Thursday, February 06, 2014
Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra
We have had many nights of music while in La Jolla this year. We saw an amazing performance of all of the Schubert violin and piano music at the Atheneum here. We have seen early English music in a church. We have attended two nights of jazz performances and a dance performance at UCSD that was outstanding. A lot of this music was free or for very little money.
But yesterday we saw a free concert put on by the students at the Idyllwild Academy that topped it all. An orchestra composed of students (and some alumni and guests) performed as professionally as any orchestra I have seen. Henry Hanlin Chen played Francais' Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra-never had heard it before but it was thrilling. Also astounding (as you can see above) was Bing Yu Hu's performance of Prokovfev's Piano Concerto No 3. The second half featured Shostakovich's 2 Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11 and Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet-Overture Fantasy. All brilliant, perfect, thrilling. And kudos for the brilliant conductor: Peter Askim. How thrilling it must be to work with these students.
The school,(around for 60 years) is located in the mountains near Palm Springs. It is the only arts-based boarding high school on the West Coast. The students (art, music, dance,creating writing) come from all over the world. They are clearly all prodigies whose parents gave them up to their art.