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Leading a renaissance in the appreciation, accessibility and impact of classical music in OC. To learn more, please visit PacificSymphony.org.

What’s Happening Next Month: June 2022

The 2021-22 Season officially comes to a close this month. Thank you for joining us this season. We have loved sharing live experiences with you again. All performances will take place at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, CA this month. Here’s what’s going on. Until we meet again.

BLOCKBUSTER BROADWAY! • June 3-4 at 8 p.m. PDT

This was vocalist Chelle Denton’s video submission for Scott Coulter’s Give My Regards… A Competition Like No Other in 2020. Denton won the competition in 2021. You can read more about it here.

It’s a show-tune song and dance extravaganza! Celebrate The Phantom of the OperaLes Misérables, The Lion King, Waitress, West Side Story, Wicked, Carol King’s Beautiful and more in one thrilling, crowd-pleasing performance. The only thing better than spending an evening at a hit Broadway show is spending an evening with ALL of them. Jessica Hendy, Chelle Denton, Joshua Israel, Scott Coulter and John Boswell will join us in the second half.

Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman.

To learn more about the show, please click here.

CINDERELLA – OPERA FOR KIDS! • June 4, 2022 at 10 & 11:30 a.m. PDT

This enchanting rags-to-riches fairy-tale opera adapts Rossini’s sparkling work especially for young audiences. From start to finish, you’ll be swept away by show-stopping vocal fireworks, toe-tapping tunes, high-spirited comedy and colorful costumes — all leading up to a happily-ever-after grand finale!

Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Assistant Conductor Dr. Jacob Sustaita. This concert was rescheduled from Jan. 29 to June 4.

LOBBY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Join us before the 10 a.m. concert (starting at 9 a.m.) or after the 11:30 concert (starting at 12:15 p.m.) for fun activities in the concert hall lobbies, related to the theme of the opera and exploring the Cinderella story from around the world.

To learn more about the show, please click here.

BEETHOVEN’S PIANO CONCERTOS • June 9-11, 2022 at 8 p.m. PDT

Before concert cancellations began all across the arts world, Alexander Romanovsky was set to play the first of four incredible Beethoven-only programs in March 2020. Here he is performing the Cadenza of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. This very special all-Beethoven weekend will finally take place this month.

An all-Beethoven weekend – in celebration of the iconic composer’s 251th birthday – featuring all five piano concertos with the lavishly talented Alexander Romanovsky. A weekend two years in the making.

Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Maestro Carl St.Clair. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. PDT. The preview talk with Dr. Jacob Sustaita starts at 7 p.m. PDT. You can also listen to the podcast by Classical California KUSC’s Alan Chapman here.

To learn more about the show, please click here.

BEETHOVEN’S EMPEROR CONCERTO • June 12, 2022 at 3 p.m. PDT

Pianist Alexander Romanovsky. Photo by Daniil Rabovsky.

Pianist Alexander Romanovsky returns to the stage with one of Beethoven’s most beloved works—his Fifth Piano Concerto, “Emperor.” From sheer beauty to dazzling grandeur, the “Emperor” requires extreme virtuosity from its soloist, making it an ideal centerpiece in the hands of the talented Romanovsky.

Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Maestro Carl St.Clair. There will be no preview talk for this matinee performance. The concert will be performed without intermission.

To learn more about show, please click here.

MOZART & MAHLER • June 23-25, 2022 at 8 p.m. PDT

Awe is the only adjective to describe twin piano phenoms, Christina Naughton and Michelle Naughton; watch as they take Mozart’s rarely performed Concerto for Two Pianos to the stage. On the second half, Mahler’s popular Symphony No. 4 evokes memories of youthful innocence and rustic German countryside. We’re also excited to welcome the return of Soprano Cecilia Violetta López in the second half during Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.

Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Maestro Carl St.Clair. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. PDT.
The preview talk with Dr. Jacob Sustaita starts at 7 p.m. PDT. You can also listen to the podcast by Classical California KUSC’s Alan Chapman here. This program was originally scheduled for Jan. 6-8, 2022.

To learn more about the show, please click here.

MAHLER’S SYMPHONY NO. 4 • June 26, 2022 at 3 p.m. PDT

Composer Gustav Mahler.

Inspired by a Bavarian folk poem and a song he wrote, Gustav Mahler’s fourth symphony is an exploration of the idea of heaven from the perspective of a child. Come experience the sunniest of all his symphonies.

PRE-CONCERT MUSIC IN THE LOBBY
Chelsea Chaves (soprano) and Dr. Cheryl Lin Fielding (piano) will be performing songs by Gustav Mahler from 2:30-2:50 p.m. His love of vocal music led him to incorporate it into some of his greatest works, including his Symphony No. 4.

Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Maestro Carl St.Clair. Doors open at 2 p.m. PDT. There is no preview talk for this concert. The concert will be performed without intermission. This program was originally scheduled for Jan. 9.

To learn more about the show, please click here.

What show(s) are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below! Have a great summer, everyone.

The Impact of Giving

A special THANK YOU from Pacific Symphony!

As many orchestras across our nation celebrate a year of live concerts, here at Pacific Symphony, YOU are the celebration.

Whether you attended a concert, special event, volunteered, made a gift, donated tickets or a little bit of each, you made dreams come true.

From the orchestra members on stage to the tens of thousands of children and adults served in the community, you fulfilled dreams through your dedication to Pacific Symphony. Your support is an investment in education, the arts and the people of Orange County. In fact, your dedication has inspired renowned Orange County philanthropist and Pacific Symphony Board Member, Joann Leatherby, to match your next gift.

Between now and June 30, 2022, Joann will double your dream-making power, dollar for dollar, until we reach a cumulative total of $100,000. Your gift today doubles the opportunity for more dreams like the ones you’ve already made possible.

You made dreams come true for Orange County communities of all ages by supporting programs like the Pacific Symphony League, OperaFOCUS, Symphony 100, Heartstrings, arts-X-press, Family Musical Mornings, the Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles (PSYE), Strings for Generations, ClassAct and so much more. Your support of these programs places Pacific Symphony as a national leader in education and community engagement.

Through your support of Pacific Symphony’s OperaFOCUS, you made dreams come true for these talented young singers as they performed next to world-class opera star Kelebogile Besong during the 10th Anniversary performances of Otello.

Your support expanded Santa Ana Strings to include a new mentorship and coaching program for high school students.

Your support helped us serve 206 regional non-profits with 21 partnerships, enriching lives with wellness, education and healing to some of Orange County’s most diverse communities.

Your support covered financial assistance for most arts-X-press middle schoolers from 17 school districts.

Your support created the opportunity for PSYE to perform two world premiere compositions. Accolades like this attracted the famous Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University to invite two PSYE graduating seniors to apply for admission with substantial scholarships attached. Talk about a dream come true!

And, as we look towards our summer Symphony on the Go! and Symphony in the Cities concerts, your support brings Pacific Symphony to you, your family and your friends in your neighborhood and to non-profit partners such as Age-Well Senior Services and Orange County Rescue Mission.

Your dream-making power is a game-changer! Your investment ensures music and dreams will remain woven into the fabric of our Orange County communities for years to come.

Please, fund dreams with us.

Gratefully,

Grégory Pierre Cox, CFRE, CSPG

Vice President of Development & External Relations

Reflections: Verdi’s Otello

“Pacific Symphony Mounts a Surefire Production of Verdi’s Otello” — Voice of OC

For the 10th anniversary of Pacific Symphony’s opera initiative, Carl St.Clair conducted the orchestra, Pacific Chorale and a stellar cast of singers in Verdi’s greatest dramatic masterpiece, Otello. The audience cheered and critics raved.

VOICE OF OC

“It’s luxury casting to have a full symphony orchestra play this music and St.Clair and the Pacific musicians sounded ready for it…Positioned in the loft above the orchestra, the recently Grammy-winning Pacific Chorale gave a fit and trim account of the extensive parts for chorus…Tenor Carl Tanner reprised the title role that he sang at the Metropolitan Opera in a commanding performance…Baritone Stephen Powell clearly enjoyed singing Iago, not with a villainous twirling of mustaches or overplaying, but by savoring the words and phrases as if they were evil chocolate morsels…Making her debut in the role, soprano Kelebogile Besong provided a fragile and vulnerable account of the doomed Desdemona. Her tones shimmered, her phrases filigreed.” 

Classical Voice

A Powerhouse Otello…American tenor Carl Tanner gave the finest singing of the evening as the tragic moor Otello…Like the great Otellos of the past—Ramon Vinay, Jon Vickers, Placido Domingo—Tanner successfully portrayed Otello as a great warrior and a romantic hero who tragically falls victim to blind jealousy…The Pacific Chorale sang and acted magnificently in the Act 1 storm chorus and the campfire drinking chorus, as well as the Act 3 assembly scene.”  

Click here for more information on Pacific Symphony’s opera initiative, Opera FOCUS.

Opera FOCUS Dinner
1) Gary Good welcoming opera-lovers to the OperaFocus Dinner. 2) Concertmaster Dennis Kim plays “Meditation” from Thais by Massenet in honor of Paul Musco and Carlos Mollura. 3) Ellie and Mike Gordon. 4) Music Director Carl St.Clair and Dennis Kim. 5) Assistant Conductor Jacob Sustaita, Stage Director Robert Neu and Volunteer Sonia Levitin. 6) Drs. Hana and Francisco Ayala, Ruth Ann and John Evans, chairman of the board. 7) Tawny Nguyen, Robert Neu and Mark Nielsen


Opera Performance
1) The opera begins with a fierce storm, but Otello steers his boat safely into the harbor of Cyprus. 2) Celebration over the arrival of Otello. 3) Otello (Carl Tanner) greets his wife Desdemona (Kelebogile Besong). 4) Sadistic Iago (Stephen Powell) plants a seed of jealousy in Otello’s mind. 5) Emilia (Margaret Lattimore) counsels Desdemona. 6) Iago rejoices and proclaims his belief in a cruel God. 7) Desdemona prays. 8) Otello confronts Desdemona, while she proclaims her innocence. 9) Final bows

Photo Credits: Doug Gifford

Remembering Sam Anderson

From Sharecropper to Shareholder to Sharing with Others

Sam Anderson, a successful businessman, generous philanthropist and longtime supporter of Pacific Symphony, passed away in April at the age of 86. Born in the midst of the Great Depression in Smith County, Mississippi, his parents were sharecroppers who eventually purchased a small country store and moved into a modest house with no plumbing. He was six years old before he ever took a bath in a real bathtub. “This difficult beginning, watching my mother and father scrimping to provide, had a profound effect on my lifelong attitude toward finances,” Anderson said. “Throughout my life, I have tended to read restaurant menus from the right side and I have owned just three new automobiles.” 

Anderson’s mother died when he was nine years old. Young Sam lived with family members and friends while his father scraped out a living. As a teenager, he worked numerous jobs for little money, earning his way as a carhop, a grocery store stock boy and a construction worker. His grandparents offered to send him to Mississippi College. Many years later, Anderson said, “they gave a gift that would keep on giving.” 

Originally, Anderson wanted to become a doctor, but he left medical school after two years to pursue a career as a salesman in the pharmaceutical industry. He found he had a unique knack for sales and business, and he built a successful career over four decades while also investing wisely in real estate. Eventually his career led him and his family to relocate to Newport Beach. 

“Even though I later lived the American dream, the demons of the life I left behind often chase me. I still have shallowly repressed memories of my struggles between the ages of nine and 18, a period when I worked hard and was viewed by some in the community as a ragamuffin—a near orphan living a shiftless life. I was uncertain of any life beyond that of my father’s, who worked numerous jobs for minimal pay.”

Excerpt from Sam Anderson’s 2018 memoir, From the Cotton Patch to High Cotton 

Sam Anderson’s first wife, Mary Ann, died soon after the couple celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. He married Susan Smith Jenkins in 2001. The couple’s close-knit, blended family includes their three children and five grandchildren. Over the years, Sam and Susan have been generous supporters of Pacific Symphony. They were the co-chairs of the 2017-18 season opening night celebration. That successful event raised nearly $200,000 for the orchestra’s award-winning artistic and education programs. They have sponsored numerous Symphony performances and have been leading supporters of the orchestra’s Giving Tuesday campaigns, providing generous matching funds that inspired others to give.

Sam and Susan shared a simple desire, as Sam put it, “to save the world.” In addition to their generous support of Pacific Symphony, the couple has given their time and resources to multiple charitable organizations in California, Mississippi and in Africa, where they support a school in Tanzania.

Sam Anderson will be deeply missed and remembered fondly by the Pacific Symphony family.

Pacific Symphony Gala 2022

The Board of Directors of Pacific Symphony  With Event Co-Chairs Joann Leatherby, Pat McAuley and Judy Whitmore Invite You to Walk the Red Carpet at Our 2022 Gala 

JUNE 18, 2022
5:30 P.M. 

Potocki Center for the Arts World Cup Field
27301 La Paz Road, Misson Viejo, CA 92692 

Honoring Valerie and Hans Imhof for Outstanding Philanthropy and Leadership 

Featuring Entertainment by Pacific Symphony Musicians And the Big Band Sounds of JT & Friends 

The Symphony Gala is one of the most exciting and anticipated cultural events in Orange County.  Last year’s Gala raised more than $2 million to support the orchestra’s artistic and award-winning education programs. The Gala is not only a marvelously successful fundraiser, it is a “can’t miss” evening of entertainment, grand cuisine and dancing that the leaders of Orange County prioritize on their social calendars. 

This year’s Gala theme is A Night in Old Hollywood—a theme so vast that anyone can find an aspect for which to be passionate. Our evening will focus on the Hollywood films, trends and celebrities that graced the silver screens before 1950.   


A look back at the 2021 Gala.

Just Added To Pacific Symphony’s 2022-23 Pops Season: The Righteous Brothers

Photo Credit: The Righteous Brothers. Bucky Heard (L) and Bill Medley (R).

Pacific Symphony just added a special Valentine’s Day show with blue-eyed soul pioneers, The Righteous Brothers (Feb. 10-11, 2023), to the 2022-23 Pops Season led by Principal Pops Conductor Laureate Richard Kaufman and underwritten by the Sharon and Tom Malloy Family.  

The Righteous Brothers enjoyed a string of top-ten hits, including the most played song in radio history, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame duo of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, originally from Orange County, topped the charts for four decades. After Hatfield’s death in 2003, Bill Medley continued to perform to sold-out crowds around the world, but fans and friends pleaded with him to keep The Righteous Brothers alive. Medley said, “No one could ever take Bobby’s place, but when I caught Bucky Heard’s show it all came together—I found the right guy to help me recreate the magic.”

The Righteous Brothers concert experience features their biggest hits—“Lovin’ Feelin’,” “Soul & Inspiration,” “Unchained Melody,” “Rock and Roll Heaven,” Medley’s Grammy-winning Dirty Dancing theme “The Time of My Life” and much more, all backed by the lush Hollywood sound of Pacific Symphony. The Bill Medley/Bucky Heard pairing came as something of a happy accident. Medley said it just seemed right: “I’d been friends with Bucky for years, but when I caught his show he just killed me! The next day it hit me. That’s the guy, someone I could sing hard with, laugh hard with, love and respect—on and off stage. He fits The Righteous Brothers live performance show perfectly. And, we’ve even recorded some new material together.”

The addition of The Righteous Brothers to Pacific Symphony’s Pops Season completes this series of seven singular sensations, which also present the Season Special Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ in Concert (Oct. 28-29). The 2022-23 Pops Season officially begins Nov. 4-5 with a tribute to legendary film composer Maestro John Williams in honor of his 90th birthday. Five other blockbuster shows in the Pops series include renowned artists across jazz, pop, disco, Broadway and rock: The Manhattan Transfer, Kristin Chenoweth, Gloria Gaynor, The Music of The Rolling Stones and Renée Elise Goldsberry. The finale of the 2022-23 Pops Season will close June 9-10, 2023, with Hamilton: An American Musical alumna and Girls5eva star Renée Elise Goldsberry.

All concerts begin at 8 p.m. and take place at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, CA. Subscriptions for the seven-concert series are now available and start at $245. Single ticket sales begin in August and start at $35. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact our Patron Services team at (714) 755-5799, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit us online at PacificSymphony.org.

To learn more about the 2022-23 Pops Series and subscribe, please click here.

Programs, artists, prices and dates are subject to change.

What’s Happening Next Month: May 2022

May is right around the corner and that means we’re getting closer to the end of the 2021-22 season. What a journey it has been. Thank you for joining us through it all. From Paul Jacob’s solo organ recital (May 1) to Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble’s final concert of the 2021-22 season (May 23), here’s your lineup for May 2022.

PACIFIC SYMPHONY PERFORMS TICHELI AND BEETHOVEN WITH JENNIFER FRAUTSCHI | May 1, 2022 • 3 p.m.

Two-time GRAMMY nominee and Avery Fisher career grant recipient Jennifer Frautschi has garnered worldwide acclaim as a deeply expressive and musically adventurous violinist with impeccable technique and a wide-ranging repertoire. The program includes Frank Ticheli’s moving Rest, and Beethoven’s only concerto for one of the most popular instruments of his day: the violin.

This performance will take place at Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo. Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Maestro Carl St.Clair.

To learn more about the show and get tickets, please click here.

ORGAN RECITAL: PAUL JACOBS | May 1, 2022 • 7 p.m.

Pacific Symphony favorite and Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs makes his return at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall for a solo recital The program will feature works by John Weaver, J.S. Bach, Cesar Franck, Dudley Buck and Alexandre Guilmant. Enjoy image magnification on our big screens during the concert for a closer look at the organist! There is no Preview Talk for this performance. Doors open at 6 p.m.

To learn more about the show and get tickets, please click here.

RAVEL’S PIANO TRIO | May 8, 2022 • 3 p.m.

French Impressionism caps off this delightful afternoon with Ravel’s colorful and climatic piano trio. Before that, music by the Hungarian composer, Ernst von Dohnányi treats you to shifting chromatic tonality while Czech composer, Bohuslav Martinů, explores the virtuosity of the woodwinds. Join host and curator Orli Shaham for the final concert of the 2021-22 Café Ludwig chamber music series. Just in time for Mother’s Day. The event will also feature Concertmaster Dennis Kim, Principal Violist Meredith Crawford, Principal Cellist Warren Hagerty and Principal Flutist Benjamin Smolen. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers and mother figures out there! This concert will take place at the Samueli Theatre.

To learn more about the show and get tickets, please click here.

THE MUSIC OF ABBA | May 13-14, 2022 • 8 p.m.

Photo Credit: Arrival from Sweden

The world’s top ABBA tribute Arrival from Sweden joins Pacific Symphony in the second half to perform some of the most iconic songs ever written: “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” “Waterloo,” “S.O.S.,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” and so many more will have you dancing in the aisles and singing along. With hundreds of performances over the past two decades, The Music of ABBA has audiences all in agreement: This is the closest to ABBA you’ll ever get! Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Principal Pops Conductor Laureate Richard Kaufman.

To learn more about the show and get tickets, please click here.

PSYO: CELEBRATIONS IN SOUND | May 16, 2022 • 7 p.m.

Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra wraps up its 2021-22 season with a special program featuring performances by the two winners of PSYO’s annual concerto auditions in concertos by Shostakovich and Bruch, a much anticipated and truly thrilling event! The concert is capped by Respighi’s colorful depiction of the Pines of Rome. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Seating is general admission. They will be under the baton of Music Director Dr. Jacob Sustaita.

To learn more about the show and get tickets, please click here.

MOZART & SALIERI | May 19-21, 2022 • 8 p.m.

David Ivers as Antonio Salieri in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 production of Amadeus. (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2015.)

The incredible story of genius musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told in flashback by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri—now confined to an insane asylum. Adapted from the Tony Award-winning play and Oscar-winning movie Amadeus by Peter Shaffer, Mozart & Salieri includes a complete performance of Mozart’s Requiem—featuring the Grammy Award-winning Pacific ChoraleDon Giovanni Overture and other selections. South Coast Repertory Artistic Director David Ivers stars as Salieri. You can listen to the preview talk recorded by Classical California KUSC host Alan Chapman here. Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of Maestro Carl St.Clair.

To learn more about the show and get tickets, please click here.

MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES! | May 21, 2022 • 10 & 11:30 a.m.

Experience the magical music of Disney! Be our guest and enjoy your favorites from Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Star Wars. Come dressed as your favorite Disney or Star Wars character! This is a fun and fascinating 45-minute concert designed especially for children 5-11. Pacific Symphony will be under the baton of assistant conductor, Dr. Jacob Sustaita.

To learn more about the show and get tickets, please click here.

MOZART’S REQUIEM | May 22, 2022 • 3 p.m.

Maestro Carl St.Clair and David Ivers, actor and artistic director at South Coast Repertory, explore Mozart’s “Requiem” — one of the most enigmatic pieces ever composed, mainly due to the myths and controversies surrounding it. Mozart’s “Requiem,” which was left unfinished at the time of the composer’s death, now enjoys an elevated status as one of the most magnificent achievements in sacred music. Featuring the Grammy Award-winning Pacific Chorale. Doors open at 2 p.m. There is no preview talk for this performance.

To learn more about the show and get tickets, please click here.

PSYWE: FOR THE PEOPLE | May 23, 2022 • 7 p.m.

Wrapping up their 2021-22 season, Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble presents a program of soaring beauty and quirky wit, including the world premiere of Steven Mahpar’s Simurgh, and Giovanni Santos’ I Dream Awake. They will be under the baton of Music Director Dr. Gregory X. Whitmore. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Seating is general admission.

To learn more about the show and get tickets, please click here.

What show are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments!


 

Orli Shaham Comments On This Season’s Final Café Ludwig Program

On May 8, we’ll be performing the Fantasie for Flute and Piano by Philippe Gaubert and a flute movement from Martinu’s Sextet, the Serenade for String Trio by Ernst von Dohnanyi, and we’ll wrap up the program with the fabulous Piano Trio by Maurice Ravel.

I love all the players on this program, as always: Ben Smolen, Dennis Kim, Meredith Crawford and Warren Hagerty. I enjoy this combination of Czech and French music that will “speak” to each other in this program. There’s a lot of intimate music making here, with small forces in each of the pieces. It’s a lovely way to end our Cafe Ludwig season, with these duos and trios, displaying the deep personal connections which we all have and which we’re all so grateful for.

The Ravel Piano Trio is one of my absolute favorite pieces of chamber music, so I’m particularly excited to play it with Dennis Kim and Warren Hagerty. It’s so perfectly thought out, so delicate, so full of imagination, and demands so much of each of the players. That’s one of the reasons I thought this is a perfect setting for it. Dennis and Warren and I have established a wonderful rapport together, and we’ve tackled chamber music in all sorts of contexts by now, and we’ve gotten to know each other well as players. We’re excited to come together as a trio and play a piece like this, which requires such cohesion among the players. It asks us to set a scene, without letting any part of that scene go untouched. It was the final piece that he wrote before heading out to the front, as a volunteer soldier for World War I. It was particularly important to him to make sure it was well edited and that everything was in place because he had a palpable sense that it might end up being his last piece. It didn’t, but he thought of it that way. In many ways, it brought his level of composition to an entirely different place than where it had been before, with that awareness that it might be his final statement. ~ Orli Shaham, Curator and Host of Café Ludwig

To learn more about the show, please click here.

Coming Soon: Mozart & Salieri

Photo by Karl Hugh. Utah Shakespeare Festival 2015.

Pacific Symphony audiences will enjoy Mozart & Salieri, a creative collaboration between South Coast Repertory (SCR), Pacific Chorale and the Symphony, May 19-21, 2022.

Adapted from the Tony Award-winning play and Oscar-winning movie Amadeus by Peter Shaffer, Mozart & Salieri includes a complete performance of Mozart’s Requiem, Don Giovanni Overture and other selections. The incredible story of genius musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is told in flashback by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri—now confined to an insane asylum. SCR Artistic Director David Ivers stars as Salieri. James Sullivan, who conducted Ivers when he appeared as Salieri in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 production of Amadeus, is directing this production as well. He wrote a director’s note sharing his thoughts about the program.

Director’s Note

“Mozart is the expression of eternal truth.” The renowned conductor Josef Krips said this, in an interview recorded in 1964. “Beethoven maybe reaches heaven, but Mozart comes from there…. What he wrote was written for Eternity.”

The Antonio Salieri of Peter Shaffer’s great play Amadeus could hardly disagree. What else could explain this astounding talent? But when Wolfgang Mozart blazed comet-like across the firmament of the 18th-century European sky and landed with ground-shaking force in Salieri’s Vienna, Antonio perhaps could only seethe with envy—and plot an upstart rival’s demise. Mozart’s offense was essentially nothing less than his own breathtaking brilliance. Salieri can see himself as nothing more than a middling mediocrity. Envy becomes treachery. Such is the story of Amadeus that is excerpted in this performance with the mighty presence of the Pacific Symphony as led by Carl St. Clair utterly enveloping David Ivers’ Antonio Salieri with the sublime music that is “of heaven.”

But is the story true? We can never know. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in deep poverty and was buried – no one knows just where—in a pauper’s grave. Mozart—divinely inspired Mozart— failed to gain in Vienna the patronage he so desperately sought. Salieri, competent but unremarkable Salieri, prospered there; the same Salieri who held several influential music posts at the Viennese Court, the same Salieri who certainly could have lifted young Mozart into a position of employment, if not prominence. That we know. But whispers, gossip, and then legend had it that Salieri literally poisoned Mozart—the scandalously sensational tale getting its boost from an 1830 drama by Alexander Pushkin—and furthered by Mozart and Salieri, an 1890s Rimsky-Korsakov opera based on the Pushkin tragedy of treachery. And then, of course, came Peter Shaffer’s international dramatic sensation, later the Oscar-winning film, Amadeus. But whatever happened, if any of this perfidy did, seems almost inconsequential to what is popularly believed. According to whisper, gossip, and legend Antonio Salieri stands in the villainous company of the Borgias, of Richard III, of Lady Macbeth.

There is one stirring thought to contemplate, a poignance that could surely have been the case for Salieri; and that, the agony of encountering the very brilliance he so desperately prayed to have in himself. Salieri’s own skills were in fact considerable. He must have easily heard and understood that Mozart was a miracle beyond explanation, a genius not of this earthly realm but of heaven itself. Amadeus. The sublime beauty of the music may have broken his heart.

It is an extraordinary privilege and pleasure to work on this project, especially with my longtime friend, David Ivers of South Coast Rep, and a new friend, Carl St. Clair of Pacific Symphony. And, of course, and especially this magnificent orchestra. To watch and to hear as these heavenly threads of sound surround and suffuse Salieri’s mind, heart and soul is a rare experience and true delight. With full orchestral force, it is—as Josef Krips had said—Eternal Truth told in the dramatic and heard in transcendence. 

—J.R. Sullivan

For more information about Mozart & Salieri or to buy tickets, please click here.

Pacific Symphony Announces 2022-23 Pops Season

Pacific Symphony announces its highly anticipated 2022-23 Pops Season led by Principal Pops Conductor Laureate Richard Kaufman and underwritten by the Sharon and Tom Malloy Family.  

As a Season Special, Pacific Symphony will perform Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ in Concert, Oct. 28-29 in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The concert will feature John Jesensky conducting Pacific Symphony in performing live, to picture, every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the entire film in high-definition on a 40-foot screen while hearing Pacific Symphony perform John Williams’ unforgettable score live.

The 2022-23 Pops Season officially begins Nov. 4-5, 2022, with a tribute to legendary film composer Maestro John Williams in honor of his 90th birthday. Five other blockbuster shows in the Pops series include renowned artists across jazz, pop, disco, Broadway and rock: The Manhattan Transfer, Kristin Chenoweth, Gloria Gaynor, The Music of The Rolling Stones and Renée Elise Goldsberry. The finale of the 2022-23 Pops Season will close June 9-10, 2023, with Hamilton: An American Musical alumna and Girls5eva star Renée Elise Goldsberry. One additional concert to be announced

All concerts begin at 8 p.m. and take place at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, CA. Subscriptions for the seven-concert series are now available and start at $245. Single ticket sales begin in August and start at $35. Lobby doors open approximately one hour before curtain. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact our Patron Services team at (714) 755-5799, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or learn more at PacificSymphony.org.

Programs, artists, prices and dates are subject to change.

PACIFIC SYMPHONY 2022-23 POPS SEASON

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE™ IN CONCERT (Season Special)
Oct. 28 • 8 p.m.; Oct. 29 • 3 & 8 p.m.
John Jesensky, conductor

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ Harry Potter learns on his 11th birthday that he is the orphaned son of two wizards and possesses magical powers of his own. At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy, he leans the high-flying sport of Quidditch and plays a ‘live’ chess game en route to facing a Dark Wizard bent on destroying him.

Relive the film that started it all. Watch the wand choose the wizard, a troll run amok and magic mirrors in high-definition while Pacific Symphony performs John Williams’ iconic score. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime event as Harry, Ron, Hermione and all your favorite characters return to the screen and enchant the world all over again.

WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s22)

JOHN WILLIAMS: A 90th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Nov. 4-5 • 8 p.m.
Richard Kaufman, conductor 

Pacific Symphony’s history wouldn’t be the same without Maestro John Williams. After all, it was Williams who encouraged his Boston Symphony colleague Carl St.Clair to apply for the music director position opening at Pacific Symphony after a trip in the late 1980s. The rest as they say, is history. The music of John Williams has transported us beyond our imagination. To new worlds. Through heart-pounding adventures. Be there as Pacific Symphony performs all your John Williams favorites: Superman, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, and of course, Star Wars. The force is with you for this 90th birthday celebration of cinema’s symphonic master.

HOLIDAY POPS WITH THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER
Dec. 16-17 • 8 p.m.
Evan Roider, conductor

Warmth, joy and magic are only some of the words that can be used to describe the holiday season. Those are also the same words that can be used to describe jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer’s The Christmas Album and An Acapella Christmas albums. Founded by Tim Hauser in 1969, the group has gone on to receive both critical praise and commercial success ever since. Both holiday-themed albums include standards such as “Happy Holiday,” “Let It Snow,” “Christmas Time Is Here,” “Jingle Bells” and more. Celebrate the season with family and friends with Pacific Symphony in the holiday-decked Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Sparkling classics and favorites for the season—even a visit from Santa!

KRISTIN CHENOWETH
Mar. 10-11, 2023 • 8 p.m.
Mary-Mitchell Campbell, conductor

You may know her as Sally Brown from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Glinda the Good Witch from Wicked or Mildred Layton from Apple TV+’s Schmigadoon! but Emmy and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth also has a rival solo career and has become a concert hall favorite. Her latest album, For the Girls, was released in 2019 and features hits such as “Desperado,” “The Man That Got Away” and “It Doesn’t Matter Any More.” Kristin Chenoweth joins Pacific Symphony for this spectacular concert of classic songs of love and empowerment. Entertainment Weekly raves: “her set-list spans so many different genres, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

GLORIA GAYNOR – THE QUEEN OF DISCO
Apr. 14-15, 2023 • 8 p.m.
Sarah Hicks, conductor

There is no doubt that Grammy-award winner and Dance Music Hall of Famer Gloria Gaynor is one of disco’s greatest icons. Before she became a solo artist, Gaynor started singing with the Soul Satisfiers in the 1960s. It wasn’t until the 70s when she really began doing things on her own. Since the release of her first studio album Never Can Say Goodbye in 1975, she has gone on to record more than 15 studio albums. Her latest album, Testimony, was released in 2019. She also won the first and only Grammy for Best Disco Recording for “I Will Survive” in 1980.

THE MUSIC OF THE ROLLING STONES
May 5-6, 2023 • 8 p.m.
Enrico Lopez-Yañez, conductor

Since their first live production of classic rock music with orchestra in 1995, Windborne Productions, Inc. have gone on to create several memorable tribute shows. The Music of the Rolling Stones features Mick Adams on lead vocals. Let’s spend the night together, when Pacific Symphony, backed by a full rock band, presents “The Music of the Rolling Stones.” A celebration of nearly 60 years of Stone’s hits. It’s a gas, gas, gas!

RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY
June 9-10, 2023 • 8 p.m.
Richard Kaufman, conductor

Drama Desk and Tony Award winner Renée Elise Goldsberry made her debut as Nala in Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway and was the last Mimi in Jonathan Larson’s Rent, but it was her role as Angelica Schuyler in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical that recently made her become a household name. Principal Pops Conductor Laureate Richard Kaufman leads Goldsberry and the Symphony for an evening of renditions of some of her favorite songs and maybe even a few selections from Hamilton! Hear her golden voice fill the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in a collection of showstoppers as only she can sing them.