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Classically Trained: Pacific Symphony ramps up for next season

September 13, 2012|By Bradley Zint
(Courtesy MIGUEL…)

The 34th season of the Pacific Symphony promises to be a memorable one: its busy lineup includes traditional favorites, pops concerts, a new Sunday series at Soka University and the second year of the opera-vocal initiative.

The 2012-13 season begins next week with three nights featuring pianist André Watts.

The repertoire for the 8 p.m. performances Sept. 20 to 22 is Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2, Johann Strauss Jr.'s overture from "Die Fledermaus" and Richard Strauss' suite from "Der Rosenkavalier." Carl St.Clair, the symphony's music director since 1990, leads the series.

Watts, who last performed with the symphony in 2010, has known St.Clair since the mid-1980s, when St.Clair was assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony.

"He came regularly as a soloist, so I was able to experience his profound music-making," St.Clair said in a prepared statement, calling Watts a "consummate artist."

"To me, this means he is an artist's artist," he said.

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Watts has been known in the music world since he was 16, according to a symphony release, after Leonard Bernstein chose him to play with the New York Philharmonic.

In addition to the night performances, Watts will play the first Classical Connections concert of the season at 3 p.m. Sept 22. The afternoon features commentary from St.Clair and Watts on the Brahms concerto.

Tickets start at $25. All four concerts are in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.

For more information, visit pacificsymphony.org or call (714) 755-5799.

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Pacific Symphony releases first live recording

The Pacific Symphony has released a recording of Philip Glass' "The Passion of Ramakrishna." The orchestra premiered the 45-minute piece in 2006 at the opening of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

"This marks Pacific Symphony's first live recording, and it's also the first of several that will be coming out in upcoming seasons, which makes it all the more special," St.Clair said in a press release.

The work, which also features the Pacific Chorale and soloists, was co-commissioned by the Pacific and Nashville symphonies.

"A Philip Glass CD release is always an exciting moment in the music world," St.Clair added. "And this is a beautiful oratorio, which has not only all the classic Glass idioms, but marks a new direction — one toward the spiritualism of Anton Bruckner.

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