 20th Century.

UCSD-TV: What is your favorite Summerfest moment from seasons past?

CB: Last summer’s performance by Jimmy and Hai-Ye Ni and John Bruce Yeh, and Christopher Taylor of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time…although Jacques Loussier’s performance and the Milone Piazzolla Suite were unforgettable.

UCSD-TV: What is the biggest challenge in putting on Summerfest every year?

CB: It is like a triple decker chess game. Artists’ availabilities, repertory artists would play well, who would play well together, what would sell tickets, and what can challenge the audience and yet not challenge them too much.

UCSD-TV: Summerfest is not just about great performances. So many of the events focus on educating the audience and sharing knowledge. Could you tell us a bit more about these activities and why they are so important to the chamber music community?

CB: Chamber music has more layers and more depth than any other instrumental music and yet, at the same time it is so transparent because it is so intimate. We have open rehearsals with the artist, Prelude lectures, artist workshops, and Encounters during the day that provide a context for all of the performances. I guarantee any of our audience members that if they partake of these free offerings they will leave the concert hall richer and with an even more memorable performance.

UCSD-TV: What can the viewing audience expect from the new season of Summerfest programs?

CB: Mendelssohn, Handel, Haydn and Purcell all celebrate anniversaries in 2009.

UCSD-TV: 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the La Jolla Music Society. How will you celebrate?

CB: With Gustavo Dudamel, four great international women pianists, more dance than ever, and champagne.

SummerFest 2007: Interview with Executive Producer John Menier

La Jolla Music Society and UCSD-TV have forged a unique partnership to share the magic of Summerfest with television and web audiences. We asked executive producer John Menier to tell us a bit more about the history and making of the series.

UCSD-TV: How did UCSD-TV’s partnership with La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest begin?

JOHN MENIER: The exact details are shrouded in the mists of time, but I first made contact with La Jolla Music Society in 1993. At that time I was interested in one particular event, an appearance by composer Bright Sheng at the Athanaeum Music Library in La Jolla. The resulting program turned out very well, and over the next few years we gradually developed an enduring partnership with the Society.

UCSD-TV: What are some of your favorite moments from past Summerfest seasons?

JM: I’m fascinated by rehearsals, and I love documenting the creative process…

Read the Entire Interview

La Jolla Music Society Summerfest Web Site

TV Program Educates Youth About HIV/AIDS

(Press Release) This September UCSD-TV premieres “The Rhythm of Her Step: A Song of San Diego,” an energetic, site-specific dance video that utilizes the talents of local choreographers Jean Isaacs, grace shinhae jun (bkSOUL), and UCSD-TV director John Menier, to educate urban teens and young adults about the vital topic of HIV/AIDS awareness. The program […]

(Press Release) This September UCSD-TV premieres “The Rhythm of Her Step: A Song of San Diego,” an energetic, site-specific dance video that utilizes the talents of local choreographers Jean Isaacs, grace shinhae jun (bkSOUL), and UCSD-TV director John Menier, to educate urban teens and young adults about the vital topic of HIV/AIDS awareness. The program premieres September 15th at 8:30pm on UCSD-TV and repeats throughout the month.

The half-hour video follows the story of a teenage girl as she faces her recent HIV positive diagnosis. Told through flashback sequences that incorporate dance, poetry and rhythmic music, the girl evaluates the choices she made that lead to her HIV status and ultimately takes responsibility for her actions and their consequences.

The program was sponsored by County Television Network (CTN), Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater, and UCSD-TV. A DVD version of “The Rhythm of Her Step: A Song of San Diego” will also be distributed to schools throughout San Diego County as part of the program’s grant-funded effort to educate at-risk youth, particularly African-American and Latina women, about HIV/AIDS prevention.

Shot at various locations around Encinitas, including Lou’s Records, the San Dieguito Boys and Girls Club, and San Dieguito Academy, the program features local dancers from Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theater and bkSOUL, a local Hip Hop/postmodern performance company. The music featured in the video was composed and performed by local DJ Shammy Dee (Arash Haile).

Watch: The Rhythm of Her Step: A Song of San Diego