Photos from the 2008 Season of SummerFest

Enjoy these behind-the-scenes photos from the 2008 Season of La Jolla Music Society SummerFest.


From Summerfest 2008: Commissions


From Summerfest 2008: Commissions


From Summerfest 2008: Vladimir Feltsman


From Summerfest 2008: Vladimir Feltsman


From Summerfest 2008: Legends and Rituals


From Summerfest 2008: Legends and Rituals


From Summerfest 2008: Beethoven’s String Quartet in F-Major


From Summerfest 2008: Beethoven’s String Quartet in F-Major

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

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 […]

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. As a fan of, and advocate for, new music, it’s been a particular treat to watch such creative talents as Tan Dun, John Adams, Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter refine their work with some of the world’s best musicians, and to share their processes with a wider audience. The opportunity to interview them is a rare privelege as well.

There are many favorite moments. I have fond memories of L’Histoire du Soldat with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, narrator John Rubinstein and choreographer John Malashock; Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera, with violinist Cho-Liang Lin and pipa virtuoso Wu Man; John Adams rehearsing his Shaker Loops; Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra rehearsing their SummerFest concert; and the blending of chamber music and contemporary choreography by Allyson Green, especially for Tan Dun’s Elegy: Snow in June, an exciting and profoundly moving piece which featured UCSD’s own master percussionist, Steven Schick.

UCSD-TV: Shooting a live performance is quite different from shooting a studio interview. What are the primary challenges and what is a typical Summerfest shoot like?

JM: The biggest challenge is reconciling the intricate demands of multi-camera television production with the presenter’s requirements for live performance. We simply don’t have the same control over the concert venue that we take for granted in the studio. It’s really a process of negotiation, with regard to lighting, camera and microphone placement, and audio recording. I work closely with SummerFest’s production staff and stage management to ensure that we get what we need without compromising the performance, or inconveniencing the concert musicians or patrons. Fortunately, over time we’ve earned the Society’s trust, which makes my job much easier, as does the quality of their staff and of our production crew. It’s been a mutually respectful and beneficial partnership.

UCSD-TV: What can the UCSD-TV audience expect from this season’s performances?

JM: As in seasons past, viewers can expect SummerFest’s eclectic blend of established chamber repertoire, overlooked works by renowned composers, and new music commissioned for the festival. And, since I just can’t seem to stay out of rehearsals, you can expect behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with composers and musicians. Beginning this year, viewers may also visit our website for “bonus features” such as extended interviews, pre-concert lectures, etc. It’s all part of our determination to add value to the viewer’s experience by going beyond the concert hall.

Watch online videos and learn more about La Jolla Music Society SummerFest.