Music that will move you. Your favorite masterpieces, from stirring symphonies to deeply emotional concertos.
Nosferatu - A Symphony of Horror
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.
Poulenc & Fauré
Enjoy coffee, tea, pastries and chamber music in the intimate coffee-house atmosphere of the Samueli Theater with pianistt Orli Shaham and principal musicians of Pacific Symphony. Poulenc's Flute Sonata was composed for flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal and is now one of the composer's best known works. When Rebecca Clarke submitted her Viola Sonata in a competition, it tied for first place, but some suspected it was written by a man using a pen-name and the prize was awarded to another competitor. Fauré's piano quintets rank among his greatest chamber works.
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 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.
Enjoy image magnification on our big screens during the concert for a closer look at the artists!
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.
Enjoy image magnification on our big screens during the concert for a closer look at the artists!
Rach 3 & Boléro
An opening night celebration that immerses you in the virtuosity of the solo musician, both on the piano and in the orchestra. 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 music from Mozart and Ravel.
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.
The French Connection
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.
Bernstein @ 100
Feel the joy and emotion of one of the greatest 20th-century composers — an American treasure and mentor of Music Diector 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.
Dvořák’s New World Symphony
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.
Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto
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.
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.” 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.
Chopin's Piano Concerto
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bach is Beautiful
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.
Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony
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 Adagio from Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 16 and Bruch’s profoundly virtuosic Violin Concerto.
A Space Odyssey
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.
Villegas: Master of Guitar
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 Aranjuaz, inspired by the real-life royal Spanish palace.
Ravel's "The Child & the Magic Spells"
Considered one of Maurice Ravel’s masterpieces, 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.
To Tell a Story
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 Solider’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.
Symphony of a Thousand
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.
“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.”
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