Pacific Symphony is proud to announce that longtime supporters Ling and Charlie Zhang have donated to the orchestra the $6.16-million building that houses the organization’s administrative headquarters. Because of this donation, the Symphony projects it will save at least $150,000 per year on the 15,399-square-foot space. Located at 17620 Fitch, Irvine, the Class A office building was named for the couple in 2017.
Charlie Zhang commented: “On behalf of Ling and myself, we are pleased to be able to present this building as a gift to Pacific Symphony. The orchestra has meant so much to both of us, and we are proud to be able to support all the amazing artists of this wonderful orchestra.”
Pacific Symphony’s administrative offices are next to Orange County Music and Dance, an adjacent parcel that was previously gifted by the Zhangs to OCMD. They joined Doug Freeman in founding the leading non-profit community music and dance school. Symphony President John Forsyte sits on the board of directors of the school, helping create close coordination with the orchestra’s nationally recognized education and community engagement programs. Expanding upon the vision that Pacific Symphony’s administrative home would be a cultural center, Charlie and Ling Zhang welcomed two important cultural institutions to the Zhang Center: Arts Orange County and the Southern California Children’s Chorus.
Symphony President John Forstye continued: “Charlie Zhang is a visionary, both as a businessman and a philanthropist. With his wife Ling, they have transformed the landscape of Orange County philanthropy. While they do not seek attention for their gifts, they do hope that their philanthropy inspires others to join them. We are grateful for his generous support of Pacific Symphony and the building which bears his and his wife’s name. They have catalyzed dramatic change for our region and have given us all a gift that will transcend generations.”
Music Director Carl St.Clair recalled the Symphony’s early days when its offices were in a church basement in Santa Ana. “We have definitely come a long, long way. The reason for that is because we’ve never stopped dreaming. And Ling and Charlie’s presence here has shown us that there is no reason for Pacific Symphony to ever stop dreaming about our orchestra and its bright future. I want to personally express our deepest heartfelt gratitude for their exceptional generosity.”