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Highlights Include:

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts London Symphony Orchestra and Yuja Wang

Mark Morris Dance Company’s Dido & Aeneas

Monteverdi Choir 50th anniversary tour: Vespers of 1610 and L’Orfeo

World premiere of Stephen Hartke’s Symphony No. 4 “Organ”
with Gustavo Dudamel and Los Angeles Philharmonic

IRVINE, CA – The Philharmonic Society of Orange County, the area’s oldest and most recognized music presenter, today announced its 2014-15 concert season. For its 61st season, the Society continues to present the highest caliber of signature classical music presentations, orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists from around the world. The Society is proud to continue the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series for its sixth season and thanks Mr. Sam Ersan for his generous sponsorship of the Laguna Chamber Music Series.

History of the Philharmonic Society
On May 22, 1954, the Philharmonic Society, then known as the Orange County Philharmonic Orchestra, performed its first concert in Santa Ana High School’s auditorium under the baton of Frieda Belinfante. Eventually evolving into exclusively a presenting organization, the Philharmonic Society has presented eighteen of Gramophone magazine’s top 20 ranked orchestras of the world, and during its 2009-10 season established an unprecedented artistic partnership with Carnegie Hall, bringing Carnegie Hall’s festival program to audiences outside of New York for the first time. During its first 60 years of existence, the Philharmonic Society is proud to have been a catalyst in Orange County’s cultural landscape by presenting numerous world-class orchestras and artists in concert, championing contemporary composers through commissions, sponsoring regional and world premieres, and supplementing music education in Orange County through its nationally recognized Youth Music Education Programs.

Highlights of the 2014-15 Season
Among the highlights of the Society’s 2014-15 season are an array of singular performances that reflect the Society’s commitment to and tradition of presenting classical music’s best offerings. The energetic Gustavo Dudamel returns with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the world premiere performance of Stephen Hartke’s Symphony No. 4 “Organ.” Southern California native Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the London Symphony Orchestra and pianist Yuja Wang. The Monteverdi Choir celebrates its 50th anniversary with an all-Monteverdi two-night residency, performing Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 and L’Orfeo with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his period instrument chamber orchestra ensemble the English Baroque Soloists. American dancer and choreographer Mark Morris directs the Mark Morris Dance Company in its second-ever southern California production of his acclaimed dance adaptation of Purcell’s opera Dido & Aeneas.

Concerts featuring world-class orchestras, conductors and soloists,
all held at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Opening Night of the Philharmonic Society’s 2014-15 season features the London Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet under the direction of conductor Vladimir Jurowski. The program includes Dvořák’s illustrative symphonic poem The Noon Witch, Op. 108; Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26; and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, “Pathétique.” Part of the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series. (Saturday, October 11, 2014, 8pm)

French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet teams up with the Czech Philharmonic, conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek. Saluting the orchestra’s and conductor’s Czech heritage, the performance begins with Janáček’s powerful rhapsody Taras Bulba, based on three episodes from Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol’s novel of the same name, followed by Dvořák’s immensely popular New World Symphony. Thibaudet displays his virtuosity in Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major. Part of the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series. (Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 8pm)

Gustavo Dudamel returns with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in its annual Orange County visit, this time bringing two organists for a singular afternoon of symphonic organ music. The talented organist Cameron Carpenter and the versatile Joanne Pearce Martin join in a program of Barber’s Toccata Festiva for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 36; Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 “Organ;” and the world premiere of Stephen Hartke’s Symphony No. 4 “Organ.” Hartke’s symphony is co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Edward Halvajian. The concert is sponsored by Joan Halvajian. (Sunday, November 23, 2014, 3pm)

One of Europe’s foremost orchestras, the Rotterdam Philharmonic kicks off the Philharmonic Society’s winter/spring 2015 concerts with music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and critically acclaimed French pianist Hélène Grimaud. Celebrated for the intense energy of its performances, the Rotterdam Philharmonic performs Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64, and features Grimaud in Brahms’ challenging Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15. (Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 8pm)

The Venice Baroque Orchestra returns with Grammy-nominated Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital. Internationally regarded for his performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, and Wigmore Hall, Avital became the first mandolin player to receive a Grammy nomination in the “Best Instrumental Soloist” category for his recording of Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto. Program to be announced. Part of the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series. (Saturday, February 28, 2015, 8pm)

Founded in 1971, the State Symphony of México commemorates the 40th anniversary of its inaugural tour of the United States with a return to Orange County under the baton of music director Enrique Batiz. Recognized for its promotion of music as a means of uniting and identifying the Mexican people, the orchestra’s program features two works by Mexican composer Manuel María Ponce: his Piano Concerto with pianist Irina Chistiakova, and his Concierto del Sur for guitar with guitarist Alfonso Moreno. Also on the program are Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival Overture and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor. (Thursday, March 5, 2015, 8pm)

An all-star cast hits Segerstrom Center for the Arts when London’s oldest symphony orchestra makes its triumphant return to Orange County. The London Symphony Orchestra, led by Grammy Award-winning conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, visits with world-renowned classical pianist Yuja Wang, who returns for her second consecutive Philharmonic Society season. The program includes Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, as well as Britten’s Four Sea Interludes. Part of the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series. (Saturday, March 28, 2015, 3pm)

On its 50th anniversary season tour, the Monteverdi Choir returns for a two-evening residency with the English Baroque Soloists under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Both performances salute the choir’s namesake—-performing Monteverdi’s monumental choral masterpiece Vespers of 1610 on the first evening, and his opera L’Orfeo the following night. One of the towering works of the Baroque period, Vespers of 1610 was a pioneering work for its time, integrating secular musical ideas into religious music. Written in 1607, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo has the distinction of being the earliest surviving opera still regularly performed. Based on the Greek legend of Orpheus, L’Orfeo tells the story of Orpheus’ descent to the underworld and his unsuccessful attempt to bring his bride Eurydice back to the life. (Vespers of 1610 – Friday, April 24, 2015, 8pm & L’Orfeo – Saturday, April 25, 2015, 8pm)

Hear exceptional ensembles and soloists showcase their talents in the
intimate setting of the Irvine Barclay Theatre and at Segerstrom Center for the Arts,
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

The first chamber concert of the season features the leading Czech ensemble Smetana Trio. Founded in 1934 by legendary Czech pianist Josef Páleníček, father of current member Jan Páleníček, the Smetana Trio was the first Czech ensemble to win the BBC Music Magazine Award in 2007 and is regarded as one of the foremost piano trios in the Czech Republic today. The Smetana Trio performs Rachmaninoff’s Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor; Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 1 in C minor, Op. 8; Haas’ Multicultural Suite; and Dvořák’s Piano Trio in F minor, Op. 65. This concert is generously sponsored by Mr. Sam B. Ersan. (Saturday, October 18, 2014, 8pm, Irvine Barclay Theatre)

Founded in 1987 by four members of Austria’s leading Baroque music ensemble Concentus Musicus Wien, string quartet Quatuor Mosaïques brings a distinctive quality to the Society’s chamber presentations, performing on period instruments. Interesting connections exist between the program’s composers—-teacher, student, and torchbearer-—beginning first with Haydn’s String Quartet in C major, Op. 20, No. 2, one of the works that earned Haydn the moniker “the father of the string quartet.” Following the Haydn piece is Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 18, No. 2, composed while Beethoven was still a student of Haydn’s. The String Quartet in E-flat major, No. 10, D.87, by Franz Schubert, a torchbearer at Beethoven’s funeral, rounds out the program. This concert is generously sponsored by Mr. Sam B. Ersan. (Thursday, October 30, 2014, 8pm, Irvine Barclay Theatre)

San Francisco-based Kronos Quartet, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013, has a lengthy history in commissioning and performing new and contemporary works. For this performance, the quartet performs Geeshie Wiley’s “Last Kind Words,” arranged by Jacob Garchik for the Kronos Quartet, and Santa Ratniece’s silsila, a work written for the quartet. Also on the program is Philip Glass’ String Quartet No. 6, a piece co-commissioned by Donald and Karen Evarts for the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. (Saturday, February 21, 2015, 8pm, Irvine Barclay Theatre)

The only string quartet to be inducted into Gramophone’s first Hall of Fame, the Grammy Award-winning Takács Quartet returns with virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin. Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 76, No. 3, nicknamed “Emperor” for its second movement melody also used in the German national anthem, begins the program. Debussy’s lone String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10, is followed by Franck’s dramatic Piano Quintet in F minor. This concert is generously sponsored by Mr. Sam B. Ersan. (Sunday, April 19, 2015, 3pm, Irvine Barclay Theatre)

Chosen as one of the Los Angeles Times’ 2013 Faces to Watch, rising star violinist Ray Chen returns to Orange County for his highly anticipated debut recital in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Winner of the Queen Elisabeth and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions, Chen performed for the Nobel Laureates and Swedish Royal Family at the 2012 Nobel Prize Concert, and has performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. His repertoire for the evening includes Beethoven’s Sonata No. 6, Stravinsky’s Divertimento, Ÿsaÿe’s Solo Sonata No. 3 “Ballade,” Debussy’s Violin Sonata, and Ravel’s Tzigane. (Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 8pm, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall)


The Mark Morris Dance Company returns for its second-ever southern California production of its highly acclaimed production Dido & Aeneas, a dance adaptation of Purcell’s 1689 opera of the same name. Purcell adapted his Dido & Aeneas from Virgil’s epic poem, the Aeneid, which recounts the story of the Trojan Aeneas’ affair with Dido, Queen of Carthage, on his way to founding Rome. Celebrated choreographer and director Mark Morris will lead Musica Angelica and a choir to be announced. (Friday & Saturday, May 15-16, 2015, 8pm, Irvine Barclay Theatre)

The finale to the Philharmonic Society’s 2014-15 season is a special concert paying tribute to Orange County’s own maestro, Carl St.Clair, who celebrates his 25th anniversary as music director of the Pacific Symphony. St.Clair will lead members of the Pacific Symphony in a performance of Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22, and additional works to be announced. (Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 8pm, Irvine Barclay Theatre)

All dates, times, programs, artists and prices are subject to change.
For more information and to receive a brochure of the Philharmonic Society’s 2014-15 season, please call (949) 553-2422 or visit our website at Subscriptions go on sale January 27, 2014. Subscriptions range from packages of five concerts to thirteen concerts and start at $190. Single tickets are scheduled to go on sale in summer 2014.