Rodolfo Leone, piano

Pasadena, CA – The Pasadena Symphony returns to Ambassador Auditorium on Saturday, March 23 with a program of epic proportions as Music Director David Lockington leads an oversized orchestra for Mahler’s monumental “Titan” Symphony No. 1. Mahler’s First Symphony tops off a grandiose program with Mozart’s fantastical Piano Concerto No. 21 performed by International Beethoven Piano competition winner and Colburn artist Rodolfo Leone.

Mahler’s gloriously sonorous “Titan” Symphony is epic in all proportions, from its massive orchestration to sprawling form and range of emotion. Scored for an expanded orchestra, Lockington thinks “Titan” will make quite an impact in the intimate setting of the Pasadena Symphony’s home venue. “The Ambassador Auditorium is a fabulous space, and one of the things that’s great about it is its intimacy. It’s not a huge auditorium, so you’re very close to the stage, and Mahler’s First Symphony is going to blow the roof off. To hear Mahler in this auditorium is going to be a really special experience.” – David Lockington

The Pasadena Symphony provides a socially vibrant experience specially designed for the music lover, the social butterfly or a date night out, and the inner epicurean in us all. To learn more about the music, arrive early for Insights, a pre-concert discussion with Music Director David Lockington beginning one hour prior to each performance. Or grab a bite or a drink in the Symphony Lounge, yet another addition to the delightful and elegant concert experience the Pasadena Symphony has to offer. A posh setting at Ambassador Auditorium’s beautiful outdoor plaza, audiences enjoy uniquely prepared menus at each concert from Claud & Co, fine wines by Michero Family Wines, plus music before the concert and during intermission.

The Pasadena Symphony offers matinee and evening performances at 2:00pm and 8:00pm at Ambassador Auditorium, located at 131 South St. John Ave in Pasadena. Single tickets start at $35 and are available online at or by phone at (626) 793-7172, with a small amount of tickets available at the venue box office on the day of each performance.


What: The Pasadena Symphony presents Mahler Symphony No. 1 “Titan”

David Lockington, conductor

Rodolfo Leone, piano

Mozart  Piano Concerto No. 21
Mahler  Symphony No. 1

When: Saturday, March 23, 2019 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 discussions with David Lockington 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.

“…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.

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.