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Press Release


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

The world’s famous singer-songwriter and original teen sensation—Paul Anka—delivers his classic pop and oldies for next evening at Pacific Symphony Pops

Orange County, Calif. — March 18, 2015

Bursting onto the music scene at age 15 with his hit song “Diana,” Paul Anka took his teenage stardom and turned it into a seven-decade career, penning over 500 songs for the great singers of the day and remaining a consummate entertainer for years to come. Backed by the lush sounds of a full orchestra, Anka brings his talents to Pacific Symphony Pops for a high-energy concert filled with songs that have transcended generations. These include such hits as “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” “You Are My Destiny,” “Puppy Love,” “Lonely Boy” and the illustrious “My Way,” which became Frank Sinatra’s signature song, and is the title of Anka’s autobiography. The ultimate showman, Anka has achieved unprecedented success on the stage, screen and television. His songs have been performed more than 90 million times, and he’s released more than 120 albums. His talent for songwriting has been delivered through the voices of Sammy Davis Jr., Buddy Holly, Michael Bublé, Celine Dion, Tom Jones, and even Michael Jackson through the posthumous release of “This Is It” in 2009.

 Anka remains a lively and energetic performer, bringing his greatest hits and favorite oldies to the Symphony. Led by guest conductor Sameer Patel, the concert takes place Thursday through Saturday, April 9-11, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $35-160; Box Circle is $185. For more information or to purchase tickets call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“It’s so apparent from his stories and from his many hits that he’s an incredible communicator and musician,” says Maestro Patel about working with Anka. “I’m looking forward to seeing this legend on stage myself!”

Before intermission, the Symphony takes the audience back to the good old days with musical tributes to the Broadway stage, 1950s television and the jazz of Vegas nightclubs. The fanfare and familiar theme of Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture” kicks off the evening before the orchestra ventures to New York for Selections from “West Side Story.” Then, a compilation of “When TV Was Young” features themes from the shows “Dragnet,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Honeymooners” and “I Love Lucy.” Finally, a “Salute to Ol’ Blue Eyes,” features songs made popular by Frank Sinatra including “Strangers in the Night,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “The Lady is Tramp” and “That’s Life.”

“Pacific Symphony has an outstanding reputation, and I’m looking forward to sharing the stage with the musicians. We have a fantastic program lined up that I know our audience will enjoy, which is full of energy, nostalgia and fun,” says Patel.                                  

With his delightful and energetic presence, Anka takes the stage to perform some of his greatest hits from his many albums. Anka began learning music at an early age by studying piano, and by the age of 13, had his own band. At the age of 15, he already knew that he wanted to be a performer, and after winning a Campbell’s Soup contest, he set off to New York to make a name for himself. Anka rose to fame as a teen sensation with his song, “Diana,” and became the youngest entertainer to ever perform at the Copa Cabana. He honed his songwriting talents by collaborating with many big names, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Frankie Lyman and Chuck Berry. As he grew up, Anka transferred to an adult audience, not an easy task for someone labeled as a teen star, and earned the respect of many, including Frank Sinatra and Connie Francis. In 2008, he was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 2013, released his New York Times best-selling autobiography. With the release of his latest albums, “Duets,” “Classic Songs, My Way,” and “Rock Swings” Anka continues to tour and take his music around the world.

Guest conductor Patel is globally recognized as one of the best young conductors of his generation. He has conducted groups in a variety of countries, including Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as in many school and youth orchestras in North America, South America and Europe. Having worked with so many groups Patel says, “It’s a privilege to work with different orchestras and to get to know their collective musical identity through the rehearsal process and performances.” Patel had the honor of studying with former New York Philharmonic Director Kurt Masur after being awarded the 2011 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholar. He studied at the University of Michigan where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in conducting with Kenneth Kiesler. In the 2014-15 season, Patel conducts throughout United States with the Knoxville, Toledo, Phoenix, San Diego and Alabama symphonies.