Award Winner, Annelle K. Gregory Performs Stravinsky Violin Concerto in D
Published : Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | 10:56 AM
Pasadena Community Orchestra (PCO) performs Adam’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Elgar’s Nimrod from Enigma Variations, Mozart’s Impresario Overture, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, as well as Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D with Young Artist Competition Winner, Annelle K. Gregory, under the baton of Music Director Beth Pflueger on Friday, May 10, 2019, 8:00 p.m. In the sanctuary of First Church of the Nazarene, 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena (just west of Michillinda Avenue). Ample free parking, wheelchair accessible.
Young Artist Competition – Each year since 1987, the Pasadena Community Orchestra holds a competition to identify, assist and feature talented young musicians in the furtherance of their musical career and education. This project is funded (in part) by a grant from City of Pasadena, Arts & Culture Commission.
Annelle K. Gregory – American violinist Annelle Kazumi Gregory is a laureate of international competitions, concert soloist, and recording artist. She is 1st Prize & Audience Choice Award winner of the 2017 National Sphinx Competition and a Laureate of the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition. Annelle’s love of Russian music has led her to discover and revive forgotten works of great Russian composers, presenting these works in concert and in recordings. In 2017 she released the first-ever CD of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s complete violin/piano works, recorded with Russian pianist Alexander Sinchuk (Bridge Records). The CD has received international acclaim and aired on radio stations across the U.S. and Europe. Her teachers have included Michael & Irina Tseitlin and Glenn Dicterow. She was awarded the 2017 Isaac Stern Award and the 2014 Glenn Dicterow Music Scholarship and has received scholarships from the Musical Merit Foundation and the League of Allied Arts. Other awards include 1st Prizes in the 2017 “Grand Prize Virtuoso” International Competition, the 2017 NANM National Strings Competition, the 2016 American Protégé International Concerto Competition, and the 2017 Beverly Hills National Auditions. She was a featured soloist for the 2018 International Easter Festival (Kiev Conservatory), the 2017-18 Sphinx Virtuosi National Tours, the 2016 iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates, and in 2013 opened for the Moscow Ballet, performing a solo with the principal ballerina. In addition to violin, Annelle also performs on viola and has played piano, drum-set, guitar, and bass guitar and performed tap, jazz, flamenco, and Japanese classical dance. In her spare time, she enjoys reading Russian classics, cooking, and playing with her two cats.
Originally written in 1931 in collaboration with Polish-born violinist Samuel Dushkin, Igor Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D reinvents what a soloist concerto is. Stravinsky’s lack of experience composing for the violin resulted in a truly original work like no other. The piece combines the solo violin with other instruments and omits any hint of a flashy cadenza. We are pleased to announce that Annelle K. Gregory will be performing this piece with PCO on Friday, May 10th, 2019. Completed in 1986, John Adam’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine is a post-minimalism, polyrhythmic piece scored for a large symphonic orchestra. Adams once stated that he “seeks to enrich the experience of perceiving the way that time is divided” with this work. It begins with a pulsing woodblock which continues throughout, while the rest of the orchestra progresses into a fast-paced and energetic joy ride in a Lamborghini.
In a program note for Elgar’s Nimrod from Enigma Variations 1911 performance, Elgar wrote: “This work, commenced in a spirit of humour & continued in deep seriousness, contains sketches of the composer’s friends. It may be understood that these personages comment or reflect on the original theme & each one attempts a solution of the Enigma, for so the theme is called.” The name Nimrod refers to a “mighty hunter”, in reference to Elgar’s close friend and music publisher, Augustus J. Jaeger.
Mozart referred to his Impresario Overture as “comedy with music”. It was written as a commission for a musical competition created by Hapsburg Emperor Joseph II who wanted to showcase his two theatrical composers (Italian vs. German). The overture introduces the comedy opera that follows with swift opening fanfares made up of horns, trumpets, timpani and racing violins.
Russian composer Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky wrote the 1812 Overture in 1880. It was a piece that he was commissioned to write in order to commemorate the successful Russian defense against Napoleon’s invading Grande Armée in 1812. Woven through with Russian folk melodies and the French anthem “La Marseillaise,” it ends in a rousing celebration of Russia’s victory with “God Save the Tsar.” It has stood the test of time and is often used to celebrate the Fourth of July in America.
Bethany Pflueger – A native of central Ohio, Bethany Pflueger is an active flutist, conductor and Department Chair of the Music Department at Glendale Community College. She serves as principal flutist of the Peninsula symphony’s and performs regularly as a freelance player with regional orchestras and chamber music ensembles. Ms. Pflueger is a 2005 Grammy Award winner for her recorded piccolo performance with the Southwest Chamber Music Ensemble. She joined PCO as Music Director in July 2013.
About Pasadena Community Orchestra
The musicians of the Pasadena Community Orchestra graciously donate their services for every concert. One of the only Los Angeles area orchestras to provide fine music to the public for free, PCO is supported through generous benefactor sponsorship and run by board members and volunteers. Audience members may meet the Music Director and other musicians at a reception following the concert. Admission is free, and no reservations are necessary. Concerts are made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, LA County Arts Commission, and Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. www.pcomusic.org