May 31, 2011

Broadway sensation Idina Menzel headlines Symphony at Salk on August 27

Tony Award winner takes the stage at the Salk Institute with San Diego Symphony and Maestro Thomas Wilkins at annual outdoor concert celebration

Salk News

Broadway sensation Idina Menzel headlines Symphony at Salk on August 27

Tony Award winner takes the stage at the Salk Institute with San Diego Symphony and Maestro Thomas Wilkins at annual outdoor concert celebration

LA JOLLA—Tony Award-winning superstar Idina Menzel will step into the spotlight as the featured headliner for the 16th annual “Symphony at Salk-a concert under the stars” to perform with the San Diego Symphony under the direction of acclaimed guest conductor Thomas Wilkins on Aug. 27, 2011.

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel

Photo by Stewart Shining

An annual sell-out event, proceeds from the fundraiser directly benefiting the Salk Institute for Biological Studies’ groundbreaking scientific research and its community education programs.

Individual tickets for Symphony at Salk go on sale July 12, 2011 for $250 and can be purchased on the Symphony at Salk website or by calling 858-453-4100 x1491. Sponsorship packages range from $2,500 to $75,000. For additional ticket or sponsorship information, call 858-453-4100, ext. 1491, or e-mail:

Salk is fortunate to feature Idina Menzel, a powerhouse of talent who continually astonishes audiences with her strong, emotional performances and is considered arguably the biggest Broadway star of the modern era. She has appeared in three of the most iconic theatre-related enterprises playing lead roles in the original casts of Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical Rent, Stephen Schwartz’s mega-hit Wicked, and a recurring role on Fox’s blockbuster 2011 Golden Globe-winning musical comedy series Glee.

Menzel burst on to the scene in 1996 with her first professional theatre role as Maureen in Rent – a breakout performance that immediately garnered her rave reviews and a Tony nomination. In 2003 she originated the part of Elphaba in Wicked. As the green-faced, misunderstood, gravity-defying witch, Idina created a character that immediately emerged as one of the great female roles of the musical stage and won her a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She reprised the role in London’s West End for which she won the Theatregoers Choice Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Menzel’s incredible singing voice and emotional intensity have earned countless other awards and accolades including Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominations for the musical See What I Wanna See, and a Drama Desk nomination for her performance as Katein The Wild Party.

Symphony at Salk

Symphony at Salk

A performer of amazing versatility, Menzel also has a successful career as a recording artist, composer, and actress. A gifted songwriter, Menzel has recorded three albums of her own material, and her songs have been featured on Desperate Housewives and the film Beowulf. Her film credits include Ask the Dust, Rent, and Enchanted while in television Menzel appeared on the critically acclaimed series Private Practice and had a role on the hit show Glee. She is currently on a sold-out tour, performing with leading orchestras around the country, including the New York Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra.

One of the country’s most distinguished conductors, Maestro Thomas Wilkins returns to lead the San Diego Symphony for the seventh consecutive year. A highly sought after guest conductor for top orchestras throughout the United States, Wilkins always brings a special energy and excitement to each performance. He was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in 2008, and he continues his role as the Music Director of the Omaha Symphony.

Founded in 1910, the San Diego Symphony has distinguished itself as one of the leading orchestras in the country through over a century of acclaimed performances. It annually touches the lives of music lovers through concerts, presentations, and recording and is committed to providing musical experiences of superior quality for the greater San Diego community and beyond. Through a rich mixture of innovative and educational programming designed to appeal to all ages and cultures, the Symphony focuses on making music an integral part of the cultural and intellectual fabric of the region.

Event festivities will commence with a champagne reception at 5:30 p.m., in the Institute’s Theodore Gildred Courtyard, which offers stunning sunset views overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is framed on two sides by laboratories of Nobel Prize-winning scientists. Designed by famed American architect Louis I. Kahn, the Salk Institute is a designated historical landmark and considered by many architecture critics to be Kahn’s masterpiece. A gourmet dinner specially prepared by renowned chef Jeffery Strauss of Pamplemousse Grille will be served at 6:30 p.m. followed by the concert, which begins at 8:00 p.m.

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is located at 10010 North Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA, 92037.

About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world’s preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

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