January 27, 2023

Pasadena, CA – The Pasadena Symphony continues the 22/23 season with Scheherazade on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at Ambassador Auditorium with matinee and evening performances at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. The orchestra’s ode to romance will also feature Grammy Award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey on Elgar’s Cello Concerto. Spanish-American conductor François López-Ferrer, who serves as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony, makes his Pasadena debut as Artistic Partner bringing the story of Scheherazade to life with Rimsky-Korsakov’s beloved masterpiece.

The Composer’s Showcase opens the program with Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s subito con forza, written for Beethoven’s 250th anniversary and inspired by his Coriolan Overture. The Times describes it as “effective and eerie, with plenty happening in five teeming minutes. Chin’s ear for color is her greatest weapon.” Cello sensation Zuill Bailey, “easily one of the finest cellists alive” (Classical Net) will then take center stage for Elgar’s heart-wrenching Cello Concerto, written as the composer’s response to the aftermath of WWI. On the second half of the program, López-Ferrer will take the audience on an exotic journey through Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

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.

All concerts are held at Ambassador Auditorium, 131 South St. John Ave, Pasadena, CA. Subscription packages start at as low as $99, with single tickets starting at $40. Both may be purchased online at www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org or by calling (626) 793-7172.

Ambassador Auditorium

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/.

  • What: The Pasadena Symphony presents Scheherazade

François López-Ferrer, conductor
Zuill Bailey, cello

Unsuk Chin                   subito con forza
Elgar                             Cello Concerto
Rimsky-Korsakov          Scheherazade

  • When: Saturday, February 11, 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.

François López-Ferrer

Spanish-American conductor François López-Ferrer came to international attention after a critically acclaimed debut at the 2018 Verbier Festival, where he jumped in for Iván Fischer in a shared program with Sir Simon Rattle and Gébor Takécs-Nagy.

In demand as a guest conductor, López-Ferrer’s recent and upcoming highlights include debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Orquesta Nacional de España, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Omaha Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Berner Symphonieorchester, Orquesta Sinfónica Radio Televisión Española (RTVE), Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Orquesta de Valencia, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Chile, Orquesta de Extremadura, Joven Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta Joven de la Sinfónica de Galicia, Orquestra Sinfônica do Paraná, and the Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre.

Throughout 2021 and 2022 López-Ferrer has been a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and May Festival, he conducts the CSO’s Young People’s Concerts and provides artistic support to CSO’s Music Director Louis Langrée and May Festival’s Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena. López-Ferrer is one of six participants to be featured in the 2022 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. He previously served as associate conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Chile (OSNCH), Principal Conductor of the Ballet Nacional Chileno, and was the youngest ever Conductor-in-Residence of the OSNCH’s Summer Concert Series.

López-Ferrer was winner of the inaugural 2015 Neeme Järvi Prize awarded at the Menuhin-Gstaad Festival and received third prize at the 2018 OFUNAM International Conducting Competition. He was previously a member of the prestigious Deutsche Dirigentenforum. López-Ferrer holds a master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne, under the tutelage of professor Aurélien Azan Zielinski, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where his teachers included Joel Hoffman, Miguel Roig-Francoli, and Michael Fiday.

Zuill Bailey

Zuill Bailey, widely considered one of the premiere cellists in the world, is a Grammy Award winning, internationally renowned soloist, recitalist, Artistic Director and teacher.  His rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry and engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought after and active cellists today.

A consummate concerto soloist, Mr. Bailey has been featured with symphony orchestras worldwide, including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, Indianapolis, Dallas, Louisville, Honolulu, Milwaukee, Nashville, Toronto, Colorado, Minnesota, Utah, Israel, Cape Town, Philharmonia (UK) and the Bruchner Orchestra in Linz, Austria. He has collaborated with such conductors as Itzhak Perlman, Alan Gilbert, Andrew Litton, Neeme Jarvi, Giancarlo Guerrero, James DePriest, Jun Markl, Carlos Kalmar, Andrey Boreyko, Krzysztof Urbanski, Jacques Lacombe, Grant Llewellyn and Stanislav Skrowaczewski.  He also has been featured with musical luminaries Leon Fleisher, Jaime Laredo, the Juilliard String Quartet, Lynn Harrell and Janos Starker.

Mr. Bailey has appeared at Disney Hall, the Kennedy Center, the United Nations, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd St. Y and Carnegie Hall, where he made his concerto debut performing the U.S. premiere of Miklos Theodorakis’ “Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra.” In addition, he made his New York recital debut in a sold out performance of the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   Bailey also presented the U.S. premiere of the Nico Muhly Cello Concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  World premieres include works by composers such as Lowell Lieberman, Phillip Lasser, Roberto Sierra, Alistair Coleman, Benjamin Wallfisch, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Jeff Lippencott and Michael Daugherty.

His international appearances include notable performances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in its 50th anniversary tour of Russia as well as concerts in Ukraine, Korea, Australia, the Dominican Republic, France, Israel, Spain, South Africa, Hong Kong, Jordan, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom. Festival appearances include Ravinia, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Manchester Cello Festival (UK), Wimbledon (UK),  Consonances- St. Nazaire ( France), Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Deia Music Festival- Mallorca (Spain), Montreal (Canada), Santa Fe, Caramoor, Chautauqua, Bravo!, Vail Valley, Maverick Concert Series, Brevard, Interlochen,  Cape Cod and the Music Academy of the West.  In addition, he was the featured soloist performing the Elgar Cello Concerto at the Bard Festival in the World Premiere of the Doug Varrone Dance Company performance of “Victorious.”

Renowned recording artist Zuill Bailey has produced more than 30 chart topping titles. Mr. Bailey won a Best Solo Performance Grammy Award in 2017, for his Live Recording of “Tales of Hemingway,” by composer Michael Daugherty.  The award winning CD, recorded with the Nashville Symphony, Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor, also won the “Triple Crown,” with Grammys for best composition, “Tales of Hemingway,” and Best Compendium.  His celebrated “Bach Cello Suites”, Britten Cello Symphony/Sonata CD with pianist Natasha Paremski, Haydn Cello Concertos CD and recently released Schumann/Brahms Concertos immediately soared to the Number One spot on the Classical Billboard Charts. Other critically acclaimed recordings include his live performances with the Indianapolis Symphony of the Bloch Schelomo, Muhly Cello Concerto (World Premiere), Brahms Sextets with the Cypress Strings Quartet, Elgar and Dvorak Cello Concertos, described by Gramophone magazine as the new “reference” recording and one that “sweeps the board.” In addition, the Dvorak Cello Concerto CD is listed in the “Penguin’s Guide,” as one the Top 1000 Classical Recordings of all time.  Zuill Bailey’s other releases include “Brahms” complete works for cello and piano with pianist Awadagin Pratt, and “Russian Masterpieces” showcasing the works of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.  Mr. Bailey is featured on the chart topping Quincy Jones- produced “Diversity,” with pianist/composer Emily Bear.  Other releases include his innovative “Spanish Masters” CD for Zenph Studios, where he forms a unique duo blending with recordings of composer Manuel de Falla and an all American recital program with Pianist Lara Downes on the Steinway and Sons label. His discography also includes a debut recital disc for Delos, Cello Quintets of Boccherini and Schubert with Janos Starker, Arensky and Dohnanyi works with Lynn Harrell, Saint-Saens Cello Concertos No. 1 and 2 “Live,” and the Korngold Cello Concerto with Kaspar Richter and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz for ASV.

Zuill Bailey was named the 2014 Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumni and was awarded the Classical Recording Foundation Award for 2006 and 2007 for Beethoven’s complete works for Cello and Piano. The highly touted two disc set with pianist Simone Dinnerstein was released on Telarc worldwide. In celebration of his recordings and appearances, Kalmus Music Masters has released “Zuill Bailey Performance Editions,” which encompasses the core repertoire of cello literature.

Network television appearances include a recurring role on the HBO series “Oz,” NBC’s “Homicide,” A&E, NHK TV in Japan, a live broadcast and DVD release of the Beethoven Triple Concerto performed in Tel Aviv with Itzhak Perlman conducting the Israel Philharmonic, and a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico City. Mr. Bailey is also featured in the televised production of the Cuban premiere of Victor Herbert’s Cello Concerto No. 2 with the National Orchestra of Cuba. He has been heard on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “Tiny Desk Concert,” “Performance Today,” “Saint Paul Sunday,” BBC’s  “In Tune,” XM Radio’s “Live from Studio II,” Sirius Satellite Radio’s “Virtuoso Voices,”  the KDFC Concert Series, KUSC, Minnesota Public Radio, WQXR’s “Cafe Concert”, WFMT and RTHK Radio Hong Kong.

Mr. Bailey received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School. His primary teachers include Loran Stephenson, Stephen Kates and Joel Krosnick. Mr. Bailey performs on the “rosette” 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. In addition to his extensive solo touring engagements, he is the Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica (Texas), the Sitka Summer Music Festival/Series and Cello Seminar, (Alaska), Juneau Jazz and Classics, (Alaska), the Northwest Bach Festival (Washington),  Classical Inside Out Series- Mesa Arts Center(Arizona) and is Director of the Center for Arts Entrepreneurship and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso.


Unsuk Chin

Unsuk Chin was born in 1961 in Seoul, Korea. She began to teach herself piano and music theory at an early age and subsequently studied composition at the Seoul National University with Sukhi Kang. An ensemble composition of hers was selected for the 1984 ISCM World Music Days in Canada, and in 1986 for the UNESCO ‘Rostrum of Composers.’ In 1985 Chin won the first prize of the Gaudeamus Foundation in Amsterdam with Spektra for three celli, her university graduation work. In the same year she moved to Europe after receiving an academic exchange grant to study in Germany, and until 1988 took composition lessons at the University for Music and Theatre in Hamburg with György Ligeti, who encouraged her to look beyond the aesthetics of the current avant-garde. After completing her studies with Ligeti in 1988, Unsuk Chin moved to Berlin and worked as a freelance composer at the Electronic Music Studio of the Technical University of Berlin, where she realized several works over the following decade.

Already in Trojan Women for three female singers, female chorus, and orchestra, based on Euripides’ play, composed in 1986 and premiered in 1990 at the ISCM World Music Days by Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Chin’s original style was fully evident: music, which is modern in language, but lyrical and non-doctrinaire in communicative power. However, it was Akrostichon–Wortspiel (Acrostic-Wordplay) (1991-93) for solo soprano and ensemble, a piece, which has been programmed in over 20 countries to date by leading international ensembles, which marked Chin’s international breakthrough.

In 1992 Unsuk Chin was selected by the Reading Panel of the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris to write Fantaisie mécanique in 1994, the first of six works to date commissioned by this ensemble. In 1993 Chin was awarded first prize at the Competition for Orchestral Works to Commemorate the Semicentennial of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for her orchestral work santika Ekatala, and in 1997 first prize for Contemporary Piano Music at the Concours International de Piano d’Orléans for her Piano Etudes. Other works from the 1990s include Xi and Double Concerto, both commissioned by Ensemble Intercontemporain, ParaMetaString, commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, Piano Concerto, commissioned by the BBC for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and Miroirs des temps, commissioned by the BBC for The Hilliard Ensemble and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The premiere of the latter in 2000 marked the beginning of a collaboration with Kent Nagano, one of the principal champions of Chin’s music. In 1999, Unsuk Chin’s music was featured by the Philharmonia Orchestra in London within the contemporary music series ‘Music of Today’. In 2000, Piano Etude No.6 (Grains) was commissioned by the Southbank Centre on the occasion of Pierre Boulez’s 75th birthday. Xi for ensemble and electronics, which was premiered by Ensemble Intercontemporain and David Robertson in Paris and performed during their US tour in 1999, was awarded first prize at the Bourges International Competition for Electroacoustic Music in 2000.

Chin was composer-in-residence with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in 2001/02, culminating in the commission of a Violin Concerto, premiered in January 2002 with Viviane Hagner as soloist and Kent Nagano as conductor, for which she was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in 2004. The concerto has since been performed in 16 countries in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

The noughties saw the creation of three large-scale vocal works: Kalá for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, which was co-commissioned by the Danish Radio Symphony, the Gothenburg Symphony and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras, and premiered under the baton of Peter Eötvös in March 2001 in Gothenburg; snagS & Snarls (2003-04) for soprano and orchestra was commissioned by Los Angeles Opera; Cantatrix Sopranica (2004-05) for two sopranos, countertenor, and ensemble, released on CD by Wergo and co-commissioned by the London Sinfonietta, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, St. Pölten Festival (Austria), Ensemble Intercontemporain, and Ensemble musikFabrik.

In 2005, Unsuk Chin’s Violin Concerto was performed three times by Christian Tetzlaff and the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. In the same year, she was awarded the Arnold Schoenberg Prize in Vienna and her first portrait CD was released by Deutsche Grammophon in their 20/21-series, celebrating ten years of collaboration with the Ensemble intercontemporain. A re-release of this CD was brought out by Kairos in 2011.

Between 2006 and 2017 Chin was Composer-in-Residence with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, overseeing its contemporary music series which she founded. Her opera Alice in Wonderland received its world premiere on 30 June 2007 at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich as the opening performance of the Munich Opera Festival. The production, directed by Achim Freyer and conducted by Kent Nagano, was named ‘World Premiere of the Year’ in the annual survey of European opera critics published in the yearbook of Die Opernwelt and ranked on the Los Angeles Times “Best of 2007” list. A DVD of this production was released by Unitel Classica. Since then, Alice in Wonderland has been staged in Geneva, Bielefeld, and in a new reduced orchestration in Saint Louis, Los Angeles and London.

In 2007, Chin was awarded the Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis and the awards of the Kyung-Ahm Foundation and the Daewon Foundation in South Korea. Several contemporary music festivals focused on her music: MITO Settembre Musica in Italy, Festival Musica Strasbourg, MADE Festival in Sweden and the festival of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. In 2007, Unsuk Chin composed Double Bind? for violin and live electronics at IRCAM in Paris. She returned there in 2011 to write Fanfare chimérique, a piece for two spatially distributed wind ensembles and electronics, for Ensemble Intercontemporain. Rocaná for orchestra (2008) was jointly commissioned by Montréal Symphony Orchestra, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation, and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. Among other occasions, it was performed in 2008 by the Montréal Symphony Orchestra during its US tour in Carnegie Hall and also four times by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In 2009 Chin was Composer-in-Residence at the Philharmonie in Essen and composed two concertos: a Cello Concerto, commissioned by the BBC and written for Alban Gerhardt, was premiered at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall and received the British Composer Award in 2010; Šu for sheng (chinese mouth organ) and orchestra, commissioned by Suntory Hall Tokyo, ZaterdagMatinee, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Philharmonie Essen, was written for the world’s leading sheng player Wu Wei. Cello Concerto was also performed three times by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2011 under the baton of Susan Mälkki, and Šu was programmed in three of four of Gustav Dudamel’s inaugural concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Gougalon – Scenes from a Street Theatre, a commission of Siemens Arts Program and Ensemble Modern, was premiered in Berlin in 2009 and awarded the Music Composition Prize of the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco in 2010. An expanded version of Gougalon has been commissioned by Ensemble Intercontemporain and was first performed in January 2012 in Paris. In 2009, a portrait CD including Rocaná and Violin Concerto, performed by Viviane Hagner, Kent Nagano and Montréal Symphony Orchestra, was released by Analekta and was nominated for the Midem Classical Award in 2010. The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and their Chief Conductor Myung-Whun Chung performed Violin Concerto and Šu during their European Tour in 2010 in Germany, Russia, Italy and Czech Republic, and recorded the Piano Concerto, Cello Concerto and Šu for release by Deutsche Grammophon in 2014, with Sunwook Kim, Alban Gerhardt and Wu Wei as soloists. In 2010, Unsuk Chin was announced by Esa-Pekka Salonen as new Artistic Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Music of Today series in London, a position she held for nine seasons between 2011 and 2020.

In 2011, the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion Day at London’s Barbican Centre focused on her music. In 2012 Unsuk Chin was awarded the Ho-Am Prize, the most prestigious within the arts sector in Korea. Graffiti for chamber orchestra was composed for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel in 2013, a Clarinet Concerto was premiered by Kari Kriikku in 2014, Le Silence des Sirènes was commissioned by Roche for soprano Barbara Hannigan and the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle in 2014, and Mannequin for orchestra was premiered in 2015. Recent works include Chant des Enfants des Étoiles for choirs and orchestra, premiered within the inaugural events at the Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul in 2016, Chorós Chordón toured to the Far East in 2017 by the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle, the concerto for orchestra SPIRA premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla in 2019, and the Beethoven-inspired orchestral concert-opener subito con forza that has travelled widely since its premiere in 2020. Unsuk Chin was awarded the Wihuri Sibelius Prize in 2017, the Hamburg Bach Prize in 2019, the Kravis Prize in 2020, and the Leonie Sonning Music Prize in 2021. In 2022 Unsuk Chin starts a five year tenure as Artistic Director of the Tongyeong International Festival in South Korea and her Artistic Directorship of the Weiwuying International Music Festival in Taiwan.

Unsuk Chin has been published exclusively by Boosey & Hawkes since 1994.

Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes

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.