Music that will move you. Your favorite masterpieces, from stirring symphonies to deeply emotional concertos.
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
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 an incredible journey, from death and dissolution to renewal and redemption.
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.”
Beethoven's Fifth Revealed
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.
Beethoven & Schubert
Was Schubert Beethoven’s biggest fan? Franz Schubert became a passionate devotee of the older composer’s music. In fact, on his deathbed Schubert asked to be buried in a grave alongside Beethoven. Revel in the genius of these two great composers.
Mozart & Rachmaninoff
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 the West Coast premiere of his new work for orchestra along with Rachmaninoff’s formidable Second Symphony.
Cathedrals of Sound
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 Prokop, this monumental work will take you on a journey through symphonic space and time.
“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.
Beethoven's Violin Concerto
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 premiere and was hailed by The Musical Times as an "immediate and phenomenal success."
Brahms & Prokofiev
“Romanovsky is the latest pianist to be hailed as the true heir to the great Russian tradition,” said 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.
Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2
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.
Happy Birthday, Bernstein
Celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein, Steve Reich’s 80th birthday and Frank Ticheli’s 60th, this all-American program features a variety of chamber works in compelling instrumental combinations.
The Magic Flute
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!
“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.
Zukerman Plays Bruch
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.
Glass & Shankar
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!
Bach & Fauré
Bach’s serene aria with 30 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 it world premiere at this performance!
Watts Plays Beethoven
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.
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.”
Sounds of Hollywood
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.
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.
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