Celebrate Lantern Festival with Pacific Symphony  

Photo by James Pan.

Even though the exact origin dates are unknown, it is said that the history of the Lantern Festival may go as far back as the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.). Traditionally observed on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, the festival marks the return of spring and reunion of family. This year, it will officially take place on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.  

On Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, join Pacific Symphony and the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center/Irvine Chinese School for the return of our in-person Lantern Festival. 

This free family-friendly event commemorates the end of the Lunar New Year celebration with music, dance, art making, riddles and food. Join us as the concert hall lobby becomes transformed for the festivities with floating lanterns and the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall is opened to the public for performances featuring local music and dance groups.   

Here’s a closer look at what you can expect.


LANTERN FESTIVAL (11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. PST):   

First Segment: UCI Dragon Dance Team, Pacific Symphony String Ensemble and Chinese Dance Company of Southern California  

Second Segment: Samulnori, Korean American Youth Performing Artists, Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles and Irvine Chinese Chorus  

Third Segment: New Orange County Children’s Choir, Viet Cam Dance (with Tawni Thanh Thảo Nguyễn) and South Coast Chinese Orchestra 

Admission is FREE, but tickets are required. Due to venue capacity, admission will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the course of the event. Though a ticket does not guarantee immediate admission, ticket holders will be given priority access. Be sure to print out all print-at-home tickets. To stay updated about our health and safety requirements, please use this link.  

In addition to performances, there will also be activities. Examples include a lantern installation, Lantern Decorating with Bowers Museum and a calligraphy station. While most of the activities will take place in the lobby at the concert hall, there may be some outside on the plaza as well. Activities start at 11 a.m. PST.


LITTLE LANTERN FESTIVAL (3:30 – 4:30 p.m. PST): Lion Dance, Chinese Folk Dance, Story of Lantern Festival, Wushu, Lion Dance Mask Demonstration, South Coast Chinese Drum Group and Lantern Parade 

This mini outdoor festival is particularly tailored for families with young children.

Have you ever been to one of our Lantern Festival events before? Are you joining us this year? Let us know in the comments below!

**Performances and activities are subject to change. Please check the website prior to your visit for updated information.

Celebrate the Year of the Tiger with Pacific Symphony  

Energetic, confident and determined are some of the words that can be used to describe those represented by the tiger. If you were born in 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 or 2010, you are a part of this group. Starting Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, those who observe Lunar New Year, will be celebrating the first new moon of the year for the next couple of weeks. This is an important time of year for many in several Asian communities around the world.  

On Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, join Pacific Symphony for our annual Lunar New Year concert. All audiences are welcome. It will be an evening that will blend Eastern and Western music and dance. Here’s a closer look at the program. 


Ron Banks, emcee 

Bei Bei, guzheng  

Fei-Fei, piano  

Yunah Lee, soprano  

Nicholas Preston, tenor  

Wendy Hua’s Violin Studio at Orange County Music and Dance (OCMD)  

Yaya Dance Academy – Yaya Zhang, artistic director  

Chinese Dance Company of Southern California by the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center 

American Feel Young Chorus – Sam Wei-Chi Sun, conductor  

Pacific Chorale – Robert Istad, artistic director 


Li Huanzhi: Spring Festival Overture  

Bei Bei: Fireworks & Spring Awakens  

Byrne: Main Title from The Last Emperor  

Viet Cuong: Thu Dieu (Fishing in Autumn)  

Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue  

Li Wenping: I Love China  

Dvorak: “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka  

Traditional: Kapoga (I Long to Go to My Hometown)  

Verdi: “Brindisi” from La Traviata  

Bernstein: “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide 

Swan Goose  

America the Beautiful 

This concert is generously sponsored by Charlie & Ling Zhang. Pacific Symphony will be led by Maestro Carl St.Clair. To learn more about the show, please click here. Are you joining us? Let us know in the comments below!  

Pacific Symphony Welcomes Cunard as its Official Cruise Line

Luxury cruise line Cunard and Pacific Symphony are embarking on a new partnership, with Cunard’s exclusive sponsorship of the organization’s premier Box Circle Club. 

As the official cruise line of the Pacific Symphony, Cunard’s support will enhance the organization’s mission to engage, inspire and serve Orange County through exceptional music performances, education and community programming. Just as the Pacific Symphony’s vision is to lead a classical music renaissance in the community through creativity and innovation, Cunard’s credo mirrors those core values by providing an elegant and distinctive ocean travel experience featuring the line’s renowned White Star Service, and providing guests unique special event opportunities.

Cunard has long supported and been passionate about classical music, featuring musical ensembles each year on flagship Queen Mary 2. Most notably is the much-anticipated, annual performances of Sir Anthony Inglis and the U.K.’s National Symphony Orchestra.

The partnership with Pacific Symphony provides Cunard a rare opportunity for west coast cruise and classical music enthusiasts to learn more about the line’s sailings in the region, as Cunard increases the fleet’s presence in North America; Queen Elizabeth will be sailing north through Los Angeles en route to Alaska in late May, followed by her second Alaska season commencing in early June 2022.

“We are elated to partner with the Pacific Symphony, a beloved, cultural gem in Orange County,” said Jamie Paiko, Vice President, Sales, Cunard North America. “Our guests are passionate about classical music and we hope to have the future opportunity of bringing the Symphony on board a voyage for everyone to enjoy. We are eager to introduce Pacific Symphony and their patrons to Cunard’s signature voyages, and are excited to support such an important organization in Southern California.”

“Pacific Symphony is delighted to welcome Cunard as the exclusive sponsor of our Box Circle Club, and we are gratified that they have joined us as the Symphony official cruise line. Cunard’s guests and Pacific Symphony’s audiences share much in common in their love for the very finest in art, culture and world-class experiences,” said John Forsyte, Pacific Symphony’s President & CEO.

Sundays at Soka with Pacific Symphony 

Image Description: Inside the Concert Hall at Soka Performing Arts Center.

Nestled on a beautiful hilltop at Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, the Soka Performing Arts Center is Pacific Symphony Chamber Orchestra’s musical home. Originally designed by master acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, Soka has hosted more than 500 performances since its dedication on May 27, 2011.  

Led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, Pacific Symphony Chamber Orchestra will make its return to Soka’s 1,032-seat Concert Hall on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. Program pieces are George Walker’s Lyric for Strings and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Serbia’s Artist of the Century, violinist Stefan Milenkovich as the soloist.  

The video below features Milenkovich performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with RTS Symphony Orchestra in 2017. Did you know that he plays a 1783 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin? 

To learn more about the upcoming show and to buy tickets, please click this link.  

Donor Honor Roll (Week Ending Dec. 4): Thank You!

Pacific Symphony patrons are the best! Our Donor Honor Roll gives us the opportunity to recognize and thank our patrons who recently contributed gifts to the Symphony. You may have seen some of these posts throughout the year on social media. 

This past week featured a special global event in which many of you participated – Giving Tuesday. We’re grateful for your participation in our record-breaking event raising over $100,000 in less than 24 hours! We think that’s pretty amazing. We also extend a very special thank you to cellist Andy Honea for his inspiring videos and Board Members Sam and Susan Anderson for their generous matching gift. 

Thank you for your continued support, everyone! We can’t do any of what we do without you. To learn how you can keep making a difference year-round, please use this link.  

The following names are listed in alphabetical order by last name:

Mr. and Mrs. Bob Abbott  

Mrs. Mary Ann Adams   

Mr. and Ms. Christopher T. Ahola   

Ms. Christine Alden   

Mr. Robert Apfelzweig   

Ms. Heather Arias de Cordoba   

Dr. AJ Arslancan   

Dr. Annelle Arthur   

Ms. Joye Atchinson   

Christopher Bank   

Ms. Sylvia L. Bartlett   

Pamela Blake   

Mr. and Ms. Andrew B. Borgona   

Dr. A G. Bowden  

Debrah Brittenham   

Mr. and Dr. Knox Brooks   

Ms. Alice Browne   

Ms. Patricia Buehnerkemper   

Ms. Enid Busser   

Ms. Cheryl L. Carlson   

Mrs. Miriam Carr   

Ms. Denise B. Chilcote   

Mr. and Ms. Shiyun Chung   

Ms. Eileen J. Cirillo   

Mrs. Elaine Clough and Mr. Lee Gordon   

Mr. and Mrs. Ron Cole   

Mr. Gordon Cowan   

Ann Creelman   

Mr. John Creigh   

Mr. Dennis M. Dart  

Ms. Jill Day   

Mr. Charles Dexter  

Dr. Walter Dietiker   

John and Mary Douglas   

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dow   

Mrs. Robin Fayette   

Dr. and Mrs. Michael J. Fine   

Mr. Gregory L. Foley   

Mr. and Dr. John C. Fossum   

Mrs. Yvonne Frank   

Mr. Norman Fricker   

Ms. Ellen K. Fujikawa   

Mr. Charles Gasper and Mrs. Rachel Forman   

Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Giblin   

Mr. and Mrs. H. Steven Gilbert   

Estate Gift of William J. Gillespie   

Ms. Alison M. Glik   

Ms. Marilyn J. Goldin   

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Goldsbrough   

Mrs. Esther A. Gyurik   

Mr. and Mrs. Peter L. Haaker   

Mr. Stephen Hayward   

Mr. And Mrs. Frederick Heinecke   

Gerald Herter   

Mrs. Lois Holdridge   

Sabrina Hsu  

Beherl Huang   

Ms. Elizabeth Hyland  

Ms. Vivien Ide  

Mr. Charles Janneck   

Ms. Sarah B. Jones   

Ms. Patricia Jorgensen   

Mr. Robert Kelley and Ms. Angela Wu   

Mr. and Mrs. William A. Klein   

Ms. Ellen Knopf   

Mr. Dudley Kohl   

Jonathan Krauss   

Wm Kroener  

John Lagourgue   

Mr. and Mrs. Michael R. Lawler Jr.   

Victor Lee   

Mr. and Ms. Brian W. Leecing   

Dr. and Mrs. Milton E. Legome   

Ms. Angela Leu   

Mr. and Mrs. Sam Liao  

Benjamin Lichtman   

Ms. LaNay M. Locher   

Mr. Mark F. Maltese   

Mrs. and Mrs. Shirley McManus  

Richard Meinhold   

Mr. Jason L. Miles   

Mr. Steven L. Mizera and Ms. Patricia Winnie   

Ms. Nanci Moreno   

Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth B. Neeld   

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Nelson   

Ms. Thuy N. Nguyen   

Ms. Joyce Y. Okazaki   

Dr. Howard Okin   

Ms. Fredricka A. Older   

Ms. Maureen Ong   

Mrs. Sarah Onheiber   

Mrs. Linda D. Owen   

Mr. Thomas M. Parker  

Ms. Yvette Pergola   

Ms. Ann Peterson   

Ms. Sharon E. Pfister   

Mr. Diego Pombo and Mrs. Teresa De Jong-Pombo   

Ms. Nancy Preston   

Mr. Paul A. Ramey   

Mrs. Lynn M. Rasmussen   

Dr. Sanford L. Ratner and Mrs. Hilary R. Davis  

Ms. Pam Rehwoldt   

Ms. Joann Rein  

Ms. Marie Resnick   

Ms. Winifred Rice  

Ms. Donnamarie Risse  

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Roddel   

Mr. Thomas B. Rogers and Ms. Sarah J. Anderson   

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Roth   

Ms. Martha Ryan   

Ho Yuchiu Sa  

Mr. Eric M. Saca  

Ms. Wendy Sacket   

Mrs. Eugenia Samarchyants   

Ms. Gloria Schlaepfer   

Mrs. Lorraine E. Schmidt   

Mr. David P. Schneider   

Mrs. Linda J. Schumacher   

Mr. Harold Schwartz  

Mr. and Mrs. Scott D. Seigel   

Mr. and Mrs. Craig Sengstock   

Philippus Seo   

Mr. Michael Shao   

Mr. Dennis P. Shirey   

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sliepka   

Ms. Barbara Sloate   

Mr. and Mrs. Michael G. Smith   

Mr. Alan Spalding   

Mrs. Beverly Spring   

Mr. Walter and Dr. Masami Stahr   

Ms. Tracy Steele   

Ms. Diane Stroebel   

Mr. and Mrs. Michael L. Surmanian   

Ms. CarolAnn Tassios   

Ms. Sally Taylor   

Ms. Michelle Teng  

Ms. Earleen Thomas   

Mr. Kenneth Thompson   

Ms. Shirley To   

Dr. Alina and Mr. Victor Tolan   

Mr. Mark Tomaino and Ms. Diana Martin   

Ms. Cynthia Trostler   

Mr. Robert W. Tygenhof and Dr. Felice L. Gersh   

Mr. Henry G. Viets   

Ms. Roberta Wall   

Mr. And Mrs. Tsong R. Wang  

Mr. Thomas Weber  

Mr. Elliot Williams   

Dr. and Dr. James Wong   

Mr. Richard Wordes and Ms. Amy Hitchock  

Mrs. Mary Ann C. Wotring   

Ms. Yunqi Zhou