CARLSBAD — Plans for a five-week summer music festival featuring an impressive roster of Soviet performers were unveiled Tuesday by the Batiquitos Festival of the Arts.
Artistic Director Michael Tseitlin announced the ambitious plans for the June 19-July 24 festival, which will include outdoor concerts at Batiquitos Lagoon Educational Park, indoor recitals at La Jolla's Sherwood Auditorium and a student music institute at The Bishop's School in La Jolla.
The Batiquitos festival sponsored several outdoor pops concerts last summer featuring the San Diego Chamber Orchestra under Donald Barra. This season's offering will have its own resident orchestra of 75 players under five guest conductors, including Soviet musicians Valery Gergiev and Leonid Grin.
The Russian battery will be augmented by soloists from the Moscow Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra that performed in San Diego last fall; Hortus Musicus Tallinn, an early music ensemble; violinists Ilya Gruber and Irina Tseitlin, and pianists Vladimir Krainev and Oxana Yablonskaya.
According to Michael Tseitlin, the inclusion of so many Soviet artists is an attempt to present music as an international peace language.
"Although we have been planning since last September, when Mayor (Maureen) O'Connor announced her intentions for a Russian arts festival next year, we saw our festival as a prelude to her plans," Tseitlin said.
A member of the music faculty at California State University, Los Angeles, Tseitlin has filled similar directing positions at the Taos, N.M., International Institute of Music and the Bolzano Festival in Italy.
The Carlsbad festival's budget of $2 million includes $900,000 for the educational institute for performing music students, which is composed of a junior and a senior division. The festival's primary supporter is Donald Sammis, whose company, Sammis Properties, is developing the educational and residential complex at Carlsbad's southern tip.
"It's a very ambitious program," said Geoff Brooks, executive director of the La Jolla Chamber Music Society, which has presented summer festivals for the past six years. "We've proven there is an audience for classical music in San Diego during the summer months. Festivals are labor-intensive undertakings. I hope they realize what they're getting into."
Among the American artists participating in the festival are the Fine Arts Quartet, master violin teacher Dorothy DeLay, pianist Gary Graffman, and conductors Henri Temianka and Zoltan Rozsnyai.
The festival orchestra will perform each Sunday evening at the outdoor lagoon site, while indoor programs will be offered throughout the week in La Jolla.
A shell will be erected at the lagoon to accommodate a hillside audience of 6,000, according to Sammis. A series of pop and jazz concerts will augment the classical fare.