Pacific Overtures: September

Here’s the latest edition of my newsletter.

Contents:

  1. September Concerts Roundup
  2. Interview: Dennis Kim
  3. Interview: Meredith Crawford
  4. Listen to This: Boléro
  5. Single Tickets
  6. Connections Series Renamed
  7. Video: Festive Overture
  8. Essential Books (4)
  9. Miscellany

Pacific Overtures. September, 2018.

Pacific Symphony: September concerts

The summer season ends with fireworks and the 40th anniversary indoor season begins with shooting stars this month.

The annual Tchaikovsky Spectacular, Sept. 8, features big works by Pyotr Ilyich and his Russian compatriots. The commanding Van Cliburn-winning pianist Vadym Kholodenko returns to perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and of course the same composer’s 1812 Overture, festooned with cannons and fireworks, ends the proceedings. Festive works by Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin are also performed. Carl St.Clair conducts. Tickets here

The opening night concerts, led by St.Clair on Sept. 27-29, are a kind of 40th birthday party for the Symphony (founded in 1978). The orchestra’s first composer-in-residence, Frank Ticheli, is back with a new version of his Shooting Stars; new concertmaster Dennis Kim and principal violist Meredith Crawford step forward to solo in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante; the eloquent pianist Olga Kern takes on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3; and, wrapping it all up, a special performance of Ravel’s Boléro, played in tandem with a special film tracing the orchestra’s 40-year history. Tickets here

Our newly named Sunday Matinées series opens the next day (Sept. 30) with a slightly shortened version of the above (Rachmaninoff and Ravel). Tickets here –TM

Miscellany

Bayreuth Festspielhaus

Plácido Domingo, 77, has sung his 150th role. …

Architect Frank Gehry has designed a new concert hall for L.A. Phil’s youth orchestra. …

The music director of the Long Beach Symphony adds the Portland Symphony (Maine) to his resume. …

The Philadelphia Orchestra is going to test drive new works by six young women composers. …

The Concertgebouw Orchestra has fired its celebrated chief conductor. …

George Walker, the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize, has died at 96. …

At the Bayreuth Festival, Wagner gets a timely update. …

None other than Yo-Yo Ma offers a sampling of Bach for his Tiny Desk Concert. …

–TM

Single tickets on sale, suggestions made

Tickets to individual concerts in Pacific Symphony’s 2018-2019 season go on sale today. This next season marks the orchestra’s 40th anniversary.

The offer includes classical concerts, pops concerts, and special events.* Go to pacificsymphony.org or call (714) 755-5799.

Go to the All Concerts page if you would like to scroll through the season schedule.

But wait, there’s more. If you’re having trouble choosing a concert you’d like to buy tickets for, I’m here to help. As a longtime music critic, and before that a record store clerk, I have plenty of experience making recommendations.

So, drop me a line at tmangan@pacificsymphony.org if you’d like a suggestion or two of concerts that I think you’ll enjoy. For my reference, please include some of your favorite pieces and/or favorite performances you’ve attended. I’ll send you a personalized selection in response. For free.

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Connections series renamed, programming set

Pacific Symphony has changed the name of its long-running Sunday Casual Connections series to Sunday Matinees. The substance of the series remains the same: The four concerts each are performed without intermission and last about 90 minutes. Carl St.Clair conducts and offers commentary on the pieces performed.

Subscription brochures for the series were sent out last week, and programming has been finalized. Sunday Matinees opens on Sept. 30 with pianist Olga Kern joining the orchestra for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. St.Clair and the ensemble close with Ravel’s “Boléro.”

Concert two in the series (Oct. 28) celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia with a performance of Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.” A specially-produced video will be part of the presentation.

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Pacific Symphony: August concerts

Pops conductor Richard Kaufman returns to the podium this month to conduct the orchestra in a live-to-picture performance of John Williams’ score to Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” on Aug. 18 at the Pacific Amphitheater. Williams won the Oscar for “Best Original Score” for his music to the Spielberg classic, which will be projected in high definition on a giant screen above the orchestra. Tickets here

On Aug. 12, artistic partner Pacific Chorale holds its annual choral festival concert in Segerstrom Concert Hall. Artistic director Robert Istad leads community singers, the Chorale and guest artists in performances of music by Mozart: the “Vesperae solennes de confessor,” K.339; the  “Alleluia” from “Exsultate, jubilate,” K.165; “Ave verum corpus,” K.618; and an excerpt from the Organ Fantasia in F minor, K.608. Tickets are free but reservations are required 

photo: ™ & © Universal Studios.

Miscellany

The Boston Symphony’s top flutist sues orchestra for not paying her as much as a male colleague. …

Edward Elgar

More than year after sustaining a hand injury, Lang Lang returns to the concert stage. …

The brilliant British composer Oliver Knussen is dead at 66. …

The Mozart Effect may be back, this time reducing epileptic activity in children. …

In case you missed it, here’s the building that’s going up next to Segerstrom Concert Hall. …

A woman who brought an Elgar manuscript to the Antiques Roadshow is threatened with legal action. …

“From the Top” lays off its longtime host Christopher O’Riley. …

A Washington Post investigation uncovers more #MeToo incidents in the world of classical music. …

Four years after nearly going under, San Diego Opera is stable and growing. …

The music in his favorite restaurant was terrible, so a famous composer took it over. …

 

GSOplay at the Gothenburg Symphony

GSOplay is the Gothenburg Symphony’s online series of high definition performance videos. “We release approximately two to three videos per month and normally the performances are available for viewing up to 30 days after the release date,” the website says. Currently, the page features a nice range of repertoire, including the Symphony No. 5 by Sibelius, the “Symphonie fantastique” by Berlioz and the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Stenhammer.

Above, Kent Nagano conducts the orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3.