San Diego weekend arts events: Brendan Nguyen, San Diego Symphony, Andrés Hernández and more
Speaker 1: (00:00)
This weekend in the arts, we have a lot of piano music, the intersection of poetry and art, and some Pulitzer prize winning photo journalism. Joining me with all the details as KPBS arts editor and producer, Julia Dixon, Evans, and Julia. Welcome.
Speaker 2: (00:16)
Hi Maureen. Thanks for having me. You have
Speaker 1: (00:19)
Two piano performances is on your radar for this weekend. One from the symphony at the civic theater playing some of the greats and another from a smaller ensemble project blank, performing solo piano pieces by lesser known women composers. Let's start there with project blank.
Speaker 2: (00:37)
Yeah. Um, Brendan Wyn is one of the co-founder is of project blank, which is a performance organization, an ensemble, and no one's also an accomplished piano player. So to kick off their 2022 season, they're doing a concert of solo piano works, performed BYN, and this is also a donation based pay. What you can event with a $5 suggested minimum donation. They are doing women composers. So let's start with a living composer, but one that's 98 years old. She is an Ethiopian exile and none Emma ho Sega Maram G brow. And this is a piece she wrote called the madman's laughter. Andy will also perform some Amy Beach compositions. Um, she's an American composer and piano player who lived from 1867 through 1940, and noun will be performing a few of her works. And finally, there's Missy Mao, who is a young contemporary American composer. She's really prolific and composes for a pretty wide range of instruments and ensembles, but nomen will play a few of her works for solo piano. This one it's called breaker is one of my favorites. And this was from 2013.
Speaker 1: (02:19)
Brandon Wyn performs works by three women composers Saturday evening at St. James by the sea in LA Jolla. Now let's talk about the symphony concerts this weekend. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (02:31)
George Lee will join the symphony on piano for two concerts. There's one tonight and another Saturday afternoon. And both are at the civic theater. This will be conducted by Rafael PI and they're playing the much loved Rapsody on a theme of Paganini by RMAN and off. And this has one of the most recognizable passages in classical music. But beyond that section, it's a really lively and powerful piece that most of us probably have never listened to all the way through. And they're also playing symphony fantastic by Barios and a 1920s piece by a black American composer William Grant, still his darker America.
Speaker 1: (03:23)
The symphony performs tonight at eight and Saturday at 2:00 PM at the civic theater now onto the world of visual art and poetry. You've told us before about artist Andre Hernandez and her new exhibition of photography crying on the blue line trolley. But tomorrow she's in conversation with local poet, Carla Cordero. Can you tell us how poetry is connected here?
Speaker 2: (03:48)
Right. I actually first learned about Hernandez through her poetry in a graphic novel called we used to move through the city like doves and the wind. And now she has this multidisciplinary work of mostly photography. And that's up at the hill street country club right now. Her work is so intensely informed by this experience of feeling trapped by the border and being unable to move back and forth to see her partner, particularly during COVID when the border was completely closed to her. But even when open and Hernandez has to endure this really unsettling experience of crossing a border and Hernandez writes about this, the process of traveling across the border or about love in a really vulnerable and sparse way. And I think there's a lot of overlap between the poetry and the photography in the exhibition of that architecture of the border or from the trolley ride from San Ciro and there's poetry and, and short video works that go along with it. But they're going to be discussing that intersection on Saturday afternoon in an artist talk, uh, that's in conversation with Carla Cordero, who is a professor and a it she's author of the amazing poetry collection called how to pull apart the earth. And it's virtual
Speaker 1: (05:09)
Andres Hernandez will be in conversation with Carla Cordero Saturday at 1:00 PM, local photo journalist, Don Bartlet won of Pulitzer in 2003 for his work with the LA times documenting central American youth migrating north to the us. He has a retrospective of his work on view at the Oceanside museum of art right now. And what do you know about it? So this
Speaker 2: (05:34)
Exhibit covers something like 40 years of his work starting in the late 1970s. He was a photojournalist or what was then called the San Diego union. Um, he was with the paper until the mid eighties, and then continued with the LA times until 2015. And his photography is really powerful and story centric. He's traveled around the world, working on assignments and his work covers such a broad range of what the world has gone through in the last four decades. Definitely some of his most powerful pieces are those Pulitzer winning pieces of the central American youth on their journey. And my favorite is the striking picture taken from behind a who is sitting on top of a moving train. It's such a fleeting moment, but one that's really incredible. It'll all be on view at OMA through May 1st and the museums open Thursday through Sunday afternoons.
Speaker 1: (06:30)
That's Don Bartlet's exhibition of photography, elusive moments, and during stories at the ocean's side museum of art, be sure to check with events, organizers for last minute changes or cancellations, and you can find details on these and more arts events or sign up for Julia's weekly KPBS arts email@example.com slash arts. I've been speaking with K PS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans as always. Julia. Thanks
Speaker 2: (07:01)
A lot. Thank you, Maureen. Have a good weekend.
This weekend in the arts: so much piano music, with Project [BLANK] presenting solo piano works by visionary women composers, and George Li joins the San Diego Symphony for Rachmaninoff, Berlioz and Still; a virtual art talk explores poetry and visual art in The Hill Street Country Club's latest exhibition; Don Bartletti's photojournalism exhibition at Oceanside Museum of Art; and Digital Gym's Sundance screenings.
Brendan Nguyen, Solo Piano
Brendan Nguyen is one of the cofounders of Project [BLANK], a local performance ensemble and organization. He's also an accomplished pianist, and will kick off their 2022 season with an interesting series of works for solo piano.
The show features compositions from influential and groundbreaking women composers, all vastly different in their styles and eras. American composer Amy Beach lived from 1867 to 1944, and one of the things that stood out to me from her biography is that she was a child prodigy pianist, even publishing compositions in her early teens. But when she married in 1885, her husband urged her to stop performing, so as a compromise, she only performed once per year. Following his death, she resumed regular performance and composition. One of the Beach pieces in the concert, "Dreaming, Four Sketches for Piano, Op. 15, No. 3," is a lovely and almost mournful tune.
Also in the program is Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, a 98-year-old Ethiopian exile, nun and pianist/composer. Nguyen will perform Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou's "The Mad Man's Laughter," "The Jordan River Song," and "Ballade of the Spirits."
Finally, Nguyen will play a handful of works by contemporary American composer Missy Mazzoli, including some written for piano and pre-recorded electronics. I love her 2013 solo piano piece, "Heartbreaker."
Details: Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. St. James-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 743 Prospect St., La Jolla. Suggested donation $5-$20.
Rachmaninoff's 'Rhapsody' and Berlioz's 'Symphonie Fantastique'
Rafael Payare conducts the San Diego Symphony and piano soloist George Li (don't miss Li's 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Concert) at the Civic Theatre this weekend.
Li and the Symphony will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini," which includes one of the more recognizable passages in classical music, the "18th variation" (it even made an appearance in "Groundhog Day"). Also in the program is Berlioz's majestic "Symphonie fantastique," and they'll open the concert with composer William Grant Still's 1924 piece, "Darker America."
Details: Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $25-$90.
More music: For the more sound-art inclined, Project [BLANK] is also holding a performance plus guided sound meditation event at Bread and Salt, Monday at 7 p.m., featuring Ariana Warren, Ashley Bridgewater, Chris Warren and Joe Mariglio. Suggested donation of $5-$20.
Virtual artist talk: Andrés Hernández and Karla Cordero
Poetry, visual art
Poet and professor Karla Cordero, author of the stunning poetry collection, "How to Pull Apart the Earth," will be in conversation with artist and poet Andrés Hernández, whose exhibition, "Crying on the Blue Line Trolley" is currently on view at The Hill Street Country Club (HSCC).
RELATED: Andrés Hernández: A love and a border interrupted by COVID
This is a virtual event hosted by HSCC, and the two writers and artists will be discussing some of Hernández's poetry as well as the multidisciplinary exhibition.
Details: Saturday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m. Virtual. Register here.
More art talks: Artist Matthew Hebert will be onsite at the Athenaeum Music & Art Library in La Jolla Saturday at 11 a.m. — with collaborator and writer Jared Stanley dialing in virtually — to host a guided walkthrough of their new exhibition, "La Jolla Reading Room." Free.
Don Bartletti: 'Elusive Moments-Enduring Stories'
Now on view at Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) is a decades-long retrospective of San Diego-based photojournalist Don Bartletti's work. In the late 1970s and early '80s, Bartletti was a photojournalist working for the San Diego Union and then continued his career with the Los Angeles Times until 2015. The photographer was granted a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for his work covering undocumented Central American youth migrating north to the U.S.
Bartletti's photography is powerful and story-centric, and this exhibition will be on view through May 1, 2022.
Details: Museum hours are Thursday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Oceanside Museum of Art, 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside. $10.
Sundance Satellite Screens: Digital Gym
Check out KPBS film critic Beth Accomando's feature on the Sundance Satellite weekend of film screenings at the brand new Digital Gym cinema in East Village.
Even before Sundance announced a last minute switch to virtual for this year's festival, a small group of cinemas across the country were chosen as "satellite screens" — just seven cities, including San Diego's Digital Gym. These cinemas will hold local screenings of nine official 2022 Sundance Film Festival selections in conjunction with the festival. Despite the main festival virtual switch, the in-person local screenings are still on.
Two films on my radar are "Marte Um (Mars One)" and "Sirens." "Marte Um" is about a Black family in Brazil facing uncertainty and fear after a right-wing leader takes power, and the screening includes a post-film online Q&A hosted by Digital Gym's Moises Esparza (and will be broadcast across all the other satellite screens). "Marte Um" screens Sunday at 1 p.m.
"Sirens," screening at Digital Gym on Saturday at 5 p.m., is a documentary that chronicles "the Middle East's first all-female metal band," based in Lebanon. Director Rita Baghdadi and the rockers themselves will actually be on-site, in-person at the cinema for the post-screening Q&A.
(Can confirm: they thrash.)
Details: Friday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. through Sunday, Jan 30, 2022 at 7 p.m. Screening times vary. Digital Gym Cinema, 1100 Market St, downtown. $14.
Always check with event organizers for last minute changes and cancellations before heading out. For more arts events, or to submit your own, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar here. And be sure to sign up for the weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter here.