Music Director Carl St.Clair and Pacific Symphony are pleased to announce the appointment of Enrico Lopez-Yañez as the orchestra’s new Principal Pops Conductor, effective Sept. 1, 2023. In the 2023-24 season, Lopez-Yañez will lead the orchestra in four programs of the seven-concert Pacific Symphony Pops series underwritten by the Sharon and Tom Malloy Family. He will occupy the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Principal Pops Conductor Chair.
Pacific Symphony Pops series consists of seven programs presented on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. For the past 32 years, it was led by Pacific Symphony Principal Pops Conductor Laureate, Richard Kaufman. Over the many years of producing Pops concerts, Pacific Symphony has collaborated with a diverse array of luminaries who have appeared including America, Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, Chris Botti, Ray Charles, John Denver, Kenny G, Gladys Knight, Kenny Loggins, The Beach Boys, Olivia Newton-John, Linda Ronstadt, Pink Martini, The Righteous Brothers, Smokey Robinson, Martin Short, John Williams, and many other leading figures in entertainment. The lush support provided by the musicians of Pacific Symphony regularly draw praise from the artists who, in some cases, made their symphonic debut.
“I am so pleased to appoint Enrico as my conducting and artistic colleague. His connection to members of Pacific Symphony as well as his love of Southern California was very appealing to me. He is a terrific conductor and an imaginative programmer. Enrico will bring a fresh perspective and energy to the series, which I look forward to witnessing,” offered Music Director Carl St.Clair.
"Pacific Symphony has had a proud tradition of bringing high-quality entertainment through the Pops series. To build on this tradition, we are extremely excited to welcome Enrico to our orchestra and community," said John Forsyte, President and CEO of Pacific Symphony. "He brings a joy to music-making and infectious enthusiasm for fusing music and entertainment. His talent, experience, and insights into popular symphonic music, pop artists, film projects, and thematic programs will lift our pop series concerts to a new level and expand the orchestra’s reach in the community. He is committed to expanding our reach into new communities by offering programs that celebrate different cultures."
Lopez-Yañez is known for his energy, enthusiasm, and ability to connect with his audience, and he has conducted renowned orchestras around the world. With extensive training in classical music and a great passion for popular music, Lopez-Yañez has a unique and engaging approach that has captivated audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
"I am delighted to begin my work with the fabulous musicians of Pacific Symphony as their new Principal Pops Conductor,” commented Lopez-Yañez. “The talent and warmth that the musicians and staff have already demonstrated excite me as we embark on this musical journey together. Having grown up in Southern California, I cannot wait to cultivate collaborations in the greater Orange County community and develop new and innovative programming in order to continue to grow Pacific Symphony's relationship with our audience."
Lopez-Yañez’s first concert as Principal Pops Conductor Designate will take place on June 9 and 10 when he leads a Pops program headlined by Renée Elise Goldsberry, American actress and singer known for originating the role of Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway musical Hamilton, for which she won the 2016 Tony® Award for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical.”
Pacific Symphony is recognized for its musical excellence and its commitment to the community. With the arrival of Lopez-Yañez, the orchestra will continue its tradition of bringing exciting and unforgettable musical experiences to the Southern California community.
The 2023-24 Pacific Symphony Pops series will be announced shortly and is expected to include electrifying performances of popular music’s most enduring favorites backed by the “Hollywood” sound of Pacific Symphony. For more information, please visit the Symphony website at www.pacificsymphony.org.
About Enrico López-Yañez
Enrico Lopez-Yañez is the newly appointed Principal Pops Conductor of Pacific Symphony, a title which he also holds at the Nashville Symphony. Lopez-Yañez is quickly establishing himself as one of the nation’s leading conductors of popular music and is becoming known for his unique style of audience engagement. In his six seasons working with the Nashville Symphony, Lopez-Yañez has curated the Pops Series and special concerts with a broad spectrum of artists including: Nas, Patti LaBelle, Itzhak Perlman, Stewart Copeland, Kenny Loggins, Toby Keith, Trisha Yearwood, Kelsea Ballerini, Leslie Odom Jr., Megan Hilty, Tituss Burgess, Hanson, Kenny G, and more.
This season, Lopez-Yañez will collaborate with artists including Aida Cuevas, The Beach Boys, Cody Fry, Gladys Knight, Vanesa Williams, Ledisi, and Pink Martini. Lopez-Yañez will appear with the Baltimore Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and Seattle Symphony as well as make return appearances with the Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Omaha Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and Utah Symphony.
As Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Symphonica Productions, LLC, Lopez-Yañez curates and leads programs designed to cultivate new audiences. An enthusiastic proponent of innovating the concert experience, his exciting education, classical, and pops concerts are performed by orchestras across the United States.
As a producer, composer, and arranger, Lopez-Yañez’s work can be heard on numerous albums including the UNESCO benefit album Action Moves People United and children’s music albums including The Spaceship that Fell in My Backyard, winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Hollywood Music and Media Awards, Family Choice Awards, and Kokowanda Bay, winner of a Global Media Award as well as a Parents’ Choice Award where Lopez-Yañez was lauded for his “catchy arrangements” (Parents’ Choice Foundation).