It’s the middle of September and all is quiet, but October is on the way. The San Diego Opera is moving one of their mainstage productions to October, and the autumn harvest of concerts is ripe and mature.
The San Diego Symphony begins its Jacobs Masterworks season with a gala featuring pianist Lang Lang on Thursday, October 4. Friday is dark and then the symphony caps off the weekend with performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 on Saturday. October 6 and Sunday, October 7 with conductor Edo de Waart. Pianist Joyce Yang will be soloing on Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto for these concerts.
On Tuesday, October 9, Joyce Yang is featured in a chamber music concert with musicians from the San Diego Symphony at the Scripps Research Institute auditorium. Later that week Yang solos with the full orchestra at Symphony Hall on Friday, October 12 and Sunday, October 14. She will be playing Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. That’s two world-famous pianists in as many weeks.
The greatest opera of all time, according to a September 2017 BBC Music Magazine poll of 172 opera singers, is Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Figaro happens to be the opera San Diego Opera is producing on October 20, 23, 26, and 28. For the record, that poll included opera singers such as Renee Fleming, Placido Domingo, Bryn Terfel and Kiri te Kanawa. The Marriage of Figaro received twice as many votes as the number two opera, Puccini’s La Boheme.
Smack-dab in the middle of The Marriage of Figaro is the biggest concert of them all. On Wednesday, October 24, Valery Gergiev and The Mariinsky Orchestra join forces with The San Diego Symphony in a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7. While Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Symphony No. 10 are more popular, for those who love Dmitri, the seventh takes priority over both 5 and 10 in scale and emotion.
We heard Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 last season and incoming San Diego Symphony music director Rafael Payare conducts the 10th Symphony later this season.
Should those four concert experiences not be enough, pianist Conrad Tao slips in before Halloween with a chamber music concert at Scripps on Tuesday, October 30. Tao will be soloing with the orchestra later that week but that’s in November and outside the walled garden of music which is October in San Diego.