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Organ Splendor

Organ Splendor

February 4 – 6, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
Two of the world’s finest organists deliver music filled with sublime beauty, luminous textures and sacred spirit. From the glory of “Pilgrim’s Hymn” — performed at funerals for Presidents Ford and Reagan — to the poetry of “Lux Aeterna,” enjoy the splendor of the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ.
 
Join us for a Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman at 7 p.m. on the Orchestra level. Or listen online now:

This concert is part of Pacific Symphony’s American Composer Festival 2016, highlighting works for the organ. Learn more about the Gillespie Concert Organ.

Pirates of Penzance, Opera for Kids!

Pirates of Penzance, Opera for Kids!

February 6, 2016, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

Swashbuckling pirates, bumbling policemen, dimwitted young lovers and an eccentric major-general join in boisterous fun for this popular comic operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan. Favorite songs include “I am a Pirate King!” and “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.” This production for kids, including costumes and projected visuals, features both professional singers and talented students from Chapman University.

Join in the fun at the interactive Musical Carnival, where kids can test drive a musical instrument, meet the performers, and enjoy musical arts and crafts activities themed to the morning's concert. Activities begins at 9 a.m. for 10 a.m. concertgoers and 12:15 p.m. for 11:30 a.m. concertgoers.

Superstar Organ Virtuosos

Superstar Organ Virtuosos

February 7, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

A quartet of superstar organ virtuosos perform exciting works that explore the sublime beauty, luminous textures and thrilling possibilities of the instrument.

This concert is part of Pacific Symphony’s American Composer Festival 2016, highlighting works for the organ. Learn more about the Gillespie Concert Organ.

Bernadette Peters

Bernadette Peters

February 12 – 13, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

A magical evening of song featuring the incomparable Bernadette Peters. The three-time Tony Award-winning star of stage, film and television joins Pacific Symphony — singing from her extensive repertoire including hits from Rodgers and Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim.

Puccini’s “Turandot”

Puccini’s “Turandot”

February 18 – 23, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Puccini’s spectacular masterpiece about a bloodthirsty princess whose icy, vengeful heart softens as she comes to know true love.  The lyrical and sweeping score is filled with treasures including its signature aria “Nessun Dorma,” which has been used in many Hollywood scores and as the theme for BBC’s World Cup television coverage.

Join us for a Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman at 7 p.m. on the Orchestra level.

Chinese Lantern Festival

Chinese Lantern Festival

February 20, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

Bring the entire family and join us for Pacific Symphony’s first-ever Lantern Festival, celebrating the Year of the Monkey! The Lantern Festival, which can be traced back 2,000 years, takes place 15 days after the Lunar New Year—on the first full moon night in the Chinese calendar—and marks the return of spring, representing the reunion of family. The act of lighting and appreciating lanterns is a way for people to let go of the burdens of their old selves and express their best wishes for themselves and their families for the future.

Pacific Symphony and South Coast Chinese Cultural Association/Irvine Chinese School join in presenting this free family-friendly festival to commemorate the end of the Lunar New Year with music, dance, art activities and food. Celebrate with us as our concert hall lobby becomes transformed for the festivities with lanterns created by Irvine Chinese School students, as well as adults from Nguoi Viet who are part of the Bowers Museum Treasures program. Lanterns on display will be curated by Orange County-based artist and curator Trinh Mai. The Festival will end with our very own lantern parade on the Segerstrom Arts Plaza.

Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Pacific Coast Wine Festival

February 27, 2016, 5:00 p.m.

The Pacific Coast Wine Festival is a sensational wine auction and dinner, featuring extraordinary wine tastings, imaginative silent-auction offerings, a gourmet dinner with exquisite wine pairing and a live auction of rare and exceptional wines.

The 2015 event featured: Aubert Wines, BOND Estates, Château Cos d'Estournel, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Margaux, Herb Lamb Vineyards, Hundred Acre, Marcassin, Peter Michael Winery, Scarecrow and Vega-Sicilia.

For updates on participating wineries and auction lots, please visit www.pacificcoastwinefestival.com.

“Dancing with the Stars"

“Dancing with the Stars"

February 28, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

A program of exuberant works by “star” composers that showcase lively dance rhythms, including energetic Gypsy and Hungarian rhythms, a seductive and languorous habanera, and that quintessential dance form—the waltz—as conceived first by Brahms and then reimagined by Schoenberg. Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and pastries during the concert in an intimate coffee-house setting. 

 

Tchaikovsky’s Fifth

Tchaikovsky’s Fifth

March 10 – 12, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Featuring sumptuous tone and melodic mastery, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony culminates in a triumphant final movement. It is led by Manuel López-Gómez, one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Venezuela’s internationally renowned “El Sistema” music program. Before that, the irresistible rhythms of Spain!

Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman at 7 p.m.

Symphony in Space

Symphony in Space

March 12, 2016, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

Jumpin’ Jupiter! Fasten your seatbelts for blast-off and join the Symphony on a voyage through outer space. Journey through our solar system watching real footage from NASA while listening to selections from “Star Wars” and “The Planets” by Gustav Holst. Featuring the gifted young musicians of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra in our annual side-by-side concert.

Join in the fun at the interactive Musical Carnival, where kids can test drive a musical instrument, meet the performers, and enjoy musical arts and crafts activities themed to the morning's concert. Activities begins at 9 a.m. for 10 a.m. concertgoers and 12:15 p.m. for 11:30 a.m. concertgoers.

Ben-Hur, featuring Stewart Copeland

Ben-Hur, featuring Stewart Copeland

March 18 – 19, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

The most expensive silent film ever made, 1925’s “Ben-Hur” includes an enormous cast and crew and a visual scope that is breathtaking to this day. Stewart Copeland, former drummer for "The Police," composed a new score for the Hollywood epic. He performs on drums and percussion as Pacific Symphony performs the score live, while the movie screens above.

PSYWE: Mystery Music

PSYWE: Mystery Music

March 20, 2016, 1:00 p.m.

The second concert of the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble features music of interest and intrigue. Rejoice in celebration with Shostakovich’s rousing Festive Overture and reflect on the “blue sounds” of Mackey’s Hymn to a Blue Hour.  This program is sure to explore sounds and rhythms that captivate!

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Seating is general admission.

PSYO Spring Concert

PSYO Spring Concert

March 20, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Come experience a virtuosic performance by Southern California’s most talented young symphonic musicians, during PSYO’s second concert of the season. Be enchanted by Saint-Saëns’ thrilling “Bacchanale” from “Samson and Delilah.” Be cool with Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story” and experience Strauss’ luscious Suite from “Der Rosenkavalier.”

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Seating is general admission.

Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue

April 7 – 9, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

The jazz connection: Gershwin married classical music to the most unique of American art forms, while Ives’ Second Symphony alludes to popular American folk tunes including “Camptown Races,” “Turkey in the Straw” and “America the Beautiful.” Between them, Ravel’s beautiful piano concerto, also heavily influenced by jazz. 

Support for this program was furnished by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the "Music Unwound" orchestral consortium.

Gershwin's Rhapsody

Gershwin's Rhapsody

April 10, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

Tin Pan Alley meets Carnegie Hall in Gershwin’s groundbreaking composition, now among the most popular in the repertoire. But first, Ravel’s beautiful piano concerto, also heavily influenced by jazz.

Support for this program was furnished by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the "Music Unwound" orchestral consortium.

Martin Short

Martin Short

April 15 – 16, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

It’s an unpredictable and undeniably fun night when multitalented and multifaceted comedy legend Martin Short joins Pacific Symphony for a hilarious evening of song, dance and laughter. The Emmy and Tony award-winning actor is best known for his appearances on “Saturday Night Live” and his scene-stealing roles in “Father of the Bride” and “Three Amigos.”

Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante

Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante

April 17, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

The final concert of the MOZART! series will feature Mozart’s Concertante for Violin and Viola. Also being performed will be Symphony No. 41. Enjoy an informal, intimate afternoon with Pacific Symphony under the direction of Music Director Carl St.Clair at the Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo.

Midori & The Planets

Midori & The Planets

April 28 – 30, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
Debussy’s serene piano piece, orchestrated by the legendary Leopold Stokowski. Then, Korngold’s achingly beautiful Violin Concerto (reimagined from his Oscar-winning film scores), performed by former child prodigy Midori, now a mesmerizing virtuoso. Finally, Holst’s dramatic interpretation of the cosmos. Music inspired by the galaxy itself — grand and exciting!
 
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman at 7 p.m.
The Firebird, Ballet for Kids!

The Firebird, Ballet for Kids!

April 30, 2016, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

Beautiful, talented dancers in colorful costumes tell the story of this famous Russian fairy tale. When young Prince Ivan adventures into an enchanted garden, he falls in love with a beautiful princess. A mysterious Firebird comes to his aid and helps him defeat the evil magician who cast a spell over the land. A narrator guides you through this popular ballet by Igor Stravinsky.

Join in the fun at the interactive Musical Carnival, where kids can test drive a musical instrument, meet the performers, and enjoy musical arts and crafts activities themed to the morning's concert. Activities begins at 9 a.m. for 10 a.m. concertgoers and 12:15 p.m. for 11:30 a.m. concertgoers.

The Mark of Zorro

The Mark of Zorro

May 1, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

In Old California (San Juan Capistrano to be exact), Douglas Fairbanks as Zorro opposes the corrupt colonial government, defends the weak and downtrodden and gets the girl! The 1920 silent-film classic is projected on the big screen while organist Dennis James provides an unforgettable soundtrack. 

Learn more about the Gillespie Concert Organ.

PSSS Finale: Celebrate With Dance

PSSS Finale: Celebrate With Dance

May 1, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Newly returned from a tour to Florida and energized by a season of artistic achievement, Santiago Strings brings you an electrifying musical culmination its silver jubilee! From Copland’s toe-tapping Hoedown to the jazzy rhythms of Cook it Hot or Get Out of the Kitchen, there’s something for everyone to dance to in this brilliant display of young talent and robust dance styles. This concert reflects on Santiago Strings’ 25 years of musical excellence and celebrates the future with a world premier commission by Pacific Symphony composer-in-residence Narong Prangcharoen.

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Seating is general admission.

Café Concertos

Café Concertos

May 8, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

A delightful program of concerted works performed as intimate chamber music, opening with the great composers Bach and Vivaldi, followed by works of Mozart and the 20th century composer Gustav Holst, who were admirers of the Baroque masters. 

Chris Botti

Chris Botti

May 13 – 14, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Back by popular demand, trumpeter extraordinaire Chris Botti returns to Orange County with a brand new show! A gifted instrumentalist, a talented composer and a charismatic performer, the former trumpeter for Sting effortlessly crosses the boundaries between pop and classical, jazz and rock.

Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Vivaldi's Four Seasons

May 19 – 21, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Two all-time favorites provide a feast for the ears! One of the most beloved works of the Baroque repertoire, Vivaldi’s lyrical masterpiece paints tantalizing pictures of the changing seasons. Then, a fullday excursion up and down the Bavarian Alps,  brought to life by Richard Strauss’ lush, splendid musical descriptions.

Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman at 7 p.m.

PSYWE Season Finale: Heaven and Earth

PSYWE Season Finale: Heaven and Earth

May 22, 2016, 1:00 p.m.

The finale concert of the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble feature works that are both naturally and divinely inspired. From the “lightning in a bottle” of John Mackey’s new work Lightning Field, to the naturallly inspired sounds of rain in Whitacre’s Cloudburst, to the spiritual underpinnings of Maslanka’s Give Us This Day, the finale concert of the PSYWE explores connections between heaven and earth.  

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Seating is general admission.

PSYO Season Finale

PSYO Season Finale

May 22, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Bon voyage, PSYO! In its triumphant season finale, Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra gears up to embark on its international tour of China in June of 2016. Energized from a season of artistic achievement, this orchestra performs a new work by Composer-in-Residence Narong Prangcharoen and ends the season with Tchaikovsky’s dramatic Symphony No. 4. The winner of this season’s concerto competition will also be featured during this performance.

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Seating is general admission.

Andre Watts Plays Beethoven

Andre Watts Plays Beethoven

June 2 – 4, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
More than 50 years after Leonard Bernstein introduced him to the world, André Watts remains one of the most celebrated and beloved piano superstars. In his hands, Beethoven’s revolutionary piano concerto is a fitting farewell to the season. Then,  Berlioz’s musically enchanting work, inspired by his infatuation with a British ingénue.
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman at 7 p.m.
Symphonie Fantastique

Symphonie Fantastique

June 5, 2016, 3:00 p.m.
Uncover the semi-autobiographical story of an artist’s self-destructive passion for a beautiful woman. Berlioz’s symphony describes obsession and dreams, tantrums and tenderness, suicide and murder, ecstasy and despair.
Classical Mystery Tour

Classical Mystery Tour

June 17 – 18, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Return to a time when four lads from Liverpool ruled the world of music! The four musicians of Classical Mystery Tour perform music from The Beatles’ songbook, all backed by the lush sounds of Pacific Symphony. This high-energy concert celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ final live concert in 1966.

An Evening with Renée Fleming

An Evening with Renée Fleming

September 13, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

One of the great operatic sopranos of all time and America’s reigning diva for more than a decade, Renée Fleming makes a rare Orange County appearance in an exceptional concert with orchestra, performing Richard Strauss’s hauntingly beautiful Four Last Songs on a program that also holds popular favorites from the world of opera and Broadway stage.

Special Subscriber Add-on. Call (714) 755-5799 to order. 

Kern Plays Rachmaninoff

Kern Plays Rachmaninoff

September 22 – 24, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Prepare to be bewitched and bedazzled when Olga Kern performs Rachmaninoff’s diabolically delightful variations based on a virtuosic violin caprice by Paganini. This electrifying Van Cliburn competition-winning pianist has a special gift that captivates audiences the world over. As The Washington Post says: “Call it star quality—music loves Kern the way the camera liked Garbo.” The program includes a festive concert overture, an exciting world premiere, and Respighi’s vivid musical postcard from “The Eternal City.”  

Tchaikovsky’s Fourth

Tchaikovsky’s Fourth

October 20 – 22, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Tchaikovsky described his Fourth as "a reflection of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony." From the fateful thundering brass fanfare to the dramatic finish, this quintessentially romantic Russian music will sweep you away, evoking surging powerful emotions. This powerful work rounds out a program featuring an intriguing world premiere and Mozart’s most beloved violin concerto performed by award-winning French violinist Arnaud Sussmann, whose violin playing has been described as “reminiscent of Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler.”

Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Revealed

Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Revealed

October 23, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

The spectacular finale of Tchaikovsky’s dramatic Fourth Symphony shares the program with Mozart’s most famous and beloved violin concerto and an intriguing world premiere starring the Symphony’s principal wind players in a virtuoso workout.

Grieg's Piano Concerto

Grieg's Piano Concerto

November 17 – 19, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Zubin Mehta said of Spain’s pre-eminent pianist, “I have only heard this sound from Rubinstein,” while Sir Simon Rattle commented: “There is something special with Joaquín Achúcarro. Very few musicians can extract this kind of sound from the piano.” This not-to-be-missed debut is part of a program that includes Grieg’s ever popular Peer Gynt, musical fairy-tale ballet music by Stravinksy and a magical, mystical concerto from Finland that includes taped bird songs interacting with the orchestra.

Strauss' Vienna

Strauss' Vienna

December 1 – 3, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

This tribute to the charming Viennese waltz—featuring music by Richard Strauss and Johann Strauss—is sure to sweep you off your feet! In the 1800s, Vienna was the glittering cultural jewel at the heart of Europe and Brahms spent his entire life there. Performing his First Piano Concerto will be Jeremy Denk, the winner of many celebrated awards, including the coveted MacArthur ‘Genius” Fellowship.

Handel's Glorious Messiah

Handel's Glorious Messiah

December 4, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

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.

Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto

Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto

January 12 – 14, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

One of Tchaikovsky’s best known works and among the most famous in all of classical music, the First Piano Concerto is a deeply expressive and romantic tour de force. Gold Medal winner of the 2009 Van Cliburn Competition, Haochen Zhang performs this great masterwork. Prokofiev’s Fifth is one of the great orchestral works of the 20th century. Written during the dark days of World War II, Prokofiev intended his Fifth to be "a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit."

Russian Passion

Russian Passion

January 15, 2017, 3:00 p.m.

Prokofiev described his Fifth as “the culminating point of my creative life. I imagine the Symphony as the expression of the grandeur of the human spirit.” Experience one of the great orchestral works of the 20th century.

Scottish Fantasy

Scottish Fantasy

February 2 – 4, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Former assistant conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, David Danzmayr makes his Pacific Symphony debut conducting a program that presents three different musical perspectives evoking the wild Romantic landscapes of Scotland. Well known are Max Bruch’s fantasy on Scottish folk melodies for violin and Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony inspired by a walking tour of the ruins of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Palace. Less known is romantic Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn’s “charming Scotch overture that carries you over the hills and far away,” as George Bernard Shaw once described it.

Aida

Aida

February 23 – 28, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Our semi-staged concert opera productions have been extremely popular and always sell out. Continuing in that tradition, we present Verdi’s most popular opera. “Aida” tells the story of a doomed love triangle involving the Pharoah’s daughter, the enslaved Nubian princess Aida and the ambitious soldier they both love. Aida reflects Verdi’s great musical genius at its most voluptuous. Thrill to some of opera’s greatest arias, most powerful choruses and the stirring Triumphal March.

Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto

Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto

March 23 – 25, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Pianist Zhang Zuo makes her Pacific Symphony debut performing Beethoven’s mighty Third Piano Concerto. The Los Angeles Times described the gifted young pianist (affectionately nicknamed “Zee Zee”) as “a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry.” The program opens with the Pacific Symphony premiere of work by Tan Dun, who is perhaps best known to wider audiences for his film scores (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero). Elgar’s intriguing Enigma Variations close the program. 

Ellis Island

Ellis Island

April 6 – 8, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

The New Yorker’s critic Alex Ross described John Adams’ music as “present-tense American romanticism.” In celebration of this new-music luminary’s 70th birthday, Pacific Symphony performs “The Dharma at Big Sur,” with Tracy Silverman, “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin” (BBC Radio). The Grammy-nominated “Ellis Island: The Dream of America” is a stirring work that celebrates the hopes and fears of immigrants who arrive at Ellis Island in search of a utopian dream. 

This concert is part of Pacific Symphony's American Composers Festival 2017.

 

Ellis Island: An American Dream

Ellis Island: An American Dream

April 9, 2017, 3:00 p.m.

Peter Boyer’s compelling work celebrates the hopes and fears of immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island in search of a utopian dream.

This concert is part of Pacific Symphony's American Composers Festival 2017.

 

Magic of Chopin

Magic of Chopin

April 27 – 29, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Two of Canada’s brightest classical music stars perform a program that celebrates the spirit of France. Mozart composed his Symphony No. 31 specifically to please and impress Parisian audiences. Chopin called “The City of Lights” home for most of his adult life, and Debussy and Ravel are two of France’s greatest composers. BBC Music Magazine commented on Louis Lortie’s gifts as an interpreter of Chopin: “Lortie is a model Chopinist: eloquent but never sentimental, elegant, harmonically luminous, structurally immaculate—and surprising.”

Mozart & Don Quixote

Mozart & Don Quixote

May 18 – 20, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

The internationally celebrated pianist Orli Shaham, a “first-rate Mozartean” according to the Chicago Tribune, takes center stage in Mozart’s sunny Concerto No. 17, with the famous third movement theme inspired by the composer’s melodic pet starling. Ravel’s “Morning Song of the Jester,” incorporating Spanish musical themes, opens the program. Closing the evening is Strauss’ tone poem inspired by the Cervantes novel, with the solo cello—Pacific Symphony’s own Timothy Landauer—starring as the “ingenious gentleman,” Don Quixote de la Mancha.

Resurrection!

Resurrection!

June 8 – 10, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

In Mahler’s Second Symphony, the composer ponders the question of life, death and transcendence and in so doing pens some of his most sublime music. Meditating on these questions required Mahler to compose the largest symphony ever known at that time—with massive instrumental and vocal forces, daring harmonic structure, and expansive length—all to astonishing effect. As the composer once said, "The term 'symphony' means creating a world with all the technical means available." This great masterpiece will be performed in celebration of John Alexander’s remarkable 45-year tenure as Artistic Director of Pacific Chorale.

Renewal & Redemption

Renewal & Redemption

June 11, 2017, 3:00 p.m.

Mahler’s Second is a monumental symphony on a grand scale and—reminiscent of Beethoven’s Ninth—it culminates in an exhilarating chorus that sings of man’s highest hopes and heavenly visions. The work takes you on incredible journey, from death and dissolution to renewal and redemption.