With all the anniversaries upon us – the Los Angeles Master Chorale celebrates its 50thwith a gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall Sunday and the Los Angeles Philharmonic follows that next week with the start of a monthlong celebration of the venue's 10thanniversary – it is too easy to forget about Carlsbad. The quaint seaside village in North San Diego County is best known for Legoland. It is also home to the quirky Museum of Making Music.
But 10 years ago, a young composer at USC, Matt McBane, quietly (well, quite loudly, at times) started a modest music festival in his hometown with friends, such as the Calder Quartet.
This festival's 10thanniversary this weekend is not modest at all. The Calders, now one of America's great string quartets, will be collaborating with the composer and electric guitarist Steve Mackay. McBane, who has, along with many other ambitious composers of this generation, moved to Brooklyn, brings some of New York's finest young new musickers back home with him, as well.
Caroline Shaw – a 31-year-old composer, violinist and vocalist – who was this year's surprise Pulitzer Prize winner, will be on hand for the West Coast debut of her vocal ensemble Room Full of Teeth, and she will also perform with the Calders. Flutist Clare Chase, a recent MacArthur fellow and founder of the superb International Contemporary Ensemble, will perform with the stellar percussionist Steven Schick.
What's next? Ensemble repeats Berio's "Naturale," which the young L.A. group nailed recently in a Koreatown club.
The festival begins with its annual Village Music Walk on Friday night, where more than 20 ensembles seem to be playing everywhere you turn. Late nights are for partying and DJs.
Info at carlsbadmusicfestival.org.