Mozart & Memories: Pro Musica’s 50th

May 20, 2014

Happy_Birthday_Mozart_600pxTo celebrate their 50th anniversary, Pasadena Pro Musica welcomes one of their most accomplished alumna. Mezzo-soprano Paula Rasmussen has not only had an international career, performing with L.A. Opera, New York City Opera, Glyndebourne, and Opèra National de Paris, she’s a litigation attorney.

Luckily for audiences, Rasmussen, “who began her career as a young member of the chorus and alto soloist under founding Artistic Director Edward Low,” will be flying in, along with 20 other Pro Musica alumni, to honor the moment.

The program will feature “some of Mozart’s grandest music” for chorus, vocal soloists, and orchestra. Rasmussen will sing “Voi che sapete” from The Marriage of Figaro and “Ombra mai fu” from Handel’s Xerxes. Rising star, soprano Elizabeth Krestyn, will perform Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate.


Chorus, soloists, and orchestra all join forces for the dramatic Vesperae solennes de confessore (K. 339).The concert will also include chorus and orchestra in two very different Mozart motets: Sancta Maria, mater dei (K. 273), a charming work from his 21st year, and the exquisite Ave verum corpus (K. 618), composed in the last year of his life. The concert will be conducted by Artistic Director Stephen Grimm.

Pro Musica aims to bring to light “distinguished yet less frequently performed masterpieces.” Singers audition, but the chorus consists of musicians who volunteer their services every concert season. When Edward Low, known as Ed to his friends, founded the group in 1964, which was then known as Neighborhood Chorus and Orchestra, “he did not simply look for singers,” we are told. “He also looked for personal qualities on which we based not only our musical relationships, but also our personal friendships.” The strength of these friendships, and by virtue Pro Musica, is reflected in the numerous and popular 3-day reunion weekends held over the years and by number of alumni who have answered the call to come rehearse and perform in this season’s final concert celebrating the organization’s first 50 years.

The evening’s performance will be dedicated to Low who led the group until his retirement in 1999. He passed away earlier this year.

Edward Low by Linda Jones Simmons


“Mozart and Memories”
Sunday, June 8th, 4 p.m.
Neighborhood Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena 91103
Cost: $15, advance sale; $20, at door; $5, student rush 10 min. prior
For complete details, visit
Or call 626.628.2144




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