Pacific Symphony announces 2024-25 Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series, honoring Music Director Carl St.Clair’s 35 years of visionary leadership

Pacific Symphony has announced its 2024-25 season, the 35th anniversary season of Carl St.Clair’s tenure as the orchestra’s music director, the longest of any American-born conductor with a major American orchestra. Pacific Symphony’s 46th season and opening of the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series begins on Thursday, Sept. 26. Comprising 36 concerts as part of a 12-program subscription series, four Sunday Matinees, and four specials, the 2024-25 Classical Season presents wide-ranging selections of masterworks, treasured classics and exciting new discoveries. Over the course of the season, St.Clair leads works by composers he has championed at Pacific Symphony, and celebrates his relationship with the Symphony’s musicians by collaborating with gifted guest artists as soloists.

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®HansvanderWoerd/Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl St.Clair

According to Pacific Symphony’s President and CEO John Forsyte, “Carl St.Clair’s 35th anniversary as the music director of Pacific Symphony will feature numerous exhilarating moments under his exceptional leadership. This is undoubtedly one of his most ambitious seasons and one that will generate great community excitement. Throughout his tenure, he has appointed the vast majority of musicians that occupy the tenured roster of this highly distinguished group of orchestral musicians. With the emotion of this season, they will undoubtedly add an extra dimension of energy to Carl’s musical choices that both reflect his artistic values and have animated his thrilling tenure.

“Throughout his remarkable 35-year journey, Carl’s musical passion has been a source of inspiration for both the artistic community and audiences. His inspiring commitment to Orange County is evident in the innovative programs he has curated, often featuring thematic designs, cultural context, choral-orchestral music and a focal point on American composers. This season is a feast of many highlights, and I hope patrons will join us for this extraordinary musical odyssey.”

“As we herald the 2024-25 season, it’s not just a celebration of the music we’ve cherished over the years, but a heartfelt homage to the enduring relationship I’ve shared with Pacific Symphony,” said Carl St.Clair. “This landmark 35th anniversary season is a testament to our collective journey – a tapestry of our shared experiences, our growth and our unyielding commitment to excellence. The musicians of Pacific Symphony are not just performers; they are the very heartbeat of our institution. This season is an expression of our gratitude to them and to our audience, as we continue to forge a legacy of artistic brilliance. I am immensely proud to serve as your music directorm and as we embark on this momentous season, I am eager to celebrate our past and present as we look to the exciting new vistas that lie ahead.”

2024-25 Season highlights at a glance

Opening Night Celebration

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Photo by Mateusz Zahora/Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Pianist Claire Huangci graces the stage on Opening Night

Pacific Symphony’s 2024-25 season begins in style with a celebratory opening performance (Sept. 26). The program presents an eclectic mix of musical genius, beginning with the dynamic compositions of Frank Ticheli followed by Maurice Ravel’s “Alborada del gracioso,” a piece infused with the warmth and vitality of Spain. Celebrated pianist Claire Huangci graces the stage with her interpretation of Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” bringing to life the famous 18th variation known for its appearance in the movie Somewhere in Time. The concert culminates in a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, which the composer considered “one of his best works.”

World Premieres and Commissions

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Photo by Jerry LoFaro/Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Pianist Jeffrey Biegel

In keeping with his tradition of commissioning new works to expand the repertoire, St.Clair has programmed two world premieres for the Feb. 6-8, 2025 concerts. The dazzling razzmatazz of Bernstein’s high-spirited musical prelude “Slava!” sets the stage for two world premieres commissioned by St.Clair and Pacific Symphony: A new piano concerto by esteemed African American composer Adolphus Hailstork to be performed by Jeffrey Biegel and a new orchestral by Pacific Symphony’s Vietnamese American Composer-in-Residence Viet Cuong. Respighi’s tone poem Pines of Rome paints in music the grandeur and history of the Eternal City, including a recording of an actual Italian nightingale singing a serene nocturne.

Opera In Concert: Wagner’s Das Rheingold

St.Clair was the first non-European to hold the position of general music director and chief conductor of the German National Theatre and Staatskapelle Weimar (2005-08). During that tenure, he conducted the entire 15-hour Ring Cycle with the Staatskapelle Weimar to great critical acclaim. Now, Pacific Symphony audiences will have the opportunity to experience St.Clair’s interpretation of the first part of this monumental work (April 10, 12 and 15, 2025). The raw power and gripping narrative of this mythic prologue, where the stakes are as high as the heavens and as deep as the Rhine itself, promises a performance not-to-be-missed. The opera will be presented semi-staged in concert with Pacific Symphony sharing the stage with the vocal forces (cast to be announced).

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Special Themed Evenings

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Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Audiences will be invited to a post-concert Halloween party after “Classical Spooktacular” program on October 17-19

During the 2024-25 season, Pacific Symphony will offer specially themed evenings designed to captivate your senses and ignite your imagination for a more immersive experience. Audiences will be invited to a post-concert Halloween party after the “Classical Spooktacular” program (Oct. 17-19). Costumes and fun party attire are optional, and multiple social media opportunities will abound. Let the “Nature in Music” evening (Jan. 9-11, 2025) transport you to verdant forests and serene landscapes. The Four Seasons of Vivaldi shares the program with Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, which features jaw-dropping visuals of majestic mountains. And finally, ascend to ethereal heights during “Cathedrals in Sound” (May 8-10, 2025), a night where spirituality and symphonic sounds converge to create a musical sanctuary, with Gregorian Chant enhancing the reverent atmosphere. These aren’t just concerts; they are a gateway to experiences that resonate with your soul.

St.Clair partners with Pacific Chorale leading two choral masterworks:

~Carmina Burana

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Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Pacific Chorale

St.Clair’s 35th anniversary season would not be complete without special partnerships with Pacific Chorale. The first of two choral masterpieces is Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (Feb. 27-28, March 1, 2025). This program offers a compelling journey through vocal music, opening with Morten Lauridsen’s evocative work “O Magnum Mysterium” for solo voices that contracts the intricate beauty of Bach’s keyboard concerto. The Grammy® award-winning Pacific Chorale will then perform Carmina Burana, a staple of the choral repertoire known for its raw emotional impact and its wide-reaching influence in contemporary culture.

~Verdi’s Requiem

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Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Pacific Symphony performing Verdi’s “Requiem”

For the grand finale of the 2024-25 season (June 5-7, 2025), St.Clair leads the combined forces of Pacific Symphony, Pacific Chorale and a quartet of soloists (to be announced) in Verdi’s Requiem. This monumental work has been described as an “opera in ecclesiastical dress’ due to its theatrical power and dramatic force that is as compelling and intense as any of his operas. The Requiem is rich with emotional contrasts and unforgettable arias, like the “Libera me’ for soprano, that showcases Verdi’s lyrical genius. With its soaring choral lines, striking orchestral forces and the visceral impact of the “Dies irae” and the ethereal beauty of the “Sanctus,” this Verdi masterpiece transcends the traditional liturgical settings. It is a celebration of human emotions in the face of mortality.

Sunday Matinee Series

St.Clair has devoted his tenure at Pacific Symphony to designing festivals and concert series that enable audiences to engage more deeply with both new music and standard orchestra repertoire. The four-concert Sunday Matinee series was launched in 1995. These concerts offer audiences an intimate and lively exploration of the classics. Just 90 minutes long, these informal programs provide a perfect introduction to classical music: Fantastic Symphony (Oct. 20), A Day in the Alps (Jan. 12, 2025), Carmina Burana (March 2, 2025) and re-Discover Verdi’s Requiem (June 8, 2025).

Pacific Symphony Special Events

~Handel’s Glorious Messiah

A work of enduring significance that continues to resonate with audiences across generations, Handel’s revered oratorio Messiah (Dec. 8) is celebrated for its intricate instrumental textures and the exuberant Hallelujah Chorus. This performance with Pacific Chorale and vocal soloists to be announced, under the baton of Christopher Warren-Green, offers a profound musical experience that encompasses joy, contemplation and the spirit of renewal.

~Lunar New Year Celebration

Pacific Symphony welcomes Lunar New Year (Feb. 1, 2025), ushering in the Year of the Snake with its eighth annual concert. St.Clair conducts this cross-cultural celebration uniting Eastern and Western traditions in a vibrant display of music and dance, reflecting the rich tapestry of our diverse communities.

~Voice & The Violin: Joshua Bell with Soprano Larisa Martínez

Long-time St.Clair collaborator, Grammy® Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, joins soprano Larisa Martínez to explore works from opera to musical theater and Latin American favorites (Feb. 13, 2025) for violin, voice and orchestra. Martínez and Bell told the origin story for this unique concert: “Our concept for the ‘Voice and the Violin’ program began during the pandemic, while we were quarantined and finding new ways to collaborate and enjoy music together. Although finding repertoire written specifically for violin and voice can be a challenge, we discovered and fell in love with these gems featured in our ‘Voice and The Violin’ performances.”

~Nowruz: Iranian New Year

Pacific Symphony marks the occasion of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, with a special concert (March 29, 2025). Nowruz, which heralds the start of spring, is recognized as a time of renewal and a celebration of nature’s rejuvenation. The Symphony’s performance is dedicated to embracing this spirit of new beginnings and the shared values of diverse cultures through the universal language of music.

Additional programming to be announced

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Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Carl St. Clair conducting the Pacific Symphony

The soon-to-be-announced SummerFest season will include five concerts beneath the stars. Programs still to be released in coming months include Pacific Symphony presents Pops under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez, Family Musical Mornings, Café Ludwig chamber music series, and the Pedals and Pipes organ series. The county-wide Symphony on the Go! mobile-stage concert tour returns after three successful seasons. The tour will include more than 30 concerts, beginning in May and continuing through October.

Subscription and ticket information

Subscription materials for Pacific Symphony’s 2024-25 Classical Series are now available, offering a savings of up to 40% off regular single ticket prices on a wide variety of concert packages from four to 12 concerts each. Subscribers save 20% on additional tickets purchased throughout the year, and enjoy easy ticket exchange options and other subscriber-only benefits, including preferential discounts at nearby restaurants.

Tickets for special concerts are currently available for purchase only with subscriptions. Subscriptions may be purchased or renewed by any of four methods: online, by phone, by mail, or in person at the box office. Pacific Symphony provides an easy payment plan option for subscribers: Subscription purchases are eligible for the payment plan and will be automatically charged in installments on the first of the month through September 2024.

For more information, call Pacific Symphony Patron Services at 714.755.5799, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., or visit www.pacificsymphony.org. Groups of 10 or more who are interested in subscribing to the 2024-25 season should call Pacific Symphony’s group sales department at 714.876.2391.

Pacific Symphony performs at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.


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