New Orchestra MUSE/IQUE makes Debut With Rachael Worby and Soprano Jessye Norman
PASADENA, Calif., May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Beginning this summer, passionately innovative conductor Rachael Worby will be enriching the Los Angeles arts scene, and creating a new audience for orchestral music, with the eclectic and ground-breaking offerings of a new orchestra, MUSE/IQUE. The showcase event will feature legendary American soprano Ms. Jessye Norman on Saturday, July 30th, 2011 at 7:30pm at Caltech’s Beckman Mall, outdoors among the olive trees. The program will include music from Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. The Inaugural begins 2012 with additional events this Fall. We are grateful to our Founding Sponsors, Parsons Corporation and Rusnak Auto Group.
In addition our Presenting Sponsors, Castle Press, Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, Unified Grocers, Union Bank and Wells Fargo, our VIP Program Sponsors ProBiz Bank and our media partner 89.3 KPCC.
“In the coming months, come join me in experiencing the orchestra of the future, the 2.0 version – MUSE/IQUE,” says Artistic Director Rachael Worby. “We’ve taken the pulse of the community here and are thrilled by their excitement about the direction we want to go with MUSE/IQUE, which is an accumulation of my lifelong passions for people and music. With MUSE/IQUE, I have that lucky experience, which is a combination of long preparation and opportunity, of feeling like I’m the right person at the right time.”
Mixing high culture with casual whimsy, Worby’s new orchestra embraces the rich musical diversity of the iPod era, seeking to create the fizzy, urbane magic that can turn a musical chance encounter into an unforgettable memory.
“The orchestra community needs the vitality and fresh ideas that Rachael Worby has to offer,” said Jesse Rosen, President of the League of American Orchestras. “Too many of our orchestras’ practices and habits are reinforcing the false perception that we perform only for the so-called ‘limousine and tuxedo set.’ MUSE/IQUE vibrantly breaks that mold.”
The best iPod playlists mix familiar favorites from every era with new works and sensibilities that expand our musical imaginations. That is what Rachael Worby does best, using her musical artistry, scope and personality to transport and surprise audiences. Worby doesn’t just conduct concerts; she curates musical adventures. With her effervescent personality she guides fellow travelers through different musical landscapes, time periods and emotional journeys, sometimes irreverent, sometimes bittersweet, but always original in conception, extraordinary in scope, and full of heartfelt artistry.
“MUSE/IQUE and its Artistic Director Rachael Worby will speak to the creative heart of our city,” said Mayor Bill Bogaard, “by teaching our students, developing new talent, inspiring audiences and bringing the best performing artists in the world to our neighborhood. It is a welcome addition to the cultural landscape.” While their musical taste is eclectic, Rachael Worby and MUSE/IQUE have a clear point of view. A concert is an immersive, communal experience and music itself, even the most beloved old standard or familiar score, is constantly alive with possibilities to be discovered through new contexts, surprising juxtapositions, and illuminating interpretations. The ambiance for the musical evenings offered by MUSE/IQUE will be sophisticated yet playful, stylish yet welcoming. Think friends mixing at a salon under the stars rather than passive strangers at a stuffy concert. Think nothing less than the transformation of the community experience of orchestral music.
“Rachael’s musical endeavors have always had the hallmark of being full of creative spontaneity. Watching her work with the performing artists, collaborate with other disciplines, and inspire audiences of all ages and backgrounds is a treat to behold. Excitement about her new orchestra, MUSE/IQUE, is tremendous and a new star has been added to Pasadena’s artistic constellation,” said United States Congressman Adam Schiff.
MUSE/IQUE’s belief in the communal, transformative power of music is also behind their commitment to providing a free concert every year in downtown Pasadena, and to their ambitious plan for civic outreach through educational programs for local public schools. With the goal of introducing musical experiences to young adults and disenfranchised youth, and reaffirming positive possibilities for education in the arts, Worby will develop programs specifically for these audiences. To date, MUSE/IQUE already enjoys relationships with child and family foster care organizations such as Hathaway-Sycamores and Hillsides and Pasadena Unified School District as part of its ongoing community building. “We are proud to support MUSE/IQUE’s efforts to share music with a new generation of youth in Pasadena,” said Charles Harrington, Chairman and CEO of Parsons Corporation. Thomas Leddy, President of the Board of MUSE/IQUE adds, “We look forward to the freshness and vibrancy of Rachael’s concerts, and to the educational and social contribution of MUSE/IQUE’s youth programming.”
MUSE/IQUE’s show case concert this summer will be opened by opera legend and five-time Grammy winner Jessye Norman, a long time collaborator of Worby’s, who shares her deep commitments to innovation and to community. Norman’s ceaseless curiosity and deeply felt obligation of offering musical expression outside the traditional.
Classical canon fueled the composition of her latest recording, Roots: My Life My Song, which was nominated for a 2010 Grammy award. Norman, who founded the Jessye Norman School for the Arts, which offers tuition-free arts programming to talented middle school students in her hometown of Augusta, GA, was the recipient this year of the National Medal for the Arts by President Barack Obama.
“It is truly heartwarming to know that at a time when much attention is directed elsewhere, that a totally new arts organization is being created out of an understanding and determination that everyone, everywhere, everyday should experience the life-enriching power and joy of a personal connection to the ephemeral, the signal beauty, the wonder of the creative spirit. I applaud everyone involved in this exciting adventure in Pasadena, and especially this new orchestra’s leader and arts educator extraordinaire, Maestra Rachael Worby. Godspeed.” Ms. Norman will appear with MUSE/IQUE on July 30th, 2011.
Worby concludes, “MUSE/IQUE’S values are an extension of my own values: education, engagement, curation. This has always been my imprimatur. What fuels me as curator/conductor is my passion for delivering music to people.”
Worby will also continue her season at The Broad Stage with Saturday Morning Mash-Ups, reinventing old-fashioned children’s concerts with these one-of-a-kind multimedia melanges. Carnival of the Animals, Saturday, September 24, 2011 Peter & the Wolf with Friends, Saturday, November 5, 2011 and Too Hot to Handel Saturday, December 10, 2011.
About Rachael Worby: Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “Inspiring and Accessible,” Rachael Worby is that rare conductor who is a skilled communicator with a wide range of repertoire that appeals to audiences everywhere. Distinguished as a visionary in the orchestral world, she is celebrated internationally for her extraordinary talents and exuberant style, as well as her versatile command of all musical genres – symphonic, operatic, pops, classics, and 20th century.
Worby’s dynamic energy, coupled with the remarkable growth of diverse organizations under her leadership, has served to create a demand for her skills on the international level. She served as Music Director of the Pasadena Pops from 2000-2010, quadrupling the number of yearly concerts played and dramatically increasing audience attendance, and, as a guest conductor, has led orchestras throughout Europe, South America, Australia and Asia. Among many honors, Worby served for four years on the National Council on the Arts, as an appointee of President Bill Clinton.
Tables of six for MUSE/IQUE’s July 30th, 2011 showcase performance are on sale now at www.muse-ique.com. Single Tickets go on Sale June 15th, 2011. For more information call 818-732-1712.
Vanessa Butler, 213-446-0774, Vanessa.Butler@sbcglobal.net