PASADENA SYMPHONY MUSIC DIRECTOR DAVID LOCKINGTON TAKES THE STAGE AS SOLOSIT WITH PRINCIPAL GUEST CONDUCTOR NICHOLAS MCGEGAN
Pasadena, CA – On the heels of yet another sold-out performance at Ambassador Auditorium, the Pasadena Symphony brings you Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 on Saturday, March 19 with both matinee and evening performances. These concerts mark a rare occasion with Music Director and cello virtuoso David Lockington performing Philip Sawyers’ Cello Concerto alongside the masterful baton of Principal Guest Conductor Nicholas McGegan. This is a rare opportunity to hear the Pasadena Symphony’s Music Director as soloist and experience the brilliance of Mozart through McGegan’s expert performance practice.
This special performance will open with Beethoven’s powerful and poetic Overture to Egmont, followed by Lockington taking the stage to perform Sawyers’ Cello Concerto. This contemporary piece is particularly meaningful to Lockington, who counts Sawyers as a lifelong friend, having met in England performing in youth orchestras. Lockington is perfectly poised to present Sawyers’ Concerto, which he premiered in 2012 with the Modesto Symphony in a performance that left everyone breathless. Audiences are rapt with anticipation to hear Lockington bring this piece to life side by side with Nicholas McGegan – two highly esteemed conductors on stage together for one day only in this exclusive engagement.
On the second half of the program, Principal Guest Conductor Nicholas McGegan will make the brilliance of Mozart shine with his revelatory exploration of the intensely emotional Symphony No. 40. “One of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (London Independent) and “an expert in 18th-century style” (The New Yorker), two-time Grammy nominee McGegan is a master of Baroque and Classical interpretations. His expert methodology and jovial spirit consume the performance space, leaving the audience at the edge of their seats.
“[McGegan] He’s a dynamo, a true animator, an energiser and an ignition point from which music can take off and take wing.” (The Herald Scotland) It will be a tour de force as McGegan applies his historical performance practice and deeply personal interpretation to one of Mozart’s final three symphonies.
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. Enjoy a drink or a bite in the luxurious Sierra Auto Symphony Lounge, yet another addition to the delightful and elegant concert experience the Pasadena Symphony offers. A posh setting at Ambassador Auditorium’s beautiful outdoor plaza, the lounge offers specialized menus by Claud & Co for both lunch and dinner, a full bar and fine wines by Michero Family Wines, plus music before each concert and during intermission.
Performances on March 19, 2016 take place at both 2:00pm and 8:00pm and are accompanied by a pre-concert discussion with Nicholas McGegan and David Lockington one hour before curtain. The Ambassador Auditorium is located at 131 South St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA. Ticket prices start at $35 and may be purchased online at www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org or by calling (626) 793-7172.
IF YOU GO:
- What: The Pasadena Symphony presents Mozart Symphony No. 40.
- When: Saturday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
- Where: Ambassador Auditorium | 131 South St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105
- Cost: Tickets start at $35.00
- Parking: Valet parking is available on Green Street for $15. General parking is available in two locations: next to the Auditorium (entrance on St. John Ave) at the covered parking structure for $10 and directly across the street at the Wells Fargo parking structure (entrance on Terrace at Green St). ADA parking is located at the above-ground parking lot adjacent to the Auditorium (entrance on St. John Ave.) for $10. Parking purchased onsite is cash only.
- Sierra Auto Symphony Lounge: Located on the plaza at Ambassador Auditorium. Opens at 12:30pm before the matinee and 6:00pm before the evening performance.
- Pre-Concert Discussion: Pre-concert discussions with Music Director David Lockington and Conductor Nicholas McGegan begins one hour before curtain and is available to all ticket holders at no cost.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Over the past thirty-five 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 to the same position with the Pasadena Symphony. He also has a close relationship with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain where he is currently the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, and beginning with the 15/16 season he will be 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 also held additional positions with 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, Vancouver, Utah, Pacific, Colorado, Nashville, San Diego, Syracuse, Edmonton, Alabama, Columbus and Kansas City symphonies, the Florida and Louisville Orchestras, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and the Buffalo and Calgary 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, 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 for three years with the Denver Symphony Orchestra before turning to conducting.
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” (London 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, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra celebrates his 30th year as music director and he is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony.
McGegan has established the San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Philharmonia Chorale as one of the world’s leading period-performance ensembles, with notable appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the London Proms, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the International Handel Festival, Göttingen. PBO’s 2015/16 season sees the orchestra returning to Carnegie Hall for a performance of Scarlatti’s La Gloria di primavera, in addition to tours of the piece in California’s Bay Area and Quebec. As a guest conductor, McGegan’s 15/16 season features appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (with which he has appeared annually for nearly 20 years), St. Louis, Baltimore, BBC Scottish, RTÉ National, and New Zealand Symphonies; the Cleveland Orchestra/Blossom Music Festival; and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Caramoor and Carnegie Hall.
Throughout his career, McGegan has defined an approach to period style that sets the current standard: intelligent, infused with joy, and never dogmatic. Under his leadership Philharmonia Baroque continues to expand its repertoire into the Romantic Era and beyond. Calling the group’s recent recording of the Brahms Serenades “a truly treasurable disc,” James R. Oestreich in The New York Times made special note of the performance’s “energy and spirit.” The recording, said Voix des Arts, offers “evidence that ‘period’ instruments are in no way inhibited in terms of tonal amplitude and beauty. These are … exceptionally beautifully played performances.”
McGegan’s ability to engage players and audiences alike has made him a pioneer in broadening the reach of historically informed practice beyond the world of period ensembles to conventional symphonic forces. His guest-conducting appearances with major orchestras — including the New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong Philharmonics; the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Toronto, Sydney, and New Zealand Symphonies; the Cleveland and the Philadelphia Orchestras; and the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestra — often feature Baroque repertoire alongside Classical, Romantic, 20th-century and even brand-new works: Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Britten, Bach and Handel with the Utah Symphony; Poulenc and Mozart with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Mahler and Mozart with the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra; and the premiere of Stephen Hough’s Missa Mirabilis with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, paired with Haydn, Brahms and Mendelssohn. His position in Pasadena provides the opportunity to conduct a wider range of his favorite repertoire, including Dvořák, Britten, Elgar, Mahler, Brahms and Wagner.
Active in opera as well as the concert hall, McGegan was principal conductor of Sweden’s perfectly preserved 18th-century Drottningholm Theater from 1993 to 1996, Artistic Director and conductor at the Gottingen Handel Festival for 20 years (1991-2011), and Principal Guest Conductor at Scottish Opera in the 1990s. He has also been a frequent guest conductor, appearing at Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Washington. Mr. McGegan has enjoyed a long collaboration with groundbreaking choreographer Mark Morris, notably the premiere performances of Morris’s production of Rameau’s Platée at the Edinburgh Festival, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, L’Allegro at Ravinia, the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, and Cal Performances in Berkeley.
His discography of more than 100 releases includes the world premiere recording of Handel’s Susanna, which garnered both a Gramophone Award and a GRAMMY® nomination, and recent issues of that composer’s Solomon, Samson and Acis and Galatea (the little-known version adapted by Felix Mendelssohn). Under its own label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions (PBP), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has recently more than half a dozen acclaimed archival recordings in addition to the Brahms Serenades: Beethoven’s Symphonies 4 and 7, Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été and selected Handel arias with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson; Haydn Symphonies No. 88, 101 and 104, nominated for a GRAMMY® Award; Haydn Symphonies 57, 67, and 68; Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and other concerti with Elizabeth Blumenstock as violin soloist; Handel’s Atalanta with soprano Dominique Labelle in the title role; and Teseo with Labelle singing the role of Medea. Scarlatti’s La Gloria di Primavera is slated for release in early 2016. He also records regularly with Hungary’s Capella Savaria, most recently discs of violin concerti of Haydn and Kraus, with discs of Schubert and Mozart on the horizon.
Mr. McGegan is committed to the next generation of musicians, frequently conducting and coaching students in residencies and engagements at Yale University, the Juilliard School, Harvard University, the Colburn School, Aspen Music Festival and School, Sarasota Music Festival, and the Music Academy of the West. In 2013 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and delivered the commencement address.
Born in England, Nicholas McGegan was educated at Cambridge and Oxford and taught at the Royal College of Music, London. He was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for 2010 “for services to music overseas.” Most recently, he was invited to join the board of Early Music America. His awards also include the Halle Handel Prize; an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen; the Order of Merit of the State of Lower Saxony (Germany); the Medal of Honour of the City of Göttingen, an honorary doctorate from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the Mayor of San Francisco in recognition of his distinguished work with Philharmonia Baroque.
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.