The Pasadena Symphony’s coming season at the Ambassador Auditorium -- the first one picked by its new music director, David Lockington -- includes a dividend that came with Lockington’s appointment: the long-delayed return of his wife, violinist Dylana Jenson, who began her career as a child prodigy in L.A.
The husband and wife team will tackle one of Jenson’s signature pieces, Shostakovich’s violin concerto, to highlight a Feb. 14, 2015, program that also includes Beethoven’s Symhpony No. 7 and “Enter Light,” a 2013 composition by Joel Sheckman, the principal clarinetist of the Grand Rapids Symphony, which Lockington also leads.
It will be Jenson’s first Los Angeles concert in about 30 years. Growing up in Sherman Oaks, she began studying violin when she was 2, had been recognized as a child prodigy by 11, and at 17 won the silver medal in the 1978 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. She married Lockington in 1983, and they have four children.
Lockington, whose tenure as music director began last season, said in a written announcement of the season that he aimed for “the largest sonic wardrobe imaginable” in the 2014-15 season’s five programs.
The other contemporary composers whose work Lockington will conduct are Christopher Rouse and himself.
Rouse’s “Rapture” will lead off a season-closing concert bill on May 2, 2015, that also includes excerpts from Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and Grieg’s piano concerto, featuring soloist Gabriella Martinez.
The season’s opening piece, on Nov. 1, will be Lockington’s own “Ceremonial Fantasy Fanfare,” as a lead-in to George Gershwin’s “Concerto in F” and Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances” from “West Side Story” and Bernstein’s overture from “Candide.” Pianist Terrence Wilson is the evening’s guest soloist.
Nicholas McGegan, the orchestra’s principal guest conductor (and, like Lockington, a native of Great Britain), also had a hand in picking the season and will lead two programs.
Peter Maxwell Davies’ “An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise,” will lead off a Jan. 17, 2015, concert, followed by Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 and Francis Poulenc’s “Concerto for 2 Pianos.” Esther Keel, a young, L.A.-raised pianist, and her concert pianist mother, Mihyang Keel, will play the Poulenc concerto, giving the season a second family pairing.
McGegan will lead Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Mozart’s violin concert No. 3 and the ballet suite from Jean-Phiippe Rameau’s opera “Nais,” on March 21, 2015, with violinist Geneva Lewis as soloist.
The Pasadena Symphony’s sibling orchestra, the Pasadena Pops, has announced a five-concert summer season at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia picked by its prinicipal conductor, Michael Feinstein.
Feinstein will conduct three of the five programs, and for a fourth, on July 19, he’ll hand the baton to Larry Blank and focus on the microphone for a “Feinstein Sings Gershwin” program.
Blank also will conduct the June 28 “Teena Clark’s Leading Ladies of Song,” hosted by composer Clark and starring Dionne Warwick.
The other concerts are “Feinstein’s Favorites” on June 7, with pianist Armen Guzelimian and singers Laura Osnes and Norm Lewis, songs from Hollywood films on Aug. 16, with Maureen McGovern, Kevin Earley, Debbie Boone and Alan Bergman, and a Sept. 6 program of music about or associated with New York City, sung by Patti Austin, Liz Callaway and Jeremy Jordan.