Pacific Symphony’s New Season Includes a Collaboration with South Coast Repertory

Photo courtesy of Pacific Symphony

The Pacific Symphony and the Pacific Chorale perform Orff’s “Carmina Burana” in the Henry and Renee Segerstrom Concert Hall in September 2019.

The Pacific Symphony announced its 2020-21 season today, a 44-concert schedule that marks the beginning of music director Carl St.Clair’s fourth decade with the orchestra. It’s a varied line-up that includes symphonic warhorses, new commissions, full-length opera and a unique and unexpected collaboration with Orange County’s most prominent theater company.

Late Romantic classics are a big part of the season, including Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Fifth Symphony and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Guest artists are well represented as well: Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Jaime Laredo.

But perhaps the most unusual part of the season is a first-of-its kind production combining the forces of Pacific Symphony, South Coast Repertory and the Pacific Chorale. SCR artistic director David Ivers, who portrayed Antonio Salieri to critical acclaim in the Utah Shakespeare Festival production of “Amadeus” in 2015, will play the role again in a unique multi-disciplinary collaboration, “The Mozart Project.”

Here is Pacific Symphony’s 2020-21 season.

2020-2021 HAL AND JEANETTE SEGERSTROM FAMILY FOUNDATION CLASSICAL SERIES

All concerts at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Programs, artists and dates subject to change.

OPENING WEEKEND: TCHAIKOVSKY’S FIFTH
Sept. 24-26, 2020, 8 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Christina Naughton, piano
Michelle Naughton, piano

OQUIN: “Tower Ascending” (Symphonic World Premiere)
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 10 for Two Pianos
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5

BEETHOVEN’S “EROICA”
Oct. 15-17, 2020, 8 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Jaime Laredo, violin
Sharon Robinson, cello

DAUGHERTY: “Route 66”
BRUBECK: “Pas de Deux”for Violin, Cello and Orchestra (West Coast Premiere)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”

TCHAIKOVSKY’S VIOLIN CONCERTO
Nov. 12-14, 2020, 8 p.m.
Teddy Abrams, conductor
Bomsori Kim, violin

NORMAN: “Sacred Geometry”
TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto
BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

RACHMANINOFF’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2
Dec. 3-5, 2020, 8 p.m.
Markus Stenz, conductor
Andrey Gugnin, piano

REBEL:“Le chaos” from “Les élémens”
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 2
DEBUSSY: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
SCRIABIN: “The Poem of Ecstasy”

EMANUEL AX PLAYS MOZART
Jan. 14-16, 2021, 8 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
Soprano to be announced

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453
MAHLER: Symphony No. 4

SAINT-SAËNS’ ORGAN SYMPHONY
Feb. 4-6, 2021, 8 p.m.
Edo de Waart, conductor

IPPOLITO: Nocturne for orchestra
MOZART: Clarinet Concerto
SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3, “Organ Symphony”

JAMES EHNES PLAYS SIBELIUS
Feb. 25-27, 2021, 8 p.m.
Anja Bihlmaier, conductor
James Ehnes, violin

BOULANGER: “D’un matin de printemps”
SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2

CATHEDRALS OF SOUND
March 18-20, 2021, 8 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Robert Istad, conductor
Elissa Johnston, soprano
Baritone to be announced
Robert Istad, artistic director, Pacific Chorale

TALLIS: “Spem in Alium”
STRAUSS: “Death and Transfiguration”
MACMILLAN: “Fiat Lux”(World Premiere)

VERDI’S RIGOLETTO
April 15, 17, 20, 2021, 8 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Singers and Stage director to be announced
Robert Istad, artistic director, Pacific Chorale

MENDELSSOHN’S VIOLIN CONCERTO
May 6-8, 2021, 8 p.m.
Michal Nesterowicz, conductor
Rachel Barton Pine, violin

KILAR: “Orawa” for string orchestra
MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Symphony No. 5

HAOCHEN ZHANG PLAYS RACHMANINOFF
May 20-22, 2021, 8 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Haochen Zhang, piano

RACHMANINOFF: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
SCHUBERT:Symphony No. 9, “The Great”

THE MOZART PROJECT
June 10-12, 2021, 8 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor
David Ivers, artistic director, South Coast Repertory
James Sullivan, stage director
Robert Istad, artistic director, Pacific Chorale

MOZART: Overture to “Don Giovanni”
MOZART: Selections from the movie, “Amadeus”
MOZART: Requiem in D Minor

2020-2021 SPECIAL CONCERT ADD-ONS

LANG LANG PLAYS BEETHOVEN
Oct. 4, 2020, 3 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Lang Lang, piano

BERLIOZ: “Romans Carnival” Overture
RESPIGHI: “Pines of Rome”
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 2

HANDEL’S GLORIOUS “MESSIAH”
Dec. 6, 2020, 3 p.m.
Robert Moody, conductor
Robert Istad, artistic director, Pacific Chorale

LUNAR NEW YEAR
Feb. 13, 2021, 8 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor

Festivities honoring the Lunar New Year. Artists to be announced.

NOWRUZ: IRANIAN NEW YEAR
March 27, 2021, 8 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor

Traditional celebration that marks the beginning of spring. Artists to be announced.

2020-2021 SUNDAY MATINEES

INSIDE TCHAIKOVSKY’S FIFTH
Sept. 27, 2020, 3 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor

OQUIN: “Tower Ascending” (Symphonic World Premiere)
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5

DISCOVERING THE “EROICA”
Oct. 18, 2020, 3 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”

SCHUBERT’S “GREAT” C MAJOR
May 23, 2021 • 3 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor

SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 9, “The Great”

MOZART’S REQUIEM
June 13, 2021 • 3 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor
David Ivers, artistic director, South Coast Repertory
James Sullivan, stage director
Robert Istad, artistic director, Pacific Chorale

MOZART: Selections from “Amadeus”
MOZART: Requiem in D Minor

Paul Hodgins is the senior editor of Arts & Culture at Voice of OC. He can be reached at [email protected].