A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Pacific Serenades will open its 24th season with three performances: Saturday, Jan. 30, 8 p.m. at a private home in Culver City; Sunday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. at the Neighborhood Church in Pasadena; and Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. at the UCLA Faculty Center. The program, titled “To Youth! To Wisdom!,” features Johannes Brahms’ String Quintet No. 1 in F Major, Bela Bartok’s 44 Duos for Two Violins, and the world premiere of Quintessence, by an astonishing young composer, Jeff Kryka.

Artistic Director and Founder of Pacific Serenades Mark Carlson has programmed some of the season’s concerts with a theme: one new composition from 2010, one piece from a work from the early 20th century, and an older piece. With Bartok’s work written in 1931, Brahms’ Quintet capturing the spirit of maturity and wisdom, and Kryka’s new piece, the first program fits the formula.

Composer Jeff Kryka

Although only 25 years old, Jeff Kryka has garnered many awards for his compositions, from Turner Classic Movies, ASCAP, and the Henry Mancini Foundation. “Naturally, I found the concept of quintessence instantly appealing for the basis of a string quintet,” Kryka said in a press release. “I always imagined the motion of celestial bodies to be something like a dance. Watching the way the planets wandered across the sky, sometimes retrograde to the movement of the moon, sun, and stars. I like to think this is how the ancients saw the universe too. By the end of the fifth movement, the five-note motive transformed into a great chorale, this is what Quintessence has become: the music of the spheres.”

The piece is written for two violins, two violas, and cello. The premiere features the talents of Tereza Stanislav, assistant concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; violinist Brendan Speltz; violists Roland Kato and Connie Kupka; and cellist David Speltz.

For tickets to the “To Youth! To Wisdom!” concert, visit www.pacser.org, or call (213) 534-3434. Tickets for private home concerts and the post-concert reception are $55; for the Neighborhood Church and UCLA Faculty Center, $32.