Conductor Victor Vener. Photo source: Pasadena Weekly.

In last Monday’s (1/8) Pasadena Now, an unsigned obituary states, “Maestro Victor Vener, founder of the California Philharmonic, died on Dec. 31 … Vener founded the California Philharmonic in 1996. His vision was to create a world-class orchestra that would perform the most beloved classical music alongside the greatest popular music of our time. Vener made significant contributions to presenting classical music in the Pasadena area.” Other musical groups Vener founded include the Pasadena Pops, Chamber Orchestra of Pasadena, and Burbank Symphony, and he led musical events outside standard concert halls at venues including the Santa Anita Racetrack and Pasadena City Hall. “Unlike the formal decorum of other orchestras in the area, Vener engaged with audiences during California Philharmonic performances. He would often turn to his audience and tell them anecdotes about certain classical pieces and their composers…. Vener earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from USC…. He was awarded a fellowship to Tanglewood, the Gold Medal of Special Merit from Vienna, commendations by the U.S. Congress, California’s State Senate and Assembly, and the County of Los Angeles. Vener was awarded the California Arts Council’s Artist in Residence Grant three times … and received the Pasadena Arts Council’s Gold Crown Award.”