First Church of the Nazarene
3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd.
This free concert has something for everyone: classic Bach for strings, familiar and beautiful programmatic music from Grieg, and one of George Gershwin’s best fusions of jazz and classical music, all presented free by Pasadena Community Orchestra. The Piano Concerto in F Major is more jazzy – and more classical – than his Rhapsody in Blue. This all-American piece opens with a Charleston-rhythm theme, lulls with a sleepy and bluesy middle movement, and closes with a finale that’s a wild “orgy of rhythms.” Award-winning pianist Chie Nagatani has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, Poland and Japan. Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite contains some of the composer’s best-known and most beautiful melodies, from the sweet and lovely evocation of “Morning” in the opening movement to the raucous dancing trolls “In the Hall of the Mountain King” in the finale. Listeners will become viewers, too, as they watch the themes of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3 get tossed around the strings divided into nine sections. Audience members may meet the soloist and other musicians at a reception following the concert.