After a rugged and stirring performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish,” by the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus Saturday, March 16, I left UC San Diego’s Mandeville Auditorium refreshed and uplifted. Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony, based on the ancient Hebrew prayer for the dead, takes the listener on a probing and at times exalting journey.

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This year, with many other musical organizations across the continent, the San Diego Symphony has observed the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. But choral director Ruben Valenzuela has chosen 2018 to bring attention to the music of another composer, the Anglo-Canadian Healey Willan, who died 50 years ago, with his Willan West 2018 festival, which ended Saturday, November 17, 2018, with a liturgical celebration at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Hillcrest.

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