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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

Warm starry nights, cherished music, brilliant fireworks add up to endless family fun for Pacific Symphonys 25th Summer Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

May 20, 2013

Lineup includes “July 4 Extravaganza,” featuring music by Neil Diamond; “The Planets”; “Roll Over, Beethoven,” featuring J.T. & Friends; “Pixar in Concert”; and annual favorite, “Tchaikovsky Spectacular”; plus, a special “Video Games Live” concert

Summer is fast approaching, which means it’s almost time to pack a picnic and head to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine for six music-filled evenings under the stars with Pacific Symphony, as the orchestra kicks off its 35th anniversary season. Presented by Hoag, the Symphony’s 2013 Summer Festival begins with the annual “July 4 Extravaganza,” featuring the heartfelt classics of Neil Diamond and a stunning fireworks finale. Patrons find themselves transported to another galaxy for “The Planets,” featuring guest conductor Case Scaglione and guest violinist Caroline Goulding, who performs Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. Then, get ready to rock-and-roll with J.T. & Friends in “Roll Over, Beethoven,” featuring chart-toppers from the past four centuries. And music from some of cinema’s most-treasured family films comes alive in “Pixar in Concert,” featuring music and video from “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” “Brave” and more! The Symphony concludes the season with “Tchaikovsky Spectacular,” featuring breathtaking cannons and fireworks during the “1812 Overture.”

Plus, new this year: a special add-on concert, “Video Games Live,” takes place Wednesday, July 17, at 8 p.m. Five-concert subscriptions range from $95-$465, with luxury season packages also available. Single tickets are $25-$99 and go on sale June 2. Gates open at 6 p.m. for picnicking at all concerts except Sunday, Aug. 4, when they open at 5:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

Summer Festival 2013 is made possible by supporting sponsor, Orange County Register; major sponsor, Mercedes Benz; plus, video images are provided by Vizio. Media sponsors include K-Earth 101, KPCC, KUSC and PBS SoCal.

“I always look forward to our summer series at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater,” says Music Director Carl St.Clair. “I get to share vibrant music with our gracious audience and wonderful orchestra; combine that with the beautiful Southern California night sky and you have the perfect combination! It’s a wonderfully unique atmosphere and the perfect setting for a concert.”

It’s not just Caroline that’s sweet! The Symphony, led by Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, opens the summer season with a “July 4 Extravaganza,” featuring San Francisco-based Super Diamond, a rock-and-roll band that interprets Neil Diamond’s addictive, feel-good hits alongside the orchestra. Favorite Diamond chart-toppers such as “Sweet Caroline,” “Heartlight,” “Song Sung Blue,” “America” and other classics that have been delighting generations of Americans for years fill the amphitheater with a festive holiday spirit. The concert takes place on Thursday, July 4, at 8 p.m., and includes patriotic favorites, a salute to the U.S. armed forces and a jaw-dropping fireworks finale that pays homage to the nation’s troops and our nation’s history. “As citizens of the U.S.A., the Fourth of July is our annual opportunity to come together to celebrate our beloved country with music,” says Maestro Kaufman. “Each year on our July Fourth concert, we bring our audience the sounds of musical America. This year, we’ll remember the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg with the Oscar-nominated music of John Williams from ‘Lincoln,’ as well as Randy Edelman’s stirring music from the film ‘Gettysburg.’ I am anticipating a memorable musical experience for not only our audience, but for the musicians and most certainly for the conductor (aka, yours truly).”

Blast off! The Symphony takes concertgoers on a journey to the far reaches of the solar system for “The Planets,” a concert filled with music inspired by the galaxy itself. This intergalactic multimedia event includes high-definition images from the Hubble Space Telescope projected on the big screen above the stage, as the Symphony performs Gustav Holst’s invigorating “The Planets.” Scaglione joins the Symphony as the concert’s guest conductor along with guest violinist Goulding, who plays Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. Scaglione currently serves as the assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic and in 2011, was the recipient of the Conductor’s Prize by the Solti Foundation U.S.—an esteemed honor that has only been awarded three times in the foundation’s history. A vivacious violinist, Goulding has received considerable recognition for her musical talent. In 2009, she won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, received the Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship and received a Grammy nomination for her debut recording. She was also the recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2011. This concert takes place Saturday, July 13, at 8 p.m.

Attention gamers! In a unique and special summer event, the Symphony presents “Video Games Live,” a concert celebrating the exciting collaborations of music, art and interactive technology that make up the video game industry. With live-action visuals, synchronized lighting, exclusive video footage, soloists and electronic percussionists—plus the powerful sound of the full symphony orchestra—it’s an explosion of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. This concert features music and video from the most popular video games of all time, including “Diablo,” “Halo,” “Guitar Hero” and “Warcraft,” as well as the nostalgic classics from yesteryear such as “Frogger,” “Mario,” “Sonic,” “Zelda” and more! Plus, selected audience members are chosen to come up on stage and play games while the orchestra performs. Taking place Wednesday, July 17, at 8 p.m., tickets are sold separately ($25-$65), not as part of the Summer Festival package.

Get ready to dance! Join the Symphony, Maestro St.Clair and J.T. & Friends for a night that is sure to prove widely entertaining. “Roll Over, Beethoven” juxtaposes some of the most popular works by Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky with rock-and-roll hits from the 1940s to today. Joining the orchestra onstage is J.T. & Friends—a 46-musician band led by John Tu of Kingston Technology—which has brought down the house at the Symphony’s Gala for the past three years with its myriad of fun-loving songs by the Temptations, Elvis, Rod Stewart, Gloria Gaynor and more! Now the band joins the orchestra onstage for a powerhouse of sound and an evening that is sure to have the audience dancing in their seats! “This is going to be a great night at Verizon,” says St.Clair. “I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday evening than listening to classics by the masters and the adored hits of rock-and-roll. It’s the perfect fusion of the two genres and it’s definitely going to be a great time.” The concert takes place Sunday, Aug. 4, at 7:30 p.m. Gates open early at 5:30 p.m.

Family night! Beloved children’s films and music come together for the Symphony’s presentation of “Pixar in Concert,” on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m. The orchestra brings to life the cherished musical moments of such popular and captivating films as “Up,” “Brave,” “Cars,” “Wall-E” and many more. While the Symphony fills the amphitheater with music from the film scores, scenes from the movies play on a big screen overhead, giving concertgoers a truly unique multi-media experience. Award-winning conductor Sarah Hicks joins the Symphony as a guest, bringing her ingenious talent and artistry to the stage. Hicks graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in composition. She has received numerous prestigious awards, among them the Doris Cohen Levy Prize for conducting and the Thomas Hoopes Prize for composition, both from Harvard University. This presentation is licensed by Disney Concert Library © Disney/Pixar.

End summer with a magnificent bang! The Summer Festival series concludes its season on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 8 p.m., with “Tchaikovsky Spectacular.” Filled with cannons, fireworks and thundering scores, this concert is the perfect culmination to the festival’s season and a fantastic way to salute summer’s end. Led by St.Clair, the program includes Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4” and “1812 Overture.” The concert also features the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition medalist. “This concert serves as both a farewell and a salutation,” says St.Clair. “While we bid adieu to summer, we greet the approaching fall season with a hearty hello. It’s a marvelous way to celebrate both the ending and beginning of two wonderful seasons.”