If violinist Paul Huang’s awards were Oscars, Hollywood would quickly replace Fort Knox as the nation’s go-to gold repository. If he’d taken a day off school for each nod, he’d never have set foot in a classroom. Recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, the 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists and just about everything in between, the Taiwanese American is gaining attention and press worldwide for his eloquent music making, distinctive sound, and effortless virtuosity.
You can see and hear for yourself on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. at the auditorium at Scripps Research Institute as Huang and the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus offers a program of classical markers by Saint-Saens, Prokofiev and Kressler on the heels of his acclaimed 2016 outing at the society’s Summerfest. The auditorium is known nationwide for its acoustic perfection, and Huang’s outstanding precision should thus vie for attention from the most discerning ear. The venue is located at 10620 John J. Hopkins Drive.
For further information, see ljms.org or call 858-459-3728.
‘The Cake’ takes the Playhouse
Della is overjoyed for both her bakery and her best friend’s daughter Jen, whose chosen Della’s Bible-belt shop to build her wedding cake. Her smile soon features a formidable set of clenched teeth as she learns there’s not just one bride but two -- and she’s left to examine her own set of beliefs amid the happiest day of Jen’s life. Through March 4, you can see how it comes out in “The Cake,” La Jolla Playhouse’s latest entry and a testament to modern love and its sometimes painful side effects. “The Cake” plays at the Playhouse’s Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive. For more information, visit lajollaplayhouse.org or call 858-500-1010.
Six degrees of separation
Supposedly, we’re separated from one another by only six degrees, meaning that friends of friends are a mere six connections removed from every living thing on the planet. Beginning Feb. 24, Solana Beach’s North Coast Repertory Theatre charts this phenomenon in “This Random World,” a Steven Dietz play centering on a mother determined to maintain her independence, a longing for adventure, two sisters seeking common ground and an internet prank gone awry. The ties that bind the characters are infinitely closer, and sometimes more precipitous than we think.
North Coast is located at 927 Ste. D Lomas Santa Fe Drive. More information is available at northcoastrep.org or at 858-481-1055.
Oscar Peterson Trio
From 1951 to 1966, bassist Ray Brown and pianist Oscar Peterson were partners in the Oscar Peterson Trio, recording some of the most exciting and beloved jazz music of that era. On Saturday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m., San Diego Symphony will present “Affinity: A Ray Brown and Oscar Peterson Tribute,” which catches the spirit of this collaboration with some of today’s finest keyboard and string bass artists.
The special guest will be bassist John Clayton, considered Brown’s main protégé and legacy-keeper, who performs on Brown’s bass. Also performing will be Larry Fuller, Brown's final pianist, as well as all three members of the Jeff Hamilton Trio. Copley Symphony Hall, the symphony’s venue, is at 750 B St. downtown.
For more, see sandiegosymphony.org or call 619-235-0804.
Music is a passport that can take our imaginations to a certain time and place. On Sunday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m., San Diego Symphony will present “Beat Quest, a Musical Journey through Rhythm, Time and Space,” featuring fare from jazz to the classic symphonies. You and the family will explore how beats came to be and how distinctive rhythms transport us to cities like Vienna, Seville and New Orleans. Gill Sotu writes and presents. All aboard!
The symphony’s venue is 750 B St. downtown. More is available at sandiegosymphony.org or at 619-235-0804.
Rafael Payare, who has conducted major orchestras worldwide and serves as music director of Northern Ireland’s Ulster Orchestra, has been named San Diego Symphony’s new music director, effective July 1, 2019.
Venezuela-born Payare, 37, has conducted some of the world’s leading symphonies, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna and Los Angeles philharmonics. He succeeds Jahja Ling, who conducted his 13th and final San Diego season last year. He will make his San Diego debut as music director-designate in January.
Payare is married to cellist Alisa Weilerstein and makes his home in Berlin with Weilerstein and their daughter.