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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Communications
(714) 876-2380

World Premiere Of Michael Daugherty's "To The New World" To Celebrate 50th Anniversary Of Moon Landing

Orange County, CA — March 20, 2019

Pianist Juho Pohjonen Debuts With Pacific Symphony In A Performance Of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, April 11-13

In a program for the ages, Pacific Symphony is joined by returning guest conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni and pianist Juho Pohjonen, who will be making his debut with the orchestra, for “A Space Odyssey.” This space-themed concert will feature the world premiere of composer Michael Daugherty’s “To the New World,” a three-movement work celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, along with Pohjonen’s performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, with Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra” ending the evening.

The concerts begin at 8 p.m. on April 11-13, with doors opening at 6:45 p.m. for a preview talk hosted by Alan Chapman at 7 p.m. Tickets for these concerts start at $25. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit the website, Pacific Symphony gratefully acknowledges sponsorship for these concerts as part of the Symphony’s 2018-19 Hal & Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series.

The program opens with a world premiere of “To the New World” by composer Michael Daugherty. Explaining his thinking behind the piece, the composer says, “Like the rocket, which separated in three stages after lift-off, and the spacecraft, which was divided into three modules, my 22-minute composition is in three movements. I have created otherworldly music, evoking the sense of awe and trepidation that the Apollo 11 astronauts must have felt as they traveled to the new world.” Next on the concert is Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, which was finished on March 2, 1786, two months prior to the premiere of his opera, “Le nozze di Figaro,” and was probably premiered by Mozart himself. The talented Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen will be the soloist. This concert of musical exploration will culminate in Strauss’ thrilling tone poem, “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” with it’s legendary opening fanfare forever cemented in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Celebrated as one of Europe’s most outstanding pianists, Juho Pohjonen has received widespread acclaim for his profound musicianship and distinctive interpretations of a broad range of repertoire from Bach to Salonen. His interpretations are known for their intensity, thoughtfulness and fearless musical conviction. Pohjonen's studies began in 1989 when he entered the Junior Academy of the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. He studied with Meri Louhos and Hui-Ying Liu at the Sibelius Academy where he completed his master's degree in 2008. In addition, he has won numerous prizes in both Finnish and international competitions, including first prize at the 2004 Nordic Piano Competition in Nyborg, Denmark, first prize at the 2000 International Young Artists Concerto Competition in Stockholm, the Prokofiev Prize at the 2003 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition and a prize at the 2002 Helsinki International Maj Lind Piano Competition.

Guest conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni has emerged as one of the brightest young conductors of his generation. His eloquent yet fiery style, in repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music, has resulted in regular engagements with leading symphony orchestras and opera companies around the globe. Currently music director of the Colorado Music Festival & Center for Musical Arts and artistic director of Orchestre de chambre I Musici de Montréal, Zeitouni recently completed tenures as music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Les Violons du Roy, an ensemble with which he gave more than 250 concerts throughout North America over the last 13 years. Zeitouni has also held various other positions with leading Canadian organizations, including music director of the Banff Centre “Opera as Theatre” program, associate conductor and chorus master at Opéra de Montréal and music director of its Young Artist Program (Atelier lyrique), chorus master at Opéra de Québec, choir director of the Québec Symphony Orchestra and director of the orchestra and opera workshop at Laval University.

Artists, programs, prices and dates are subject to change.

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