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Hailed by Gramophone magazine as "one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists," German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser is gaining increasing renown for his efforts to expand the reach of the classical genre, as well as his passionate focus on new music.

Johannes Moser was a recipient of the prestigious Brahms Prize (2014), and his recordings have earned him two ECHO Klassik awards and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics' Award).

Featuring Johannes Moser in solo and collaborative performances, this year's Festival highlights include appearances by guest artists such as the Calder Quartet, the world premiere of a new work by Ellen Reid, a sound installation by Stephanie Cheng Smith and Ellen Reid, a grand finale performance with twelve cellists, and free outreach events for students, seniors and the community-at-large.

Special Events
Festival Prelude
Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 5:30 | Seven Degrees
891 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach

The 2017 Laguna Beach Music Festival kicks off with the Festival Prelude, a special evening celebrating the Festival’s 15th anniversary and years of showcasing outstanding musical talent. Prelude guests will be entertained by the Festival’s stellar alumni, including Angella Ahn, Stan Freese, and 2017 Festival Artistic Director Johannes Moser.

Seven Degrees is an award-winning venue framed by the sweeping canyons of Laguna Beach while hosting a distinctive space, both indoors and out, for this delightful evening.

Tickets: $200

RSVP by January 25
949.553.2422, ext. 301, or

Concerts at Laguna Playhouse
Opening Night Concert: J.S. Bach and Ellen Reid
Friday, February 10, 2017, 8pm

Festival Underwriter: Judith and Howard Jelinek
Concert Sponsor: Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting

Opening night at the Laguna Playhouse will showcase Artistic Director Johannes Moser in an evening of music for solo cello. His searching intellect and intensity as a performer will be on display in J.S. Bach’s beautiful Cello Suite No. 4, and in the world premiere of a new work for cello and electronics by the innovative, L.A. and New York-based composer Ellen Reid. This performance will also feature a sound installation by Stephanie Cheng Smith and Ellen Reid.

BACH: Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010
REID: Stellar Remnants (world premiere)
HINDEMITH: Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 25, No. 3

Purchase tickets through: Philharmonic Society | Laguna Playhouse

Schoenberg and Schubert Masterworks
Saturday, February 11, 2017, 8pm

Festival Underwriter: Lauren and Richard Packard
Concert Sponsor: Hung Fan and Michael Feldman

Johannes Moser joins the Calder Quartet for two pillars of musical Romanticism: Franz Schubert’s grand String Quintet in C major, which ushered in the era, and Arnold Schoenberg’s gloriously ripe, rapturous Transfigured Night, which marked Romanticism’s twilight nearly a century later.

SCHOENBERG: Transfigured Night for string sextet
SCHUBERT: String Quintet in C major

Purchase tickets through: Philharmonic Society | Laguna Playhouse

One to Twelve: The Johannes Moser Project
Sunday, February 12, 2017, 3pm

Festival Underwrither: Joan Halvajian
Concert Sponsor: Gary and Betsy Jenkins

Johannes Moser joins forces with eleven Southern California cellists to perform an exciting variety of works written for up to twelve cellists, running the gamut from Bach to contemporary pop and everything in between.

BACH: Prelude from Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007
Michael Jackson: “Smooth Criminal” (two cellos)
Werner-Thomas Mifune: Compressed Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert (four cellos)
PÄRT: Fratres (six cellos)
GRIEG: Holberg Suite (six cellos)
VILLA-LOBOS: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1 (eight cellos)
VILLA-LOBOS: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 (eight cellos and soprano)
KLENGEL: Hymnus (twelve cellos)

Purchase tickets through: Philharmonic Society | Laguna Playhouse

Tuesday | February 7

Johannes Moser, cello
Laguna Beach High School

Our Festival guest artistic director introduces the cello and its music to music students from Laguna Beach High School in this afternoon session. Open to Laguna Beach High School students only.

Wednesday | February 8

Johannes Moser, cello | 10am-11am
Laguna Beach Seniors at the Susi Q

Johannes Moser performs selections for solo cello from the Festival’s programs and from his larger repertoire in an intimate setting, followed by a question and answer session. Space is limited. For reservations, call (949) 553-2422, ext. 1, or email

Thursday | February 9

Calder Quartet
Thurston Middle School

Festival favorite Calder Quartet, renowned for its performances of everything from Mozart to modern, will introduce some of its favorites in this interactive presentation. Open to Thurston Middle School students only.

Live! Music and Kids: Yoshika Masuda and Andrew Moses | 4pm
Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach

A showcase of the music for cello and clarinet in this free program. Open to Club members and parents.

Live! At the Museum: Yoshika Masuda and Andrew Moses | 7pm-8pm
Laguna Art Museum

Hear talented musicians perform classical and contemporary chamber music. Free to museum members and to non-members with museum admission. RSVP call (949) 494-8971, ext. 203, or visit

Friday | February 10

Festival Introduction Part I | 7pm-7:30pm
Laguna Playhouse

Philharmonic Society President and Artistic Director John Mangum joins composer Ellen Reid and sound artist Stephanie Cheng Smith for an introduction to the Festival’s opening night program. Open to ticket holders for the Feb. 10 concert.

Saturday | February 11

Open Rehearsal: Johannes Moser and Calder Quartet | 4pm-5pm
Laguna Playhouse

Free and open to the public.

Festival Introduction Part II | 7pm-7:30pm
Laguna Playhouse

John Mangum introduces the programs for the remainder of the Festival in this pre-concert talk. Open to ticket holders for the Feb. 11 concert.