Athenaeum San Diego New Music Concerts

San Diego New Music Concerts

Aeneas In The Underworld

A Chamber Oratorio By San Diego Composer Christopher Adler


Friday, March 29, 2019

All concerts begin at 7:30PM


Begun as a collaboration between former San Diego New Music executive director Colin McAllister and composer Christopher Adler in 2006, Aeneas in the Underworld is an ambitious and unique project combining oratory and music for a solo performer who recites the sixth book of Virgil’s epic story, Aeneid, in the original Latin, while playing a guitar (which is subject to drastic retuning, preparations, and playing implements). The soloist, embodying the extraordinary mastery of Aeneas, the hero, is accompanied by a second guitarist, string quartet, and electronics. The story recounts the hero’s descent into the underworld and fateful meeting with the shade of his father, which reveals to the hero the future glories of Rome. Projected subtitles will feature a brand-new English translation by classicist Khang Le, commissioned specifically for this production.


Act I of the oratorio was performed at the soundON Festival of Modern Music in 2011, and Act II was performed by San Diego New Music in 2015. Now, we are pleased to present the complete oratorio as part of the premiere tour, along with performances at the Through a Glass Darkly: UCCS Symposium on Apocalyptic in Colorado Springs and at MicroFest in Los Angeles. These performances are sponsored in part by a grant from the University of San Diego.


Colin McAllister, guitar and Latin orator Pablo Gómez Cano, guitar



Batya MacAdam-Somer and Missy Lukin, violins;

Annabelle Terbetski, viola;

Elizabeth Brown, cello


Christopher Adler, Aeneas in the Underworld (2010–2018)



SCENE 1: The Caves of Cumae

SCENE 2: Aeneas’ Prayer

SCENE 3: The Prophecy

SCENE 4: The Golden Bough



SCENE 1: Acheron

SCENE 2: Rhadamantus et Tisiphone

SCENE 3: Infelix Dido



SCENE 1: Songs Worthy of Phoebus

SCENE 2: Anchises and the Parade of Heroes


Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037


Individual Tickets: $20 member / $25 nonmember / $10 student



San Diego New Music is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the public performance of notated music of the highest integrity and artistic caliber from the 20th and 21st centuries. We seek to advance the art form by promoting music composed with conceptual rigor, passionate energy and singular artistic vision. SDNM enriches the artistic culture of San Diego through the presentation of an annual concert series and the soundON Festival of Modern Music, and through fostering its resident performing ensemble, NOISE.


In 1994, the only place in San Diego where you could hear an entire concert of 20th-century music was on a college campus. San Diego New Music pitched the idea of a concert series devoted to modern music and 20th-century classics at the Athenaeum. The concerts of modern music perfectly complement the exhibitions of modern art held in the Athenaeum’s galleries. In 1996, San Diego New Music presented its first season. The series was called "Noise at the Library," and the ensemble would later adopt the name, as well.


San Diego New Music and the Athenaeum have been happily co-presenting concerts of new music ever since.


For more information on the organization go to



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