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ENTERTAINMENT
October 26, 2011
Pasadena Symphony Who: Mei-Ann Chen, conductor and James Ehnes, violin Where: Ambassador Auditorium, 131 S. St. John Ave., Pasadena When: 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday Tickets: $35 to $100 Information: (626) 793-7172; PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Pasadena has changed little over the past half-century. What's new, of course, is Old Pasadena. But much of the city remains recognizably old Pasadena. That has certainly been true of the Pasadena Symphony as a bastion of tradition. It was founded in 1928, and between 1936 and 2010 it had only three music directors. All arrived having had distinguished careers and remained for a long time. Even the orchestra's home throughout those years, the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, maintained its old-Pasadena feel.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2013 | By David Ng
The Pasadena Symphony said Friday that it has named the British-born conductor David Lockington as its new music director. Lockington, the music director of the Grand Rapids Symphony in Michigan, will start his new job next season. This will be Pasadena Symphony's first music director since the abrupt departure in 2010 of Jorge Mester, who led the group for nearly 25 years. In the interim, the orchestra has relied on guest conductors. The symphony also is naming Nicholas McGegan, a Baroque specialist who is also from Britain, as the principal guest conductor of the orchestra.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 2, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
David Lockington will debut Saturday as the Pasadena Symphony's music director, attended by the usual glowing sentiments that come with arrivals and beginnings. But in a 30-year career as a conductor that has been full of comings and goings crisscrossing the United States, it's noteworthy that some of the London-raised Lockington's biggest raves have come as he took a final bow and walked out the door. He's taking over the Pasadena Symphony after what amounted to 21/2 years of serial dating by the orchestra as it brought in a series of guest conductors after a messy parting with longtime music director Jorge Mester in mid-2010.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 2013 | By Richard S. Ginell
Known far and wide as a baroque and classical master, Nicholas McGegan instead came to Ambassador Auditorium on Saturday afternoon to try his hand at Mahler for the first time with the Pasadena Symphony. Don't be too surprised. Fellow “specialist” Roger Norrington also conducts Mahler. Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts Bruckner. Christopher Hogwood does Stravinsky. They refuse to be confined to their pigeonholes, so why should McGegan? In any case, Mahler's Symphony No. 4 was the perfect choice for McGegan.  It is the lightest, most chamber-like of the 10 symphonies and also the most suited for his cheerful musical personality.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 2012 | By Tim Page
The Pasadena Symphony's Saturday afternoon concert at the Ambassador Auditorium afforded many pleasures: soulful playing by the orchestra itself; the skilled, sustained and often inspired conducting of Michael Stern (a late substitute for the symphony's music director, James DePreist, who is recovering from heart surgery), and the enveloping acoustics of a fine, mid-sized concert hall.    Still, my guess is that many in the audience came specifically to hear the "Four Last Songs" of Richard Strauss, as sung by Christine Brewer.
NEWS
March 3, 1988
The Pasadena Symphony is seeking a new location for its administrative offices. The symphony has been using space in the Pasadena Civic Center at a nominal charge. But because of new requirements at the center, the space will no longer be available. "We have been delighted to accommodate the Pasadena Symphony," said Bob Holden, executive director of the Pasadena Center Operating Co. "Now, however, we find our situation changing.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 19, 1987 | ALBERT GOLDBERG
With more daring than judgment, the Pasadena Symphony, conducted by Jorge Mester, revived Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8 in Pasadena Civic Auditorium Saturday night. Revived may not be quite the word; the orchestra had not played the work before. Not without reason is the Eighth one of the most neglected of Shostakovich's 15 symphonies.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 2013 | By Richard S. Ginell
Nicholas McGegan, the effervescent maven of 18th century music, has been making a point to play against type in Southern California this year -  a Mahler Fourth Symphony in Pasadena in February, an all-Mendelssohn program at the Hollywood Bowl last month. There will presumably be many such excursions to come after he becomes the Pasadena Symphony's principal guest conductor this fall. Yet in his return to the Bowl Tuesday night with a chamber-sized edition of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, McGegan went back to his usual turf with nothing but Mozart in the first half and relatively early Beethoven in the second.  It was not an optimum outing for this conductor at first.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 2013 | By David Pagel
Upstairs at L.A. Louver, “Frederick Hammersley: The Computer Drawings, 1969” takes visitors back to a moment when the great American painter was not yet a great American painter. In fact, Hammersley (1919-2009) was stumped. He had just moved from Los Angeles to Albuquerque for a teaching job and, as he says in the valuable little catalog that accompanies the awesome little exhibition, “This happened to coincide with a time in which I had painted myself out, so I welcomed this new experience [of taking a computer class]
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 2013 | By Richard S. Ginell
Known far and wide as a baroque and classical master, Nicholas McGegan instead came to Ambassador Auditorium on Saturday afternoon to try his hand at Mahler for the first time with the Pasadena Symphony. Don't be too surprised. Fellow “specialist” Roger Norrington also conducts Mahler. Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts Bruckner. Christopher Hogwood does Stravinsky. They refuse to be confined to their pigeonholes, so why should McGegan? In any case, Mahler's Symphony No. 4 was the perfect choice for McGegan.  It is the lightest, most chamber-like of the 10 symphonies and also the most suited for his cheerful musical personality.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 8, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
James DePreist, artistic advisor to the Pasadena Symphony and Pops and one of the few African American conductors to lead major orchestras in the United States and abroad, died Friday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 76. The cause was complications of a heart attack he had last spring, said his manager, Jason Bagdade. DePreist overcame polio in his 20s to pursue a conducting career that took him to stages from Sweden to Japan over four decades. His longest and most distinguished tenure was with the Oregon Symphony, where he was music director from 1980 to 2003, a period when that orchestra gained national and international renown.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2013 | By Sherry Stern
James DePreist, the conductor and educator who had been artistic advisor for  Pasadena Symphony and Pops since 2010, died on Friday at 76. DePreist died at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., of complications from a heart attack he suffered last spring. In 2005, DePreist received America's highest artistic honor, the National Medal of Arts, from President George W. Bush. He was a nephew of the great contralto Marian Anderson. PHOTOS: Arts & culture by The Times DePreist, who contracted polio in 1962, conducted from a wheelchair.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 14, 2013 | By Richard S. Ginell
The beat goes on at the Pasadena Symphony as the venerable orchestra continues to search for a new music director, evidently in no particular hurry since the post became vacant in May 2010. The New York City-born Tito Munoz, 29, is one of the contenders; apparently management and the players liked what they saw in 2011 and invited him back for a second look Saturday at Ambassador Auditorium. Last time, Munoz was impressively expressive in Elgar's “Enigma Variations”; this time he again did his best work of the afternoon in the large-scale post-intermission offering, Brahms' Symphony No. 1. His beat was clear and strong, his conception thick in texture yet mobile, moving along with solid rhythm and a good sense of how the crucial climaxes should be shaped.  In the Sibelius Violin Concerto, guest violinist Caroline Goulding had the talent and technique to surmount whatever Sibelius threw in her path.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
There is more bad news in orchestra land. On Friday night the Spokane Symphony went on strike. Members of the Minnesota Orchestra in Minneapolis and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra continue to man picket lines. All this is on top of the recent budget woes and musician disharmony in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Indianapolis that have begun to define orchestral life. Could this finally be the end of the line for the history of the greatest noise-making machine in history?
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