Inon Barnatan at the piano. Courtesy La Jolla Music Society
Now back for a 36th year, the fourth under Music Director Inon Barnatan, the 2022 edition of the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest is presented with the rubric “Under the Influence,” highlighting great composers with their music performed by some of the globe’s best musicians.
Speaking with Times of San Diego, Barnatan stressed that performers come to La Jolla each summer “not merely for fun, like getting to the beach, but to interact and to grow.” He added, “For me, producing SummerFest provides an opportunity to get beyond my own performance, giving real joy.”
And, in a prelude conversation with La Jolla Music Festival Artistic Director Leah Rosenthal, Barnatan elaborated, “Everybody we bring here is the best of the best. We see how one voice influences another.”
This theme could be heard on opening night on Friday with two stunning quartets, four violins in one and four pianos in another. At the center was Barnatan, a world-acclaimed pianist, joined in four keyboards by the captivating Joyce Yang, brilliant Garrick Ohlsson and passionate Wynona Yinuo Wang.
But there is much more to follow as the festival schedule below includes a program lasting a total of four weeks through the end of August, with tickets available at The Conrad Performing Arts Center box office or online.
Aug. 3: “Under the Influence: Shakespeare’s World” — Featuring music by Korngold and Beethoven, 7 p.m.
Aug. 5: “A Weekend in Paris: The Salon and the Masquerade” — Debussy, Chopin, Caplet, Ravel, and Sarasate
Aug. 6: “A Weekend in Paris: Le Conservatoire” — Debussy, Boulanger, Franck, Messiaen, and Fauré
Aug. 7: ” Weekend in Paris: Beg, Borrow and Steal” — Featuring music by Couperin, Milhaud, Saint-Saëns, Schumann, and Ravel, 7 p.m.
Aug. 10: “Under the Influence: Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’,” 7 p.m.
Aug. 12: “The New Romantics” — Hamelin and Dvořák
Aug. 14: “The Wagner Effect” — Strauss, Berg, Wagner, Liszt, and Dohnányi, 3 p.m.
Aug. 17: “Under the Influence” — Cecile McLorin Salvant Quintet, 7 p.m.
Aug. 18: Synergy Event: Kurt Weill tribute, featuring Cecile McLorin Salvant and Anthony Roth Costanzo
Aug. 20: “The Planets,” featuring The Knights and Dance Heginbotham, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Aug. 21: “The Planets,” featuring The Knights and Dance Heginbotham, 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Aug. 24: “Under the Influence” — Miró Quartet performs Shaw and Mendelssohn, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24: “Takeover @ The JAI,” featuring Caroline Shaw, 8:30 p.m.
Aug. 25: “New Wine, Old Bottles” — Featuring music by Françaix, Chris Rogerson, and Brahms
Aug. 26: SummerFest Finale, “Metamorphosis” — Featuring music by Strauss and Schubert
In addition to the schedule above, classical chamber music lovers have the opportunity to attend open rehearsals, workshops and encounters for a total of 70 free activities, pulled together by SummerFest Education Director Allison Boles.
All of these events take place at the Conrad, though some reservations may be required and many will also be streamed live.
Barry Jagoda, a La Jolla resident, was an award-winning journalist at NBC News and CBS News who later served in the White House as a media assistant for President Jimmy Carter. His new book about the Carter years is Journeys With Jimmy Carter and Other Adventures in Media.