Published : Wednesday, February 28, 2018 | 5:22 PM
The Pasadena Symphony continues its 90th season on Saturday, March 24th with Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini at Ambassador Auditorium with performances at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Music Director David Lockington will lead this mesmerizing program filled with mystery and intrigue, opening with Alexander Miller’s contemporary puzzle overture Scherzo Crypto, and closing with an even more cryptic work – the Enigma Variations of Elgar. The program centers around a classic Rachmaninoff melody, with his virtuosic Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini performed by brilliant pianist Andrew von Oeyen.
Winner of the prestigious Gilmore Award, Von Oeyen promises a spellbinding performance of Rachmaninoff’s romantic blockbuster, having established himself as one of the most captivating pianists of his generation. Since his debut at age 16 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, von Oeyen has been hailed worldwide for his brilliant technique, elegant interpretations and balanced artistry.
To learn more about von Oeyen and the concert’s themed program, arrive early for Insights, a pre-concert discussion with Music Director David Lockington that begins one hour prior to curtain. The Pasadena Symphony provides a socially vibrant experience specially designed for the music lover, the social butterfly or a date night out, and the inner epicurean in us all. The luxurious Symphony Lounge provides yet another addition to the delightful and elegant concert experience the Pasadena Symphony offers. A posh setting at Ambassador Auditorium’s beautiful outdoor plaza, audiences enjoy uniquely prepared menus for both lunch and dinner at each concert from Claud &Co, fine wines by Michero Family Wines, plus music before the concert and during intermission.
All concerts are held at Ambassador Auditorium, 131 South St. John Ave, Pasadena, with both matinee and evening performances at 2pm and 8pm. Single tickets start at $35 and may be purchased online at www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org or by calling (626) 793-7172. A limited number of tickets will be available at the box office on the day of the concert.
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.
About the Artists
David Lockington began his career as a cellist and was the Principal with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for two years. After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Cambridge where he was a choral scholar, Mr. Lockington came to the United States on a scholarship to Yale University where he received his Master’s Degree in cello performance and studied conducting with Otto Werner Mueller. He was a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and served as assistant principal cellist with the Denver Symphony Orchestra for three years before turning to conducting. Over the past thirty years, David Lockington has developed an impressive conducting career in the United States. A native of Great Britain, he served as the Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony from January 1999 to May 2015, and is currently the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate. He has held the position of Music Director with the Modesto Symphony since May 2007 and in March 2013, Mr. Lockington was appointed Music Director of the Pasadena Symphony. He has a close relationship with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain, where he was the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor from 2012 through 2016, and in the 15/16 season was named one of three Artistic Partners with the Northwest Sinfonietta in Tacoma, Washington.
In addition to his current posts, since his arrival to the United States in 1978 Mr. Lockington has held positions with several other American orchestras, including serving as Assistant Conductor of the Denver Symphony Orchestra and Opera Colorado, and Assistant and Associate Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In May 1993 he accepted the position of Music Director of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, assumed the title of Music Director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in September 1995 and was Music Director of the Long Island Philharmonic for the 96/97 through 99/2000 seasons.
Mr. Lockington’s guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Saint Louis, Houston, Detroit, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, Oregon and Phoenix symphonies; the Rochester and Louisiana Philharmonics; and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall. Internationally, he has conducted the Northern Sinfonia in Great Britain, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra in Beijing and Taiwan,and led the English Chamber Orchestra on a tour in Asia.
Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the New Jersey, Indianapolis, Utah, Pacific, Colorado, Nashville, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Stamford, Tucson and Kansas City symphonies, the Florida and Louisville Orchestras, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and the Buffalo, Calgary and Oklahoma Philharmonics. Mr. Lockington’s summer festival activities include appearances at the Grand Teton, Colorado Music, Interlochen, Chautauqua and Eastern Music festivals.
David Lockington began his career as a cellist and was the Principal with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for two years. After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Cambridge where he was a choral scholar, Mr. Lockington came to the United States on a scholarship to Yale University where he received his Master’s Degree in cello performance and studied conducting with Otto Werner Mueller. He was a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and served as assistant principal cellist with the Denver Symphony Orchestra for three years before turning to conducting.
Andrew Von Oeyen
Hailed worldwide for his elegant and insightful interpretations, balanced artistry and brilliant technique, Andrew von Oeyen has established himself as one of the most captivating pianists of his generation.
Since his debut at age 16 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mr. von Oeyen has excelled in a broad spectrum of concerto repertoire — Bartok, Barber, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Fauré, Ligeti, Liszt, Gershwin, Grieg, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Schumann, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky — with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Utah Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Marseille, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic and Slovak Philharmonic. As both soloist and conductor he has led concerti and orchestral works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and Kurt Weill. On July 4, 2009, von Oeyen performed at the U.S. Capitol with the National Symphony in “A Capitol Fourth,” reaching millions worldwide in the multi-award-winning PBS live telecast.
Mr. von Oeyen’s 2016/2017 engagements include, among others, a European and North American tour with the Prague Philharmonia (including performances as both soloist and conductor), appearances with the Vancouver Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra and the orchestras of Grand Rapids, Oklahoma City, Wichita and Boise. He will also appear in recital in San Francisco and throughout Europe. In 2018 he will make his debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Fenice in Venice.
In June 2016 Mr. von Oeyen signed an exclusive recording contract with Warner Classics. His debut album under the label will be released in January 2017 and will include works for piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Gershwin. In 2013 Mr. von Oeyen released a critically acclaimed album of Debussy and Stravinsky piano works under the Delos Label (including two pieces written for him by composer, David Newman), following his 2011 award-winning album of Liszt works under the same label. 2013 also saw the release of the Chopin-Debussy-Ravel digital album “Andrew von Oeyen: Live in Recital.”
Mr. von Oeyen, of German and Dutch origin, was born in the U.S. He began his piano studies at age 5 and made his solo orchestral debut at age 10. An alumnus of Columbia University and graduate of The Juilliard School, where his principal teachers were Herbert Stessin and Jerome Lowenthal, he has also worked with Alfred Brendel and Leon Fleisher. He won the prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award in 1999 and also took First Prize in the Leni Fe Bland Foundation National Piano Competition in 2001. Mr. von Oeyen lives in Paris and Los Angeles.