Sundays at Soka with Pacific Symphony 

Image Description: Inside the Concert Hall at Soka Performing Arts Center.

Nestled on a beautiful hilltop at Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, the Soka Performing Arts Center is Pacific Symphony Chamber Orchestra’s musical home. Originally designed by master acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, Soka has hosted more than 500 performances since its dedication on May 27, 2011.  

Led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, Pacific Symphony Chamber Orchestra will make its return to Soka’s 1,032-seat Concert Hall on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. Program pieces are George Walker’s Lyric for Strings and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Serbia’s Artist of the Century, violinist Stefan Milenkovich as the soloist.  

The video below features Milenkovich performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with RTS Symphony Orchestra in 2017. Did you know that he plays a 1783 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin? 

To learn more about the upcoming show and to buy tickets, please click this link.  

Voice of OC Features Symphony on the Go!

Symphony on the Go! concert at Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center in July 2021. Photo by Eric Simonson.  

Since June 2021, we’ve had the honor of bringing light chamber music to cities across Orange County. From the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center in June to San Juan Capistrano this month, it has been an incredibly fun road trip.  

Recently, Symphony on the Go! was featured in the Voice of OC. To see the full article written by Richard Chang, please click here. Thank you for the mention!  

What is a Symphony on the Go! concert? A Symphony on the Go! concert is a free outdoor event that typically features a string quartet or a woodwind or brass quintet on a pop-up mobile stage. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. Our mobile stage is a special gift from philanthropists and Pacific Symphony-lovers Jerry and Terri Kohl. All concerts are weather permitting.  

If this is something you’d still like experience, there are a few more concerts left before the season comes to an end. You can learn more about upcoming events here. Craving more concerts? You can learn more about our 2021-22 season here.  

Thank you for joining us this season, everyone!  

Pacific Symphony’s 2018-2019 chamber music series announced

Pacific Symphony announced today programming and dates for the 2018-2019 Café Ludwig chamber music series. Pianist Orli Shaham will again serve as curator and host of the concerts and teams with members of the Symphony. Performances are held in Samueli Theater on Sunday afternoons. Coffee, tea and pastries are offered to listeners, seated at tables.

The season’s programming is off the beaten path. The Oct. 14 opener delves into French music and features the Bassoon Sonata, Op. 168, by Saint-Saëns, the Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp by Debussy and the Violin Sonata by Franck.

The Feb. 24 (2019) concert focuses on transcriptions of Bach and includes Mozart’s arrangements for string quartet of fugues from Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier”; Liszt’s arrangement of the Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543; and David Robertson’s new arrangement of the “Goldberg Variations” for piano quintet. George Perle’s rarely performed “Classic Suite” for piano, which draws on Baroque dance forms, begins the program.

On May 19 (2019), the series’ finale explores storytelling in music with pieces by Ridout, Brahms and Janacek on the slate, and climaxing with Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale.”

The Symphony’s new concertmaster, yet to be named, is scheduled to perform on all three concerts.

Current subscribers may renew their subscriptions online here. New subscribers may sign up here. Renewing and new subscribers may also call the box office at (714) 755-5799 to purchase subscriptions.

Just a few tickets remain for the last Café Ludwig concert of this season, featuring music by Poulenc, Fauré and Rebecca Clarke, held at 3 p.m. on April 29.

Pacific Symphony: October concerts

Conductor Rune Bergmann

Here’s a quick rundown of Pacific Symphony’s October concerts, 12 in all, with ticket links.

First off, the orchestra will appear in the ongoing series of Harry Potter films presented by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Born and raised in Huntington Beach, conductor Justin Freer makes his debut with Pacific Symphony, leading three live-with-film performances of the John Williams score to “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” on Oct. 6-7. Tickets here.

The orchestra launches its chamber music series, Cafe Ludwig, on Oct. 8 with a Beethoven/Schubert program featuring pianist Orli Shaham, cellist Timothy Landauer and violinist Paul Manaster. Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata (written for an obsolete instrument, and now commonly played by the cello) and the great Piano Trio in B-flat sandwich Beethoven’s late Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109. Tickets here.

Sixteen-time Grammy-winning producer David Foster is the guest for the opening of the Pops series Oct. 13-14. He’ll have singers Ruben Studdard (an “American Idol” winner) and Shelea Frazier along to perform selections from his catalog of hits. Tickets here.

Norwegian conductor Rune Bergmann — (pronounced Rue-na Bairg-mahn) — returns Oct. 19-21 to take over a program originally scheduled to be led by André Previn, who cancelled due to injury. Previn’s “Almost an Overture” will have its West Coast premiere, American pianist Garrick Ohlsson solos in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9, and Rachmaninoff’s plush Symphony No. 2 winds things up. Tickets here.

The Family Musical Mornings series also gets underway with a Halloween-themed program Oct. 21. Pacific Symphony assist conductor Roger Kalia helms the 13th Annual Despicable Villains’ Choice Awards. Tickets here.

Members of the orchestra perform in a free concert at the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University on Oct. 22. In keeping with the museum’s theme, this wide-ranging program is anchored by the music of California composers — in this case, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison and George Antheil — but also includes music by Purcell, Bartok (three movements of the bristling Fourth Quartet), Arvo Pärt and Philip Glass. Chapman’s ChapCelli Ensemble also appears. Museum entrance is free. Seating for this concert is limited and will be first-come, first-served. Limited standing room in the back. Info here.

Finally, on Oct. 29, Pacific Symphony performs in the Pacific Chorale’s 50th anniversary celebration and season opener. Newly minted artistic director Robert Istad leads an ambitious program that includes the the U.S. premiere of composer-in-residence Tarik O’Regan’s “A Celestial Map of the Sky,” James Hopkins’ “Songs of Eternity” (a 1992 commission) and a concert version of Leonard Bernstein’s ebullient musical theater work, “Mass.” The 20% discount code for Symphony subscribers is “BATON.” Tickets here.