2017-18 Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series and Special Events Unveiled!
Pacific Symphony’s recently announced milestone 2017-18 Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series and special events promises a particularly significant “season of firsts,” beginning with the 39-year-old orchestra’s much anticipated debut at Carnegie Hall—one of the most prestigious venues in the world. A highly prized invitation from Carnegie led to this major step in the life of the Symphony; conducted by Music Director Carl St.Clair, the orchestra performs on April 21, 2018, as the finale to Carnegie’s yearlong celebration of Philip Glass’ 80th birthday. The program’s main work will be the New York premiere of Glass’ “The Passion of Ramakrishna,” commissioned and premiered by the Symphony for the opening of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in 2006, and later recorded in 2011.
“Appearing on the stage of Carnegie Hall is every orchestra’s dream,” says Maestro St.Clair. “Our orchestra has achieved dramatic artistic growth since our move into the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. We have earned this opportunity to join the rare environment of world-renowned ensembles, which have become part of Carnegie Hall’s storied history. It’s the cultural ‘Super Bowl,’ and I know we are going to make Orange County very proud.”
Symphony President John Forsyte remarks, “This landmark achievement sets the precedent for this exceptional season spotlighting a number of extraordinary musicians making their debut with Pacific Symphony, while the orchestra tackles a number of important works for the very first time. It’s a rewarding time of momentum and accomplishment for the Symphony.” “The Maestro’s Series,” featuring all 12 classical concerts in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, is $300-$1,160 ($1,960, Box Circle). Four-concert Sunday Casual Connections subscriptions are $88-$339, Box Circle. Special events are priced separately. For more information or to purchase tickets call (714) 755-5799 or CLICK HERE.
The Symphony’s season takes off like a heaven-bound rocket on Sept. 14-16, beginning with an Opening Night to remember, led by Maestro St.Clair and featuring two epic and exhilarating pieces—Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 with the most famous four notes in music history and, for the first time since 1988, the orchestra plays selections from Wagner’s “Die Walküre,” from the epic mythological wonder, the “Ring Cycle,” including the exhilarating “Ride of the Valkyries.” Featured in his first-ever appearance with the Symphony is international opera star, Greer Grimsley. And, at the center of the program is Richard Strauss’ “Don Juan,” a musical retelling of the Spanish legend.
Then, reigning virtuoso of the violin, Joshua Bell, who enjoys a superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician, joins the Symphony led by St.Clair for an extraordinary, one-night-only special event on Sept. 23. The concert exploits the heart-stopping beauty of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in the hands of this beloved master. Interview magazine once said Bell’s playing “does nothing less than tell human beings why they bother to live.”
The Symphony’s entire season is filled with the brightest luminaries performing giants of the repertoire that have stirred the souls of listeners for centuries. From sizzling string players Pinchas Zukerman, Ray Chen, Anne Akiko Meyers, Anoushka Shankar (sitar)—to keyboard wizards André Watts, Xiayin Yang, Garrick Ohlsson, Alexander Romanovsky, Boris Giltburg—to virtuoso vocalists Greer Grimsley, Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey and Pacific Chorale—the list of brilliant and accomplished talent is immense in 2017-18. Also, in addition to St.Clair on the podium will be prominent guest conductors André Previn, James Newton Howard, Ben Gernon, Michael Francis and Anu Tali.
This is a season committed to both the great masterworks and the new and the bold. Maestro St.Clair has designed a season that works as a whole, not just a series of single concerts, seeking to balance great traditions in orchestral music with new discoveries. Powerhouse programming spotlights the piano with popular concertos including Rachmaninoff’s No. 2, Prokofiev’s No. 2, Mozart’s No. 9, Gershwin’s in F; the violin with concertos by Beethoven, Sibelius, Bruch; and monumental symphonies: Beethoven’s No. 5, Bruckner’s No. 8, Elgar’s No. 1, Dvořák’s Nos. 7 and 9, Brahms’ No. 3 and Shostakovich’s No. 10.
As rich and inventive as ever, the Symphony’s highly popular opera and vocal initiative that began in 2011-12—“Symphonic Voices”—continues with Mozart’s beloved “The Magic Flute.” Additionally, the season offers a spiritual side, when it brings back the Norbertine Fathers for another breathtaking “Cathedrals of Sound.” As with every season, 2017-18 has been carefully handcrafted by Maestro St.Clair to be steeped in music that is both meaningful and sublime, embracing and celebrating all that great music can mean to humankind.
With the Symphony’s first appearance at Carnegie, a move to its new summer home at the OC Fair in 2017, and a season highlighted by first-time performances by the most exciting classical music stars of today, as well as outstanding treasures of the repertoire both old and new, the Symphony gives truth to a statement by the Los Angeles Times: “Pacific Symphony moves into a new era…”