Let There Be Light!

A Grand Finale to Grand Season

For the final concert of the 2022-23 Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series, Music Director Carl St.Clair transformed the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall’s stunning acoustics into a “Cathedral of Sound” in a program that spanned five centuries and celebrated spirituality. The mystical Miserere mei, Deus by the Renaissance composer Gregorio Allegri was so popular the Vatican forbade it to be published (though a 14-year-old Mozart secretly transcribed it, having heard it just once). Pacific Chorale Artistic Director Robert Istad conducted the Chorale singing the Miserere a cappella. Then, St.Clair lead Richard Strauss’ eternal tone poem followed by the long-awaited Fiat Lux by Sir James MacMillan, whose moving music draws on his faith and heritage.

The world premiere performances and commissioning of MacMillan’s Fiat Lux were made possible by a generous grant from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson. The concert was generously sponsored by Fieldstead and Company and the National Endowment for the Arts. Pacific Symphony’s grand finale program received raves from Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times, who wrote: “St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony had their share of triumphs, particularly with the premieres of William Bolcom’s Canciones de Lorca and Philip Glass’ oratorio The Passion of Ramakrishna. Fiat Lux, which closed St.Clair’s 33rd season as the orchestra’s music director, takes second place to none.” You can read the entire review here.

Audience members also sang the praises of the concert:

  • “The whole was greater than the sum of the parts. Each of the pieces worked well together, and the orchestra and the chorale enhance each other.”
  • “We enjoyed seeing the composer and poet at our concert. That was a real treat to hear Carl St.Clair talk with them about the composition.”
  • “Spectacular concert from start to finish. Love the ‘a capella’ beginning. Couldn’t imagine anything better than the Strauss, and then beyond my imagining was the Fiat Lux.”
Let There Be Light!

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