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Symphony on the Air

Symphony on the Air

Pacific Symphony currently isn't able to perform for you live, but you can still enjoy complete performances of great music this summer from the comfort of your own home. On July 3, to kick off the Independence Day holiday, PBS SoCal will rebroadcast Pacific Symphony's "Great Performances" recording of Peter Boyer's moving, multimedia work, "Ellis Island." Then, starting June 28, Classical KUSC will rebroadcast the live recordings of Pacific Symphony's 2019-20 Classical Series concerts. 

PBS "Great Performances"

Classical KUSC

PBS' "Great Performances"

July 3, 9 p.m. PBS (see local listing)

"Ellis Island: The Dream of America"

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."

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.

Classical KUSC

The performances of our 2019-20 Classical Series will be broadcast Sundays at 7 p.m on KUSC 91.5 FM on the following dates:

Sunday, June 28 | 7 p.m.

Carmina Burana

Carl St. Clair, conductor
Benjamin Pasternack, piano
Celena Shafer, soprano
Christopher Pfund, tenor
Hugh Russell, baritone
Pacific Chorale — Rob Istad, artistic director
Southern California Children’s Chorus — Lori Loftus, artistic director

BEETHOVEN: Egmont Overture
BEETHOVEN: Choral Fantasy
ORFF: "Carmina Burana"

Carmina Burana Program Notes

Sunday, July 5 | 7 pm

Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique"

Carl St. Clair, conductor
Dennis Kim, violin

JOHN WILLIAMS: "Tributes! For Seiji"
SAINT-SAËNS: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
RAVEL: "Tzigane"
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6, "Pathétique"

Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" Program Notes

Sunday, July 12 | 7 pm

Rhapsody in Blue

Mei-Ann Chen, conductor
Aaron Diehl, piano

GEORGE CHADWICK: "Jubilee" from "Symphonic Sketches"
FLORENCE PRICE: "Dances in the Canebrakes"
FLORENCE PRICE: Piano Concerto in One Movement
GEORGE GERSHWIN: "Rhapsody in Blue"
GEORGE GERSHWIN: "An American in Paris"

Classical 3 - Rhapsody in Blue Program Notes

Sunday, July 19 | 7 p.m.

Beethoven's Seventh

Carl St. Clair, conductor
Vadym Kholodenko, piano

ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL: Adagio for Carl’s 30th (World Premiere)
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 3
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

Beethoven's Seventh Program Notes

Sunday, July 26 | 7 pm

Beethoven's Violin Concerto

Christian Arming, conductor
Clara-Jumi Kang, violin

BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto
DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 8

Beethoven's Violin Concerto Program Notes

Sunday, August 2 | 7 p.m.

Berlioz' Fantastical Symphony

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Alain Lefèvre, piano

RAVEL: “Le Tombeau de Couperin”
RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G Major
BERLIOZ: “Symphonie Fantastique”

Berlioz' Fantastical Symphony Program Notes

Sunday, August 9 | 7 p.m.

Hadelich Plays Paganini

Michael Francis, conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin

CHRISTOPHER ROUSE: "Prospero’s Rooms"
PAGANINI: Violin Concerto No. 1
RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 3

Classical 7 - Hadelich Plays Paganini Program Notes


Pacific Symphony’s official classical radio station, KUSC 91.5 FM broadcasts our Classical Series concerts to over half a million listeners in Southern and Central California. Popular radio personality Rich Capparela hosts the broadcasts, which include fascinating interviews with Music Director Carl St.Clair, guest artists and Symphony musicians.

KUSC’s Classical Public Radio can be heard in 7 counties, from as far north as San Luis Obispo and as far south as the Mexican border.

KUSC-FM 91.5 - Los Angeles
KPSC-FM 88.5 - Palm Springs
KQSC-FM 88.7 - Santa Barbara


HOW TO LISTEN - on the radio, online or on the KUSC app on your smartphone.