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.

Pacific Symphony assistant conductor wins Solti award

Pacific Symphony assistant conductor Roger Kalia was named today as a recipient of a 2017 Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award, the Solti Foundation U.S. announced. Kalia, who also serves as music director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, also won the award in 2013.

“To be recognized by an organization that is affiliated with the legacy of the great Sir Georg Solti, a conductor whom I admire greatly, is very special and meaningful to me,” Kalia said in a prepared statement. “This funding from the Solti Foundation U.S. will help me to open new doors in the field and further build my career as a conductor. I am most grateful to my dear colleagues at Pacific Symphony and Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra for their continued support.”

Kalia, 32, is one of nine conductors to receive a 2017 award. They hold positions in the United States, Canada and Brazil. He is also co-founder and music director of the Lake George Music Festival in upstate New York and has served as assistant conductor of the Charlotte Symphony and music director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles. He was recently signed to a second two-year engagement with the Pacific Symphony.

The Solti Foundation U.S. is now in its 13th year assisting young conductors. Established in 2000 to honor the memory of Solti, the internationally acclaimed conductor and music director of the Chicago Symphony, the Foundation concentrated its award program in 2004 to exclusively assist young American conductors. Since then it has awarded more than half a million dollars to them. The amount of the Career Assistant Awards varies and was not announced.

For more information, visit The Solti Foundation.