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Mahler, Shostakovich, Beethoven, and Mozart in San Diego this June

Mainly Ambitious at Mainly Mozart

A great event—period.
A great event—period.

The San Diego Mainly Mozart Festival used to be held at The Balboa Theatre and it used to be a great classical music event. Then it was held outdoors at the Del Mar Surf Cup Sports Park and it stopped being a great classical music event and evolved into a great event—period. Now the festival is being held at Del Mar for one week and then in La Jolla for the next week. The Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra remains a musical miracle with its collection of concertmasters and principal players from across North America.

Past Event

Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival

The Del Mar week opens on Thursday, June 15, with Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. Mainly Mozart did Beethoven’s Eighth at a drive-up concert during the COVID era. I recall being pleased with what I would call a proper tempo for the final movement.

Video:

Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major

Saturday, June 17, also features Mozart and Beethoven. For Beethoven, we have his String Quartet in F minor and for Mozart, we get his Piano Concerto No. 25 with friend of the festival Anne-Marie McDermott.

Sponsored
Sponsored

On Sunday, June 18, things get a bit large with Johannes Brahms’s Violin Concerto. At almost 45 minutes, this is one of the longest concertos in the repertoire. Fortunately, it is one of those pieces of music that doesn’t feel long, it just feels great especially when the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra is involved. The soloist is Karen Gomyo.

Past Event

Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival

I might be tempted to raise an eyebrow at Mainly Mozart Music Director Michael Francis when it comes to the first of the La Jolla concerts. The concert is on Thursday, June 20, at The Conrad in downtown La Jolla. Well and good. However, the featured piece of music is Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Now, the Fourth is less than half of Mahler’s Eighth but it’s written for a 20th Century-sized orchestra. The Conrad only seats 513.

Video:

Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2

The Fourth is kind of Mahler’s pastoral symphony with plenty of sleigh bells and Austrian dances but it’s still Mahler and it’s still a small hall. This concert could break the sound barrier.

Past Event

Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival

On Thursday, June 22, the festival moves over to The UC San Diego Epstein Family Amphitheater for Mozart’s overtures from both The Marriage of Figaro and the Magic Flute. Also making an appearance is Dimitri Shostakovich and his Piano Concerto No. 2. At only about 20 minutes in length, this is a short concerto but it packs a wallop as does pretty much everything Shostakovich composed.

The festival comes to an end on Saturday, June 24, with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 also at the Epstein Family Amphitheater. What can I say? This is, by far, the most musically ambitious festival Mainly Mozart has ever produced.

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A great event—period.
A great event—period.

The San Diego Mainly Mozart Festival used to be held at The Balboa Theatre and it used to be a great classical music event. Then it was held outdoors at the Del Mar Surf Cup Sports Park and it stopped being a great classical music event and evolved into a great event—period. Now the festival is being held at Del Mar for one week and then in La Jolla for the next week. The Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra remains a musical miracle with its collection of concertmasters and principal players from across North America.

Past Event

Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival

The Del Mar week opens on Thursday, June 15, with Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. Mainly Mozart did Beethoven’s Eighth at a drive-up concert during the COVID era. I recall being pleased with what I would call a proper tempo for the final movement.

Video:

Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major

Saturday, June 17, also features Mozart and Beethoven. For Beethoven, we have his String Quartet in F minor and for Mozart, we get his Piano Concerto No. 25 with friend of the festival Anne-Marie McDermott.

Sponsored
Sponsored

On Sunday, June 18, things get a bit large with Johannes Brahms’s Violin Concerto. At almost 45 minutes, this is one of the longest concertos in the repertoire. Fortunately, it is one of those pieces of music that doesn’t feel long, it just feels great especially when the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra is involved. The soloist is Karen Gomyo.

Past Event

Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival

I might be tempted to raise an eyebrow at Mainly Mozart Music Director Michael Francis when it comes to the first of the La Jolla concerts. The concert is on Thursday, June 20, at The Conrad in downtown La Jolla. Well and good. However, the featured piece of music is Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Now, the Fourth is less than half of Mahler’s Eighth but it’s written for a 20th Century-sized orchestra. The Conrad only seats 513.

Video:

Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2

The Fourth is kind of Mahler’s pastoral symphony with plenty of sleigh bells and Austrian dances but it’s still Mahler and it’s still a small hall. This concert could break the sound barrier.

Past Event

Mainly Mozart All-Star Orchestra Festival

On Thursday, June 22, the festival moves over to The UC San Diego Epstein Family Amphitheater for Mozart’s overtures from both The Marriage of Figaro and the Magic Flute. Also making an appearance is Dimitri Shostakovich and his Piano Concerto No. 2. At only about 20 minutes in length, this is a short concerto but it packs a wallop as does pretty much everything Shostakovich composed.

The festival comes to an end on Saturday, June 24, with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 also at the Epstein Family Amphitheater. What can I say? This is, by far, the most musically ambitious festival Mainly Mozart has ever produced.

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