Orange County, Calif., January 9, 2018—Pacific Symphony today announced the details of its first-ever tour to China and first international tour since the Symphony toured European capitals in 2006. The five-city tour launches May 9, 2018 with a concert at the Shanghai Poly Grand Theatre, followed by performances in Hefei (capital of Anhui province), Wuxi (Jiangsu province), Chongqing (a major city in southwest China) and Beijing. The final concert takes place at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, colloquially known as “The Giant Egg” due to its distinctive dome-shaped, titanium and glass architecture. The Symphony’s tour will include works by Leonard Bernstein in celebration of his centennial, as well as Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, Suite No. 2; Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky (arranged by Ravel); and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, featuring soloist Pinchas Zukerman.
The visit to China follows another important tour this season to New York City for the Orchestra’s Carnegie Hall debut on April 21, 2018.
“We are gratified to represent Southern California on this highly anticipated tour,” says Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl St.Clair. “This is an artistic milestone for the orchestra and I couldn’t be more pleased to be leading this exceptional group of musicians on its first tour to China. This is an artistically significant opportunity for Pacific Symphony to embrace cultural diplomacy and to carry the message of music’s universality across the ocean to the other side of the Pacific Rim. The halls we will be playing have all been built within the last ten years. Some of the world’s leading architects have created contemporary temples of music with stunning acoustics that will beautifully showcase the fine playing of our musicians.”
Carl St.Clair, who was personally mentored by Leonard Bernstein, will present works in honor of the composer’s centennial. “I have carefully selected the repertoire for this tour to include quintessential American works such as Bernstein’s “Slava!,” Mambo from “West Side Story” and Overture to “Candide,” which show off Pacific Symphony’s energetic spirit and warm sonority.” He continued, “Additionally, we will be performing 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century masterworks by Mozart, Mussorgsky and Ravel that display Pacific Symphony’s incredible versatility and virtuosity.”
Pacific Symphony President John Forsyte said: “We are proud of the role we will be playing as cultural ambassadors for Orange County and the community. As Pacific Symphony looks forward to its 40th anniversary next season, we are gratified by the support we have received from the diverse communities of Orange County over the decades. The county’s Asian-American population is the third largest in the country and the Chinese community in particular has experienced explosive growth. Since 2013 we have been devoted to engaging with the Chinese communities of the region and building on their enthusiasm for symphonic music. Crossing the Pacific Rim to perform for the Chinese population on the mainland is the logical extension of the work we’ve been doing here in Orange County.”
Longtime Pacific Symphony supporters Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and Sally Segerstrom have provided a major lead gift in support of the tour.
“The Segerstrom family have been generous patrons throughout the 40-year history of Pacific Symphony. This latest gift is yet another example of their undying generous spirit and ongoing commitment to the unparalleled quality of life in Southern California. The institution is grateful to Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and Sally Segerstrom for their visionary commitment as lead sponsors of the tour,” commented Joann Leatherby, board chairman. “We are proud to have the opportunity to represent Orange County’s vibrant cultural arts scene to audiences across China.”
About Pacific Symphony
Pacific Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair since 1990, has been the resident orchestra of Orange County’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall for over a decade. Currently in its 39th season, the Symphony is the largest orchestra formed in the U.S. in the last 50 years and is not only a fixture of musical life in Southern California, but is also recognized as an outstanding ensemble making strides on both the national and international scene. In April 2018, Pacific Symphony will make its debut at Carnegie Hall, where it has been invited to perform within a yearlong celebration of composer Philip Glass’s 80th birthday. In Orange County, the orchestra presents more than 100 concerts and events each year and a rich array of education and community engagement programs, reaching more than 300,000 residents of all ages.
Pacific Symphony’s discography comprises fifteen recordings, mostly of 20th- and 21st-century music by such American composers as William Bolcom, John Corigliano and Richard Danielpour. In 2012 for Naxos, Mr. St.Clair and the orchestra recorded Philip Glass’s The Passion of Ramakrishna, a Pacific Symphony commission that will appear on the Carnegie Hall program. The Symphony has also recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Koch International Classics, Reference Recordings and Sony Classical, among other labels.
The Symphony has been recognized with multiple ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming and included among the country’s five most innovative orchestras by The League of American Orchestras. The Symphony’s education and community engagement activities have also been recognized by The League, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.
About Carl St.Clair
Over the course of his 28-year tenure as Music Director, Carl St.Clair, has transformed Pacific Symphony into a major American orchestra renowned for its musical excellence, innovative programming and outreach throughout Orange County. His steady vision and unwavering commitment to the Symphony as one of America’s longest tenured conductors have been key to the orchestra’s rapid artistic development.
Highlights of his tenure include launching the American Composers Festival, which explores a different aspect of American music each year, and the annual Symphonic Voices performance of an opera in concert. He has also emphasized the regular commissioning and recording of new works, particularly by American composers, and has been a strong advocate for music education, spearheading such programs as the Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles and Class Act partnerships with Orange County elementary schools.
In addition to leading the Pacific Symphony, he has conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra (where he served as assistant conductor under Leonard Bernstein), Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Montreal, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver symphonies, among others.
He conducts internationally for several months each year and has served as general music director for the Komische Oper in Berlin, general music director and chief conductor of the German National Theater and Staatskapelle in Weimar, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Costa Rica and principal guest conductor of the Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart.
About Pinchas Zukerman
Born in Tel Aviv in 1948, Pinchas Zukerman came to America in 1962 where he studied at The Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian. His enthusiasm for teaching has resulted in innovative programs in London, New York, China, Israel and Ottawa. He is equally respected as violinist, violist, conductor, pedagogue and chamber musician.
The 2017-18 season marks his ninth as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and his third as Artist-in-Association with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. As soloist and conductor, he leads the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Baltimore, Nashville, New West, San Diego and Vancouver symphonies, and tours with Camerata Salzburg and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. As a soloist, in addition to appearing with Pacific Symphony, he appears with the Israel Philharmonic and Itzhak Perlman at Carnegie Hall, as well as with the Manchester Camerata and Prague and San Francisco symphonies, among others. His chamber music activities include performances in the U.S. and abroad with the Zukerman Trio.
His discography contains over 100 titles and has earned him two Grammy Awards. His most recent release is Baroque Treasury on Analekta (September 2016) with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, cellist Amanda Forsyth and oboist Charles Hamann. A 22-disc set of his complete recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and Philips was also released in 2016.
Pacific Symphony China Tour 2018
May 9–15, 2018
Carl St.Clair, Music Director and Conductor
Pinchas Zukerman, violin
Ravel: Daphnis and Chloe, Suite No. 2
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3
Mussorgsky/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition
Bernstein: Overture to “Candide,” “Slava!” and Mambo from “West Side Story”
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Shanghai Poly Grand Theatre, SHANGHAI
Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Hefei Grand Theatre, HEFEI
Friday, May 11, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Wuxi Grand Theatre, WUXI
Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Chongqing Grand Theatre, CHONGQING
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
National Centre for the Performance Arts, BEIJING