David Lockington, Music Director for the Pasadena Symphony
David Lockington begins his tenure this year as Music Director of the Pasadena Symphony. Lockington’s full duties as Music Director commence immediately and beginning 2014-15 Lockington will regularly conduct the orchestra for multiple performances.
In his 14th season as Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, David Lockington has created a lasting legacy of artistic achievements and genuine community enrichment. 2005 marked Lockington’s conducting debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The New York Times commended the Grand Rapids Symphony, under his artistic leadership for being a model in the Classical music world. Lockington also earned a 2007 Grammy Award nomination and has led five recordings with Grand Rapids. The recordings have received high praise including the CD of Adolphus Hailstork’s Second and Third symphonies, released internationally on the Naxos label in 2007. Additionally, 2008 saw the successful start of the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. At his initiative, the Symphony has also reached out to new and diverse audiences through its annual community concert “Symphony with Soul,” now in its 12th season.
Lockington’s guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Saint Louis, Houston, Detroit, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, Colorado, Oregon, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Pacific, Nashville, San Diego, Kansas City and Columbus Symphonies; the Louisville Orchestra and National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa; the Buffalo, Rochester, Calgary and Louisiana Philharmonics; and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall. Internationally, he has conducted the China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra in Beijing and Taiwan, led the English Chamber Orchestra on a tour in Asia and appeared with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain and the Northern Sinfonia in Great Britain.
Since September 2007 Mr. Lockington has served as music director of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra in California. In May 2012, he was named principal conductor of Spain’s Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias. Prior to leading the Grand Rapids Symphony, Mr. Lockington held the music directorships of the Long Island Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony and Ohio Chamber Orchestra. For three years he held the post of assistant conductor with the Denver Symphony Orchestra and Opera Colorado. Mr. Lockington was also associate conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Lockington began his career as principal cellist with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Cambridge, he came to the U.S. on a scholarship to Yale University, where he received his master’s degree in cello performance and studied conducting with Otto Werner Mueller. He was a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and served as assistant principal cellist for three years with the Denver Symphony Orchestra before turning to conducting.
Mr. Lockington arrived in this country in 1978 and is a U.S. citizen. He is married to violinist Dylana Jenson. They live in Grand Rapids and have four children.
Nicholas McGegan, Principal Guest Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony
Nicholas McGegan begins his tenure this year as Principal Guest Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony. McGegan’s full duties as Principal Guest Conductor commence during the 2013-14 season and beginning 2014-15 McGegan will regularly guest conduct the orchestra twice a year. As he embarks on his fourth decade on the podium, Nicholas McGegan — long hailed as “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (London Independent) and “an expert in 18th-century style” (The New Yorker) — is increasingly recognized for his probing and revelatory explorations of music of all periods.
Through 27 years as its music director, McGegan has established the San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Philharmonia Chorale as one of the world’s leading period-performance ensembles, with notable appearances at Carnegie Hall, the London Proms, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the International Handel Festival, Göttingen where he was artistic director from 1991 to 2011. Throughout his career, McGegan has defined an approach to period style that sets the current standard: serious and intelligent, but never dogmatic. More recently, Philharmonia Baroque is branching out under his leadership. Calling the group’s recent recording of the Brahms Serenades “a truly treasurable disc,” James R. Oestreich in The New York Times made special note of the performance’s “energy and spirit.” The recording, said Voix des Arts, offers “evidence that ‘period’ instruments are in no way inhibited in terms of tonal amplitude and beauty. These are … exceptionally beautifully played performances.”
McGegan’s ability to engage players and audiences alike has made him a pioneer in broadening the reach of historically informed practice beyond the world of period ensembles to conventional symphonic forces. His guest-conducting appearances with major orchestras — including the New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong Philharmonics; the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Toronto and Sydney Symphonies; the Cleveland and the Philadelphia Orchestras; and the Northern Sinfonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestra — often feature Baroque repertoire alongside Classical, Romantic, 20th-century and even brand-new works: Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Britten, Bach and Handel with the Utah Symphony; Poulenc and Mozart with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Mahler and Mozart with the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra; and the premiere, in 2012, of Stephen Hough’s Missa Mirabilis with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, paired with Haydn, Brahms and Mendelssohn.
Active in opera as well as the concert hall, McGegan was principal conductor of Sweden’s perfectly preserved 18th-century theatr Drottingholm from 1993 to 1996. He has also been a frequent guest conductor with opera companies including Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Washington.
Mr. McGegan has enjoyed a long collaboration with groundbreaking choreographer Mark Morris, notably the premiere performances of Morris’s production of Rameau’s Platée at the Edinburgh Festival and L’Allegro at Ravinia and the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. In 2014 Mr. McGegan will rejoin the Mark Morris Dance Group, along with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale and renowned soloists for the premiere and touring performances of Mr. Morris’s new production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea in an arrangement by Mozart.
His discography of more than 100 releases includes the world premiere recording of Handel’s Susanna, which garnered both a Gramophone Award and a GRAMMY® nomination, and recent issues of that composer’s Solomon, Samson and Acis and Galatea (the little-known version adapted by Felix Mendelssohn). He is also credited with the first performance in modern times of Handel’s masterly but mislaid Gloria. Under its own label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions (PBP), in addition to the Brahms recording Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has recently released five acclaimed archival recordings: Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été and selected Handel arias with the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson; Haydn Symphonies No. 88, 101 and 104, nominated for a GRAMMY® Award; Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and other concerti with Elizabeth Blumenstock as violin soloist; Handel’s Atalanta with soprano Dominique Labelle in the title role; and Brahms’ beloved Serenades.
Mr. McGegan is committed to the next generation of musicians, frequently conducting and coaching students in residencies and engagements at Yale University, the Juilliard School, Harvard University, the Colburn School, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Music Academy of the West.
Born in England, Nicholas McGegan was educated at Cambridge and Oxford and taught at the Royal College of Music, London. He was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for 2010 “for services to music overseas.” His awards also include the Halle Handel Prize; an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen; the Order of Merit of the State of Lower Saxony (Germany); the Medal of Honour of the City of Göttingen, and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the Mayor of San Francisco in recognition of two decades of distinguished work with Philharmonia Baroque.Visit Nicholas McGegan on the web at www.nicholasmcgegan.com.
Michael Feinstein, Principal Pops Conductor, Pasadena POPS
Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of The Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace.
More than simply a performer, Feinstein has received national recognition for his commitment to celebrating America’s popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. In 2007, he founded the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Vocal Academy and Competition, which awards scholarships and prizes to students across the country. Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.
Feinstein’s earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his Concord Records CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released last year. His Emmy nominated TV special, Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, is currently airing across the country. His PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook was the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award. The first two seasons are now available on DVD and the third season will air in 2013. For his nationally syndicated public radio program Song Travels, Michael interviews and performs alongside music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Moby, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce and more.
His new book The Gershwins and Me, which is combined with a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano, will be published by Simon & Schuster in October 2012. Recently, he released the CDs The Power Of Two – collaborating with “Glee” and “30 Rock” star Cheyenne Jackson – and Cheek To Cheek, recorded with Broadway legend Barbara Cook. His newest recording is We Dreamed These Days, featuring the Carmel Symphony Orchestra; Feinstein co-wrote the title song with Dr. Maya Angelou.
Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The theater is home to an annual international Great American Arts festival, diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Starting in 2010, he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Feinstein is working with MGM to turn The Thomas Crown Affair into a Broadway musical. He also has designed a new piano for Steinway called “The First Ladies,” inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies. It was first played to commemorate the Ronald Regan centennial on February 6, 2011.
In 2005, Feinstein recorded Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of Harry Warren classics recorded with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing. The previous year, he completed a national tour with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb based on their album Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb. The disc was named one of “10 Best CDs of the Year” by USA Today.
In 2003, Feinstein received his fourth Grammy nomination for his release Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, Rhino/Elektra Music released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning the years 1987 to 1996 and featuring old favorites and previously unreleased tracks.
Michael’s own record label, Feinery, a Concord Records subsidiary, released The Livingston & Evans Songbook, featuring Feinstein and special guest Melissa Manchester. Feinery also records favorite current artists and restores recordings and musical broadcasts from the golden age of popular song.
His Manhattan nightclub, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz, including Rosemary Clooney, Glen Campbell, Barbara Cook, Diahann Carroll, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Alan Cumming. Feinstein appears there for a sold-out holiday engagement every year.
His many other credits include scoring the original music for the film Get Bruce and performing on the hits television series “Better With You,” “Caroline in the City,” “Melrose Place,” “Coach,” “Cybill“ and “7th Heaven.”
The roots of all this work began in Columbus, Ohio, where Feinstein started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he worked in local piano bars for two years, moving to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.
Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. Feinstein has received three honorary doctorates.
Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins and Carole Bayer Sager), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.
Jack Taylor, Music Director, PYSO
Mr. Taylor, a former member of PYSO, is now recognized as one of the top music educators in Southern California. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern California and a Master of Science in Music Education from Southern Oregon University. His background of excellence in music training and his passion for teaching students provides a well-balanced approach for music education. Mr. Taylor has taught music in Temple City for eight years at the elementary and intermediate school levels. His groups consistently receive superior ratings at area music festivals. In addition to his groups at Temple City, Mr. Taylor serves as the conductor of the Pasadena City College Community Concert Band and the Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra.
Paul Jan Zdunek, CEO, Pasadena Symphony Association
After working with the Pasadena Symphony Association as a crisis management consultant, Paul Jan Zdunek was offered the position of CEO in December 2008. Within months of his appointment Zdunek designed an 18-month Recovery Plan for the PSA that instituted a best-practices approach within a fiscally responsible budget to produce a financially stable organization. Recovery Plan successes include a complete restructuring of the 45-member Board of Directors, reorganization of the Administrative staff and intense focus on community engagement and audience & donor development. Additionally, the Pasadena Symphony Association has moved into two new nationally recognized venues – the Pasadena Symphony is now in residence at the historic Ambassador Auditorium and the Pasadena POPS’ Summer Series resides at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden. The Association has also engaged new Artistic Leadership – Maestro David Lockington and Music Director for the Pasadena Symphony, Nicholas McGegan as Principal Guest Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony, and Award-Winning Composer/Conductor Marvin Hamlisch as its Principal Pops Conductor (after Mr. Hamlisch’s surprise passing, Zdunek appointed multiplatinum selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer Michael Feinstein).
From 2003, Zdunek served as President & CEO of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Association. Zdunek delivers operational growth, pioneering initiatives in arts access, visibility and community outreach. Additionally, Zdunek has the tools to increase concert attendance, form more diverse and engaged Boards, diversify and increase contributions while expanding earned revenue. Zdunek renovated and successfully negotiated a management contract with the newly owned historic State Theatre of Modesto. He participated in the Kennedy Center’s Sustaining the American Orchestra which strived to redefine the manner in which orchestras do business. Before entering in Arts Administration, Zdunek worked for Mankato Kasota Stone, Inc. in Minnesota, where he served as Director of Professional Relations & Business Development and was responsible for creating new branding and marketing initiatives, establishing new domestic and international business markets and serving on the Senior Executive Council for Long Range and Strategic Planning.
Prior to his corporate work, he served as Artistic Director of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, where he established new performance standards for the nation’s largest youth orchestra. Under Zdunek’s leadership GTCYS tripled its audience base, increased local and national media coverage and repositioned itself in the community. His experiences as principal and guest conductor include The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Opera Vivente! (Baltimore, MD) and the Baltimore Chamber Chorale. Zdunek has received several awards including the League of American Orchestras’ Music Alive! and an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. An Executive MBA student at The Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, Paul Jan Zdunek received his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and a Certificat d’Etudes in Composition and Conducting from the American Conservatory in France. Zdunek currently serves as Mentor of the Emerging Arts Management Leadership program in Los Angeles. Zdunek is Owner & Principal for Arts-Inc.biz, a consulting firm dedicated to assisting performing arts non-profits around the country. He serves on the Board of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) and most recently taught Human Resources Management within the Master of Arts Administration program at Goucher College (MD).