Edit ModuleShow Tags

Music Rooms: Now Playing in a Home Near You

Three local music patrons host private concerts for charity


It’s the latest trend in chamber music since, well, people’s homes had chambers. Like the 21st-century equivalent of posh palaces with salons, San Diego philanthropists are hosting up-close-and-personal concerts that are presented by music organizations. Meet three local couples who open their hearts and homes to music. Now, if only we could get an invitation.

You half expect fabled composer Frédéric Chopin to play one of his waltzes on the piano in the 15,000-square-foot Rancho Santa Fe estate belonging to June and Robert Shillman. The music room resembles a Paris salon, with elegant pillars, an antique Steinway concert grand, and space for 80 guests. (Larger musical events are held outdoors, near the pool.)

June is a board member at the La Jolla Music Society and at the San Diego Youth Symphony, where son Max, 19, used to be a percussionist.
Performances featuring young musicians in intimate settings “help them get more experience playing in front of an audience,” she explains, comparing music rooms to the usual testing ground of grand concert halls.

Hosting concerts gives her the “best feeling,” she says. “It’s as if I’m in another century.”

In the past few years, more than 3,000 people have attended performances and other fundraisers hosted by Joyce and Craig Grosvenor.

“This house was made for sharing with others,” Joyce says of the nearly 13,000-square-foot manse near Rancho Santa Fe.      
Particularly dear to the couple is the San Diego Symphony. Joyce, a board member, will join her husband in chairing the “Opus 2011 Gala” on October 1. They’re also donors in the Partner with a Player program, their partner being the orchestra’s much-lauded principal pops conductor, Marvin Hamlisch. When Hamlisch is at the piano, their home is more like a classy nightclub.   

By comparison, Lehn and Richard Goetz are newbies. They’ve hosted only one performance for the La Jolla Music Society, where Lehn is a new board member. But that concert in April, which starred Spanish classical guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas, made them eager to welcome other musicians and guests to their 9,000-square-foot La Jolla showplace.    

“Listening to Pablo play in the home we created was the most special musical experience I’ve ever had,” said Richard. “It was absolutely magical.”

House concerts have a friendlier vibe than concert halls and can be a transformative experience for those who may not know a lot about classical music. 

“They change everything,” says Lehn. “You meet the performers and make a personal connection. All of a sudden you appreciate how much goes into performing because you are seeing and hearing the musicians up close.”  

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

10 Holiday Cocktails to Get You in the Spirit

From a cocktail-centric holiday pop-up to Grandma’s secret hot buttered rum

A Critic's Take: Seven Restaurant Trends That Defined 2018

Poke exhaustion, the arrival of plant dishes, and a shortage of cooks are some of biggest restaurant trends of the year

20% off tickets to Over the TOP Sunday at Top of the Hyatt

TOP off your weekend at San Diego's premier Sunday Funday, 40 floors up.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Win a Trip for Two to Yellowstone Country Montana
    Win a trip for two to Bozeman, Montana including roundtrip airfare and lodging
  2. Sushi’s Next Gen Is Here at Himitsu
    In La Jolla, a Sushi Ota protégé sticks to an age-old tradition of quality
  3. 10 Hot Plates: San Diego's Top Food News in October
    The latest restaurant rumors, openings, and coming-soons
  4. San Diego Events Calendar: October 2018
    How to be busy and important this month in San Diego
  5. San Diego's Top Doctors 2018
    Our annual list of 717 physicians in 88 specialties, plus five physicians open up about the emotional burdens of their fields
  6. Incoming: The Hold Fast
    One of the country’s top sustainable sushi chefs is opening a handroll bar serving 100-percent local seafood
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Vote Now for Your Orangetheory Winner!

Winners will be announced at our Sweat event on May 12

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Win Tickets to the 41st Annual SDCCU Holiday Bowl

This year’s Utah vs. Northwestern match-up marks the Holiday Bowl’s second straight paring of teams that are ranked nationally in the top 25

Winter is Waiting in Montana’s Yellowstone Country

Win a trip for two that includes roundtrip airfare from Long Beach and a stay at the Element by Westin in Bozeman, Montana
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags