Pacific Symphony logo

Classical Concerts

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

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 Nick and Clemens Prokop, 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.

Enjoy image magnification on our big screens during the concert for a closer look at the artists!

Trumpeter Barry Perkins

Holiday Organ Spectacular

December 19, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Celebrate the season with the king of instruments! Enjoy a magnitude of musical splendors with a world-class organist 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 $3.1 million William J. Gillespie Concert Organ. 

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 premiere and was hailed by The Musical Times as an "immediate and phenomenal success."

Organist Paul Jacobs

Organ Superstar: Paul Jacobs

January 21, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs, a Pacific Symphony favorite, returns to the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ to perform a program of virtuosic organ music by Johann Sebastian Bach — including the ever-popular Toccata and Fugue in D Minor — and Franz Liszt.

Enjoy image magnification on our big screens during the concert for a closer look at the organist!

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,” 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.

Enjoy image magnification on our big screens during the concert for a closer look at the artists!

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.

Enjoy image magnification on our big screens during the concert for a closer look at the artists!

Barry Perkins

Happy Birthday, Bernstein

February 11, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

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. Enjoy coffee, tea and pastries in the imtimate coffee-house atmosphere of the Samueli Theater.

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!

Nosferatu - A Symphony of Horror

Nosferatu - A Symphony of Horror

April 29, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

Considered the first-ever vampire movie, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror tells the story of a naive real estate agent trapped in a castle in Transylvania after discovering his client, the rich count, is a vampire. Watch this 1922 classic come to life as organist Dennis James provides a chilling soundtrack.

Orli Shaham

Bach & Fauré

April 29, 2018, 3:00 p.m.

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!  Enjoy coffee, tea and pastries in the imtimate coffee-house atmosphere of the Samueli Theater.

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. 

Enjoy image magnification on our big screens during the concert for a closer look at the artists!

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 Angeles 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. The vibrant colors of the orchestra come to life in Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.