Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra unveils Pennington Artist of the Year

Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra unveils Pennington Artist of the Year

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra opened its new season Friday, September 25 with the lights going down for a performance of Beethoven's Emperor Piano Concerto.

Visiting artist Jonathan Biss was waiting in the wings to enter the state. But, before the program plunged into passionate classical music, the attractive Paula Pennington de La Bretonne strode on stage and took the lectern. It was the unveiling of this year's mega-star studded fundraiser.

The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Great Performer in Concert series has brought in the likes of violinist Yitzhak Perlman, cellist YoYo Ma… and the big-name performer this year?

She named "Renee Fleming".  Fleming is a beloved opera singer whose charms cross genres.  She's recorded pop tunes as comfortably as wickedly difficult trills on the New York Metropolitan Opera Stage.

The concert, happening May 13th at 8 p.m., represents a return to Baton Rouge by Ms. Fleming.  She has been a Pennington superstar before. In 2003, Fleming's concert had thrilled Baton Rouge audiences to the point that the family at Lee Michael's Fine Jewelry in announced they commissioned a porcelain iris in her name in 2004.  The two-time Grammy winner returned to Baton Rouge to accept the tribute in exquisite porcelain.

Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra receives compliments galore from its special Pennington guest artists.

With two major universities and their music programs, Baton Rouge's talent base is rich with professional musicians.  The Symphony is well-prepared to meet the standard of its elite class of artists, and is very grateful to the Penningtons for the support they've offered throughout the years of this series.

Proceeds from ticket sales go to a fundraiser for the Symphony. They are available at, or by calling 225-383-0500.

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