Pasadena Symphony to move to Ambassador Auditorium

The Pasadena Symphony Orchestra will move across downtown Pasadena to the Ambassador Auditorium.
The Pasadena Symphony Orchestra will move across downtown Pasadena to the Ambassador Auditorium. Pasadena Symphony Orchestra

PASADENA - The Pasadena Symphony Orchestra is trading down, and for the first time in 82 years will not play its season in the venerable Pasadena Civic Auditorium, it was reported today.

The PSO will move across downtown Pasadena to the Ambassador Auditorium, an acoustically-stellar hall built in 1974 that can accommodate about 60 percent fewer people, the Pasadena Star-News reported today.

The Orchestra said there is no cost advantage to rental fees in moving to the smaller house, and two afternoon matinee performances will be added for people who may encounter a sell-out at the 1,200-seat Ambassador.

``Really what's driving this is artistic,'' said Paul Jan Zdunek, in an interview with the newspaper. The Ambassador Auditorium is world-famous for acoustics that match those at Carnegie Hall.

Located on a hill across a freeway from Old Town Pasadena, the Ambassador Auditorium was built as the centerpiece of a religious college built by Garner Ted Armstrong, a televangelist who was popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Ambassador College is defunct and its campus has been sold off.

The move will leave the 3,000-seat Civic Auditorium without its anchor tenant, and comes on the heels of the closure of the Pasadena Playhouse, a small theatrical venue that was also a longtime jewel in the ``Crown City's'' palate of cultural venues.

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