From The Three Tenors to the 'Great Masters'

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

soundtrack work.

"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

assistant conductor.

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

Brahms.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, May 13.

WHERE: The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale.

TICKETS: $15 to $45.

PHONE: 500-8720.

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