Musical chairs

Musical chairs

Pasadena Symphony Association hires David Lockington to replace the late James DePreist

By Carl Kozlowski 03/14/2013

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In what marks yet another move to fill a leadership post opened by unexpected circumstances, the Pasadena Symphony Association announced Friday that David Lockington has become its new music director, while Nicholas McGegan is assuming the role of principal guest conductor.
Lockington became the fifth music director of the 85-year-old ensemble, while McGegan’s position was newly created to formalize the relationship between the conductor and the orchestra. Both men will regularly conduct the orchestra starting with its 2014-15 season. 
Lockington fills the position last held by James DePreist, who died on Feb. 8 of complications from a heart attack, and who in turn had a short tenure as the symphony’s artistic director after taking over from longtime conductor Jorge Mester in 2010. The shift follows similar recent changes with the association’s other ensemble, Pasadena POPS, which brought in popular pianist Michael Feinstein to fill the position of principal POPS conductor after the sudden death of Marvin Hamlisch in August. 
An accomplished cellist before turning to conducting, Lockington spent 14 seasons as music director of the Grand Rapids Symphony. He has also held the music directorships of the Long Island Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony and Ohio Chamber Orchestra. Since September 2007, he has served as music director of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, he was named principal conductor of Spain’s Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias.
McGegan’s discography includes more than 100 recordings, including the Gramophone-winning and Grammy-nominated world premiere of Handel’s “Susanna.” He is also credited with the first performance in modern times of Handel’s “Gloria,” and was the longstanding music director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Philharmonia Chorale. 
Highlights of the upcoming 2013-14 Singpoli Classics Series, which both men will oversee, includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto, Bernstein’s Serenade and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, plus world-renowned soloists Anne Akiko Meyers (violin) and Shai Wosner (piano). 
“After conducting and getting to know the orchestra, I am excited to begin an extended relationship exploring great music-making,” says Lockington. “I am also looking forward to connecting to the fabric of Pasadena and stimulating even more interest in supporting this community’s live music.”

For season tickets and more information, call (626) 793-7172 or visit


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