January 5, 2022

Updates to Covid-19 vaccination policy require booster shots for all eligible concertgoers 

Pasadena, CA – The New Year heralds the return of Conductor Nicholas McGegan to lead the Pasadena Symphony for Baroque: Brandenburg 5 on Saturday, January, 22 at Ambassador Auditorium with both matinee and evening performances at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. Highly regarded as “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (London Independent), the two-time Grammy nominee will jump start your year as only he can with his historical performance practice bringing a wealth of experience to this quintessential Baroque repertoire featuring Bach and Vivaldi’s most beloved concertos, plus Boccherini, and Gabriella Smith’s Brandenburg Interstices putting a fresh spin on the Baroque. You won’t want to miss this chance to witness the “the sunniest conductor in classical music” (Los Angeles Times) at his finest, as he applies his special craft to these Baroque masterpieces.

In the Pasadena Symphony’s tradition of featuring the future stars of tomorrow here today, Colburn artists and students will join the orchestra as soloists. Violinist Aubree Oliverson, with playing described as a “powerful performance, brimming with confidence and joy,” by The Miami Times, makes her Pasadena Symphony premiere on Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Colburn student Martha Chan will perform as soloist for Vivaldi’s effervescent Flute Concerto No. 3 “The Goldfinch,” and fellow Colburn student and harpsichordist Bogang Hwang will take center stage for Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 to close out the program along with her fellow guest artists.

In order to provide the safest possible experience for all concertgoers, the Pasadena Symphony has updated its Covid-19 vaccination requirements for performances at Ambassador Auditorium. All patrons who are eligible must have received a COVID-19 booster dose in addition to being fully vaccinated in order to attend this performance. Children 5 years and older who are fully vaccinated, and adults who have been fully vaccinated but are not yet eligible for a booster, will be allowed to attend. For more information, please see the CDC’s guidance on boosters: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html.

Along with a ticket, attendees must bring a photo ID and either their physical vaccination card, a picture of their vaccination card, or a digital vaccination record for entry. For a list of accepted forms of proof and the most up to date venue safety protocols, visit pasadenasymphony-pops.org/symphony-covid-safety/.

Ambassador Auditorium

The Pasadena Symphony provides a vibrant experience specially designed for the music lover, the social butterfly or a date night out and the inner epicurean in us all. Make your time at the symphony a special occasion by dining at the outdoor Rusnak Symphony Lounge. A posh setting along Ambassador Auditorium’s beautiful outdoor plaza, patrons enjoy uniquely prepared menus for both lunch and dinner at each concert by Claud & Co, a full bar and fine wines from the Michero Family serving Riboli Family Wines, plus music before the concert and during intermission. In order to provide the safest possible experience, all food must be pre-ordered. For more information, visit: https://bit.ly/symphony-dining.

All Symphony series concerts take place at Ambassador Auditorium, 131 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105, with performances at 2pm and 8pm. Subscription packages start at $99 with single tickets starting at $35. Both may be purchased online at pasadenasymphony-pops.org or by calling (626) 793-7172.

  • What: The Pasadena Symphony presents Baroque: Brandenburg 5

        Nicholas McGegan, conductor
        Aubree Oliverson, violin
        Martha Chan, flute
        Bogang Hwang, harpsichord

        Gabriella Smith Brandenburg Interstices
        Bach                    Violin Concerto No. 2
        Vivaldi                 Flute Concerto No. 3, “The Goldfinch”
        Boccherini          Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid
        Bach                   Brandenburg Concerto No. 5

  • When: Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm
  • 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.
  • Proof of Vaccination: The Pasadena Symphony is committed to providing the safest possible setting for the community and will require all concertgoers to be fully vaccinated, including a booster dose for those who are eligible to attend concerts at Ambassador Auditorium. For protocols, visit: pasadenasymphony-pops.org/symphony-covid-safety/
The Pasadena Symphony Association

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. The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, leads the POPS as Principal Pops Conductor, succeeding Marvin Hamlisch.

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 seven performing ensembles, with over 400 gifted 4th-12th grade students from all over Southern California. The PYSO Symphony has performed at venues across the globe as well as on the television show GLEE.

The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.

Nicholas McGegan

As he embarks on his sixth 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. The 2018/19 season marks his 33rd year as music director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale and he is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony.

McGegan has established the San Francisco-based Philharmonia 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. One of their greatest successes was the recent fully-staged modern-day premiere of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s 1745 opera-ballet Le Temple de la Gloire. A recording of the live performance was released in summer 2018, marking the 10th album produced on the Philharmonia Baroque Productions label. As part of their initiative of performing new music written for period instruments, PBO gave the world premiere of Sally Beamish’s The Judas Passion in 2017.

Highlighting PBO’s 2018/19 season is the completion of a PBO-commissioned song cycle by Caroline Shaw featuring mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter. The program will be toured to Alice Tully Hall at New York’s Lincoln Center. McGegan and PBO also bring Handel’s Atalanta to Caramoor Music Festival in addition to presenting Saul, one of the composer’s most inventive and popular oratorios, on their west coast subscription series.

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 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.

His 18/19 guest appearances in North America include his annual return to St. Louis Symphony as well as engagements with Baltimore, Detroit, Calgary, National and Pasadena Symphonies. Abroad, McGegan makes returns to the New Zealand Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and appears with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra in performance and in the recording studio for an upcoming release with soloist Gil Shaham. Summer Festivals include Aspen, Music Academy of the West, and MDR Musiksommer in Germany. 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.

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 Göttingen Handel Festival for 20 years (1991-2011), and Principal Guest Conductor at Scottish Opera in the 1990s. Guest appearances have brought him to the podium 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, and Handel’s Acis and Galatea and L’Allegro at venues including the Ravinia Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, and Cal Performances in Berkeley.

McGegan’s prolific discography includes more than 100 releases spanning five decades. Having recorded more than 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. Recently, the collaboration has produced albums of Kraus, Mendelssohn, Schubert, a 2-CD set of the complete Mozart violin concerti, and in fall of 2018, Haydn’s Symphonies 79, 80, and 81. A new album of early horn concertos was released in spring of 2018, with McGegan conducting the Swedish Chamber Orchestra along with soloist Alec Frank-Gemmill. Grammy nominations include Handel’s Susanna for Best Choral Performance and Haydn’s Symphonies 104, 88 & 101 for Best Orchestral Performance, both with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

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. He returns to Yale in Fall 2018 for a residency and performance with the Institute of Sacred Music. He has been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen; 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 Art, American Handel Society, and San Francisco Conservatory.

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.” 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; and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the Mayor of San Francisco in recognition of his distinguished work with Philharmonia.

Visit Nicholas McGegan on the web at www.nicholasmcgegan.com.

Aubree OliversonAubree Oliverson

Praised for her evocative lyricism and joyful, genuine approach, 23-year-old violinist Aubree Oliverson is proving to be one of America’s most promising young artists. Her performances have been described by Miami New Times as “powerful… brimming with confidence and joy” and “masterful… [with a] rich and warm sonority,” by the San Diego Story. Filled with a refreshingly positive outlook, Aubree made her solo debut with the Utah Symphony at age eleven and has since been devoted to pursuing a life in music. Aubree has garnered several accolades, including her Carnegie Hall Weill Hall recital debut at age twelve as winner of the American Protégé International Strings Competition, several featured performances on NPR’s hit radio show From The Top, a 2016 National YoungArts Foundation Award, the prestigious Dorothy DeLay Fellowship and concerto performance at the Aspen Music Festival, the Special Merit Prize 2021 at the Verbier Festival, and winner of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow on a high school student.

Highlights of Aubree’s upcoming concert schedule include opening the Louisiana Symphony season with a two-week residency, performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto under maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto along with chamber music performances in music of Stravinsky and Marsalis, debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Redlands Bowl Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, and closing the Casals Festival performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G Minor with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maximiano Valdés. Additional appearances include the Rome Chamber Music Festival and the Verbier Festival Academy and return engagements with the Utah Symphony on a mini tour with maestro Thierry Fischer.

Aubree’s recent engagements include performances with the Pacific Symphony, San Diego Symphony and six performances of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Carlos Miguel Prieto and Paolo Bortolameolli conducting the Orchestra of Americas on their tour of Mexico; performances with the Culver City, Topanga and San Fernando Valley Symphonies; recital appearances at the Grand Teton Music Festival and SOKA Performing Arts Center; a video recording project produced by VideoClassica and ArsClassica Association performing solo violin music of Bach, Ysaye, Paganini and Prokofiev; and chamber music at Le Salon des Musiques in Los Angeles. She has also previously soloed with the American Youth Symphony, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Beach Cities Symphony, Burbank Philharmonic, Colburn Orchestra, Colburn Baroque Ensemble, Millennial Choir and Orchestra, Salt Lake Pops Orchestra, Pasadena Orchestra, Utah Chamber Artists, and the Innsbrook Festival Orchestra. In 2012, she returned to the Utah Symphony, at age 13, for a performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto conducted by Vladimir Kulenovic, and the following year she performed a movement of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Joseph Silverstein and the Gifted Music School Orchestra in Salt Lake City.

Aubree also enjoys playing chamber music and has performed in various settings around the world. She participated in the Rome Chamber Music Festival 2020 performing works by Vivaldi, Handel and Bach. Ms. Oliverson was a participant in the David Finckel/Wu Han Chamber Studio at the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2015 and 2016, and she performed at the Prussia Cove IMS Masterclasses and the Music Masters Course Japan chamber music seminar in Yokohama in 2017. She has collaborated with artists such as Stefan Jackiw and Robert McDuffie in Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and with Lynn Harrell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Orli Shaham, Andrew Marriner, and Clive Greensmith as part of the Colburn Chamber Music Society in Los Angeles, and with Gil Shaham on tour in Mexico.

Passionate about reaching a broader audience, Aubree has traveled to over 100 schools throughout the Western United States, motivating and inspiring thousands of children to work hard and participate in music, and has spoken at numerous special functions including national education conventions. Recently, Aubree gave two digital master classes with the Orchestra of the Americas and last season, she participated in a masterclass and side-by-side performance with the Esperanza Azteca Youth Orchestra in Mexico. In 2018, she gave a masterclass and performance in China, and worked individually with over thirty young violinists. Aubree graduated from the Colburn Music Academy in Los Angeles in 2016 where she was concertmaster of the Academy Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra.

Aubree is a former student of Debbie Moench, Eugene Watanabe, Danielle Belen, Boris Kuschnir at the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien, and currently studies with Robert Lipsett, the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. She plays on a 1743 Sanctus Seraphin violin thanks to the generous loan of Dr. James Stewart. Aubree enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, language study, swimming, and dark chocolate.

Martha Chan

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Martha Chan is an Artist Diploma candidate at The Colburn School, where she studies with Jim Walker. She graduated with her MM in flute performance from Rice University under the tutelage of Leone Buyse and holds a BM in flute performance from The Eastman School of Music where she studied with Bonita Boyd. She was a full scholarship music student at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts where she studied with Izaskun Erdocia.

After winning “Young Musician of the Year” Winds Open Class Competition (Hong Kong, China and Macau) at age 14, Martha appeared as soloist in 2010 with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. She was also awarded the highest distinction in Associate Diploma and Licentiate Diploma from Trinity College of London at the age of 11.

Martha made her New York solo debut in Carnegie Hall’s Weil Recital Hall after winning first prize at the 2015 American Fine Arts International Concerto Competition. She also won first place in the Vienna Virtuoso International Competition and was invited to the Mettallener Saal Musikverein. A top prize winner in the London Virtuoso International Competition, she was invited to perform at Royal Albert Hall. She was the first prize winner of the 2019 Donald Peck international flute competition, 2019 Colorado Flute Association Young Artist Competition, 2015 Rochester Flute Association Emerging Artist Category, Parson Music Scholarship for Winds, Brass and Percussion Instruments. She was also a finalist in the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Young Artist Competition and the 56th Annual Eastern Connecticut Symphony Instrumental Competition. Martha was selected to receive a Performer’s Certificate from Eastman School of Music for her achievements as a flutist and was runner up for the Shepherd School of Music’s Concerto competition.

As an orchestral musician, Martha has performed as principal flute at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts with the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute and at Lincoln Center with the Eastman Philharmonia. Martha has spent summers performing at festivals including Spoleto Festival USA, Aspen Music Festival and School, Sarasota Music Festival, where she performed J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 alongside Thomas Robertello and Margaret Batjer as a soloist, The Kennedy Center’s National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute with full scholarship, Hamamatsu International Wind Instrument Academy and Festival and Orford Musique.

Bogang Hwang

Bogang Hwang is a 24-year-old pianist from Seoul, Korea. She began playing the piano at age six. She graduated from the Sunhwa Arts High School, where she had won the excellence performance awards for 3 years in succession. She also got a scholarship from the Sunhwa Piano Society. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Seoul National University, where she studied with Ick-choo Moon. She is a prize winner in many competitions in Korea such as the Eumag

Chunchu Competition, Educlassic Music Competition, Korea Germany Brahms Association Competition, The Seoul Orchestra Competition, Eumyoun Piano Competition and The Korean Liszt Competition. She has also participated in a number of festivals, including the Seoul National University International Piano Adcademy, Seoul National University International Chamber Music Festival and Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival. Now, she is an Artist Diploma candidate at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where she studies with Fabio Bidini.

Gabriella Smith

Gabriella Smith is a composer from the San Francisco Bay Area whose music is described as “high-voltage and wildly imaginative” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and “the coolest, most exciting, most inventive new voice I’ve heard in ages” (Musical America). Her music has been performed throughout the U.S. and internationally by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Roomful of Teeth, Aizuri Quartet, Dover Quartet, eighth blackbird, Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, PRISM Quartet, and yMusic, among others.

Recent highlights include the world premiere of a new work for Roomful of Teeth and Dover Quartet at Bravo! Vail Music Festival, and performances of Tumblebird Contrails by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in January 2019, conducted by John Adams. Current projects include a new solo piano piece for Timo Andres and recording an album at Greenhouse Studios in Iceland.

During the 2016-17 season, Gabriella was the Nashville Symphony’s inaugural Composer Lab & Workshop Fellow. Other recent residencies include two months as an artist fellow at Instituto Sacatar on the island of Itaparica in Bahia, Brazil and a Copland House Residency at Aaron Copland’s home in Cortlandt Manor, New York. After graduating, she returned to the Curtis Institute of Music as an ArtistYear Fellow for the 2015-16 season, dedicating a citizen-artist year of national service in the Philadelphia region.

She has received commissions from Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the People’s Commissioning Fund for Bang on a Can’s Field Recordings project, the Pacific Harmony Foundation for the 2014 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the New York Youth Symphony as part of their First Music program, Tucson Symphony, yMusic, the Barnes Foundation for the opening of their 2015 exhibition Order of Things, Friction Quartet, One Book One Philadelphia in celebration of their 2012 book selection Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival for their 2012 season opening concert, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble for their 9th Annual Young Composers Concert, the Rock School of Ballet in Philadelphia, and Monadnock Music in collaboration with poet Marcia Falk, among others.

Gabriella is a recipient of a BMI Student Composer Award (2018), the ASCAP Leo Kaplan Award (2014),  three ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, a winner of the American Modern Ensemble Ninth Annual Composition Competition (2015), the Theodore Presser Foundation Music Award (2012), and the First Place Prize in the 2009 Pacific Musical Society Composition Competition.

Gabriella received her Bachelors of Music in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with David Ludwig, Jennifer Higdon, and Richard Danielpour. After Curtis, she attended Princeton University for graduate studies, where she has studied with Steve Mackey, Paul Lansky, Dan Trueman, Dmitri Tymoczko, Donnacha Dennehey, and Ju Ri Seo.

When not composing, she can be found hiking, backpacking (playing trail songs on her ukulele along the way), birding, playing capoeira, and recording underwater soundscapes with her hydrophone.