By Robert D. Thomas
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
This article was first published today in the above papers.
Summer seasons are winding down and by the time of my next column, fall/winter/spring (i.e., indoor) seasons will be upon us. However, there are still a couple of outdoor events worth noting.
• The Pasadena Pops concludes its first season at the Los Angeles County Arboretum on Sept. 8 when Larry Blank leads the orchestra in an evening centered on the music of George Gershwin. Pianist Kevin Cole will be the soloist in Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue. Blank was a long-time collaborator with the late Marvin Hamlisch, including stints as music director for Hamlisch’s musicals They’re Playing Our Song and A Chorus Line. Information: www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org
The Pops has announced that next’s summer’s schedule will increase from four concerts to five. Newly named Principal Conductor Michael Feinstein will lead three of those programs. Information: www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org
• The final weeks of the Hollywood Bowl season have several significant guest conductors on the podium. On Tuesday and Thursday, Spanish maestro Rafael Frubeck de Burgos leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic L.A. Master Chorale, L.A. Children’s Chorus and three soloists in performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana. The program opens with Mendelssohn’s Incidental Music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Information: www.hollywoodbowl.com
On Sept. 4, 30-year-old Polish conductor Krzysztof Urbanski makes his Bowl debut leading a meaty (and unusual) program that concludes with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10. Denis Matsuev, winner of the 11th Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 1998, makes his first Bowl appearance as soloist in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and, for good measure, plays selections from Stravinsky’s Petrushka transcribed for solo piano. Information: www.hollywoodbowl.com
The Sept. 6 program is even more unusual (certainly by Bowl standards). Bramwell Tovey returns to lead the Phil in Strauss’ Til Euelenspiegel’s Merry Pranks and Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals. However, it’s the soloists that make the evening potentially intriguing as the violin and piano duo Igudesman & Joo will perform selections from their hit show BIG Nightmare Music. Pianists Inon Barnatan and Benjamin Hochman also be on hand. Information: www.hollywoodbowl.com
And if that wasn’t enough, there’s plenty of movie music slipped in between. John Williams conducts a program of his own music on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1, while Sept. 2 brings a salute to Paramount’s centennial, with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conducted by David Newman. On all three programs, the orchestras will accompany film clips that will be shown on the Bowl’s screens, including a large one suspended above the orchestra. Information: www.hollywoodbowl.com
(c) Copyright 2012, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.