James DePreist, artistic advisor of the Pasadena Symphony, is recovering from heart bypass surgery and won’t be able to conduct its April 28 program at the Ambassador Auditorium, the orchestra announced Thursday.
Michael Stern, music director of the Kansas City Symphony -– and son of the late Isaac Stern -– will replace DePreist on the podium for the day’s two performances of Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, the “Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey” sequence from Richard Wagner’s “Gotterdammerung,” and Richard Strauss’s “Four Last Songs,” featuring soprano Christine Brewer.
Stern has received good notices in past Southern California pinch-hitting appearances.
In 2010, substituting for an ailing Jeffrey Kahane, his performance with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra prompted Times critic Mark Swed to observe that Stern “is someone we should be seeing more of.”
He won a rave –- “stylish, unified, purposeful, balanced, transparent, nuanced and, in a word, musical”— from The Times while stepping in with the Pacific Symphony in 2001 for a Mostly Mozart program whose scheduled conductor, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, had visa problems.