Russian-German pianist Igor Levit is only 30, but as a 2016 Gramophone winner, he’s joined a legion of seasoned young artists as one of the most sought-after performers of his generation. On Sunday, Jan. 7, and under the auspices of La Jolla Music Society, he brings a program featuring diverse works such as J. S. Bach’s virtuosic “Chaconne in D Minor”, Wagner’s “Solemn March to the Holy Grail” and Shostakovich’s “Preludes and Fugues for Piano.” The music society venue is at 7946 Ivanhoe Ave. More information is available at ljms.org, or call 858-459-7328.
The beat goes on as La Jolla Symphony and Chorus music director Steven Schick presents “Fascinating Rhythm,” a nod to the world of the tempo and pulse that defines the nature of music. Under the auspices of San Diego Symphony, the first concert will be held Saturday, Jan. 13 and features Roberto Sierra’s percussion concerto, which festival curator Schick will perform on an array of percussion instruments stretching across the stage. The project, part of the symphony’s “It’s About Time” program that runs until Feb. 18, is designed to illuminate the web of musical partners that, whether they know it or not, span all of San Diego. The symphony’s Copley Symphony Hall is located at 750 B St. downtown. For more, see sandiegosymphony.com, or call 619-235-0804.
Atheism and the clergy make odd bedfellows—but Henri Matisse’s membership in the former was no match for his sense of gratitude and fair play. Matisse, one of the 20th century’s greatest French classical painters, will have his local day in court on Saturday, Jan. 13 through Feb. 3. it’s then that La Jolla’s Vantage Theatre, in association with Talent to aMuse Theatre Company, presents “The Color of Light,” Jessie Kornbluth's world-premiere drama about Matisse the nonbeliever and “The Chapel at Venice,” his final work four years in the making, dedicated to a young nun who helped him through a tough convalescence. The play runs at downtown’s Tenth Avenue Center for the Performing Arts, 930 Tenth Ave. See vantagetheatre.com for more, or call 619-940-6813.
The 72nd anniversary of anything (such as the San Diego Youth Symphony) is quite an accomplishment -- and the benchmark is that much more valuable when it involves young people. On Saturday, Jan 13, La Jolla Music Society will show its appreciation as it showcases the incredibly talented musicians of SDYS’ Chamber Orchestra, joined by solo guitarist Celino Romero. This multiyear collaboration highlights the music society’s longstanding commitment to education and SDYS’ tradition of excellence and innovative programming. The concert program will feature works by Beethoven, Boccherini and Vivaldi and will be held at Irwin w. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall, 5775 Morehouse Drive. For more, see sdys.org, or call 619-233-3232.
It has been a tough few years in France – a time of strong crosswinds from every direction. Paris-based circus artist, composer and percussionist Roland Auzet fights back on Feb. 10 and 11 in La Jolla Symphony and Chorus’ “Cross Winds,” a new percussion concerto written for and co-commissioned by UCSD graduate student Fiona Digney. The balm of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, with one of the most beautiful slow movements ever written, helps calm the currents. Steven Schick conducts. The venue is at 9500 Gilman Drive on the UCSD campus. For further information, visit lajollasymphony.com, or call 858-534-4637.