Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna Philharmonic | Credit: Lois Lammerhuber

Many people consider the Vienna Philharmonic the greatest orchestra in the world. If you’re among them, mark your calendar for March 2025, when that storied ensemble, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will be performing in both Costa Mesa and Berkeley.

That news arrives courtesy of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, which announced the orchestra’s tour and residency as it revealed its 2024–2025 season. The Philharmonic Society’s impressive lineup also features such greats as Emanuel Ax, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Anthony McGill, Itzhak Perlman, and 2022 Van Cliburn Competition winner Yunchan Lim.

The Vienna Philharmonic’s visit, a collaborative project between the Philharmonic Society and Cal Performances, begins with three performances March 5–7, 2025, in Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall, followed by concerts March 9 and 11 at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Orange County. Pianist Yefim Bronfman will join the orchestra in both cities to perform Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto.

The Costa Mesa performances will also include Richard Strauss’s tone poem Ein Heldenleben and Antonín Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony. The California concerts are the orchestra’s only U.S. appearances next year aside from Carnegie Hall.

Yunchan Lim
Yunchan Lim will solo with the London Symphony | Courtesy of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Visits by three London-based orchestras are also on the calendar in Orange County. The season will kick off Oct. 11 with the London Philharmonic, conducted by Edward Gardner, performing Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony and a new work by Tania León. The uniquely expressive violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja will be the soloist in Dmitri Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto.

The London Symphony, conducted by Antonio Pappano, will perform Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony on Feb. 20, 2025. Lim will be the soloist in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto.

Chineke! Orchestra, Europe’s first majority Black and ethnically diverse symphony, will follow on April 4, 2025. Vimbayi Kaziboni will conduct a varied program, including Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto with soloist Aaron Azunda Akugbo.

Other visiting orchestras include the Israel Philharmonic, led by Music Director Lahav Shani, on March 26, 2025, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Gimeno, on May 30, 2025.

The 2024–2025 season will also feature a number of recitals, including Ax and McGill (Jan. 28, 2025), the highly acclaimed Danish String Quartet (Feb. 1, 2025), the Tetzlaff Quartet (March 22, 2025), violinist Randall Goosby and pianist Zhu Wang (April 6, 2025), and Mutter, Bronfman, and cellist Pablo Ferrández (May 4, 2025). That last program includes two heavyweight pieces: Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio and Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A Minor.

Itzhak Perlman
Itzhak Perlman | Courtesy of BYU Arts

Other notable concerts include Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital playing Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and traditional gondolier songs (Nov. 10), Perlman and friends in a concert of klezmer music (Jan. 21, 2025), and Conrad Tao performing Rhapsody in Blue with a chamber ensemble (Nov. 23). Tao’s program, which celebrates the centenary of the Gershwin work, also features choreographer and tap dancer Caleb Teicher.

The season also includes the 23rd annual Laguna Beach Music Festival, which takes place in February 2025. Composer Caroline Shaw will be the music director for the weeklong event, which will feature three concerts.

Philharmonic Society events are held at a variety of Orange County locations, including Segerstrom Concert Hall, Irvine Barclay Theatre, Soka Performing Arts Center, and Laguna Playhouse. For ticket information, go to the Philharmonic Society’s website or call 949-553-2422.