General News

Live Chat with Composer-in-Residence Peter Boyer – April 16 at 3pm

Experience a live chat with Pasadena Symphony’s Composer-in Residence Peter Boyer as he discusses the role of an orchestral composer. Audiences will also get a preview of Boyer’s Symphony No. 1, which will make its world premiere on Saturday, April 27 with the Pasadena Symphony.

This event will be a live broadcast of a talk held at Claremont Graduate University.

The commission of Peter Boyer’s Symphony No. 1 has been made possible through contributions by Trustees of Claremont Graduate University.

Click here to be taken to the live stream of the event on Tuesday, April 16 beginning at 3pm!

Pasadena Symphony Performs World Premiere of Peter Boyer’s Symphony No. 1

The Pasadena Symphony will perform the highly anticipated world premiere of Grammy-nominated composer Peter Boyer’s Symphony No. 1 on Saturday April 27 in concerts at 2:00 and 8:00pm at Ambassador Auditorium. The concerts also feature superstar violinist Chee-Yun as soloist for the intensely passionate Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto under the baton of guest conductor Jose Luis Gomez.

Composer Peter Boyer is one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of his generation, with over 300 public performances of his works by more than 100 orchestras. Though Boyer’s compositional voice is his own, his musical language and symphonic style flow from the same wellspring of such iconic American composers as Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and John Williams.

Boyer’s Symphony No. 1 is dedicated to the memory of famed composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, who had a profound influence on Boyer’s work. After accepting Boyer’s dedication, Leonard Bernstein’s daughter Jamie Bernstein wrote, “My brother Alexander, sister Nina and I are very touched that Peter Boyer has dedicated his Symphony No. 1 to our father. I know how deeply Peter relates to the music of Leonard Bernstein, as well as to the humanitarian spirit that infuses so many Bernstein compositions. It’s gratifying indeed to see our father’s influence touching succeeding generations, and continuing to make an impact on our world. We salute Peter, and wish his symphony well!”

“For any composer,” explained Boyer, “a commission for a first symphony is a special opportunity. While I’ve often been asked to compose works on historical subjects or to celebrate specific occasions, with this commission I’ve relished the great challenge of creating a purely musical symphonic work. I’ve long admired the Pasadena Symphony, whose musicians are my colleagues and friends. I’m grateful both to compose this work and to conduct this fine orchestra.” The commission of this new work has been made possible through contributions by Trustees of Claremont Graduate University.

Violinist Chee-Yun, who will perform Tchaikovsky’s indelible Violin Concerto, originally hails from Seoul, South Korea. She began performing professionally at the age of 13 and vaulted into an extraordinary career performing as soloist with countless major orchestras around the world and headlining national tours with the San Francisco Symphony and Japan’s NHK Symphony. The New York Times hailed her as “a talented instrumentalist, with the kind of high-gloss tone that pulls sensuously at the listener’s ear.”

In addition to the concerts on Saturday, April 27, the Pasadena Symphony and Pacific Asia Museum will host a party featuring Chee-Yun on Wednesday, April 24 from 6 – 8pm. Party passes for this event at Pacific Asia Museum are available through the Pasadena Symphony box office for $75 and include hors d’oeuvres, wine, gallery access, plus a ticket to hear Chee-Yun in concert with the Pasadena Symphony on Saturday, April 27.

Tickets to the final concert in the Pasadena Symphony’s 2012-13 Singpoli Classics Series at Ambassador Auditorium on Saturday, April 27 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm begin at $35 and may be purchased by visiting, calling 626.793.7172 or onsite day of concert.


  • What: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Pasadena Symphony
  • Guest Artists: Jose Luis Gomez, Conductor | Peter Boyer, Conductor and Composer-in-Residence | Chee-Yun, Violin
  • When: Saturday, April 27 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm
  • Where: Ambassador Auditorium; 131 St. John Ave, Pasadena, CA 91123
  • Cost: Tickets start at $35.00
  • Parking: Valet on Green Street, $10 general parking available adjacent to the theater in Maranatha parking lots.
  • Full Program: Boyer: Festivities | Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto | Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia | Boyer: Symphony No. 1
  • Pre-Concert Conversation: Pasadena Symphony Association’s CEO Paul Jan Zdunek visits with Peter Boyer about the program, his musical journey and much more an hour before each concert (1 pm and again at 7 pm on stage at Ambassador Auditorium)



About Chee-Yun

Violinist Chee-Yun’s flawless technique, dazzling tone and compelling artistry have enraptured audiences on five continents. Charming, charismatic and deeply passionate about her art, Chee-Yun continues to carve a unique place for herself in the ever-evolving world of classical music.

Winner of the 1989 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the 1990 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chee-Yun performs regularly with the world’s foremost orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, and the Toronto, Houston, Seattle, Pittsburgh and National symphony orchestras. Additionally, she has appeared with the Atlanta Symphony, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with such distinguished conductors as Hans Graf, James DePriest, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Michael Tilson Thomas, Krzysztof Penderecki, Neeme Järvi, Pinchas Zukerman, Manfred Honeck and Giancarlo Guerrero. Internationally, Chee-Yun has toured with the Haifa Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Germany’s Braunschweig Orchestra and the MDR Radio Leipzig and performed with the St. Petersburg Camerata, the Bamberg Philharmonic, the Bilbao Symphony, the London Festival Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic, and the KBS Symphony Orchestra. Her orchestral highlights include a concert with the Seoul Philharmonic conducted by Myung-Whun Chung that was broadcast on national network television, a benefit for UNESCO with the Orchestra of St. Lukes at Avery Fisher Hall, and her tours of the United States with the San Francisco Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas conducting), and Japan with the NHK Symphony. Recent and upcoming engagements include return subscription weeks in Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, as well as the Colorado and Austin symphony orchestras and the National Philharmonic.

As a recitalist, Chee-Yun has performed in many major US cities including New York, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta. Career highlights include appearances at the Kennedy Center’s “Salute to Slava” gala honoring Mstislav Rostropovich, the Mostly Mozart Festival’s tour to Japan, a performance with Michael Tilson Thomas in the inaugural season of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, and the US premiere of the Penderecki Sonata No. 2 with pianist Barry Douglas. Other recent highlights include recitals in St. Paul, Buffalo, Washington, DC, Omaha and Scottsdale, duo recitals with cellist Alisa Weilerstein and a performance at the American Ballet Theatre’s fall gala. Firmly committed to chamber music, Chee-Yun has toured with “Music from Marlboro” and appears frequently with Spoleto USA, a project she has been associated with since its inception. Additional chamber music appearances include the Ravinia, Aspen, Bravo! Vail Valley, La Jolla, Caramoor, Green Music, Santa Fe and Bridgewater festivals in the US, the Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea, the Clandeboye Festival with Camerata Ireland in Northern Ireland, the Opera Theatre and Music Festival in Lucca, Italy, the Colmar Festival in France, the Beethoven and Penderecki festivals in Poland and the Kirishima Festival in Japan.

Chee-Yun has received exceptional acclaim as a recording artist since the release of her debut album of virtuoso encore pieces in 1993. Her recent recording of the Penderecki Violin Concerto No. 2 on Naxos was acclaimed as “an engrossing, masterly performance” (The Strad Magazine) and “a performance of staggering virtuosity and musicality” (American Record Guide). Her releases on the Denon label include Mendelssohn’s E Minor Violin Concerto, Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No. 5, Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, and Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3, with the London Philharmonic under the direction of Maestro Lopez-Cobos, a disc of three French violin sonatas (Debussy, Saint-Saëns and Fauré), and the violin sonatas of Szymanowski and Franck. Her most recent Denon disc features the violin sonatas of Brahms and Strauss. Two compilation discs, Vocalise d’amour, and The Very Best of Chee-Yun, feature highlights of Chee-Yun’s earlier recordings. In 2007, Chee-Yun recorded the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Camerata Ireland, pianist Barry Douglas and cellist Andrés Diaz, for Satirino Records. In 2008, Decca/Korea released “Serenata Notturno,” an album of light classics that went platinum within six months of its release.

Chee-Yun has been heard frequently on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and on WQXR and WNYC radio in New York City. She has also been featured on KTV, a children’s program on the cable network CNBC, Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”, on Public Radio International and numerous syndicated and local radio programs across the United States and abroad. She has appeared on PBS as a special guest on Victor Borge’s Then and Now 3, in a live broadcast at Spivey Hall in Atlanta concurrent with the Olympic Games, and on ESPN performing the theme for the X Games. In Fall 2009, she also appeared in an episode of HBO’s hit series, “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Chee-Yun’s first public performance at age 8 took place in her native Seoul after she won the Grand Prize of the Korean Times Competition. At 13, she came to the United States and was invited to perform the Vieuxtemps Concerto No. 5 in a Young People’s Concert with the New York Philharmonic. Two years later, she appeared as soloist with the New York String Orchestra under Alexander Schneider at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. In 1989, she won the Young Concert Artist’s international competition, and a year later became the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. In Korea, Chee-Yun studied with Nam Yun Kim. In the United States, she has worked with Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Daniel Phillips and Felix Galimir (chamber music) at The Juilliard School.

In addition to her active performance and recording schedule, Chee-Yun is a dedicated and enthusiastic educator. She gives master classes around the world and has held several teaching posts at notable music schools and universities. Her past faculty positions have included serving as the resident Starling Soloist and Adjunct Professor of Violin at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Visiting Professor of Music (Violin) at Indiana University School of Music. In August 2007, she was appointed Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Violin at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Chee-Yun plays the Stradivarius “Ex-Strauss” (Cremona, 1708), which is on loan through the generous efforts of the Samsung Foundation of Culture of Korea and the Stradivari Society of Chicago, Illinois.

About Peter Boyer

Peter Boyer is one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of his generation, with over 300 public performances of his works by more than 100 orchestras, and numerous national broadcasts in the U.S. and abroad. Conductor Keith Lockhart chose Boyer for the Boston Pops’ 125th anniversary commission honoring the legacy of John, Robert, and Ted Kennedy, The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers. Its premiere in 2010, narrated by Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Ed Harris, was attended by members of the Kennedy family, and received extensive national media attention. The Boston Pops also performed the work on their Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular for an audience of over 750,000; gave it two separate telecasts; performed it at Tanglewood with narrator Alec Baldwin; and released its recording. Boyer’s major work Ellis Island: The Dream of America (2002) has received over 140 live performances by 60 orchestras, making it one of the most-performed American orchestral works of the last decade. His recording on the Naxos label was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.

In addition to his work for the concert hall, Boyer is active in the film and television music industry. He has contributed orchestrations to more than 20 film scores by top Hollywood composers, including Skyfall (composer Thomas Newman), The Amazing Spider-Man (composer James Horner), the Oscar-winning Up, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible III, John Carter, Super 8, Cars 2 (composer Michael Giacchino); and Dolphin Tale (composer Mark Isham). Boyer has twice arranged music for the Academy Awards, and composed music for The History Channel.

As conductor, Boyer has led such orchestras as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Richmond Symphony in concert; and the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Los Angeles studio orchestras in recording sessions. Boyer holds the Helen M. Smith Chair in Music at Claremont Graduate University. He served as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence in 2010-11, and is the Pasadena Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence this season.

About Jose Luis Gomez

The young Venezuelan-born, Spanish conductor José Luis Gomez was catapulted to international attention when he won First Prize at the International Sir Georg Solti Conductor’s Competition in Frankfurt in September 2010, securing a sensational and rare unanimous decision from the jury.

Gomez’s electrifying energy, talent and creativity earned him immediate acclaim from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra where he was appointed to the position of Assistant Conductor, a post created especially for him by Paavo Jarvi and the orchestra directly upon the conclusion of the competition.

Gomez started his musical career as a violinist, and by the age of 11 he was Concertmaster of the Youth Orchestra of Zulia State – part of El Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles de Venezuela. He graduated in music and violin from the Manhattan School of Music in New York before embarking on a European orchestral career. Deciding to follow his dream to have more creative input and influence on musical direction he took conducting lessons from Lu Jia, Muhai Tang and John Nelson. After just six months of studying conducting he went on to win the Georg Solti competition.

Since then he has worked with the RTVE National Symphony Orchestra of Madrid, Houston Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, Hamburg Symphony, Basel Sinfonietta, Orchestra of Castille y Leon, Orquesta Sinfonica do Porto, Grand Rapids Symphony, Macao Symphony and the Orchestra 1813 Teatro Sociale di Como with whom he also led performances of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as part of the ASLCIO Opera Association throughout the region of Lombardia, Italy.

Symphonic highlights of the 12/13 season include debuts with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Colorado, Vancouver, Edmonton and Pasadena Symphony Orchestras as well as reinvitations to Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira and Elgin Symphony Orchestra. José will also conduct the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in their New Year concert and several educational projects. Opera highlights include a full run of La Bohème at Frankfurt Opera and Rossini’s La Cenerentola at Stuttgart Opera, with a revival already planned in the following season. Future engagements will feature his debuts in Taiwan, Alabama and Winnipeg and will return to Weimar, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

José Luis Gomez is the Principal Conductor of the orchestra of the Teatro Social di Como. He continues assisting Paavo Jarvi at Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, on tour in Europe, Asia and beyond.

Pasadena Symphony Names David Lockington as New Music Director and Nicholas McGegan as Principal Guest Conductor

The Pasadena Symphony Association is proud to announce the appointment of David Lockington as its new Music Director and Nicholas McGegan as its Principal Guest Conductor, an innovative partnership of powerhouse artistic leadership. Lockington is the fifth Music Director of Pasadena’s 85-year-old treasured Symphony Orchestra. McGegan’s newly created position formalizes a synergistic relationship between the conductor and the orchestra, and represents a deep commitment of engagement to complement the orchestra’s future artistic direction and impact on its community. Lockington’s and McGegan’s initial three-year contracts commence this year with the 2013-14 Singpoli Classics Series. In 2014-15, both will regularly conduct the orchestra.

“After conducting and getting to know the orchestra, I am excited to begin an extended relationship exploring great music-making,” says Lockington. “I am also looking forward to connecting to the fabric of Pasadena and stimulating even more interest in supporting this community’s live music.”

Diane Rankin, President of the Pasadena Symphony Association reflects, “Looking at musicianship, technique, knowledge, leadership, and inspiration, David Lockington and Nic McGegan kept rising to the top, epitomizing the definition of performance standard and genuine community engagement. We feel very fortunate to have these two remarkable artists as part of our organization and community.”

“I am thrilled to be a part of the artistic leadership team of the Pasadena Symphony, along with David and Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein,” says McGegan. “The Pasadena Symphony is the perfect creative playground for all of us! I look forward to expanding my orchestral repertoire in upcoming seasons here.”

“The musicians of our orchestra passionately declared their preference for David and Nic,” states Paul Jan Zdunek, CEO of the Association. “David is perfect, as our visions completely align. With Nicholas as an artistic partner to David and Michael Feinstein, this new team is sure to take us to places we have only dreamed about.”

Drew Dembowski, Principal Bass states, “As a member of the Pasadena Symphony since 1975, I could not be feeling more positive about our prospects for the future and more proud of the collaborative efforts of all those involved in this process.”

An accomplished cellist before turning to conducting, David Lockington spent 14 seasons as Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, where he created a legacy that the New York Times called “a model in the Classical music world.” Nominated for a GRAMMY® in 2007, Lockington has also held the music directorships of the Long Island Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony and Ohio Chamber Orchestra. Since September 2007, he has served as music director of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, he was named principal conductor of Spain’s Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias. Guest conducting engagements include appearances throughout North America and internationally.

Nicholas McGegan is a pioneer in exporting historical practices of period instruments to the conventional symphonic forces. His discography includes more than 100 recordings, including the Gramophone-winning, GRAMMY® nominated world premiere of Handel’s “Susanna.” He is also credited with the first performance in modern times of Handel’s “Gloria.” As long-standing music director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Philharmonia Chorale, McGegan established the leading period performance ensemble in the United States. Active in opera as well, he was Principal Conductor of Sweden’s Drottingholm 1993-96 annual festival and Artistic Director of the Göttingen International Handel Festival. He has also guest-conducted across the United States.

Highlights of the upcoming 2013-14 Singpoli Classics Series includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto, Bernstein’s Serenade, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 plus world renowned soloists Anne Akiko Meyers (violin) and Shai Wosner (piano). Season Subscriptions are on sale now and may be purchased by phone at 626-793-7172 or online at

Artistic Leadership Biographies

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 Timescommended 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 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 Mirabiliswith 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 Galateain 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 Atalantawith 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

Recent Acclaim for the Pasadena Symphony and POPS

“Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony sounded fascinatingly contemporary. Lean, tight and transparent, this Tchaikovsky sizzled with inner life. The playing was clean, the horns a pleasure.” – Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times. November 5, 2012

“…full of pulsating energy from first note to last… the strings were lushly resonant, the wind principals were at the top of their games, and the brass rang out with gleaming vigor.” – Robert Thomas, Pasadena Star News. November 2, 2011

The Pasadena Symphony Association was founded in 1928 by Conductor Reginald Bland. Originally named the Pasadena Civic Orchestra, its first members were mostly volunteer musicians, many of whom were students of Bland. The annual operating budget was $3,500, which was funded entirely by the City of Pasadena.

The Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Southern California’s most talented, sought after musicians. With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.

In the fall of 2007, the Pasadena Symphony incorporated the Pasadena POPS into its Association under the new name Pasadena Symphony and POPS. This merger created an expanded Classics and POPS series providing the community with a full spectrum of live symphonic concerts year-round. In the summer of 2012, the Pasadena POPS’ relocated its summer home to the Los Angeles County Arboretum where it has been performing to record-breaking crowds and critical acclaim. The Pasadena POPS announced Michael Feinstein as its new Principal Pops Conductor in August 2012; he will be the first conductor to hold the Marvin Hamlisch Chair title.

The Pasadena Symphony provides a musical experience like no other at the Ambassador Auditorium – known as the Carnegie Hall of the West – where they have been the resident professional orchestra since 2010. In 2013, the Pasadena Symphony named Maestro David Lockington as its fifth Music Director and appointed Nicholas McGegan as Principal Guest Conductor.

A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region since 1972 through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra comprised of over 200 gifted middle school students from more than 40 schools all over the Southland. The PYSO most recently performed on several episodes of the popular television show GLEE.

Full 2013-14 Singpoli Classics Series Information
November 2, 2013 | 2 & 8pm
David Lockington, Conductor
Anne Akiko Meyers, Violin
Shostakovich Festive Overture
Bernstein Serenade (After Plato’s “Symposium”)
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

January 11, 2014
Nicholas McGegan, Conductor
Umi Garrett, Piano
Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1
Dvorák Symphony No. 6

February 15, 2014
Kazem Abdullah, Conductor
The Donald Brinegar Singers
Lauridsen Mid-Winter Songs
Beethoven Symphony No. 9

March 29, 2014
Andrew Grams, Conductor
Simone Porter, Violin
Bolcom Commedia for (Almost) 18th Century Orchestra
Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1
Schumann Symphony No. 4

May 10, 2014
Jahja Ling, Conductor
Shai Wosner, Piano
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

Additional 2013-14 Guest Artist Biographies

Anne Akiko Meyers is celebrated as one of the world’s premier concert violinists. Meyers is constantly ‘charting her own course’ and the American Record Guide is quoted as saying, ‘through her peerless mastery and vivid imagination there seems to be no limit to the colors she can draw from her instrument.’

She regularly performs as featured soloist with orchestras around the world, including the Boston Symphony, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo’s NHK Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Vienna Symphony and the Warsaw Philharmonic.

On Valentine’s Day, 2012, Meyers’ eagerly anticipated ‘Air-The Bach Album’, on eOne, debuted at #1 on Billboard charts and has been a bestseller at iTunes and Amazon. It features Bach’s solo violin concerti as well as the double concerto where Meyers played both solo parts on the 1697 ex-‘Napoleon/Molitor’ and the 1730 ‘Royal Spanish’ Stradivari violins with the English Chamber Orchestra. Also featured, are Bach’s ‘Air’, ‘Largo’ and and Bach-Gounod’s ‘Ave Maria’. eOne Records previously released ‘Seasons…dreams’, featuring music with harp and piano and includes several world premieres in 2010 and and ‘Smile’, released in 2009. Both recordings topped the Billboard charts.

This season, Meyers commissioned Mason Bates, to write his first violin concerto. Meyers will premiere it with Leonard Slatkin and the Pittsburgh Symphony and Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony. Other highlights include a performance of the Barber Violin Concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and many other orchestral, recital, and chamber music appearances.

Recently, Meyers performed across North America, Europe, Korea, and Japan, working with the Saint Louis Symphony, Dusseldorf Symphoniker, Korean Broadcasting Symphony and the Tokyo Philharmonic and many other orchestras. Anne performed a special benefit recital for Play For Japan in San Francisco, which was broadcast around the world on the Internet and was featured with Ryuichi Sakamoto at New York’s Japan Society, raising funds for the Japan Earthquake Fund.

Over the years, Meyers has collaborated with pop singing sensation, Il Divo, top jazz artists such as Chris Botti, and Wynton Marsalis, who composed cadenzas for her in Mozart’s G Major Violin Concerto, and performed the National Anthem to 42,000 fans at Safeco Field before the Mariners-Red Sox game in Seattle. Meyers’ has recorded extensively for labels including Avie, Camerata, eOne/Koch, Hyperion, Naxos, RCA Victor Red Seal, RPO, Sony and Warner Classics. View her discography on Amazon and iTunes.

Ms. Meyers has regularly performed and commissioned new compositions, premiering works by composers such as David Baker, Mason Bates, Jakub Ciupinski, John Corigliano, Roddy Ellias, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Jennifer Higdon, Wynton Marsalis, Olivier Messiaen, Akira Miyoshi, Arvo Part, Manuel Ponce, Gene Pritsker, Somei Satoh, and Joseph Schwantner

Meyers’ television credits include a feature on MSNBC’s ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’, a segment that was so popular it was named the #3 story of 2010. An A&E Network telecast from the Casals Festival with the Montreal Symphony, a PBS broadcast with the Boston Pops Orchestra and John Williams and her appearances on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and the “Emmy Award Show” attracted national attention. She was also featured in a performance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Holland that attracted an audience of 10,000 and was globally broadcast live on the Internet. Meyers also performed in front of 750,000 people in Sydney, Australia’s Harbour, celebrating their 200th Bicentennial and has performed for dignitaries including the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Meyers has been featured in numerous print and television commercials including Anne Klein’s “Women of Substance” fashion campaign that appeared in magazines around the world and was photographed by Annie Leibovitz and recently starred in ads for Tourneau.

Starting her studies at age 4, she first performed with a local orchestra at the age of 7, then burst into prominence at age 11, when she twice performed on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The following year she made her New York Philharmonic debut with Zubin Mehta conducting, and was soon performing throughout the United States, Japan, Australia and Europe. By the time her debut disc of the Barber and Bruch violin concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was released at age 18, she was recognized as one of the stars of her generation.

Meyers was born in San Diego, California and grew up in Southern California. She studied with Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld at the Colburn School of Performing Arts, Josef Gingold at Indiana University, and Felix Galimir, Masao Kawasaki and Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School. At age 23, she was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, the only artist to be the sole recipient of this annual prize.

Ms.Meyers was recently given exclusive lifetime loan of one of the most iconic violins ever made. Watch the story here.

In May 2009, 8-year-old piano prodigy Umi Garrett appeared on NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was such a sensation that her young career has since skyrocketed, receiving requests to perform worldwide and appearing regularly with symphony orchestras in the US and around the world.

Now at the age 12, Umi’s most recent accomplishments include winning first prizes at the 13th Osaka International Music Competition in Japan in October, The Chopin International Competition in Budapest, Hungary in June, and Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in New York earlier in the same year.

Among Umi’s earlier highlights are an appearance with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops sponsored by NPR’s From the Top, and her orchestral debut with the Desert Symphony in Palm Desert, California in 2009 both at the age of 9, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 in A major. Her performances thrilled the audiences with brilliant playing and charm, earning enthusiastic standing ovations and establishing Umi as a definitive rising star in classical music.

Outside of the United States, the young pianist has thrilled classical patrons in theatres from Panama to the Netherlands and beyond. Umi made her debut on the Asian continent with the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and in 2012 performed with Liepaja Symphony Orchestra in Latvia as her European Orchestral debut. Umi has performed solo concerts in Italy, Poland, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Australia, Japan and Panama.

She captivated European audiences in 2009 in several concerts at the Vianden Music Festival in Luxembourg and in Germany with selected solo and chamber music works. Umi was featured on live Luxembourg television in an interview as a “wunderkind.” Most recently in 2012 she was invited to perform a solo recital for the Japan Times in Tokyo. Umi was invited as a guest pianist in a festival for the city of Tarnow, and at The Chopin Summer Festival in Busko-Zdroj, Poland as well as the “Assisi in the World” Festival in Italy.

At home Umi has performed with a diverse set of orchestras, has been invited to perform for the Kyoto Symposium; a memorial concert celebrating Marvin Hamlisch with the Pasadena Symphony and Pops; a master class with Lang Lang; an annual meeting of Philharmonic Society of Orange County and a VIP event of “From the Top” at Joshua Bell’s house in New York.

Umi has recently won numerous first prizes in 2012 at the competitions such as The Osaka International Music Competition in Japan, The International Chopin Piano Competition “Chopin Plus” in Budapest, Hungary, and also at Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in New York all in the same year, and Umi was the Grand Prix winner (Highest award given) at The International Chopin Competition in Connecticut in 2011 and was subsequently invited to perform at Carnegie (Weill) Hall. She has been a winner in the J.S. Bach Competition for two consecutive years.

A devout student of the piano, currently Umi is studying with John Perry at the Colburn School of Music, and is in the Colburn Academy program. Umi actively participates in international music festivals such as the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, the Cochem Music Festival in Germany and the Sydney International Master Class Festival in Australia.

Umi resides in Southern California, and speaks both English and Japanese fluently. Besides playing piano, Umi enjoys playing with her friends, drawing, going to the art museums, and traveling throughout Europe.

Violinist Simone Porter has been recognized by national and international critics as an emerging artist of impassioned energy, musical integrity and vibrant sound. Her performances have been described as “bold” (Seattle Times), “coolly virtuosic” (The London Times), and Ms. Porter herself has been praised as “a consummate chamber musician” (The Telegraph). Ms. Porter made her professional solo debut at age 10 with the Seattle Symphony, and her London debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at 13. The growing list of orchestras with which she has appeared include the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, the Northern Sinfonia and the Milton Keynes City Orchestra in the UK, the Olympia Symphony and Port Angeles Symphony orchestras in Washington, and the New West Symphony and Young Musician Foundation’s Debut Orchestra in California, among others. In May 2012, Ms. Porter made her professional recital debut on the Miami International Piano Festival’s “Prodigies and Masters of Tomorrow” series.

Ms. Porter’s engagements for the first half of the 2012-2013 season include several debuts. In July, she made her Aspen Music Festival debut performing Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins in D major, RV 511, with violinist Adele Anthony under the baton of Nicholas McGegan. In September, Ms. Porter made her debut with the American Youth Symphony and music director Alexander Treger at Los Angeles’s Royce Hall performing Paganini’s Concerto No. 1 in D major for Violin and Orchestra. In October, she made her debut with the Reno Philharmonic and music director Laura Jackson, also performing Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1. In December, Ms. Porter appears on the Colburn Chamber Music Society Series at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles, performing Mozart’s String Quintet No. 3 in C Major, K.515 with violinist Arnold Steinhardt. She returns to her home town of Seattle later in the month to perform “Winter” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with Orchestra Seattle under conductor Huw Edwards.

Past performances of note include a solo appearance at the Great Eastern International Kids Performing Festival in Singapore in 2010. In 2008, Ms. Porter had the honor of performing for the Dalai Lama at the opening ceremony of a five-day symposium on compassion in Seattle, Washington.

Nationally, Ms. Porter has been heard on the renowned syndicated NPR radio program From the Top, featuring America’s best young classical musicians, and hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley. Her performance in July 2012 marked her third appearance on the program; she first appeared in 2007 at the age of 11. Ms. Porter also made her Carnegie Hall debut on the Emmy Award-winning TV show From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall. Other TV appearances include the BBC Documentary, The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies, which aired in the UK in June 2009. She has been featured on Seattle’s Kiro 7 TV’s Quarterly Magazine, In Color, and in August 2011, she was selected as the only Aspen Music Festival student to be featured on the popular national APM radio program Performance Today, recorded live at Aspen’s Harris Hall.

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Ms. Porter was recently selected as a 2011 Davidson Fellow Laureate by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, which carries with it a $50,000 scholarship to further her musical education. In 2009, she was presented as an “Emerging Young Artist” by the Seattle Chamber Music Society.

Raised in Seattle, Washington, Ms. Porter studied with Margaret Pressley as a recipient of the Dorothy Richard Starling Scholarship, and was then admitted into the studio of the renowned pedagogue Robert Lipsett, with whom she presently studies at The Colburn School in Los Angeles. Her studies at the Colburn Young Artist’s Academy also include chamber music coaching with Arnold Steinhardt and Paul Coletti, academic music classes, and additional violin studies with Danielle Belen. Summer musical studies have included attendance at the Aspen Music Festival for six years, Indiana University’s Summer String Academy, and the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy.

Simone Porter plays on a 1742 Camillus Camilli violin on generous loan from The Mandell Collection of Southern California.

Pianist Shai Wosner has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity and creative insight. His performances of a broad range of repertoire from Beethoven and Mozart to Schoenberg and Ligeti, as well as music by contemporary composers, communicates his imaginative programming and intellectual curiosity. Mr. Wosner’s virtuosity and perceptiveness have made him a favorite among audiences and critics, who have praised him for his “keen musical mind and deep musical soul” (NPR’s All Things Considered) and for exemplifying a “remarkable blend of the intellectual, physical and even devilish sides of performance” (Chicago Sun Times).

Mr. Wosner’s 2012-13 season includes a seven-city tour throughout Germany and Belgium, a Schubert recital at the Kennedy Center, as well as solo appearances with various orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony and the Berkeley Symphony. Mr. Wosner will appear in duo-recitals with violinist Jennifer Koh at the Philadelphia Kimmel Center followed by performances in Virginia, Arizona and Georgia.

In October 2011 Mr. Wosner released his second recital album on the Onyx label featuring solo piano works by Schubert. Reviewing the disc, BBC Music Magazine declared, “this puts him straight into the front rank of Schubertians”. Gramophone magazine wrote, “With this recital Shai Wosner declares himself a Schubertian of unfaltering authority and character.” This album follows Mr. Wosner’s critically acclaimed debut recording, which juxtaposed works by Brahms and Schoenberg, released by Onyx in October 2010.

Mr. Wosner’s 2011-12 season included a concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall (broadcast live on BBC Radio 3), a series of Beethoven Sonatas at LSO St. Luke’s, a return to the Baltimore Symphony, a duo recital with baritone Wolfgang Holzmair at the 92nd St. Y in New York, and a duo recital tour with violinist Jennifer Koh. In May 2012, together with the Seattle Symphony conducted by Gerard Schwartz, Mr. Wosner premiered “Along the Ravines,” a new concerto by Michael Hersch written for him and commissioned by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. He also made his solo recital debut at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival performing an all-Schubert program, following which Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times wrote, “In Schubert Mr. Wosner is not afraid to employ an enormous dynamic range. His pianissimos are uncommonly delicate and beautiful. But when the music moves him, his fortissimos can be steely and terrifying…The sheer drama and conceptual boldness of his performance drew you in.”

Mr. Wosner made his highly acclaimed subscription debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and was invited to return later that year to perform with the orchestra at the Ravinia Festival. That year he also debuted with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, conducting from the keyboard in a performance broadcast on American Public Radio. He has appeared with numerous major orchestras in North America including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. In Europe, he has appeared with the Staatskapelle Berlin, Bournemouth Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orchestre National de Belgique, and Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, among others. In 2006, he debuted with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Salzburg, during the 250th anniversary celebrations of Mozart’s birth. He has worked with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Jiří Bělohlávek, James Conlon, Alan Gilbert, Gunther Herbig, James Judd, Zubin Mehta, Peter Oundjian, Donald Runnicles, and Leonard Slatkin.

Mr. Wosner is widely sought after by colleagues for his versatility and spirit of partnership. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with numerous esteemed artists including Martin Frost, Lynn Harrell, Dietrich Henschel, Ralph Kirshbaum, Jennifer Koh, Cho-Liang Lin, Christian Tetzlaff, and Pinchas Zukerman. He is a former member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two and performs regularly at various chamber music festivals, including Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Piano Aux Jacobins festival in France, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Recent chamber music engagements include a performance with members of The New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall; a performance of the Mozart concerto for three pianos with Joseph Kalichstein and Alon Goldstein and the New York String Orchestra with Jaime Laredo at Carnegie Hall; collaborations with the Tokyo, Miró and Parker string quartets; and an appearance with the Georgian Chamber Players at Spivey Hall. He has performed at summer festivals including the Ravinia Festival, Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. For several consecutive summers, Wosner was involved in the West-Eastern Divan Workshop led by Daniel Barenboim and toured as soloist with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

Mr. Wosner is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and he recently completed a residency as a BBC New Generation Artist, during which he played frequently with the BBC orchestras, including appearances conducting Mozart concertos from the keyboard with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He also returned to the BBC Scottish Symphony in both subscription concerts and performances at the Proms with Donald Runnicles, and appeared with the BBC Philharmonic in a live broadcast from Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. His performances in recital, chamber music, and with orchestra continue to be broadcast on Radio 3.

Born in Israel, Mr. Wosner enjoyed a broad musical education from a very early age, studying piano with Emanuel Krasovsky as well as composition, theory and improvisation with André Hajdu. He later studied at The Juilliard School with Emanuel Ax. Mr. Wosner lives in New York City.

A vibrant, versatile and compelling presence on the podium, American conductor Kazem Abdullah is one of the most watched up-and-coming talents on the international stage today. He assumed the post of Generalmusikdirektor of the City of Aachen, Germany, in August 2012, and will lead both the orchestral and operatic seasons. His predecessors in this tradition-rich post include Fritz Busch, Herbert von Karajan, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

In his first season in Aachen, Kazem conducts four productions: Carmen, Hänsel und Gretel, Simon Boccanegra, and Die Zauberflöte. In addition to this he will also lead several subscription concerts and will conduct Mozart’s Requiem in the Aachener Dom. As GMD in Aachen, Kazem Abdullah will also serve as the artistic director of the 3rd International Aachen Chor Bienalle where he will lead several concerts with choirs from Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, Iceland and Brasil. Kazem Abdullah is also the Honorary patron of the Accordate Chamber Music series and the Honorary Patron for the bid for the Aachen-Maastrict bid to be the European capital of Culture in 2018. In addition to his many duties in Aachen, Kazem will also make his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony in May 2013.

A passionate advocate of new music as well as established repertoire, Maestro Abdullah continues to develop relationships with national and international orchestras and opera houses. Among his orchestral credits are the Berliner Kammerphilharmonie, Philharmonisches Orchester der Stadt Nürnburg, Staatskapelle Weimar, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Huntsville Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Napa Valley Symphony, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, and the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa. During the 2011-2012 season, Maestro Abdullah’s guest conducting included performances with the Sinfonieorchester Aachen and Nürnberger Philharmoniker in Germany and the Michigan Opera Theater, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (Houston, Texas) and a return reengagement with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Of special note are three acclaimed orchestral engagements from the 2009-10 season: leading the Orquestra de São Paulo, one of Brazil’s most celebrated classical music ensembles, on its third United States coast-to-coast tour, conducting the New World Symphony’s 2009 Ives Festival. at by special invitation from Michael Tilson Thomas, and substituting on very short notice to conduct the Tangle-wood Music Center Orchestra in performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group. In the opera arena, Maestro Abdullah has guested with such esteemed companies as the Atlanta Opera, where he conducted Cosi fan tutte, and the Théâtre du Châtelet de Paris, where he led sold-out performances of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, Mr. Abdullah made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2009 conducting Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. The New York Times lauded this first performance at the Metropolitan Opera as “…a confident performance… impressively responsive to the singers during their long stretches of orchestra-accompanied recitative.”

Born in Indiana, Kazem Abdullah began his music studies at the age of ten. He graduated from the Cincinnati Con-servatory of Music, with a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet. He then studied at the University of Southern California before joining The New World Symphony as a clarinetist under Michael Tilson Thomas for two seasons, after which he continued his musical studies at The Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University. Mr. Abdullah served as Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, a three-year post to which he was appointed by Music Director James Levine. In addition to Levine, while at the Met he worked with conductors such as Louis Langree, Kirill Petrenko, Lorin Maazel, and Fabio Luisi. A recipient of a prestigious 2010 Solti Foundation U.S Career Assistance Award, Abdullah was named #4 by The Daily Beast on its 2009 list of “Young Rock Stars of the Conducting World.” Mr. Abdullah’s con-ducting teachers include Jorma Panula, Gustav Meier, Stefan Asbury, Bernard Haitink, and James Levine.

As one of America’s most promising and talented young conductors, Andrew Grams has already appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C., and the orchestras of Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, New Jersey and others in the United States. On the international arena, he has conducted the Montreal Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn, the BBC Symphony Orchestra London, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Melbourne Symphony, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia Rome, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Residentie Orchestra of the Hague, the Hamburg Symphony, and the Malmo Symphony to name a few.

Maestro Grams was a protege of Franz Welser-Moest and served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra from 2004 to 2007.

Mr. Grams made his first subscription series appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra in May, 2006 conducting Schoenberg’s Second Chamber Symphony and conducted his first series of full-length subscription concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra in November, 2006. He also led programs with the orchestra at the Blossom Music Center in 2006 and 2007 and returned to lead the orchestra again at the Blossom Music Center in July, 2010.

This season sees major subscription debuts for Mr Grams with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Bergen Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic (Amsterdam), the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He also makes debut appearances with the Slovenian Philharmonic, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana Lugano, the North Carolina Symphony, the Adelaide Symphony, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He returns no fewer than three different times to the Residentie Orchestra (The Hague) as well as to the RTE Symphony Orchestra Ireland (Dublin), the Limburgs Symphony and the Louisville Orchestra. He also makes debuts with the summer festivals of Chautauqua and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.

Last season (2010-11) witnessed a major debut for Grams with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London which was highly acclaimed alongside debut appearances with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn, State Symphony Orchestra of Sao Paulo, the Louisville Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony and several others including an appearance at the Grant Park Festival in Chicago. Grams returned to the podium last season with the Residentie Orchestra several times including a Concertgebouw Hall appearance with that orchestra and also made welcome repeat visits with the Hamburg Symphony, the Malmo Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa and the Utah Symphony among others.

Recent history has seen Maestro Grams at the helm of the Detroit Symphony, the Residentie Orchestra of the Hague, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (RTE), the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic, the Kansas City Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa.

In 2002, Grams was appointed the assistant conductor of the Reading Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania and returned to conduct that orchestra again in 2005. He was selected to spend the summer of 2003 studying with David Zinman, Murry Sidlin and Michael Stern at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, and returned to that program again in 2004.

A Maryland native raised in Severn, Andrew Grams began conducting at the age of 17, when he directed the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. In 1999 he received a bachelor of music degree in violin performance from the Juilliard School, and in 2003 he received a conducting degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he worked with Otto-Werner Mueller.

Also an accomplished violinist, Mr. Grams was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra at Lincoln Center from 1998 to 2004, serving as acting associate principal second violin in 2002 and 2004. In addition, he has performed with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony.

The Donald Brinegar Singers gave their first concert in 1997. In a very brief time, this ensemble has become established as one of the premier chamber ensembles in North America. Noted for their warm choral tone and highly musical interpretations of a wide range of music including recent compositions, the ensemble already boasts an enviable discography. They participated in the world premiere recording of the Villa-Lobos 10th Symphony and have recorded the Morten Lauridsen Lux Aeterna with organist James Buonemani. They recorded Letters from Ireland for Mark Brymer and are the background choir for the Disney movie Bridge to Terabithia. Donald Brinegar enjoys a distinguished career as conductor, tenor soloist, voice teacher and music educator. Since 1979 he has been Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Pasadena City College. He is has been a lecturer in voice at Pomona College and CSULA and a lecturer in conducting at Southern Oregon University, the University of Southern California and the University of Nevada. He is also co-director of the Summer Masters in Choral Conducting Program at CSU Los Angeles.

Jahja Ling’s distinguished career as an internationally renowned conductor has earned him an exceptional reputation for musical integrity, intensity and expressivity. The 2011-2012 season marks his eighth season as Music Director of the San Diego Symphony and the year in which the orchestra celebrates its centenary. The orchestra’s performances conducted by Mr. Ling have received the highest praise from public and critics alike having been broadcast both locally and nationally and they have recently released five new live recordings (the Symphony’s first in a decade). Together they have undertaken many commissions as well as premieres of many new works and recorded new works of Bright Sheng for Telarc Records which was released in summer of 2009 and a new CD of Lucas Richman “Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant” and Saint Saens “Carnival for the Animals” with soloists Jackie Parker and Orli Shaham to be distributed by Naxos. Some live performances are available via Under his leadership, the San Diego Symphony has been designated as a major orchestra of Tier One by the League of American Symphony Orchestras which is based on a new level of unprecedented artistic excellence, its continuing increase of audience attendance as well as its solid financial stability.

Mr. Ling is the first and only conductor of Chinese descent who has conducted all of the major symphony orchestras in North America including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. In recent and upcoming seasons Mr. Ling returns as guest conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Jakarta Symphony, Malaysia Philharmonic, Macao Symphony, Philharmonia Taiwan(National Symphony of Taiwan), Rochester Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic of London, Shanghai Symphony, Singapore Symphony, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Ling made his European debut with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in 1988 to great acclaim. His other engagements abroad have taken him to the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne, the China Philharmonic in Beijing, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Guangzhou Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Jakarta Symphony Orchestra, the Malaysia Philharmonic, the Macao Symphony, the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the NDR Radio-Philharmonie in Hannover, the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, the Orchestre Nationale du Capitole de Toulouse, Royal Philharmonic of London, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Shanghai Symphony, Singapore Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, the Stockholm Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo’s Yomiuri Nippon Symphony. In May 1997, Mr. Ling led the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on tour to Hong Kong as part of the celebrations marking the return of Hong Kong to China. In May 2000, his debut performance with the St. Louis Symphony and cellist Yo-Yo Ma was featured on the ABC News program 20/20. In 2001, Mr. Ling was invited to conduct the Super World Orchestra, an orchestra comprised of top principals of 30 of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, America, and Asia for performances in Osaka and Tokyo. In 2009 he also conducted the Worldwide Chinese Festival Orchestra in the new National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, an orchestra comprised of the best Chinese musicians who hold major positions with world’s most prestigious orchestras around the world. His performance was telecast by Chinese Central Television (CCTV) and was available for streaming in internet video on their website. The Phoenix Television in China also telecast an hour of profile of his musical journey to the worldwide audience.

Mr. Ling is acclaimed not only for his interpretation of the standard repertoire, but also for the breadth of contemporary music included in his programs. Among the world premieres he has conducted are works by William Bolcom, Paul Chihara, Gordon Chin, Daniel Kellogg, George Perle, Bright Sheng, Alvin Singleton, Augusta Read Thomas, Michael Torke, Mark Anthony Turnage and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, with orchestras such as The Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and San Diego Symphony, among others.

Mr. Ling holds one of the longest continuous relationships with one of the world greatest orchestras, The Cleveland Orchestra. In 2008-09 season, he celebrated his 25th anniversary season with that esteemed ensemble with performances at Severance Hall and Blossom Festival. He first served as Associate Conductor in the 1984-85 season, and then as Resident Conductor for 17 years from 1985-2002 and as Blossom Festival Director for 6 seasons (2000-2005). Since then he has continued to appear as guest conductor of the Orchestra in every season for the last 28 years. In his tenure with the Orchestra, he has conducted over 450 concerts and 600 works including many world premiere performances. Among his distinguished services as Resident Conductor, Mr. Ling led the orchestra’s annual concert in downtown Cleveland, heard by more than a million people since first presented in 1990. His telecast of A Concert in Tribute and Remembrance with the Orchestra for 9/11 received an Emmy® Award. The U.S. House of Representatives presented a Congressional Record of his outstanding achievements in the U.S. Capitol in September 2006. Prior to his Cleveland appointment, Mr. Ling served as Assistant and Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony. Deeply committed to education, Mr. Ling served as founding Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (1986-1993) and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (1981-84). Mr. Ling also demonstrates a strong commitment to working with young musicians and has conducted the orchestras of the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute and the Aspen Music Festival.

His tenure as Music Director of the Florida Orchestra (1988 -2003) was a notable artistic success, both in the Tampa Bay region and beyond. The significant contribution he made to the cultural life of the area was recognized by the mayors of Tampa and St. Petersburg, who presented him with keys to the city in April 2002 and further honored him through a declaration of “Jahja Ling Day” in February 1998, With the Florida Orchestra, Jahja Ling was the first conductor ever invited to appear at the Superbowl (XXV in 1991) with Whitney Houston performing the National Anthem, and the audio and video of that performance earned platinum records. He was named Music Director Laureate in 2002. Additionally, Mr. Ling served as Artistic Director of the Taiwan Philharmonia (National Symphony Orchestra) from 1998-2001 and was named their honorary conductor thereafter.

Mr. Ling’s recordings for Telarc include the Dupré Organ Symphony and the Rheinberger Organ Concerto with soloist Michael Murray and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and two albums of baroque works with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (the first of which, with trumpeter Rolf Smedvig, was nominated for a Grammy® Award). In 1998, Azica Records released a disc with Mr. Ling and the Florida Orchestra entitled Symphonic Dances, featuring Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Strauss’s Rosenkavalier Suite, and Ravel’s Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloé. Mr. Ling and the Florida Orchestra have also recorded Stephen Montague’s From the White Edge of Phrygia for Continuum. His performance with the New York Philharmonic of the world premiere of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Third Symphony is featured in a recent compact disc collection of philharmonic performances entitled American Celebrations. Also, The Cleveland Orchestra has released a special edition compact disc featuring Mr. Ling and the orchestra performing Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony for the rededication of Severance Hall’s Norton Memorial Organ.

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, of Chinese descent and now an American citizen, Mr. Ling began to play the piano at age 4 and studied at the Jakarta School of Music. At age 17, he won the Jakarta Piano Competition and, one year later, was awarded a Rockefeller grant to attend The Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Mieczyslaw Munz and conducting with John Nelson. After completing a master’s degree at Juilliard, he studied orchestral conducting at the Yale School of Music under Otto-Werner Mueller and received a doctor of musical arts degree in 1985. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate by Wooster College in 1993. In the summer of 1980 Mr. Ling was granted the Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood and, two years later, was selected by Mr. Bernstein, who became one of his most influential mentors, to be a Conducting Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. In 1988 Mr. Ling was a recipient of the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductor’s Award, a career development grant made to American conductors of extraordinary promise.

As a pianist, Mr. Ling won a bronze medal at the 1977 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Israel and was awarded a certificate of honor at the following year’s Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. He made his Cleveland Orchestra debut as a pianist in 1987 and has appeared as both soloist and conductor with a number of orchestras in the United States and internationally.

Mr. Ling makes his home in San Diego with his wife, Jessie, and their young daughters Priscilla and Stephanie.

James DePreist, 1936-2013

The Pasadena Symphony is saddened to learn about James DePreist’s sudden passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Ginette, his family, and his friends and colleagues.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we mourn the passing of our dear friend and Artistic Advisor James DePreist.  Maestro DePreist, or Jimmy as he preferred to be called, was not only a consummate musician and trailblazing conductor, but also the most thoughtful, loving and centered human being who touched us all so deeply”, states Paul Jan Zdunek, Chief Executive Officer of the Pasadena Symphony Association, “It is fitting that we remember his life and spirit this weekend with the previously scheduled Symphony No. 4 of Gustav Mahler which ends with an ethereal movement describing ‘The Heavenly Life.’”

During his time in Pasadena, he was beloved in our community and made an enormous impact with everyone he encountered as our Artistic Advisor. DePreist made an indelible impact with his vision and artistic guidance. He was a great friend and his work with orchestras around the world will leave an unforgettable legacy. His was a giant in American music and a true national treasure.

Paul Jan Zdunek, CEO – Pasadena Symphony Association
Diane Rankin, President – Pasadena Symphony Association

Gift Certificates Available

Give the gift of music this holiday season with a Pasadena Symphony and POPS Gift Certificate! Call our Box Office at (626) 793-7172 to order today!

Gift certificates are available in any denomination, and may be used for any of their upcoming concerts.

“We’ve found that people really love giving our gift certificates as holiday presents,” explained Paul Jan Zdunek, CEO of the Pasadena Symphony Association. “It’s a thoughtful present that can be used throughout the new year by the ‘person-who-has-everything’ in your life!”

The Pasadena Symphony performs their Singpoli Classics series in the acoustically superb Ambassador Auditorium from October through April. With extensive credits in the film, television, and recording studio, the musicians of the Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard musicians in the world. The next concert in their Singpoli Classics series will be held on January 12, featuring Grammy Award nominated violinist Caroline Goulding performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto with conductor Tito Muñoz. Also on the program is arguably one of the greatest first symphonies ever written – Brahms Symphony No. 1, alongside Composer-In-Residence Peter Boyer’s work “Apollo,” a sparkling feast of sounds.

The Pasadena POPS Sierra Acura Summer Concert Series, held at the lavishly beautiful LA County Arboretum from June through September, are fun, outdoor events with a festive picnic atmosphere. Under the direction of its new Principal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein, the concerts celebrate America’s favorite popular music, from the Great American Songbook to the definitive orchestral tribute to the Beatles with Classical Mystery Tour, culminating in this season’s special appearance by Broadway legend Bernadette Peters.

The Pasadena Symphony also performs their annual Holiday Candlelight concert to sold-out crowds in Pasadena’s All Saints Church each December.

To order a Pasadena Symphony and POPS gift certificate this holiday season, contact the Box Office at 626.793.7172. Gift certificates may also be purchased in person at any concert or by visiting their administrative offices at 2 North Lake Avenue Suite 1080 in Pasadena.

Pasadena Symphony Presents JPL Chorus in their First Winter Concert

Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory may be best known for its unparalleled scientific endeavors such as landing the Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars, but on Tuesday, December 18, another side of the organization will be on display. The JPL Chorus, founded earlier this year in a partnership with the Pasadena Symphony Association, presents its first annual Evening of Classic Christmas Music at 7:30pm in Monrovia’s Live Oak Vineyard Church.

“This is a group that is very dedicated and working extremely hard to make beautiful music,” explained Donald Brinegar, Director of Choruses with the Pasadena Symphony Association. “They are absolutely filled with the season’s cheer.”

The chorus is comprised of nearly fifty employees coming from a wide variety of roles within JPL, including scientists, engineers, administrators, software, business people, and more. They rehearse each Wednesday afternoon, trading lab coats for chorus folders. The JPL Chorus debuted in May, and performed over the summer with the Pasadena POPS in their highly-acclaimed summer concert series at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

Sharing the stage with the JPL Chorus will be Pasadena City College’s Donald Brinegar Singers. The Donald Brinegar singers have recorded more than ten CDs and received nominations for seven GRAMMY first-ballot awards.

“As our colleagues at JPL must always be precision perfect as well as super-humanly creative, so are our musicians of the Pasadena Symphony and POPS, which makes for an exciting partnership in this city of Arts & Sciences,” noted Paul Jan Zdunek, Chief Executive Officer of the Pasadena Symphony Association.

The evening’s program includes holiday favorites, such as “Joy to the World,” “Lo How a Rose e’re Blooming,” and “Ding Dong Merrily on High,” among other carols. Two of the pieces were arranged by JPL engineers in the chorus: “What Child is This” by Todd Barber and “Love Be Ours” by William M. Owen. There will also be a sing-along section of the concert for the audience to participate.

“The audience is in for a real treat,” continued Brinegar. “There is so much enthusiasm and joyfulness coming from this group.”

Admission to the JPL Chorus Winter Concert is free and does not require reservations. A freewill offering will be taken with all donations will be given to the Monrovia Unity Center; suggested donation is $10. The concert will be held at Live Oak Vineyard Church in Monrovia on Tuesday, December 18 at 7:30pm. For additional information, contact the Pasadena Symphony Association at 626.793.7172 or online at



  • What: Evening of Classic Christmas Music
  • Who: The Pasadena Symphony Association’s JPL Chorus
  • When: Tuesday, December 18 at 7:30pm
  • Where: Live Oak Vineyard Church | 1307 S Myrtle Ave, Monrovia
  • Cost: Free, but a freewill offering will be taken with all donations will be given to the Monrovia Unity Center; suggested donation is $10

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Do you know someone who has not yet experienced the Pasadena Symphony? If they order tickets and mention your name, we will send you a $20 coupon for a future ticket purchase!

Call our Box Office today at (626) 793-7172 today for more details.

This offer valid for any current ticket buyer who refers a new buyer not already in the Pasadena Symphony Association database. New buyers must purchase over the telephone or in-person and mention current ticket buyer’s name during transaction.

Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra to Perform a Free Winter Concert

The Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 41th season with a free annual Winter Concert on Tuesday, December 4th at 7:00pm in Pasadena High School’s auditorium (2925 E Sierra Madre Blvd, Pasadena). The performance features the three educational ensembles of the Pasadena Symphony Association: the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra, String Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble.

The concert is a culmination of weekly rehearsals for the 160 students involved in the ensembles. Under the direction of Music Director Jack Taylor and Conductors Pin Chen and Gary Yearick, the students have developed their skills by playing alongside a variety of dedicated peers from over 40 schools throughout Los Angeles the and San Gabriel Valley.

The students have also benefited from direct exposure to the professional conductors who work with the Pasadena Symphony. Mei-Ann Chen, director of the Chicago Sinfonietta and Memphis Symphony, Edwin Outwater, Music Director of Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and Grant Cooper, director of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, have all spent rehearsals with the students exposing them to professional rehearsal and performance techniques.

Auditions for the ensembles of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra are held each year in May, and are open to students entering grades 6 through 9. The ensembles perform multiple concerts throughout the year and travel for retreats and performance tours.

Entrance to the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Winter Concert on Tuesday, December 4 at 7:00pm is free. For details and more information, visit or call 626.793.7172.

Michael Feinstein Named Principal Pops Conductor of Pasadena POPS

Marvin Hamlisch’s orchestral legacy of promoting The Great American Songbook continues in the expert hands of Michael Feinstein

Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of The Great American Songbook,” is the newly appointed Principal Pops Conductor of the Pasadena POPS.  In addition to his recording and concert career, Michael is an accomplished archivist and television and radio host with his own nationally-broadcast series on PBS and NPR. He has both the deep musical knowledge and charisma to be the face of a prominent POPS orchestra. Feinstein recently performed with the Pasadena POPS at the Los Angeles County Arboretum to a record breaking crowd on July 21st; it was Marvin Hamlisch’s last concert prior to his sudden passing on August 6, 2012.

The Pasadena POPS has enjoyed unprecedented successes under Hamlisch’s leadership – distinctive concerts of pure entertainment delivered with humor and joy to loyal audiences resulting in historic attendance and critical acclaim. “Michael Feinstein is simply the right fit, having already charmed capacity crowds at the Arboretum,” says Paul Jan Zdunek, CEO, adding, “Not only is he a consummate musician, engaging communicator and master entertainer, his lifetime dedication to The Great American Songbook and countless national accomplishments uniquely positions him to build on Marvin’s legacy and lead the Pasadena POPS to new levels of artistic success.”

“To be connected with the Pasadena Pops is simply a great honor, and thrilling as well. It was the passing of our irreplaceable Marvin Hamlisch that has given me the desire to conduct, and every step of the way I will have him on my mind and in my heart,” says Michael Feinstein, adding, “It was because of Marvin that I wish to do this because he had a great love for the Pasadena POPS and my experience with everybody last month was so positive on every level.”

“While we are still deeply saddened by the untimely passing of our beloved friend and leader Marvin Hamlisch, we take great comfort in appointing Michael Feinstein to the Marvin Hamlisch Chair as our new Principal Pops Conductor,” states Melinda Shea, President of the Board, “Marvin’s wife, my dear friend Terre, is also so delighted that Marvin will be forever connected to the Pasadena POPS through the naming of the Marvin Hamlisch Chair.”

The summer 2012 season at the Los Angeles Country Arboretum continues as scheduled this Saturday with La Dolce Vita and closes on September 8 with Gershwin On The Green. Season subscriptions to the Pasadena POPS Summer 2013 season under the direction of Michael Feinstein are on sale now. 2013 Concert dates are June 8, June 29, July 13, August 10 and September 7. For more information visit

Marvin Hamlisch Chair

As Principal Pops Conductor, Marvin Hamlisch propelled the Pasadena POPS into a new and successful era, guided by his own contributions to The Great American Songbook and carrying on the legacies of Richard Rodgers and George Gershwin. He was a giant in American music, a true national treasure and dear friend whose music leaves a cherished legacy to the entire world.

To honor his life and work, the Pasadena POPS has created the Marvin Hamlisch Chair, an operating fund that will support the legacy of Marvin Hamlisch and the unique programming he developed for the Pasadena POPS.

A colleague and friend of Marvin Hamlisch, the Pasadena POPS has appointed Michael Feinstein to serve as the first Principal Pops Conductor to hold this newly created Chair.

Gifts to the Marvin Hamlisch Chair fund may be made in honor or memory of a friend or family member or simply to celebrate Marvin Hamlisch’s musical and personal contributions to the Pasadena POPS and the world of music.

About Michael Feinstein

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.

Michael Feinstein performing with the Pasadena POPS on July 21, 2012

Michael Feinstein and Marvin Hamlisch together with the Pasadena POPS on July 21, 2012

Marvin Hamlisch, 1944-2012

The Pasadena Symphony and POPS are both shocked and devastated to learn about the sudden passing of Marvin Hamlisch. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Terre, his family, and his friends and colleagues.

During his time in Pasadena, he was beloved in our community and made an enormous impact with everyone he encountered. He brought a tireless humor and enthusiasm to the stage, and was loved by our audience, musicians, and staff. Marvin propelled the Pasadena POPS into a new and successful era, guided by his contributions to the Great American Songbook carrying on the legacies of Richard Rogers and George Gershwin. His was a giant in American music and a true national treasure.

Marvin was here when we needed him with his vision and artistic guidance. He was a great friend and his music leaves an unforgettable legacy to the world. Marvin was a remarkable person and an incredible talent who will be dearly missed.

Paul Jan Zdunek, CEO – Pasadena Symphony Association
Melinda Shea, President – Pasadena Symphony Association

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