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Classical Concerts

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

Christina and Michelle Naughton

Tchaikovsky's Fifth

September 24 – 26, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

Celebrate opening weekend with twin piano phenoms, Christina Naughton and Michelle Naughton, as they take Mozart’s rarely performed Concerto for Two Pianos to the stage. Maestro St.Clair concludes the evening with Tchaikovsky’ s moving Fifth Symphony.


Inside Tchaikovsky's Fifth

September 27, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

Behind his beautifully melodic Fifth Symphony was Tchaikovsky — one of the most beloved of Romantic composers. Join Maestro St.Clair in an in-depth exploration of this great artist along with the symphonic world premiere of Wayne Oquin’s "Tower Ascending," a work with a serene opening that builds to a thrilling conclusion.

Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson

Beethoven's "Eroica"

October 15 – 17, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

Experience Beethoven’s thrilling “Eroica” symphony—a work so innovative and influential it changed the course of music history. Longtime collaborators Jaimie Laredo and Sharon Robinson also join the evening with a West Coast premiere of Chris Brubeck’s jazz-infused double concerto.


Discover Beethoven's "Eroica"

October 18, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

Maestro St. Clair leads you on a discovery as to why Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony was a work so innovative and influential that it changed the course of music history.

Beethoven, Britten & Brahms

Beethoven, Britten & Brahms

November 1, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

The Beethoven celebration continues with a sparkling showpiece of a trio written by the 15-year-old Ludwig, which wasn’t discovered until after his death. Britten composed his cello sonata for the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich, at the cellist’s request. Topping off the program is the work often described as “the crown of Brahms’ chamber music.” Enjoy coffee, tea and pastries in the intimate Samueli Theater as host and pianist Orli Shaham guides you through the program.

Bomsori Kim

Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto

November 12 – 14, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

Bomsori Kim, “internationally recognized as one of the most dynamic and exciting violinists of today” (NDR), joins Pacific Symphony with Tchaikovsky’s delightful Violin Concerto. Completing the evening is Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, a masterpiece showcasing each section of the orchestra.

Andrey Gugnin

Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2

December 3 – 5, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

Moscow-born concert pianist Andrey Gugnin visits Orange County with Rachmaninoff’s luxuriant Piano Concerto No. 2. Meanwhile, guest conductor Markus Stenz guides listeners through a gallery of musical styles: from the French-Baroque color of Rebel, a journey into the romantic dream-like world of Debussy and Scriabin’s cosmically charged “Poem of Ecstasy.”

Emanuel Ax

Emanuel Ax Plays Mozart

January 14 – 16, 2021, 8:00 p.m.

"His greatness, his overwhelming authority as musician, technician and probing intellect emerges quickly as he plays. Within minutes, we are totally captured by his intensity and pianistic achievement." —Los Angeles Times

Sunday in the Samueli with Debussy & Ravel

Sunday in the Samueli with Debussy & Ravel

January 24, 2021, 3:00 p.m.

Three trios by three great composers: French master impressionists Debussy and Ravel evoke magical dreamscapes both melancholy and joyful in contrast to Shostakovich’s dramatic intensity. Enjoy coffee, tea and pastries in the intimate Samueli Theater as host and pianist Orli Shaham guides you through the program.

Edo de Waart

Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony

February 4 – 6, 2021, 8:00 p.m.

Revel in the majestic power of the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ in Saint-Saëns‘ most popular symphony featuring a melody that was later adapted for film and the 1977 hit song “If I Had Words.” And delight in Mozart’s charming Clarinet Concerto as Principal Clarinetist Joseph Morris puts his skills on full display.

James Ehnes

James Ehnes Plays Sibelius

February 25 – 27, 2021, 8:00 p.m.

Hailed by The Times as a “violinist in a class of his own,” James Ehnes returns to Pacific Symphony with Sibelius’ only violin concerto; a work that perfectly blends drama with technical virtuosity. Brahms’ pastoral second symphony transports you away from the darkness and into the Austrian countryside.

Pacific Chorale

Cathedrals of Sound

March 18 – 20, 2021, 8:00 p.m.

The New York Times calls Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan as “ceaselessly inventive, evocative and penetrating.” He joins Pacific Symphony on a spiritual journey with his major commission Fiat Lux (“Let There Be Light”); a perfect pairing to Strauss’ eternal tone poem Death and Transfiguration.



April 15 – 20, 2021, 8:00 p.m.

Verdi’s immortal story about naïve love, betrayal and a vengeance gone horribly wrong features some of opera’s greatest arias including the instantly recognizable “La donna è mobile” and the beautiful “Caro nome.”


Bach to Schubert

Bach to Schubert

April 25, 2021, 3:00 p.m.

For Bach lovers who enjoy the spirit of the dance, the final French Suite for solo keyboard delights with its wide range of dancing rhythms. An exciting new commission by an award-winning young composer receives its world premiere. And the famous “Trout” Quintet represents Schubert at his most natural, unaffected and carefree. Enjoy coffee, tea and pastries in the intimate Samueli Theater as host and pianist Orli Shaham guides you through the program.

Rachel Barton Pine

Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto

May 6 – 8, 2021, 8:00 p.m.

“Prodigious talent with obvious personality and a clear-eyed vision, her technical skills can make the jaw drop. [Rachel Barton Pine] has a full, singing sweet tone and plays with a confidence and elan that make an audience’s heart soar.” — Chicago Sun-Times

Haochen Zhang

Haochen Zhang Plays Rachmaninoff

May 20 – 22, 2021, 8:00 p.m.

An evening of greatness begins with world-class pianist Haochen Zhang who has been described by The Washington Post as having an “imagination that keeps you on the edge of your seat and breathless to hear what comes next”—a worthy challenger to Rachmaninoff’s intense Rhapsody. Following is Schubert’s ninth symphony nicknamed “The Great” for its pure grand majesty and awe-inspiring scale.

Franz Schubert

Schubert's "The Great"

May 23, 2021, 3:00 p.m.

Be amazed by Schubert’s Ninth Symphony nicknamed “The Great” for its pure grand majesty and awe-inspiring scale.


The Mozart Project

June 10 – 12, 2021, 8:00 p.m.

Wolfgang comes to life in this all-Mozart evening!  Maestro St.Clair conducts the legendary composer’s charming overture to Don Giovanni and the gloriously dark and transcendent Requiem, interspersed with a portrayal of his greatest rival, Antonio Salieri, performed by SCR Artistic Director David Ivers.


Mozart's Requiem

June 13, 2021, 3:00 p.m.

In this all-Mozart program, Maestro St.Clair forges an artistic partnership with South Coast Repertory’s artistic director David Ivers. Together, they bring this legendary composer to life with some of his most well-known works including the gloriously dark and transcendent Requiem.
Presented in collaboration with South Coast Repertory.