I. Conflict. Over the next two months, San Diegans will have to choose from about 122 music events. This number does not include pop; it’s just for art music: world, jazz, and “classical;” about 104 theater performances will be out there too. Plus dance and the opera.

Those numbers come from Art and Sol, a hokey name for the generally useful Convention and Visitors Bureau’s calendar, which bills itself as the city’s “official” guide to arts and culture.

Here’s some of the music during January alone:

  • A concert of songs from Kurt Weill, Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber who set to music poetry by Whitman, Dickinson and Agee; from Jung-Ho Pak’s newly energized band, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra;
  • The San Diego Symphony with a nicely mixed program of music by Bright Sheng, Elgar and Tchaikovsky; the soloist is Alban Gerhardt, a terrific, great-looking 20-something, who gets around on a motorcycle, with his cello strapped to his back.
  • The San Diego Youth Symphony: what are they doing here? They’re the future and they’re worth considering.

These four global powerhouses:

  • The Tokyo, Kronos and Emerson (just nominated for a Grammy for best chamber music album) Quartets;
  • Chinese wunder-pianist Lang Lang;

In the final weekend:

  • Red Priest, a hot quartet from the UK that looks and plays like a rock band, even if their music is 400 years old;
  • the Eroica (chick) Trio in all-Schubert program;
  • San Diego’s Camarada in an all-Baroque program.

Now for some audience participation: As you go through this blog today, click here and check the listings for Dec.15-Feb. 15. Let me know not just what but how you will choose.

Our choices, our struggle to accommodate our wallets and time leads to what arts leaders call “audience fragmentation.” That’s just one of the issues that arts leaders face. In this context, what happens to the magic?

CATHY ROBBINS

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