Summer(Fest) is Still in the Air – Starting Tonight!

Sure, the days are getting shorter, but the spirit of summer is still going strong on UCSD-TV with the premiere of three programs from La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest 2012 season.

The excitement kicks off tonight, October 5, at 8pm with Tan Dun’s Water Passion, a multicultural/multimedia oratorio, written by the acclaimed Chinese composer to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of J.S. Bach, whose “St. Matthew Passion” provided the initial inspiration for this work.  The music is a theatrical  mix of water bowls, drums, strings, Tibetan bells, chants, digital sounds, Chinese opera and Tuvan throat singing, with a dash of jazz and postmodernism, all filtered through Tan Dun’s adventurous sensibility.

Then tune in next Friday, October 12, at 8pm for Commissions & Premieres, part of SummerFest’s long tradition of showcasing new works. This year’s program includes stimulating pieces by American composers Gabriel Kahane, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Aaron Jay Kernis, and French composer Marc-Andre Dalbavie.

Finally, on October 19, there’s the Finale Concert, featuring 38 of the world’s best chamber and symphonic musicians as the SummerFest Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of celebrated conductor Kent Nagano.  The eclectic program includes Rossini’s beloved “Overture to The Barber of Seville,” Beethoven’s viruoso “Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major,” Maurer’s surprising “Sinfonia Concertante in A Minor for Four Violins and Strings,” and Mendelssohn’s  colorful “Symphony No. 4 in A Major.”

All programs repeat throughout the month and will be available online by their premiere date.

If you’re still not ready to let summer go, visit our SummerFest series page, where you can find video of performances and behind-the-scenes interviews going all the way back to 1999. That should keep you warm during the winter!

La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest 2012: Tan Dun’s Water Passion

MacArthur ‘geniuses’ on UCSD-TV

Today the MacArthur Foundation announced its 2011 ‘genius’ grants and we were pleased to see two names familiar to UCSD-TV – cellist Alisa Weilerstein and percussionist Dafnis Prieto. Both artists will receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years. Alisa Weilerstein will make her UCSD-TV debut in La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest 2011 performance […]

2011 MacArthur Fellow Alisa Wielerstein, appearing on UCSD-TV October 7th

Today the MacArthur Foundation announced its 2011 ‘genius’ grants and we were pleased to see two names familiar to UCSD-TV – cellist Alisa Weilerstein and percussionist Dafnis Prieto. Both artists will receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years.

Alisa Weilerstein will make her UCSD-TV debut in La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest 2011 performance of “Mozart, The Sublime Spirit,” premiering October 7 at 8pm. Don’t miss this terrific opportunity to see a “genius” in action! We’ll be premiering two more SummerFest programs in October, including Commissions and Premieres (October 14) and the season’s 2011 finale (October 21). Visit our SummerFest series page for additional broadcast dates and more video from past SummerFest seasons.

Another recipient, percussionist Dafnis Prieto, is interviewed in the UCSD-TV documentary about the making of  ”Lilith: The Opera,” which premiered in San Diego in 2010. Check out the video on our website.

2011 MacArthur Fellow Dafnis Prieto appeared in UCSD-TV's 2010 documentary, "Making Lilith"

UCSD-TV Opera & SummerFest Programs Nab Telly Awards

We’re proud to announce that two UCSD-TV produced arts programs with longtime community partners have been awarded Bronze Telly Awards!

San Diego Opera Spotlight: Romeo and Juliet: A behind-the-scenes look at San Diego Opera’s 2010 production of Gounod’s Shakespeare-inspired masterpiece.

This is the fifth award for the Opera Spotlight series, which UCSD-TV and San Diego Opera have co-produced since 1995 — including this year with San Diego Opera’s 2011 season.

La Jolla Music Society: SummerFest 2009: Stewart Copeland, Composer: Four original compositions by percussionist Stewart Copeland, best known as drummer for superstar rock band The Police.
This is the first award for the SummerFest series and, after twelve years of partnering with La Jolla Music Society, we are confident it won’t be the last.

UCSD-TV is no stranger to the Telly Awards, having picked up fifteen of them since 2004. The Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and work created for the Web. Since 1978, their mission has been to strengthen the visual arts community by inspiring, promoting, and supporting creativity. The 31st Annual Telly Awards received over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.

Congratulations to our talented arts producer John Menier and, of course, to our valued community partners, San Diego Opera and La Jolla Music Society.

Everything Old Becomes New Again

A new year affords the opportunity to reflect on what’s gone before while looking ahead to new possibilities. In this spirit, I can think of no better way to kick off 2011 than by presenting new musical contributions from old and valued friends. • La Jolla Music Society SummerFest – During the 18 years (!) […]

A new year affords the opportunity to reflect on what’s gone before while looking ahead to new possibilities. In this spirit, I can think of no better way to kick off 2011 than by presenting new musical contributions from old and valued friends.

La Jolla Music Society SummerFest – During the 18 years (!) of our association, SummerFest has moved from strength to strength, and the three 2010 concerts which premiere this month on UCSD-TV reflect the range, depth and joyous musicality which have always characterized this chamber music festival.

San Diego Opera – Since the premiere of San Diego Opera Spotlight in January 1997, our collaboration with the Opera has grown to include two additional series, San Diego OperaTalk and, most recently, San Diego Opera Stars in the Salon (formerly Artists’ Roundtable). To my knowledge this partnership is unique in the opera world, as the three series combine to produce a long-term, comprehensive portrait of the history and evolution of a vital art form. The new season of opera programming premieres this month with a behind-the-scenes peek at Puccini’s Turandot and continues its run through the end of May.

La Jolla Symphony & Chorus – This community-based ensemble has performed challenging music on the UCSD campus for over 50 years. UCSD-TV’s association with the Symphony (and mine) began in 1993, and it remains a touchstone in my professional life. The Symphony combines respect for tradition with an adventurous spirit, presenting established repertoire alongside challenging new or undeservedly obscure works. Their 2010 concert, Color, premiering in February, is an excellent example of what the Symphony does best.  The program spans the 20th century, from Mahler to Bernstein, and includes a dynamic performance of Alexandre Scriabin’s pioneering multimedia composition, Prometheus, the Poem of Fire.

Rebecca Lytle Memorial Concerts – UCSD-TV has presented Professor Emeritus and pianist Cecil Lytle in annual concerts since 1998. Through the years Cecil has displayed his virtuosity in a wide range of formats and styles, including classical, ragtime, jazz, blues, popular standards and, yes, tango. This year’s concert is a multimedia exploration of the life, influences and legacy of Hungarian master Franz Liszt. The Naked Liszt premieres on UCSD-TV in March.

Berthold Auerbach wrote, “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” I like to think that UCSD-TV is doing its part to make the world a cleaner place.