Tag Archives: Steven Schick

Young People’s Concert

“My music is best understood by children and animals.”
– Igor Stravinsky

Each year the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus inaugurates its new season with a presentation for San Diego-area students. The Young People’s Concert, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla and hosted by Music Director/Conductor Steven Schick, aims to introduce students to the symphony and encourage an active interest in music. Schick guides the audience through the intricacies of the orchestra by means of excerpts from two works appearing on the full concert program, Tan Dun’s “Concerto for Water Percussion and Orchestra” (also known simply as the “Water Concerto”) and Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka.”

Though very different in form and style, these pieces are each reflective of the overall theme Schick has chosen for the 2018/19 season: Lineage. Tan Dun drew inspiration for the “Water Concerto” from his childhood in rural China, noting the paramount importance of water in everyday life and, indeed, as the source of life itself. In that sense water becomes a truly universal instrument, one instantly familiar to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Set half a world away, Stravinsky’s “Petrushka” evokes childhood memories of Russian Shrovetide fairs, and in particular the puppet theater that was a popular feature of those festivals. Originally written as a ballet for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, “Petrushka” went on to become a concert staple and one of Stravinsky’s most beloved scores.

Between excerpts Schick and orchestra musicians answer questions from the audience, such as “Why does the harp have different color strings?” (an excellent question) and “How long have the violinists been playing?” This interactivity, sadly uncommon in orchestral music circles, de-mystifies symphonic practice for the uninitiated and helps the students to gain an appreciation for the process of rehearsing and performing as a unified ensemble. Throughout, Steven Schick emphasizes the joy to be found both in collaboration and in active listening.

Watch Young People’s Concert 2018 – La Jolla Symphony & Chorus

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What Is It That Makes Music Musical?

Everyone has a favorite song or beloved musical artist. But have you ever asked WHY you respond to music at all? What is it that makes music, well, musical?

That’s the question at the center of the fascinating six-part series “To Be Musical,” from UC San Diego’s Eleanor Roosevelt College. Join professors of music, literature and psychology as they decode the mysteries of music and its effect on our brains, our emotions and our lives. You’ll never tap your toes to your favorite song the same way again.

Browse the episodes at the “To Be Musical” series page or find them all below.

On the Bridge: The Beginnings of Contemporary Percussion Music with Steven Schick


How the West Rejected “Nice” Music A Century Ago with Steven Cassedy

Why Music? with David Borgo


Craft and Tools in Late Beethoven with Aleck Karis


Utterance, Ritual, Expression: Why Singing Makes Us Human with Susan Narucki


Musical Illusions, Perfect Pitch and Other Curiosities with Diana Deutsch

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Philip Glass and Company Introduce Cello Concerto

It’s not everyday that a famous composer comes to town to premiere a new work. That day came for San Diego in 2007 when composer Philip Glass made his way to the beautiful beach community of La Jolla for the American debut of his piece, Cello Concerto, with the renowned La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, an ensemble affiliated with UC San Diego.

Also classing up the place was cellist Wendy Sutter and conductor Steven Schick, all of whom are featured in this short video introduction, new on UCTV Prime Cuts. Once you’ve got your primer, it’s time to watch the performance itself.

Chances are you’ll be hungry for more, so consider perusing our complete collection of diverse La Jolla Symphony and Chorus performances and behind the curtain interviews that we’ve made available over the years. Enjoy!

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