I want to personally invite you to experience Schubert’s Swan Song, a series of three concerts I’ve curated to explore my favorite music with some of my closest friends and colleagues including Garrick Ohlsson, piano; Erin Keefe, violin; Dover Quartet; Clive Greensmith, cello; Carter Brey, cello; and Benjamin Beilman, violin. The concerts will take place at Irwin M. Jacob’s Qualcomm Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 24; Saturday, April 14; and Saturday, May 19.

Why do I think these works are so special? When Beethoven died in 1827, Schubert famously exclaimed, “Who can do anything after Beethoven?” The music Schubert wrote between that exclamation and his own death at the age of 31 in 1828 answered his own question — many times over.

In nearly any consideration of the great works that Schubert produced in the year of his death worshipful awe is present. The awe is understandable: it is hard to fathom that pieces like the last three Piano Sonatas, the String Quintet in C and the songs comprising “Schwanengesang,” (Swan Songs) were created in so brief a time and by a composer who most likely knew he was terminally ill.
Having the chance to immerse ourselves in this music over three concerts will be like getting to know a great person you admire. We won’t lose the respect and awe we feel toward Schubert’s musical works, but the feeling will be augmented by how human they are, how directly they speak to us, and how much of us is reflected in the music.
Schumann — one of Schubert’s great fans — wrote, “Schubert has tones for the most delicate shades of feeling, thoughts, even accidents and occurrences of life. That which his eye sees, his hand touches, becomes transformed to music.”
We are all excited to present this music to you. I know it will be special for me, and I hope it will be for you too.
With kind regards,

Inon Barnatan

Incoming Music Director, SummerFest

La Jolla Music Society


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