The musicians of Pacific Symphony and I have shared an extraordinary 33-year journey, and so it is with deeply felt appreciation that I share that the Board of Directors and I have come to agreement on a two-year extension of my contract for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons, with an option for additional extensions. I am pleased to reaffirm my commitment to Pacific Symphony and to express how honored I am that the Board has extended my contract for two seasons, and that I will remain music director through 2023-24, if not longer.
In light of this exciting new contract extension and after much soul searching over the past several months, I have asked our Board Chair John Evans to begin a succession plan and to commence a search for my successor. Until the Symphony secures a successor who will build upon our artistic achievements and successes, I am committed to continue as music director. There is no specific timetable, and this will afford the Board, musicians, and staff the appropriate opportunity to assess potential candidates allowing for a seamless transition.
It is a great privilege to have worked alongside such an extraordinary group of professional musicians, artists, and friends, who comprise the members of Pacific Symphony. Our collaboration for 33 years continues to be inspiring, and I feel the embrace of their partnership, love, and commitment at every concert. Their passion for music-making and striving for excellence is a constant inspiration. I count our long musical relationship among the greatest blessings of my life and career.
I am grateful to you—our loyal audiences, subscribers, and donors who have supported and trusted me as the Symphony’s musical leader throughout my long tenure. I have felt the warmth from this community—my community—that I will continue to treasure. I look forward to seeing you in the audience this season and in the coming years ahead.
I remain committed to Pacific Symphony, and Susan and I will do everything we can to assure the success of our beloved and world-class Pacific Symphony.
When tragedy strikes, we often turn to each other and lean into things that are meaningful—that give us emotional strength, depth, and significance. It’s on this somber day that we honor the 3,000 lives lost in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and we honor the courage of the brave individuals who put themselves in harm’s way to save people they never knew.
Music has magical, healing powers and from this horrendous tragedy came some incredible music written in tribute. Below are three inspirational pieces written by composers who were in NY when the attacks happened—and as Victor Hugo so astutely said, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words.”
Spared Howard Goodall, composer
“On 11th September 2001, I was in New York filming for my series Howard Goodall’s Great Dates, walking down 5th Avenue to meet the crew at an arranged rendezvous in Battery Park. I had come parallel to Washington Square when, with my disbelieving eyes (and those of the millions who witnessed it on TV news reports) I watched the catastrophe of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center at firsthand. I stood in the street as the second tower collapsed in front of me and as the tidal wave of dust rushed towards and through me. I tried (and failed) to contact my family in London (Manhattan’s phone masts had come down with the twin towers) to tell them I was safe and alive. It was a further agonizing three hours before calls to the UK were possible. We were cut off from the world in central Manhattan, the island sealed by the FBI and all flights grounded, unable to return home for nearly a week, woken nightly and noisily evacuated onto the street in a series of (understandably) jittery false bomb alarms. That day changed all of our lives, and I knew one day I would want to compose something to come to terms with my feelings about being witness to its catastrophic events.” Howard Goodall, in an interview with Classic FM
A Hymn for the Lost and the Living Eric Ewazen, composer
“On September 11, 2001, I was teaching my music theory class at the Juilliard School when we were notified of the catastrophe that was occurring several miles south of us in Manhattan. Gathering around a radio in the school’s library, we heard the events unfold in shock and disbelief. Afterwards, walking up Broadway on the sun-filled day, the street was full of silent people, all quickly heading to their homes. During the next several days, our great city became a landscape of empty streets and impromptu, heartbreaking memorials mourning our lost citizens, friends and family. But then on Friday, a few days later, the city seemed to have been transformed. On this evening, walking up Broadway, I saw multitudes of people holding candles, singing songs, and gathering in front of those memorials, paying tribute to the lost, becoming a community of citizens of this city, of this country and of this world, leaning on each other for strength and support. A Hymn for the Lost and the Living portrays those painful days following September 11th, days of supreme sadness. It is intended to be a memorial for those lost souls, gone from this life, but who are forever treasured in our memories.” Eric Ewazen
A Hymn for the Lost and the Living was commissioned by and is dedicated to the US Air Force Heritage of America Band, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, Major Larry H. Lang, Director.
Michael Gordon, one of the co-founders of the new music collective Bang on a Can, [wrote] a September 11 piece, The Sad Park. He found inspiration amid an unlikely group of commentators—the 3- and 4-year-olds who attended a Lower Manhattan preschool with his son after September 11.
“The children would be sitting around doing what they normally do, and then all of a sudden one of them would burst out something about 9/11, and the others would start talking,” Gordon says. “They were in there building things. I remember I would walk in and they would have rebuilt the twin towers.”
When Gordon learned his son’s teacher had been taping the children’s comments, he was fascinated. Gordon made a digital copy of one of the cassettes, and proceeded to let it sit on his desk for several years. He says, “I used to look at it, and I was like, ‘What am I going to do with this?'” Gradually, Gordon found that the short, song-like phrases of the preschoolers packed immense power and emotion. And that’s when music started to take shape in his head—he would manipulate the children’s voices and incorporate them into a piece for the Kronos Quartet.
Gordon also found inspiration in what happened to him and his family that sunny September 11 morning. After walking his daughter to kindergarten at P.S. 234, two blocks north of the World Trade Center, he was startled by a jet. He recalls, “I was just hanging out in the courtyard of the school with the other parents, and basically looked up and saw this very low-flying plane. And then, boom. Someone yells out, ‘The plane just hit the tower.’ I walked into my daughter’s class, told the teacher and picked up my daughter, and we left and walked north up Greenwich Street to our house.”
Gordon says that as the composer, he needed to just disappear when it came to composing The Sad Park. He wanted to let the emotion of the children’s voices have room to breathe. He also didn’t want the music to embody any big, universal statement.
“It’s not political,” Gordon says. “This actually happened to me and my family and my child, and this in a sense was just trying to grab on to a tiny bit of that moment and leave it as a document.”
Did you know that September is both Classical Music MonthandNational Piano Month? Now you have two powerful reasons to celebrate! Both month-long holidays were proclaimed in the early 1990s. National Piano Month was first named in 1991 by the National Piano Foundation. It’s an opportunity to honor pianists, piano makers, and piano music enthusiasts everywhere. In 1994, President Bill Clinton declared every September as Classical Music Month. It is an eloquently written proclamation and worth reading in its entirety.
Proclamation 6716—Classical Music Month, 1994
By the President of the United States of America
In the symphony halls of our great cities across America, in the community centers of our small towns, on radio and in recordings, a note is played that began centuries ago and resounds to this day. At the heart of classical music is continuity and tradition. What was heard in a Vienna opera house was heard again in a colonial theater in Charleston, South Carolina, was echoed at the inauguration of President Lincoln, was repeated in turn-of-the-century Chicago, and is played again today by a range of musicians from the most skilled of virtuosos to the youngest student struggling with the complexities of the violin.
Classical music is a celebration of artistic excellence. Great art endures through the ages, and in the United States we have embraced that great music and incorporated it into the American experience. Our best art reflects our Nation’s spirit—that mixture of discipline and improvisation, the combination of strong individual voices working together at the same time, the bravado, the inventiveness, the dynamism of the American character. Classical music plays in harmony with that energy and spirit to become reinvigorated and reinvented with each new orchestra or chamber group, with every performance that rings out new and fresh.
This month we exalt the many talented composers, conductors, and musicians who bring classical music to our ears. These artists carry on a great tradition of musical achievement, and we are proud of their outstanding accomplishments. Whether in new American works or in the masterpieces of the great composers of old, music is a unifying force in our world, bringing people together across vast cultural and geographical divisions. Classical music speaks both to the mind and to the heart, giving us something to think about as well as to experience.
The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 239, has designated September 1994 as “Classical Music Month,” and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month.
To mark both National Classical Music Month and National Piano Month, we’re offering you the opportunity to enjoy opening weekend’s Beethoven & Boléro concert at 50% off. When you order tickets online for Sept. 22, 23, or 24, just use promo code “Celebrate,” and the 50% discount will be applied to your order.
Watch the Pacific Overtures blog and our social media channels all month for ideas on ways to make the most of these two month-long celebrations!
Welcome to what will surely be another exciting Pacific Symphony season at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, a true acoustic gem we are proud to call our home. Once again, we are deeply indebted to the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family for their extraordinary support of the Classical series. Through their tremendous philanthropic commitment, the orchestra has been able to perform the greatest masterworks, engage leading artists, and commission new American works. They are the first family of classical music in Orange County, and the musicians, Board, and I are truly grateful to them.
For our special pre-season concert, we welcome back our dear friend Lang Lang. He is a brilliant artist, and he performs Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No 2 on an all-French program that features music of Satie and Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition. For this concert we will be projecting on the large screen above the orchestra stunning new visuals for Mussorgsky’s virtuoso showpiece in a unique collaboration with our gifted colleagues at Orange County Museum of Art.
With the 2022-23 season, Pacific Symphony is entering a new era of discovery, exploring new musical experiences to share with our audiences. We look forward to introducing you to exciting new voices and music from around the world. Opening night will present a work by Viet Cuong, our new composer-in-residence. I could also call him an artist-in-residence because he will be contributing to our musical lives in so many ways. And, as a Vietnamese American, he will help us to engage in new cultural conversations with Orange County’s Vietnamese community, the largest in the world outside of Vietnam itself.
Complementing our incredibly exciting season, we’ve created many new and exhilarating musical encounters for you to experience. We are pleased to share with you the music of women composers from around the world: Mexico’s Gabriela Ortiz, the United Kingdom’s Anna Clyne, and Brazil’s Clarice Assad. The international surprises continue all season long, including guitarist Miloš from Montenegro, who will perform the work that could be considered Spain’s greatest export, Rodrigo’s famous Concierto de Aranjuez. We’ll have an exciting piece from the Polish film composer Wojciech Kilar and even music from 1920s France.
I think of this season as a multicultural mosaic of music, and I know you will enjoy it.
Thank you to the 9,000 audience members who joined us for our Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert live-to-film event on Saturday, Aug. 20. Thank you to all our costuming groups and cosplayers for coming as well. Were you able to meet any of them? The Force was definitely with us. We hope you had a great time. Here’s a brief recap of what happened.
At the Aug. 9 Irvine City Council meeting, Mayor Farrah N. Khan and members of the Irvine City Council made a formal proclamation honoring Pacific Symphony for its 35 years of service to the City of Irvine. The Symphony’s service began with the orchestra’s first concert at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre during the summer of 1987. The summer concerts have continued since and are currently at Irvine’s FivePoint Amphitheatre.
The Mayor listed the creative contributions Pacific Symphony has made to the quality of life in the City of Irvine over the past 35 years. Those efforts included:
Offering free Symphony in the Cities concerts at Irvine city parks as well as providing the Symphony on the Go! community concert series in Irvine; and
Engaging middle and high school student musicians from the City of Irvine through the Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles program and arts-X-press summer arts camp at Concordia University; and
Establishing a partnership with Irvine Chinese School/South Coast Chinese Cultural Center, which together have presented eight years of Lantern Festivals, reaching tens of thousands of community members, and by offering multigenerational learning through parent-student orchestra called Strings for Generations; and
Providing thousands of free tickets and bus transportation through its Heartstrings community service program, including Irvine-based agencies Alzheimer’s Association OC, Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), and Working Wardrobes; plus free tickets for Orange County veterans, military personnel, and first responders; and
Providing musical concerts and enlightening experiences presented at the Irvine Barclay Theatre, including the Langston Hughes Project in Feb. 2022; and
Relocating the Symphony’s administrative center to Irvine and serving as a cultural ambassador, representing the City of Irvine over the years at Carnegie Hall in New York, and on tours across Europe and China.
After enumerating the Symphony’s many initiatives benefiting the City of Irvine, Mayor Khan proclaimed June 28, 2022 as “Pacific Symphony Day” in celebration of 35 years of service to the City of Irvine, and to encourage all to recognize the contributions of Pacific Symphony in improving and enriching the community.
After the presentation, President and CEO of Pacific Symphony John Forsyte recognized the City Council and staff, as well as the Board of Directors of Pacific Symphony for their encouragement and support. In a typical year, the Symphony invests more than $250,000 in activities and initiatives that engage Irvine residents.
On Sunday, August 14 at Mike Ward Park, Pacific Symphony and Music Director Carl St.Clair will present a free, family-friendly Symphony in the Cities concert with educational activities commencing at 5:30 p.m. and the concert at 7:00 p.m. The concert is generously supported by the City of Irvine.
Pacific Symphony teamed with Performances Magazine to bring all summer concert program books online and easily accessible through your mobile device.
This convenient new way to view the concert information brings you front row and center for such incredible performances as Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert and Tchaikovsky Spectacular at FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, as well as our free Symphony in the Cities concerts in Orange, Irvine, and Mission Viejo.
Each digital program book underlines essential information such as parking, venue policies, concert start times and locations, highlights guest artists, notes about each performance, links to purchase tickets to upcoming shows, and other important information from Pacific Symphony.
To view the program book at each concert, simply text PS to 55741 for a unique link.
When you register on Pacific Symphony’s digital hub between August 1 and October 15, you are automatically entered to win a pair of season tickets to the 2022-23 Pacific Symphony Pops Season, which kicks off November 4 & 5 with John Williams: A 90th Birthday Celebration at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.
Each summer, a grateful Pacific Symphony says thank you to its community by throwing a big (free!) musical party with some of its Orange County neighbors. For this year’s “Symphony in the Cities,” the orchestra makes appearances in the cities of Orange, Mission Viejo, and Irvine, where Music Director Carl St.Clair has designed an evening of people-pleasing favorites: a delightful mix of classical and popular music and patriotic tunes. From classical masterpieces by Tchaikovsky and Rossini and rousing tunes by John Philip Sousa to songs from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” plus, activities for children and families—it’s a perfect way to spend a balmy summer evening. Families are encouraged to bring picnics, blankets, and chairs and arrive early for the Symphony’s Musical Playground and city festivities, prior to kicking back for a little music under the magnificent OC sky.
“I think I can safely speak for all of us at Pacific Symphony when I say that there is no time of year we enjoy more than summer!” says Maestro St.Clair. “Living in beautiful Orange County, we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to head outdoors for our ‘Symphony in the Cities’ concert series and spend time with people we might not otherwise have the chance to meet. We’re grateful to this year’s wonderful host cities of Mission Viejo and Irvine and to the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University, as well as all the fantastic individuals who work so hard to make these concerts an enjoyable experience for all.”
This summer’s “Symphony in the Cities” concerts take place on: Sun., Aug. 7 in Orange at the Aitken Arts Plaza at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University; Sat., Aug. 13 in Mission Viejo on “The Village Green” at Oso Viejo Community Park; and Sun., Aug. 14, in Irvine at Mike Ward Community Park Woodbridge.
In addition to the concerts, which all start at 7 p.m., the City of Mission Viejo hosts its “Prelude in the Park” at 4 p.m. Other pre-concert entertainment, including the Symphony’s Musical Playground—featuring hands-on activities including a drum circle and creating a musical craft—begins at 4 p.m. in Mission Viejo, and 5:30 p.m. in Irvine and at the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University. Plus, children and their parents won’t want to miss the always-popular conducting clinic led by the Maestro himself. All children who participate in the clinic are invited to join St.Clair in front of the stage during the concert to help him conduct Sousa’s “Hands Across the Sea.”
Children and families are also invited to Ask the Orchestra, by emailing questions by Aug. 1 to AskTheOrchestra@PacificSymphony.org. Maestro St.Clair will answer selected questions from the stage during the concerts.
“One of my greatest passions is sharing my love of music with others, so every summer I am excited to bring Pacific Symphony out into the community, where it can touch the hearts of more people than ever,” says Maestro St.Clair. “This year’s program truly has something for everyone. And I most especially look forward to the children who help me conduct during the concert!”
“Pacific Symphony is thankful to the cities of Mission Viejo and Irvine, as well as the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University, who have provided extra support and ensured that Symphony in the Cities remains a part of their communities this year,” says Pacific Symphony President John Forsyte. “Because of them, we are able to offer high-quality music in outdoor settings to people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to hear this great music and orchestra.”
SYMPHONY IN THE CITIES LOCATIONS
Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University
Sun., Aug. 7 • 7 p.m.
5:30 p.m.—Family-friendly pre-concert activities
To register to attend this free concert, go to http://www.MuscoCenter.org Aitken Arts Plaza at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University
One University Drive, Orange
This performance is supported in large part by Chapman University
MISSION VIEJO Sat., Aug. 13 • 7 p.m.
4 p.m.—Prelude in the Park with family-friendly pre-concert activities
Oso Viejo Community Park on the Village Green 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo
This performance is supported in large part by the City of Mission Viejo.
IRVINE Sun., Aug. 14 • 7 p.m.
5:30 p.m.—Family-friendly pre-concert activities
Mike Ward Community Park Woodbridge
20 Lake Road, Irvine
This performance is supported in large part by the City of Irvine.
ARTISTS: Carl St.Clair, Conductor Rich Capparela, Host Alena Hove, Violin Chelsea Chavez, Soprano Nicolas Preston, Tenor Pacific Symphony
PROGRAM SMITH: “The Star-Spangled Banner” ROSSINI: Overture to La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto, Movement 1 STRAUSS, JR.: On the Beautiful Blue Danube SOUSA: Hands Across the Sea March LOEWE: “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady BERNSTEIN: “Maria” from West Side Story BERNSTEIN: Balcony Scene (“Tonight”) from West Side Story BERNSTEIN: “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide VARIOUS: Armed Forces Salute WARD: “America the Beautiful” SOUSA: The Stars and Stripes Forever
Artists, programs, prices and dates are subject to change.
Pacific Symphony and the Pacific Chorale will present a “Concert for Healing” on Weds., Aug. 3 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Geneva Presbyterian Church (24301 El Toro Road) in Laguna Woods. The Rev. Dr. Steven Marsh from Geneva and the Rev. Dr. Albany Lee from Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church will offer words of comfort and hope. Music Director Carl St.Clair will conduct the Symphony and Chorale in a program that expresses resilience and remembrance.
The concert opens with Hymn of Healing, composed by Richard A. Nichols in memory of the victims of the tragic shooting that took place on May 15. The work receives its world premiere at this performance and is setting of a text created by the church’s choir director, Eileen O’Hern. A freewill offering will be taken to benefit the Dr. John Cheng Foundation and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Masks will be required for this event.
PROGRAM Weds. • Aug. 3, 2022 • 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor Members of Pacific Symphony Members of Pacific Chorale Anna Schubert, soprano
NICHOLS: Hymn of Healing (world premiere) TICHELI: There Will Be Rest HAYDN: Symphony No. 49 “La passione” PAULUS: The Road Home MOZART: Ave Verum Corpus MOZART: Exultate Jubilate NEWTON: “Amazing Grace” (with the congregation)
Pacific Symphony’s Pedals & Pipes series is back! This 2022-23 season features acclaimed organists Todd Wilson, described by The Plain Dealer as the “fabulous virtuoso with fleet feet,” Anna Lapwood, known by fans as the “TikTok Organist,” and Christopher Houlihan, named one of The Diapason’s “20 Under 30” most distinguished organist leaders in the world, showcasing the supersonic splendor of the mighty William J. Gillespie Concert Organ, a spectacular one-of-a-kind instrument built specially to suit the perfect acoustics of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.
The 2022-23 Pedals & Pipes season, generously sponsored by Valerie and Barry Hon, is sure to be a memorable experience for all: the series opens with acclaimed organist Todd Wilson joined by members of Pacific Symphony in our beloved Holiday Organ Spectacular (Dec. 20, 2022), complete with festive favorites and other holiday repertoire. In spring, Organ Superstar Anna Logwood (April 1, 2023) will prove why she’s one of England’s up-and-coming organists who commands a huge online following as a TikTok star. And the season concludes with Organ Virtuoso Christopher Houlihan (June 4, 2023), who has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times for his “glowing, miraculously life-affirming performances.”
Subscriptions for the Pedals & Pipes series start at just $35. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.
HOLIDAY ORGAN SPECTACULAR Tues., Dec. 20, 2022 • 7:30 p.m.
Todd Wilson is “a fabulous virtuoso with fleet feet, a prodigious memory and technique to burn.” —The Plain Dealer
Celebrate the season with the king of instruments! Enjoy a magnitude of musical splendors with world-class organist Todd Wilson and members of Pacific Symphony performing a delightful mix of sacred and holiday music. Favorite Christmas carols share the bill with traditional organ works that highlight the 4,322-pipe William J. Gillespie Concert Organ.
ORGAN SUPERSTAR ANNA LAPWOOD Sat., April 1, 2023 • 3 p.m.
“The organ could not have a more dedicated or capable ambassador than Lapwood”—ArtMuse London
Known as the “TikTok Organist” due to her large following on that social media platform, Anna Lapwood brings humor and youthful joie de vivre as an advocate for her instrument. She is Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Her wide-ranging musical career has already seen performances across Europe and countless appearances on television and radio. Having been encouraged early in her career to “play like a man,” Lapwood is an inspiration to many young women and proud that they have adopted her hashtag #playlikeagirl.
ORGAN VIRTUOSO CHRISTOPHER HOULIHAN Sun., June 04, 2023 • 3 p.m.
“Houlihan is the next big organ talent.”—Los Angeles Times
Organist Christopher Houlihan has established an international reputation as an “intelligently virtuoso musician” (Gramophone), hailed for his “glowing, miraculously life-affirming performances” (Los Angeles Times). In 2015, he was selected for The Diapason’s “20 Under 30,” a distinguished list of leaders in the organ world.