The Pacific Symphony cemented its 2011-2012 classical series in stone and sent out the calendar (below) last week. The artists (including singers in La Boheme) and repertoire are all listed.

I’m posting it (complete with the prose descriptions of the concerts that were provided) because it’s easier to read here than on the orchestra’s website. I have some scattered thoughts about the schedule, but I’d rather hear what you think. Please leave your likes and dislikes in the comments section.

Click here to continue reading Pacific Symphony 2011-2012 season calendar …

Classical Series

2011-2012 Gala Opening Night
SARAH CHANG PLAYS MENDELSSOHN
Thursday through Saturday, September 22-24, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Sarah Chang, violin

Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
James Newton Howard: I Would Plant a Tree
Respighi: Pines of Rome

Mendelssohn’s timeless Violin Concerto — fresh, vibrant and soul stirring — is performed by the incomparable Sarah Chang. Berlioz’s overture pairs perfectly with Respighi’s shimmering, alluring music, which is often cited by Hollywood composers as inspiration. Fittingly, then, Howard’s “I Would Plant a Tree” returns for an encore.

2011: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Thursday through Saturday, October 20-22, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
Jeremy Denk, piano
Barry Perkins, trumpet
Jose Francisco Salgado, videographer

Hovhaness: Prayer of St. Gregory
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21
Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra
Strauss, Jr.: On the Beautiful Blue Danube (with visual images)

Thanks to “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the first five notes of Strauss’ tone poem are seared into the cultural fabric. But Director Stanley Kubrick also chose classical music to convey the magnificence of space, including another Strauss’ beautiful “Blue Danube” waltz. Opening the concert: Hovhaness’ Prayer of St. Gregory and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21.

MAHLER’S MAGNIFICENT FAREWELL
Thursday through Saturday, November 17-19, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Joseph Horowitz, artistic advisor

Mahler: Symphony No. 9

Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, considered one of his greatest works, is a sweeping musical exposition of the composer’s innermost conflicts ― a profound, lifelong fear of death and a deep yearning for the joys of life. Mahler didn’t live to hear it performed, but left it for us to experience his sadness, torment and finally, his dignified affirmation of life.

Music Unwound – Multi-media and other enhancements allow deeper insight, better understanding and richer enjoyment of the program. Funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

FOUR SEASONS AND MORE
Thursday through Saturday, December 8-10, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Henning Kraggerud, conductor and violin

Corelli: “Christmas” Concerto [Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op. 6, No. 8]
Grieg: Holberg Suite
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

One of the most beloved works of the Baroque repertoire, Vivaldi’s lyrical masterpiece paints tantalizing pictures of Earth’s changing seasons. Also on the program, Grieg’s Holberg Suite, a collection of delightfully fresh Baroque-style dances originally composed for piano and only later adapted for string orchestra.

TCHAIKOVSKY’S FIFTH
Thursday through Saturday, January 12-14, 2012, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Dejan Lazić, piano

Golijov: Sidereus
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5

After the second performance of his Symphony No. 5, Tchaikovsky claimed the work a failure. When Chopin first played his Piano Concerto No. 2, he was proclaimed a national hero. Despite these varied premieres, both compositions have now attained immortality. Composer Osvaldo Golijov’s piece was inspired by a book by Galileo.

BENEDETTI PLAYS BRUCH
Thursday through Saturday, February 2-4, 2012, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Christoph König, conductor
Nicola Benedetti, violin

Debussy: Petite Suite
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4

One of the most enduring violin concertos in the repertoire, Bruch’s masterpiece soars in the inspired hands of captivating young virtuoso Nicola Benedetti. Debussy’s Petite Suite, written for four-hand piano, will be played in its orchestral arrangement. Under renowned conductor Christoph König, Beethoven’s sublime and lyrical Symphony No. 4 is both profound and quietly joyous.

TCHAIKOVSKY’S VIOLIN CONCERTO
Thursday through Saturday, February 23-25, 2012, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Vadim Gluzman, violin
Paul Jacobs, organ

Daugherty: Work for organ, brass and percussion (World premiere)
Barber: Adagio for Strings
Daugherty: Radio City for Orchestra (A musical fantasy on Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra (1937-54)) (American premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto

Tchaikovsky’s dazzling violin concerto is a test of skill for any violinist, but Vadim Gluzman, who performed Brahms last season in Orange County, is up to the task. In only eight minutes, Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” will take listeners from the depths of sadness to the heights of joy. And we’ll hear two exciting premieres from Michael Daugherty, including a musical fantasy on the radio broadcasts of Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony in NBC Studio 8-H in New York City’s Rockefeller Center (1937-54).

RACHMANINOFF’S MIGHTY THIRD
Thursday through Saturday, March 1-3, 2012, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Michael Stern, conductor
Joyce Yang, piano

Rossini: Overture to “Semiramide”
Bartok: Suite from “The Miraculous Mandarin”
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3

Korean pianist Joyce Yang offers Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto, one of the repertoire’s most powerful, most demanding and most popular works. Rossini’s “Semiramide” is seldom performed in full, but the overture and arias have received constant acclaim. “The Miraculous Mandarin” is Bartok at his most colorful and dramatic.

American Composers Festival 2012
NOWRUZ―CELEBRATING SPRING
Thursday through Saturday, March 22-24, 2012, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Farhad Mechkat, conductor
Hila Plitmann, soprano
Shams Ensemble
Pacific Chorale — John Alexander, artistic director

Traditional Persian Music
Danielpour: “A Time for Peace” (Ecclesiastes) (world premiere)

The traditional Persian New Year — marking the arrival of spring —has been celebrated since ancient times. This year, join your neighbors in a program of festive Persian music. Then, celebrate another world premiere: Richard Danielpour’s Peace Oratorio was commissioned by Pacific Symphony as part of this year’s American Composers Festival.

Music Unwound – Enhancements thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

LA BOHEME
Thursday, April 19, 2012, 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 21, 2012, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 8 p.m.
(Friday evening subscribers will attend Sunday’s performance)
Tickets are $25-$110

Carl St.Clair, conductor
A. Scott Parry, stage director
Hei-Kyung Hong, Mimi
David Lomeli, Rodolfo
Georgia Jarman, Musetta
Pacific Chorale — John Alexander, artistic director
Southern California Children’s Chorus — Lori Loftus, artistic director

Puccini: La Boheme

Carl St.Clair enjoys a stellar reputation as an opera conductor in Europe. Now he showcases that talent as Pacific Symphony presents one of Puccini’s most popular and heartbreaking operas, “La Boheme,” in a semi-staged production. Carefree Bohemians and star-struck lovers — penniless, hungry and ill — will fill the concert hall with their astonishing voices as Puccini’s sad tale unfolds.

SCHUBERT’S NINTH
Thursday through Saturday, May 10-12, 2012, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Andrew von Oeyen, piano

Prangcharoen: Sattha for Strings, Piano and Percussion
Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1
Schubert: Symphony No. 9, “The Great”

East meets West with Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen’s Sattha. Then young superstar Andrew von Oeyen performs a classic piano concerto written by another young superstar, Felix Mendelssohn. Franz Schubert was never a superstar in his short life, but he wrote nine symphonies, the last of which has been called “The Great” for the last 200 years.

BEETHOVEN’S NINTH
Thursday through Saturday, May 31-June 2, 2012, 8 p.m.
Tickets are $25-$110

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Vocalists TBA
Pacific Chorale — John Alexander, artistic director

Ticheli: Radiant Voices
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

“Ode to Joy” has thrilled listeners around the world for nearly two centuries. When it premiered in 1824, conducted by Beethoven himself, he heard not a note, so profoundly deaf was he. Nor did he hear the five standing ovations for the most epic choral work ever composed! Frank Tichelli’s “Radiant Voices” provides a sweet choral appetizer.

Music Unwound – Enhancements thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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