La Jolla Music Society presents the Danish String Quartet, Jazz in the Key of Ellison, Sir András Schiff, and The Joffrey Ballet, February 8 through March 8 as part of its 50th Anniversary 2018-19 Season.


The Danish String Quartet begins year one of their three year residency with La Jolla Music Society with three unique concert experiences celebrating the quartet’s diverse repertoire and commitment to Scandinavian composers, traditional Nordic folk tunes, and classical music masters. Winners of the 2016 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, they have played everywhere from Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. Most recently, the Danish String Quartet has been nominated in the “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance” category for the 61st Grammy® Awards. The award ceremony will take place February 10, 2019. This is the Quartet’s first Grammy® nomination.

Danish String Quartet

Danish String Quartet: Thursday Skål!

Thursday, February 7 · 6:30pm basileIE Gallery


An informal gathering unites music, art, and authentic Danish beer. The Danish String Quartet play an array of Nordic folk tunes and classical favorites. Presented at the basileIE Gallery in Barrio Logan, this concert brings traditional music to a contemporary space. Thursday Skål! is sponsored by Mikkeller Brewing. Please note, two beverages are included with the purchase of each ticket and the event is General Admission, standing only.

General Admission, Standing Only

Tickets $39

Friday, February 8 · 8pm

The Auditorium at TSRI


HAYDN · String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1 “La Chasse”

MOZART · String Quartet, K. 458 “Hunt”

WIDMANN · Jagdquartett (Hunt Quartet)

NIELSEN · String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13

Tickets start at $35

Danish String Quartet: An Evening of Nordic Folk Music

Saturday, February 9 · 8pm

The Auditorium at TSRI


The Danish String Quartet showcase their Nordic musical heritage with beloved folk arrangements near and dear to their hearts.

The Auditorium at TSRI

Tickets start at $35

Tickets available at and 858.459.3728


Danish String Quartet

Frederik Øland, Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen (Violins);

Asbjørn Nørgaard (Viola); Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin (Cello)

     Recently nominated in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance’ category for the 2019 Grammy® Awards, the Danish String Quartet are among today’s most exceptional chamber music groups. The Quartet’s playing reflects impeccable musicianship, sophisticated artistry, exquisite clarity of ensemble, and, above all, an expressivity inextricably bound to the music, from Haydn to Shostakovich to contemporary scores. Their performances bring a rare musical spontaneity, giving audiences the sense of hearing even treasured canon repertoire as if for the first time, and exuding a palpable joy in music-making that have made them enormously in-demand on concert stages throughout the world.

     Since its debut in 2002, the Danish String Quartet has demonstrated a special affinity for Scandinavian composers, from Nielsen to Hans Abrahamsen, alongside music of Mozart and Beethoven. The Quartet’s musical interests also encompass Nordic folk music, the focus of its newest recording, Last Leaf, on the ECM label. The recipient of many awards and prestigious appointments, including the Borletti Buitoni Trust, the Danish String Quartet was named in 2013 as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and appointed to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two Program.

     The Danish String Quartet has received numerous citations and prizes, including First Prize in the Vagn Homboe String Quartet Competition and the Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in the Netherlands, as well as the Audience Prize at the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition in 2005. In 2009, the Danish String Quartet won First Prize in the 11th London International String Quartet Competition, now known as the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition, and return to the celebrated London concert hall frequently. The Quartet was the awarded the 2010 NORDMETALL-Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, and in 2011, they received the Carl Nielsen Prize, the highest cultural honor in Denmark. 

     Violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørenson and violist Asbjorn Norgaard met as children at a music summer camp where they played soccer and made music together. As teenagers, they began the study of classical chamber music and were mentored by Tim Frederiksen of Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Music. In 2008, the three Danes were joined by Norwegian cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin.


“The Danish String Quartet stand out: not because they’re shinier or plusher or pushier than the rest, but because of their nimble charisma, stylish repertoire and the way their light and grainy shading can turn on a dime.” — Kate Molleson, The Guardian

“They could be grounded in their tone or mystical. They allowed time to stand still, and they could assume the pose of excitingly aggressive rockers. They did it all.” — Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times

“The Danish are remarkable, as ever – capable of intense blend, extreme dynamic variation (in which they seem glued together), perfect intonation even on harmonics, and constant vitality and flow.” — Andrew Mellor, Gramophone

“This is one of the best quartets before the public today.” — Robert Battey, The Washington Post




Saturday, February 16 · 8:00 pm

Balboa Theatre


Part 1: Early Lasting 

Music from jazz originators Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Charlie Christian, Jimmy Rushing, Lester Young, Duke Ellington, and Mahalia Jackson

Part 2: Minton’s and After

Music by next generations greats including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, Coleman Hawkins, and Ray Charles.

Tickets start at $25

Tickets available at and 858.459.3728


Jazz In the Key of Ellison

Will Downing, Nona Hendryx, Quiana Lynell (Vocals)

Nicholas Payton (Trumpet)

The Andy Farber Jazz Orchestra

     Jazz in the Key of Ellison is a new concert production inspired by the musical life of America’s iconic writer Ralph Ellison, presented in music, words, and images. Ralph Ellison, acclaimed author of the National Book Award-winning novel Invisible Man, was an accomplished trumpeter who was close to many of the great jazz innovators of his lifetime – from Armstrong and Ellington to Bird and Monk. The concert celebration premiered in November 2016 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

     With an almost unheard of 30-year career and twenty solo recordings as proof, it stands to reason music fans are nowhere near ready to vote Will Downing off the proverbial “island” where he continues to reign as the Prince of Sophisticated Soul. Downing’s voice is one of the most distinctive, loved and instantly recognizable voices in R&B. His flawless, emotive, buttery-smooth and honey-toned baritone, along with his impeccable phrasing and jazz-fueled agile runs, seamlessly bridge the worlds of R&B and Jazz.

     R&B and all-around Black-American female icon, Nona Hendryx is a celebrated vocalist, record producer, songwriter, musician and author. Tackling social issues, love and politics, Hendryx’s legendary career, which began as one of the founding members of Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles which morphed into the groundbreaking group Labelle, now spans six decades.  

     New Orleans-born trumpeter, keyboardist, singer, and composer Nicholas Payton is a dynamic performer, steeped in acoustic jazz and post-bop, whose music often finds him exploring genres beyond the confines of the jazz tradition. In 1997 he won the Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist, Grammy Award. He became a founding member of the SFJAZZ Collective in 2004, and currently composes for and performs with TEN, the jazz trio featuring Payton, Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrigton. 

     Winner of the 2017 Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition, Quiana Lynell infuses her classical training with her Southern gospel and blues upbringing and approaches jazz as a storyteller. She is also passionate about her mentoring concert work with Terence Blanchard. With her debut album soon to be released by Concord Records, she is positioned to become one of the longstanding artists of Jazz.

Andy Farber is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and conductor who has performed each of these roles with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. At Marsalis’ request, Farber assembled the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars for the Tony-nominated Broadway musical “After Midnight.” The band is now the Andy Farber Jazz Orchestra, which backed Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga in their PBS special “Cheek to Cheek Live.” 

Produced by NJPAC and Danny Kapilian




Friday, February 22, 8:00 pm

Balboa Theatre


J.S. BACH · Partita for keyboard No. 5 in G major, BWV 829

SCHUMANN · Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6

JANÁČEK · Piano Sonata 1.X.1905, “From the street

SCHUMANN · Piano Sonata No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 11

Tickets start at $35

Tickets available at and 858.459.3728



     Sir András Schiff was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1953 and started piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász. Subsequently he continued his studies at the Franz Liszt Academy with Professor Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados, and later in London with George Malcolm.

     Recitals and special cycles, including the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Bartók, form an important part of his activities. Since 2004 he has performed complete cycles of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas worldwide and recorded the cycle live in the Tonhalle Zurich for ECM Records. An exclusive ECM recording Artist, his recordings of works by Schubert, Schumann, Janáček, Beethoven, and Bach have been released to the highest of critical acclaim. The most recent disc, “Encores after Beethoven,” was released in 2016: a collection of encores performed after his Beethoven Cycle programs. His newest recording, released in October 2017, includes sonatas for violin and piano by Bach, Busoni, and Beethoven with violinist Yuuko Shiokawa. Sir Schiff has worked with most major international orchestras and conductors, but in recent years has performed as conductor and soloist. In 1999 he created his own chamber orchestra, the Cappella Andrea Barca, which consists of international soloists, chamber musicians, and friends.

     Sir András has been awarded numerous international prizes. In 2006 he became an Honorary Member of the Beethoven House in Bonn in recognition of his interpretations of Beethoven’s works; in 2008 he was awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal in appreciation of 30 years of music-making at Wigmore Hall; in 2009 he was made a Special Supernumerary Fellow of Balliol College (Oxford, UK); in 2011 he received the Schumann Prize, the Golden Mozart- Medaille by the International Stiftung Mozarteum, the Order pour le merite for Sciences and Arts, the Grosse Verdienstkreuz mit Stern der Bunderepublik Deutschland, and was made a Member of the Honour of Vienna Konzerthaus; he was given the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal; and in July 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music honoris causa by the University of Leeds. In June 2014 he was bestowed a Knighthood for services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

     Sir András Schiff’s book, “Musik kommt aus der Stille,” essays and conversations with Martin Meyer, was published in March 2017 by Bärenreiter and Henschel.  


“But so successful was the evening that the critic can only throw up his hands, wish you had been there, and quote Ira Gershwin’s endearing tombstone inscription: ‘Words Fail Me.’” — The New York Times

“Among current piano titans, Andras Schiff is the Zen master. He is both utterly relaxed and

absolutely awake; taken together, those qualities add up to an unbreakable focus. He is tireless

and seemingly infallible, and his playing is window-clear. Listening to Schiff play is like looking

into a running stream and seeing all the colorful, round pebbles beneath the water.” — San Jose Mercury

“There wasn’t a moment in the intense recital not made to mesmerizingly matter.” — The Los Angeles Times

“The sheer beauty and clarity of his piano tone is what first strikes the ear, a deep-centered,

warmly rounded solidity that never permits the slightest suggestion of a forced or unmusical

sound.” — New York Magazine



Friday, March 8, 8:00 pm

Civic Theatre


In Creases

Choreography by San Diego-raised Justin Peck

Music by Philip Glass


Choreography by Nicholas Blanc

Music by John Adams

Beyond the Shore

Choreography by Nicholas Blanc

Music by Mason Bates


Choreography by Alexander Ekman

Music by Brad Mehldau Trio – Django Django, Tiga, Moby

Tickets start at $29

Tickets available at and 858.459.3728

The Joffrey Ballet

Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses a unique, inclusive perspective on dance, proudly reflecting the diversity of America with its company, audiences, and repertoire which includes major story ballets, reconstructions of masterpieces, and contemporary works.

The Company’s commitment to accessibility is met through an innovative and highly effective education program including the much lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs, and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.

Ashley Wheater, Mary B. Galvin artistic director

Born in Scotland and raised in England, Wheater was trained at The Royal Ballet School. Wheater began his professional career with The Royal Ballet and danced at the London Festival Ballet, The Australian Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. In 1997, he became Ballet Master at San Francisco Ballet, and in 2002, Assistant to the Artistic Director.

In 2007, Wheater was appointed Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet. New work is the life blood of a company, and he has introduced numerous premieres to the repertoire. In 2008, the Boeing Corporation recognized his commitment to community outreach and diversity in the world of dance, presenting him the “Game Changer” award.  In 2010, Wheater, representing The Joffrey Ballet, was named Lincoln Academy Laureate, the highest honor presented by the State of Illinois.  The Chicago Tribune selected Wheater as 2013 “Chicagoan of the Year” for his contributions to dance. In 2014, Wheater accepted the Chicago Spirit of Innovation Award for The Joffrey Ballet and in 2015, he received the University of Chicago Rosenberger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Creative and Performing Arts. He also serves as the Artistic Director of the Joffrey Academy of Dance, the Official School of The Joffrey Ballet.

Nicholas Blanc, ballet master/principal coach

     Nicolas Blanc started his dance training in Montauban, France, continuing at the ‘Academie de Danse Classique Princesse Grace’ in Monte-Carlo. After winning a scholarship in the 1994 Prix de Lausanne, he completed his education at the Paris Opera Ballet School. He went on to dance for Nice Opera Ballet, Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf, Zurich Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, where he was made Principal Dancer in 2004. In 2006 and 2007, he created two works for the trainees of San Francisco Ballet School. He also created After Having Been for the International Ballet Competition (IBC) in Jackson, MS.

     Blanc joined Scottish Ballet as Ballet Master in 2009 and has been Ballet Master with The Joffrey Ballet since 2011. Since then, he has created several pieces for the annual fundraiser for Embarc Chicago, as well as a dance for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. In July 2014, Blanc received the choreographic award at IBC for his duet Rendez-vous.  He createdL’espace d’un Chapitre for a french dance festival in July 2013. It made its U.S. debut under the title Evenfall for The Joffrey Ballet during the 2015 Spring program. He was selected to participate to the 2015 National Choreographers Initiative (NCI) and created Orphee in 2015. In Fall 2015, he was chosen to participate in New York City Ballet’s (NYCB) New York Choreographic Institute where he created the work Mothership which premiered at NYCB’s 2016 Spring Gala.


ABOUT LA JOLLA MUSIC SOCIETY As one of Southern California’s leading presenters of world-class performing arts, La Jolla Music Society contributes to San Diego’s cultural vitality year-round through a rich variety of presentations, including classical, jazz, contemporary music, and dance. La Jolla Music Society celebrates its 50th Anniversary 2018-19 Season, presenting The Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Danish String Quartet, Midori, Gil Shaham, Anoushka Shankar, and Chris Thile, among other artists both emerging and world-renowned. April 2019 sees the opening of The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, the new home of La Jolla Music Society. The 49,000 square-foot facility, located at 7600 Fay Avenue in La Jolla Village, will include The Baker-Baum Concert Hall, a 513 seat concert hall, and the JAI, a 1,600 square foot flexible-use space, and serve as the new heart of cultural, arts education, and community event activity in La Jolla. In addition to robust educational programs and community outreach, La Jolla Music Society produces SummerFest, a nationally recognized chamber music festival in August, featuring over 80 world-class artists and ensembles performing concerts.  For more information, visit, or call 858.459.3728.