A Good Tune – SummerFest 2014

8232In past seasons the SummerFest programs aired on UCSD-TV tended to the eclectic, mixing different styles, eras and composers broadly representative of the chamber music genre. This year, we’re focusing on four great masters of the Classical style: Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, and Johannes Brahms.

Some definitions are useful here. We use the term classical music (note the small “c”) colloquially to include all Western “art music” (or “serious music”) from roughly the ninth century to the present, and especially the seventeenth century to the nineteenth. In fact, the loose term classical music encompasses a broad variety of forms, styles, genres, schools, movements, historical periods, and composers. The Classical period (note the capital “C”) highlighted in our programs was predominant from the mid-18th to the mid-19th centuries, and was largely developed in Germany and Austria. It derived from the Baroque period and lead to the Romantic period. The hallmarks of the Classical style include a rejection of the ornamentation of the Baroque in favor of a cleaner, simpler style, one with a lighter texture and concerned with logical development, structural balance, adherence to form, proportion, and “rightness” of phrasing. It was highly organized and melodic music, well suited to the Age of Reason. As is always the case when attempting to strictly define historical periods there was considerable overlap between the different styles, and several well-known composers are considered transitional figures – Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert, for example (though it’s been argued that Beethoven is a genre unto himself).

Each of the four composers whose works are performed in our programs made contributions to the development of Classical style. Haydn is considered the key transitional figure from Baroque to Classical; indeed, more than any other composer he may be said to have invented Classical style, and has been called the “Father of Sonata Form.” Mozart, who was a contemporary of Haydn and greatly admired the older man, worked within Classical forms and brought them to an unsurpassed degree of perfection. Schubert, an admirer of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, brought his own innovations to the style and paved the way for the Romantic era that followed. Brahms was a late Classical composer, a Keeper of the Faith who resisted the siren call of Romanticism, fighting a rearguard action against the onslaught of Richard Wagner and his acolytes.

Alas for Brahms, history was on the side of Wagner. Romanticism was followed by modernism, serialism, minimalism, aleatroricism, primitivism, Neoclassicism, New Romanticism, post-modernism, etc., etc. ad nauseam. For a time Classical style fell out of favor – with composers, that is; it never lost its allure for audiences, and by the 1970s younger composers and performers were re-discovering its charms, once again immersing themselves in study of the period and its leading figures. Perhaps they were looking for order amidst the chaos of seventy-plus years of experimentation; or perhaps the older forms were seen as a tonic against the extremely subjective and drily academic nature of much modern music, and a way to reconnect with audiences.

Or perhaps, as SummerFest Music Director Cho-Liang (Jimmy) Lin notes, it’s as simple as “a good tune is always a good tune – there’s no substitute,” and the Classical masters offered good tunes in abundance.

Watch La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest 2014 Season.

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When Drugs Do More Harm Than Good – Three Takeaways

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Recently published research in The American Journal of Psychiatry shows that steroid therapies can cause neuropsychiatric damage.

Commonly prescribed medications such as prednisone can lead to erratic and self-destructive behavior among patients. Dr. Lewis Judd and Dr. Sherwood Brown, two of the paper’s authors, sat down with Nick Binkley of the Diana Foundation to share their findings in-depth. Here are three great takeaways from their discussion:

• Glucocorticoid treatment is associated with a seven-fold increased risk of a suicide or suicide attempt.

• Women appear more likely to develop depression during glucocorticoid treatment while men may be at greater risk for mania, delirium, confusion or disorientation.

• Despite the prevalence and potential seriousness of adverse effects, patients are often not warned about the risks before starting treatment.

To learn more and find out how patients and doctors can work together to reduce risk factors, watch When Drugs Do More Harm Than Good: Adverse Effects of Glucocorticoids on the Brain.

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Julia, Noel and You!

8232The authorized biographer of Julia Child shares her wonderful memories of dining, traveling and talking with the famous icon who brought French cooking to mainstream America. Prepare to get hungry as Noel Riley Fitch recalls the meals that sparked Julia’s passion for food and her lifelong pursuit of pleasure.

Watch Sharing Julia Child’s Appetite for Life with Noel Riley Fitch. Presented by The UC San Diego Library Channel.

Bon Appetit!

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The Ins and Outs of Genitourinary Cancer

8232Clinical practice informs basic science research, and that research in turn informs clinical practice. That is the key to advancing medical treatment. The field of oncology is an excellent example of this – discoveries in molecular biology and genetics have revolutionized clinical care for patients with cancer. New genomic technologies are allowing us to understand molecular changes that underlie cancer development, with the promise of more specific diagnoses and individualized treatment options.

In this new series from UC San Francisco, genitourinary cancers are discussed with an emphasis on how research and advances in technologies are impacting clinical care of cancer in the urinary tract and male genital tract – cancer of the prostate, bladder, kidney, testis, and related organs.

Advanced Prostate Cancer

Bladder Cancer

Testicular Cancer

Palliative Care for People with Genitourinary (GU) Cancers

Renal Cell Carcinoma

Localized Prostate Cancer: Progress Toward Personalized Care

Browse all of the programs in The Ins and Outs of Genitourinary Cancer.

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Computer Models Aid Scientific Discovery

8232When things are too big, too small or impossible to manipulate safely, scientists turn to computer models to reproduce the behavior of natural and man-made systems.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s popular series, Field Trip in the Lab, returns with four new lectures that look at research enabled by computational modeling. Each lecture highlights cutting-edge science presented by leading Lab researchers who are joined by master high school science teachers.

This year’s topics include exploring nature via computer simulation; fusion modeling; menacing microbes; and simulating the human heart on the world’s fastest supercomputer.

1761Computer Simulations: Exploring Nature with a Computer
Computer simulation reproduces the behavior of natural and man-made systems to help us understand, predict, and communicate. Vic Castillo, a research engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, shows how computer simulation is used by LLNL scientists.

1761Fusion Modeling: Using Big Computers to Understand One of the Universes Biggest Secrets
Postdoctoral Fellow Frederico Fiuza discusses the challenges associated with fusion modeling, and how the outstanding computational resources and advanced computer graphics at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory help us to create a miniature Sun on Earth.

1761Menacing Microbes: Protein Models Reveal Secrets
Protein modeling is a computational tool that researchers use to see microbial proteins. Using LLNL’s high performance computational capabilities, 3D models are created of microbial proteins, providing visual tools to expose microbial secrets.

1761The Cardioid Project: Simulating the Human Heart on the World’s Fastest Supercomputer
Computational physicist David Richard describes how to build a computer model of a human heart, starting from an individual cell and then using data from an actual person to create a realistic representation of a beating heart.

Lectures and demonstrations are targeted to middle and high school students which makes them perfect for anyone curious about the amazing work made possible by fast computers with substantial calculation power.

The University of California is a partner in Lawrence Livermore National Security, which manages Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a premier research and development institution for science and technology.

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