January 9 — January 27, 2019

Matthew Aucoin
Matthew Aucoin, Festival Curator

What is this festival about?

The world is changing at an unprecedented rate. We live in an age of dizzying possibility, of constant transformation and reinvention. The old rules don't seem to apply anymore, but is anyone sure what the new rules are?

Musicians, and other artists, can have an uncanny ability to sense what's just around the corner, or to make sense of a transformation that's underway in our world. Hearing the Future, curated by composer-conductor (and 2018 MacArthur Fellow and Genius Award recipient) Matthew Aucoin, explores and celebrates the power of music and art to give voice to the evolution and revolutions in the world at large.

The festival will shine a spotlight on the music being made today - from composers and performers who are still in high school, to a 90-year-old jazz master. The festival will also explore the way music from the past, from Haydn, Beethoven and Berlioz to the creators of African-American spirituals, engaged with the most urgent issues of their time. We also feature events presented by our partners at San Diego museums, theaters and dance companies.

The San Diego Union-Tribune has just run a major preview story about our "Hearing the Future" Festival!

Venue map

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Presenting Organization University of California, San Diego

Location Conrad Prebys Concert Hall (UCSD)
UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093


A century ago the musical world was in the thrall of the future—the cacophony of Stravinsky’s Rite, the sinuous and erotic lines of Debussy’s Jeux, the astringency of the maturing Schoenberg, the teeming symphonies of Mahler and their keening aura of melancholy. What was a veritable typhoon of new-ness then now seems to us more like the pale flashes of heat lightning, to evoke Robert Penn Warren’s poem. Steven Schick and Renga – an ensemble of friends and colleagues from UC San Diego, the San Diego Symphony and beyond – celebrates a time when the future was young with new arrangements of seminal works by Debussy and Schoenberg along with Schoenberg’s own famous arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Tickets: $15.50 General Admission, Students Free w/ID.

This performance is the annual Reed Family Concert presented by the UC San Diego Department of Music. Distinguished Professor of Music Steven Schick is the Reed Family Presidential Endowed Chair.

More info

Thank you to our festival partners

  • San Diego Dance Theater
  • Playwrights Project
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
  • Kallisti
  • James Beauton and Justin Morrison
  • ARTS (A Reason to Survive)
  • Art of Élan
  • American Modern Opera Company
  • Fresh Sound
  • Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
  • Malashock Dance
  • Vanguard Culture