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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Communications
(714) 876-2380

Pacific Symphony Announces a Stupendous, Star-Studded 2016-17 Pops Season Full of Non-Stop Entertainment Led By Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman

Orange County, Calif. — April 11, 2016

Lineup includes Singing Sensation Amy Grant; “Home Alone” Movie Night; Holidays with The Ten Tenors; Valentine’s Day Weekend with Michael Bolton; Surf-Music icons The Beach Boys; “Seinfeld’s” Jason Alexander and a Tribute to Film Composer John Williams

The stars come out for seven sensational concerts showcasing major names, top talent and a plethora of indelible music for Pacific Symphony’s 2016-17 Pops season! Led for the 26th year by acclaimed Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, the lighter side of the Symphony opens with the return of multiple Grammy Award-winner Amy Grant. Then, sit back and enjoy some good-natured hilarity when the hit movie “Home Alone” returns to the screen with the Symphony performing the score live! For the holidays, share the spirit of the season with The Ten Tenors, and spend Valentine’s Day weekend with Michael Bolton. Get an early jump on summer with The Beach Boys, before being treated to the unique humor and talent of Jason Alexander, best known for his role in “Seinfeld.” Finally, a tribute to the legend responsible for so many unforgettable movie tunes—John Williams—finishes out this incredible season.

Seven-concert subscriptions for Pops range from $245-$1,099, Box Circle $1,365; single tickets are $35-$167, Box Circle $195 (on sale Aug. 21). For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“The coming Pops Season is going to be one of the best ever,” enthuses Maestro Kaufman. “Beginning with the brilliant musicians of Pacific Symphony, together we will present some of the world’s most talented and beloved performers and music. Unique, innovative, exciting, inspired…these are just a few adjectives that begin to describe the coming Pops season at Pacific Symphony. Each Pops weekend is truly a celebration, and I look forward to sharing the excitement with our fantastic Pops audiences.”

The season kicks off with a spectacular opening night featuring six-time Grammy Award-winner Amy Grant on Oct. 14–15, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. This American-music icon has enjoyed a career spanning more than 30 years, stretching from her roots in gospel music to leading pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. Admired for her crossover music—from contemporary Christian to mainstream music—Grant has produced numerous hits such as “Baby Baby,” “Every Heartbeat,” “That’s What Love is For,” “I Will Remember You,” “Lead Me On,” “El Shaddai” and more. She now brings her soothing voice, engaging personality and talent for erasing the lines between genres to the Symphony for a perfect family program that includes a mix of her greatest hits.

“Amy Grant is one of the most talented singers out there,” says Maestro Kaufman, “and one of the nicest people I have ever worked with. The Christmas shows we did together a couple of years ago were such a treat and truly memorable. Having Amy open our Pops season will make that exciting weekend extra special.”

Grant last left Orange County audiences wanting more in December 2013, when she made her debut performance with Pacific Symphony and wowed all with her warm, uplifting holiday concert. Her artistry has resonated with audiences since she first hit the national spotlight a few decades ago as a fresh-faced teen with a guitar. To date, the singer has earned three multi-platinum albums, six other platinum albums and four more gold albums. She has scored 10 Top 40 pop singles and 17 Top 40 adult contemporary tracks, as well as a string of contemporary Christian chart-toppers, six Grammy Awards and numerous Dove Awards; she has had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 2006.

Sit back and laugh when the classic film comedy, “Home Alone,” returns to the big screen on Nov. 11–12, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Led by Maestro Kaufman, this hilarious and heart-warming comedy classic features John Williams’ charming and captivating score performed by the Symphony to a live screening of the film. When 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left behind after his family leaves on Christmas vacation, he finds himself on his own to defend his home against two bungling burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern).

“ ‘Home Alone’ is such a wonderful film, and a great part of what makes it so terrific is the magical score by the great John Williams,” says Kaufman. “I conducted the score with the Chicago Symphony to three sold-out audiences. People of all ages will love experiencing this very special film as Pacific Symphony brings John Williams’ score to life.”

Kaufman has gained quite a reputation for conducting film scores live and has led Pacific Symphony for current and classic movies, including the musical “Singin’ in the Rain,” also, “Vertigo,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Casablanca,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Star Trek” and most recently, “Ben-Hur.” He says: “Every score that we have presented with a film is an exciting adventure. They’re all so different in the stories they tell and the music that accompanies those stories…they each stand out as a memorable experience. ‘Home Alone” will be no exception.”

The Symphony decks the hall for the “most wonderful time of the year” and delivers a concert that’s sure to make spines tingle—as 10 magnificent tenors raise their voices together on one stage, accompanied by the orchestra. This electrifying night of world-class entertainment and holiday celebration takes place Dec. 16–17, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The evening features Australia’s “Rockstars of the Opera”—The Ten Tenors—delivering signature versions of classical-crossover hits, arias, Broadway tunes, pop songs and seasonal favorites. Renowned for their colorful repertoire and breathtaking orchestral arrangements, the audience will thrill to the sheer power of “The Vocal Wonder from Down Under.” It’s a truly dynamic and festive way to celebrate the holidays.

With as much charm as vocal power, and 16 years of sell-out performances across the globe, The Ten Tenors have cemented their place as Australia’s premier classical-crossover group. Celebrated for their colorful repertoire, breathtaking arrangements and powerful live performances, The Ten Tenors tip their hats not only to the great classical composers but also to contemporary music’s most popular artists. Amid their own explosive live concert experiences and remarkable achievements, including six platinum and gold records and over 3.5 million concert tickets sold, The Ten Tenors have performed alongside countless music legends including Andrea Bocelli, André Rieu, John Travolta, Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush, Keith Urban, Rod Stewart, Alanis Morissette, Sarah Brightman, Willie Nelson, Katherine Jenkins and Christina Aguilera.

It’s a musical love fest and the perfect way to celebrate the Valentine season, when multi-Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Michael Bolton joins the Symphony for two romantic and unforgettable evenings on Feb. 10–11, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Bolton, who has sold more than 55 million albums and singles worldwide, is known for his soulful, instantly recognizable voice and poignant lyrics. For this concert, he performs blockbuster hits, soulful classics and such favorite pop songs as “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “How Can We Be Lovers, ” “That’s What Love is All About,” “Time, Love and Tenderness,” “Stand By Me” and many more.

Bolton says: “The Top 40 is geared toward 20 and under, not 20 and up. That’s the audience I’m geared to… When you have great songs that are going to live longer than the composers, everything you can do to bring those different elements and nuances out, serves the song.”

Bolton, continues to “serve the song” by touring the world every year, all while writing, recording and taping for a wide array of projects spanning music, film, television and theater. Known for his unique voice and poignant lyrics, his timeless style, charm and good looks have also earned him a spot in several “People Magazine’s Sexiest Man” issues, including 2012’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” In recognition of his artistic achievements, Bolton has won two Grammys for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance (nominated four times), six American Music Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  As a songwriter, he has earned more than 24 BMI and ASCAP Awards, including Songwriter of the Year, nine Million-Air awards, and the Hitmakers’ Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Fun, fun, fun! In the pantheon of pop, few singing groups have enjoyed the tidal wave of success experienced by The Beach Boys for more than five decades. These eternal teenagers make a rare appearance with the Symphony, led by Kaufman, on March 3–4, 2017, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Their close vocal harmonies and “Good Vibrations” conjure up timeless memories of surf, sun and endless summers. Known for such irresistible chart-topping hits as “Surfin’,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “I Get Around,” “Kokomo,” “Help Me Rhonda” and “California Girls,” these Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famers have performed more concerts than any major rock band in history. The core quintet of the three Wilsons, Love and Jardine were inducted into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

“It’s pretty miraculous that we can start out as a bunch of guys who didn’t know anything about fame or money, or anything like that,” says band-member Mike Love. “All we knew was we liked to sing and make harmonies together. So to have it become part of American musical culture is pretty amazing.”

Regarded as one of the most iconic American bands of all time, and among the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful and widely influential bands, AllMusic stated that The Beach Boys’ “unerring ability... made them America’s first, best rock band.” The group has over 80 songs on worldwide charts, 36 of them U.S. Top 40 hits (the most by an American rock band), four reaching number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Beach Boys have sold in excess of 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time and were listed at number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2004 list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.” They received a Grammy Award for The Smile Sessions in 2011.

It’s a much-heralded night of music, laughter and fun when comedy and Broadway star Jason Alexander brings his wacky, hilarious and very talented self to Orange County for a night with the Symphony on April 21–22, 2017, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Long before becoming world renowned as the highly neurotic, easily angered and unforgettable George Costanza on “Seinfeld,” Alexander was a Tony Award-winning Broadway song-and-dance man. His upcoming evening with the Symphony brings a highly humorous re-telling of his journey to and on the Broadway stage, which features a program of great music from the theater along with comedy and audience interaction.

“A huge standing ovation ended this incredible evening which I will never, ever forget. If you get a chance to see Alexander in person, do not miss him. It was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.”—Broadway World music critic following Alexander’s performance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

The difference between Alexander’s symphony show and those done by many of his fellow theater actors (according to the star himself, as told to the Baltimore Sun): “For the most part, mine has a bunch more laughter in it. Some of it is purely comedic music, some of it is comedic banter. But there’s comedic interaction with the audience.” Think of it ultimately, he continued, as, “not quite cabaret. It’s a little more of a twist on a musical theater event. It’s like having a wonderful musical theater performer coming out and walking through some interesting stories about theater and musicals, how I’ve lived them and how I’ve fantasized about them.”

For the Symphony’s season finale, Maestro Kaufman and the orchestra pay tribute to the genius of John Williams on the occasion of his 85th birthday with a musical celebration of the legendary film composer’s greatest works—on June 2–3, 2017, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The Academy and Grammy Award winner has made cinematic history as the composer of some of Hollywood’s most popular and recognizable film scores including “Star Wars,” “Jaws,” the “Indiana Jones” films, “E.T.,” “Home Alone,” “Hook,” “Jurassic Park,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “War Horse,” “Lincoln” and the first three “Harry Potter” films, to name just a few in his vast repertoire. Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, and 22 Grammy Awards. With 50 Academy Award nominations; he is the second most-nominated individual, after Walt Disney.

“As a studio violinist, I had the great experience and honor of playing on a number of John Williams’ scores, including ‘Jaws’ and ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’ ” says Kaufman. “John creates music that brings a film to life in such a magnificent way, and for the audience to have the chance to hear this music without dialogue and sound effects is truly a special opportunity.”         

In a career spanning more than six decades, Williams has had a long association with director Steven Spielberg, composing the music for all but two of Spielberg’s major feature films. Other notable works by Williams include theme music for four Olympic Games, NBC Sunday Night Football, NBC Nightly News, the Statue of Liberty’s rededication and the television series “Lost in Space” and “Land of the Giants.” He was honored with the prestigious Richard Kirk award at the 1999 Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) Film and TV Awards. Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.

“John is the greatest living film composer,” Kaufman says in summation, “and definitely one of history’s most brilliant writers. His music covers so many genres that there is something for everyone. And the concerts we will present as a celebration of this great man will feature many of his most-beloved scores. The ‘Force’ will be alive and well when we present our fond tribute to John Williams.”