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Philharmonic Society announces 2014-15 season

January 28, 2014|By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times

The Philharmonic Society of Orange County will offer a hat-trick of sorts in the 2014-15 season it announced Monday: Audiences can hear programs led by the music directors of three of California’s top orchestras.

Gustavo Dudamel will conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carl St.Clair will lead the Pacific Symphony's chamber music sections, and the San Francisco Symphony’s music director, Michael Tilson Thomas, will also be accounted for – although on this occasion he’ll marshal the London Symphony Orchestra as one of its principal guest conductors in a program featuring piano star Yuja Wang.

Wang, who gave a recital for the Philharmonic Society 3 1/2 months ago, will play George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F (March 28, 2015); Tilson Thomas and the Londoners also will essay Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Benjamin Britten’s “Four Seas Interludes” from “Peter Grimes.”

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Something unusual has to be up for the Philharmonic Society, whose mission is importing top outside musical talent to Orange County, to feature hometown heroes St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony. It is: their appearance at the Irvine Barclay Theatre (May 19, 2015) is a tribute to St.Clair’s 25th anniversary leading the Pacific, with which he debuted in 1990. They’ll play Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings and other chamber works to be determined.

Two other London-based ensembles will turn up as well.

The London Philharmonic opens the season with conductor Vladimir Jurowski and piano soloist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet in a program that includes Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Dvorak’s “The Noon Witch" and Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique” symphony (Oct. 11).

And John Eliot Gardiner will lead the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists in two all-Monteverdi programs: “Vespers of 1610” (April 24, 2015) and the opera “L’Orfeo” (April 25, 2015).

The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Jiri Belohlavek, will celebrate its nation’s musical heritage, playing Janacek’s “Taras Bulba” rhapsody and Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” They’ll veer into Hungarian territory for Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring French soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Nov. 4).

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