Mention the composer Ottorino Respighi, and most music aficionados will reel off a list of massive orchestral works, especially those throbbing tone poems depicting the city of Rome. But the early 20th-century composer has another more intimate and subtle side: Respighi the chamber music maestro. This was the visage that smiled on Art of Élan’s season-opening program . . .

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Come swing with Frida’s Kahlo’s “Self Portrait with Monkey.” One must see Arshille Gorky’s surreal “The Liver is the Cock’s Comb,” but you will definitely pout if you miss seeing Jackson Pollock’s action painting “Convergence” at the San Diego Museum of Art!

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When it comes to finding new venues for music performance, the Balboa Park museums appear to be everyone’s first choice. For the last six seasons, Art of Élan has played the San Diego Museum of Art’s Hibben Gallery; Camarada just finished its first season of Sunday concerts at the Mingei International Museum, and on Thursday (June 5) Mainly Mozart Festival launched its second year of chamber recitals at the Timken Museum of Art . . .

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From the frightening medieval “Dies Irae” chant to Mozart’s solemn “Requiem” to Elton John’s wistful “Candle in the Wind,” the music of western culture has played a key role interpreting death and loss. Art of Élan took up this challenging topic on Tuesday (Feb. 25) in a concert of striking new compositions . . .

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