For the past 23 years, the non-profit Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library has presented the popular Restoration Concerts series, which brings world-class musicians to the community.
Back in 1996, when the library was nearing its 100th birthday, the librarian at the time, Mary Lou Wigley, thought that a classical concert would be a nice event to celebrate the milestone. It was so well-received that Wigley asked Cindy Line, a local resident, to create a series. When it was presented to the Library’s Board of Trustees, the board suggested calling it Restoration Concerts, and that if any funds were garnered after paying costs and musician stipends, perhaps needed enhancements to the Community Room could be funded.
“Our Restoration Concerts committee saved and finally was able to purchase new carpeting and chairs,” said Kay Rosser, Restoration Concerts co-chair. “About 10 years ago, we had a special fund-raising endeavor to purchase a nine-foot Steinway Concert grand piano for use by our world-renowned musicians.”
The series’ next concert, The Girsky String Quartet with guitarist Almer Imamovic, will present the music of Boccherini, Dvorak and Shostakovich on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. in the Library Community Room.
Every year, three concerts are offered in the fall/winter and five in the spring. Upcoming performances include the Speltz Family String Ensemble on Jan. 12 and the Susan Greenberg String Trio with flute and harp on Feb. 2. Proceeds from the concerts are dedicated to the ongoing enhancement of the historic Carnegie Community Room and the Library.
Last July, the Restoration Concerts did something special by hosting The Brahms Music Festival, which featured eight straight evenings presenting all 25 instrumental chamber works of Johannes Brahms. The event was a huge success and every evening was sold out.
“We pride ourselves, being under the non-profit umbrella of the Friends of the Library, in bringing fabulous music to seniors, students, residents and non-residents at a very affordable price,” said Rosser. “Our audiences over the years love the opportunity to hear this high-quality of music.”
Tickets are $20 at the door. For additional information, call (626) 799-6333 or visit friendsofsopaslibrary.org.