The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center will be opening it’s doors to a brand new, state-of-the-art facility and home of the La Jolla Music Society just in time for its 50th anniversary present to itself and the community — a performance by Seal.
On April 5, 6, and 7, LJMS will host three inaugural gala concerts to celebrate the Conrad’s $82 million, 49,000-square foot renovation, which includes two new, cutting-edge performance spaces: the Baker-Baum 513-seat concert hall and 2,000 square-for multiple purpose performance space, THE JAI. Leah Rosenthal, the LJMS director of programming, said the new performance spaces open up more opportunities for the society to pursue.
"La Jolla Music Society has a longstanding tradition of presenting world-class musicians,” Rosenthal said. "Our commitment in that area won’t shift, but now with The Conrad, we will have a home to explore new avenues of excellence from family programming to a lecture series and various musical styles that we did not have the opportunity to program before.”
An example of those unexplored avenues being their upcoming Coming Home Festival, which will feature a range of musical talents — many from San Diego — like sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the legendary Ravi Shankar, and mandolin marvel Chris Thile.
“The performances during our Coming Home Festival provide a glimpse of what’s to come as we launch into the next 50 years,” she said. The 16-concert festival will kick off during The Conrad’s opening weekend with superstar violinist Hilary Hahn, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, jookin sensation Lil Buck and multi-Grammy winning singer/songwriter Seal.
And of course, Rosenthal said it doesn’t hurt LJMS to have two venues to work with.
"We’ve already begun working on more cross-collaborative projects, which have taken center stage in the industry in recent years, intertwining multiple arts disciplines, including multimedia elements, to enhance the experience for patrons,” she said. "Going forward, we’ll be offering new programming like folk and roots, film, bluegrass, family concerts, and a lecture series, as well as more in-depth artist residencies that utilize the venue for extended periods."
"Regardless of the genre, the beauty of the surroundings and the impeccable acoustics will elevate the concert-going experience."
For more information about The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center and the Coming Home Festival, visit ljms.org.
Coming Home Festival Opening Weekend Lineup
- What: Welcoming reception, Baker Baum Concert Hall ribbon-cutting ceremony and a gala performance. Acts include violinist Hilary Hahn, celebrated pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, ukulele artist Jake Shimabukuro, and jookin specialist Lil Buck.
- When: 5:30 p.m.
- What: Seal will perform an evening of his greatest hits.
- When: 6:30 p.m.
- What: The Hot Sardines jazz concert
- When: 5 p.m.