September 4, 2013 |
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.
February 11, 2013 |
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]
February 10, 2013 |
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 |
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.
February 8, 2013 |
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.
January 14, 2013 |
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.