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smiling pianist and violinist rehearsing together

LJMS History

1941 – 1975



Musical Arts Society founded by Nikolai Sokoloff

1949 – 1968

Twenty new works commissioned, presenting the premieres at La Jolla High School


La Jolla Chamber Players formally incorporated by small group of local musicians



Musical Arts Society is renamed La Jolla Chamber Orchestra


La Jolla Chamber Orchestra moved into first offices on Silverado Street

1976 – 1985

SummerFest Committee members


La Jolla Chamber Orchestra is renamed La Jolla Chamber Music Society (LJCMS)

1982 – 1984

LJCMS brings Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival to La Jolla each summer

1982 – 1985

Three chamber music series created: Sherwood Series at Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla, Old Globe Series at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park, and East County Series at the East County Performing Arts Center in El Cajon

1982 – 1985

La Jolla Chamber Orchestra was dissolved into LJCMS

1986 – 1999

SummerFest Brochure Cover


LJCMS presents its first chamber music festival – SummerFest


Heiichiro Ohyama named first SummerFest Music Director


The Celebrity Series created


International Orchestra Series created


Young Artists of Excellence (now Discovery) Series created

1997 – 1998

Prodigy Series (later rolled into Discovery Series) and Piano Series were created

Community Music Center


LJCMS “adopted” the Community Music Center in Barrio Logan offering music instruction to elementary-age children in this underserved San Diego neighborhood


The Medallion Society created, a three-year giving program


David Finkel and Wu Han named SummerFest Music Directors

2000 – 2009

Cho Liang Lin and chamber musicians


Cho-Liang Lin named SummerFest Music Director


Chamber music concert at La Jolla cove


La Jolla Chamber Music Society is renamed La Jolla Music Society


Chamber Music Series renamed Revelle Chamber Music Series after $1 Million gift from Ellen Revelle



SummerFest celebrates 20th Anniversary with performance of Martinu’s “Sinfonetta La Jolla,” originally commissioned for the Music Arts Society in 1950


2006 – 2007

Jazz Series and Dance Series created

2008 – 2009

LJMS celebrated 40th anniversary season

2010 – Present


MCASD’s Sherwood Auditorium announced it would close in 2016 for demolition and renovation; LJMS began $82 million capital campaign to purchase land and build a new performing arts center


Land purchased at 7600 Fay Avenue to build The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center


The last SummerFest at Sherwood Auditorium


LJMS held a Groundbreaking Ceremony and began construction of The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center with Epstein Joslin Architects and Nagata Acoustics

2017 – 2018

During construction, SummerFest takes place at the Conrad Prebys Music Hall on the campus of the University of California San Diego


Topping Off Ceremony at The Conrad, celebrating the placement of the last i-beam during construction


Inon Barnatan named SummerFest Music Director

The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center Street View at night

April 5-7, 2019

Grand Opening Weekend of The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center – known as The Conrad, home of La Jolla Music Society



SummerFest held at The Conrad for the first time; Synergy Series introduced


Role of President & Artistic Director divided; Leah Rosenthal promoted to Artistic Director


March 6: last live performance at The Conrad before shutting down due to COVID-19 restrictions


August 21 – 30: a re-imagined, live-streamed SummerFest takes place for the first time at The Conrad

The Conrad Street view at dusk