January 26, 2022
Covid-19 vaccination policy requires booster shots for all eligible concertgoers
Pasadena, CA – The Pasadena Symphony continues its 2021/22 season with updated Covid-19 vaccination requirements, including boosters for all eligible patrons, staff and musicians. On the heels of a strong turnout for January’s annual Baroque concert, the orchestra sets the tone for a romantic Valentine’s weekend with Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto on Saturday, February 12 at Ambassador Auditorium with both matinee and evening performances at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. Russian-American conductor and Music Director of Chicago Opera Theater, Lidiya Yankovskaya takes to the podium for the Symphony’s ode to romance, which pairs Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture with one of the most-loved violin concertos of all time. There’s no better way to spend Valentine’s than with the most famous love letters ever penned to music.
The show opens with Elegia Andina, a sweet dedication and self-reflection from Gabriela Lena Frank, included in the Washington Post’s list of the 35 most significant women composers in history. With a multicultural background of Peruvian, Chinese, Lithuanian and Jewish descent, Frank explores her roots with pulsing Peruvian rhythms glittering throughout the piece. Korean virtuoso Chee-Yun then takes center stage for Tchaikovsky’s emotionally stirring Violin Concerto. Hailed by The New York Times as “a talented instrumentalist, with the kind of high-gloss tone that pulls sensuously at the listener’s ear,” Chee-Yun shows off her chops for Tchaikovsky’s technically rigorous masterpiece. Russian passion flows into the second half with the soaring love theme of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, and the fiery program concludes with the exotic rhythms of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol, taking the audience on an aural journey to Spain.
In order to provide the safest possible experience for all concertgoers, the Pasadena Symphony has updated its Covid-19 vaccination requirements for performances at Ambassador Auditorium. All patrons who are eligible must have received a COVID-19 booster dose in addition to being fully vaccinated in order to attend this performance. Children 5 years and older who are fully vaccinated, and adults who have been fully vaccinated but are not yet eligible for a booster, will be allowed to attend. Masks are required to be worn inside the venue at all times, with N95, KN95 and Kn94 masks strongly recommended. For the most up to date safety protocols, visit pasadenasymphony-pops.org/symphony-covid-safety/.
Make it an occasion to remember and treat your Valentine to dinner in the outdoor, tented Rusnak Symphony Lounge, yet another addition to the elegant concert experience the Pasadena Symphony offers. A posh setting along Ambassador Auditorium’s beautiful outdoor plaza, patrons enjoy uniquely prepared menus for both lunch and dinner at each concert by Claud & Co, a full bar and fine wines from the Michero Family serving Riboli Family Wines, plus music before the concert and during intermission. In order to provide the safest possible experience, all food must be pre-ordered. For more information, visit: bit.ly/symphony-dining.
All concerts are held at Ambassador Auditorium, 131 South St. John Ave, Pasadena, CA. Subscription packages start at as low as $99. Single tickets start at $35 and may be purchased online at pasadenasymphony-pops.org or by calling (626) 793-7172.
- What: The Pasadena Symphony presents Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Lidiya Yankovskaya, conductor
Gabriela Frank Elegia Andina
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio espagnol
- When: Saturday, February 12, 2022 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm
- Where: Ambassador Auditorium | 131 South St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105
- Cost: Tickets start at $35.00
- 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.
- Proof of Vaccination: The Pasadena Symphony is committed to providing the safest possible setting for the community and will require all concertgoers to be fully vaccinated, including a booster dose for those who are eligible to attend concerts at Ambassador Auditorium. For protocols, visit: pasadenasymphony-pops.org/symphony-covid-safety/
The Pasadena Symphony Association
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.
Russian-American conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya is a fiercely committed advocate for Russian masterpieces, operatic rarities, and contemporary works on the leading edge of classical music. She has conducted more than 40 world premieres, including 16 operas, and her strength as an innovative and multi-faceted collaborator has brought together the worlds of puppetry, robotics, circus arts, symphonic repertoire, and opera onstage. As Music Director of Chicago Opera Theater, Ms. Yankovskaya has led the Chicago premieres of Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick, Rachmaninov’s Aleko, Joby Talbot’s Everest, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, and the world premiere of Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride.
In the 2021/22 season, Ms. Yankovskaya makes a trio of Texan debuts, leading performances of Carmen at Houston Grand Opera, a tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and a concert of Gershwin and Dawson at Fort Worth Symphony. Elsewhere, she makes her Minnesota Opera debut with Voices United and leads a program of Brahms and Wagner at Elgin Symphony. At Chicago Opera Theater, she’ll conduct the Chicago premiere of Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus and a concert version of Carmen, starring Jamie Barton opposite Stephanie Blythe.
Elsewhere, Ms. Yankovskaya has recently conducted Don Giovanni at Seattle Opera, Pia de’ Tolomei at Spoleto Festival USA, Il barbiere di Siviglia at Wolf Trap Opera, Ellen West at New York’s Prototype Festival, and the world premiere of Taking Up Serpents at Washington National Opera. On the concert stage, she has been recently engaged with Chicago Philharmonic, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and the symphony orchestras of Mobile and Oviedo, Spain. Upcoming debuts include Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Glimmerglass Festival, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, and Opera Seville.
Ms. Yankovskaya is Founder and Artistic Director of the Refugee Orchestra Project, which proclaims the cultural and societal relevance of refugees through music, and has brought that message to hundreds of thousands of listeners around the world. In addition to a National Sawdust residency in Brooklyn, ROP has performed in London, Boston, Washington, D.C., and the United Nations. She has also served as Artistic Director of the Boston New Music Festival and Juventas New Music Ensemble, which was the recipient of multiple NEA grants and National Opera Association Awards under her leadership.
As Music Director of Harvard’s Lowell House Opera, Ms. Yankovskaya conducted sold-out performances of repertoire rarely heard in Boston, including Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the U.S. Russian-language premiere of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden. Her commitment to exploring the breadth of symphonic and operatic repertoire has also been demonstrated in performances of Rachmaninoff’s Aleko and the American premieres of Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei, Rubinshteyn’s The Demon, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kashchej The Immortal and Symphony No. 1.
An alumna of the Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors and the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, Ms. Yankovskaya has also served as assistant conductor to Lorin Maazel, chorus master of Boston Symphony Orchestra, and conductor of Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has been featured in the League of American Orchestras Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview and Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music, and assisted Vladimir Jurowski via a London Philharmonic fellowship.
Ms. Yankovskaya holds a B.A. in Music and Philosophy from Vassar College, with a focus on piano, voice, and conducting, and earned an M.M. in Conducting from Boston University. Her conducting teachers and mentors have included Lorin Maazel, Marin Alsop, Kenneth Kiesler, and Ann Howard Jones.
Ms. Yankovskaya’s belief in the importance of mentorship has fueled the establishment of Chicago Opera Theater’s Vanguard Initiative, an investment in new opera that includes a two-year residency for emerging opera composers. Committed to developing the next generation of artistic leaders, she also volunteers with Turn The Spotlight, a foundation dedicated to identifying, nurturing, and empowering leaders – and in turn, to illuminating the path to a more equitable future in the arts.
Recipient of Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards in 2018 and 2021, Ms. Yankovskaya has been a featured speaker at the League of American Orchestras and Opera America conferences, and served as U.S. Representative to the 2018 World Opera Forum in Madrid.
Violinist Chee-Yun’s flawless technique, dazzling tone, and compelling artistry have enraptured audiences on five continents. Charming, charismatic, and deeply passionate about her art, Chee-Yun continues to carve a unique place for herself in the ever-evolving world of classical music.
Chee-Yun has performed with many of the world’s foremost orchestras and conductors. Orchestral highlights include her tours of the United States with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas and Japan with the NHK
Symphony, a concert with the Seoul Philharmonic conducted by Myung-Whun Chung that was broadcast on national television, and a benefit for UNESCO with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Avery Fisher Hall. Chee-Yun has performed with such distinguished conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Jaap van Zweden, Manfred Honeck, Hans Graf, James DePriest, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Krzysztof Penderecki, Neeme Järvi, Pinchas Zukerman, Giancarlo Guerrero, José Luis Gomez, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, and Carlos Kalmar. She has appeared with the Toronto, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Atlanta, and National symphony orchestras, as well as with the Saint Paul and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras. Other orchestral engagements include performances with the Orquesta Sinfonia Nacional and the Mobile and Pasadena Symphonies, in addition to appearances with the National Philharmonic, Colorado and Pacific Symphonies, and the Tucson, Detroit, and Pensacola symphony orchestras. A champion of contemporary music, Chee-Yun has performed Christopher Theofanidis’ Violin Concerto conducted by David Alan Miller as part of the Albany Symphony’s American Festival, in addition to performing Kevin Puts’ Violin Concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
As a recitalist, Chee-Yun has performed in many major U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta. Career highlights include appearances at the Kennedy Center’s “Salute to Slava” gala honoring Mstislav Rostropovich and with the Mostly Mozart Festival on tour in Japan, as well as a performance with Michael Tilson Thomas in the inaugural season of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and the U.S. premiere of Penderecki’s Sonata No. 2 with pianist Barry Douglas. In 2016, Chee-Yun performed as a guest artist for the Secretary General at the United Nations in celebration of Korea’s National Foundation Day and the 25th anniversary of South Korea joining the UN. Other career highlights include recitals in St. Paul, Buffalo, Omaha, Scottsdale, and Washington, D.C., duo recitals with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, a recital tour with pianist Alessio Bax, and a performance at American Ballet Theatre’s fall gala. Firmly committed to chamber music, Chee-Yun has toured with Music from Marlboro and appears frequently with Spoleto USA, a project she has been associated with since its inception. Additional chamber music appearances include performances at the Ravinia, Aspen, Bravo! Vail Valley, La Jolla, Caramoor, Green Music, Santa Fe, Orcas Island, Hawaii Performing Arts, and Bridgehampton festivals in the U.S.; the Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea; the Clandeboye Festival with Camerata Ireland in Northern Ireland; the Opera Theatre and Music Festival in Lucca, Italy; the Colmar Festival in France; the Beethoven and Penderecki festivals in Poland; and the Kirishima Festival in Japan.
Chee-Yun has received exceptional acclaim as a recording artist since the release of her debut album of virtuoso encore pieces in 1993. Her recording of Penderecki’s Violin Concerto No. 2 on Naxos was acclaimed as “an engrossing, masterly performance” (The Strad) and “a performance of staggering virtuosity and musicality” (American Record Guide). Her releases on the Denon label include Mendelssohn’s E-minor Violin Concerto, Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No. 5, Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole and Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3 with the London Philharmonic under the direction of Maestro Lopez-Cobos, and violin sonatas from Debussy, Fauré, Franck, Saint-Saëns, Szymanowski, Brahms and Strauss. Two compilation discs, Vocalise d’amour and The Very Best of Chee-Yun, feature highlights of Chee-Yun’s earlier recordings. In 2007, Chee-Yun recorded the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Camerata Ireland, pianist Barry Douglas, and cellist Andrés Diaz for Satirino Records. In 2008, Decca/Korea released Serenata Notturno, an album of light classics that went platinum within six months of its release.
Chee-Yun has performed frequently on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and on WQXR and WNYC radio in New York City. She has been featured on KTV, a children’s program on the cable network CNBC, A Prairie Home Companion, Public Radio International, and numerous syndicated and local radio programs across the world. She has appeared on PBS as a special guest on Victor Borge’s Then and Now 3, in a live broadcast at Atlanta’s Spivey Hall concurrent with the Olympic Games, and on ESPN performing the theme for the X Games. In 2009, she also appeared in an episode of HBO’s hit series Curb Your Enthusiasm. A short documentary film about Chee-Yun, “Chee- Yun: Seasons on the Road,” premiered in 2017 and is available on YouTube.
Chee-Yun’s first public performance at age eight took place in her native Seoul after she won the Grand Prize of the Korean Times Competition. At 13, she came to the United States and was invited to perform Vieuxtemps’ Concerto No. 5 in a Young People’s Concert with the New York Philharmonic. Two years later, she appeared as soloist with the New York String Orchestra under Alexander Schneider at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. In 1989, she won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and a year later she became the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. In Korea, Chee-Yun studied with Nam Yun Kim. In the United States, she has worked with Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Daniel Phillips, and Felix Galimir (chamber music) at The Juilliard School.
In addition to her active performance and recording schedule, Chee-Yun is a dedicated and enthusiastic educator. She gives master classes around the world and has held several teaching posts at notable music schools and universities. Her past faculty positions have included serving as the resident Starling Soloist and Adjunct Professor of Violin at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and as Visiting Professor of Music (Violin) at the Indiana University School of Music. From 2007 to 2017, she served as Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Violin at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Chee-Yun plays a violin made by Francesco Ruggieri in 1669. It is rumored to have been buried with a previous owner for 200 years and has been profiled by the Washington Post.
Gabriela Lena Frank
Currently serving as Composer-in-Residence with the storied Philadelphia Orchestra and included in the Washington Post’s list of the 35 most significant women composers in history (August, 2017), identity has always been at the center of composer/pianist Gabriela Lena Frank’s music. Born in Berkeley, California (September, 1972), to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Gabriela explores her multicultural heritage through her compositions.
Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Gabriela has traveled extensively throughout South America in creative exploration. Her music often reflects not only her own personal experience as a multi-racial Latina, but also refract her studies of Latin American cultures, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own.
Moreover, she writes, “There’s usually a story line behind my music; a scenario or character.” While the enjoyment of her works can be obtained solely from her music, the composer’s program notes enhance the listener’s experience, for they describe how a piano part mimics a marimba or pan-pipes, or how a movement is based on a particular type of folk song, where the singer is mockingly crying. Even a brief glance at her titles evokes specific imagery: Leyendas (Legends): An Andean Walkabout; La Llorona (The Crying Woman): Tone Poem for Viola and Orchestra; and Concertino Cusqueño (Concertino in the Cusco style). Gabriela’s compositions also reflect her virtuosity as a pianist — when not composing, she is a sought-after performer, specializing in contemporary repertoire.
Winner of a Latin Grammy and nominated for Grammys as both composer and pianist, Gabriela also holds a Guggenheim Fellowship and a USA Artist Fellowship given each year to fifty of the country’s finest artists. Her work has been described as “crafted with unself-conscious mastery” (Washington Post), “brilliantly effective” (New York Times), “a knockout” (Chicago Tribune) and “glorious” (Los Angeles Times). Gabriela is regularly commissioned by luminaries such as cellist Yo Yo Ma, soprano Dawn Upshaw, the King’s Singers, the Kronos Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She has also received orchestral commissions and performances from leading American orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony. Before her current residency with the Philadelphia Orchestra for which she will compose the 45-minute Chronicles of the Picaflor (Hummingbird), in 2017 she completed her four-year tenure as composer-in-residence with the Detroit Symphony under maestro Leonard Slatkin, composing Walkabout: Concerto for Orchestra, as well as a second residency with the Houston Symphony under Andrés Orozco-Estrada for whom she composed the Conquest Requiem, a large-scale choral/orchestral work in Spanish, Latin, and Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. Gabriela’s most recent premieres have been Apu: Tone Poem for Orchestra commissioned by Carnegie Hall and premiered by the National Youth Orchestra of the United States under the baton of conductor Marin Alsop; and Suite Mestiza, a large-scale work for solo violin premiered by Movses Pogossian. In the season of 2021-22, San Diego Opera will premiere Frank’s first opera, The Last Dream of Frida, utilizing words by her frequent collaborator Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Nilo Cruz. In the 2018-19 school year, Gabriela also became visiting Artist-in-Residence at the Blair School of Music with Vanderbilt University, adding to her long list of residencies at universities and conservatories through the US.
Gabriela is the subject of several scholarly books including the W.W. Norton Anthology: The Musics of Latin America; Women of Influence in Contemporary Music: Nine American Composers (Scarecrow Press); and In her Own Words (University of Illinois Press). She is also the subject of several PBS documentaries including “Compadre Huashayo” regarding her work in Ecuador composing for the Orquestra de Instrumentos Andinos comprised of native highland instruments; and Música Mestiza, regarding a workshop she led at the University of Michigan composing for a virtuoso septet of a classical string quartet plus a trio of Andean panpipe players. Músic Mestiza, created by filmmaker Aric Hartvig, received an Emmy Nomination for best Documentary Feature in 2015.
Civic outreach is an essential part of Gabriela’s work. She has volunteered extensively in hospitals and prisons, with her current focus on developing the music school program at Anderson Valley High School, a rural public school of modest means with a large Latino population in Boonville, CA.
Gabriela attended Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she earned a B.A. (1994) and M.A. (1996). She studied composition with Sam Jones, and piano with Jeanne Kierman Fischer. At the University of Michigan, where she received a D.M.A. in composition in 2001, Gabriela studied with William Albright, William Bolcom, Leslie Bassett, and Michael Daugherty, and piano with Logan Skelton. She currently resides in Boonville, a small rural town in the Anderson Valley, with her husband Jeremy on their mountain farm, has a second home in her native Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has traveled extensively in Andean South America.
Gabriela is a member of G. Schirmer’s prestigious roster of artists, exclusively managed and published.