Music Director Inon Barnatan Prepares For His First La Jolla Music Society SummerFest

Claire Harper | July 1, 2019 | Lifestyle

Dubbed “one of the most admired pianists of his generation” by The New York Times, Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan recently completed his final season as the inaugural artist in association with the New York Philharmonic.

One of San Diego’s most beloved musical festivals, the La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, returns this year in its new home, The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center. This also marks the first year under the leadership of music director Inon Barnatan, who says he’s dedicated to keeping SummerFest’s reign as one of the top festivals in the country. “Composer Gustav Mahler once said, ‘Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire,’ and I’m thrilled to preserve that fire,” says Barnatan. From Mozart Reworked to Beethoven’s Complete String Quartets, familiar productions remain, but that’s not to say that Barnatan hasn’t added his own flair. “I am very interested in how music interacts with and inspires other art forms,” he says—an idea that audience members explore during a new series, Synergy, featuring performances by multi-Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant and Mark Morris Dance Group. Other highlight performances include Music at an Exhibition, where the performing arts center shows how music can inspire art and vise versa, and the pièce de résistance grand finale, including renowned talents such as conductor-harpsichordist Nicholas McGegan, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, pianist Jonathan Biss and violist Cynthia Phelps. It’s guaranteed to be a historical year. Aug. 2-23, subscription packages available


Photography by: Marco Borggreve