February 23, 2023
Pasadena, CA – Following February’s nearly sold-out Scheherazade performance, the Pasadena Symphony continues its 22/23 season with Beethoven & Rachmaninoff on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at Ambassador Auditorium with matinee and evening performances at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. Piano phenom Alexander Malofeev will headline a program of heavy-hitters by two of Classical music’s most celebrated composers, with Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony. Hailing from Indonesia, Resident Conductor of the Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra Rebecca Tong will take the podium to lead the orchestra for this electrifying performance.
But the real star of the show Malofeev, who will take the spotlight for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. An International Tchaikovsky Competition winner at age 13, the now 21-year-old piano prodigy has taken the orchestral world by storm with his recent debut at the Musikverein, which Der Standard called:
“astonishing” and “overwhelming… a world piano revolution… There are evenings when the clocks are reset. What was before is history. From now on: everything new.”
Classical music aficionados will not want to miss out on this rare opportunity to witness the rise of a prodigious genius: Alexander Malofeev.
The Pasadena Symphony provides a vibrant experience specially designed for the music lover, the social butterfly or a date night out. Guests can arrive early to enjoy the outdoor, tented Symphony Lounge, which opens 2 hours prior to show time. A posh setting along Ambassador Auditorium’s beautiful outdoor plaza, the Symphony Lounge offers sandwiches, salads and desserts by Love Birds, coffee, cocktails and fine wines from The Michero Family, before the concert and during intermission.
The Pasadena Public Health Department recommends all guests either be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to entry to Ambassador Auditorium, but it is not required. Masks are strongly recommended but not required. As conditions in the community evolve, the Pasadena Symphony reserves the right to update policies with a focus on public safety. For the most up to date venue safety protocols, visit pasadenasymphony-pops.org/symphony-covid-safety/.
All concerts are held at Ambassador Auditorium, 131 South St. John Ave, Pasadena, CA. Single tickets starting at $40 and may be purchased online at www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org or by calling (626) 793-7172.
- What: The Pasadena Symphony presents Beethoven & Rachmaninoff
Rebecca Tong, conductor
Alexander Malofeev, piano
Huang Ruo Folk Songs for Orchestra: Flower Drum Song Feng Yang, Love Songs from Kang Ding
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”
- When: Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm
- Where: Ambassador Auditorium | 131 South St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105
- Cost: Tickets start at $40.00
- Parking: Valet parking is available on St. John Ave 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 may be pre-purchased or purchased onsite. Parking purchased onsite is cash only.
The 2022/23 season will see Rebecca debut with the Orquestra Simfónica de Barcelona, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, London Philharmonic and Tonkünstler-Orchester at the Musikverein, and return to the Polish National Radio Symphony and Orchestre national Montpellier.
Since winning the First, ARTE and Orchestra Prizes at the inaugural La Maestra conducting competition in 2020, Rebecca has conducted the Orchestre de Paris, Tampere Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto, Orchestre national de Lyon and Manchester Camerata among others. She has also assisted Karina Canellakis at the London Philharmonic and François-Xavier Roth at the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln.
Born in Indonesia, Rebecca Tong is Resident Conductor of Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra and Artistic Director and Music Director of Ensemble Kontemporer. She completed her two-year tenure as Junior Fellow in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music and previously studied at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
Alexander Malofeev came to international prominence when, in 2014, he won the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians at age thirteen. Reviewing the performance, Amadeus noted, “Contrary to what could be expected of a youngster…he demonstrated not only high technical accuracy but also an incredible maturity. Crystal clear sounds and perfect balance revealed his exceptional ability.” Since this triumph, Malofeev has quickly established himself as one of the most prominent pianists of his generation.
Recent appearances include a tour of Asia with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly, as well as performances with the Orchestra del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari under Mikhail Pletnev, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Karabits in the UK, and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi in Italy. In 2022, Malofeev made debuts at major summer festivals including the Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival, Aspen Music Festival with Vasily Petrenko, and the Tanglewood Music Festival with Michael Tilson Thomas. Future appearances include his return to the Bournemouth Symphony in a multi-concert residency, and performances at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and the Isarphilharmonie in Munich.
Alexander Malofeev performs with some of the best known orchestras around the world including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, State Chamber Orchestra “Moscow Virtuosi”, Baltic Sea Philharmonic Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, Orchestre National de Lille, and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. He regularly appears with the most distinguished conductors on stage today, including Riccardo Chailly, Mikhail Pletnev, Myung-Whun Chung, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, JoAnn Falletta, Susanna Mälkki, Lionel Bringuier, Alondra de la Parra, Marcelo Lehninger, Juraj Valcuha, Kazuki Yamada, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Kristjan Jarvi, Kirill Karabits, Vladimir Spivakov, Vladimir Fedoseyev, and Vasily Petrenko, among others.
Malofeev opened the 30th anniversary concert of the renowned Meester Pianists series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Other recent highlights include concerts at Teatro alla Scala, Kurhaus Wiesbaden, Munich Herkulessaal, Philharmonie de Paris, Theater of the Champs-Elysees, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Roma, Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Australia, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman, the Bolshoi Theatre, Mariinsky Theatre, and the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.
He has been a guest of renowned music festivals and series including International de Piano de La Roque d’Anthéron Festival and La Folle Journée de Nantes in France; Rheingau Music Festival in Germany; Merano Music Festival, Palermo Classica Festival, and International Piano Festival of Brescia and Bergamo in Italy; Denis Matsuev’s Crescendo Festival; the Mikkeli Music Festival in Finland; the Mariinsky International Piano Festival and the International Winter Festival Arts Square directed by Yuri Temirkanov in St. Petersburg; Master Pianist Series in Amsterdam; Stars on Baikal International Music Festival; Zaubersee Festival in Switzerland; Celebrity Series of Boston; and Stars of the White Nights Festival in Russia.
In addition to his First Prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, he has won numerous awards and prizes at international competitions and festivals, including the Grand Prix of the first International Competition for Young Pianists Grand Piano Competition, the Premio Giovane Talento Musicale dell’anno and Best Young Musician of 2017. Also in 2017, Alexander Malofeev became the first Young Yamaha Artist.
In the spring of 2020, Sony Classical released the Tchaikovsky 2020 box-set celebrating the 180th anniversary of Tchaikovsky with a recording of his First Concerto performed by Alexander Malofeev with the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Sladkovsky.
Alexander Malofeev was born in Moscow in October 2001. He studied at two legendary Moscow institutions, Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music and Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
Composer Huang Ruo has been lauded by The New York Times for having “a distinctive style.” His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese ancient and folk music, Western avant-garde, experimental, noise, natural and processed sound, rock, and jazz to create a seamless, organic integration using a compositional technique he calls “Dimensionalism.” Huang Ruo’s diverse compositional works span from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater and dance, to cross-genre, sound installation, architectural installation, multi-media, experimental improvisation, folk rock and film.
His music has been premiered and performed by the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, National Polish Radio Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Asko/Schoenberg, Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, and conductors such as Wolfgang Sawallisch, Marin Alsop, Andrew Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, and James Conlon. His opera An American Soldier (with libretto by David Henry Hwang) has recently received its world premiere at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in June 2018, and was named one of the best classical music events in 2018 by The New York Times. His installation opera Paradise Interrupted was premiered at the Spoleto Festival USA in 2015 and was performed at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2016, with future touring planning for Europe and Asia. Another opera, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, was premiered at the Santa Fe Opera in 2014. His upcoming new opera M. Butterfly will receive its world premiere with the Santa Fe Opera in a future season. His other upcoming new operas will be premiered and presented by the Washington National Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Prototype Festival, and the Hong Kong New Vision Festival, etc. He served as the first composer-in-residence for Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and was the visiting composer for the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Brazil.
Huang Ruo was born in Hainan Island, China in 1976 – the year the Chinese Cultural Revolution ended. His father, who is also a composer, began teaching him composition and piano when he was six years old. Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, when China was opening its gate to the Western world, he received both traditional and Western education at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. As a result of the dramatic cultural and economic changes in China following the Cultural Revolution, his education expanded from Bach, Mozart, Stravinsky, and Lutoslawski, to include the Beatles, rock and roll, heavy metal, and jazz. Huang Ruo was able to absorb all of these newly allowed Western influences equally. After winning the Henry Mancini Award at the 1995 International Film and Music Festival in Switzerland, he moved to the United States to further his education. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Juilliard School. Huang Ruo is a composition faculty at the Mannes School of Music in NY, and is the artistic director and conductor of Ensemble FIRE. He was selected as a Young Leader Fellow by the National Committee on United States–China Relations in 2006. Huang Ruo’s music is published by Ricordi.
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.