First published in the Feb. 5 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
On the heels of a strong turnout for January’s annual Baroque concert, the Pasadena Symphony orchestra sets the tone for a romantic Valentine’s weekend with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Ambassador Auditorium with both matinee and evening performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Russian American conductor and music director of Chicago Opera Theater, Lidiya Yankovskaya takes to the podium for the Symphony’s ode to romance, which pairs Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” fantasy overture with one of the most-loved violin concertos of all time, written during an emotionally turbulent time in the composer’s life. There’s no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with the most famous love letters ever penned to music.
The concert opens with “Elegia Andina,” a sweet dedication and self-reflection from Gabriela Lena Frank, included in the Washington Post’s list of the 35 most significant female composers in history. From a multicultural background with Peruvian, Chinese, Lithuanian and Jewish descent, Frank explores her roots with pulsing Peruvian rhythms glittering throughout the piece.
Korean virtuoso Chee-Yun, hailed by The New York Times as “a talented instrumentalist, with the kind of high-gloss tone that pulls sensuously at the listener’s ear,” shows off her chops for Tchaikovsky’s technically rigorous and emotionally stirring Violin Concerto. The fiery program concludes with the exotic rhythms of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol,” taking the audience on an aural journey to Spain.
In order to provide the safest possible experience for all concertgoers, the Pasadena Symphony has updated its COVID-19 vaccination requirements for performances at the Ambassador Auditorium. All patrons who are eligible must have received a COVID-19 booster .