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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Communications
(714) 876-2380

Pacific Symphony's 2018-19 Pops Season Presents Star-Studded Programming Lineup Includes Leslie Odom, Jr., Kenny G, Vanessa Williams, Jackie Evancho, Music of Queen, The Wonderful Music of Oz, and a Semi-Staged Production of “My Fair Lady!”

Orange County, CA — March 28, 2018

Principal Pops conductor Richard Kaufman returns to Pacific Symphony’s Pops series for his 28th season, featuring modern sensations and classic favorites. Television, film and Broadway star Vanessa Williams joins the Symphony to perform her catalogue of hits; “The Wonderful Music of Oz” brings an exciting show featuring favorites from the hit Broadway show “Wicked,” “The Wiz” and the original classic, “The Wizard of Oz”; “Christmas with Jackie Evancho” leads the holidays with this teenage singer’s Pops debut; “Valentine’s Day with Kenny G” delivers a romantic evening of R&B, Latin pop and smooth jazz; Tony- and Grammy Award-winner Leslie Odom, Jr., of “Hamilton” fame, joins our Pops series for a curated night of exciting Broadway and jazz hits; tribute band “Windborne” performs “The Music of Queen,” one of the greatest rock’n’roll bands of all time; “My Fair Lady in Concert” ends the series with a semi-staged production of Lerner and Loewe’s elegant and enchanting musical performed live.

Seven-concert subscriptions for Pops range from $245 - $1,099; single tickets are $35 - $167 (on sale Aug. 19). For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

Led for the 28th season by Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, Pacific Symphony’s 2018-19 Pops season runs from Oct. 12, through June 1, 2019. All Pacific Symphony Pops performances take place in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.

“I am really proud of the 40th anniversary Pops Season,” says Symphony President John Forsyte. “It’s really an incredible assemblage of leading headliners, new innovation such as staging ‘My Fair Lady,’ and symphonic arrangements of film and popular song. Of course, the reason for the success of the series continues to be the brilliance of Pacific Symphony’s musicians and the amazing enhancement of having a world-class orchestra providing a sonic brilliance that is not replicable in any other local venue.”

Pacific Symphony’s Pops series combines the lush sounds of a symphonic concert with the excitement of top-name stars. Most concerts are divided into two acts. First, audiences are energized as the Symphony performs musical favorites from Broadway and beyond. After intermission, Pops headliners take the stage for an evening of unforgettable entertainment with Orange County’s Pacific Symphony.

“With the coming Pacific Symphony Pops season, our audiences will once again experience exciting performers, memorable music and the magnificent sounds of Pacific Symphony,” says Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman. “The varied programs will have something for everyone. Of course, the main stars of our Pops series are the extraordinary members of Pacific Symphony who bring the music to life. And the line-up of guest artists is truly impressive. From Vanessa Williams to Kenny G., from the music of Queen to one of Broadway’s most legendary shows, ‘My Fair Lady,’ the season will entertain and inspire the wonderful audiences in Orange County. I’m looking forward to another memorable season!”



Vanessa Williams

Friday, Oct. 12 & Saturday, Oct. 13

Television, film and Broadway star Vanessa Williams joins Pacific Symphony in an opening night celebration performing songs that span her impressive career such as “Dreamin’,” “Save the Best for Last,” “Love Is” and more.


The Wonderful Music of Oz

Friday, Nov. 9 & Saturday, Nov. 10

Follow the yellow brick road on a musical journey celebrating all things Oz! Joined by the Hollywood sound of the Symphony, three bewitching vocalists interpret favorites from the hit Broadway show, “Wicked,” the dazzling reimagined film, “The Wiz,” and of course the 1939 classic film, “The Wizard of Oz.”


Christmas with Jackie Evancho

Friday, Dec. 14 & Saturday, Dec. 15

Come celebrate the most wonderful time of the year as teenage superstar Jackie Evancho performs some of the most memorable classics of the season, including hits from her holiday album “Someday at Christmas,” and more.


Valentine’s Day with Kenny G

Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 & Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019

Sultry, sweet sounds of saxophone superstar Kenny G meld with the full orchestra when Pacific Symphony delivers a romantic Valentine’s evening of music. By grafting elements of R&B, pop and Latin to his smooth jazz foundation, Kenny G is one of the most iconic and best-selling instrumentalists of all time.


Leslie Odom, Jr.

Friday, March 15, 2019 & Saturday, March 16, 2019

Best known for his Tony and Grammy Award-winning performance as Aaron Burr in the original cast of Broadway’s “Hamilton” and his part in the musical TV series, “Smash,” Leslie Odom, Jr. joins the Symphony with a specially curated selection of Broadway and jazz hits including Jerome Kern’s “Look for the Silver Lining” and Nat King Cole’s “I Know That You Know.”


Music of Queen

Friday, April 26, 2019 & Saturday, April 27, 2019

Epic rock riffs and majestic symphonic strings will come together in perfect harmony as Pacific Symphony pays tribute to one of the greatest bands of all time. Joined by high energy band and vocalists Windborne, the Symphony performs hits such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are the Champions,” “Killer Queen,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and many more!


My Fair Lady in Concert

Friday, May 31, 2019 & Saturday, June 1, 2019

Enjoy Lerner and Loewe’s elegant and enchanting musical performed live in a semi-staged concert setting! One of America’s favorite American musicals, “My Fair Lady” tells the romantic story of a young Cockney flower seller and a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” The classic score features “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live.”


Richard Kaufman, Principal Pops Conductor

Richard Kaufman has devoted much of his musical life to conducting and supervising music for film and television productions, as well as performing film and classic music in concert halls and on recordings. The 2018-19 concert season marks Kaufman’s 28th season as principal pops conductor of Pacific Symphony. He also holds the permanent title of pops conductor laureate with the Dallas Symphony. In 1993, Kaufman won a Grammy Award for Best Pops Instrumental Performance. In 1994, he received his first Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition for the Animated series, “The Pink Panther.” In May 2015, Kaufman made his conducting debut with the Boston Pops, substituting for John Williams at the Annual Pops Film night, and last summer, Mr. Williams graciously invited him to share the podium at the annual Tanglewood Film Night.


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 May 2018, Pacific Symphony will embark on its five-city, debut tour to China, joined by violin soloist Pinchas Zukerman. 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.

Pacific 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. These initiatives include community and youth concerts and ensembles, interactive events, masterclasses with guest artists, and classroom and summer programs for children.