PCO performs Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty Waltz”, Wagner’s “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral”, Franck’s “The Accursed Huntsman” and Gabriel Prokofiev’s “Concerto for Bass Drum” with Dr. Nikolaus Keelaghan as Bass Drum Soloist under the baton of Music Director Beth Pflueger.
Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty Ballet” was completed in 1889 and premiered in St. Petersburg’s famous Marinsky Theatre in 1890. The lush “Garland Waltz” which occurs during the first Act, features the entrance of the fairies and villagers as well as the start of the finale of the Prologue, where the Lilac Fairy approaches Aurora’s Cradle. This piece is the inspiration for Disney’s song “Once Upon a Dream.”
Wagner’s “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral” comes at the end of Act II from the medieval Lohengrin opera written in 1848. During the procession, Elsa is on her way to be married to the knight, who we later learn is Lohengrin, knight of the Holy Grail. It is almost a band piece because it is dominated by winds and percussion and therefore, has become a staple of the band repertoire as a standalone piece.
Franck’s “The Accursed Huntsman” is a German symphonic poem written in 1882, based on a poem by 18th century poet and novelist Gottfried August Bürger. It is a richly evocative orchestral piece about the adventure of Count Hackenberg who defies the Sabbath and blasphemed God in order to go hunting instead. The ceaseless clatter of the horse’s hooves can be heard with the 9/8 time signature and repeated syncopation.
Gabriel Prokofiev’s “Concerto for Bass Drum”, is a west coast premiere that audiences don’t often get the opportunity to hear. Each movement explores different possibilities and moods of the bass drum, an instrument that is un-pitched, and on the surface seems quite limited. Many of the different rhythms & beats that are often associated with bass drum are explored. Mr. Prokofiev was inspired by the, “subconscious (and occasionally conscious) influences from the often tumultuous events (such as the riots in London, the Arab Spring) that happened across the world during 2011.”
Nikolaus Keelaghan is the principal timpanist/percussionist of the Pasadena Community Orchestra, and will be performing the U.S. premier of Gabriel Prokofiev’s Concerto for Bass Drum with the group. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mr. Keelaghan began studying classical music as a freshman at California State University, Fullerton, under the tutelage of Todd Miller and Ken McGrath, and graduated magna cum laude. He finished his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance from UCLA, having studied with Raynor Carroll and Theresa Dimond. He enjoys pushing the boundaries of his abilities, indulging in the extended technique of six-mallet marimba playing, and doubling on viola.
A prominent figure in the alt-classical scene, Gabriel Prokofiev is an English-born composer, producer, DJ and artistic director who is the grandson of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. Composing music that both embraces and challenges western classical traditions, Mr. Prokofiev has emerged at the forefront of a new approach to classical music in the U.K. at the beginning of the 21st century. Mr. Prokofiev’s own distinctive sound is informed by his background as a producer of hip-hop, grime, and electro records, as well as his earlier involvement in electroacoustic music at York and Birmingham universities, which saw him win a Residency prize at the prestigious Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition in 1998.
A native of central Ohio, Bethany Pflueger is an active flutist, conductor and Department Chair of the Music Department at Glendale Community College. She serves as principal flutist of the Burbank Philharmonic and Peninsula Symphonies, and performs regularly as a freelance player with regional orchestras and chamber music ensembles. Ms. Pflueger is a 2005 Grammy Award winner for her recorded piccolo performance with the Southwest Chamber Music Ensemble. She joined PCO as Music Director in July 2013.
Pasadena Community Orchestra
The musicians of the Pasadena Community Orchestra graciously donate their services for every concert. One of the only Los Angeles area orchestras to provide fine music to the public for free, PCO is supported through generous benefactor sponsorship, board members and volunteers. Audience members may meet the Music Director and other musicians at a reception following the concert. Admission is free, and no reservations are necessary. Concerts are made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, Pasadena Rotary, LA County Arts Commission, Pasadena Community Foundation and Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts.
WHERE: In the sanctuary of First Church of the Nazarene, 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107 (just west of Michillinda Avenue). Ample free parking, wheelchair accessible.
WHEN: Friday, March 16th, 2018, 8:00 p.m.
Submitted by Graziela Camacho for Pasadena Community Orchestra, email@example.com