Pasadena Symphony Performs Beethoven's Fifth Tonight

Pasadena Symphony Performs Beethoven's Fifth Tonight

The Pasadena Symphony celebrates the most famous four notes in all of Classical music. Relentless, emotional, triumphant and victorious; all describe Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 which will be performed tonight, March 29, 2014 at Ambassador Auditorium with matinee and evening performances at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Guest conductor Andrew Grams leads the orchestra in concert and will also feature Los Angeles based violinist, the prodigiously talented Simone Porter with the Bruch Violin Concerto, a work of lyrical beauty and acrobatic fireworks; a true showpiece for the master violinist. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom brings theatrical flair, tunefulness, and a healthy dose of comedy with his entertaining Commedia for (almost) 18th-century orchestra.

Andrew Grams has been collecting critical acclaim and "has been building a solid international career... revealed remarkable skill and sensitivity...he sculpted beautifully nuanced music." The Baltimore Sun. At 17 years old, violinist Simone Porter has been recognized as an emerging artist of impassioned energy, musical integrity and vibrant sound. Her performances have been described as "bold" (Seattle Times), and "coolly virtuosic" (The London Times). Simone is currently a student at The Colburn School and is part of Colburn Artists, an innovative program for its most highly accomplished students.

Performances take place at both 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and are accompanied by pre-concert discussions one-hour before curtain. Audiences can also enjoy the new and vibrantly social Symphony Lounge, yet another addition to the care-free and elegant concert experience the Pasadena Symphony offers. A posh setting at Ambassador Auditorium's beautiful outdoor plaza, audiences can now enjoying delicious morsels and fine wines before the concert and during intermission.

The Ambassador Auditorium is located at 131 South St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA. Ticket prices start at $35 and may be purchased online at or by calling (626) 793-7172.


  • What: The Pasadena Symphony presents Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
  • Special Guests:
    • Andrew Grams, Conductor
    • Simone Porter, Violin
  • When: Saturday March, 29th at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Where: Ambassador Auditorium | 131 South St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105
  • Cost: Tickets start at $35.00
  • Parking: Valet parking is available on Green Street for $15. General parking is available next to the Auditorium at the covered parking structure for $10. ADA parking is located at the above-ground parking lot adjacent to the Auditorium (entrance on St. John Ave.) for $10. Parking purchased onsite is cash only.
  • Pre-Concert Discussion: Pre-concert discussion begins one hour before curtain and is available to all ticket holders.


Newly appointed Music Director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra of Illinois and one of America's most promising and talented young conductors, ANDREW GRAMS has already appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C., and the orchestras of Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, New Jersey and others in the United States. On the international arena, he has conducted the Toronto Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn, the BBC Symphony Orchestra London, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Sydney Symphony, the Melbourne Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia Rome, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Residentie Orchestra of the Hague, the Hamburg Symphony, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Bergen Philharmonic, and the Malmo Symphony among many others.

Maestro Grams was a protege of Franz Welser-Moest and served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra from 2004 to 2007. He has since led several concert programs with the Cleveland Orchestra and will return to conduct that orchestra in the summer of 2014 at the Blossom Music Festival. This season Mr Grams will open the Phoenix Symphony concert season in celebratory performances of Beethoven's Symphony No.9. He also begins his tenure with the Elgin Symphony and leads two full weeks of concerts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in addition to debut appearances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Oregon Symphony. He returns to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as well as the Luzern Symphony and in the U.S. he makes welcome second visits to the orchestras of Grand Rapids, North Carolina, and Alabama. In 2002, Grams was appointed the assistant conductor of the Reading Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania and returned to conduct that orchestra again in 2005. He was selected to spend the summer of 2003 studying with David Zinman, Murry Sidlin and Michael Stern at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, and returned to that program again in 2004. A Maryland native raised in Severn, Andrew Grams began conducting at the age of 17, when he directed the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. In 1999 he received a bachelor of music degree in violin performance from the Juilliard School, and in 2003 he received a conducting degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he worked with Otto-Werner Mueller. Also an accomplished violinist, Mr. Grams was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra at Lincoln Center from 1998 to 2004, serving as acting associate principal second violin in 2002 and 2004. In addition, he has performed with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony.


Violinist Simone Porter has been recognized as an emerging artist of impassioned energy, musical integrity and vibrant sound. Her performances have been described as "bold" (The Seattle Times), "coolly virtuosic" (The London Times), and Ms. Porter herself has been praised as "a consummate chamber musician" (The Telegraph). At just 17 years of age, she has already appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the American Youth Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Utah Symphony, and as soloist at the Aspen Music Festival. Ms. Porter made her professional solo debut at age ten with the Seattle Symphony, and her international debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at age thirteen.


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