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On the Town: Noon Concert violinist Jacqueline Suzuki plays on a shoestring

January 08, 2013|By Ruth Sowby
  • Glendale resident Shigeto Suzuki and his daughter violinist Jacqueline Suzuki, who plays in the Glendale Noon Concert series.
Glendale resident Shigeto Suzuki and his daughter violinist… (Courtesy photo )

Violinist Jacqueline Suzuki is a one-woman wrecking crew. What she wants to “wreck” is Glendale's image of not being a city known for classical music. Starting its fifth year is the Glendale Noon Concert series Suzuki established in November 2008. The free concerts are offered on the first and third Wednesday of every month. The series' venue is the First Baptist Church of Glendale. The Church presents each concert and financially supports the series. Pastor Charles Updike is Suzuki's biggest fan. Each concert's costs are low thanks to Suzuki's thriftiness. Suzuki takes no salary, only paying the musicians (depending on the number of musicians) approximately $240 in total.

That was Suzuki's budget for Wednesday's (Jan. 2) concert, the 99th in the four-year series. Suzuki did double duty as violinist for Beethoven's Spring Sonata. She was joined by pianist Rosa LoGiudice. About 50 music fans made up the audience for the concert scheduled from 12:10 to 12:40 p.m. The short program allows for nearby workers to enjoy music on their lunch hours. A light lunch from nearby Angela's Bistro is available for $6, so no one has to miss a minute of the music.

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Suzuki has her hands in more than one pot. She also schedules musicians to play for children in local hospitals. Suzuki began with pediatric patients at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach. But Suzuki always has one eye on the bottom line. She is looking for more funding for her work in hospitals.

Suzuki has been a longtime member of the on-and-off Glendale Symphony. She is a principal player as second chair violinist. By establishing the Noon Concert series, Suzuki hopes to bring “live music on a regular basis by a Glendale-based organization.”Next in the Glendale Noon Concert series is “Calico Winds” — works by Bizet and Janacek on Feb. 6.

More concert news involves the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO). It ended 2012 on an upbeat note. LACO received the largest gift in its 44-year old history. Pasadena residents Terri and Jerry Kohl gave a $1 million challenge gift. Their challenge was met by two anonymous gifts totaling an additional $1 million. The $2 million grand total provides the foundation for LACO's newly established Cornerstone Campaign, a major gifts and endowment initiative. The initiative will further strengthen the orchestra's fiscal standing.

Subsequently, two additional gifts totaling $200,000 have been donated to the Cornerstone Campaign.

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