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All Concerts

Kelebogile Besong in 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 Pharaoh’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.

Viva Villa-Lobos!

Viva Villa-Lobos!

February 26, 2017, 3:00 p.m.

Brazil’s greatest composer, Villa-Lobos mined the rich exotic sound world of his native country’s folk music. Argentina’s Ginastera followed suit and also inspired a young Piazzolla, who played the tango accordion (bandoneón) to follow his muse as the father of “new tango.” Be sure to come early for a tango dance demonstration starting at 2:30 p.m. in the lobby, featuring Pacific Symphony violist John Acevedo and his dance partner Heidi Nguyen.

The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys

March 3 – 4, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

In the pantheon of pop, few groups have enjoyed the success of The Beach Boys. Their close vocal harmonies and “Good Vibrations” conjure timeless memories of surf, sun and endless summers. Known for such irresistible chart-topping hits as “Surfin’,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “I Get Around,” “Kokomo,” “Help Me Rhonda” and “California Girls,” these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have performed more concerts than any major rock band in history.

Pacific Coast Wine Festival

Pacific Coast Wine Festival

March 11, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

The 10th Anniversary Pacific Coast Wine Festival will be  a sensational wine auction and dinner, featuring extraordinary wine tasting of exceptional wines from the premier wine producing regions of the world, imaginative silent-auction offerings including fine wines that range from cult and storied artisanal wines to wines that need no introduction, a gourmet dinner with exquisite wine pairing and a live auction of rare and exceptional wines and extraordinary travel opportunities. The 2016 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.


Fritz Lang's Metropolis

Fritz Lang's Metropolis

March 12, 2017, 3:00 p.m.

Fritz Lang’s sci-fi masterpiece influenced such films as Star Wars, I, Robot, Blade Runner and Total Recall. Experience this cinematic tour de force projected on the big screen while organ virtuoso Peter Richard Conte performs the unforgettable soundtrack live.

Pianist Zhang Zuo

Piano Masterclass with Zhang Zuo

March 22, 2017, 7:00 p.m.

World-class pianist Zhang Zho hosts a multi-generational masterclass in the intimate Samueli Theater. Participants will include a high school student, a college student and an adult pianist from the community. All will prepare their own performance for Zhang Zuo, who will then work with each to continue to refine and develop their musicianship. Tickets to observe are just $10 and there is limited seating, so get yours now!

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 concert opens with the captivating “Folk Songs for Orchestra” by Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo. Elgar’s intriguing “Enigma Variations” closes the program.

Enjoy image magnification on our big screens throughout the concert for a closer look at pianist Zhang Zuo, guest conductor Darrell Ang and the musicians of Pacific Symphony!

King Arthur and the Legend of the Dragon's Lair

King Arthur and the Legend of the Dragon's Lair

March 25, 2017, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

Camelot, gallant knights in shining armor and fair damsels in distress. With advice from the old wizard Merlin, King Arthur hunts the dragon in a dangerous quest that is the stuff of legend. Will he slay the dragon and save the magic kingdom? You’ll have to see the concert to find out! Featuring the gifted young musicians of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra in our annual side-by-side concert and including adventurous music from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and Rossini’s “William Tell Overture.”

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble

PSYWE Spring Concert: Music of Darkness & Light

March 26, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

Join Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble as it seeks to explore music's connection to those most basic of human experiences: good and evil. Optimistic and yearning in both color and character, “House Plants in Terracotta Pots” by Roy Magnuson opens the performance in a minimalistic beckoning of curiosity, followed by Brian Balmages' introspective “Kindred Spirits.” Bask in Aaron Perrine's “Only Light” and experience the power of David Maslanka's tone poem “Liberation,” featuring a full chorus performing alongside one of the nation’s greatest youth wind ensembles.

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

Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra

PSYO Spring Concert

March 26, 2017, 7:00 p.m.

We invite you to experience the virtuosity of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra in an evening of symphonic masterpieces. Lose yourself in the lush fanfares of Wagner’s Overture to "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg," experience the home-grown Americana of Copland’s "Billy the Kid" Suite and find tranquility in Respighi’s “Church Windows.” Don’t miss this memorable showcase of young talent and awe-inspiring artistry!

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

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.


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.


Hilty & Stokes Mitchell “Smashing Broadway”

Hilty & Stokes Mitchell “Smashing Broadway”

April 21 – 22, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

With stunning voices and booming Broadway careers, award-winning Broadway superstars Megan Hilty and Brian Stokes Mitchell bring fresh insight to a program of Broadway hits and unforgettable melodies that have become timeless standards — including music from Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin! When Megan Hilty and Brian Stokes Mitchell headlined the LA Philharmonic’s opening night gala this season with a similar program, they received rave reviews.

[Note: Hilty & Stokes Mitchell replace the previously announced Jason Alexander who was forced to cancel due to an unforeseeable scheduling conflict.]

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.”

Carnival of the Animals

Carnival of the Animals

April 29, 2017, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

Pacific Symphony brings a zoo to musical life with the Bob Brown Puppets and a narrator to tell the story. Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals” features each animal in its own descriptive song, from the royal march of the stately lions, to hippity-hopping kangaroos, lumbering elephants, a gracefully swimming swan and more.

Pianist Joyce Yang

Soka: Beethoven's "Emperor"

April 30, 2017, 3:00 p.m.

Van Cliburn International Piano Competition silver medalist and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Joyce Yang, captivates audiences with her virtuosity, lyricism and interpretive sensitivity. “Her attention to detail and clarity is as impressive as her agility, balance and velocity” (Washington Post).

Organ Recital: Monte Maxwell

Organ Recital: Monte Maxwell

April 30, 2017, 3:00 p.m.

The U.S. Naval Academy’s Chapel organist Monte Maxwell has played for diplomats and national leaders from around the world, and now he performs for you! Hear this outstanding virtuoso on a wide-ranging program from Baroque and beyond.

The Haydn Effect

The Haydn Effect

May 7, 2017, 3:00 p.m.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to “Papa Haydn,” who has been called the father of the string quartet because he was instrumental in the development of chamber music. For most of his career Haydn was not only considered the most celebrated composer in Europe, but he also guided and mentored two star pupils: Mozart and Beethoven!

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.

Enjoy image magnification on our big screens throughout the concert for a closer look at the soloists, Music Director Carl St.Clair and the musicians of Pacific Symphony!

Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings

PSSS Season Finale: Home Grown!

May 20, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

In its energizing season finale performance, Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings presents you with an afternoon of masterpieces from our own backyard! Experience a bit of Americana through the folk tunes and masterworks that built the American classical canon – from “Simple Gifts” to Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” This performance presented by the high-achieving musicians of Santiago Strings will be sure to amaze and inspire!

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

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble

PSYWE 10th Anniversary Season Finale: Traditions

May 21, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble gears up to embark on its first international tour of Austria in July 2017 and concludes its 10th anniversary concert season by paying homage to the band tradition as well as the ensemble’s history in the Pacific Symphony family. Basler’s thrilling "Carnival" excitedly kicks off this performance followed by Giroux’ brand new work, "One Life Beautiful." Two cornerstone works for wind ensemble, Vaughn Williams’ "English Folksong Suite" and Holst's First Suite in Eb, celebrate the wind band culture’s deep rooted tradition.

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

Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra

PSYO Season Finale

May 21, 2017, 7:00 p.m.

Energized from a season of artistic achievement, the accomplished Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra will wow the crowd with its vibrant display of young musical talent. Join this high-caliber orchestra as it delves into the mind of Gustav Mahler through the sounds of his great Symphony No. 2. The winner(s) of this season’s concerto competition will also be featured during this performance.

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

Salute to John Williams

Salute to John Williams

June 2 – 3, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Academy and Grammy Award-winner John Williams has made cinematic history as the composer of some of Hollywood’s most popular and recognizable film scores including “Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “Indiana Jones,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jurassic Park,” and the first three “Harry Potter” films. Maestro Kaufman pays tribute to the genius of John Williams on the occasion of his 85th birthday.



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.

Symphonic Springsteen

Symphonic Springsteen

July 4, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Born to rock in the U.S.A.!

Celebrate the Fourth with this high-energy tribute to “The Boss,” America’s most iconic singer-songwriter. Enjoy seasoned world-class musicians famous for recreating Bruce Springsteen’s marathon, party-like shows. You’ll be on your feet cheering for such hits as “Born in the USA,” “My Hometown,” and “Hungry Heart.”

Kenny Loggins

Kenny Loggins

July 12, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

“Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose”

From “Danny’s Song” and “Return to Pooh Corner” to “Celebrate Me Home,” “This Is It,” “Whenever I Call You Friend” and the blockbuster “Footloose,” Kenny Loggins’ songs have been the quintessential feel-good soundtrack for more than a generation.

Co-presented by Pacific Symphony and the OC Fair & Event Center.

This special performance may be added to your SummerFest season-ticket package online during the check-out process or by calling (714) 755-5799.

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

August 19, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

A soundtrack 65 million years in the making! Experience the classic film while Pacific Symphony performs John Williams’ thrilling score live. Masterfully directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel by Michael Crichton, “Jurassic Park” transports you to a secluded island where scientists have succeeded in reviving the age of dinosaurs.

TM and © Universal Studios

Tchaikovsky Spectacular

Tchaikovsky Spectacular

September 9, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

End the summer with a bang!

You’ll enjoy this famous romantic composer’s greatest hits along with Rachmaninoff’s lush Second Piano Concerto performed by the freshly minted Gold Medal winner of this year’s Van Cliburn Competition. And to cap off the evening, the electrifying “1812 Overture” — complete with live cannons and brilliant fireworks — will have hearts racing and spirits soaring.

Music Director Carl St.Clair conducts Beethoven's Fifth

Beethoven's Fifth

September 14 – 16, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

What better way to kick off Pacific Symphony’s 39th season than by performing the most famous four notes in music history? Here’s what The Orange County Register had to say the last time this titanic symphony was programmed: “The Pacific Symphony dug in as requested, catching her fire. The strings played like linebackers and angels. The woodwinds shone brightly and warmly. Enthusiasm never lagged.”

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven's Fifth Revealed

September 17, 2017, 3:00 p.m.

Rumored to be fate knocking at the door, the famous first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth give way to satisfying work that ends in ultimate victory. Music Director Carl St.Clair gives fresh perspective on this popular masterwork. Also, don’t miss this chance to hear the epic final scene from Wagner’s Die Walküre.

Joshua Bell

An Evening with Joshua Bell

September 23, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Like no other violinist of recent times, Joshua Bell has captured the imaginations of both critics and audiences. Bell is a true classical music superstar, enjoying a successful concert career; famous chamber music collaborations; occasional partnerships with artists outside the classical arena, including Josh Groban, James Taylor and Sting; and performances as featured soloist in movie soundtracks, including, famously, “The Red Violin.”

André Previn

Mozart & Rachmaninoff

October 19 – 21, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Hailed by The Independent as a “big pianist with a calmly commanding presence,” Garrick Ohlsson joins Pacific Symphony with Mozart’s Ninth Piano Concerto — a work that legendary pianist Alfred Brendel has referenced as “one of the greatest wonders of the world.” Also featured on the program is the great André Previn conducting an original work by the composer himself along with Rachmaninoff’s formidable Second Symphony. 

Nobertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey

Cathedrals of Sound

November 9 – 11, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Composer Hugo Wolf called Bruckner’s Eighth “the creation of a giant, surpassing in spiritual dimension and magnitude all the other symphonies of the master.” Featuring the spiritual voices of the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey to set the stage and stunning visuals from Clemens Prokopf, this monumental work will take you on a journey through symphonic space and time.

Anu Tali, guest conductor

Gershwin's Concerto

November 30 – December 2, 2017,  8:00 p.m.

“Many persons had thought that the Rhapsody in Blue was only a happy accident…Well, I went out, for one thing, to show them that there was plenty more where that had come from,” said George Gershwin himself. Widely considered Gershwin’s most classical piece, his Piano Concerto in F represents the perfect blend between the rhythmic liberties of jazz fused with classical roots.

Handel's Glorious Messiah

Handel's Glorious Messiah

December 3, 2017, 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.

Violinist Ray Chen

Beethoven's Violin Concerto

January 11 – 13, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

Beethoven’s only violin concerto remains one of the most widely played and popular works for the instrument. Famous for its spirited final movement, the work reveals the amazing melodic and technical range of the violin. Also featured is Edward Elgar’s regal Symphony No. 1, a work that was performed over 100 times within a year of its premier and was hailed by The Musical Times as an "immediate and phenomenal success."

Pianist Alexander Romanovsky

Brahms & Prokofiev

February 1 – 3, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

“Romanovsky is the latest pianist to be hailed as the true heir to the great Russian tradition,” read The Guardian. The formidable guest pianist performs Prokofiev’s second piano concerto, which has garnered a reputation for being one of the most technically demanding piano concertos in the repertoire.

Alexander Romanovsky

Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2

February 4, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

After Prokofiev performed his Second Piano Concerto, the score disappeared. Maestro St.Clair will reveal the mystery behind the long-lost concerto, which will be performed by one of today’s top Russian virtuosos.

The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute

February 22 – 27, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

One of Mozart’s most popular operas, The Magic Flute is a fairy tale about love telling the story of Tamino and Papageno, a prince and bird catcher tasked by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter Pamina from the confinements of a mysterious high priest. Prepare yourself for an evening filled with magic, comedy and some of opera’s greatest arias!

Violinist Pinchas Zukerman

Pinchas Zukerman

March 15 – 17, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

“Zukerman again seemed the forever-young virtuoso: expressively resourceful, infectiously musical, technically impeccable, effortless. As usual, it was a joy to be in his musical company,” said the Los Angeles Times about living legend Pinchas Zukerman. The violin master makes a return to Pacific Symphony with the profoundly virtuosic Bruch Violin Concerto. 

Pinchas Zukerman

Zukerman Plays Bruch

March 18, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

Living legend Pinchas Zukerman performs Bruch’s masterful Violin Concerto. Then, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition takes listeners on a musical stroll through an art gallery that holds colorful paintings, each with its own fascinating story.

Anoushka Shankar, sitar

Glass & Shankar

April 12 – 14, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

Through a highly prized invitation, Pacific Symphony makes its Carnegie Hall debut with this award-winning program during Carnegie’s yearlong celebration of Philip Glass’ 80th birthday. Originally commissioned, premiered and recorded by Pacific Symphony, “The Passion of Ramakrishna” is a work of quiet intensity and unforgettable power—scored for vocal soloists, chorus and large orchestra. Joining Pacific Symphony for this historic concert is sitar soloist Anoushka Shankar, daughter of Ravi Shankar.

Hear this landmark concert before Pacific Symphony presents it during its Carnegie Hall debut!

Pianist André Watts

Watts Plays Beethoven

May 3 – 5, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

Considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century and a perennial favorite guest of Pacific Symphony, André Watts returns to the stage with one of Beethoven’s most beloved works – the "Emperor Concerto." A work prized for its serene and tender second movement, Beethoven’s last piano concerto is a testament to the composer’s emotional range. Shostakovich complements the evening with his intense 10th Symphony. 

Pianist Boris Giltburg

Rach 2

May 31 – June 2, 2018,  8:00 p.m.

Gramophone places pianist Boris Giltburg “among the truly memorable Rachmaninoff interpreters, an elect including Moiseiwitsch, Horowitz, Kappel, Richter and Cliburn. Giltberg’s originality stems from a convergence of heart and mind, served by immaculate technique and motivated by a deep and abiding love for one of the 20th century’s greatest composer-pianists.” 

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers

Sounds of Hollywood

June 14 – 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

Anne Akiko Meyers is one of today’s premier violinists and has been described by the Los Aangeles Times as a performer of “Vigorous mastery, unflinching technical skills and stylish elegance.” Joining her on the stage is Hollywood giant James Newton Howard, considered one of the most versatile and respected composers currently working in film. With an esteemed career spanning over 30 years, Howard is best known for his soundtracks for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, The Dark Knight and Blood Diamond.

Anne Akiko Meyers

Cinematic Violin

June 17, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers plays a suite of film music by Hollywood composer James Newton Howard, who is known for writing such soundtracks as The Village, Defiance and more.