By Robert D. Thomas
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
NOTE: This was going to be my column in the above newspapers for tomorrow. It got waylaid by the Los Angeles Opera (LINK) and Hollywood Bowl (LINK) announcements that I posted on my Blog earlier. My column, which will be in tomorrow's print editions, is now online on the Star-News Web site HERE.
Valentine’s Day always seems to provide a programming rationale for arts organizations and this year is no exception.
• Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m., and 13, 4 p.m., at Altadena Community Church: Pasadena Master Chorale; Jeffrey Bernstein, conductor.
A chamber-sized ensemble (20 singers) will perform music on the theme of love by Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Ralph Vaughan Williams, including two works by the group’s founder and artistic director, Jeffrey Bernstein.
Information: 626/208-0009; www.pasadenamasterchorale.org.
• Feb. 13, 4 p.m., at Neighborhood Church, Pasadena: Pasadena Pro Musica; Stephen Grimm, conductor
Pasadena Pro Musica focuses its program on living composers: Eric Whitacre, Frank Ticheli, Elaine Bearer, Morten Lauridsen and the group’s artistic director, Stephen Grimm.
Information: 626/628-2144; www.pasadenapromusica.org.
With a different take on love, Teatro Lirico d’Europa returns to the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. with a production of Puccini’s Turandot, sung in Italian with English supertitles. Teatro Lirico d’Europa is in its 12th season of touring in the United States. Its presentations are usually solid both in terms of production and singing, and their prices are much more affordable than Los Angeles Opera. Russian soprano Olga Chernisheva sings the title role.
Information: 800/300-4345 www.cerritoscenter.com.
None of the programs below are particularly love-theme oriented but several are notable.
• For those who wondered what happened to Rachael Worby (former music director of the Pasadena Pops), she has resurfaced at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica with a series she’s calling “Saturday Morning Mashups,” which — if you just glance at the Web site — appears to be aimed at children but is really for all ages. Worby has partnered with cellist Lynn Harrell and his orchestra, Angeli Ensemble, with narration by spoken-word artists Steve Connell and Sekou "Tha Misfit" Andrews. The next concert takes place Feb. 12 at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and focuses on Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. The final program, Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, will be March 12.
• John Adams’ landmark opera, Nixon in China, comes to a theater near you on Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. via the Metropolitan Opera’s high-definition telecast series. Actually, it’s a misnomer to call this “Adams’ opera,” since it’s clearly a collaboration between the composer (who is conducting these Met performances), librettist Alice Goodman (it was the first opera for both) and, in particular, director Peter Sellars, who conceived the project back in 1987 for Houston Grand Opera (Los Angeles Opera presented it in 1990 and Long Beach Opera presented it last season). The current Met production is its first effort with what has become, nearly a quarter-century after its premiere, one of the most significant American operas.
• Kimo Furumoto will conduct the Rio Hondo Symphony in a free concert on Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. at Whittier High School’s Vic Lopez Auditorium featuring an all-Russiam theme: Glinka’s Russlan and Ludmilla overture, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, with Mikhail Korzhev as soloist.
• Sir Neville Marriner returns to Los Angeles (he was the founding director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 1969) to lead The Colburn Orchestra on Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. in UCLA’s Royce Hall. The program will be Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, and Korngold’s Violin Concerto, with one of Colburn’s students, Nigel Armstrong, as soloist.
The Colburn Orchestra is the flagship ensemble of The Colburn School, Los Angeles’ counterpart to The Julliard School in New York City and The Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Colburn is located across Grand Avenue from Walt Disney Concert Hall.
This concert replaces an event previously scheduled for Ambassador Auditorium. The Colburn Orchestra returns to Ambassador on March 5 for a concert that features mezzo-soprano Michelle de Young as soloist in Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’ete.
• Swiss composer and conductor Matthias Bammert will lead the Pasadena Symphony on Feb. 19 at 2 and 8 p.m. in Ambassador Auditorium. The program will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto (with Robert Thies as soloist) and one of Bammert’s own pieces, Ol-Okun.
• The Los Angeles Philharmonic returns to Walt Disney Concert from its European tour with concerts Feb. 12 and 13 when Leonard Slatkin — waiting patiently? anxiously? while his Detroit Symphony tries to settle its now-four-month-long strike — will lead the Phil in the West Coast premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ Swing Symphony. Marsalis’ group, the Jazz Orchestra at Lincoln Center, will be the soloists. The evening continues the jazz theme with Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite (incredibly, the first time the Phil has played this piece, which was written in 1934) and George Gershwin’s An American in Paris.
Marsalis and The Jazz Orchestra of Lincoln Center also appear at Disney Hall on Feb. 15 in a solo program; the week-long residency also includes educational programs.
BTW: you can read an interesting profile by Kevin Berger in the Los Angeles Times HERE.
On Feb. 18, 19 and 20 the Phili’s superb, young assistant conductor, Lionel Bringuier, will lead the orchestra in Dvorak’s Symphony No. 5 and Schumann’s Cello Concerto, with French cellist Gautier Capuçon — making the first of two appearances with the Phil this season — as soloist.
Information: 323/850-2000; www.laphil.com
(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.
"These days having a mobile presence is a must, and InstantEncore delivers powerful apps that are incredibly easy to manage."