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All Concerts

Olga Kern

Rach 3 & Boléro

September 27 – 29, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

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.

Olga Kern

Rach 3

September 30, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

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. 

Hilbert Museum Concert

Hilbert Museum Concert

October 7, 2018, 4:00 p.m.

Enjoy a FREE chamber music concert of woodwind music from Pacific Symphony.  Led by principal clarinetist Joseph Morris, this program explores the unique voices of woodwind instruments in an intimate setting with a journey through the colorful palette of repertoire for flute, clarinet, oboe and bassoon. What better way to enjoy great music than in a venue surrounded by fine art by many of California's most noted artists? FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Seating is limited and will be first-come, first-served. Limited standing room in the back. California wine and cheese reception to follow the performance.

Admission to the concert is FREE, but you must R.S.V.P to be put on the guest list IN ADVANCE via the Chapman University online ticketing site.  Seating is very limited, and we expect the event to sell out, so please do not delay in making your plans.

Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams

October 12 – 13, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

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 orchestra opens the concert with "That's Entertainment" and themes from the films Splash, The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Animal House and Airplane.

Rose Corrigan

The French Connection

October 14, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

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.

Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein @ 100

October 25 – 27, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

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 Friday night performance, hosted by Alan Chapman, is part of our new series, Classical KUSC at Pacific Symphony.

Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein: Crossing Boundaries

October 26, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

This performance is part of a new series, Classical KUSC at Pacific Symphony. Hosted by KUSC radio personality Alan Chapman, the 90-minute concert, Bernstein: Crossing Boundaries, will explore how Bernstein's music crosses the boundaries between Classical and Jazz, Sacred and Secular, Opera and Broadway. There will be no intermission and concertgoers are encouraged to gather on the Plaza after the concert for more music and conversation.

Be sure to choose the FRIDAY performance when purchasing tickets.

The Wizard’s Spellbook

The Wizard’s Spellbook

October 27, 2018, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

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

October 28, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia

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

OC Can You Play With Us - Chamber Edition

November 5, 2018, 6:30 p.m.

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.

Music of Wicked, The Wiz & Oz

Music of Wicked, The Wiz & Oz

November 9 – 10, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

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, "The Wizard of Oz."

Philippe Quint

Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto

November 15 – 17, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

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.

Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings

PSSS: Around the World in Forty Minutes

November 17, 2018, 2:00 p.m.

Fresh from their triumphant 2018 tour to Costa Rica, Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings embarks on their 2018-19 season with a whirlwind tour of musical favorites, including works of Grieg, Glinka, Padilla and more!

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

Dennis Kim

Haydn & Mozart

November 18, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

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. 

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble

PSYWE: Moments in Time

November 19, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

Under the celebrated direction of Dr. Gregory X. Whitmore, Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble kicks off their 2018-19 season with music of light, color and shadow. Revel in a wide-ranging program that includes works of Leonard Bernstein, Giovanni Santos, Richard Strauss and more. The brilliant musicians of PSYWE, joined by guest speaker Rosalind Britton, are sure to engage and inspire!

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

Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra

PSYO Fall Concert

November 20, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

Energized by its many recent artistic achievements, Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra inaugurates its 2018-19 season with a stirring and innovative program that includes Leonard Bernstein’s haunting On the Waterfront Suite and Gustav Holst’s brilliant and ever popular The Planets.

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

Markus Groh

Nutcracker Fantasy

December 6 – 8, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

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

Nutcracker for Kids

December 8, 2018, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

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!

Good seats are still available (and you'll save money!) if you purchase a Family Musical Mornings season-ticket package.

Handel's Glorious Messiah

Handel's Glorious Messiah

December 9, 2018, 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.

Jackie Evancho

Christmas with Jackie Evancho

December 14 – 15, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

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

Holiday Organ Spectacular

December 18, 2018, 7:30 p.m.

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.

Gabriela Martinez

Chopin's Piano Concerto

January 10 – 12, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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

The Magic Flute - Opera for Kids

January 12, 2019, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

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!

Leonard Elschenbroich


January 31 – February 2, 2019,  8:00 p.m.

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.

Carl St.Clair and Pacific Symphony

1,001 Nights

February 3, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

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

Lunar New Year for Kids

February 9, 2019, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

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

Lunar New Year

February 9, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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

February 10, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

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. 


Kenny G

Valentine's Day with Kenny G

February 15 – 16, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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.

Madame Butterfly

Madame Butterfly

February 21 – 26, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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. 

Johann Sebastian Bach


February 24, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

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.

Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival

March 2, 2019, 11:00 a.m.

Free Family event! Bring the entire family and join us for Pacific Symphony’s annual Lantern Festival, celebrating the Year of the Pig! 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 lunar 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.

Tickets can be reserved on our website starting January 7, 2019. 

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble

PSYWE: War and Peace

March 10, 2019, 1:00 p.m.

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble continues its 2018-19 season with an exploration of a driving dichotomy of the human experience, that of war and peace. The program will combine profoundly beautiful and probing works with stirring projected imagery, culminating in a performance of Aaron Copland’s masterful Lincoln Portrait, narrated by Rich Capparela.

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

Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra

PSYO Spring Concert

March 10, 2019, 7:00 p.m.

Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra dedicates its mid-season concert to two towering masterpieces: Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring (originally titled Ballet for Martha in honor of the great American Dancer/Choreographer Martha Graham) and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s magnificent and much loved Symphony No. 2.

Leslie Odom, Jr.

Leslie Odom, Jr.

March 15 – 16, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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

Phantom of the Opera

March 17, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

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.

Paul Huang

Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony

March 21 – 23, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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

Nowruz: Persian New Year

March 24, 2019, 7:00 p.m.

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.

Conrad Tao

Schubert & Chopin II

March 31, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

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. 

Juho Pohjonen

A Space Odyssey

April 11 – 13, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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.

Intergalactic Adventures

Intergalactic Adventures

April 13, 2019, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

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!

Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale

Defiant Requiem

April 16, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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

Music of Queen

April 26 – 27, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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!

Pablo Villegas

Villegas: Master of Guitar

May 2 – 4, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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.

Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings

PSSS: Outside the Box

May 5, 2019, 1:00 p.m.

Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings wraps up their 2018-19 season with a program of rousing and engaging pieces, both old and new! From the intense sonorities of Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto to the brilliance of Brian Balmages Urban Concerto, this musical adventure is sure to provide new and exciting vistas for all to enjoy!

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

Organ Superstar: Hector Olivera

Organ Superstar: Hector Olivera

May 5, 2019, 7:00 p.m.

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.

Carl St.Clair and Pacific Symphony

Ravel & Prokofiev

May 16 – 18, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

Considered one of Maurice Ravel’s masterpieces, The Child and the Magic Spells (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.

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble

PSYWE: Bach Frames

May 19, 2019, 1:00 p.m.

Wrapping up their 2018-19 season, Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble will present a program of depth and excitement, exploring the enduring musical influence of one of western music’s most towering figures and featuring performances by guest conductor Dr. Jamal Duncan and organist Kristen Lawrence.

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

Timothy Landauer

To Tell a Story

May 19, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

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.

Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra

PSYO Season Finale

May 19, 2019, 7:00 p.m.

Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles wraps up their 2018-19 season with one of the 20th century’s most revolutionary and influential works, Igor Stravinsky’s epic ballet, The Rite of Spring. The concert will also feature a performance by the 1st place winner of PSYO’s annual concerto competition, a much anticipated and truly thrilling event!

My Fair Lady in Concert

My Fair Lady in Concert

May 31 – June 1, 2019,  8:00 p.m.

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.”

Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale

Symphony of a Thousand

June 6 – 8, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

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. 

Pacific Symphony

Mahler's Eighth

June 9, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

“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.”