In 2018, the key players of San Diego’s classical music scene struck gold by collaborating with each other. Enlisting some 10 musical organizations in its month-long “It’s About Time Time” festival in January, the San Diego Symphony set a high bar of cooperation for the coming year, but other organizations readily took up the challenge with rewarding results.

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Thursday, August 16, La Jolla SummerFest featured Marc-André Dalbavie’s stunning Quartet for Piano and Strings, a La Jolla Music Society commission premiered here in 2012, and paired it with Pierre Jalbert’s 2017 Piano Quintet, an equally impressive work which the La Jolla Music Society co-commissioned.

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As a salute to the UC San Diego Department of Music, La Jolla SummerFest’s host for most of the 2018 music festival’s concerts, Music Director Cho-Liang Lin featured two of the university’s resident composers in his festival’s annual program of contemporary music: Rand Steiger’s new work “Tropes” and Lei Liang’s 2005 “Serashi Fragments.”

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