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Announcing Exciting Updates to the 2020-21 Season


We are excited to announce updates to our 2020-21 season, including the addition of new artists to our season lineup, digital initiatives to further the reach of our musical and educational offerings, and an optimistic intent to resume in-person performances in the spring.

Diversity and a spotlight on historically underrepresented communities and voices in classical music will serve as a key focal point of the Philharmonic Society’s fall programming, culminating in December with a multi-day “Triumph Over Adversity” Festival curated by musicians and brothers Anthony and Demarre McGill. Additional fall highlights include the addition of a virtual Moon Festival Celebration with pipa virtuoso Wu Man, and appearances by violinist Hilary Hahn as well as cello-piano sibling duo Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason as the Philharmonic Society’s inaugural Virtual Artists-in-Residence.

Contingent on approval by public health and safety officials, the Philharmonic Society plans to resume in-person concerts in spring 2021 with a revised lineup of performances. Several concerts scheduled in the Philharmonic Society’s originally planned season were impacted by tour cancellations due to restrictions on international travel and venue closures, and the Philharmonic Society is actively working towards reengaging these performances in future seasons.

We are currently in the process of reaching out to our subscribers about their ticketing options.

As for our Youth Music Education Programs, students across Orange County will continue to receive exceptional music education online through virtual workshops, interactive activities, and musician demonstrations that promote learning on and off screen. More information regarding the details of each program can be found on our Education page.


Fall 2020 Virtual Concerts

During Fall 2020, the Philharmonic Society will offer the following virtual performances and events:

CMS Lincoln Center: Front Row*
Gilbert Kalish, piano

Friday, October 23, 2020
CMS Lincoln Center: Front Row*
David Shifrin, clarinet

Friday, November 6, 2020
Danish String Quartet
Friday, November 7, 2020
CMS Lincoln Center: Front Row*
Gloria Chien, piano

Friday, November 20, 2020
Jeremy Denk, piano
Saturday, November 21, 2020
CMS Lincoln Center: Front Row*
Arnaud Sussmann, violin

Friday, December 4, 2020
Stephen Hough, piano
Friday, December 11, 2020
CMS Lincoln Center: Front Row*
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano

Friday, December 18, 2020


*Exclusive to Philharmonic Society subscribers and Annual Fund members (Sonata+ level)
Fall Virtual Artists-in-Residence | October-December 2020

The Philharmonic Society is excited to announce its inaugural lineup of virtual Artists-in-Residence for Fall 2020: violinist Hilary Hahn, and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason with pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason. Spanning October to December, Artists-in-Residence will curate, organize, and produce a series of three intimate, virtual performances.

Hilary Hahn, violin
Sunday, October 18 | Saturday, November 14 | Saturday, December 12, 2020

Three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn brings her expressive musicality and technical expertise to her virtual 3-concert residency. Hahn's residency is an exclusive series for the Philharmonic Society which will feature the premiere of a new commissioned piece. Hahn is a prolific and celebrated recording artist whose nineteen feature albums on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and Sony have all opened in the top ten of the Billboard charts. At the age of 10 she was admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music, and at 17 made her recording debut, effectively launching her career.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello
Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano

Sunday, October 25 | Sunday, November 22 | Sunday, December 20, 2020

The winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and his sister, rising-star pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, combine their talents for a thrilling display of exceptional musical skills in their 3-concert residency. Sheku Kanneh-Mason became a household name worldwide in May 2018 after performing at the Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In June 2018, Sheku received the Male Artist of the Year and the Critics’ Choice awards at the re-launched Classic BRIT Awards, and in July 2018 became the first artist to receive the new BRIT Certified Breakthrough Award. Three years Sheku's senior, Isata Kanneh-Mason is quickly gaining fans of her own. Her debut album, Romance, drew popular and critical acclaim, entering the UK classical charts at No. 1 when it was released in July 2019.


Triumph Over Adversity Festival | December 8-13, 2020

A cornerstone of the Philharmonic Society’s fall programming, the Triumph Over Adversity Festival—curated by musicians and brothers Anthony and Demarre McGill—is a free, multi-day virtual series of concerts and educational and community outreach offerings advocating for social change on and beyond classical music’s stages. Spotlighting musicians as well as composers from marginalized communities, concerts will feature works by composers such as Gabriela Lena Frank, Tania León, Valerie Coleman, and David Baker, including works specifically commissioned for the McGill brothers.

Anthony McGill, clarinet
Demarre McGill, flute

December 8-13, 2020
Performance Dates: December 10 | December 11 | December 12, 2020

Winner of the 2020 Avery Fisher Prize, clarinetist Anthony McGill is one of classical music’s most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures. He serves as the principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic — that orchestra’s first African-American principal player — and maintains a dynamic international solo and chamber music career. He also serves as an ardent advocate for helping music education reach underserved communities and for addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical music.

The elder of the two brothers, flutist Demarre McGill, has gained international recognition as a soloist, recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, he currently serves as the principal flute of the Seattle Symphony. As an educator, Demarre has performed, coached and presented master classes in South Africa, Korea, Japan, Quebec and throughout the United States.


Spring 2021 Programming

It is our intent to resume live performances in 2021 contingent upon approval from public health and safety officials. For those not ready to return to live in-person performances, virtual viewing options will continue to be available, and in the event that in-person concerts cannot take place, we will be prepared to transition back to virtual performances. The updated Spring 2021 programming is as follows:

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Branford Marsalis, saxophone

Saturday, January 9, 2021
Virtual Concert
Tetzlaff Quartet
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Virtual Concert
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Vadym Kholodenko and Brooklyn Rider
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Joshua Bell, violin
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Astor Piazzolla at 100 with Philippe Quint and Members of the Joffrey Ballet
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Irvine Barclay Theatre
Smetana Trio
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Samueli Theater
George Li, piano
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Laguna Beach Music Festival
feat. Conrad Tao, piano

March 24-28, 2021
Laguna Beach
Alisa Weilerstein, cello & Inon Barnatan, piano
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Brentano Quartet
Friday, April 9, 2021
Venue to be announced
Jerusalem Quartet with Pinchas Zukerman, violin and Amanda Forsyth, cello
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Danish String Quartet
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Samueli Theater
Sergio Assad, Clarice Assad, and Third Coast Percussion
Friday, May 28, 2021
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Augustin Hadelich, violin & Orion Weiss, piano
Monday, June 14, 2021
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Renée Fleming, soprano
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Season Supporters

The Philharmonic Society’s 2020-21 season is made possible through the generous support of:

  • Donna L. Kendall and the Donna L. Kendall Foundation
  • Anonymous
  • Howard and Judith Jelinek
  • The Segerstrom Foundation
  • Sam and Lyndie Ersan

  • Additional support is provided by:

  • The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
  • Anonymous
  • The Colburn Foundation
  • Crean Foundation
  • Dea Stanuszek
  • Douglas H. and Deirdre Smith
  • Gail and Robert Sebring
  • The Isidore & Penny Myers Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Steven M. Sorenson MD and the IBEX Foundation
  • U.S. Bank

  • More Information

    For more information on precautionary measures being taken at our venues, visit:

  • Segerstrom Center for the Arts
  • Irvine Barclay Theatre

  • For more information on COVID-19 and the latest recommendations from the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Orange County Healthy Care Agency, visit:
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Orange County Health Care Agency

  • Support the Philharmonic Society of Orange County

    Many of you have expressed concern about the financial impact of cancellations on the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. We invite you to show your support by making a donation to continue supporting world-class music and youth music education programs in our community.