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Classical Concerts

Music that will move you. Your favorite masterpieces, from stirring symphonies to deeply emotional concertos.

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

Bachanalia

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Mozart & Mahler

June 6 – 8, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

Principal Symphony musicans display their artistry in Mozart's charming Sinfonia Concertante for Four Winds. Then, the 40th anniversary season concludes with Mahler's monumental Symphony No. 1.

Pacific Symphony

Mahler's First

June 9, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

Pacific Symphony concludes its 40th anniversary season with Mahler's epic Symphony No. 1. Mahler expanded conventional symphonic form in this dramatic work with which the orchestra inaugurated the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in 2006.

Carl St.Clair

Carmina Burana

September 26 – 28, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

Carl kicks off his 30th with a program of explosive music! First, Beethoven’s dramatic Egmont Overture followed by the precursor to his Ninth Symphony, the “Choral” Fantasy featuring the accomplished Benjamin Pasternack. Then, fly through the flames of fortune with Orff’s breathtaking masterpiece, Carmina Burana.

Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale

O Fortuna!

September 29, 2019, 3:00 p.m.

Carl kicks off his 30th with a program of symphonic and choral fire: Carl Orff’s breathtaking and widely popular masterpiece, Carmina Burana.

Dennis Kim

Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique"

October 17 – 19, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

Drama unfolds with Tchaikovsky’s deeply passionate Symphony No. 6 and Ravel’s virtuosic gypsy rhapsody, Tzigane, featuring concertmaster Dennis Kim. Earlier in the evening, you’ll embark on an exploration of the brilliant compositions from legendary film composer John Williams, who is responsible for linking Carl to Pacific Symphony.

Aaron Diehl

Rhapsody in Blue

November 14 – 16, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

Journey through the minds of three prolific American composers: George Chadwick, the master from the New England Conservatory; his pupil Florence Price, the first African-American woman recognized as a symphonic composer; and George Gershwin, a composer whose music is synonymous with the sound of America.

Vadym Kholodenko

Beethoven's Seventh

December 5 – 7, 2019, 8:00 p.m.

More than two centuries after its wildly successful premiere, Beethoven’s Seventh remains a work you simply must experience live. Also featured is another premiere: a tribute to Maestro St.Clair from Academy Award-winning composer, Elliot Goldenthal. And Vadym Kholodenko, winner of the prestigious Van Cliburn competition, joins with an electrifying performance of Prokofiev’s demanding Piano Concerto No. 3.

Clara-Jumi Kang

Beethoven's Violin Concerto

January 16 – 18, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

This is Beethoven at his best – lyrical, spirited and epic. Dvořák, while greatly inspired by the great German, expresses his own Bohemian lyricism in his Symphony No. 8, filled with indelible melodies and themes that flow like no other symphony.

Alain Lefevre

Symphonie Fantastique

February 6 – 8, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

Obsession, unrequited love and…opium; when mixed properly, these ingredients leave you with Berlioz’s vivid and dream-like Symphonie Fantastique. Also featured is Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, a series of portraits dedicated to friends lost in World War I along with his jazzy Piano Concerto in G Major with the spectacular Lefèvre.

Alain Lefevre

Ravel's Piano Concerto

February 9, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

Obsession, unrequited love and…opium; when mixed properly, these ingredients leave you with Berlioz’s vivid and dream-like Symphonie Fantastique. Also featured is the spectacular Alain Lefèvre with Ravel’s jazzy Piano Concerto in G Major.

Augustin Hadelich

Hadelich Plays Paganini

February 27 – 29, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

Where piano fans look to Rachmaninoff for keyboard virtuosity, violinists turn to Paganini. An outrageously gifted musician, he was also an accomplished composer writing hundreds of pieces including six violin concertos. Sparks will fly as violinist Augustin Hadelich takes the stage. Following is Rachmaninoff’s expressive and quintessentially Russian Symphony No. 3.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven's Piano Concertos

March 19 – 21, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

An all-Beethoven weekend – in celebration of the iconic composer’s 250th birthday – featuring all five piano concertos with the lavishly talented Alexander Romanovsky.

Alexander Romanovsky

Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto

March 22, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

An all-Beethoven program – in celebration of the iconic composer’s 250th birthday – featuring his 4th and 5th piano concertos with the lavishly talented Alexander Romanovsky.

Carl Tanner

Otello

April 23 – 28, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

Love, betrayal and jealousy – all trademarks of great tragic opera – Otello embraces these themes to the fullest. Written decades after going into retirement, Verdi’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s tale takes you on a journey through a passionate romance destroyed by one of opera’s most loathsome villains.

Joyce Yang

Schumann's Fourth

May 7 – 9, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 is a work that leads you from gorgeous melodies to unforgettable themes, all without pause. Earlier in the evening, piano phenom Joyce Yang dazzles with Rachmaninoff’s tour-de-force of the keyboard, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Conrad Tao

Tao Plays Mozart

May 28 – 30, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

Pianist Conrad Tao returns with Mozart’s impassioned Piano Concerto No. 20. Following is Brahms’ Fourth and final symphony. Filled with deep emotion, profound complexity and beautiful melancholy, it finishes with a finale that will leave you speechless. The concert opens with a new work by Frank Ticheli in honor of Carl's 30th anniversary.

Pacific Symphony

Brahms' Symphony No. 4

May 31, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

Filled with deep emotion, profound complexity and beautiful melancholy, Brahms’ 4th symphony finishes with a finale that will leave you speechless—the perfect ending to Carl’s 30th anniversary season.

Symphony of a Thousand

Symphony of a Thousand

June 11 – 13, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

A tidal wave of sound, Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” is an 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 is an exhilarating experience you cannot miss.