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La Jolla Music Society postpones SummerFest 2020

World-renowned cellist Alisa Weilerstein performs with SummerFest music director Inon Barnatan at the grand finale of the La Jolla Music Society's gala in 2019. Both had been scheduled to perform at the 2020 SummerFest before the society announced it was postponing the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein performs with SummerFest music director Inon Barnatan at the grand finale of the La Jolla Music Society’s gala in 2019. Both had been scheduled to perform at this year’s SummerFest before the society announced it is postponing the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
(File)

A shortened version of the annual event will be held in August, but much of the three-week festival’s 2020 programming will be moved to next year.

The La Jolla Music Society announced May 18 that it is postponing its annual SummerFest, with much of this year’s programming moving to 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

This year’s festival, themed “Self + Sound,” was to have featured 18 concerts over three weeks, from July 31 through Aug. 21.

A truncated version of the event will be held in late August, but organizers say they are trying to keep the original 2020 programming intact and move it to next summer.

In an email, which included a videotaped message, SummerFest music director Inon Barnatan said: “Unfortunately, we cannot present the festival to you this summer as originally planned. However, we are still determined to bring live music to you this summer.”

“In early June, we will announce the revised, shortened program for SummerFest, to be held in late August,” Barnatan said. “Our hope is that we will be able to safely welcome a live audience to The Conrad, in addition to streaming the performances from the Baker-Baum concert hall.”

Barnatan came on board last year, taking the helm at the annual summer music festival as the organization embarked on a new chapter with the opening of its $82 million Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center.

“We have all been looking forward to [this year’s] program and artists,” Barnatan said, “so we are happy to say these have not been abandoned but will be re-created for SummerFest 2021. We will try and preserve as much of the planned festival as we possibly can.”

In March, Barnatan announced this year’s theme and lineup, which included a star-studded roster of 88 performers, including cellist Alisa Weilerstein, violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist/composer Conrad Tao.

Barnatan, an acclaimed Israeli-American pianist, had grand plans of showcasing musical diversity at this year’s now-postponed festival.

“The idea of ‘Self + Sound’ — and of how a composer writes themselves into their music and how we are reflected in music — is something I find fascinating,” Barnatan, who was to have performed on piano at eight of the SummerFest concerts, said in March.

For more information and updates, go to ljms.org/summerfest


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