Classical Music Concert of the Pasadena Community Orchestra May 11

Award Winner Max Hammond Performs Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 with PCO, May 11

PHOTO: Courtesy of Graziela Camacho |

PCO performs Ippolotov-Ivanov’s “Procession of the Sardar”, Holst’s “Jupiter Op. 32”, Borodin’s “In the Steppes of Central Asia” and “Polovetsyan March” as well as Prokofiev’s “Piano Concerto No. 3” with Young Artist Competition Winner, Max Hammond, under the baton of Music Director Beth Pflueger.

Young Artist Competition

Each year since 1987, the Pasadena Community Orchestra holds a competition to identify, assist and feature talented young musicians in the furtherance of their musical career and education. This project is funded (in part) by a grant from City of Pasadena, Arts & Culture Commission.

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Max Hammond

Max Hammond, 17, has been in the winners circle of many piano competitions, with top finishes that include 1st place awards in the Lansum International Piano Competition, the State Finals of the CAPMT Honors Competition (twice), the Glendale Piano Competition, the Los Angeles Young Pianist Competition, the CAPMT District III Sonata Competition (twice), the Turner Concerto Competition and the Southwestern Youth Music Festival (SYMF) Young Pianist Competition. He is currently a student in the Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences. He has studied piano privately with Anders Martinson since 2014, following earlier studies with Sylvia Chauls and Wayne Behlendorf, and shares in the Martinson studio “Concert and Conversation” program for local convalescent homes.

Prokofiev’s “Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major” was completed in 1921 in Paris. It is characterized by its variety, underlined by sudden jumps from one mood to another. Today the piece is considered to be one of the most popular piano concertos of the entire twentieth century.

Bethany Pflueger

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.

Borodin provided the following description on the score of “In the Steppes of Central Asia”: “In the silence of the monotonous steppes of Central Asia is heard the unfamiliar sound of a peaceful Russian song.” The “Polovetsyan March” depicts an exotic scene at the end of Borodin’s “Prince Igor” opera. The theme often appears in movie sound tracks, anime, video games and has been adapted/remixed by various artists in modern music.

Ippolitov-Ivanov’s, “Procession of the Sardar” is the fourth song in an orchestral suite written in 1894 and 1896. In this famous piece, a military commander is celebrated using earlier themes.

Holst’s “Jupiter Op. 32” is part of a seven-movement symphonic suite written between 1914 and 1916. The folk-infused “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity” boasts a central hymn-like passage so hummable that Holst later set the tune to Cecil Spring-Rice’s poem “I Vow to Thee My Country,” creating an instant English anthem.

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, May 11th, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Email, or visit us online at (626) 445-6708

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Graziela Camacho |