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Battle of the Bands – Two Major Orchestras Change Venues for Summer Programs
By Terry Miller
In what has been lovingly called ‘The Battle of the Bands’, The Pasadena POPS marked the start of their new summer concert venue with a performance by Mariv Hamlisch, and a ribbon-cutting .The speeches Thursday at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden were to kick off the 2012 POPS Summer Concert Series which has replaced Cal Philharmonic which called the Arboretum home for the last 15 summers.
Earlier in the day, Cal Phil had its own media event showing off the splendid new stage and grass area for seating as well as a sneak peek at the giant dome for the orchestra.
The California Philharmonic will start it’s summer concert series at a new home the Santa Anita Race Track infield June 30. Both orchestras report good ticke sales with their respective new venues.
Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch quipped “It has always been my dream to come to Arcadia,” “I’ve been to Paris and to Spain. Bu,t Arcadia? Now you’re talking!”
The first concert this Saturday, June 16, will feature Hamlisch conducting with guest stars Lucie Arnaz and comedian and Hamlisch friend Robert Klein.
“I can assure you that the concerts I will be conducting are going to be spectacular, not good, not great, but spectacular,” Hamlisch said.
The next two concerts are “Michael Feinstein in Concert” on July 21 and “Gershwin on the Green” slated for September 8. On August 18, “La Dolce Vita” will be performed with Guest Conductor Michael Krajewski.
The CEO of Pasadena Symphony Paul Zdunek said “Our orchestra is made up primarily of musicians who spend their days doing what we all enjoy doing which is playing for the movies,” Anytime you see an orchestra on TV whether it’s the Oscars or the Grammys it’s probably one of our musicians. Most of them come to us on their down time because they want to play Beethoven or the Beatles.
Gates for the POPS Summer Concert Series will open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m.
For more information about the summer concert season, call (626) 793-7172 or visit their website at www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org.