During Jahja Ling’s tenure as San Diego Symphony Music Director, we have come to expect a major choral work in December such as Handel’s “Messiah” and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Happily, the maestro ignored that stale tradition and with the San Diego Master Chorale offered Haydn’s magnificent “Mass in Time of War,” also known by its German name “Paukenmesse” . . .

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The pianist Louis Lortie headlined this week’s Jacobs Masterworks concert by the San Diego Symphony in more ways than one. Mr. Lortie not only provided the marquee performance but the work in which he was featured turned out to be the most interesting of the three on the program…

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The San Diego Symphony titled last Friday evening’s Jacobs Masterworks program “Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony”, but when the audience rose to its feet in wonderfully noisy acclamation just before intermission, it was pretty clear that they had spontaneously re-named the evening “Jeff Thayer’s Second”, to honor the San Diego Symphony’s concertmaster for his impressive performance of one of the monuments of the violin repertoire, Béla Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2…

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The San Diego Symphony’s Jacobs Masterworks concert of Oct. 11, 2013, offered works by American composers Leonard Bernstein, John Harbison, and George Gershwin, pieces that will complement the Samuel Barber Violin Concerto with soloist Augustin Hadelich on the orchestra’s upcoming trip to China.

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