The Philharmonic Society of Orange County is betting big on a COVID-free future. Its 2021-22 season announcement, released today, includes several big-draw artists and ensembles that should draw full houses — provided the public is confident enough to come back to the concert hall.

Familiar names in the lineup include violinists Pinchas Zukerman and Joshua Bell, the latter performing with London’s Academy of St Martin in the Fields. The season will also include leading ensembles such as the London Symphony under conductor Simon Rattle, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Russian National Orchestra with its music director, Mikhail Pletnev.

The Philharmonic Society’s Eclectic Orange festival of groundbreaking artists includes performances by pianist-composer Gabriela Montero, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, bassist Edgar Meyer and the Scottish Ensemble, and a celebration of Astor Piazzolla’s centennial with violinist Philippe Quint and members of the Joffrey Ballet. 

“We had initially planned a multi-phased approach to announcing our season in sections, with a smaller fall season (in terms of number of concerts, and ensemble sizes) and a tiered approach to the spring which would lead us to a full-capacity audience by the end of our ‘21-‘22 season,” said Tommy Phillips, the Philharmonic Society’s president and artistic director, in response to emailed questions from Voice of OC. “However, with the lightning-fast changes in the state’s reopening plan and elimination of capacity restrictions, we are now planning on a ‘normal’ season with both large and small ensembles in the fall and spring.”

Phillips said that besides the pandemic, other life-changing events over the last 16 months have affected programming choices at his organization.

“We’re aiming to be more diverse in our programming, ensuring that we have equity and diversity represented from all backgrounds, races, genders and points of view.”

Subscriptions for the 2021-22 season go on sale today. Tickets to individual performances will be available in late August.​​​​​​​ Details can be found on their website at PhilharmonicSociety.org

The 2021-22 Philharmonic Society of Orange County Season

Zlatomir Fung, cello
Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Les Violons du Roy
Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Jerusalem Quartet with Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Modigliani Quartet
Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, 8 p.m.
Irvine Barclay Theatre

Vienna Boys Choir
Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Gabriela Montero, piano
Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, 3 p.m.
Irvine Barclay Theatre

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presents the complete Brandenberg concerti
Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Olga Kern, piano
Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Olga Kern Credit: Photo courtesy of the Philharmonic Society of OC/Chris Leet

Dreamers’ Circus
Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, 7 p.m.
Samueli Theater

Vadym Kholodenko, piano
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, 3 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Casals Quartet
Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, 8 p.m.
Samueli Theater

George Li, piano
Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Russian National Orchestra
Mikhail Pletnev, music director/piano
Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Basel Chamber Orchestra
Friday, March 4, 2022, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Joshua Bell with Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Friday, March 11, 2022, 8 p.m.
Soka Performing Arts Center

Joshua Bell Credit: Photo courtesy of the Philharmonic Society of OC

London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle
Tuesday, March 22, 2022, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Sunday, March 27, 2022, 3 p.m.
Irvine Barclay Theatre

Edgar Meyer and the Scottish Ensemble
Saturday, April 9, 2022, 7 p.m.
Soka Performing Arts Center

English Baroque Soloists with Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Thursday, April 14, 2022, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason
Thursday, April 21, 2022, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Tetzlaff Quartet
Sunday, April 24, 2022, 3 p.m.
Irvine Barclay Theatre

Danish String Quartet
Tuesday, April 26, 2022, 8 p.m.
Samueli Theater

Aaron Diehl, piano
Sunday, May 8, 2022, 3 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Thursday, May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Astor Piazzolla at 100
With Philippe Quint and members of the Joffrey Ballet
Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 7 p.m.
Irvine Barclay Theatre

Paul Hodgins is the founding editor of Arts & Culture at Voice of OC. He can be reached at phodgins@voiceofoc.org.

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