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Press Release


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

Lighting up the night sky with dazzling fireworks and beautiful music, Pacific Symphony’s 2015 Summer Festival takes off with five concerts at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Orange County, Calif. — March 25, 2015

Lineup includes July 4 Journey tribute, Beethoven’s “Emperor,” Ravel’s “Bolero,” J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” and annual favorite, “Tchaikovsky Spectacular”

As the temperature rises and the summer season grows closer each day, it’s almost time to pack those picnic baskets and head to Irvine for five music-infused evenings under the stars with Pacific Symphony. Taking place at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, the 2015 Summer Festival begins with the annual “July 4 Spectacular,” featuring Faithfully, a symphonic tribute to the music of Journey, and an explosive fireworks finale. The quintessential Southern California summer experience continues as Assistant Conductor Alejandro Gutiérrez leads pianist Rueibin Chen in Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto and conducts Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.” Kicking up the tempo, Music Director Carl St.Clair leads “Hot Latino Nights” featuring Ravel’s “Bolero,” salsa dancing and special guests J.T. and Friends. The Symphony performs Academy-Award winner Michael Giacchino’s score for “Star Trek” live as J.J. Abrams’ 2009 blockbuster plays on the big screen, led by Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman. Finally, the Symphony delivers the annual OC favorite: “Tchaikovsky Spectacular,” featuring guest pianist Olga Kern and bombastic fireworks and cannons during the “1812” Overture.

Subscriptions are on sale now ranging from $100-$485 with boxes and front-row packages also available. Single tickets go on sale May 17 and range from $25-$107. With the purchase of an adult subscription, kids under 14 come free in select sections. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit Summer Festival 2015 is made possible by supporting sponsor, Orange County Register, Avenue of the Arts Wyndham Hotel and media sponsors PBS SoCal, K-Earth 101, KPCC and KUSC.

“I truly love outdoor concerts!” says Maestro Kaufman. “With the stars above and the wonderful fresh air of evening, it creates a very special feeling for both the audience and the orchestra alike. And every year I look forward to celebrating the birth of our country at the July 4th extravaganza.”

Don’t Stop Believin’! The festival kicks off with a night of classic rock that’ll have the audience singing and dancing in their seats. Led by Maestro Kaufman, the Symphony opens the summer season with a Fourth-of-July celebration featuring the energetic group Faithfully as they pay tribute to one of the most beloved bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Journey. Backed by the full-bodied sound of the Symphony, the two groups bring an enjoyable and exciting concert of Journey’s greatest hits to life such as “Faithfully,” “Wheel in the Sky” and “Any Way You Want It” on Saturday, July 4, at 8 p.m. Fourth-of-July traditions include patriotic favorites, a salute to the U.S. Armed Forces and a brilliant fireworks finale.

Masterful melodies! Making his Summer Festival debut, Maestro Gutiérrez treats the audience to thrilling masterpieces that include Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor,” and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.” Guest pianist Rueibin Chen enlightens the stage with his virtuosity in the stunning cadenzas and dramatic themes of the famous “Emperor.” The concert opens in operatic splendor with Verdi’s Overture to “La Forza Del Destino” and concludes with the gorgeous palette of colors that spin tales of the Arabian Nights. It’s a night not to be missed taking place Saturday, July 25, at 8 p.m.

Sultry salsa! Maestro St.Clair spices things up with the sizzling sounds of Spanish culture when he presents “Hot Latino Nights” with the high-octane energy of J.T. and Friends. Featuring hip-shaking music of Ravel’s “Bolero,” Bernstein’s “Mambo” from “West Side Story,” Ginastera’s “Estancia” and more, the upbeat concert brings the audience to their feet to dance along with the salsa king, Bobby Rivas. This evening of hot-tempered favorites takes place Sunday, Aug. 9, at 7:30 p.m.

Attention all Trekkies! Take the family out for a symphonic night at the movies and enjoy the thrilling music of Academy-Award winner Michael Giancchino’s score for “Star Trek.” As the 2009 blockbuster that grossed almost $258 million at the box office lights up the big screen, Kaufman conducts the score of the film live, with over 80 musicians, giving the audience a look into what a Hollywood recording session is like.

“For the audience, seeing and hearing a full-length motion picture with the score played live is a unique and thrilling experience,” explains Kaufman. “The score by Michael Giacchino is perfect to help bring the story and characters to life...exciting, emotional, suspenseful and epic.” Enjoy the cinematic music by the same composer who developed scores for such films as Pixar’s “Up,” “Ratatouille” and “The Incredibles,” along with this summer’s “Tomorrowland,” “Inside Out” and “Jurassic World.” The experience takes place on Saturday, Aug. 22, at 8 p.m.

Booming cannons! Ending the festival on a high note is the Symphony’s OC tradition, “Tchaikovsky Spectacular,” featuring virtuosic pianist Olga Kern. St.Clair leads the final concert on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 8 p.m. Bright and colorful fireworks light up the night sky as the classic “1812” Overture leaves the audience at the edge of their seats. Kern, the striking young Russian Gold Medal winner of the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, tackles Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with her mesmerizing and utterly precise style. The rest of the program is filled with beautiful ballet melodies from Tchaikovsky’s “The Sleeping Beauty” and Stravinsky’s “The Firebird.”