The Philharmonic Society of Orange County announced its 66th Classical season, featuring 28 performances by the world’s best artists and ensembles through its signature classical music presentations and holiday performances. The Philharmonic Society is proud to continue the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series by the Donna L. Kendall Foundation for its eleventh season, and the Elizabeth and Henry Segerstrom Select Series sponsored by Elizabeth Segerstrom for its tenth season. The Philharmonic Society also thanks Sam and Lyndie Ersan for their generous sponsorship of the Laguna Chamber Music Series.
“This is such an exciting time for the Philharmonic Society as we embark on another beautiful season with some of the most prominent and exciting names in classical music,” said Tommy Phillips, President and Artistic Director. “Not only will we continue the longstanding tradition of bringing the best in the world to Orange County, we will continue to enrich the lives of those in our community through stellar education and outreach programs in the schools and in our neighborhoods, and on the world-class stage of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. I could not be more proud to represent such a dynamic organization now entering its 66th year, and to share these exciting concerts and musically enriching events with you all.”
Among the highlights of the Society’s 2019-20 season are nine orchestral presentations featuring four American orchestras and five international touring orchestras including the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra with its recently appointed Chief Conductor Lahav Shani; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Pinchas Zukerman; the San Diego Symphony with its recently appointed principal guest conductor Edo de Waart; the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen; Boston Pops Esplanade with Keith Lockhart–this time featuring legendary singer-songwriter Randy Newman; the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell; the Zurich Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Hope; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra with its new music director Jaime Martín and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason; and Les Violons du Roy with music director Jonathan Cohen and Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital. Season highlights also include recitals by pianists Yuja Wang, Emanuel Ax, Daniil Trifonov, and Richard Goode, as well as a recital by soprano Renée Fleming. Violinist Ray Chen, whose remarkable musicianship transmits to a global audience that is reflected in his engagements with the foremost orchestras and concert halls around the world, including Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, appears on the season lineup as Festival Artistic Director of the 2020 Laguna Beach Music Festival.
A focal point of this and next season, the Philharmonic Society launches Beethoven@250 to celebrate the 250th birth anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the most famous and influential composers of all time. Over the course of 2020, Beethoven@250 concerts will showcase his plethora of work, including piano and violin sonatas, concerti, chamber works, and all nine of his famous symphonies. This season features five of his nine symphonies including Symphonies Nos. 3 (“Eroica”), 4, 5, 6 (“Pastoral”), and 7; the beloved three Op. 2 piano sonatas; the composer’s Egmont Overture; the “Emperor” Piano Concerto; the Op. 131 string quartet; and the “Archduke” Piano Trio. Grammy Award-winning violinist Midori and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet also join the festivities performing an exclusive U.S. engagement of their complete cycle of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas.
The Society continues its holiday offerings with performances by the Duke Ellington Orchestra, featuring the Ellington/Strayhorn arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker Suite, as well as the 11-member a cappella ensemble with professional roots in Walt Disney World entertainment Voctave with their Christmas program, “The Spirit of the Season.”
The Philharmonic Society presents four American orchestras and five international orchestras in nine performances during the 2019-20 season on the world-class stage of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
The 2019-20 season launches with a visit by the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Grammy Award-winning Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen. Salonen was also recently announced as San Francisco Symphony’s next music director, beginning in September 2020. The program features Thorvaldsdottir’s symphonic poem Metacosmos, which premiered with the New York Philharmonic and Salonen in 2018 at Lincoln Center’s Geffen Hall; Tchaikovsky’s well-known and harmonious Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, featuring Swedish violin prodigy Daniel Lozakovich; and Bartók’s five-movement Concerto for Orchestra. Part of the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series. (Sunday, October 20, 2019, 3pm)
The Zurich Chamber Orchestra returns with violinist and music director Daniel Hope for Vivaldi’s classic The Four Seasons and Bach’s expressive Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043, also known as the “Double Violin Concerto.” Two works that are also on Hope’s recent recording for Deutsche Grammophon, My Tribute to Yehudi Menuhin, will also be performed: Franco-Lebanese composer Bechara El-Khoury’s Unfinished Journey (commissioned by Hope for the 10th anniversary of Menuhin’s death) and Mendelssohn’s three-movement Violin Concerto in D minor. Part of the Elizabeth & Henry Segerstrom Select Series. (Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 8pm)
Edo de Waart, the newly appointed principal guest conductor of the San Diego Symphony, leads the orchestra in an all-Beethoven program, including Beethoven’s Egmont Overture which depicts the life of the Count of Egmont, a Flemish nobleman whose execution sparked the national uprising that eventually led to the independence of the Netherlands (maestro de Waart’s birthplace); Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Op. 60; and Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 “Pastoral.” Part of the Elizabeth & Henry Segerstrom Select Series. Part of Beethoven@250. (Sunday, January 26, 2020, 3pm)
One of the world’s most distinguished classical artists, Grammy Award-winning conductor and violinist Pinchas Zukerman returns leading the London-based Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a program capped by Tchaikovsky, opening with the rhythmic Polonaise from the opera Eugene Onegin, Op. 24, and closing with the composer’s beloved Fifth Symphony in A major, K. 219. Also on the program is Mozart’s delightful Fifth Violin Concerto, often referred to as “The Turkish,” where maestro Zukerman will also appear as soloist. Part of the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series. (Tuesday, January 28, 2020, 8pm)
British chamber orchestra Academy of St Martin in the Fields returns with Grammy Award-winning violinist and music director Joshua Bell for Paganini’s complex Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 6, and Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony in C minor, Op. 67; with an additional work to be announced. Part of the Elizabeth & Henry Segerstrom Select Series. (Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 8pm)
Under the baton of its recently appointed Chief Conductor Lahav Shani, who is also incoming music director of the Israel Philharmonic, the internationally acclaimed Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra brings an all-Beethoven program, including the four-movement Seventh Symphony in A major, Op. 92, and the Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 (the “Emperor”) featuring pianist Nelson Freire, which was the composer’s last completed piano concerto. Part of the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series. Part of Beethoven@250. (Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 8pm)
Legendary singer-songwriter Randy Newman joins the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, one of the “best-known, most recorded and arguably most popular orchestra in the United States,” (New York Times) and conductor Keith Lockhart, performing hits from Newman’s vast catalogue of unforgettable film scores and pop songs. Newman is best known for his film scores including Ragtime, Awakenings, The Natural, Meet the Parents, and Seabiscuit, as well as his work for Disney/Pixar, including all three Toy Story films, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., The Princess and the Frog, and James and the Giant Peach. (Sunday, March 29, 2020, 7pm)
Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital joins Quebec-based chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy led by music director Jonathan Cohen in a program of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048; Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041 (arr. for mandolin); Concerto in G minor, BWV 1056 (arr. for mandolin); and Vivaldi’s Chamber Concerto in D major (arr. A. Avital), RV 93; Mandolin Concerto in C major, RV 425; and Concerto for 2 Cellos in G minor, RV 531. (Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 8pm)
Led by its new music director Jaime Martín, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra returns with BBC’s 2016 Young Musician of the Year Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who became a household name worldwide after playing at the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The program is comprised of Saint-Saëns’ captivating and brilliant Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33; Beethoven’s Third Symphony in E-flat major, Op. 55 “Eroica;” and the world premiere of a new work by Derrick Spiva, a Los Angeles-based composer and musician who often integrates music practices from different cultural traditions around the world into his work with classical music communities. Part of the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series. (Friday, May 15, 2020, 8pm)
The 2019-20 season features nine exceptional chamber performances.
True to the original social function of chamber music, Camera Lucida is a chamber music collaboration between musicians with diverse backgrounds, including principal members of the San Diego Symphony, performance faculty of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and Columbia University, and guests from the international chamber music world. Violinist Jeff Thayer, violist Che-Yen Chen, cellist Charles Curtis, and pianist Reiko Uchida come together for one of Shostakovich’s best-known chamber works: Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57, with additional works to be announced. Part of the Laguna Chamber Music Series and concert generously sponsored by Mr. Sam B. Ersan, Founding Sponsor. (Sunday, October 6, 2019, 3pm, Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
Hailed as “one of today’s best quartets in the world” (Süddeutsche Zeitung) the Paris-based Modigliani Quartet is a guest of the world’s top venues and finest string quartet and chamber music series. Comprised of violinists Amaury Coeytaux and Loic Rio, violist Laurent Marfaing, and cellist François Kieffer, the quartet brings a program of Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for String Quartet; Haydn’s String Quartet in D minor, Op. 76, No. 2 “Quinten;” and Brahms’ four-movement String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51. Part of the Laguna Chamber Music Series. (Friday, November 8, 2019, 8pm, Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
Since its debut in 2002, the Danish String Quartet has become one of the most sought-after quartets in the world, earning numerous accolades, including a Grammy Award nomination for its latest recording, PRISM I. The quartet’s PRISM project inaugurates a series of five albums, each of which feature one of Beethoven’s late string quartets in the context of a related fugue by J.S. Bach as well as a linked masterwork from the modern quartet literature. As one of the quartet’s PRISM programs, this concert features Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131; Bach’s Fugue No. 4 in C-sharp minor, BWV 849, from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I; and Bartók’s String Quartet No. 1 in A minor. Part of the Laguna Chamber Music Series. Part of Beethoven@250. (Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 8pm, Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
Three renowned visionary artists of the next generation—violinist Stefan Jackiw, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist and pianist Conrad Tao, and cellist Jay Campbell—combine talents in this eclectic new piano trio, JCT (pronounced “junction”). Hailed for playing of “uncommon musical substance” that is “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity” (Boston Globe), the trio brings the West Coast premiere of a new work by Conrad Tao as well as Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97 “Archduke.” Part of Beethoven@250. (Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 8pm, Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
Spanning three concerts in two days, Grammy Award-winning violinist Midori and renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet team up for an exclusive U.S. engagement of their complete cycle of Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas, the crown jewel of the Philharmonic Society’s Beethoven@250 celebration. The Beethoven Violin Sonatas signify a turning point in the history of violin and piano repertoire, as these sonatas are not piano sonatas with a violin accompaniment or obligato; instead they were intended for two equal forces. The opening concert showcases Sonatas Nos. 1, 4, 8, and 7. Part of the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series. (Friday, January 31, 2020, 8pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts). The second features Sonatas Nos. 5, 6, and 10. (Saturday February 1, 2020, 3pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts). The final performance concludes the cycle with Sonatas Nos. 2, 3, and 9. Part of the Elizabeth & Henry Segerstrom Select Series. (Saturday, February 1, 2020, 8pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts) Part of Beethoven@250
Musical America’s 2018 Instrumentalist of the Year, violinist Augustin Hadelich is joined by pianist Orion Weiss, a protégé of Emanuel Ax, for a wide-ranging program showcasing Beethoven’s Sonata No. 4 in A minor, Op. 23; Debussy’s Sonata in G minor, L. 140 and L’isle joyeuse; Francisco Coll’s Hyperlude No. 5 for Solo Violin; Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 6 in E major for Solo Violin; Brahms’ Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100; and John Adams’ Road Movies. Part of the Laguna Chamber Music Series. Part of Beethoven@250. (Thursday, March 26, 2020, 8pm, Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
Stars of numerous prestigious international music competitions, South Korean violinist Bomsori Kim and Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz are two of today’s most vibrant emerging musical personalities. As new duo partners, their first recording for Deutsche Grammophon is slated for release in 2019. For this performance, the duo teams up for Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 12; Fauré’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 13; Debussy’s Violin Sonata in G minor; and Szymanowski’s Violin Sonata in D minor, Op. 9. Part of the Laguna Chamber Music Series. Part of Beethoven@250. (Sunday, April 19, 2020, 3pm, Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
Five extraordinary recitals showcasing sublime artistry
Hailed as “one of the finest pianists in the world” (The Washington Post), Richard Goode has been acknowledged worldwide as one of today’s leading interpreters of Classical and Romantic music. Goode brings a vast recital program comprised of Bach’s Partita No. 5 in G major, BWV 829; Bartók’s Suite, Op. 14; Debussy’s Images, Book I, L. 110, 4 Études, La soirée dans Grenade (from Estampes), and L’isle joyeuse, L. 106; as well as Chopin’s Étude, Preludes, and Nocturnes. (Saturday, October 26, 2019, 8pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
Grammy Award-winning pianist Emanuel Ax makes a special recital appearance in an all-Beethoven program, including the three Op. 2 sonatas that were written 1795-1796 and dedicated to Joseph Haydn: Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1; Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2, No. 2; and Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2, No. 3; as well as Beethoven’s 6 Variations in F major, Op. 34. Part of the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series. (Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 8pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
Grammy Award-winning Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov–winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year award–has been declared “without question the most astounding pianist of our age” (The Times of London). Trifonov brings a recital program including Bach’s The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 and Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in B-flat major, Op. 84. Co-presented with Soka Performing Arts Center. (Sunday, February 9, 2020, 3pm, Soka Performing Arts Center)
Celebrated for her charismatic artistry and captivating stage presence, sensational piano dynamo Yuja Wang returns with a vivid recital performance. “Her combination of technical ease, colouristic range and sheer power has always been remarkable … but these days there is an ever-greater depth to her musicianship, drawing you into the world of each composer with compelling immediacy.” (The Financial Times) Program to be announced. Part of the Elizabeth and Henry Segerstrom Select Series. (Thursday, February 20, 2020, 8pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
Internationally renowned superstar soprano Renée Fleming returns for a recital comprised of beloved songs and arias. One of the most celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. Known as “the people’s diva,” she continues to grace the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls, now extending her reach to include other musical forms and media. Part of the Elizabeth and Henry Segerstrom Select Series. (Saturday, May 23, 2020, 8pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
Two performances to ring in the holidays at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts
An 11-member a cappella ensemble with professional roots with Walt Disney World entertainment, Voctave is known for their chart-topping performances of Disney and Broadway hits, modern pop covers, and holiday favorites. The group has ranked in the top 25 on Billboard Magazine’s charts and has had multiple number-one songs and albums on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Receiving more than 100 million views of their videos on Facebook and YouTube, they bring their Christmas program, “The Spirit of the Season.” (Saturday, December 14, 2019, 8pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
One of the originators of big-band jazz, the Duke Ellington Orchestra brings Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite along with jazz standards and holiday favorites. Arranged by Grammy-winning jazz composer Duke Ellington and pianist Billy Strayhorn, whose nearly 30 years of collaboration together produced some of the most beloved jazz standards of all time, this performance of Ellington’s The Nutcracker Suite combines Tchaikovsky’s original themes with the unique textures and interpretations of jazz music. (Sunday, December 15, 2019, 7pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts)
LAGUNA BEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL
Violinist Ray Chen serves as Festival Artistic Director for the 2020 Laguna Beach Music Festival. A co-presentation of Laguna Beach Live! and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, the multi-day Festival features Chen and special guest artists in outstanding classical and contemporary concerts in intimate spaces, community outreach programs, and dynamic special events. Since Chen’s triumphant wins at the Yehudi Menuhin and Queen Elizabeth Competitions, the violinist has made a name for himself in the classical world, being profiled as the “one to watch” by The Strad and Gramophone magazines and receiving critical acclaim for his recordings. On Friday, February 7, pianist Julio Elizalde joins Chen for a recital program including Grieg’s Sonata for Violin & Piano No. 2 in G major; Op. 13; Saint-Saëns’ Sonata for Violin & Piano No. 1 in D minor, Op. 75; Bach’s Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor for Solo Violin, BWV 1004; Debussy’s Clair de Lune; and Ravel’s Tzigane. Saturday, February 8, features Ray Chen and special guests in Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 and Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Finally, on Sunday, February 9, Chen teams up with Dover Quartet for Chausson’s Concert and Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Op. 47. For more information, visit LagunaBeachMusicFestival.com. (February 5-9, 2020, Laguna Beach)
TICKETS AND OTHER INFORMATION
The Philharmonic Society’s 2019-20 subscription packages go on sale Sunday, January 20. Subscription series range from packages of three to sixteen concerts, and start at $114. Subscribers receive preferred seating, savings throughout the season, pre-sale access to single tickets, ticket exchange privileges, and many other benefits.
Single tickets for 2019-20 performances will go on sale to the general public in summer 2019. Members of the public who wish to receive a brochure or more information should contact the Philharmonic Society’s Patron Services Department at (949) 553-2422, or visit the Society’s website at www.PhilharmonicSociety.org.
Although rare, all dates, times, programs, artists and prices are subject to change.
ABOUT THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY
Founded in 1954, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County presents the world’s most acclaimed symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, soloists and international artists for the enjoyment and appreciation of Orange County audiences. A catalyst for cultural and educational development throughout the region, the Philharmonic Society is a key resident company in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and also presents concerts at various venues throughout Orange County.
For more than 60 years, the Society has presented artists who set the standards for artistic achievement: Sir Georg Solti, Itzhak Perlman, Jacqueline du Pré, Daniel Barenboim, Lorin Maazel, Yo-Yo Ma, Renée Fleming and Cecilia Bartoli, to name just a few. In addition, many of the world’s greatest orchestras have performed in Orange County by invitation of the Philharmonic Society, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among others.
From 1999-2004, the Society celebrated the diversity of our cultural landscape with Eclectic Orange Festival presentations. Eclectic Orange events championed contemporary composers through commissions and sponsorship of regional and world premieres. Among the living composers presented were Tan Dun, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, John Adams, Edgar Meyer, Burhan Öçal and Mikel Rouse. Past presentations include the West Coast premiere of Steve Reich’s “The Cave,” the Southern California premiere of Terry Riley’s “Sun Rings,” the United States exclusive engagement of Théâtre Zingaro, and the West Coast premiere of “Orion” by Philip Glass. The Society revived its Eclectic Orange brand in 2015 to offer diverse programming such as cross-genre or world music performances to celebrate and serve Orange County’s diverse demographics.
The Society’s nationally recognized Youth Music Education Programs, one of the most extensive music education programs of its kind in the country, are offered free of charge to schools, students and parents, and each year reach more than 160,000 students from elementary through high school. These programs are made possible by the tireless volunteerism and fundraising of The Committees of the Philharmonic Society.
The Society’s volunteer force and one of its principal fundraising sources, The Committees are made up of 800 volunteer members who provide more than 90,000 hours of in-kind service each year in developing, implementing and evaluating the music education programs. The Committees also present a wide variety of fundraising events, including the Philharmonic House of Design and the Huntington Harbour Cruise of Lights®.
In 2017, the award-winning Orange County Youth Symphony merged with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, representing a natural evolution for the two organizations after more than 30 years of partnership. The exceptional young musicians of the Youth Symphony have exciting opportunities to further develop and nurture their talents through engaging in exclusive opportunities with some of classical music’s most celebrated artists, performing in concerts at world-class venues, learning and playing professional repertoire, and experiencing concerts by the greatest classical musicians of our time at Philharmonic Society presentations.
This article was released by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.