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Press Release


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

'It's a night of favorite movies and music when Pacific Symphony's Summer Festival 2013 presents "Pixar in Concert" with film clips from "Toy Story," "Brave," "Finding Nemo," "WALL-E," "Up" and more!

Orange County, Calif. — July 25, 2013

Revisit the lovable, charming characters, heart-warming (and tugging) stories and the exquisite music of some of the best-loved and most popular Pixar movies at "Pixar in Concert," presented by Hoag, as Pacific Symphony's Summer Festival 2013 continues. From the "Toy Story" trilogy to "The Incredibles" to "Brave," the Symphony, led by guest conductor Sarah Hicks, performs the scores to 13 films live as colorful scenes from the movies are shown on the large screen above the stage. The visual richness of Pixar's animation combines with beautiful orchestrations to enhance the emotional connections felt when watching each movie. Collectively, Pixar's films have won three Academy Awards, received 10 additional Oscar nominations and won 10 Grammys. Other films featured in this concert include "A Bug's Life," "Monsters, Inc.," "Finding Nemo," "Cars," "Ratatouille," WALL-E," "Up" and "Cars 2." This presentation is licensed by Disney Concerts ©Disney/Pixar.

"Pixar in Concert"—the perfect family night—takes place Saturday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine. Tickets range from $25 (lawn seating) to $104 (orchestra seating); children under 14 are half price in most sections with the purchase of an adult ticket. Guests are welcome to picnic on the grounds of the amphitheater starting at 6 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (714) 755-5799 or visit the concert page or

"The concert celebrates both the musical and storytelling artistry of the Pixar films. Rousing themes and gorgeous melodies are woven in harmony with iconic visuals from the films," says Jonathan Heely, director of the Disney Music Group. "The concert also provides an opportunity for many families and children to experience a live symphony for the first time—the movie music itself provides an almost universal entry point."

All 14 Pixar films (including the latest, "Monsters University," which is still in theaters), have been scored by just four composers: Randy Newman, Michael Giacchino, Thomas Newman and Patrick Doyle, indicating a high level of selectivity in the music. A rare opportunity, hearing the orchestra perform the scores during the concert is similar to hearing the original studio scoring sessions for the films before the music goes through processing.

"Like any animated film, the process of adding music is introduced much earlier in the process than for live action films," continues Heely. "The early drawings, tests and character development are often inspired by meetings with the composer to consider themes and opportunities for song and musical expression."

"The composers we work with at Pixar never think about writing music just for cartoons," says Pixar Director Pete Docter ("Monsters, Inc." and "Up"). "It's always about real people, real emotions. That's the way we work, and that's one of the reasons hearing this music in a concert is so much fun."

The idea for "Pixar in Concert" was conceived by David Tanaka, Brice Parker, Laurel Ladevich, Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera and John Lasseter. Disney Publishing's Chris Montan and Tom MacDougall embraced it, and two and a half years later in July 2012, it premiered with San Francisco Symphony. Its next stop was the Hollywood Bowl and has since been performed around the world at the Sydney Opera House, Hong Kong Cultural Center and the KKL in Switzerland, and in the U.S. with Boston Pops, Marin Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and Houston Symphony.

Noted in The New York Times as part of "a new wave of female conductors in their late 20s through early 40s," Hicks' versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place in "the next generation of up-and-coming American conductors." While creating new pops productions, a Microcommission Project and heading the innovative classical series, "Inside the Classics," as the principal conductor, pops and presentations of the Minnesota Orchestra, Hicks concurrently holds the position of staff conductor of the Curtis Institute of Music. Throughout her career she has collaborated with diverse artists, from Jamie Laredo and Hilary Hahn to Ben Folds and Smokey Robinson; in the summer of 2010, she was on tour with Sting as conductor of the final leg of his Symphonicities Tour. Hicks was born in Tokyo and raised in Honolulu. Trained on both the piano and viola, she was a prizewinning pianist by her early teens. She received her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Harvard University in composition; her AIDS Oratorio was premiered in May of 1993 and received a second performance at the Fogg Art Museum the following December. She holds an artists' degree in conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with renowned pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller.

This concert is sponsored by Hoag. The Symphony's Summer Festival 2013 is presented by Hoag with support from the Orange County Register and major sponsor Mercedes-Benz. The festival receives additional support from American Airlines, VIZIO, The Westin South Coast Plaza and media sponsors KUSC, K-EARTH, KPCC and PBS SoCal.