Celebrate Opening Night, Sept. 30

Can you feel the excitement and anticipation building? The fall concert season is about to begin. Pacific Symphony has planned an exceptional opening concert you won’t want to miss. Music Director Carl St.Clair leads the orchestra in a program featuring the internationally renowned pianist Emanuel Ax, who is known for his “thoughtful, lyrical, lustrous pianism” (The Washington Post). He will perform Mozart’s charming Piano Concerto No. 17. Maestro St.Clair concludes the concert with Tchaikovsky’s moving Fifth Symphony. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

For an enhanced experience, reserve an Opening Night Celebration Table or Ticket for “A Notable Gathering.” Be part of this one-of-a-kind Orange County special event, featuring a pre-concert cocktail reception and sumptuous dinner on the plaza, an inspiring concert, intermission reception and festive after-party. All proceeds for this fundraising event benefit go towards Pacific Symphony’s artistic, community and education programs. All guests are asked to provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test result within 72 hours the event. For more information, please contact Pacific Symphony Special Events (714) 876-2364 or Events@PacificSymphony.org

Get ready for opening night by tuning in to Symphony Mixer on Weds., Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. to experience Emanual Ax in conversation with Jacob Sustaita, Pacific Symphony’s assistant conductor. Watch the Symphony’s Facebook page for more details.

September 11: A Remembrance

The final SummerFest concert falls on Sept. 11, this year the 20th anniversary of 9/11. In addition to presenting the traditional Tchaikovsky Spectacular program, the concert will open with musical homage to the bravery of so many Americans.

The Star-Spangled Banner, John Williams’ Liberty Fanfare, The Road Home by Stephen Paulus, Amazing Grace played on bagpipes and God Bless America will be followed by a moment of silence to remember the fallen. Pacific Symphony’s President John Forsyte provided the following note about the concert:

The first half of the Sept. 11 concert commemorates the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with works by American composers and a presentation by Brian Fennessy, Fire Chief of the Orange County Fire Authority. We honor and will never forget the 3,000 lives lost that terrible day. We honor the courage of those who put themselves in harm’s way to save people they never knew. We come together in gratitude for the strength that has fortified us across these 20 years and attempt to honor the legacy of those who were lost. 

We applaud the bravery of the region’s first responders, particularly as they grapple with the losses due to our fire season here and so many other challenges created by the pandemic.

We also salute the bravery of our women and men in uniform who, in the last few weeks, undertook the largest airlift in history under extremely dangerous conditions. We also offer condolences to the families of the service women and men and Afghan citizens who were lost during this valiant effort.

With the music of the Sept. 11 concert, we hope that you find joy, solace and a reminder of the power of gathering as a community to honor freedom, community and creativity.

John Forsyte

President, Pacific Symphony

For more information or to buy tickets for the Sept. 11 concert yet, go here.

Happy Classical Music Month!

“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.” –former President Bill Clinton

In Aug. 1994, former President Bill Clinton declared September Classical Music Month in the U.S. Since then, fans around the country have been trying to find different ways to celebrate it each year.  

Whether you’ve just started listening to classical music or are a seasoned pro, know that it’s never too late to get started or to deepen your knowledge of the art form.  

Here are some fun suggestions:  

  • Pick a composer you’ve never listened to and put together an introductory playlist. You can even keep track of what you think about it on a blog or social media. 
  • If you’re a musician, create a video series of some of your favorite compositions and classical artists.  
  • Don’t forget to thank your favorite music educators!  
  • Look for volunteer opportunities to support your local arts organizations. 
  • Attend a Pacific Symphony concert! 😉  
  • If you’re looking for a way to end the summer season, our Tchaikovsky Spectacular will take place on Saturday, Sept. 11th at the Pacific Amphitheatre.  

How would you celebrate Classical Music Month? How has music impacted your life? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear your story. Thank you for your continued support during this unprecedented time.  

ICYMI: Pacific Symphony and Other Major OC Arts Venues Announce New Vaccination & Masking Policies

In March 2020, after the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the entire performing arts industry experienced an unprecedented shutdown. After a year and a half of adjusting to conditions, Pacific Symphony and several major Orange County arts venues are getting ready to welcome patrons back to concert halls once more.  

While we’re excited to see you in-person again, the success in reopening live performing arts venues will rely on all of us to work together. In case you missed the initial announcement last week, here are some highlights:  

  • These updates are in effect for all indoor performances.  
  • Masks must be worn at all times.  
  • Fully vaccinated 14 days after the first or second dose of receiving a covid-19 vaccine. 
  • Anyone without proof of being fully vaccinated must provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to entering the theatre. 

As we continue to monitor industry and government guidelines, we will keep you updated as much as we can. Places where you’ll find reminders include (but are not limited to) our main website and social media and email communication channels.  

We know it has been a very challenging time but we want to take this moment to thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we move forward with upcoming 2021-22 concert season.   

Please save this link for future reference: https://bit.ly/PSVaccinationMaskUpdate.  

Superstar Soprano Renée Fleming Launches “Healing Breath” Initiative with Google Arts & Culture 

A picture of soprano and arts/health advocate Renée Fleming.
Soprano and arts/health advocate Renée Fleming.

Have you ever tried to hold a note or go through a phrase without taking a breath during a song before giving in? Looking at you if you’ve sung along to anything from Pavarotti or “No One Mourns the Wicked” before, for example. Whether you’re a seasoned performer or someone who just loves singing around the house, healthy breathing is essential to anyone who wants to prolong their tenure as a singer.  

Last week, world-renowned soprano and arts/health advocate Renée Fleming launched a program in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy at Mount Sinai Union Square. Dubbed “Healing Breath”, these breathing exercises were designed with health and wellness in mind. Particularly during the era of COVID-19, where shortness of breath is also a symptom. 

“Healing Breath: Breathing Exercises for Better Breath” Trailer.

In addition to Fleming’s videos, there are also videos from stars like Christine Baranski, Jamie Barton, Angel Blue, Lawrence Brownlee, Kristin Chenoweth, Kurt Elling, Denyce Graves, Angelique Kidjo, Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara and Vanessa Williams.

As always with these kinds of sessions, please don’t forget to consult your health care team before proceeding.You can go through the entire The Kennedy Center YouTube playlist here or check out the full Google page here. Most of the videos you’ll go through vary in length but can go up to 10 – 11 minutes long. Oh! And you may need straw. That’s all we’ll say for now. 

With discussions about mental and physical health happening across the industry, it’s so important to know where you are and what you need to do to take care of yourself. Especially if your in-person performance schedule is picking up again after more than a year or so off due to the pandemic. It’s not selfish—it’s self-care!

What does your routine look like? Is there a video you’re looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below! 

Symphony in the Cities Returns to Orange County: Mission Viejo, Irvine and Orange

Pack a picnic, grab a lawn chair or blanket and gather the family for an evening of free music and outdoor summer fun! Now a long-standing summer tradition, Symphony in the Cities (SITC) brings thousands of people together for great music and entertainment in local parks each year. With a potpourri of popular classics, pop tunes and patriotic tunes, this year’s concert is led by Music Director Carl St.Clair and the audience is invited to participate in a sing-along of patriotic favorites.

And—back by popular demand—kids have the chance to learn how to conduct with Maestro St.Clair and later help lead the orchestra in Sousa’s “Hands Across the Sea” during the concert.


2021 Symphony in the Cities Dates and Locations

Mission Viejo • Saturday • August 14, 2021
“Prelude in the Park” begins at 4 p.m.
Pacific Symphony concert starts at 7 p.m.
Oso Viejo Community Park on the Village Green and
Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center
24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA

Irvine • Sunday • Aug. 15, 2021
Pacific Symphony concert starts at 7 p.m.
Mike Ward Community Park Woodbridge
20 Lake Road, Irvine, CA

Orange • Sunday • Aug. 22, 2021
Pacific Symphony concert starts at 7 p.m.
Aitken Arts Plaza at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University
One University Drive, Orange, CA


Artists
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Rich Capparela, host
Fiona Shea, violin
John Buffett, baritone
Pacific Symphony

Program
Giochina Rossini: Finale from Overture to William Tell
Georges Bizet: Farandole from L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2
Max Bruch: Concerto No. 1 in G Minor for Violin & Orchestra III. Allegro energico
Arturo Márquez: Danzón No. 2
Ennio Morricone / Arr. Robert Longfield: Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission
Alberto Ginastera: Danza Finale from Estancia, Op.8a
John Philip Sousa: Hands Across the Sea March
Aaron Copland: Selections from Old American Songs
Various / Arr. Bob Lowden: Armed Forces Salute
Samuel Ward / Arr. Greg Prechel: “America the Beautiful”
Irving Berlina / Arr. Bruce Healey: “God Bless America”
John Philip Sousa: The Stars and Stripes Forever

Announcing the 2021-22 Café Ludwig Series

Hosted and Curated by “First-Rate Mozartean” Orli Shaham

Pacific Symphony’s 2021-22 Café Ludwig season is here, featuring three unique chamber music performances: “From Past to Present,” “Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet” and “Debussy and Ravel.” Hosted by longtime artistic partner and curator of the series Orli Shaham, the Café Ludwig series presents Pacific Symphony’s principal musicians in an intimate chamber music setting in the Samueli Theater for relaxing matinee concerts of delightful music-making. Shaham thoughtfully assembles the concerts’ repertoire with strong thematic structures, explaining to the audience how each piece relates to the next, and the historical and artistic context from which these pieces arose. Composers from all over the world are featured, from Debussy to Ives, and Dohnányi to Montgomery. There’s even a world premiere by one of Israel’s most promising young composers, Avner Dorman, to look forward to!

All concerts take place on Sundays at 3 p.m. at Samueli Theater. Doors open at 2 p.m. While there is no pre-concert talk, Orli Shaham will introduce the music from the stage, while the audience enjoys coffee, tea and pastries. Season ticket packages are on sale now; single tickets start at $72, and will be available starting Sunday, August 29, 2021. For more information or to purchase tickets call (714) 755-5799 or go to www.PacificSymphony.org.

COVID-19 safety protocols continue to evolve at a rapid pace and audience safety is our priority. In partnership with Segerstrom Center for the Arts, we will be using current CDC recommendations from the State of California to create our reopening policies and procedures. For the most up-to-date safety information, please go to PacificSymphony.org/Safety.


2021-22 CAFÉ LUDWIG SERIES
Programs, artists and dates subject to change.

FROM PAST TO PRESENT
Sunday • Oct. 24, 2021 • 3 p.m.
Samueli Theater

Orli Shaham, piano and host
Dennis Kim, violin
Warren Hagerty, cello
Additional musicians to be announced

Enjoy a return to the intimate Samueli Theater with chamber music from recognizable composers and some of today’s brilliant minds. Barber and Brahms treat you to heart wrenching melodies of the Romantic era, Ives brings a modernism ahead of his time and the music of Tanaka, Montgomery and Cuong showcase the best contemporary music of the present.

Ives: Largo for Clarinet, Violin and Piano
Karen Tanaka: “Water Dance” for Piano
Barber: Adagio from String Quartet
Jessie Montgomery: “Strum”
Viet Cuong: “Wax and Wire”
Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 2

SCHUBERT’S “TROUT” QUINTET
Sunday • Feb. 20, 2022 • 3 p.m.
Samueli Theater

Orli Shaham, piano and host
Dennis Kim, violin
Warren Hagerty, cello
Barry Perkins, trumpet
Additional musicians to be announced

Inspired by the poetry of Nathaniel Bellows, Snider’s “The Currents” puts Shaham’s complete skills as a formidable pianist on display; it’s expressive, poetic and lyrical, telling a story of both innocence and coping with an unpredictable world. Next, experience a world premiere from Israeli composer Avner Dorman who draws on cultural and historical influences in his music. And finally, Schubert’s atypical chamber instrumentation for his “Trout” quintet; a work featuring beloved melodies from his song “Die Forelle” (“The Trout”).

Sarah Kirkland Snider: “The Currents” for Piano
Avner Dorman: TBA World Premiere* for Trumpet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass and Piano
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, “Trout”

*Avner Dorman’s piece was commissioned by Pacific Symphony and is sponsored by
Dot & Rick Nelson.

DEBUSSY AND RAVEL
Sunday • May 8, 2022 • 3 p.m.
Samueli Theater

Orli Shaham, piano and host
Dennis Kim, violin
Warren Hagerty, cello
Additional musicians to be announced

French Impressionism bookends this delightful afternoon: Debussy opens the program with the dreamy sounds that made him famous featuring the sounds of flute, viola and harp; concluding is Ravel’s colorful and climatic piano trio. Music by the Hungarian composer, Ernst von Dohnányi treats you to shifting chromatic tonality while Czech composer, Bohuslav Martinů, explores virtuosity between flute and viola.

Debussy: Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp
Dohnányi: Serenade for String Trio
Martinů: Three Madrigals for Flute and Viola
Ravel: Piano Trio

Touring the OC with Symphony on the Go!

From San Clemente to Stanton, Pacific Symphony’s new mobile concert stage, Symphony on the Go, is touring Orange County this summer. To celebrate the countywide tour, the Symphony along with ArtsOC invited students grades 6-12 to submit poster art that celebrates the role of music in their lives and neighborhoods. From an extensive field of submissions, we’re pleased to announce the winner of the poster contest is Korina Bao. An eighth-grader at Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate in the Saddleback Unified School District, Korina created her artwork in acrylic paints on canvas.

Korina Bao’s winning poster design!

The winning poster will be on display at all the upcoming Symphony on the Go concerts, beginning on July 29 at Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center. We hope to see you at one of Symphony on the Go concerts this summer!

July 29 @ 7 p.m.
Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center*,
2740 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92606

* Mobile Stage will be set in the parking lot adjacent to Alton Parkway, between Kickin’ Crab and Shinhan Bank. The address provided as the location for this event is that of Kickin’ Crab.

July 30 @ 7 p.m.
St. Kilian Church, 26872 Estanciero Dr, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

July 31 @ 7 p.m.
City of Anaheim Twila Reid Park,
3100 W Orange Ave, Anaheim, CA 92804

August 11 @ 7 p.m.
City of Dana Point Sea Canyon Park,
33093 Santiago Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629

August 26 @ 7 p.m.
City of Anaheim Juarez Park,
841 S Sunkist St, Anaheim, CA 92806

August 28 @ 8 p.m.
City of Yorba Linda Yorba Linda Cultural Arts Center,
4802 Lakeview Avenue, Yorba Linda, CA 92886

Sept. 17 @ 7 p.m.
City of La Palma Central Park,
7821 Walker Street, La Palma, CA 90623

Sept. 24 @ 7 p.m.
The City of Stanton Stanton Central Park,
10660 Western Avenue, Stanton, CA 90680

Pacific Symphony is tremendously grateful to Jerry and Terri Kohl, who not only conceived of this creative way for Pacific Symphony to bring music to all corners of Orange County, but also donated the funds to make Symphony on the Go! possible.

Presenting Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story” in Concert—Live with Orchestra August 21!

First Concert Back At Pacific Amphitheatre Since 2019

Live music is back in Orange County! Pacific Symphony returns to Pacific Amphitheatre at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa for the West Coast premiere of Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story” in Concert—Live with Orchestra (Aug. 21 at 8 p.m.). Two rival toys—a lanky, likable cowboy named Woody and Buzz Lightyear, the fearless space ranger—vie for a place in the heart of their owner, Andy. The toys plot against each other, but when they’re separated from their human, they find a way to work together as friends to be reunited with Andy again. Considered by many to be one of the best animated films ever made, “Toy Story” received three Academy Award nominations, including one for “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman. Pacific Symphony musicians will perform Newman’s memorable, touching score live-to-screen at the outdoor Orange County venue, led by guest conductor Sarah Hicks.

Single tickets for “Toy Story in Concert” are on sale now through Ticketmaster, starting at just $25. To buy tickets, please visit Ticketmaster. Summerfest 2021 season sponsors include PBS SoCal, K-Earth 101, KPCC 89.3 FM and Classical KUSC 91.5. Avenue of the Arts Hotel in Costa Mesa is the official hotel of Pacific Symphony. “Toy Story in Concert” is co-presented with the OC Fair & Event Center. Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts. © All rights reserved.

COVID-19 safety protocols continue to evolve at a rapid pace and audience safety is our priority. In partnership with the OC Fair & Event team, we will be using current CDC recommendations to create our reopening policies and procedures. For the most up-to-date safety information, please go to PacificSymphony.org/Safety.

About Sarah Hicks

Sarah Hicks’s versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place as an in-demand conductor across an array of genres, and as an educator, arranger, producer, writer and speaker committed to creating connections through music. Her career has seen collaborations with diverse artists, from Hilary Hahn and Dmitiri Hvorostovsky to Rufus Wainwright, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson; during the summer of 2011 she toured with Sting as conductor of his Symphonicities Tour. Her passion for cross-genre partnerships led to a 2019 album with rap artist Dessa and the Minnesota Orchestra, with whom she holds a titled position.

A specialist in film music and the film in concert genre, she is thrilled to create concert experiences which combine sight and sound, and that welcome new audiences to the orchestral genre. She has premiered “Pixar in Concert” and Disney-Pixar’s “Coco”; her live concert recordings can be seen on Disney+ and heard on broadcast for ABC. Her concerts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra of film music, “The Morricone Duel” was released as an album in 2018, has been broadcast around the world and has garnered over 60 million view on YouTube.

Announcing 21-22 Family Musical Mornings Series, Presented by Farmers & Merchants Bank

Featuring Five Engaging Kid-Friendly Concerts

As live music returns to Orange County, Pacific Symphony is pleased to announce the 2021-22 season of Farmers & Merchant Bank’s Family Musical Mornings concert series, led by newly-appointed Assistant Conductor Dr. Jacob Sustaita. This season features five exciting new concerts, each with unique themes and exploration of musical repertoire: “Nutcracker for Kids!,” “Cinderella—Opera for Kids,” “Superheroes!,” “Cirque for Kids!” and “Music from the Movies and More!” Check out the full season here.

Farmers & Merchants Bank’s Family Musical Mornings are 45-minute kid-friendly concerts that engage and entertain young audiences, setting them on the path to a lifelong love of music. The audience will be guided through the secret inner workings of the orchestra with a captivating, multimedia format as Pacific Symphony is joined by singers, actors and dancers.

Season tickets for Farmers & Merchants Bank’s Family Musical Mornings are on sale now. Subscriptions for the five-concert series range from $60-$192. Single ticket sales begin Sunday, August 29. Concerts take place at 10 a.m. and again at 11:30 a.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Pacific Symphony at (714) 755-5799, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Presenting Sponsor for the series is Farmers & Merchants Bank.

COVID-19 safety protocols continue to evolve at a rapid pace and audience safety is our priority. In partnership with Segerstrom Center for the Arts, we will be using current CDC recommendations as well as Cultural Celebrations guidelines from the State of California to create our reopening policies and procedures. For the most up-to-date safety information, please go to PacificSymphony.org/Safety.


FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK’S FAMILY MUSICAL MORNINGS SERIES

Programs, artists and dates subject to change.

NUTCRACKER FOR KIDS!
Saturday • Dec. 4, 2021 • 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

Jacob Sustaita, conductor
Festival Ballet Theatre – Salwa Rizkalla, artistic director
Pacific Symphony

Visions of sugarplums and beautiful ballerinas will dance in your head after seeing Tchaikovsky’s delightful Christmas ballet, performed in a condensed version created just for kids. This annual favorite finishes with a jolly visit from Santa Claus himself!

CINDERELLA—OPERA FOR KIDS!
Saturday • Jan. 29, 2022 • 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

Jacob Sustaita, conductor
Pacific Symphony
Singers TBA

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!

SUPERHEROES!
Saturday • Feb. 19, 2022 • 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

Jacob Sustaita, conductor
Pacific Symphony

You won’t want to miss the continuing adventures of Captain Symphony! The Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra joins Pacific Symphony for this side-by-side concert featuring music from “The Incredibles,” “Superman” and heroic classical favorites such as Rossini’s dashing “William Tell Overture.” Come dressed as your favorite superhero!

CIRQUE FOR KIDS!
Saturday • April 23, 2022 • 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

Jacob Sustaita, conductor
Cirque de la Symphonie
Pacific Symphony

Symphony + Circus = a spectacular show, created especially for kids! Experience a jaw-dropping fusion of fliers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers and strongmen who perform their cirque acts while Pacific Symphony provides a soundtrack of classical masterpieces and contemporary favorites.

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

Jacob Sustaita, conductor
Pacific Symphony

Welcome back to the concert hall—for the first time in forever—with Pacific Symphony and the magical music of Disney! Be our guest and enjoy your favorites from Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Star Wars. Come dressed as your favorite Disney or Star Wars character and be ready to celebrate a return to live music with the Symphony!