Rancho Santa Fe musician launches new concert series

By Kristina Houck

The Encinitas Library was transformed into a concert hall Feb. 22. It was the first concert of a new series called “Virtuoso.”

“People will see and hear fabulous musicians during this series,” said Michael Tseitlin, artistic director and founder of Virtuoso.

An accomplished musician, the Rancho Santa Fe resident wanted to launch a series closer to home.

“Several great musicians in the area played La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest and Mainly Mozart’s series,” Tseitlin said. “They have been colleagues and friends of ours for a long time, and so we talked about doing something together.”

The first concert featured Tseitlin’s wife, violinist Irina Tseitlin, as well as cellist Ronald Leonard and pianist Kevin Fitz-Gerald. Like the first, all concerts will take place at the Encinitas Library.

“We wanted to do it at the library because it’s an intimate setting where you can see and be more in contact with the performers,” he said.

Born in Russia, Tseitlin worked at the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra and was a violinist with the Composer’s Union String Quartet. He and his wife came to the U.S. in 1975, where he taught at California State University, Los Angeles, and San Diego State University. He currently teaches at the California Institute of Music.

Tseitlin, who is also a conductor, composer and painter, isn’t slated to perform during the concert series this year. Instead, he’s focusing on creating a successful first season, which includes a free master class for every concert date.

Violinist David Chan, who will perform during the next concert on April 19, will lead the next class. Time and locations for the classes are to be determined. All classes are open to the public.

“I really want young talent here in San Diego to have contact with world-class musicians,” Tseitlin said. “Not everyone can travel to New York or Boston or London — even to Los Angeles — to see great artists. To be in contact with them in a master class situation, to play for them, to hear their advice — very often a mentorship is formed out of this contact.”

The five remaining concerts will take place at 7 p.m. April 19, May 25, July 6, Sept. 28 and Dec. 14 at the Encinitas Library, located at 540 Cornish Drive in Encinitas.

Single concert tickets cost $25 for general admission and $21 for students and seniors. Season tickets cost $125 for general admission and $110 for students and seniors.

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