Pasadena, CA – The Pasadena Symphony announces its 91st season with a larger than life schedule of seven concerts, commencing on October 20th with Mozart’s Requiem through to a May 4th finale with the four most famous notes in Classical music – Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Other highlights include Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 “Titan,” a tribute to the great Leonard Bernstein and a Tchaikovsky Spectacular for the ages. All concerts take place at Pasadena’s historic Ambassador Auditorium with performances at both 2pm and 8pm. The season also includes the annually sold out Holiday Candlelight Concert, newly lead by Music Director David Lockington, on Saturday, December 15, 2018 with both 4pm and 7pm performances at All Saints Church. The Pasadena Symphony Association is pleased to announce this upcoming season after recently signing a new five-year musician’s contract, reinforcing its position as the area’s premiere destination for live symphonic music with an eye for long-term stability and artistic growth.

Music Director David Lockington kicks off the 2018-19 season on October 20, 2018 with Mozart’s hauntingly beautiful Requiem. On November 17th he celebrates three of America’s greatest composers with masterpieces from On the Town to West Side Story from Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber with Sphinx Competition Laureate -violinist Melissa White. The orchestra will ring in 2019 under the baton of “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (London Independent), with Nicholas McGegan conducting Handel’s Water Music, Bach’s Brandenburg and Vivaldi Concertos for Baroque Masters on January 26th.

Lockington returns to the podium on February 16th to conduct an all-Tchaikovsky Spectacular with his Symphony No. 5 and the grandiose Piano Concerto No. 1 performed by Russian American Pianist Olga Kern – a Van Cliburn winner with direct ancestral links to Tchaikovsky himself. March roars like a lion with Mahler’s monumental and gloriously sonorous Symphony No. 1 “Titan” on March 23rd. To close the season, celebrated violinist Anne Akiko Meyers returns on May 4th with a remarkable new violin concerto by local composer Adam Schoenberg leading up to Beethoven’s infamous Fifth Symphony.

“This is an orchestra that can do it all, and does it all at a very high level performing baroque, choral, and the grandest of symphonies, to the popular music of the great American songbook and beyond. This agreement reflects our shared commitment to the future of this great orchestra and its unique role in the region.” – Lora Unger, Pasadena Symphony Association Chief Executive Officer

The Pasadena Symphony provides a quintessential experience specially designed for the music lover, the social butterfly or a date night out, and the inner epicurean in us all. Audiences can enjoy a drink or a bite in the lively Symphony Lounge, yet another addition to the care-free 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, CA 91105, with performances at 2pm and 8pm. Subscription packages start at just $99; regular individually priced tickets start at $35 and may be purchased online at or by calling (626) 793-7172.

2018-19 Singpoli Symphony Classics Series Calendar

October 20, 2018
David Lockington, conductor
Additional soloists tba

Mendelssohn String Symphony No. 3  
Elgar Introduction & Allegro
Mozart  Requiem

November 17, 2018
David Lockington, conductor
Melissa White, violin

Hailstork An American Port of Call
Bernstein  West Side Story Selections
Barber  Violin Concerto
Copland  Billy the Kid Suite
Bernstein  On the Waterfront

December 15, 2018
David Lockington, conductor
Soloist to be announced
Los Angeles Children’s Chorus
The Donald Brinegar Singers
L.A. Bronze Handbell Ensemble

January 26, 2019
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Rose Corrigan, bassoon
Aimee Kreston, violin
Sara Parkins, violin
Kim Scholes, cello

Bach  Concerto for Two Violins
Vivaldi  Concerto for Cello
Vivaldi  Concerto for Bassoon
Bach  Brandenburg Concerto No. 6
Handel  Water Music Suite No. 1

February 16, 2019
David Lockington, conductor
Olga Kern, piano

Tchaikovsky  Piano Concerto No. 1
Tchaikovsky  Symphony No. 5

March 23, 2019
David Lockington, conductor
Rodolfo Leone, piano

Mozart  Piano Concerto No. 21
Mahler  Symphony No. 1

May 4, 2019
David Lockington, conductor
Anne Akiko Meyers, violin

Verdi Overture to La forza del destino
Schoenberg  Orchard in Fog
Beethoven  Symphony No. 5

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.


David Lockington
Music Director

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.

conductor nicholas mcgegan
Nicholas McGegan
Principal Guest Conductor

As he embarks on his fifth 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. The 2017/18 season marked his 32nd year as music director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale and he is also 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 17/18 guest appearances include his return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl for two programs (his 21st consecutive appearance at the Hollywood Bowl); Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; and the Pasadena, Dallas, Nashville, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestras. A residency at the Juilliard School this fall will lead to performances in New York and a side-by-side with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Juilliard415 on the West Coast. He will make his annual return to The Aspen Music Festival as well. Abroad, he appears at Casa da Musica (Portugal) and with SWR Sinfonieorchester, Gottingen Symphonieorchester, and Jerusalem Symphony.

In the summer of 2017, McGegan conducted the Royal Northern Sinfonia for the BBC Proms in Hull, marking 300 years since Handel’s Water Music was first famously performed on the River Thames. It was the first time since the 1930s a festival performance had been moved outside London.

One of Philharmonia’s greatest successes was the recent fully-staged modern-day premiere of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s 1745 opera-ballet Le Temple de la Gloire. PBO’s 2017/18 season opens in October with the North American premiere of Sally Beamish’s The Judas Passion, co-commissioned by PBO and London’s Orchestra of the Age of Enlightment (OAE). McGegan conducts the world premiere of the piece with OAE earlier in the fall. Other season highlights include Handel’s Messiah and his oratorio Joseph and his Brethren, a program with cellist Steven Isserlis, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Mass in C Major.

McGegan’s prolific discography includes more than 100 releases spanning five decades. Having recorded over 50 albums of of Handel, McGegan has explored the depths of the composer’s output with a dozen oratorios and close to twenty of his operas. Under its own label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions (PBP), Philharmonia has recently released almost a dozen acclaimed albums of Handel, Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Brahms, Haydn, Beethoven, and more. McGegan’s latest release with PBO is the first-ever recording of the recently rediscovered 300-year-old work La Gloria di Primavera by Alessandro Scarlatti, recorded live at the U.S. premiere. Since the 1980s, Nic has released more than 20 recordings with Hungary’s Capella Savaria on the Hungaroton label, including groundbreaking opera and oratorio recordings of repertoire by Handel, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Telemann and Vivaldi. Most recently, the collaboration has produced releases of Haydn, Kraus, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and a 2-CD set of the complete Mozart violin concerti.

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 in 2016 was the Christoph Wolff Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Harvard. McGegan’s fun and informative lectures have delighted audiences at Juilliard, Yale Center for British Arts, American Handel Society, and San Francisco Conservatory.

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. In 2013, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Music.

Visit Nicholas McGegan on the web at

Tracy van Fleet

Tracy Van Fleet’s rich and warm mezzo-soprano has earned critical acclaim singing from Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Florida. As a soloist, she has performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Naples Philharmonic, Los Angeles Bach Festival, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, Colorado Philharmonic, USC Symphony and Chorus, and others.  She has had many appearances with the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Opera Pacific, San Diego Opera and Opera Colorado. In

2016 she was the featured mezzo soloist on a tour of Italy singing the Mozart Requiem at many UNESCO sites.  In 2013 she toured Europe and the U.S. with the Los Angeles Philharmonic singing in the new oratorio by John Adams The Gospel According to the Other Mary.   Ms. Van Fleet earned a Master and Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California, where she graduated cum laude.

Among various operatic roles, Ms. Van Fleet has sung Carmen in an adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen, both the Witch and Mother in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Flora in Verdi’s La Traviata, Tisbe in Rossini’s Cenerentola, and Lola in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.  She has sung Gilbert and Sullivan in theaters across the country including the roles of Ruth in Pirates of Penzance, Katisha in The Mikado, and Buttercup in HMS Pinafore.  On the concert stage, she has earned high praise as the alto soloist for many performances of Bach’s B Minor MassSt. John’s Passion and Magnificat, Beethoven’s Mass in C and 9th Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem and many others.

Lee Poulis

Lee Poulis has been critically praised for his “commanding presence” and for his “dark baritone, rich in color,” calling it a voice “of power and beauty.” Twice named Best Young Singer by Die Welt, Lee Poulis has performed at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden of Berlin, Teatro Real of Madrid, the Opera of Bilbao, Teatro Municipal of Santiago, and with the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn. He performed the title role in the national premieres of Doctor Atomic in Germany and at the Finnish National Opera, a production which was nominated for one of Europe’s top theater prizes, Der Faust.

In the 2016-17 season Lee Poulis sings Bach’s cantata Ich habe genug with the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida. In the 2015-16 season Mr. Poulis joined the roster of San Francisco Opera for its production of Lucia di Lammermoor; was soloist in Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with Florida Orchestra; in Mozart’s Orphanage Mass with San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival; and in Carmina Burana with

Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra and again with the Claremont Chorale. His 2014-15 season included his return to Europe to reprise the role of Oppenheimer in Adams’ Doctor Atomic with Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, his debut in the title role of Eu- gene Onegin with Teatre Principal de Palma, Mallorca, and reprising the role of Heathcliff in Her- Hermann’s Wuthering Heights with Staatstheater Braunschweig. He also sang the role of Leporello in Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of Don Giovanni; was soloist with Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra in Avner Dorman’s “Dialogues of Love;” and in Hindemith’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” with Choral Society of Durham, also with New York Choral Society, which marked his Carnegie Hall debut.

His 2013-14 engagements included Ford in Falstaff with Opera Santa Barbara, Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de perles in his debut with Fort Worth Opera, joining the roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Die Fledermaus, and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Belleayre Festival Opera. In season 2012-13 he sang Marcello in La bohème in his debut with Toledo Opera, Enrico with Dayton Opera, Zurga with Sarasota Opera, and made his debut with the Berkshire Choral Festival in selections from Les Pêcheurs de perles, La Rondine, and Aida.

In his trans-Atlantic career he has sung the title role in Doctor Atomic with the Finnish National Opera, also with Saarländisches Staatstheater; Valentin in Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore; Enrico with Sarasota Opera; made his debut with both Minnesota Opera as Heathcliff in Her- Hermann’s Wuthering Heights; and with Sarasota Opera in the title role of Don Giovanni. He returned to Theater Bonn as a member of the ensemble to perform the roles of Escamillo in Carmen, Ping in Turandot, Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Father in Hänsel und Gretel, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, and Pantalon in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges. Other international opera credits include Marcello in La bohème with Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Teatro Real in Madrid, Masetto in Don Giovanni with both Opera Bilbao and Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, and Wanderer in a scene with Erda from Siegfried for La Fura dels Baus at the British Museum.

Past successes include the role of Valentin in Faust with Theater Chemnitz; soloist in Hanns Eissler’s Deutsche Sinfonie with Beethovenfest Bonn in Germany; and Germont in La traviata, Yeletsky in Pique Dame, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, all as a member of the ensemble at Theater Bonn. His frequent appearances at Washington National Opera include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Senator Raitcliffe in the world premiere of Scott Wheel- er’s Democracy, Masetto in Don Giovanni, and De Siriex in Fedora for the company’s Trilogy Gala. As a member of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Program he performed the roles of Charlot in Ibert’s Angelique and Mr. Gobineau in The Medium, and added the roles of Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Germont in La traviata to his repertoire while at Los Angeles Opera. Mr. Poulis also performed four roles in Shostakovich’s The Nose at the Bard Summer- scape Festival, and Marcello in La bohème in a concert performance with the Newton Sympho- ny Orchestra.

Mr. Poulis’ concert engagements include baritone soloist in Messiah with the Kansas City Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the American Youth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem with the Masterworks Chorale, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the Waltham Philharmonic and the Masterworks Chorale, Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis with the Reston Chorale, Lord Nelson Mass at the Beijing Concert Hall, Fauré’s Requiem with both the Atlantic Union College and the Gemini Youth Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with Commonwealth Opera. Mr. Poulis has also appeared in recital with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Carnegie’s Weill Hall as well as in Washington D.C. with the Washington Vocal Arts Society.

Lee Poulis is the first prize winner in the 2008 Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition, top prize winner in the 2008 Francisco Viñas International Voice Competition, and first prize winner in the 2007 Chester Ludgin International Verdi Baritone Competition, as well as an Encouragement Award recipient in the 2008 George London Foundation Awards competition. In addition to San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, he is an alumnus of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, as well as Music Academy of the West. Mr. Poulis is a graduate of Harvard University.

Melissa White violin
Melissa White

American violinist Melissa White has enchanted audiences around the world as both a soloist and a chamber musician. A first-prize laureate in the Sphinx Competition, Ms. White has received critical acclaim for solo performances with some of America’s leading ensembles, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Colorado, Detroit, and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras. In April 2016 she served as interim concertmaster in performances and recordings of the Louisville Orchestra. Internationally, she has appeared as soloist with Poland’s Fillharmonia Dolnoslaska; with the Colombian Youth Orchestra in a tour of that country; and as a recitalist in Baku, Azerbaijian. In the 2017-18 season Ms. White makes her solo debut with the National Philharmonic (North Bethesda, Maryland) performing the Brahms Violin Concerto, and returns to the Chicago Sinfonietta, where she will partner with fellow Sphinx Laureate Ifetayo Ali-Landing in Saint-Saëns’s La muse et le poète for violin, cello and orchestra.

Ms. White is a founding member of New York-based Harlem Quartet, where since 2006 her passion and artistry have contributed to performances that have been hailed for their “panache” (The New York Times) and for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent” (Cincinnati Enquirer). Together with Harlem Quartet she has worked with such classical-music luminaries as Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavakian, Paul Katz, and Anthony McGill; appeared in many of the country’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, the White House, and the Kennedy Center; and performed in Europe, Africa, Japan, and the U.K., where in 2017 the quartet begins a three-year residency with London’s Royal College of Music. Ms. White’s passion for chamber music recently expanded to sharing the stage with the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra during the famed ensemble’s tour of Japan.

Always looking to expand musical boundaries, Ms. White has partnered with such leading jazz musicians as pianist/composer Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke, and vibraphonist Gary Burton. Following an extended international tour with Corea and Burton, Harlem Quartet collaborated with the duo in recording Hot House, a CD that garnered three Grammy Awards in 2013 including a Best Instrumental Composition award for Corea’s “Mozart Goes Dancing.”

In addition to her musical role with Harlem Quartet, Ms. White serves as the ensemble’s in-house grant writer. In this capacity, she has written several successful grants, including a Cultural Connections Artist-in-Residence grant from James Madison University and a 2016 Guarneri String Quartet grant from Chamber Music America; the latter allowed Harlem Quartet to participate in an extended performance and educational residency in Mobile, Alabama that included a close partnership with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra.

A native of Michigan, Ms. White holds performance degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and New England Conservatory, where her teachers included Jaime Laredo, Ida Kavafian, Donald Weilerstein, and Miriam Fried. Her current instrument, “Matilda,” was commissioned as part of a Sphinx MPower Artist Grant in 2014 by the American violin maker Ryan Soltis. When she doesn’t have a violin in her hands, Ms. White is an advanced practitioner of Bikram yoga, and is co-founder and artistic director of Intermission, a new program that combines yoga and music. She also enjoys taking photos while exploring the many places around the world that her music has allowed her to visit.

Olga Kern

Russian-American pianist Olga Kern is now recognized as one of her generation’s great artists. With her vivid stage presence, passionately confident musicianship and extraordinary technique, the striking pianist continues to captivate fans and critics alike. Olga Kern was born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and began studying piano at the age of five. She jumpstarted her U.S. career with her historic Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas as the first woman to do so in more than thirty years.

Steinway Artist and First prize winner of the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at the age of seventeen, Ms. Kern is a laureate of many international competitions and tours throughout Russia, Europe, the United States, Japan, South Africa and South Korea. In 2016 she served as Jury Chairman of both the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition and the first Olga Kern International Piano Competition, where she also holds the title of Artistic Director.

Kern serves as Artist in Residence to the San Antonio Symphony’s 2017-18 season, appearing in two subscription weeks as well as solo recital. She will also perform with Madison Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Austin Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Arizona Musicfest Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, and Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Kern will premiere her first American concerto Barber’s Piano Concerto with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. She will give recitals at the University of Arizona, the Lied Center in Lincoln, NE, the Sanibel Music Festival in Sanibel, FL, and abroad in Mainz and Turin. Additionally, Ms. Kern will perform in the Huntington Estate Music Festival with Musica Viva in Australia.

Highlights of the previous season include her Chinese debut with the National Youth Orchestra of China tour, concerts with Pacific Symphony, Colorado Symphony, the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, and La Jolla Music Festival, and recitals in Santa Fe, New Haven, Scottsdale, and San Francisco. Ms. Kern opened the Baltimore Symphony’s 2015-2016 centennial season with Marin Alsop. Other season highlights included returns to the Royal Philharmonic with Pinchas Zukerman, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice with Giancarlo Guerrero, a month-long tour of South Africa for concerts with the Cape and KwaZulu Natal philharmonics, an Israeli tour with the Israel Symphony, solo recitals at Sarasota’s Van Wezel Hall, New York’s 92nd Street Y, and the University of Kansas’ Lied Center, and recitals with Renée Fleming in Carnegie Hall and Berkeley.

In recent seasons, Ms. Kern has performed with Tokyo’s NHK Symphony, Orchestre National De Lyon, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, the symphonies of Detroit for Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos 1, 2 & 3, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Nashville, Colorado, Madison, and Austin, and gave recitals in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Louisville, and alongside Renée Fleming and Kathleen Battle. Ms. Kern’s performance career has brought her to many of the world’s most important venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Salzburger Festspielhaus, La Scala in Milan, Tonhalle in Zurich, and the Châtelet in Paris.

Ms. Kern’s discography includes Harmonia Mundi recordings of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Christopher Seaman (2003), her Grammy Nominated recording of Rachmaninoff’s Corelli Variations and other transcriptions (2004), a recital disk with works

by Rachmaninoff and Balakirev (2005), Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Warsaw Philharmonic and Antoni Wit (2006), Brahms Variations (2007) and a 2010 release of Chopin Piano Sonatas No. 2 and 3 (2010). Most recently, SONY released their recording of Ms. Kern performing the Rachmaninoff Sonata for Cello and Piano with cellist Sol Gabetta. She was also featured in the award-winning documentary about the 2001 Cliburn Competition, Playing on the Edge, as well as Olga’s Journey, Musical Odyssey in St. Petersburg and in They Came to Play. In 2012, Olga and her brother, conductor and composer, Vladimir Kern, co-founded the “Aspiration” foundation whose objective is to provide financial and artistic assistance to musicians throughout the world.

In 2017, Ms. Kern was gratified to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, joining other honorees including Rosa Parks, Buzz Aldrin, Coretta Scott King, and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. This commendation recognizes Americans who “embody the spirit of America in their salute to tolerance, brotherhood, diversity, and patriotism.”

Rodolfo Leone, piano
Rodolfo Leone

The First Prize Winner at the 15th International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna in 2017, twenty-six-year old pianist Rodolfo Leone has already amassed an extensive list of major international performances. His playing has been described as having “impeccable style” and “absolute technical control” with “hands that every pianist would like to have” (Il Nuovo Amico).

A native of Turin, Italy, he plays with “a maturity and awareness that usually develops at a later age” (L’Eco di Bergamo) and has appeared in major concert halls from Los Angeles to China.
Mr. Leone made his orchestral debut in 2013 performing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento (Italy). The following year he returned to the Haydn Orchestra to perform Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on tour with conductor Francesco Angelico. In 2014, Mr. Leone made his North American debut performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Toronto Concert Orchestra and in 2016 made his Los Angeles debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Colburn Orchestra and conductor Stéphane Denève. Mr. Leone is a frequent chamber music and recital partner of cellist, Lynn Harrell, a fellow Los Angeles resident.

Mr. Leone has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America and China. These performances include debuts in venues including: the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria; Steinway Hall in London, U.K.; the Music Hall of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China; Politeama Theatre in Palermo, Italy; the Mozart Concert Hall of Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna, Italy; the BASF Gesellschaftshaus in Ludwigshafen, Germany; and the Koerner Hall in Toronto, Canada. His performances have been broadcast live from Vienna, Austria, on Radio Ö1, Berlin, Germany, on Deutschlandradio Kultur and from Bolzano, Italy, on Radio Rai and RaiTRE TV.

A top-prize winner of several major piano competitions, Mr. Leone was awarded second prize at the 2014 Toronto International Piano Competition and second prize at the 2013 Busoni International Piano Competition (first prize was not awarded).
Mr. Leone has been awarded a Masters of Music from the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, California, where he continues to study with Fabio Bidini. He previously studied at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin, Germany and at the G.Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro, Italy.

Anne Akiko Meyers

Violin superstar, Anne Akiko Meyers, is one of the most in-demand violinists in the world. Regularly performing as guest soloist with the world’s top orchestras, she presents ground-breaking recitals and is a best-selling recording artist with 35 albums. Meyers is known for her passionate performances, purity of sound, deeply poetic interpretations, innovative programming and commitment to commissioning significant new works from living composers.

Anne’s recent recording of Rautavaara’s Fantasia was the only classical instrumental work to be selected on NPR’s 100 best songs of 2017.  Fantasia, Anne’s 35th recording, includes works for violin and orchestra by Rautavaara, Ravel and the Szymanowski Concerto No.1, recorded with Kristjan Järvi and the Philharmonia Orchestra. In 2018, she will premiere a new violin concerto by Adam Schoenberg (which she commissioned) with the Phoenix and San Diego Symphony Orchestras. Anne will also return to Leipzig, Germany to premiere Rautavaara’s Fantasia with the MDR Leipzig Orchestra and has been invited by  legendary composer, Arvo Pärt, to perform at the opening celebration of the new Arvo Pärt Centre in Estonia.

Earlier this year, Anne performed the world premiere of Fantasia by Einojuhani Rautavaara, a work written for her, and considered to be the composer’s final masterpiece, with the Kansas City Symphony, conducted by Michael Stern.  She performed recitals in Florida, New York, Virginia, Washington D.C., and returned to the Nashville Symphony to perform the Bernstein Serenade with Giancarlo Guerrero. In May, she headlined the Kanazawa Music Festival performing the Beethoven Concerto with cadenzas by Mason Bates with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, toured New Zealand with the Mason Bates Violin Concerto and New Zealand Symphony, and returned to Krakow and Warsaw, Poland to perform the Szymanowski Concerto and Jakub Ciupinski’s newly orchestrated, Wreck of the Umbria.

Other recent projects include a nationwide PBS broadcast special and a Naxos DVD featuring the world premiere of Samuel Jones’ Violin Concerto with the All-Star Orchestra led by Gerard Schwarz, the French premiere of Mason Bates Violin Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre de Lyon, and two new recordings-Naïve Classics celebrating Arvo Pärt’s 80th birthday and a box set of Anne’s RCA Red Seal discography on Sony Classics. Anne’s prior releases the Four Seasons: The Vivaldi Album, debuted at #1 on the classical Billboard charts, as did Air: The Bach Album, and the Vivaldi was the recording debut of the Ex-Vieuxtemps’ Guarneri del Gesu violin, dated 1741, which was awarded to Meyers for her lifetime use.

A champion of living composers, Meyers collaborates closely with many of today’s leading composers. She has expanded the violin repertoire by commissioning and premiering works by composers such as Mason Bates, Jakub Ciupinski, John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, Samuel Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Akira Miyoshi, Arvo Pärt, Gene Pritsker, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Somei Satoh, Adam Schoenberg and Joseph Schwantner.

Anne has collaborated with a diverse array of artists outside of traditional classical, including jazz icons, Chris Botti and Wynton Marsalis, avant-garde musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto, electronic music pioneer, Isao Tomita, pop-era act, Il Divo and singer, Michael Bolton. She performed the National Anthem in front of 42,000 fans at Safeco Field in Seattle, appeared twice on The Tonight Show and was featured in a segment on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann that became that show’s the third most popular story of the year.

Anne has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, CBS’ “The Good Wife”, NPR’s Morning Edition with Linda Wertheimer and All Things Considered with Robert Siegel and recently curated “Living American” on Sirius XM Radio’s Symphony Hall with host, David Srebnik . She was on the popular Nick Jr. show, Take Me To Your Mother, with Andrea Rosen and best-selling novelist, J. Courtney Sullivan, consulted with Anne for The Engagements and based one of the main characters loosely on her career. She also collaborated with children’s book author and illustrator, Kristine Papillon, on Crumpet the Trumpet, where the character Violetta the violinist, is played by Anne.

Anne Akiko Meyers was born in San Diego and grew up in Southern California. She studied with Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld at the Colburn School of Performing Arts, Josef Gingold at Indiana University, and Felix Galimir, Masao Kawasaki and Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School. She received the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Colburn School of Music and is on the advisory council of the American Youth Symphony Orchestra.