Photo of Sameer Patel by Sam Zauscher

Our Classical Californian this week is Sameer Patel, Music Director and Orchestra Conductor of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus. He’s also the Artistic Director of the San Diego Youth Symphony, and was named by Musical America “New Artist of the Month” this past April. He’s chosen a selection of pieces including a late Beethoven String Quartet, a choral work of empowerment by Caroline Shaw, an anguished song by Osvaldo Golijov. and more. There’s even a solo piano cover of a song by David Bowie.

Tune in at 7pm on Wednesday when he takes the microphone, and then come back here for highlights! You can also find the archive of our past guest hosts here.


His first selection is a beautiful finale inspired in part by swans… Listen to his introduction by clicking the play button!

(The finale in this performance begins at 22:20)

Then, it’s pianist Sergei Babayan playing a prelude by Sergei Rachmaninoff…

Next it’s the mourning song Lúa Descolorida, by Osvaldo Golijov, as sung by soprano Dawn Upshaw.

Caroline Shaw’s So Quietly, performed by iSing Silicon Valley:

The presto movement of Beethoven’s final String Quartet, as performed by the Emerson String Quartet:

With J. Robert Oppenheimer in the Zeitgeist, here’s a movement from the Dr. Atomic Symphony  by John Adams, which he adapted from his opera.

And to finish things off on another world, the arrangement of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” by jazz pianist Brad Mehldau: