Pasadena, CA – Join the Pasadena Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor Nicholas McGegan as he delivers Mozart & McGegan on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at Ambassador Auditorium with performances at 2pm and 8pm. “An expert in 18th-century style” (The New Yorker), the two-time Grammy nominee ends his tenure with the Pasadena Symphony with this Mozart Spectacular, conducting Mozart’s Symphony No. 39 and the emotionally charged Piano Concerto No. 20, performed by 2017 Steinway/Colburn Festival winner Yerin Yang. Hailed as “the sunniest conductor in classical music!” (Los Angeles Times), McGegan’s historical performance practice will make the brilliance of Mozart shine in this unforgettable farewell performance.
The program fittingly opens with two contemporary pieces by Pulitzer-prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, written personally for Nicholas McGegan. Shaw’s And So and Red, Red, Rose were commissioned as part of the trilogy Is a Rose, for McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in 2019. The youngest-ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, Shaw’s music transcends genres, and she has worked with everyone from Kanye West to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Shaw’s poetic work, based on Robert Burn’s ballad Red, Red, Rose, will be performed by sought-after vocalist Eliza Bagg, a collaborator of Shaw and her Grammy-winning Roomful of Teeth.
The Pasadena Symphony provides a quintessential experience specially designed for the music lover, the social butterfly, a date night out, and the inner epicurean in us all. For those who want to learn more about the music, join us for Insights – a free pre-concert dialogue with Conductor Nicholas McGegan, which begins one hour prior to each performance. Patrons who plan to arrive early can also enjoy a drink or a bite in the lively Symphony Lounge, yet another addition to the carefree and elegant concert experience the Pasadena Symphony offers. A posh setting along 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 Pasadena Symphony performances take place at Ambassador Auditorium, located at 131 South St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA. Subscriptions start at $99 with single ticket prices starting at $35. Tickets may be purchased online at pasadenasymphony-pops.org or by calling (626) 793-7172.
What: The Pasadena Symphony presents Mozart & McGegan
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Eliza Bagg, soprano
Yerin Yang, piano
Caroline Shaw And So
Caroline Shaw Red, Red, Rose
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20
Mozart Symphony No. 39
When: Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Where: Ambassador Auditorium | 131 South St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105
Cost: Tickets start at $35.00
Parking: Valet parking is available on St. John Ave. for $20. General parking is available in two locations for $10: next to the Auditorium (entrance on St. John Ave) at the covered parking structure 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.
Symphony Lounge: Located on the plaza at Ambassador Auditorium. Opens at 12:30 pm before the matinee and 6:00 pm before the evening performance.
Pre-Concert Discussion: Pre-concert discussion with Conductor Nicholas McGegan begins one hour before curtain and is available to all ticket holders at no cost.
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.
“In his five years leading the PSO, Lockington has taken an ensemble that was already quite good and elevated it into one where excellence is the byword.” – 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 300 gifted 4th-12th grade students from more than 50 schools all over the Southern California region. The PYSO has toured internationally at prestigious venues in New York, Vienna, and most recently San Jose, Costa Rica. They regularly perform throughout Southern California and have appeared 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.
Principal Guest Conductor
As he embarks on his fourth decade on the podium, Nicholas McGegan — long hailed as “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (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. In 2015 he begins his 30th year as music director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and continues as 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 15/16 season features appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (with which he has appeared annually for 20 years), St. Louis, BBC Scottish, RTÉ National, and New Zealand Symphonies; the Cleveland Orchestra/Blossom Music Festival; the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Caramoor and Carnegie Hall, and the Juilliard School. Under McGegan this season, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra performs Scarlatti’s La gloria di primavera at Carnegie Hall and throughout California’s Orange County.
McGegan’s extensive discography features eight releases on Philharmonia Baroque’s label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions (PBP) including the 2011 GRAMMY® Award-nominated recording of Haydn Symphonies nos. 88, 101, and 104.
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 Baroque. In 2013, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Music.
Visit Nicholas McGegan on the web at www.nicholasmcgegan.com.
Eliza Bagg is a Los Angeles-based experimental musician. Along with her own work, she has collaborated with a number of prominent composers on projects ranging from Meredith Monk’s epic wordless opera Atlas with the LA Philharmonic (dir. Yuval Sharon) to chamber motets by John Zorn. Other recent projects include Michael Gordon’s avant-opera Acquanetta directed by Daniel Fish at Bard Summerscape, a premiere by Ellen Reid with the New York Philharmonic, new works by Caroline Shaw, David Lang and Bryce Dessner with Roomful of Teeth, a collaboration with Daniel Wohl for voice, electronics, and string quartet, and new works by Ben Frost and Julianna Barwick for a performance on the Liquid Music Series.
Bagg writes, produces, records, and performs a solo future-pop performance project as Lisel, whose music has been called “otherworldly, warped” (Stereogum) and “billowing, crystalline” (Gorilla vs. Bear). Lisel’s debut album, Angels on the Slope, was released July 26 on Luminelle Records and received critical acclaim from publications such as Pitchfork, Billboard, and The Fader. Bagg has been noted for her use of extended techniques and unique vocal sound, which Pitchfork compared to “a lovelorn alien reaching out from the farthest reaches of the galaxy” and is the basis for the ethereal, otherworldly landscape of her music.
Bagg sings regularly as a member of Roomful of Teeth and ModernMedieval trio. She has performed as a soloist on new music series of major symphonies including the Chicago Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the North Carolina Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony.
Bagg has performed at venues around the world such as Walt Disney Hall, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, International Theater Amsterdam, Art Institute of Chicago, the Kitchen, the Guggenheim, Tanglewood, Iceland Airwaves, and the Ecstatic Music Festival.
She has sung with groups like Bang on a Can All-Stars, Trinity Wall Street, NOW Ensemble, TENET, Conspirare, and Victoire (among others). Recent work with electronic, pop, and indie-rock artists include Lorde, Tim Hecker, GABI, Olga Bell, Nick Zammuto, Helado Negro, Julianna Barwick, and San Fermin. Other recent performances include Michael Gordon’s opera Acquanetta at the 2018 Prototype Festival, and appearances at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s musicNOW series, and Duke Performances.
Bagg graduated in 2012 with a BA in Music from Yale University. She was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina where she spent most of her time playing violin and studying modern dance.
Yerin Yang’s most recent success was winning the National MTNA competition in Junior Division in March 2017. She also won awards in many competitions in Chicago area, where she currently lives. Yerin was awarded first prizes in both the Sejong Music Competition and the Chinese Fine Arts Society Competition for three consecutive years in different divisions. She also placed first in the Los Angeles Young Musician international Competition in 2013.
As the winner of the 2013 DePaul Concert Festival, she performed with the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra and appeared on 98.7 WFMT: Introductions, a classical music podcast out of Chicago that features young classical musicians. Yerin participated in masterclasses with such notable musicians as Ilana Vered, John O’Conor, Gila Goldstein, Gabriel Kwok, Matti Raekallio, to name a few.
Caroline Shaw is a New York-based musician—vocalist, violinist, composer, and producer—who performs in solo and collaborative projects. She was the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 for Partita for 8 Voices, written for the Grammy-winning Roomful of Teeth, of which she is a member. Recent commissions include new works for Renée Fleming with Inon Barnatan, Dawn Upshaw with Sō Percussion and Gil Kalish, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with John Lithgow, the Dover Quartet, TENET, The Crossing, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, the Calidore Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, the Baltimore Symphony, and Roomful of Teeth with A Far Cry. The 2018-19 season will see premieres by pianist Jonathan Biss with the Seattle Symphony, Anne Sofie von Otter with Philharmonia Baroque, the LA Philharmonic, and Juilliard 415.
Caroline’s film scores include Erica Fae’s To Keep the Light and Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline as well as the upcoming short 8th Year of the Emergency by Maureen Towey. She has produced for Kanye West (The Life of Pablo; Ye) and Nas (NASIR), and has contributed to records by The National, and by Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry. Once she got to sing in three part harmony with Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds at the Kennedy Center, and that was pretty much the bees’ knees and elbows. Caroline has studied at Rice, Yale, and Princeton, currently teaches at NYU, and is a Creative Associate at the Juilliard School. She has held residencies at Dumbarton Oaks, the Banff Centre, Music on Main, and the Vail Dance Festival. Caroline loves the color yellow, otters, Beethoven opus 74, Mozart opera, Kinhaven, the smell of rosemary, and the sound of a janky mandolin.