May 8, 2014 – Pasadena, CA – Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena POPS kick off their one of a kind, simply cannot miss popular outdoor summer concert series at the Los Angeles County Arboretum on Saturday, June 7th with “Feinstein’s Favorites.” A POPS trademark, Feinstein brings a wealth of rare musical gems and premieres from his personal treasure hunts from archives found in basements in Brooklyn, garages in Hollywood and the personal family collections of Peggy Lee, Leo Arnaud, Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle and more. Audiences of all ages will indulge in a priceless opportunity to hear these definitive performances of great songs in classic arrangements that carry a freshness and excitement in a one of a kind setting.
Guest artists include Laura Osnes (“Cinderella” and “Bonnie and Clyde”), Richard White (“Gaston,” in the critically acclaimed animated feature film, Beauty and the Beast), pianist Armen Guzelimian, Julia Goodwin (2013 Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador), and violinist Geneva Lewis.
Concert highlights include pianist Armen Guzelimian in “Disconcerto” by Jacques Press. This piece was composed in Hollywood in 1948 and premiered on radio with Meredith Willson (“Music Man”). After a five year search in a basement in Brooklyn, Feinstein discovered it in the possession of the composer’s nephew. Geneva Lewis will perform “Brahmasiana for Violin and Orchestra”, written in 1941 by Constantine Bakaleinkoff and written for the Fay Wray movie “Melody for Three”. This musical gem was also a lost treasure found in a Hollywood garage in 2013.
Guest Laura Osnes will sing “Lover,” arranged by Gordon Jenkins for Peggy Lee, which Feinstein reconstructed from the surviving orchestral parts. Osnes will also perform the classic Judy Garland routine of “Get Happy,” taken from a 1964 arrangement created by Mort Lindsey for Garland’s TV series. Two Nelson Riddle charts will be heard, a swinging version of Oklahoma, courtesy of the Riddle family, and a luscious arrangement of “Some Enchanted Evening”.
A rare Mancini miniature called “Cameo for Violin and Orchestra”, an exceptional arrangement of Jalousie by Leo Arnaud in 1953 and recorded by Carmen Dragon, will complement a Gordon Jenkins premiere, “The Girl On The Rock.” Jenkins lost his life’s work of music in the 1970’s Malibu fire, but Feinstein discovered this work in a garage owned by Jenkins’ granddaughter.
“Climb Ev’ry Mountain” will be heard in an arrangement by Hollywood legend Herbert Spencer and recorded by Alfred Newman. The June 7th concert will be the first time this arrangement will be publicly performed.
“The Pasadena POPS has quickly become the premier presenter of the Great American Songbook in the orchestral arena with virtuoso musicians delivering definitive performances of great songs in classic arrangements, sparklingly orchestrated to carry a freshness and excitement that always galvanizes the audience,” says Feinstein adding “the shows are a combination of Broadway and Hollywood, glitz and dazzle, with tremendous musicianship and talent. It’s a rare chance to hear the music performed this way, at one of the most beautiful outdoor concert venues anywhere.”
“Feinstein’s gracious enthusiasm, like the giant projection screens framing the band shell, indicated that this summer series is ready for the big time. Certainly, the orchestra, in its detailed precision and technical aplomb, is a first-rate entity, and its endearing maestro is a perfect fit.” – Los Angeles Times
“What Michael brings to the Pasadena POPS, through his personal music collection and decades of curating the hidden jewels of the Great American Songbook, cannot be heard anywhere else in the world, much less the United States, and we don’t make that claim lightly,” states Paul Jan Zdunek, Chief Executive Officer of the Pasadena Symphony Association.
The Pasadena POPS Sierra Acura Summer Concert Series begins on Saturday, June 7 with Feinstein’s Favorites; a showcase of music by Harry Warren, Richard Rodgers, Nelson Ridddle, Henry Mancini, Alfred Newman and a world premiere of Andre and George Previn’s most expensive demo ever made. As Feinstein explains, “the opening concert of the summer is my way of introducing the audience into my musical world with a grab bag of more than a few of my favorite things.” Broadway sensations Laura Osnes and Richard White join in the fun with original charts from the Peggy Lee and Judy Garland archives that can’t be heard anywhere else.
The family-friendly concerts will be held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Grounds open for picnicking and dining at 5:30 p.m. and performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Among many venue amenities, audiences can enjoy pre-ordered gourmet dining packages for on-site pickup from Julienne, Marston’s, and Claud & Co. The food court will host mouth-watering food trucks plus specialty ice creams by Choctál. The experience is now even more convenient with two full beverage centers serving fine wines, beer, coffee and soft drinks plus exclusive hotel packages for POPS patrons at Pasadena’s landmark Langham Huntington Hotel. Patrons may also visit the Pasadena Humane Society’s Mobile Adoption Unit, which will be on-site prior to each concert with animals in need of a forever home as part of the Pups for POPS program.
Audiences get the ultimate outdoor concert experience: large LED video screens, superior sound quality and the high-quality production value that is a signature of the Pasadena POPS. The best outdoor dinner party in town comes with spacious circular table seating with fine linens, or lawn seating for those who want to bring a blanket – each option carries on the tradition of picnic-dining with your family and friends. The Arboretum is located at 301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA. Single tickets starting at $20 and season subscriptions starting at $100 are now on sale and are available by calling the box office at (626)-793-7172, online at PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org or at the Arboretum on the day of the concerts.
IF YOU GO:
- What: The Pasadena POP presents “Feinstein’s Favorites” with Principal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein and guests Laura Osnes, Richard White, Armen Guzelimian, Julia Goodwin, and Geneva Lewis.
- When: June 7, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
- Where: The LA County Arboretum | 301 N Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007
- Cost: Tickets start at $20.00
- Dining: Gates open at 5:30pm. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink or visit one of the many onsite gourmet food vendors.
- Parking: Subscribers have the opportunity to purchase onsite Arboretum parking. Single ticket holders may park for free at the Westfield Santa Anita shopping center with free non-stop shuttles to the main gate.
Images, word document, and PDF available at
Bios on individual artists available upon request