Art of Élan Presents Brooklyn Rider at The Conrad’s JAI Hall in La Jolla

Brooklyn Rider
San Diego Story

Although the loyal audience of Art of Élan knows it can typically find this trendsetting musical performance organization at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park, it is also true that Art of Élan does get around.

Exactly one year ago, Art of Élan presented the Chicago-based Kontras Quartet with guest soloist Branford Marsalis at the Music Box in San Diego’s Little Italy. Tuesday, April 16, Art of Élan presented the New York City-based Brooklyn Rider with guest soloist Kinan Azmeh at The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center’s JAI in downtown La Jolla.

Although donors and invited guests of the La Jolla Music Society experienced The Conrad’s more intimate, cabaret style JAI performance space over the Society’s gala opening weekend at the beginning of April, Art of Élan’s program gave the general public their first glimpse of this striking new hall.

The program devised by Artistic Director Kate Hatmaker was vintage Art of Élan, and it did not disappoint: electric recent works by several younger composers and a bit of early music for balance. Early twentieth-century music, that is: Erwin Schulhoff’s sparkling Concertino for Flute, Viola, and Contrabass.

Brooklyn Rider opened with Caroline Shaw’s “Schisma,” a 2018 piece that employed cleverly juxtaposed contrasting textures—bowed strings, strummed strings, vibrant pizzicatos, tapping on the body of the instrument—the way classical era composers used contrasting melodies to flesh out the sonata form. If the name Caroline Shaw rings a bell, it should: the Pulitzer Prize winning composer and her ensemble Room Full of Teeth were featured in the 2013 Carlsbad Music Festival.
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