Lang Lang’s Viral Impromptu Performance

Lang Lang has consistently been praised for unique ability to engage his audience throughout his career. Back in 2011, he played in an impromptu performance for students on an upright piano outside of the Concert Hall, and the performance went viral!


Lang Lang returns Oct. 4, 2020, to play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Tickets are available for Classical season subscribers. Read more here:


New Online Initiative Curates Free Digital Content at


Pacific Symphony announced the launch of a new online initiative called Pacific Symphony @ Home that curates free digital content to provide audiences with musical and emotional connection through the current period of uncertainty.

“We’re pleased to share Pacific Symphony @ Home with our audiences,” commented President and CEO John Forsyte. “The generosity of our Symphony musicians sharing their artistry from their homes is profoundly touching at this unprecedented time. I think those who go online to Pacific Symphony @ Home will be astonished when they experience anew the world-class talent that makes up this orchestra.”

Pacific Symphony’s new collection of free digital content is evolving and expanding on a daily basis. Audiences are encouraged to check back frequently for new additions of content.

At present some of the highlights include:

  • “Quarantine Clips” of Symphony musicians recording videos of performances and messages from their homes.
  • Videos shot by Music Director Carl St.Clair on his cell phone from his home in Laguna Beach, providing YouTube listening picks and Spotify playlists.
  • Alexander Romanovsky, who was set to play all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos with Pacific Symphony on March 19-22, sent a video from his home in Italy of an excerpt of the cadenza of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3.
  • From the music room of his Irvine home, concertmaster Dennis Kim plays Beethoven’s Romance No. 2 in F Major, which was originally scheduled for the March 20 concert.
  • “The Bach Project”—Principal Cellist Warren Hagerty is offering a movement a day from the Six Bach Cello Suites for a total of 36 movements.
  • Facebook Watch Parties hosted by Associate Conductor Roger Kalia and his musicologist wife Christine and their adorable pup, Burney (named after the famous English music historian, Charles Burney).
  • Concert highlights from this season’s concerts with newly curated content not posted online previously.
  • Articles to entertain and inspire on the Symphony’s “Pacific Overtures” blog.
  • “Arts Online” providing links to streaming music and culture from all over the world.
  • Education and community resources to be added soon.

Currently, Pacific Symphony is dreaming of the day in the very near future when they will be performing for audiences again live. The poet Langston Hughes was right: a dream never dies, it’s just deferred.

Until then, let your laptop be your concert hall. #StartDreamingAgain


Visit our Pacific @ Home page here!

From Symphony President John Forsyte’s Desk @Home

2019-09-26_Pac Symp_DAG-9933

I miss you all and am still mourning the loss of our Beethoven Piano Concerto marathon. So, I want to share a little piano music that has been engaging me (not Beethoven) and hope you find it rewarding.

There are strong opinions about the art of pianist Vladimir Horowitz, because his interpretations are so distinctive and differ from a school of pianists who believe strongly in adherence to the score. Recognized as the last of the great Romantic pianists of pre-revolutionary Russia, his concerts were cult events, particularly since he took several impermanent retirements. His comeback tours sold-out in hours.

Whatever the view of Horowitz, it is hard to argue his supremely poetic instincts, incredible color range, supernatural technique, and ability to build tension. So many of today’s virtuosos were inspired by the standards of Horowitz. I want to share a few of my favorite performances and hope you enjoy them.

This is a touching video of several of the greatest pianists (Argerich, Trifonov) of our time commenting on his art form. Check-out the audience in Moscow listening to his performance of Schumann:


Horowitz’s transcription of “Carmen Variations” is a tour de force:


This 1940 live performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 at Carnegie Hall, with the NY Phil, is a masterpiece. Check-out the cadenza around nine minutes into this audio file. I hope you listen to the whole thing though! Even with poor audio fidelity, you’ll get the idea.


Rachmaninov G-Minor Prelude:


I hope this brings some reminder of the beauty that surrounds us.



John Forsyte

John Forsyte
Pacific Symphony’s President and CEO



Pacific Symphony: At-Home-Together Online

Even though, as a public health precaution, Pacific Symphony has temporary suspended live concerts in Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Pacific Symphony will stay in touch with our audience online, offering up culture and entertainment.

Music Director Carl St.Clair will be recording a series of “Carl@Home” videos, sharing favorite YouTube videos, recordings and more.

Carmina clip

Our “Quarantine Clips” will offer highlights from Pacific Symphony concerts and recordings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Stay tuned to our social media channels for more online info from your Pacific Symphony. We’ll see you in Cyber-Space!

In the meantime, here is a listing of streaming music and culture for your online enjoyment …


berlin-philharmonie-1350490396Streaming Music, Opera and Theater

The Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall: The Berlin Philharmonic is offering free access for 30 days to their famous Digital Concert Hall. Just redeem the voucher code BERLINPHIL by March 31 to enjoy a rich library of great video streamed concert in high definition and with excellent sound. Each season, around 40 concerts are broadcasted live and they can also be viewed at a later date in the concert archive. The archive already contains hundreds of recordings with all the greatest artists of classical music. And there are also fascinating interviews, documentaries and bonus films.

Broadway and Beyond: Playbill magazine provides a list of online offerings about the Great White Way for those craving some lighter moments.

Boris Giltburg plays Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas: To celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year, previous Pacific Symphony guest artist Boris Giltburg will be learning and filming all 32 of the great composer’s piano sonatas over the course of 2020. Throughout the year, he’ll be writing about his experience. You can follow the entire project on his website linked above.

London’s Wigmore Hall wonderful video library of Wigmore Hall’s past live streamed events is now is free of charge!

The Metropolitan Opera: Currently, the Met is streaming opera performances with some of the world’s greatest opera stars from its archive every night for free. You can link to the performance from the front page of their website, linked above.

NPR Virtual Concerts: NPR Music has compiled a list of live audio and video streams from around the world, categorized by date and genre, with links out to streaming platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Some require registration, but most are free.

Social Media House Concerts: The Russian-German pianist Igor Levit is hosting daily “house concerts” from Berlin, via his Twitter profile, linked above.

#SongsOfComfort with Yo-Yo Ma: The incomparable Yo-Yo Ma is presenting an online series called #SongsOfComfort. As he says, “In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort.” He includes such pieces as the Sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3 and Dvorak’s “Going Home.”

Vienna State Opera Vienna State Opera is now free streaming its archives that hold one brilliant opera treasure after another.


moog-minimoog-model-d-korg-Kaossilatoand-app-freeFor the Music Enthusiast
Prefer to make your own music? For the first time, you can download free Moog and Korg synth apps to your smart phone or tablet! Let’s make some music.


TheLouvre101__HERO_iStock-1137775285Museum Virtual Tours

For the visual art lovers in our audience, we’re including a list of some of the best art galleries in the world that you can visit virtually. From Paris to New York to Amsterdam, you can see priceless works of art from the world’s most famous artists.

Louvre Museum, Paris

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam 

Uffizi Gallery, Florence Italy

People Magazine also offers a listing of 12 famous museums that offer virtual tours.


A Playlist of Canceled Concerts

Wind Ensemble

Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble

We are heartbroken that we have canceled or postponed our events in March due to the coronavirus outbreak. Read our official statement on Facebook here and visit our website to get the most up-to-date concert information

Chireh 3

Hafez and Shahram Nazeri

Along with our musicians and our wonderful patrons, our deepest sympathies are with the artists: Pink Martini, who brings so much energy to every show; our students with the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble (PSYWE) who have been practicing countless hours; Alexander Romanovsky, who flew out weeks early to rehearse the 10 different Beethoven pieces he was going to play; and our Nowruz headliners, Shahram Nazeri and Hafez Nazeri, who bring all the support of the Persian community to unite the world through music. And to all our fans, thank you for your support and understanding.

We have put together a playlists for both the classical concerts, including our PSYWE concert, and links to Pink Martini, Shahram Nazeri and Hafez Nazeri’s Spotify profiles as well.

We hope you enjoy the music that we wanted to present to you in our beloved Concert Hall in the safety and comfort of your own home – happy listening!

Celebrating Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas

Boris Giltburg is not only a world-class pianist – he was also a guest artist in our 17-18 season, performing Rachmaninoff’s incredibly demanding Piano Concerto No. 2.

Recently, we discussed his exciting birthday present to Beethoven: performing and recording all of the great composer’s 32 piano sonatas. You can find more information for this project on his website. Below, check out the first 4 that he’s released so far!