Music Director for the Pasadena Symphony
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.
Principal Pops Conductor, Pasadena POPS
Michael Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe – in addition to his appearances at iconic venues such as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House – his work as an educator and archivist define Feinstein as one of the most important musical forces of our time.
In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Songbook Academy.
This summer intensive open to students from across the country has produced graduates who have gone on to record acclaimed albums and appear on television programs such as NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.
The most recent album from his multi-platinum recording career is A Michael Feinstein Christmas from Concord Records. The CD features Grammy Award -winning jazz pianist Alan Broadbent (Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole). Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released in 2011. He released the CDs The Power Of Two – collaborating with “Glee” and “30 Rock” star Cheyenne Jackson – and Cheek To Cheek, recorded with Broadway legend Barbara Cook. For Feinstein’s CD We Dreamed These Days, he co-wrote the title song with Dr. Maya Angelou.
His Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, aired across the country in 2011. The PBS series “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook,” the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award, was broadcast for three seasons and is available on DVD. His most recent primetime PBS-TV Special, “New Year’s Eve at The Rainbow Room” – written and directed by “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry – aired in 2014. For his nationally syndicated public radio program “Song Travels,” Michael interviews and performs alongside of music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce and more.
Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013 to celebrated critical acclaim. Under Feinstein’s leadership, the Pasadena Pops has quickly become a premier orchestral presenter of the Great American Songbook with definitive performances of rare orchestrations and classic arrangements. He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida in 2014.
Michael’s book The Gershwins and Me – the Los Angeles Times best-seller from Simon & Schuster – features a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano.
Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The theater is home to diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Since 1999, he has served as Artistic Director for Carnegie Hall’s “Standard Time with Michael Feinstein” in conjunction with ASCAP. In 2010 he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Michael’s nightclub at San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz since 2013. He debuted at Feinstein’s/54 Below, his new club in New York, late in 2015. His first venue in New York, Feinstein’s at the Regency, featured major entertainers such as Rosemary Clooney, Glen Campbell, Barbara Cook, Diahann Carroll, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Alan Cumming from 1999 to 2012.
He has designed a new piano for Steinway called “The First Ladies,” inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies. It was first played to commemorate the Ronald Regan centennial on February 6, 2011.
In 2013 Michael released Change Of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn in collaboration with four time Oscar and eleven time Grammy Award-winning composer-conductor-pianist Andre Previn. The album celebrates Previn’s pop songs and motion picture classics. Earlier album highlights include Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of classics by Michael’s late friend Harry Warren, recording with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing. His album with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb, Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb, was named one of “10 Best CDs of the Year” by USA Today.
Feinstein received his fourth Grammy nomination for Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, Rhino/Elektra Music released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning 1987 to 1996 and featuring old favorites and previously-unreleased tracks.
Michael was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.
Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. Feinstein has received three honorary doctorates.
Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins, Bob Merrill and Marshall Barer), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.
For more information, please visit www.MichaelFeinstein.com.
CEO, Pasadena Symphony Association
Lora Unger has served as Pasadena Symphony and POPS CEO since 2014. She is deeply passionate about stewarding the orchestra’s role as a connecting force for good in the community and providing our youth with the far-reaching benefits of music education. Under her leadership the orchestra has flourished both artistically and financially, and stands today as the community’s preeminent leader for live musical events that combine innovation and entertainment experiences for more than 50,000 audiences annually.
Unger holds degrees in Music and Business from the University of Louisville, and graduate degrees in Arts Administration from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and College of Business. She completed her postgraduate work as a Fellow with the League of American Orchestras and was recognized as an Emerging Arts Leader by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. Lora has worked with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New Jersey and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras. She believes in the importance of being of service to the community and serves on the Board of Directors of Friends of Foothill Family Services, the Gooden School and is a member of the San Marino Junior Alliance.
Reggie joined the Board in 2007 and has since made meaningful contributions to help shape the organization into the thriving orchestra it is today. Highlights of his tenure include his critical role in stewarding the merger of the Pasadena Symphony and the Pasadena POPS in 2008, changes of artistic leadership, negotiating multiple contracts with Orchestra including its most recent landmark five year agreement, and serving four terms as Vice President of Personnel.
Reggie worked at the Walt Disney Studios Music Department from 1987 to 2013 as its studio contractor – meaning he hired and did payroll for musicians involved in various television and film projects produced under the studio’s control including Live Action TV (ABC Studios fka Touchstone Television, and ABC Family), TV Animation, Disney Toon Studios, Live Action Features (Walt Disney Pictures, and Touchstone Pictures), Feature Animation (including Pixar), Theme Park Productions, and even the Disney Interactive Games division. In 2013, Reggie founded his company Guardian Music Services, providing independent musician contracting and consulting services specializing in musician union and score production issues.
His television credits include the musicals Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Annie, and the successful series’ Home Improvement, Dinosaurs, Lost, Alias, Desperate Housewives, Revenge, and Mickey Mouse Shorts. Motion Picture credits include The Lion King, What’s Love Got To Do With It, Bringing Down The House, Mulan, The Incredibles, Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Star Trek, Star Trek Beyond, Up, Frozen, Jurassic World, Zootopia, Coco and Star Wars: Rogue One among many others.
Prior to Disney, Reggie worked in the record business doing everything from road management to record promotion to entertainment journalism. He is also the co-author of the first Diana Ross biography published by Doubleday Publishing. Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, he is a graduate of California State University Dominguez Hills, and is a U.S. Army veteran.
Resident Pops Conductor, Larry Blank is one of the most prolific and sought after composers, conductors, and orchestrators in the entertainment business today. His work has been presented all over the world, including some of Broadway’s most successful musicals, Carnegie Hall, and top television and film projects.
He was the Music Director/Conductor and/or vocal arranger for many shows on Broadway and in Los Angeles including They’re Playing Our Song, Evita, Sugar Babies, La Cage Aux Folles, Phantom Of The Opera, Onward Victoria, Copperfield, Colette, A Chorus Line and A Little Night Music. He has been nominated three times for both the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for his orchestrations in The Drowsy Chaperone, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and with Marc Shaiman for Catch Me If You Can. Larry received a Drama Desk Nomination for orchestrations for A Christmas Story
Larry contributed to the orchestrations for both the stage and film production of The Producers, the film Chicago and is a regular conductor and arranger for BBC RADIO 2 Friday Night Is Music Night in the UK. Larry is also the Music Supervisor and Orchestrator (along with Mark Cumberland) for the Olivier Awards in London.
Blank has worked with top talent from varied fields of the entertainment world, notably as personal conductor to Michael Crawford. He has also worked with Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Bernadette Peters, Kelsey Grammar, Christine Baranski, Roberta Flack, Pete Fountain, Peabo Bryson, Sally Kellerman, Nancy Dussault, Marc Shaiman, Jerry Herman, Ann- Margaret, Davis Gaines, Bette Midler, George Benson, Placido Domingo, Randy Newman, Trisha Yearwood, Tom Scott, Quincy Jones, Michael Bolton, John Raitt and Diana Rigg.
Blank’s background includes orchestrating and arranging songs for South Park and was Music Supervisor and Orchestrator for Jerry Herman’s movie, Mrs. Santa Claus starring Angela Lansbury and Charles Durning. Some of the films he lent his talent to include The Kid, Kiss The Girls, The American President, Forget Paris, City Slickers II, The Net, That¹s Entertainment III, North, I¹d Do Anything, and Stuart Saves His Family. Blank’s music can be heard on the animated feature films, Cats Don’t Dance and All Dogs Go To Heaven as well as the 101 Dalmations Christmas Special.
Mr. Blank’s television work includes orchestrating and composing music for several of the Grammy Awards and Academy Award shows as well as numerous television movies and shows.
Mr. Blank has guest conducted most of the orchestras throughout the world, including The San Francisco Symphony, The New York Philharmonic, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Palm Beach Pops, Auckland Symphony, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Symphony, New Orleans Symphony and Toronto.
Assistant Conductor, Pasadena Symphony
David Cubek has been the director of the Claremont Concert Orchestra of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges since 2010. He was also recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony and Conductor of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra Philharmonic. In addition to being passionate about conducting and teaching, he is a firm believer in the power of music to foster social change. Since 2009, Mr. Cubek regularly conducts ensembles from Venezuela’s acclaimed music education program known as “El Sistema.” He has also collaborated with several El Sistema-inspired programs in the United States, including Youth Orchestra of LA (YOLA), Gustavo Dudamel’s initiative committed to providing intensive music training to underserved neighborhoods in the LA area. Mr. Cubek’s collaborations led to his appointment as faculty member of the Masters of Arts in Teaching Program of the Longy School of Music of Bard College, which provides training for professional musicians aspiring to become agents of social change.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Mr. Cubek began private piano and composition lessons at the age of 7 before entering the Simón Bolívar Conservatory. In 1999, he moved to Montreal to continue his music education, studying piano and music theory at McGill University and orchestral conducting at the Conservatory of Montreal. At the latter institution he was awarded First Prize with Great Distinction in orchestral conducting. Mr. Cubek completed his doctoral studies in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University, where he served as assistant and guest conductor of the opera program, and the Chamber and Symphony Orchestras. He was music director of the University of Chicago Chamber Orchestra and a lecturer in music theory at both Northwestern and McGill. In addition, Mr. Cubek has led orchestras in Canada, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Italy.