Building on the 25-year legacy of Maestro Jorge Mester, the Pasadena Symphony Association has named Maestro James DePreist – widely esteemed as one of America’s finest conductors – as its Artistic Advisor. Renowned for his work with the most prestigious symphony orchestras in the US, Europe and Asia, his transformation of the Oregon Symphony from a regional orchestra to an internationally acclaimed ensemble, his ongoing presence at the Aspen Music Festival, appearances over the years at Tanglewood and the Mann Center in Philadelphia and his position as Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at the Juilliard School all make him the ideal choice to expand the artistic prowess of the Pasadena Symphony Association as it continues to reinvent itself in this new era.

Maestro James DePreist

Maestro DePreist’s responsibilities will be to serve as an artistic partner advising on matters regarding guest conductors, soloists and orchestral repertoire that will best serve the Pasadena Symphony Association and its community as the Association takes the time it needs to identify its permanent artistic leader.  Additionally, DePreist will counsel the Association in its artistic direction as it moves through its transition from being a regional orchestra to an ensemble that becomes a more prominent artistic force in Southern California.

“Maestro DePreist’s appointment as Artistic Advisor allows the Association the breathing room necessary in finding the perfect artistic and philosophical fit for the orchestra, community and organization as it engages a roster of conductors from the incredible depth and breadth of talent that is out there on the national and international scene,” states Paul Jan Zdunek, Chief Executive Officer

Having made an important impact on the life of American music, the President of the United States presented James DePreist with the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.

“A musician of Mr. DePreist’s stature and credentials would be welcomed by anyone with a special affection and concern for the future of the Pasadena Symphony,” comments Andrew Malloy, Chair of the Orchestra Committee.

Maestro DePreist will lead the Pasadena Symphony at its inaugural concert weekend of the season in its new home at the Ambassador Auditorium – known as the Carnegie Hall of the West –on Saturday October 23, 2010. This opening concert featuring one of America’s most acclaimed violinists, Anne Akiko Meyers, performing Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, will culminate in Brahms’ heroic Symphony No. 2.  In addition to 8 pm performances, 2 pm concerts have also been added to the Symphony’s Classics Series for the 2010-11 Season.

“After an esteemed 25-year journey with Maestro Jorge Mester – one that shaped the orchestra into the jewel that it is today – we look optimistically into the future as we welcome Maestro DePreist on our path to prosperity,” reflects Melinda Shea, President of the Board of Directors.