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Press Release


MEDIA CONTACT:

Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380
joelrich@pacificsymphony.org

Special Screening Of U.S. Broadcast Premiere Of Peter Boyer's "Ellis Island: The Dream Of America With Pacific Symphony" On PBS' Great Performances

Orange County, CA — June 13, 2018

Great Performances and Pacific Symphony, led by music director Carl St.Clair, pay tribute to America’s history with a performance of composer Peter Boyer’s Grammy-nominated contemporary classical work “Ellis Island: The Dream of America,” at a free, public screening in Orange County, June 29, 8:00 p.m. at the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University.   

Great Performances – Ellis Island: The Dream of America with Pacific Symphony celebrates the historic American immigrant experience and premieres nationwide Friday, June 29 at 10:00 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) in honor of Immigrant Heritage Month. The program will be available to stream the following day via pbs.org/gperf and PBS apps.

Using texts from the Ellis Island Oral History Project and historic Ellis Island images in combination with an original orchestral score, “Ellis Island” features seven, first-hand stories of immigrants dramatically interpreted by guest stars Barry Bostwick, Camryn Manheim, Michael Nouri, Lesley Fera, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Samantha Sloyan and Kira Sternbach. Over 40 percent of the U.S. population can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island, and immigration remains at the forefront of global news. Great Performances – Ellis Island captures the emotions, elation and uncertainties of America’s epic immigrant experience.

The special was recorded by Great Performances before capacity audiences, including nearly 40 recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in 2017 during Pacific Symphony’s 17th American Composers Festival. Peter Boyer’s “Ellis Island: The Dream of America” premiered in 2002 to great acclaim. It has since received nearly 200 performances by more than 80 orchestras and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Contemporary Composition in 2005.

A co-production of Pacific Symphony and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET in association with PBS SoCal, Great Performances – Ellis Island: The Dream of America with Pacific Symphony was directed for stage and television by Matthew Diamond and produced by John Walker; with Shawn Murphy as audio producer, production design by Matt Steinbrenner, lighting design by Bob Barnhart and projection design by Perry Freeze. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.  

Pacific Symphony president, John Forsyte commented, “This screening of the U.S. broadcast premiere of Peter Boyer’s ‘Ellis Island: The Dream of America with Pacific Symphony’ on PBS’ Great Performances is the culmination of a year that has been marked with brilliant artistic milestones. In April the orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut to critical acclaim. And the following month the Symphony was warmly received during its first-ever tour of China.” He continued, “These significant landmarks, along with the national PBS special, are broadening Pacific Symphony’s audiences while increasing its national and international reputation. We thank Paul Musco and Musco Center for the Arts for providing world-class facilities to Pacific Symphony for this special occasion.”

 

Tickets for June 29th Screening

The June 29 screening program will include brief interviews with composer Peter Boyer and Nasser Kazeminy, Chairman of the Ellis Island Honors Society. Complimentary general admission tickets can be obtained by calling the Pacific Symphony box office at (714) 755-5799. Orders placed by June 21 will be mailed out. Orders after that date will be held for will call at the Musco Center box office. After the 8:00 p.m. screening there will be a meet-and-greet with the composer Peter Boyer in the lobby. This event will be available to everyone who attends the screening.

 

Availability of Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipients for Interviews

Local media interested in interviewing Southern California Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients or Chairman Nasser Kazeminy may contact Jo Ellen Chatham at Joellenchatham@gmail.com or 714-602-7223.

 

Funding

Major funding for the program is provided by The Ellis Island Honors Society, The Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation, the Jewish Federation and Family Services of Orange County, Nasser and Yvonne Kazeminy, and Seth & Yasuko Siegel and Blossom Siegel. Major funding for Great Performances is provided by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Irene Diamond Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The Abra Prentice Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, and PBS.

Great Performances is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its more than 40-year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming.

 

Websites

https://www.pbssocal.org, http://pbs.org/gperf, facebook.com/GreatPerformances, @GPerfPBS #GreatPerformancesPBS

 

About Pacific Symphony
Pacific Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair since 1990, has been the resident orchestra of Orange County’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall for over a decade. Founded in 1978, the Symphony is the largest orchestra formed in the U.S. in the last 50 years and is not only a fixture of musical life in Southern California, but also is recognized as an outstanding ensemble making strides on both the national and international scenes. In April 2018, Pacific Symphony made its debut at Carnegie Hall, where it was invited to perform as part of a yearlong celebration of composer Philip Glass's 80th birthday. The Symphony will make its first-ever tour to China, with performances in five cities beginning with Shanghai on May 9. In Orange County, the orchestra presents more than 100 concerts and events each year and a rich array of education and community engagement programs, reaching more than 300,000 residents of all ages. The Symphony has been recognized with multiple ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming and included among the country’s five most innovative orchestras by the League of American Orchestras. The Symphony’s education and community engagement activities have also been recognized by the League, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

About The Ellis Island Honors Society

The Ellis Island Honors Society was created on the conviction of its founders that the diversity of the American people is what makes this nation great. Its mission is to honor and preserve this diversity and to foster tolerance, respect and understanding among religious and ethnic groups. Additionally, Ellis Island Honors Society continues its commitment to the restoration and maintenance of Ellis Island, a living tribute to the courage and hope of all immigrants. The Ellis Island Honors Society sponsors the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, which are presented annually to American citizens who have distinguished themselves with their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life. Past Medalists include seven U.S. Presidents, several world leaders, two Nobel Prize winner and countless leaders of industry, education, the arts, sports and government, along with everyday Americans who have made freedom, liberty and compassion a part of their life’s work. The Ellis Island Honors Society was formerly known as NECO until Fall of 2017.

 

About PBS SoCal

PBS SoCal (KOCE) is the flagship PBS station for 18 million diverse people across Southern California.  As a member-supported non-profit organization, our mission is to deliver content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. PBS SoCal provides compelling locally produced content, and beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Independent Lens, a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns, and educational PBS KIDS programs including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George. Our programs are accessible for free through four broadcast channels, and available for streaming at pbssocal.org, on the PBS mobile apps, and via connected TV services Android TV, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Through PBS SoCal LIVE, we provide in-person arts, culture and civic engagement experiences.  And we support our youngest Southern Californians with essential early childhood education content and services.  Connect with us at pbssocal.org, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. PBS SoCal recently announced plans to merge with KCETLink Media Group, pending regulatory approvals.