Concert Highlight: Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, “The Inextinguishable”

We recently made a video featuring Symphony Principal Timpanist and Percussionist Todd Miller and Robert Slack, respectively, on the great timpani battle at the end of the fourth movement of Nielsen’s evocative and emotional Symphony No. 4, dubbed “The Inextinguishable” after its inspiration, what Nielsen referred to as “the will to live” in his writings about the piece.

Check out this concert highlight from that same movement, from last weekend’s “Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto” concert!

Alan Chapman’s Preview Talk: “Holiday Classics – Nutcracker Sweet”

The first of several holiday concerts from the Symphony, “Holidays Classics – Nutcracker Sweet” (pun very much intended) comes to the Segerstrom Concert Hall Dec. 6 – 8 at 8 p.m.

KUSC radio personality Alan Chapman introduces the music on Pacific Symphony’s Dec. 6-8, 2018 concert: Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” Suite, alternating with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s dazzling reimagining of favorites like “Sugar Rum Cherry” and “Dance of the Floreadors.”

Make sure to subscribe to our profile on SoundCloud! For more concert information and tickets, please visit its concert page.

Listen to This: Nielsen’s Timpani Battle

We got together with Principals Robert Slack (percussion) and Todd Miller (timpani) to discuss Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, “The Inextinguishable.” The fourth and final movement is a defining moment in the Symphony, as two timpanists go head-to-head trading percussive lines, leading to “The Inextinguishable’s” epic and emotional climax.

This symphony will be a part of “Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto,” featuring violinist Philippe Quint and guest conductor Rune Bergmann. Check out our website for concert information and tickets!

Arts Journalism is Making a Comeback

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In case you haven’t heard, Voice of OC started publishing Arts & Culture stories this fall!  With the decline in local arts coverage at The Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, and OC Weekly, we are thrilled that there is a new player in town willing to take up the mantle.

Long-time Register theater critic Paul Hodgins and former Varsity Arts editor Heide Janssen have teamed up to produce arts stories worthy of Orange County. And they bring with them a stable of writers that you may recognize: Tim Mangan, Richard Chang, Eric Marchese, Kaitin Wright, Larry Christon, and Peter LeFevre. They will also be introducing new, diverse voices to help them cover the wide array of arts and culture found in communities throughout the county.

We love that they are able to produce high-quality stories by knowledgeable writers on a website that is advertising free!

Please join us in supporting their work by:

  1. Liking their Facebook page
  2. Subscribing to their free newsletter that will send all of the weeks arts headlines to your email
  3. Donating to their matching fund drive. Voice of OC is a non-profit news outlet. Every dollar donated by individuals up to $1000 between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for dollar

Don’t Miss Sundays @ SOKA

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These 70-minute, informal concerts by Pacific Symphony have proved to be popular both for newcomers and longtime aficionados of classical music. An audience favorite (having sold out all three concerts last season), this series has become a wonderful tradition, showcasing Orange County’s own professional symphony orchestra in the acoustically brilliant Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo. This season will introduce Pacific Symphony’s new concertmaster and showcases works by Mozart, Schubert and Chopin. 

“Haydn & Mozart,” the first concert of the series takes place on November 18 at 3 p.m.
Principal Trumpeter Barry Perkins takes center stage in Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto. Then, Pacific Symphony’s new concertmaster, Dennis Kim, and Principal Violist Meredith Crawford are featured soloists in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. Considered “one of the most successful concertmasters in the world today,” (Royal Conservatory of Music) Kim was most recently concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic. 

Tickets start at $56 ($46 for students, seniors and active military families). Subscription packages are available at a 25% discount.

Buy Tickets

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Pacific Symphony Cellist Laszlo Mezo Performs Bartók’s “Romanian Folk Dances”

For your enjoyment, here is Symphony cellist Laszlo Mezo performing his favorite piece by Bartók: “Romanian Folk Dances,” arranged by Luigi Silva, Laszlo Mezo, Sr. (his father) and Laszlo Mezo, Jr.

Laszlo Mezo was born in Hungary to a family of musicians with over 200 years of musical history. His great-grandmother heard Franz Liszt performing live, and performed with Pablo Casals. His father, Laszlo Mezo, Sr., was an iconic cellist and soloist who personally knew Zoltán Kodály, and actually owns a few of Kodály’s manuscripts. Growing up, Laszlo spent a lot of time listening to concerts by his father’s quartet, the “Bartók String Quartet.” He also later performed regularly in the Bartóks’ house, now a museum.

The string quartets by Bartók and Beethoven are childhood favorites of his. He has performed all of the cello (and most of the chamber music) compositions of those masters.

Continuing the Gift of Music for All


Each year for the past 40 years, Pacific Symphony has brought season after season of outstanding concerts and enriching educational programs to roughly 50,000 aspiring musicians, classical aficionados and curious music lovers.

As we prepare for the season of Thanksgiving and end-of-year giving, the Symphony acknowledges all the generous individuals who have donated to the Symphony and the impact they have created through their time, talent and resources.

Donations are truly what make Pacific Symphony.

In fact, donations provide the essential funding for the Symphony’s acclaimed education programs such as Arts-x-press, a five-day summer program that immerses students in the arts; Heartstrings, a community-wide program that brings music to those affected by challenging circumstances; OC Can You Play With Us, a program that allows amateur adult musicians to play alongside Pacific Symphony musicians; and Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles, comprised of three ensembles that provides pre-professional experiences to youth musicians.

Pacific Symphony performing at the Great Park.

And additionally donations help community performances, such as Symphony in the Cities, an annual summer concert series that brings free music to surrounding communities, and Family Musical Mornings, a five-concert series that provides an entertaining approach of orchestra fundamentals for the entire family, through continued support.

Pacific Symphony performing at the Great Park.

Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl St.Clair leads children in a conducting workshop at an annual Symphony in the Cities concert

This year, through Dec. 31, the Symphony’s Board Chair, Joann Leatherby, her husband, Greg Bates, and other longtime donors will match all donations to continue these education programs and to share the gift of music for all to enjoy, years to come.

To donate, please visit our Community Support Month page, or to learn more about how to support Pacific Symphony here.