Wednesday, February 27, at UC San Diego’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall, virtuoso percussionist Steven Schick gave an impressive solo recital of recent works as part of the university’s week long “Cross-Wired,” a festival of concerts and masterclasses dedicated to cutting edge percussion music and its performers.

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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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The August 14 SummerFest concert offered an embarrassment of riches, from the warmth and allure of Joaquin Turina’s “Escena Andaluza,” to Claude Debussy’s profound yet unsentimental Cello Sonata, to Lei Liang’s extravagantly exciting new “Vis-à-vis” for Pipa and Percussion, to Gustav Mahler’s transcendent Rückert-Lieder song cycle to Alberto Ginestera’s breathtaking String Quartet No. 1.

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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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