Published : Thursday, February 16, 2017 | 12:05 PM
Principal Guest Conductor Nicholas McGegan returns to lead the Pasadena Symphony at Ambassador Auditorium on Saturday March 18th with a European tour of musical masterpieces featuring Felix Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony, inspired by the picturesque and romantic landscapes of the north along with Schubert’s Overture in the Italian Style. Virtuoso violinist Rachel Barton Pine will transport you to the exotic with Mozart’s Turkish Violin Concerto No. 5 with performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The Washington Post describes Rachel Barton Pine as “An exciting, boundary-defying performer – Pine displays a power and confidence that puts her in the top echelon,” This concert marks Pine’s debut with the Pasadena Symphony. Heralded as a leading interpreter of the great classical masterworks, international concert violinist Rachel thrills audiences with her dazzling technique, lustrous tone and emotional honesty. With an infectious joy in music-making and a passion for connecting historical research to performance, Pine transforms audiences’ experiences of classical music. Her informed historical approach to musical interpretations makes a perfect pairing with Nicholas McGegan’s brand as the definitive interpreter of the Baroque and Classical style.
The Pasadena Symphony provides a quintessential experience combining great music with a festive social atmosphere. To learn more about the music join us for Insights – a free pre-concert dialogue with Nicholas McGegan, which begins one hour prior to each performance. Patrons who plan to arrive early can also enjoy a drink or a dinner in the lively Sierra Auto Symphony Lounge, yet another addition to the carefree and elegant concert experience the Pasadena Symphony offers. A posh setting at Ambassador Auditorium’s beautiful outdoor plaza, the lounge offers uniquely prepared menus from Claud &Co for both lunch and dinner, a full bar and fine wines by Michero Family Wines, plus music before the concert and during intermission.
All Symphony Classics concerts take place at Ambassador Auditorium, 131 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena with matinee and evening performances at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Subscription packages start at $99; regular individually priced tickets start at $35 and may be purchased online at pasadenasymphony-pops.org or by calling (626) 793-7172.
About the Artists
Rachel Barton Pine
Heralded as a leading interpreter of the great classical masterworks, international concert violinist Rachel Barton Pine thrills audiences with her dazzling technique, lustrous tone and emotional honesty. With an infectious joy in music-making and a passion for connecting historical research to performance, Pine transforms audiences’ experiences of classical music.
During the 2015-16 season, Pine will perform concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch, Dvorak, Fairouz, Mozart, Sibelius and Vivaldi, with orchestras including the Santa Rosa Symphony, the New Mexico Philharmonic, and the Flagstaff, Windsor, and Gainesville Symphony Orchestras. She will continue her recital tour of the Six Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin in Gainesville, FL and Washington, D.C.
In April, 2016 Avie Records will release Pine’s performance of J.S. Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin. Pine recently celebrated the release of her debut album on Avie: Mozart: Complete Violin Concerto, Sinfonia Concertante, with conductor Sir Neville Marriner and The Academy of St Martin in the Fields. In September 2015 Cedille Records releases her recording of Vivaldi: The Complete Viola D’Amore Concertos with Ars Antigua.
This season a high-definition, life size video of Pine playing and being interviewed will be the culminating installation of “Stradivarius: Origins and Legacy of the Greatest Violin Maker,” a new exhibit of treasures made by master violin makers including Andrea Amati, Guarneri del Gesù, and Antonio Stradivari debuting at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ.
Pine has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony; the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic; and the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie. Her past festival appearances have included Marlboro, Wolf Trap, Vail, Ravinia, Davos, and Salzburg.
She has worked with such renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf, Neeme Järvi and Marin Alsop, and with such leading artists as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Christopher O’Riley, and Mark O’Connor. She has collaborated with many contemporary composers including Augusta Read Thomas, John Corigliano, José Serebrier, and Mohammed Fairouz.
Pine has a prolific discography of 30 CDs on the Avie, Cedille, Warner Classics, and Dorian labels. Pine began an exploration of beloved violin concertos and the concertos that inspired them with Brahms and Joachim Violin Concertos, recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Carlos Kalmar. Her Beethoven & Clement Violin Concertos, recorded with The Royal Philharmonic and conducted by José Serebrier, offered the world premiere recording of Clement’s D Major Violin Concerto. Her recording of Violin Lullabies, with pianist Matthew Hagle, debuted at number one on the Billboard classical chart.
She writes her own cadenzas to many of the works she performs, including for the Beethoven and Mozart concertos. In 2009, Carl Fischer published The Rachel Barton Pine Collection, a collection of original compositions, arrangements, cadenzas, and editions penned or arranged by Pine, which made her the only living artist and first woman to join great musicians like Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz in Carl Fischer’s Masters Collection series.
Pine holds prizes from several of the world’s leading competitions, including a gold medal at the 1992 J.S. Bach International Violin Competition in Leipzig, Germany.
Her Rachel Barton Pine Foundation assists young artists through various projects, including the Instrument Loan Program, Grants for Education and Career, Global HeartStrings (supporting musicians in developing countries), and a curricular series in development with the University of Michigan: Music by Black Composers.
Pine performs on the Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu (Cremona 1742), known as the “ex-Bazzini, ex-Soldat” on lifetime loan from her anonymous patron. rachelbartonpine.com
Principal Guest Conductor
As he embarks on his fourth decade on the podium, Nicholas McGegan — long hailed as “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (The Independent) and “an expert in 18th-century style” (The New Yorker) — is recognized for his probing and revelatory explorations of music of all periods. In 2015 he begins his 30th year as music director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and continues as Principal Guest Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony.
Best known as a baroque and classical specialist, McGegan’s approach— intelligent, infused with joy and never dogmatic — has led to appearances with many of the world’s major orchestras. At home in opera houses, McGegan shone new light on close to twenty Handel operas as the Artistic Director and conductor at the Göttingen Handel Festival for 20 years (1991-2001) and the Mozart canon as Principal Guest Conductor at Scottish Opera in the 1990s.
His 15/16 season features appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (with which he has appeared annually for 20 years), St. Louis, BBC Scottish, RTÉ National, and New Zealand Symphonies; the Cleveland Orchestra/Blossom Music Festival; the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Caramoor and Carnegie Hall, and the Juilliard School. Under McGegan this season, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra performs Scarlatti’s La gloria di primavera at Carnegie Hall and throughout California’s Orange County.
McGegan’s extensive discography features eight releases on Philharmonia Baroque’s label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions (PBP) including the 2011 GRAMMY® Award-nominated recording of Haydn Symphonies nos. 88, 101, and 104.
English-born Nicholas McGegan was educated at Cambridge and Oxford. He was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to music overseas.” Most recently, McGegan was invited to join the board of Early Music America. Other awards include the Halle Handel Prize; the Order of Merit of the State of Lower Saxony (Germany); the Medal of Honour of the City of Göttingen, and a declaration of Nicholas McGegan Day, by the Mayor of San Francisco in recognition of his work with Philharmonia Baroque. In 2013, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Music.
Visit Nicholas McGegan on the web at www.nicholasmcgegan.com.
About the Pasadena Symphony Association
Recent Acclaim for the Pasadena Symphony and POPS
“The Pasadena Symphony signals a new direction…teeming with vitality…dripping with opulent, sexy emotion.” Los Angeles Times.
“…full of pulsating energy from first note to last… the strings were lushly resonant, the wind principals were at the top of their games, and the brass rang out with gleaming vigor.” –Pasadena Star News.
Formed in 1928, the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Hollywood’s most talented, sought after musicians. With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.
The Pasadena Symphony and POPS performs in two of the most extraordinary venues in the United States: Ambassador Auditorium, known as the Carnegie Hall of the West, and the luxuriant Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Internationally recognized, Grammy-nominated conductor, David Lockington, serves as the Pasadena Symphony Association’s Music Director, with performance-practice specialist Nicholas McGegan serving as Principal Guest Conductor. The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, is the Principal Pops Conductor, who succeeded Marvin Hamlisch in the newly created Marvin Hamlisch Chair.
A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region for over five decades through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) comprised of five performing ensembles, with over 250 gifted 4th-12th grade students from more than 50 schools all over the Southern California region. The PYSO Symphony often performs on the popular television show GLEE.
The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.