iPalpiti returns to live performances in the blink of an eye

The iPalpiti orchestra

Like so many music festivals, iPalpiti was reduced to a lean virtual version of itself last summer. But for its 24th season, which begins Thursday night, the nonprofit sometimes referred to as the “Musical Peace Corps” is returning to live shows – nine in all – to be held at various venues across Southern California.

There will be some concessions to COVID-19: the public will be limited to 50% of its capacity and the seats will not be allocated in advance. But the 23 world-class early career musicians, from 18 countries around the world, will once again perform in person under the direction of Music Director Eduard Schmieder.

iPalpiti Music Director Eduard Schmieder | Credit: Dana Ross

Returning to live performances before many other music organizations, iPalpiti is “a pioneer of what we have preached since our founding in 1998,” said festival director Laura Schmieder.

Its mission, she said, is “to preserve the traditions of great classical music, to nurture exceptional talent”, to encourage “unity and hope” and to promote the idea that “Music is the spiritual factor that brings people together and unites them regardless of religion and culture. “

These noble sentiments collided with harsher realities, as Laura Schmieder noted in a Facebook post. A number of musicians have encountered problems entering the United States, she wrote, due to customs officials’ mistrust of COVID. (All players are fully vaccinated.) Additionally, several reported being detained for hours on suspicion of carrying drugs in their instrument cases.

Fortunately, the music wins out in the end. The festival begins with three concerts at the Encinitas Library, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday (July 15-17). The kickoff of “Violin Extravaganza” will be followed by a recital on Friday featuring Korean violinist Jaewon Wee. Laureate of the Juilliard School Concerto Competition, she will perform the music of Schubert and Stravinsky with pianist Jacopo Giacopuzzi.

Jaewon Wee

Giacopuzzi, originally from Italy and a former student of the Western Music Academy who now lives in Santa Barbara, will also be featured in the July 17 program, which includes solo piano music by Brahms, Rachmaninoff and Gershwin. , as well as the Piano Quartet No. 1.

The entire iPalpiti Orchestra, conducted by Eduard Schmieder, will perform two concerts: at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 18 at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla, and at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 24 at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills. The program will include the play by Tchaikovsky Memory of a dear place (Memoir of a Dear Place), with violinist Elvin Hoxha Ganiyev, and the first on the west coast of Seascapes by composer Alexey Shor, originally from Kiev, whose works have been performed in major venues in London, New York, Berlin and Vienna.

The soloist of the work Shor will be the violinist Samuel Nebyu, born in Hungary of Ethiopian Jewish origin. Winner of major competitions in Europe and the United States, Nebyu has toured extensively with the soloist ensemble of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation.

Additional concerts will take place in West Hollywood, Topanga and Beverly Hills. The festival plans to return to the Walt Disney Concert Hall for its 25th anniversary season next summer.

Tickets, which cost $ 36, are available at https://www.ipalpiti.org/ipalpiti-festival-2021/. For more information, call (301) 205-0511.

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