Pasadena Artistic Director Leads Grammy-Winning Musicians Out from the Shadows and onto Center Stage

Published : Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 6:06 AM

Pittance performers (L to R): Summer Hassan, Lisa Sutton, Ana Landauer, John Walz, Paul Floyd, Shawn Mann

Accomplished violinist and Pasadena resident Lisa Sutton will lead Grammy-winning musicians out from the depths of the dark orchestra pits and onto center stage at local venues in a season of chamber concerts that will give audiences an intimate world class music experience like never before.

The extraordinary musicians who are most commonly heard, but never seen, performing with the famous Los Angeles Opera Orchestra will show their faces once and for all in a newly announced series of special concerts.

“By performing together in smaller groups and smaller venues we endeavor to personalize opera, allowing audiences a more intimate view of the extraordinary resident artists who are the heart and soul of the Los Angeles Opera,” said Artistic Director of Pittance Chamber Music Lisa Sutton who’s leading the effort for the concert series.

Sutton founded Pittance Chamber Music in 2013 with a goal to shine the spotlight on the talented musicians that she describes as “invisible” to many by bringing them from the pit to the stage to perform in small ensembles, hence the name Pittance.

James Conlon

“A lot of the work we do at the opera informs our concerts the way we approach music. It makes us a little unique in that respect. We have a huge pool of artists. We can pretty much program almost anything we want,” said Sutton who is also the Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra.

The Pittance Chamber group ensembles are small, according to Sutton, who said they range from anywhere between two and seven members.

The upcoming event that will present Mozart’s Serenade in B flat, also known as the “Gran Partita”, will feature a larger thirteen member ensemble at L.A’s Zipper Hall.

The concert will be conducted by James Conlon who is the Music Director of Los Angeles Opera and Principal Conductor of the Italian RAI National Symphony Orchestra.

“We are thrilled and honored to have Maestro Conlon with us for this concert, which, by the way, is taking place between two performances of

In the pit (L to R) Jennifer Johnson, Leslie Reed, Greg Goodall, Sarah Beck On the stage (L to R) Jessica Guideri, Jeremy Frank, Omar Crook, Rebecca Tomlinson, Helene Quintana, Heather Clark (flutist)

Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio at the Los Angeles Opera. For many years we have been performing Mozart operas together, and I have no doubt our “Gran Partita” will be full of the lyricism, drama and humor typical of past collaborations with James. We are so looking forward to this,” said Sutton.

Also on the program is Mendelssohn’s ever-popular Octet for Strings in E flat, Op. 20. which is expected to bring an impressive string section front and center for the audience.

“It’s going to be the winds versus the strings at this concert,” said Sutton about the ensemble of eight string players.

Pittance Chamber Music recently added voices from the Los Angeles Opera Chorus and the Domingo Colburn Stein Young Artists Program to further elevate the experience, according to their website.

“Our goal is to explore the chamber music repertoire, and to present our audiences with a variety of unique mixed ensembles unlikely to be heard anywhere else in one program,” said Sutton.

In addition to Sutton who will be performing in the concert, is Laura Stoutenborough, clarinetist, who also resides in Pasadena and teaches at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.

Pittance Chamber Music concerts are held all at various venues in L.A. County and include the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and the Pasadena Presbyterian Church.

The upcoming concert that will present Mozart Serenade No. 10 in B flat (“Gran Partita”) and Mendelssohn Octet in E flat, Op. 20 is scheduled for Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. at the Colbourn School’s Zipper Hall located at 200 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA.

Artists will include Leslie Reed and Jennifer Johnson, Oboe; Stuart Clark, Laura Stoutenborough, Donald Foster and Steven Piazza, clarinet and basset horn; William May and William Wood, bassoon; Steven Becknell, Kristi Morrell, Nathan Campbell and TBA, horn; David Young, double bass; Roberto Cani, Jessica Guideri, Ana Landauer and Lisa Sutton, violin; Brian Dembow and Shawn Mann, viola; John Walz and Dane Little, cello.

For more information visit http://pittancechambermusic.org.

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