By Robert D. Thomas
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily
Each Thursday morning, I list five events (six this week)
that pique my interest, including (ideally) at least one with free admission
(or, at a minimum, inexpensive tickets). Here’s today’s grouping:
Tonight at 8 p.m.
at Royce Hall (UCLA)
Paul Jacobs, organist
Despite being just 34, Paul Jacobs is one of America’s
extraordinary organ talents, who came to international renown 11 years ago when
he performed the complete organ works of J.S. Bach in an 18-hour non-stop
marathon performance. Later he performed the complete organ works of Olivier
Messiaen in nine-hour marathon concerts around the country. At age 26, he was
named chairman of the organ department at The Juilliard School in New York
City, one of the youngest faculty appointments in that school’s history.
There’s no Bach on this Royce Hall program, but the
selections include music by Messiaen, Elgar, John Weaver and others.
Royce Hall’s E.M. Skinner organ was built in 1930. It was
restored and rebuilt after being damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
With 104 ranks and 6,600 pipes, it’s one of the larger instruments in Southern
Concert information: www.uclalive.org
Saturday at 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Philharmonic: “The Mahler Project” begins
The Los Angeles Philharmonic begins its massive survey of
all of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies as Gustavo Dudamel leads the orchestra in
Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, with soprano Miah Persson as soloist, and Songs of a Wayfarer, featuring baritone
Thomas Hampson. Links to my articles on the cycle are HERE and HERE. The Phil’s
“Mahler Project” information site is HERE. Concert
Saturday at 2 p.m.
and 8 p.m. in Ambassador Auditorium (Pasadena)
David Lockington, conductor
The PSO resumes its 2011-12 season as David Lockington,
music director of the Modesto and Grand Rapids Symphonies, become the latest in
a string of PSO guest conductors. He leads a program with a British theme: The Gale of Life by British composer
Philip Sawyers, Elgar’s Cello Concerto, with Andrew Shulman as soloist, and
Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (Scottish). In
addition to the compositional British tone, Lockington and Shulman are English.
A link to my preview story on this concert and next weekend’s L.A. Chamber
Orchestra concerts (Shulman is conducting the LACO programs) is HERE. Concert information: www.pasadenasymphony-org
Looking for a marketing edge, the PSO has joined forces with
Breakthru Fitness to sponsor a Yoga class tomorrow at 6 p.m. (As the late,
great British comedienne Anna Russell once famously said of Wagner’s Ring, “I’m not making this up, you
know!”) Lockington, an avid practitioner of yoga, will offer a brief
explanation on the influence yoga has made on his life and career as a
symphonic conductor. He will also play the cello during the class. Space is
extremely limited; contact Breakthru Fitness at 626/396-1700 to reserve a spot.
Sunday at 5 p.m. at
the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Los Angeles)
Foundation’s 57th annual Gala Concert
Usually a YMF concert would be in the “free admission”
category, but this one is held yearly to raise funds for this important
training program. Legendary film composer John Williams will lead the YMF Debut
Orchestra in selections from The
Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, the
first concert performance of this music. Williams will conclude the program by
conducting music from E.T. The
Michael Tilson Thomas, who was the YMF’s music director from
1963-67 while he was a student at USC, will return to conduct Ravel’s La Valse. Other pieces will be conducted
by David Kaufman, Joey Newman and Teddy Abrams. Information: www.ymf.org
Tuesday at 8 p.m.
at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Bang-on-a-Can All Stars; ref fish blue fish; percussionist David Cossin
Steve Reich, one of the greatest composers working today,
brings a program to the Phil’s Green
Umbrella series that includes the West Coast premiere of the double-rock
quintet, 2 x 5, and concludes with one of Reich’s
seminal works, Music for 18 Musicians.
And the weekend’s
“free admission” program …
Saturday at 8 p.m.
at La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts (La Mirada)
La Mirada Symphony;
Robert Frelly, conductor
For the second concert of its 48th season, this
community orchestra presents a Spanish-themed program with music by Fannin,
Chabrier, Bizet, Turnia, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Guitarist Jeff Cogan will be the
soloist in Rodrigo’s Fantasia para un
Gentilhombre. Information: www.lamiradasymphony.com
(c) Copyright 2012, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved.
Portions may be quoted with attribution.