Appalachian Spring: An American Finale at the San Diego Symphony

Appalachian Spring Headlines the San Diego Symphony!

Photo by San Diego Union Tribune

Witness the music of four of the world’s greatest composers through a captivating performance by the San Diego Symphony! Join the San Diego Symphony as they host the season finale concert of Appalachian Spring: An American Finale. This Jacobs Masterworks Concert runs from May 27th-29th. It will be a concert full of immense talent and musical insight!

The concert will feature conductor Jahja Ling, pianist Yves Thibaudet, and the San Diego master chorale. Collaborating with one another, the musical works of Barber, Gershwin, Copland, and Bernstein—some of the top musical composers ever—will be covered.

Conductor Jahja Ling has had an illustrious career in the symphony for over 20 influential years. Ling is the first musical director working for a major US orchestra of Chinese descent. Ling has conducted locally as well as internationally, gaining various praise and acclaim for his excellence and quality of work. On piano, Yves Thibaudet has captured audience’s hearts all over the world with his mesmerizing mastering of the keys. Thibaudet’s talent is exemplified through his 2010 achievement of being inducted into the Hollywood Bowl of Fame—an astonishing award for any musician at the top of his or her class. The pianist has even been nominated to receive two different Grammy Awards. He has been performing for over 30 years and is considered one of the world’s best pianists, making him a sought-after performer.

The concert will begin with the piano Concerto in F by George GershwinGershwin had enjoyed success before Concerto in F, which may have put a damper on the piece when it was first performed in December of 1925 at Carnegie Hall. Although it is a beautiful piece exhibiting Gershwin’s mastering of the piano, at the time, too many critics compared it to his previous works. It was not until later that it was appreciated for its excellence.

Samuel Barber’s overture to The School for Scandal will be performed. Barber was only 21 at the time of composition, and he was still attending school. His age did not restrict his success, as his family nurtured his obvious talent at a very young and allowed him to attend a school that also catered to his shining musical abilities. 

Aaron Copland’s suite from Appalachian Spring (the full orchestra version) will also be performed. This suite exemplifies the beauty and idealized version of America, with its patriotic undertones and symbols. The 1942 score is an innovative masterpiece, with Copland combing various methods to create beautiful harmonies; it even won a Pulitzer Prize and still captivates audiences wherever it is performed.

Leonard Bernstein composed the Chichester Psalms patrons will witness when they attend the symphony. He wrote it in 1965 amidst taking a sabbatical from being music director of the New York Philharmonic. The piece has a light and airy feel to it, despite the personal and environmental hardships Bernstein was facing at the time of composing.

You can catch the season finale masterpiece for a limited three-show event from Friday May 27th until Sunday May 29th at the Copley Music Hall. Tickets can be found at San Diego Symphony.