‘Restoration’ Concert Series Is Returning on Sept. 15

Pianist Robert Thies is the featured opener.

The Restoration Concert Series, sponsored by the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, begins its 24th season on Sunday, Sept. 15, with a performance by pianist Robert Thies.

The concert will begin at 4 p.m. in the library’s Community Room. Season subscriptions are still available for $98, and patrons can buy same-day tickets for $20.

The Friends are on track to sell about 125 subscriptions for the eight concerts from September through May.

“We started out with the goal of bringing classical music to South Pasadena at prices that seniors and students could afford,’’ said committee co-chair Kay Rosser.

Fifty percent of the people attending are local, Rosser said, with other people coming from as far away as Riverside and Beverly Hills.

The focus, Rosser said, is on classical music, although concerts sometimes feature jazz musicians. There have been 176 concerts over the past 23 years. The Friends this year also helped to sponsor a summer Brahms Festival that brought gifted musicians to perform all 25 of the composer’s instrumental chamber works.

The New Hollywood String Quartet has been a crowd favorite over the years, and will perform twice this season. Its first appearance will be at the series second concert, Sunday, Oct. 13.

Donations by the Friends of profits of over $107,000 from the Restoration concerts have paid for carpeting the Community Room; a new sound system; the Friends-led efforts to find and restore the Steinway piano used by professionals at the concerts; over 150 chairs for the community room; and chairs for the library’s main floor.

Thies won a gold medal at the second international Prokofiev Competition in Russia, and he has performed at least once over the life of the series.

“People they levitated off their seats when they saw him,’’ Rosser said. “I was floating.

“Performers say that they love the venue and the chamber setting. They like the reception and the chance to meet people. They say it is their way of giving back.’’

The schedule through January is pianist Robert Thies, Sept. 15; Oct. 13, New Hollywood String Quartet; Nov. 17, Girsky String Quartet with guitarist Almer Imamovic; and Jan. 12, Speitz String Quartet.


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