E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: In Concert
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FILM WITH ORCHESTRA. Don’t miss Steven Spielberg’s heart-warming masterpiece E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial with John Williams’ Academy Award®-winning score performed live to picture, and experience the magic once more.
TM & © Universal Studios.
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End summer with a bang! No SummerFest is complete without Pacific Symphony performing Tchaikovsky’s thrilling “1812” overture, complete with live cannons and brilliant fireworks. You’ll enjoy this famous romantic composer’s greatest hits including his memorable Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko. You won’t want to miss it!
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Rach 3 & Boléro
Opening Night! The brilliant Olga Kern returns to Orange County with the “Mount Everest” of piano concertos, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. And be amazed by the artistry of solo Pacific Symphony musicians as they sweep you away with Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and Ravel's intoxicating "Boléro." The concert opens with "Shooting Stars" by Frank Ticheli, originally commissioned for Pacific Symphony's 25th anniversary and now extended in celebration of the orchestra's 40th anniversary.
The brilliant Olga Kern returns to Orange County with the “Mount Everest” of piano concertos, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. And be amazed by Ravel’s hypnotic Boléro.
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 French Connection
Immerse yourself in the sound and color of 19th-century French Romantic chamber works. Journey through a trio of sonatas as you experience a range of instrumental textures including violin, flute, harp and bassoon. Enjoy coffee, tea and pastries in the intimate coffee-house atmosphere of the Samueli Theater.
Bernstein @ 100
Feel the joy and emotion of one of the greatest 20th-century composers — an American treasure and mentor of Music Director Carl St.Clair — through works like Chichester Psalms, combining Broadway-inspired melodies with sacred texts for chorus and orchestra and Serenade, a symbolic, lyrical work scored for solo violin, strings, harp and percussion.
The Wizard’s Spellbook
Hocus pocus, alakazam! Join us for a spellbinding Halloween celebration that includes music from Fantasia and Harry Potter, as well as The Conductor’s Spellbook, an exciting and interactive new work by composer Paul Dooley that teaches about the instruments of the orchestra. Come dressed in costume and don’t forget your wand and broomstick!
Dvořák’s New World Symphony
Carl St.Clair uses Dvořák’s popular symphony to explore three historic links between the United States and the Czech people. First, Dvořák’s remarkable journey to the United States helped to identity a unique American voice. Some 25 years later, America played a central role in the creation of a democratic Czechoslovakia. Today, a new Orange County institution, Pangea World, explores and expands the wealth of knowledge between nations.
OC Can You Play With Us - Chamber Edition
Community musicians ages 22 and older play in the Samueli Theater in five chamber ensembles led by Pacific Symphony conductors and musicians: a flute choir led by Principal Flutist Ben Smolen, a clarinet choir led by Principal Clarinetist Joe Morris, a brass choir led by Assistant Conductor Roger Kalia, a percussion ensemble led by Principal Percussionist Rob Slack and a chamber string orchestra led by cellist Ian McKinnell. Friends and interested observers are invited to attend this workshop-style event for FREE, but tickets are required. Seating is general admission.
The Wonderful Music of Oz
Follow the yellow brick road on a musical journey celebrating all things Oz! Joined by bewitching vocalists and the Hollywood sound of the Symphony, three singers interpret favorites from the hit Broadway show, “Wicked,” the dazzling reimagining film, “The Wiz,” and of course the 1939 classic film.
Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto
Danish composer Carl Nielsen described his Symphony No. 4, “The Inextinguishable,” as a metaphor for “the fundamental life-force of music.” Dive into this dynamic tour de force that features an explosive introduction and a dueling timpani finale. Violinist Philippe Quint returns with Tchaikovsky’s delightful Violin Concerto and the overture to one of the most famous operas, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, opens this immersive program.
Haydn & Mozart
Sundays at Soka: Principal Trumpeter Barry Perkins takes center stage in Haydn's Trumpet Concerto. Then, Pacific Symphony’s new concertmaster, Dennis Kim, and Principal Violist Meredith Crawford are featured soloists in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. Considered “one of the most successful concertmasters in the world today,” (Royal Conservatory of Music) Kim was most recently concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic.
A dazzling reimagining of the traditional Tchaikovsky classic, Duke Ellington’s interpretation of The Nutcracker will jazz up your holiday! Enjoy reinvented favorites like “Sugar Rum Cherry” and “Dance of the Floreadors,” along with selections from Tchaikovsky's original ballet. German pianist Markus Groh returns with Brahms’ dramatic Second Piano Concerto and Vaughan Williams’ sacred Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis introduce this festive program.
Nutcracker for Kids
Visions of sugarplums and beautiful ballerinas will dance in your head after seeing Tchaikovsky’s delightful Christmas ballet, performed in a condensed 45-minute version created just for kids. This annual favorite finishes with a grand finale sing-along and a jolly visit from Santa himself!
Handel's Glorious Messiah
A beloved holiday tradition, Handel’s celebrated oratorio — with its blazing trumpets, thundering timpani and spectacular “Hallelujah!” chorus — provides a moment during the busy season to experience reflection, renewal and joy.
Christmas with Jackie Evancho
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 and more.
Holiday Organ Spectacular
Celebrate the season with the king of instruments! Enjoy a magnitude of musical splendors with world-class organist Todd Wilson and members of Pacific Symphony performing a delightful mix of sacred and holiday music. Favorite Christmas carols share the bill with traditional organ works that highlight the, 4-322-pipe, $3.1 million William J. Gillespie Concert Organ.
Chopin's Piano Concerto
Technically his second piano concerto (he wrote two in one year during his late teens), Chopin’s Concerto in E minor is a work that takes what the melodic composer did best – compose deeply expressive melodies – and puts it in the hands of a virtuoso soloist and orchestra. Prokofiev’s last symphony and Mussorgsky’s macabre Night on Bald Mountain accompany this unforgettable program.
The Magic Flute - Opera for Kids
Mozart’s musical fairy tale, with its imaginative setting and spectacular music, is brought to life in a special version designed just for you and your family! Fantastical life-size puppets, talented professional singers and special guests from Chapman University join Pacific Symphony to bring this classic opera to life!
Inspired by the legendary folk stories of “A Thousand and One Nights, “Scheherazade” tells the story of a beautiful young bride who must use her charm as a storyteller to save herself from the wrath of a jealous sultan. Also featured are Bernstein’s “Slava!” and Shostakovich’s high voltage Cello Concerto No. 1 — both written for legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
Part violin concerto, part symphonic poem, “Scheherazade” tells the story of a beautiful young bride who must use her charm as a storyteller to save herself from the wrath of a jealous sultan. Come and be immersed in the mythical sounds of this sweeping masterpiece.
Lunar New Year for Kids
Join Pacific Symphony for a special fun-filled Lunar New Year concert celebrating the Year of the Pig! Together we will explore the legends and stories through a musical feast of Eastern and Western music as we celebrate this joyous annual festival observed by many Asian cultures here in Orange County and across the world!
Lunar New Year
Join us for Pacific Symphony’s annual festivities honoring the Lunar New Year! Celebrating the Year of the Pig, this performance is sure to sell out once again as audiences from across our communities come together to feast on a colorful presentation of Eastern and Western music and dance.
Schubert & Chopin I
Sundays at Soka: Maestro Carl St.Clair explores the beauty and complexity of Schubert and Chopin in the first of two concerts, starting with Schubert's Symphony No. 5 and Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring Drew Petersen. While both composers were of a similar era (early-nineteenth century), their styles were in stark contrast to each other.
Valentine's Day with Kenny G
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.
Puccini’s Madame Butterfly tells the story of a young naïve Japanese geisha who believes that her love for a handsome American naval officer is eternal. With its lush score and heartbreaking arias, it is a timeless tale that will stir your emotions.
Bach’s serene Goldberg Variations has been described as both a beautiful keyboard work and a “Rubik’s Cube of invention and architecture.” There are over 300 recordings of the work, many in unusual arrangements. Conductor David Robertson’s striking arrangement for string quartet and piano receives its world premiere at this performance! Enjoy coffee, tea and pastries in the intimate coffee-house atmosphere of the Samueli Theater.
Leslie Odom, Jr.
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.”
Phantom of the Opera
Organist and internationally renowned silent-film accompanist Dennis James provides a chilling soundtrack to the classic 1925 silent film "The Phantom of the Opera," starring Lon Chaney, Sr. as the dreaded Phantom who terrorizes the Paris Opera House in an attempt to make the woman he is infatuated with a celebrity. See this extraordinary film on the big screen while experiencing the overwhelming sounds from the 4,322-pipe organ.
Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony
Inspired by his travels to Venice, Rome, Bologna and Florence, Mendelssohn’s symphony evokes imagery of Mediterranean sunshine, famous architecture and the rustic landscapes that make Italy so iconic. And be inspired by an arrangement of the slow movement from Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 16 and Bruch’s profoundly virtuosic Violin Concerto.
Nowruz: Persian New Year
Celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year, with Pacific Symphony! A traditional festival that marks the beginning of spring, Nowruz is a time to celebrate the “rebirth of nature” and wash away the past. Homayoun Shajarian and brothers Sohrab and Tahmoures Pournazeri join the symphony for a concert that unites cultures through the power of music.
Schubert & Chopin II
Sundays at Soka: A continuation of his exploration of the works of Schubert and Chopin in February, Maestro Carl St.Clair leads Pacific Symphony through another exciting afternoon of music, starting with Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony. Then, audience favorite Conrad Tao joins the orchestra in Chopin's First Piano Concerto.
A Space Odyssey
Famous as part of the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra elicits wonder about our vast universe. Former Composer-in- Residence Michael Daugherty offers a suitable prelude — a new work celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Mozart’s cheerful Piano Concerto No. 23, with Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen, is the sublime centerpiece.
3…2…1…liftoff! Launch into the wonders of outer space as you tour the moon, the planets and beyond with music from Star Wars, Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Featuring NASA space footage, Pacific Symphony is joined by special guests, the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, on this exciting intergalactic adventure!
Defiant Requiem tells the story of the courageous Jewish prisoners in the Terezín Concentration Camp during World War II who performed Verdi’s stunning Requiem Mass, despite experiencing the depths of human degradation. Combining magnificent music with video testimony from survivors, this powerful and dramatic work will move you.
Music of Queen
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!
Villegas: Master of Guitar
Be swept away by the romantic charm of the guitar as Pacific Symphony embarks on a special celebration of this popular instrument. A festival curated by the “master of guitar” Pablo Villegas takes you on a journey to Spain with Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, inspired by the real-life royal Spanish palace.
Organ Superstar: Hector Olivera
One of today’s most sought-after concert organists, Juilliard-trained Hector Olivera is a passionate musician, whose interpretations of both classical and popular music have amazed and delighted audiences around the world. The Times Reporter describes an evening with Hector Olivera as “an event, a happening, a joyful celebration of the sheer power and pressure that a true virtuoso like Olivera can unleash in a concert hall.” Experience the might of this organ master as he performs a wide-ranging program of the most virtuosic repertoire.
Ravel's "The Child & the Magic Spells"
Considered one of Maurice Ravel’s masterpieces, L’enfant et les sortilèges takes the perspective of a young boy who encounters magical forces. Opening the program is Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, a symphonic fairy tale for children that illustrates the characterful sounds of the orchestra and features unique visual performers, the Magic Circle Mime Company.
To Tell a Story
Enjoy this unique theatrical program featuring Alan Ridout’s “Ferdinand the Bull,” a musical narration of Munro Leaf’s enchanting picture book and Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale,” a parable about a solider who deals with the devil. A lyrical work by Brahms and a poetic Pohádka by Janácek complete this delightful program. Enjoy coffee, tea and pastries in the intimate coffee-house atmosphere of the Samueli Theater.
My Fair Lady in Concert
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.”
Symphony of a Thousand
A tidal wave of sound, Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” is a deeply immersive work that pushes the sonic boundaries of the orchestra and choir. Written as an expression of confidence in the eternal human spirit, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is an exhilarating experience you cannot miss.
“On the threshold of my old workshop, the Spiritus Creator took hold of me and shook me and drove me on for the next eight weeks until my greatest work was done," said Gustav Mahler about his “Symphony of a Thousand.”
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