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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Just as Robert Indiana’s familiar 1970 Love Sculpture became an apt symbol of the 1970s, the Swiss artist Arnold Böklin’s evocative painting “The Isle of the Dead” from 1880 captured the darker, mystical imaginings of fin de siècle Europe. Sergei Rachmaninoff turned Böklin’s painting into a dark tone poem, which he also titled “The Isle of the Dead” . . .

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