Lalo Schifrin has resigned as music director and conductor of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra because, he said, his work as a composer and recording artist is making increas ing demands upon his time. Schifrin, who has led the orchestra since 1989, will conduct the ensemble in its remaining concerts this season, including the program Saturday at the Alex Theatre imaginatively titled "Three Pianists & Three Famous Works."
Someone, it may have been Mae West, once said too much of a good thing can be wonderful. Some people feel that way about piano. During the evening, featured pianists Lincoln Mayorga, John Novacek and Mark Richman will each take to the keyboard to perform.
To open the concert, Novacek will undertake Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor, Opus 16, which will be followed by Richman's rendition of Rachmaninov's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Opus 43." After an intermission, Mayorga will play Gershwin's Concerto in F.
All three pianists have international reputations. Mayorga has performed hundreds of recitals in Europe, Russia and the United States in addition to his work as a composer and keyboardist in the film and television industry. Richman has been accompanist to several renowned concert artists, including Jascha Heifetz, Michael Rabin and James Galway. Novacek has won the Leschetizky and Joanna Hodges international piano competitions, and has performed at the Kennedy Center, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles Music Center and other venues. He is the only one of the three who was educated in the San Fernando Valley.
"I got my bachelor's degree at (Cal State University) Northridge," Novacek says. "I studied with Jakob Gimpel out there."
He is also active in composing and recording. "Novarags," a collection of his ragtime compositions, is available on the Ambassador Record label.
The Glendale Symphony Orchestra will present "Three Pianists & Three Famous Works" at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Tickets are $12 to $50. Call (818) 500-8720.
FIRST-STRING: Some artists spend the better part of their lives honing their skills, while others are prodigies. The Borromeo String Quartet seems to have sprung from the latter camp.
The quartet, whose members are all in their 20s, was formed in 1989, won the 1991 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and made its New York debut in the 1992 Young Concert Artists Series at the 92nd Street Y. The group also won second place at the 1990 International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France.
The Music Guild of Los Angeles will present the Borromeo String Quartet and Friends in concert Tuesday evening at Pierce College.
"They are the quartet-in-residence at the New England Conservatory in Boston, one of the finest music schools in the country," said Eugene Golden, manager of the Music Guild.
Golden says he heard a recording of the group's performance at the 92nd Street Y and he immediately called to book them for the Music Guild.
"I was so struck by the maturity and emotion with which they played," Golden says. "The audience's response was like at a rock concert.
The group will be joined for this concert by some "friends"--several local musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Long Beach Symphony. The program will include Mozart's Viola Quintet in C Major, K.515; Kodaly's Duo for Violin and Cello, and Mendelssohn's Octet in E flat Major, Opus 20.
Borromeo String Quartet and Friends will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Pierce College Performing Arts Building, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. Tickets are $20 general, $15 senior citizens and $5 students. Call (310) 275-9040.
MORE CLASSICAL: Valley classical music fans will have several other events to choose from in the next few weeks, including these:
* The Music Teachers Assn. will present pianist James Cho and cellist Miriam Eckelhoefer in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at Kirk O' the Valley, 19620 Vanowen St., Reseda. Tickets are $6 general, $3 students. Call (818) 703-6497.
* The Burbank Symphony will perform Mozart's "Grand Partita" and other works at 2 p.m. Jan. 22 in the Starlight Ballroom of the Castaway restaurant, 1250 Harvard Road, Burbank. Tickets are $10, $15 and $25. Call (818) 846-5981.
* The Burbank Chamber Orchestra will perform a free concert at the Hall of Liberty, Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28. The program will include Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and "Don Juan" by Richard Strauss.
* The Musart Singers, a woman's chamber music chorale, will perform a free concert, "A Tribute to Love," at 3 p.m. Jan. 29 at Soka University, 26800 W. Mulholland Highway, Calabasas. Call (818) 878-3703.
* The Music Teachers Assn. will also present its student recitals free throughout the day Sunday at Owen Piano Co., 7503 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park. Call (818) 780-4945 for the recital schedule.
OLD TIMERS: In July, as 81-year-old Frankie Laine finished singing one of his hits at the Academy Plaza Theatre in North Hollywood and the round of spirited applause died down, a fan shouted from the audience, "You sound better than ever." An astonished but obviously flattered Laine good-naturedly replied, "You're deaf."
While it's true that time takes its toll on us all, in July's concert, Laine's pitch was good, and he sang with more power and energy than many singers half his age.
Laine's two sold-out concerts were among the most successful in the "Show of the Month" series last year. So promoter Keith Evans decided to book Laine for three return shows this month with John and Donald Mills.
The Mills Brothers were one of the first African American singing groups to achieve mainstream pop acceptance in the 1930s. Their hits included "Lazy River," "Paper Doll," "You Always Hurt the One You Love" and "Till Then." Donald Mills, 79, the last surviving member of the original quartet, now performs the group's classic repertoire with his son, John.
Frankie Laine, and John and Donald Mills will perform at 5 and 8 p.m. Jan. 21 and 3 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Academy Plaza Theatre, 5230 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Tickets are $28.50. Call (818) 785-8885.
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN: Foregoing the drama of cutthroat competition, the Valley Theatre League, an organization of professional theaters and production companies in the San Fernando Valley and adjacent areas, was formed to facilitate cooperation among its members. Recently, the 2-year-old group reelected David A. Cox, artistic director of the American Renegade Theatre, as its president. Edmund Gaynes of the West End Artists Theatre Company and Brad Hills of the Road Theatre Company were elected vice presidents.
"We're there to help each other now," Gaynes says of the organization. He says this help includes the sharing of sets and costumes among member theaters. In addition, in October, the league sponsored its first Artistic Director Achievement Awards.
Other officers elected include William Arrigon, Lisa Brandi and Pamela Hall.