PREVIEWS AND LINK: Rachael Worby and Arturo Sandoval one of two interesting programs on Tuesday

By Robert D. Thomas

Music Critic

Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily
News

 

When Rachael Worby announced her new project, Muse-ique, last summer she promised a
much different style of programming than the standard orchestra, Pops or
otherwise. Tuesday night at 7 p.m., that difference shows up in a major way as
Worby hosts Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval in a program
entitled “An Intimate Conversation.” Moreover, as Worby promised, the venue is
an attraction in itself.

 

Since Worby’s skill as a raconteur sets her apart from most
conductors working today, this pairing of the ebullient maestra and the iconic
Sandoval talking about Latin jazz seems tailor-made, at least on paper (or, in
this case, computer screen). The event is at the Pasadena Rose Palace (the Los
Angeles Rock Ballroom) and the evening includes a pre-event reception and a
behind-the-scenes look at the construction of floats being created by Phoenix
Decorating for the upcoming Tournament of Roses Parade.

 

Sandoval, who turns 62 next month,
was born in and grew up in Cuba. Nonetheless, his early influences were jazz
legends Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Clifford Brown but he studied
classical trumpet at Cuba’s National School of the Arts and has performed with
the BBC Symphony and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Philharmonic. He was
granted political asylum in the United States in 1990 and became a naturalized
U.S. citizen in 1999.

 

However, it is for Latin jazz that
Sandoval is best known. Among other things, he has won four Grammy Awards, six
Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award — the latter for his composing work on HBO
movie based on his life, For Love or
Country,
starring Andy Garcia. Information:
www.muse-ique.com

 

If the $45 ticket price is too rich for your blood or you
just want something different, check out Alex Benestelli’s Master of Music
choral recital on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. It’s free and at Pasadena Presbyterian
Church (double disclaimer: Alex is a friend and colleague and PPC is my church
home). Benestelli, who is also an organist, will conduct a choral ensemble of
colleagues from the USC Flora L. Thornton School of Music in music by J.S.
Bach, Edgar Bainton, Bobby McFerrin, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others. Timothy
Howard will accompany on the church’s splendid Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ.

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(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved.
Portions may be quoted with attribution.

AROUND TOWN/MUSIC: Of 9/11 … and other things musical

By Robert D. Thomas

Music Critic

Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily
News

A shorter version of
this column was published today in the above papers.

 

Normally this weekend is one of the two “transition zones”
in the classical-music year — in this case, from summer to fall-winter-spring.
However, this year also includes the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist
attacks and there are at least a couple of musical programs commemorating that
event that are worth noting.

 

Artistic Director Jeffrey Bernstein will lead his Pasadena
Master Chorale
next Sunday at 4 p.m. in La Crescenta Presbyterian Church with a
program highlighted by Faur’s Requiem. The afternoon will also contain three a
cappella works that accentuate the “remembrance” theme — a setting of Psalm
137, Virgil Thompson’s My Shepherd Will
Supply My Need,
and Ross Lee Finney’s Words
To Be Spoken
— along with Bernstein’s arrangement of America the Beautiful. Organist Edward Murray will accompany;
soloist will be soprano Krystle Casey and baritone Cedric Berry. Information:
626-208-0009; www.pasadenamasterchorale.org

 

The PMC will be doing double duty that day, shifting over
to the Pasadena Convention Center Plaza at 7 p.m. where it will join forces
with Muse-ique for a free hour-long concert of music ranging from Bach and
Tchaikovsky to Paul Simon and George Gershwin. Rachael Worby, Muse-ique’s
artistic director, will conduct. Information: 626/795-9311; www.muse-ique.com

 

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s concert at
Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 13 has Bramwell Tovey leading the Phil, Los Angeles
Master Chorale and soloists in Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Mozart’s Requiem. This is one of four
programs during the next fortnight that will be led by Tovey, who spent the past
three seasons as the Phil’s Principal Guest Conductor at the Bowl. Info: 323/850-2000;
www.hollywoodbowl.com

 

Los Angeles Opera opens its 2011-2012 season on Sept. 17
at 7:30 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with the first of six
performances of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene
Onegin.
The following day at 2 p.m. comes Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, also the first of six performances. LAO Music
Director James Conlon will conduct both productions. Both opening performances
will be broadcast live on KUSC (91.5-FM) and kusc.org. Information: (213)
972-8001; www.laopera.com

 

Speaking of L.A. Opera, both it and the Long Beach
Symphony
(LINK) have unveiled new Web sites. The LBSO opens its 2011-2012
season on Oct. 1 when Music Director Enrique Arturo Diemecke (beginning his
11th season at the orchestra’s helm) will lead a program of Wagner’s Prelude and Liebstod from Tristan und
Isolde,
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, and Mahler’s Ruckert Lieder, with mezzo-soprano Barbara Dever as soloist. Info: www.lbso.org

 

The Rio Hondo Symphony will open its 78th season of free
concerts on Sept. 25 when Music Director Kimo Furumoto leads Beethoven’s Symphony
No. 3 (Eroica), Rossini’s William Tell overture and Liszt’s Piano
Concerto No. 1, with Alison Edwards as soloist. The other concerts are Oct. 30,
Feb. 5 and May 6. All concerts are at 3 p.m. in Whittier High School’s Vic
Lopez Auditorium. Information: 562/698-8626; www.riohondosymphony.org

 

E. Jason Armstrong has been named Artistic Director and
Conductor of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. Armstrong most recently
completed his doctoral class work at the University of Southern California
Thornton School of Music, where he served as the conductor for the USC Thornton
Apollo Men’s Chorus and as assistant conductor for the USC Thornton Concert
Choir. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, Armstrong spent 15 years as
director of choral activities at Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida.

_______________________

 

(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved.
Portions may be quoted with attribution.