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Pacific Symphony Announces More Guest Artists, World Premieres in 2020–2021

February 18, 2020

Pacific Symphony is keeping on with programming that works. Today, the orchestra announced its 2020–2021 classical series, underwritten by the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation. On the schedule: lots of guest artists, plus a continued commitment to signature events.

The biggest name coming to Orange County next season is Lang Lang, who plays Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto with the orchestra on Oct. 4. Longtime Music Director Carl St. Clair conducts the one-night-only concert. As of now, tickets to this performance are only available to season subscribers.

Guest soloists for 2021 include Emanuel Ax, who plays Mozart, Jan. 14–16; James Ehnes, soloing in the Sibelius Violin Concerto, Feb. 25–27; and Rachel Barton Pine, who performs the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, May 6–8, her first appearance with Pacific Symphony.

Twin sisters Christina and Michelle Naughton open the season in September 2020 with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 10 for two pianos. That program also features Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and a world premiere: the symphonic arrangement of Wayne Oquin’s Tower Ascending; St. Clair conducts.

Pacific Symphony maintains a commitment to premieres of all sorts in 2020 and 2021. Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson play the West Coast premiere of Chris Brubeck’s jazzy double concerto Pas de Deux, Oct. 15–17. But the big new work of the season is by Scottish composer James MacMillan: Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale perform the world-premiere commission, Fiat Lux, March 18–20, 2021.

The orchestra marks 10 years of semistaged opera productions in April 2021 with three performances of Verdi’s Rigoletto. It’s one of Pacific Symphony’s annual happenings. Handel’s Messiah in December, plus a Lunar New Year concert and an Iranian New Year concert, are also return events.

No orchestral season would be complete without the big names in symphonic music: Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, and Rachmaninoff are all there, along with lesser-heard works by Alexander Scriabin and Ralph Vaughan Williams. And the season ends in grand fashion, June 10–12, 2021, with “The Mozart Project,” an all-Mozart program from Don Giovanni to the Requiem.

Subscriptions for Pacific Symphony’s 2020–2021 classical series at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall go on sale today, Feb. 18. Tickets are available online or by phone at 714-755-5799.

Peter Feher is an editor at SFCV. He can be reached at [email protected].