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.