November 4, 2013 |
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.
November 2, 2013 |
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.
October 25, 2013 |
The temptation for an orchestra to celebrate the opening of a concert hall by commissioning a major new work is obvious and irresistible. It's also, more often than not, a bad idea. Preparing a premiere is hard enough under normal circumstances. There is never enough rehearsal time, and composers frequently need to make changes once they hear their music in the flesh. A new acoustic environment will only confuse the instrumental matters. On top of that, the logistics of concert hall openings - the endless last-minute construction details and typical gala arrangement - can be crazy-making all by themselves.
September 14, 2013 |
Carl St. Clair, coming up on 25 seasons as music director of the Pacific Symphony, is headed to Costa Rica -- again. St. Clair is taking a one-year appointment as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica starting in 2014. Over the last three years, he's guest-conducted the NSO three times. During his upcoming tenure there - which has him conducting six concerts as well as tours throughout the country -- he'll continue to man his post at the Pacific Symphony for the 2014-2015 season.
September 6, 2013 |
The novelty at the Hollywood Bowl Thursday night was not the dance. Nor was it Diavolo. Curious as it may seem for so vast a venue, the Bowl once hosted ballet on a regular basis. And in recent years, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has revived the idea of choreography in the Cahuenga Pass, commissioning Diavolo, the acrobatic local dance company, to produce new dances to scores by Esa-Pekka Salonen and John Adams. On Thursday, Diavolo's artistic director Jacques Heim turned to Philip Glass for "Fluid Infinities.
August 21, 2013 |
This post has been updated. See note below for details. The Pacific Symphony, like other orchestras around the world, is always on the prowl for new ways to bring younger listeners into the fold, and this week the Orange County-based organization is trying perhaps its most ambitious gambit to date with the four-day Wavelength Festival in Costa Mesa. From Thursday through Sunday, the orchestra will host a broad spectrum of musicians from beyond its usual world of Mozart, Beethoven, Stravinsky and Copland, with concerts at the Pacific Amphitheatre, starting with the blues, rock, folk and pop of Bonnie Raitt and Keb' Mo'. That will be followed Friday by an indie rock night with the Airborne Toxic Event, then an electronic dance music program Saturday curated by KCRW-FM music director Jason Bentley with British producer Bonobo and mash-up expert DJ Z-Trip.