Paul Andersen, Enjoy!
GLENDALE -- This has been a year of fireworks for the Glendale
Symphony Orchestra, and it's barely a third over.
Already the orchestra has accompanied Luciano Pavarotti in his recent
appearance at the Forum in Inglewood, which led to its triumphant
engagement in Las Vegas a few weeks ago backing the Three Tenors.
But the fireworks aren't over yet. The orchestra will be ending its
76th season on a powerful note by presenting the music of Beethoven,
Mozart and Brahms in a concert titled "The Great Masters," Saturday, May
13, at The Alex Theatre.
"We will be sending the season off with a bang!" said Music Director
and Conductor Sidney Weiss.
The three pieces Weiss has programmed for the concert are among the
best each composer has written, he said. They include the overture to
Beethoven's only opera, the only violin/viola concerto written by Mozart
and the third of Brahms' four symphonies.
As has become somewhat customary for the orchestra under Weiss'
tenure, the soloists for "The Great Masters" come from within the
orchestra's ranks. Violinist Olivia Tsui and principal violist Andrew
Picken will be featured in Mozart's "Sinfonia Concertante for Violin,
Viola and Orchestra, K. 364."
"I view it mainly as a viola concerto, though I'm not sure Olivia
would agree with that assessment," Picken said with a laugh.
A busy musician, he is a member of a number of Southland orchestras,
including the L.A. Opera Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, Burbank Chamber
Orchestra and West L.A. Symphony, as well as being on the faculty of
Loyola University in Westchester.
Like many musicians, Picken has seen a sharp decline in local studio
"Post-production work in general has dropped off tremendously," he
said. "The studios are going where it's cheaper. But as some doors shut,
other windows open. I've really gotten involved in doing a lot of
classical and chamber music."
There never seems to be enough time in the day for violinist Tsui. She
has just finished teaching students and is getting ready to familiarize
herself with her new computer.
"It's going to be a great compositional help, because now I won't have
to write it out by hand," she said.
That will give her time for more projects, like helping resurrect the
Beverly Hills Chamber Orchestra, where she is both concertmaster and
Coming to the United States from Shanghai in 1986 on a full
scholarship, she earned her master's degree at San Diego State
University, an artist diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music and
was a doctoral candidate at USC. School is on the back burner since she
has been studying conducting.
"I devote most of my time to being a musician," she said, though one
senses her scope is broadening.
Tsui and Picken have done duet concerts in the past, and the two
friends both had to miss the Three Tenors concert due to prior
commitments with the L.A. Opera Orchestra.
"Playing with Pavarotti was a blast," Picken says, "but as a musician,
you can't do everything."
If you go
WHO: The Glendale Symphony Orchestra, Sidney Weiss, conductor.
WHAT: "The Great Masters," featuring music by Beethoven, Mozart and
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, May 13.
WHERE: The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale.
TICKETS: $15 to $45.