Pasadena CA –Tender melodies, powerful choruses, exquisite arias — Mozart’s hauntingly beautiful Requiem gets the Pasadena Symphony’s 2018-19 season off to a grand start on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Ambassador Auditorium with both matinee and evening performances at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 3 and Elgar’s Introduction & Allegro round out this deeply-emotive program, culminating in Robert Levin’s 20th century completion of Mozart’s contentious final masterpiece. Audiences will be blown away by the power of this beautiful and dramatic program that Music Director David Lockington and the Pasadena Symphony have planned to open its 91st season.

Pasadena’s most-anticipated opening night of the concert season will envelop audiences with voices from the Donald Brinegar Singers and the JPL Chorus, conducted by Donald Brinegar, alongside four stellar vocalists: soprano Amanda Keenan, mezzo-soprano Tracy Van Fleet, tenor

James Onstad and baritone Lee Poulis, twice named Best Young Singer by Die Welt. Audiences may know Onstad from his work with LA’s experimental opera company, The Industry, where he recently brought to life the role of Orfeo in their monumental production of Hopscotch – a mobile, immersive operatic experience, which the New Yorker called “awe inspiring.” To learn more about the music or the soloists for this performance, join us for Insights – a free pre-concert dialogue with David Lockington, which begins one hour prior to each concert.

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. Patrons can plan to arrive early for Insights, a pre-concert discussion with Music Director David Lockington that begins one hour prior to curtain. The luxurious Symphony Lounge provides yet another addition to the delightful and elegant concert experience the Pasadena Symphony offers. A posh setting at Ambassador Auditorium’s beautiful outdoor plaza, audiences enjoy uniquely prepared menus for both lunch and dinner at each concert from Claud &Co, fine wines by Michero Family Wines, plus music before the concert and during intermission.

All concerts are held at Ambassador Auditorium, 131 South St. John Ave, Pasadena, CA with both matinee and evening performances at 2pm and 8pm. Single tickets start at $35 and may be purchased online at or by calling (626) 793-7172. A limited number of tickets will be available at the box office on the day of the concert.

  • What: The Pasadena Symphony presents Mozart Requiem
    David Lockington, conductor
    Amanda Keenan, soprano
    Tracy Van Fleet, mezzo-soprano
    James Onstad, tenor
    Lee Poulis, baritone
    The Donald Brinegar Singers and The JPL Chorus
    Donald Brinegar, conductorMendelssohn       String Symphony No. 3
    Elgar                   Introduction & Allegro
    Mozart                 Requiem
  • When: Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm
  • Where: Ambassador Auditorium | 131 South St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105
  • Cost: Tickets start at $35.00
  • Dining: Located on the plaza at Ambassador Auditorium, the Symphony Lounge opens at 12:30pm before the matinee and 6:00pm before the evening performance.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Concert Discussion: Pre-concert discussion with David Lockington begins one hour before curtain and is available to all ticket holders at no cost.
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.

Amanda Keenan

With her “velvet tones” and “expressive manner”, soprano Amanda A. Keenan is a voice to be heard [and seen]!

Ms. Keenan is a native to Southern California, where she completed her undergraduate Vocal Performance studies at Cal State Fullerton. During her studies, she performed frequently, and had the pleasure to premiere the principal role in the new opera “A Wake or a Wedding” written by Richard Pearson Thomas.

On the opera stage Amanda recently made her debuts with the Corona Del Mar Baroque Festival singing the role of Dorinda in Handel’s ‘Orlando’ and with the Pacific Symphony as Adele in ‘Die Fledermaus’. In 2017 Amanda attended the prestigious American Bach Soloists Academy in San Fransisco, where she was called “captivating” for her performances in Purcell’s ‘King Arthur’ and Bach’s ‘B Minor Mass’.

Equally at home on concert and opera stages alike, her notable solo concert performances include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Poulenc’s Gloria and C.P.E Bach’s Magnificat with the Angeles Chorale, Mozart’s Requiem with Citrus College, and Mahler’s Second Symphony with Young Artist Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles. She is very excited to make her debut with the Pasadena Symphony in Mozart’s Requiem!

Cornering the market on crossover singing, Ms. Keenan recently made her Dolby Theater debut as the soprano soloist in the Eorzean Symphony for the ‘Final Fantasy XIV’ concerts in Los Angeles, and her LA Live debut as the soprano soloist in the ‘Music of Miyazaki’ concert.

In 2018 she was selected as a finalist in the Handel Aria Competition this year, and was a semi-finalist in the Lotte Lenya Competition in NY in 2016, and was a recipient of the Opera Buffs award in 2016.

Amanda truly enjoys singing and performing a variety of repertoire. She fronts the very sexy, modern jazz fusion band ‘Citizen Kitten’ who performs at various venues throughout LA and beyond. Amanda is an active session singer for movies and videos games. She also enjoyes writing and producing songs in her spare time, and has aspirations of becoming a singing DJ!

In addition to singing, Amanda is a professional model and a yoga teacher. You might catch one of her classes, or find paintings of her hanging in galleries around her hometown of Los Angeles.

Tracy Van Fleet
Mezzo Soprano

Tracy Van Fleet is pleased to be returning to sing with the Pasadena Symphony.  Her rich and warm mezzo soprano has earned critical acclaim singing from Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to the Symphonieorchester Lüneburg in Germany.

As a soloist, she has performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Lüneburg Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, Naples Philharmonic, Los Angeles Bach Festival, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Philharmonic, USC Symphony and Chorus, and others.  She has had many appearances with the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Opera Pacific, San Diego Opera and Opera Colorado. In 2017 she was the alto soloist for 6 different productions of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Germany, Mexico and the US.  In 2016 she was the featured mezzo soloist on a tour of Italy singing the Mozart Requiem at many UNESCO sites.  She has also toured Europe and the U.S. with the Los Angeles Philharmonic singing in the new oratorio by John Adams The Gospel According to the Other Mary.   Ms. Van Fleet earned a Master and Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California, where she graduated cum laude.

Among various operatic roles, Ms. Van Fleet has sung Carmen in an adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen, both the Witch and Mother in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Flora in Verdi’s La Traviata, Tisbe in Rossini’s Cenerentola, and Lola in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.  She has sung Gilbert and Sullivan in theaters across the United States, including the roles of Ruth in Pirates of Penzance, Katisha in The Mikado, and Buttercup in HMS Pinafore.  On the concert stage, she has earned high praise as the alto soloist for many performances of Bach’s B Minor MassSt. John’s Passion, and Magnificat, Beethoven’s Mass in C and 9th Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem, and many others.

James Onstad

Hailed as “sensitive and precise” and “hauntingly beautiful” (New Classic LA), James Onstad is an active performer at the leading edge of classical music. Audiences across America have seen him as a recitalist, oratorio singer, and operatic performer with companies including the Chicago Lyric Opera Unlimited, Los Angeles’ The Industry, the American Repertory Theater, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

As an operatic performer, James is committed to new and relevant work. He has performed regularly with the Los Angeles experimental opera company, The Industry, and brought to life the the role of Orfeo in their monumental production of Hopscotch – a mobile, immersive operatic experience, which Alex Ross of the New Yorker called “awe inspiring.” And in 2017, he premiered the role of Ted Hinton in an Industry production of Andrew McIntosh’s new opera Bonnie and Clyde. James has also collaborated closely with the young American composer Matthew Aucoin. He premiered the role of Jake in Aucoin’s Second Nature with Chicago Lyric Opera Unlimited and sang in the world premiere of Aucoin’s Crossing with the American Repertory Theater in 2015 and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2017.  This November, James will make his debut with the LA Philharmonic in a production of John Cage’s Europeras I & II . Traditional operatic credits include Sam (Kurt Weill’s Street Scene), Candide (Bernstein’s Candide), Amida (Cavalli’s L’Ormindo), and Tom Rakewell (Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress).

James is a passionate interpreter of Art Song and has has honed this craft under guidance of the masters of our time. He was a Stern Fellow at Songfest in 2013 where he studied with Margo Garrett and Martin Katz. In 2017, he was invited to the Hidden Valley Music Festival to study German Lieder with Graham Johnson and Sir Thomas Allan.  James is engaged for a number of recitals in the 2018-2019 season. In March of 2019, he will present a recital of French song with La Salon de Musiques Chamber Music series in Los Angeles. And in the late Spring of 2019, he will tour the Southwest alongside the acclaimed guitarist David Leisner with a program of music for tenor and guitar.

On the concert stage, James has made his mark as a talented and versatile soloist. In December of 2017, he was the tenor soloist and evangelist in a one-on-a-part presentation Bach’s Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio with Musica Angelica—“Southern California’s most important early music ensemble” (LA Times). In August of 2018, James will make his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a street singer in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. Previous concert highlights include the tenor soloist in the Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi Clorinda, Carissimi’s Jonas, Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony, as well as newer works, including Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest and Zachary Wadsworth’s Venus and Adonis.

A native of Santa Fe, NM, James Onstad holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Harvard University and a master’s degree in vocal performance from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

Lee Poulis

Lee Poulis has been critically praised for his “commanding presence” and for his “dark baritone, rich in color,” calling it a voice “of power and beauty.” Twice named Best Young Singer by Die Welt, Lee Poulis has performed at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden of Berlin, Teatro Real of Madrid, the Opera of Bilbao, Teatro Municipal of Santiago, and with the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn. He performed the title role in the national premieres of Doctor Atomic in Germany and at the Finnish National Opera, a production which was nominated for one of Europe’s top theater prizes, Der Faust.

In the 2016-17 season Lee Poulis sings Bach’s cantata Ich habe genug with the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida. In the 2015-16 season Mr. Poulis joined the roster of San Francisco Opera for its production of Lucia di Lammermoor; was soloist in Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with Florida Orchestra; in Mozart’s Orphanage Mass with San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival; and in Carmina Burana with Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra and again with the Claremont Chorale. His 2014-15 season included his return to Europe to reprise the role of Oppenheimer in Adams’ Doctor Atomic with Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, his debut in the title role of Eu- gene Onegin with Teatre Principal de Palma, Mallorca, and reprising the role of Heathcliff in Her- Hermann’s Wuthering Heights with Staatstheater Braunschweig. He also sang the role of Leporello in Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of Don Giovanni; was soloist with Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra in Avner Dorman’s “Dialogues of Love;” and in Hindemith’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” with Choral Society of Durham, also with New York Choral Society, which marked his Carnegie Hall debut.

His 2013-14 engagements included Ford in Falstaff with Opera Santa Barbara, Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de perles in his debut with Fort Worth Opera, joining the roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Die Fledermaus, and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Belleayre Festival Opera. In season 2012-13 he sang Marcello in La bohème in his debut with Toledo Opera, Enrico with Dayton Opera, Zurga with Sarasota Opera, and made his debut with the Berkshire Choral Festival in selections from Les Pêcheurs de perles, La Rondine, and Aida.

In his trans-Atlantic career he has sung the title role in Doctor Atomic with the Finnish National Opera, also with Saarländisches Staatstheater; Valentin in Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore; Enrico with Sarasota Opera; made his debut with both Minnesota Opera as Heathcliff in Her- Hermann’s Wuthering Heights; and with Sarasota Opera in the title role of Don Giovanni. He returned to Theater Bonn as a member of the ensemble to perform the roles of Escamillo in Carmen, Ping in Turandot, Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Father in Hänsel und Gretel, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, and Pantalon in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges. Other international opera credits include Marcello in La bohème with Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Teatro Real in Madrid, Masetto in Don Giovanni with both Opera Bilbao and Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, and Wanderer in a scene with Erda from Siegfried for La Fura dels Baus at the British Museum.

Past successes include the role of Valentin in Faust with Theater Chemnitz; soloist in Hanns Eissler’s Deutsche Sinfonie with Beethovenfest Bonn in Germany; and Germont in La traviata, Yeletsky in Pique Dame, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, all as a member of the ensemble at Theater Bonn. His frequent appearances at Washington National Opera include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Senator Raitcliffe in the world premiere of Scott Wheel- er’s Democracy, Masetto in Don Giovanni, and De Siriex in Fedora for the company’s Trilogy Gala. As a member of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Program he performed the roles of Charlot in Ibert’s Angelique and Mr. Gobineau in The Medium, and added the roles of Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Germont in La traviata to his repertoire while at Los Angeles Opera. Mr. Poulis also performed four roles in Shostakovich’s The Nose at the Bard Summer- scape Festival, and Marcello in La bohème in a concert performance with the Newton Sympho- ny Orchestra.

Mr. Poulis’ concert engagements include baritone soloist in Messiah with the Kansas City Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the American Youth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem with the Masterworks Chorale, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the Waltham Philharmonic and the Masterworks Chorale, Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis with the Reston Chorale, Lord Nelson Mass at the Beijing Concert Hall, Fauré’s Requiem with both the Atlantic Union College and the Gemini Youth Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with Commonwealth Opera. Mr. Poulis has also appeared in recital with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Carnegie’s Weill Hall as well as in Washington D.C. with the Washington Vocal Arts Society.

Lee Poulis is the first prize winner in the 2008 Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition, top prize winner in the 2008 Francisco Viñas International Voice Competition, and first prize winner in the 2007 Chester Ludgin International Verdi Baritone Competition, as well as an Encouragement Award recipient in the 2008 George London Foundation Awards competition. In addition to San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, he is an alumnus of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, as well as Music Academy of the West. Mr. Poulis is a graduate of Harvard University.

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.