London Philharmonic Orchestra
Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra come to The Soraya on Oct. 10 | Credit: Mark Allan

From Goethe to Charles Gounod, the Faust legend has gone through a lot of iterations over the years. So has one of the tale’s most vivid modern adaptations, composed by singer-songwriter Randy Newman.

Best known for his songs for various Pixar movies and for his ironic anthem “I Love L.A.,” Newman initially created his Faust as his ninth studio album, released in 1995. Later that same year, the piece had a short run as a stage musical at La Jolla Playhouse, with the Los Angeles Times praising the score for its “idiosyncratic, smart humor.”

To open the 2024–2025 season for The Soraya, the performing arts center at California State University, Northridge, Newman is fashioning an all-new concert version of the score. His take on the classic tale of soul-selling is set for performances Sept. 28 and 29, cast to be announced.

Classical offerings begin Oct. 10 with a performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Edward Gardner conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, and Randall Goosby is the soloist in Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto.

The trio of double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, violinist Tessa Lark, and cellist Joshua Roman performs music by Meyer and J.S. Bach on Oct. 23. Veteran pianist Emanuel Ax follows on Nov. 3. His recital includes music of Beethoven (including the “Moonlight” Sonata) and Robert Schumann, plus John Corigliano’s Fantasia on an Ostinato.

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra returns to The Soraya on Nov. 16 | Credit: Luis Luque/Luque Photography

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, with mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital and soprano Esteli Gomez, performs Nov. 13. The concert will feature Antonio Vivaldi’s violin concertos interwoven with traditional Venetian gondolier songs from the 1740s. More Baroque music follows on Jan. 29, 2025, with a recital by the guitarist now known simply as MILOŠ (aka Miloš Karadaglić).

Music Director Lahav Shani leads the Israel Philharmonic on March 27, 2025. The program features Felix Mendelssohn’s Third Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth. Stéphane Denève conducts the Colburn Orchestra on April 12, 2025.

The Soraya’s season also includes several high-profile jazz-classical crossover concerts. Pianist Conrad Tao joins with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra to perform the original jazz-band version of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on Nov. 16. In addition, Christopher Rountree leads the ensemble in other works by Gershwin and his contemporaries.

The Turtle Island Quartet and the E-Collective perform selections from jazz great Terence Blanchard’s operas Champion and Fire Shut Up in My Bones on April 6, 2025. Soloists include baritone Justin Austin, soprano Adrienne Danrich, and the composer on trumpet.

Dance offerings include two performances by Twyla Tharp’s company, Feb. 22 and 23, 2025. The troupe performs Diabelli, Tharp’s 1998 ballet set to Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, as well as a new work set to music by Philip Glass.

Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Wicked) is at the piano for an evening of his own music, May 3, 2025. Vocal soloists include Liz Callaway.

Single tickets for The Soraya’s season go on sale to the general public on July 9. Memberships, which allow for earlier purchase, are currently available. For more information, call 818-677-3000, or go to The Soraya’s website.